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Volga River Cruise

Listed under River Trips in Volga, Russia.

  • Photo of Volga River Cruise
  • Photo of Volga River Cruise
  • Photo of Volga River Cruise
  • Photo of Volga River Cruise
  • Photo of Volga River Cruise
  • Photo of Volga River Cruise
  • Photo of Volga River Cruise
  • Photo of Volga River Cruise
Photo of Volga River Cruise
Photo by flickr user lyng883
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Rivers were the major trade arteries of the world, and larger countries especially depended on their great rivers to retain unity, Russia being one of the major examples of this. The Volga River is not as yet as popular a choice for pleasure travellers as the Rhone or the Rhine, yet the journey from Moscow to St Petersburg is powerfully historic and passes some of Russia's most wondrous architectural treasures. The contrast between the look of Russia's two great cities is incredible, St. Petersburg's buildings are more ancient and meandering while Moscow is beautiful yet carefully arranged.

Beginning in Moscow, where many of the highlights crowd around Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin, the first definite stop must be for Sergiev Posad and its ancient monastery, established in the 15th Century and one of the country's most important, and beautiful as well as historic.

Stops should also be scheduled for Uglich, Russia's second oldest city and a great favourite of Ivan the Terrible - it's quiet and away from the normal tourist routes - and Kostroma for its collection of religious architecture. Yaroslavl's 13th Century churches are the reason to stop in this town at the junction of the Volga and the Kotorosl Rivers - Yaroslavl must have a high percentage of churches per capita, there seemed to be a forest of spires. But the countryside and smaller villages which line the river will be a constant temptation, and unlike many other river cruising destinations, you won't find yourself treading on the bows of the boats in front of you at each port, most lines choose their own smaller towns to include.

Don't leave St. Petersburg without a visit to The Hermitage, the Peter and Paul Cathedral, the Summer Palace with its beautiful water garden, the Church of our Saviour of the Spilled Blood, the Catherine and Alexander Palaces and the Pushkin Museum. That list would make it seem like at least an extra week is needed on the end and beginning of any Volga journey then, but there is really no better way to see the faded majesty of this expansive, both is size and history, country.

Written by  Kate Tonbridge.

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Volga River

The longest river in Europe, the Volga, begins its life in the Valdai Hills and joins the Caspian Sea via its vast nutrient rich delta, home to flamingos and pelicans as well as the Russian caviar industry.

Many of Russia’s richest cities, including the capital Moscow are built on the Volga’s banks. Under Soviet rule the river was dammed in several places and large reservoirs were built flooding towns along the river's route. The Volga has always been important for immigration purposes, at various times encouraging people in and forcing people out.

Until recently traffic on the river has been limited, but the regions strengthening relationship with the west has made it easier to get a permit to travel the river. Parts of the Volga, including the section near Moscow, freezes over for three months of each year.

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