With the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics now behind us – and the “rebranding” of Russia complete (according to its deputy prime minister) – have you ever thought of going?
While the Sochi Games gloriously showcased Russia’s winter sporting credentials, the country is often seen as vast and impenetrable. Where do you begin, and what’s on offer for those wanting to cruise to (or within) the country?
For those who are interested in the itineraries available, we’ve highlighted some of our favourite cruises for 2014.
Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of variation on offer in the world’s biggest country….So we’ve given you a bit of an even spread. From expedition cruises on ‘Top of the World’ to luxury sailings with more well-known operators.
Check out our Ultimate Russia itineraries and let us know what you think below!
Glories of the Hermitage
Viking River Cruises is offering an exclusive programme which is dedicated to Russia’s most famous museum: the Hermitage. It features talks and tours by Hermitage scholars, a visit the institution’s off-site storage facility as well as chances to see St Petersburg’s other highlights.
Please note that while this itinerary is offered by Viking, guests will be staying at the five star Grand Hotel Europe.
Prices from £4,999 per person and limited to groups of 12
Europe & Baltic Splendours
Ultra-luxury operator Seabourn is offering a mighty 26-day voyage from Barcelona to Stockholm that includes two-nights in St Petersburg.
The stay allows guests to choose from a range of shore excursions including visits to the city’s various palaces, Synagogues and even an early morning train ride into Moscow.
All in the lap of luxury of course.
Prices from £7,099 per person
Russian specialist IntoRussia (formerly InTourist UK) has been operating since 1938 and offers a range of programmes with experiences beyond Russia’s two hubs of St Petersburg and Moscow.
This 14-day itinerary takes passengers into the Arctic Circle, deep into Russia’s Siberian waterways – in the far eastern corner of the country.
The voyage visits stunning national parks, remote settlements and gives guests the opportunity to meet and engage with locals. One for those wanting something a little off the beaten track
Prices from £2,945 per person
Across the top of the world
As its name suggests, this expedition voyage is one of the most remote available on the market today. Starting in Alaska, guests fly across the Bering Sea (and the International Date Line) to Anandyr from where they will sail north, up the Siberian coastline, to Wrangel and Herald Island.
This is one for the keen adventurer, with opportunities to see polar bears high on the programme’s list of priorities.
Prices from £5,880 per person
From Moscow to St Petersburg
The classic Russian river cruise sails between Russia’s two major cities and takes in some pretty impressive stops along the way – like the UNESCO site of Kizhi (pictured top).
Most itineraries offer a couple of nights stay on either side of the cruise to take in sites like the Kremlin and Red Square in Russia and the Hermitage and Peterhof in St Petersburg.
Vodohod is a traditional Russian river operator and while its vessels aren’t the newest on the market – it offers an experience which is as authentic as Shchi.
See website for more details