River Cruising 

River cruising - a great relaxing way of visiting seeing, and experiencing the great cities of Europe, unpack once and let the scenery roll past. 
Visiting up to 5 different places in a week, fine dining, different forms of entertainment, great service, and knowing you are being looked after by a dedicated crew, means there is a great holiday experience waiting for you. 
Our task is to make sure you travel on the right river cruise for the budget you set and the time you have. 
There are many vessels sailing the rivers of Europe, Far East, Africa and the USA all are different and offering you many choice’s – it can be baffling – so let our many years’ experience help you choose and sail away properly. 
Whether its an a flight, rail travel, drive yourself - we can put together a package just for you, suitable for single travellers, group of friends, couples or families. People choose a cruise for different reasons, could be the destinations or cabin style or activities on board – but waking up to a new city to explore every day can be enlightening 
These are some of our choices – but let’s talk…. 

Russian River 

A Russian Odyssey ~ 15th May 2019 with flights from Manchester or London 11 nights - From £2069.00 pp 
You fly to Moscow, where a coach will transfer you to the ship, moored in this unique city. The professional crew welcomes you on board and there’s time to settle in and familiarise yourself with the layout of the ship before dinner is served.  
A 12 day holiday from £2069.00 pp with flights from Manchester to Moscow, via Helsinki 
Experience more with so much included 
Guided tours of Moscow, St Petersburg, Uglich and Yaroslavl 
Walking tour through the Open-Air Museum of Architecture in Kizhi 
Visits to the Kremlin, the Hermitage Museum, Mandrogi and the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery in Goritsy 
All meals on board from dinner on your day of arrival through to breakfast on your day of departure and two lunches in local restaurants 
Live entertainment every night including a classical concert and a folklore show 
On-board lecture on Russian history plus cultural demonstrations including Russian cooking, language, handicrafts and tea-tasting 
Return scheduled flights 
Attentive service from an English-speaking crew and knowledgeable local guides 
Russia, the world’s largest country, is a land of superlatives matched by its epic history, monumental architecture, incredible culture and sweeping landscapes of immense beauty. Perhaps the best way to cover the breadth of its myriad gems and feel the might of empires past is on a relaxing river cruise, where every turn reveals a fascinating new view. 
Price includes, Flights with 20 kg luggage, transfers cruise with full board and port and air taxes, Drinks & tips included. 
For further information and to book contact: Travelfox on 01347 822541 email andrew@travelfox.co.uk Cabins offered are on main deck, upper deck cabins available ata supplement. 
15 May - 11 Aug departures all £2069.00 
20 or 31 July - departures £ 2169.00 
06 & 28h June departures £ 2269.00 
02 Sep departure £ 2369.00 
Sailing Itinerary 
You fly to Moscow, where a coach will transfer you to the ship, moored in this unique city. The professional crew welcomes you on board and there’s time to settle in and familiarise yourself with the layout of the ship before dinner is served. 
Our adventure has truly begun and there’s a real sense of excitement on board. Set yourself up for this morning’s tour with breakfast from the buffet, whilst chatting with your fellow passengers about what lies in store. Churchill famously described Russia as ‘a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma’ and this still seems apt. Formerly a powerful tsarist empire and a Communist superpower, yet today having a cosmopolitan feel very much, it holds a real fascination. European Russia, which stretches from the borders of Belarus and Ukraine to the Urals over 600 miles east of Moscow, even without the vast Russian Federation, is the largest country in Europe. 
The Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century began to transform the city until the Communists imposed a totalitarian regime in 1917 and Lenin moved his government to Moscow. Then came Stalin’s regime of terror, which lasted for a quarter of a century; he oversaw the war machine that helped to defeat Nazism, but also caused the death of tens of millions and the destruction of many historic buildings. A failed coup against Gorbachev in 1991 marked the end of the USSR, and Moscow is now Russia’s richest city. On this morning’s tour you will learn more about its fascinating story. 
Rise refreshed and ready to discover more of this historic city. On our guided tour this morning we return to the Kremlin, which formerly housed the Russian government, with stunning palaces and cathedrals enclosed behind its vast walls. See the Tsar’s Bell and Cannon and the mighty Ivan the Great Bell Tower, once the tallest structure in the country, its gold, onion-shaped domes piercing the sky. You’ll learn more about the history of this immense complex and enjoy a stroll around its grounds, seeing the Cathedral Square lined by three magnificent, gold-topped cathedrals. After lunch back on board, the rest of the day is at leisure, so why not take a trip on the famous marble-clad metro with its spectacular stations, or see the impressive university and the stunning Bolshoi, home to one of the world’s finest ballet companies. 
As we set sail along the Moscow Canal, which connects the Moskva and Volga rivers, the Captain’s welcome cocktail reception is served before dinner, so relax in the lounge and take in the changing views through the ship’s panoramic windows. 
There’s something special about waking on board a river cruiser and finding yourself transported somewhere new. Draw back the curtains to reveal a hilly landscape with a scattering of wooden houses and quaint churches amidst the green slopes. So much of the rural landscape seems deserted and almost unchanged since the days of the USSR. Head up on deck to watch some of this tranquil scenery slipping by as our ship glides through the calm waters of the Volga. 
Enjoy a leisurely lunch in the restaurant before we arrive in picturesque Uglich. Its name coming from the word for ‘corner’, this attractive city on a sharp bend of the Volga forms part of Russia’s Golden Ring, a group of ancient towns that played an important part in the formation of the Russian Orthodox Church and are now open-air museums, with a wealth of unique monuments and colourful architecture. We will enjoy a walking tour of the city’s Kremlin, once surrounded by water and now perched high on the river bank. It’s an impressive ensemble of seven buildings, including the renowned green-domed Cathedral of Transfiguration and the striking Church of St Dmitry on the Blood, a blaze of red-and-white façades and royal-blue domes. 
We return to the ship with time to relax before dinner. 
During this morning’s breakfast, our ship arrives in the ancient city of Yaroslavl, the largest and oldest city of the Golden Ring. Spectacularly sited at the confluence of the mighty Volga and Kotorosl Rivers, this UNESCO Heritage site developed into a major commercial centre from the 11th century. During the 18th century, Empress Catherine the Great ordered urban planning reforms for the whole of Russia, and the city was sympathetically renovated in the neoclassical style of the time, fortunately sparing some fine historic churches. See the exquisite 17th-century church of Elijah the Prophet, known for its vibrant frescoes, and stroll the grounds of an ancient monastery with its medieval holy gate. The more energetic may fancy climbing the cathedral’s bell tower for wonderful views of the rivers and city below. 
As evening falls, enjoy another delicious dinner in the ship’s restaurant and live music in the bar afterwards. 
As the morning sun edges its way above the gentle slopes of this idyllic landscape, head to the ship’s restaurant for breakfast. Admire the Captain’s skilful handling of our vessel as we dock at the pretty medieval village of Goritsy, the centre of one of the largest accumulations of monasteries in Russia. From here a coach will take us to the magnificent Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, which was founded in the 14th century by one of the most revered saints in the Russian Orthodox Church. Beautifully sited on the edge of a glistening lake, a cluster of soaring spires and onion-domed roofs nestle behind its austere, white walls. 
After lunch, relax on board as we cruise the Volga-Baltic Waterway, part of an impressive 229-mile network of rivers and a canal linking the Volga to the Baltic Sea. As we pass through the ever-fascinating locks, the rugged yet majestic landscape drifts seamlessly by: thickly forested riverbanks cling to the water’s edge, punctuated by picturesque villages of colourful wooden houses in a scene unchanged for centuries. 
Dinner is served by your crew, after which take a digestif in the bar with newly made friends, or head up on deck to enjoy the views as evening descends. 
Overnight the MS Rossia has made steady progress northwards and today you will enjoy another wonderful morning’s cruising as we enter the waters of Lake Onega, Europe’s second-largest lake. More than 50 rivers feed into it yet only one originates from it. Its waters appear murky due to its high mineral content but are, in fact, very clean, and home to more than 40 types of fish. The lake has more than 1,300 islands. 
Later we moor on the tiny island of Kizhi, an enchanting green sliver at the northern end of the lake. Thought to be a pagan site for Ugric and Finnish tribes, its significance grew as a centre on the trading route to the White Sea during medieval times. In 1951, an open-air museum was founded here, comprising a fascinating collection of restored 18th-century wooden structures brought in from nearby villages, including chapels, belfries, log houses, mills, bathhouses and barns. 
Reflect on all you have encountered today with your fellow travellers over tonight’s dinner as we slip our moorings once more. 
We experience another highlight this morning as we cruise the scenic River Svir. From its source at Lake Onega, it runs 139 miles to the largest lake in Europe, Lake Ladoga, which forms part of the extensive canal systems to the Baltic. Head up on deck and enjoy this diverse and atmospheric landscape: steeply sided riverbanks splice the depths beneath, emerald-green marshes alternate with red rock faces and isolated villages, with their scattering of timber houses seemingly frozen in time. Before long, we moor in picturesque Mandrogi. This quintessential Karelian village, reliant on its fishing and mills, was a place unchanged for decades until it was completely destroyed during the Second World War. After the fall of the Soviet Union, a group of Russian investors bought the land and employed the region’s most skilled craftsmen to restore the town to its former glory. By 1999 the transformation was complete, and today it is a joy to wander the cobbled streets, admiring the traditional woodwork of the colourful ‘izbas’, gingerbreadlike buildings with masterfully carved roofs and window frames. Stroll through the artisans’ quarter and browse the traditional handicraft: paintings, embroidery, pottery and, of course, the beautifully painted ‘matryoshka’ dolls – the famous wooden stacking dolls in colours of every hue. 
After a barbecue lunch on shore (weather permitting), we’ll spend the afternoon relaxing on board. Tonight we’ll sample the gastronomic specialities of the region during the Captain’s Farewell Dinner. 
This morning as we reach our journey’s end, early risers will enjoy our stately arrival along the River Neva into spectacular St Petersburg. With a history dating back 300 years and today a UNESCO World Heritage site, this grand imperial city will enchant you with its gilded domes, glittering spires and magnificent architecture. Founded by Peter the Great, who moved the capital here from Moscow in 1712, Russia’s second city is his successful attempt to emulate the great Western European cities of the time. The most skilled architects were drafted from all over Europe, creating a diverse mix of architectural styles and stunning vistas that have inspired countless artists, such as Pushkin, Dostoyevsky, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich. Following Lenin’s death and the Revolution, which changed the course of 20th-century world history, the city was renamed Leningrad. During the Second World War, Hitler besieged the city in an event that defined its history; one million people died from shelling, starvation and disease during the ‘900 days’ of the prolonged military blockade. The city survived and as the USSR crumbled during the 1990s, the city’s name was restored to St Petersburg. We enjoy a panoramic tour seeing the main sights, including bustling Nevsky Prospekt, the city’s most famous avenue, its largest department store, the National Library and the monument to Catherine the Great. See the spectacular Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood with its exquisitely colourful domes and glorious frescoes, and the glistening golden domes of Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, the fourth largest in the world. 
We return to the ship for lunch with free time after to explore. Perhaps return to the historic heart of St Petersburg to see the Russian Museum’s extensive collection, shop at the historic Gostiny Dvor arcade, or stroll through one of the many lovely parks to absorb the cosmopolitan ambience. By evening you’ll have worked up an appetite, so why not relax in the ship’s lounge with your favourite aperitif before dinner is served. 
Today brings another highlight with our guided visit to the world-renowned Hermitage Museum. Open to the public since 1852, it was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and its vast collection of over three million items, including the world’s largest collection of paintings, occupies an impressive complex of six historic buildings along the river embankment, including the spectacular Winter Palace with it pastel colonnaded façade, the former residence of the Tsars. See the ornate Great Church, the Romanovs’ private place of worship, and the opulent Pavilion Hall with its exquisite mosaic tables and extraordinary golden Peacock Clock, created by an English clock maker. There’s the Gold Rooms of the Treasure Gallery, containing a dazzling array of ornaments and jewellery plus a whole host of further galleries with jaw-dropping collections of artworks by Rembrandt, Da Vinci and Caravaggio – you’ll be spoilt for choice. 
After lunch in a local restaurant, you may wish to return to the ship or remain in St Petersburg to further explore the historic centre. Perhaps stroll the fine boulevards admiring the city’s elegant architecture, or visit the Fabergé Museum, located in a superbly restored palace and home to the world’s largest collection of pieces by the famous jeweller, which includes nine imperial Easter eggs. 
When dinner is served, you’ll no doubt have stories to recount with newly made friends before returning to the bar to unwind and enjoy tonight’s live entertainment. 
The day is at leisure so you may wish to further explore or relax on board. So what is it to be? Perhaps visit the Peter and Paul Fortress, a former prison founded in 1703. Its ornate cathedral, with beautiful marble columns and chandeliers, is the final resting place of many of the country’s rulers, including Catherine the Great and the Romanovs. Art aficionados may wish to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art or return to the Hermitage to visit the General Staff Building, one of the most famous architectural monuments in St Petersburg, with its impressive collection of works by Monet and Renoir amongst others. For lovers of history there is a host of palaces, such as the Stroganov Palace with its salmon-pink façade or the superb Marble Palace, constructed from 36 different kinds of marble. Or simply wander the city’s parks and stroll along the network of canals, stopping to admire some of the city’s countless bridges. 
As evening falls, enjoy your final dinner on board and reflect on what has been a truly memorable cruise. 
Transfer to the airport for your return flight.Prices are per person, based on two people sharing a twin cabin. Single cabins are available at the relevant supplement. The price includes full board from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your final day, two lunches in local restaurants; all visits and excursions as mentioned in the brochure, airport transfers, coach travel as mentioned, travel to and from port of embarkation and the services of a Riviera Travel Tour Manager. 
All UK citizens must obtain a tourist visa to visit Russia, which we will help you obtain. 
Prices are per person, based on two people sharing a twin cabin. Single cabins are available at the relevant supplement. The price includes full board from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your final day, two lunches in local restaurants; all visits and excursions as mentioned in the brochure, airport transfers, coach travel as mentioned, travel to and from port of embarkation and the services of a Riviera Travel Tour Manager. 

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