Travel-Learn Program

Waterways of Russia

When: June 28, 2017 - July 09, 2017 (iCal)



“Splendid experience and I met long-lasting friends!”


We will cruise the waters linking St. Petersburg with Moscow during on aboard the M.S. VOLGA DREAM. In St. Petersburg, a UNESCO World Heritage site, we will have a guided tour of the State Hermitage Museum, founded in the 18th century by Catherine the Great. While in Moscow and in the Kremlin, a UNESCO World Heritage site, our guide will accompany us to the Armoury Museum and its Fabergé Eggs collection. We will experience Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral, and the Novodevicy Convent, all UNESCO World Heritage sites. Between the two cities, we will explore 10th-century Uglich and medieval Yaroslavl, the 14th-century Kirillo-Belozersky monastery near Goritsy, and the Kizhi Island open-air Pogost museum, yet another UNESCO World Heritage site. St. Petersburg pre-cruise and Moscow post-cruise are sought-after options.


Activity Level: Moderately Active


Brochure & Registration Form


Featuring Faculty Host
Dean James Glaser



Price From: $6,495
Price From: $5,495 (if booked by February 28, 2017)

Includes land and cruise only; per person, based on double occupancy.
Itinerary and price are tentative and subject to change.

To avoid the disappointment of a sold out program, Register Now!


Usha Nand Sellers Ed. D., Director Tufts Travel-Learn Program, at or 617-627-5323.


Day 1: U.S.
Depart the U.S.

Day 2: St. Petersburg, Russia
Arriving in St. Petersburg, we’ll transfer to the M.S. VOLGA DREAM. The ship will remain docked overnight on the Neva River, which flows through the heart of St. Petersburg, the “Venice of the North.”

Day 3: St. Petersburg
Today, we explore the city’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site where legendary landmarks are scattered across more than 100 islands and linked by over three times as many bridges. On St. Petersburg’s main thoroughfare Nevsky Prospekt, we will see exquisite examples of Russian architecture, including the ornate Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood, built on the site of Emperor Alexander II’s assassination; the iconic golden spire of the Admiralty; and St. Isaac’s Cathedral’s interior of malachite and lapis lazuli. We will also visit the city’s oldest edifice, the Peter and Paul Fortress, built to guard the country’s only outlet to the Baltic Sea. This afternoon is free, or join the optional excursion to Catherine the Great’s imperial compound in Pushkin, the UNESCO World Heritage designated Tsarskoye Selo (Czar’s Village); the tour of the palace includes its Amber Room, once deemed the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” There is an optional Russian ballet or musical folk show this evening (performance schedule to be determined).

Day 4: St. Petersburg
Today is our specially reserved entrance and tour of the State Hermitage Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site and former czarist palace of Catherine the Great. At this repository, we’ll view priceless French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works as well as many masterpieces which were “lost” in a storeroom during World War II and rediscovered about two decades ago. This afternoon is at leisure, or join the optional excursion over the Gulf of Finland by hydrofoil to Petrodvorets, the grand summer palace and parklands commissioned by Peter the Great to rival Versailles and now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The ship will depart St. Petersburg this evening as we join the Captain’s Welcome Reception on board.

Day 5: Neva River/Lake Ladoga/Mandrogi/Svir River/Lake Onega
Today, we’ll pass the wilderness lining the Neva River and Lake Ladoga, the largest freshwater reservoir in Europe. The ship will call this afternoon at Mandrogi, a small riverside village evoking the peaceful ways of rural life. There is time to explore on our own before we continue along the sparkling Svir River between Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega.

Day 6: Kizhi Island/Lake Onega
Early this morning, we will view our approach to the picturesque UNESCO World Heritage designated Kizhi Island. Exploring this remarkable open-air museum of Karelian and north Russian wooden architecture, we’ll see the Church of the Transfiguration, an architectural masterpiece featuring cupolas and built completely of wood without a single nail. This afternoon, we cruise on scenic Lake Onega within sight of the Karelian countryside, home to many ethnic Finns.

Day 7: Lake Beloye/Goritsy/Sheksna River
Cruising Lake Beloye today, rural communities can be seen along the shores. At the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery in the village of Goritsy, we will see paintings, printed books, and pictorial embroidery. Farther along the Sheksna River, rustic family farms and dachas (traditional wooden cottages) provide glimpses of a bygone era. This evening, a dinner of typical Russian specialties is followed by a specially arranged sampling of Russian vodkas.

Day 8: Lake Rybinskoye/Yaroslavl
This morning, we’ll cruise Lake Rybinskoye surrounded by scenic wilderness. After lunch, we dock in Yaroslavl, the oldest city on the Volga River and part of the “Golden Ring” of fortified cities and villages built to surround Moscow. This UNESCO World Heritage site, the “Florence of Russia,” is known for its stone churches with painted onion domes and soaring turrets. Strolling along the river, we’ll reach the Church of Elijah the Prophet and see the magnificent fortified Monastery of the Transfiguration.

Day 9: Uglich/Volga River
Today, we arrive in the “Golden Ring” city of Uglich and walk to the Church of Prince Dimitri-on-the-Blood, built on the site where Ivan the Terrible’s young son tragically met his demise. After seeing the Church’s red turrets with shimmering blue onion domes and the elegant frescoes adorning its interior, we’ll continue to the stately five-domed Cathedral of the Transfiguration. This afternoon, we cruise the Volga River into the Moscow Canal, which gives Moscow access to the White, Baltic, Caspian, Azov, and Black Seas. The Captain’s Farewell Reception is this evening.

Day 10: Moscow
Arriving in Russia’s great capital on the Moscow River, we will explore Moscow’s cultural and historical treasures, including the Kremlin (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and the imposing halls of this fabled “Citadel of the Czars.” A tour of the Armoury, the oldest museum in Russia, will include State treasures, such as the magnificently bejeweled Fabergé eggs commissioned by the Romanov czars. In the UNESCO World Heritage designated magisterial Red Square, we will see St. Basil’s Cathedral, one of the country’s most beautiful Orthodox monuments.

Day 11: Moscow
Today, we visit the tranquil grounds of Novodevichy (“New Maidens”) Convent, the final UNESCO World Heritage site of our journey. Founded as a nunnery, it is renowned for its Russian Baroque architecture. Strolling through its cemetery, the city’s most prestigious, we will pass the tombs of prominent Russian and Soviet figures, including Dmitry Shostakovich, Anton Chekhov, and Nikita Khrushchev. The afternoon is free for independent pursuits.

Day 12: Moscow/U.S.
Disembark the ship and transfer for return flights to the U.S., or continue on the Moscow Post-Cruise Option.


*Price and Itinerary are tentative and subject to change