The Volga River, which is more than 3,700 kilometres long, is the largest river in Europe and has much to offer travellers on a holiday cruise. The beautiful waterways and lakes that can be found in this area are complemented by the historic buildings, villages, and cities that can be seen along the banks of the river and explored on foot during day trips.
Uglich is one of Russia’s oldest cities, with buildings dating back as far as the 10th century, and is one of the most popular shore excursion destinations when cruising along the Volga. Examples of impressive architecture in the city include the historic Kremlin of Uglich and the Chapel of Dimitry, built on the site where Ivan the Terrible’s son died. Other cities that can be visited along the Volga include Yaroslavl, featuring beautiful architecture and historical sites including several churches, a monastery and cathedral, and a wonderful marketplace that offers a unique shopping experience.
Cruising the Volga and Svir rivers allows tourists to view the spectacular scenery of Lake Onega, where the Volga meets the Svir. This vast, tranquil lake features small islands with traditional houses, churches, and buildings as well as stone sculptures that were crafted by tribes between four and five thousand years ago.
The Svir River stretches between Lake Onega and Lake Ladoga – the largest lakes in Europe – and there are a number of ecological and cultural attractions to be seen during this part of the journey when cruising the Volga and Svir rivers. The Svir is a haven for wildlife and a great location for nature lovers as it offers the opportunity to spot a number of rare animals in their natural habitat including lynx and bears. An abundance of fish and water birds can be found living in the clean waters of the Svir River, while the land surrounding the river is densely forested and home to a diverse range of wildlife.
Shore excursions when cruising along the Svir River offer a fantastic opportunity to experience the local Russian culture. The village of Mandrogy provides travellers with a wide range of shops where they can find unique, handmade souvenirs; the village is also home to a vodka museum and a bath house. Svistroy is another popular destination on the Svir River. The picturesque village features buildings constructed from wood in a traditional Russian style and is another fantastic place to shop for local artwork and souvenirs.
Cruising the Volga and Svir rivers offers something to suit a wide range of tastes and provides the opportunity to learn about Russian culture and history, as well as see the extraordinary wildlife that can be found living in this part of the world.