A river cruise through the heart of Russia

Southwest Life

A river cruise through the heart of Russia

Two-week journey on the Volga explores country’s long history
Multiple cruise ships are on the Volga River at the same time, and if ships run behind schedule, it can cause issues at ports. The Russ was following this ship as we made our way from Moscow to Uglich.
Uspenski Cathedral (the Cathedral of the Assumption) was initially built in Yaroslavl in 1215. It was destroyed in 1937, but rebuilt in 2010, the 1,000th anniversary of the city. Its golden domes are visible from the Volga River.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, along with local specialties, were plentiful in open-air markets at most towns along the Volga River. This market in Kostrama was busy as shoppers stopped on their way home from work to buy food.
This young woman was among a group that met cruise passengers at Cheboksary in native Chuvashi dress. She explained that married and unmarried women wore different costumes, although they all featured elaborate embroidery and coins.
A few details

Visas are required for entry to Russia; visa services are relatively inexpensive and eliminate the headache of trying to get everything right. I used GenVisa in Washington, D.C.If you have time, arrive in Moscow a day before the cruise. It helps with the time change and ensures you won’t miss your ship if there are delays.Along with a round-trip flight to Moscow, you’ll need to book a one-way flight from Astrakhan to Moscow after docking (or a flight to Astrakhan if your cruise starts in the south).Carry rubles for shopping in local markets.Check if bottled water is included in the cost of the cruise (or a drinking water dispenser to refill water bottles). More information: https://www.bestrussiancruises.com; https://www.expresstorussia.com; https://www.travelallrussia.com/russia.

A river cruise through the heart of Russia

Multiple cruise ships are on the Volga River at the same time, and if ships run behind schedule, it can cause issues at ports. The Russ was following this ship as we made our way from Moscow to Uglich.
Uspenski Cathedral (the Cathedral of the Assumption) was initially built in Yaroslavl in 1215. It was destroyed in 1937, but rebuilt in 2010, the 1,000th anniversary of the city. Its golden domes are visible from the Volga River.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, along with local specialties, were plentiful in open-air markets at most towns along the Volga River. This market in Kostrama was busy as shoppers stopped on their way home from work to buy food.
This young woman was among a group that met cruise passengers at Cheboksary in native Chuvashi dress. She explained that married and unmarried women wore different costumes, although they all featured elaborate embroidery and coins.

A river cruise through the heart of Russia

In 1690, the town of Uglich built St. Dmitry on the Blood church on the spot where the body of 10-year-old Dmitry, the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible, was discovered in 1591. The palace where the young prince lived has been turned into a museum.

A river cruise through the heart of Russia

Passengers crowded the decks as we entered this lock near Uglich and then waited for the water to drain so we could depart at a lower level. Completing the waterway from the Gulf of Finland to the Baltic Sea entailed building dams, reservoirs, canals and locks.

A river cruise through the heart of Russia

A group of performers wait for their time on stage during a festival in Astrakhan in September 2015. The city was celebrating its birthday and the festival offered free entertainment. Much of the festival took place along the Volga River embankment.

A river cruise through the heart of Russia

This enormous statue, the Motherland Calls, is the centerpiece of Victory Park in Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad). The park is dedicated the heroes of the 1942-43 Battle of Stalingrad. It is among the tallest statues in the world, and is the tallest of a woman. It is 279 feet from the tip of the sword to the bottom.
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