Most Svir River cruises begin in one of the two capitals of Russia - St. Petersburg or Moscow. Usually, an itinerary that begins in St. Petersburg will permit you to stay in the city for about 3 days before you embark on your river cruise journey. The Hermitage Museum (Winter Palace) and Peterhof (the summer palace of Peter the Great) are two structures you want to plan to see.
Best Time To Visit The best time to tour St. Petersburg is from June to September. The Midnight Sun and the city's White Night celebrations take place primarily during June.
You Should Know The Hermitage Museum, which includes the Winter Palace, was founded by Catherine the Great, and opened, officially, in 1852. Today, the museum is the world's second-largest only the Louvre Museum in Paris is larger. Commissioned by Alexander I in the 1830s, the tall Alexander Column in the large Palace Square public area commemorates Russia's victory against Napoleon. Peterhof Palace, which replicates the Palace of Versailles in design, is best known for its 64 fountains, also called the "Grand Cascade." The series of fountains are located on terraces outside the palace's entrance.
To get to Mandrogy, you will spend most of a day sailing the Neva River before crossing Lake Ladoga, which is Europe's largest lake. From there, you will sail the Svir River to your destination. Madrogy is the ideal place to get a taste of traditional Russian village life.
Best Time To Visit The best time to travel to Mandrogy is during June when the high temperature during the day reads around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. During this time, the nights are short (about 4 hours long).
You Should Know Mandrogy features an open-air museum where you can learn more about Russian village activities. Handmade Russian crafts abound in this part of Russia. The Vodka Museum showcases the history and making of the libation.
You will continue your river cruise journey by sailing over Lake Onega and docking at Kizhi Island. This is a great place to see the sights and discover wooden Russian architecture up-close. Just make sure you know the rules. Smoking is prohibited on the isle except in certain locations. That is because a large number of wood buildings makes smoking hazardous. Also, no overnight stays are allowed. Therefore, booking a river cruise holiday is the best way to see Lake Onega island and its fascinating attractions up-close.
Best Time To Visit Plan a river cruise from mid-May to August. While you may see some scaffolding, due to renovation, even that process can be interesting.
You Should Know Wood buildings, original to the island, are on UNESCO's listing of World Heritage Sites. Built in the 18th century, the Church of the Transfiguration features 22 onion-shaped domes and was notched together rather than built using nails. The first churches on the isle featured pyramid-shaped roofs rather than onion-type domes. The open-air museum represents a reconstructed village that displays peasant life in the Karelia region. Locals reside in some of the houses.
Continuing your Svir River cruise along the Volga-Baltic waterway, your next destination is the village of Kuzino. This stopover usually docks in the morning and departs in the afternoon, giving you time to take a guided walking tour of the village and its unique sites.
Best Time To Visit Visit Kuzino in the late spring and early summer when the temperature is agreeable (around 68 degrees Fahrenheit) and the sun shines most of the time.
You Should Know Explore the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, which was founded in 1397 by Saint Cyril. Visit a museum, wooden chapels, and the Assumption Cathedral during your stopover in Kuzino. Some river cruise lines allow you to visit the village's Merchant House or the local children's school. Check out Viking River Cruises for these types of activities.
Your Svir River cruise may also take you to the Golden Ring city of Yaroslavl, one of the places in Russia noted for preserving Russian historical events. This town is the ideal place to find that perfect handcrafted souvenir. This town is rich in stone monuments and Russian architecture and culture.
Best Time To Visit If you are seeking drier weather, you should visit Yaroslavl in August, February, or April. The lowest amount of precipitation happens, on average, during the week of April 23rd. Significant precipitation, such as rain or snow, normally happens during the week of September 24th. Therefore, it pays to keep a close eye on the weather.
You Should Know The covered food market features handcrafted souvenirs. Visit the Church of St. Elijah the Prophet, which features detailed icons and frescoes.
The best way to see the provincial village and Golden Ring town of Uglich is by taking a walking tour. After breakfast or lunch onboard your river cruise ship, you can walk off the calories by visiting several historic churches and sites.
Best Time To Visit If you visit in May, be prepared for some precipitation and dress in layers. June is the best time to see Uglich, as the days are sunnier and drier. The temperature hovers around 68 degrees Fahrenheit during this sunnier and warmer time of year.
You Should Know Visit the grounds of the town's Kremlin citadel, which surrounds a green-domed Transfiguration Cathedral. An ornate display of icons is featured on the church's wall. The Church of St. Dmitry on the Blood memorializes the death of 16th-century Russian leader Ivan the Terrible's son. The church's frescoes tell the story of the untimely death. Visit a hydropower museum or see the exhibits of religious artifacts and old weaponry at the Uglich State Museum.
Located on a Volga River tributary, Goritsy serves as an access point to Kirillov and the Kirillo-Belozersk Monastery, an impressive fortress among Russian trees and hills. This is a good stop to enjoy the outdoors and brisk Russian air if you travel in early spring.
Best Time To Visit Enjoy the scenery in this part of northern Russia in the spring and summer. Dress in layers if you go in the early spring and wear a waterproof jacket in case it rains.
You Should Know The Kirillo-Belozersk Monastery was found by St. Cyril at the end of the 15th century. The Museum of the Icons is located in the Kirillo-Belozersk Monastery and occupies several of the building's ancient rooms. The museum features one of the world's best collections of icons, as well as manuscripts, documents, and books.
Like most Svir River Cruises, your river cruise journey will either end or begin in the Russian capital and largest city in Russia, Moscow. Typically, you will have 3 days to explore the city and its vast array of sites – monuments, stores, historic buildings, and landmarks. Whether you walk through Red Square or visit the Bolshoi Theater, you can find a diverse range of sites to discover.
Best Time To Visit The best time to see Moscow is during April and May when the temperature languishes between 55- and 65-degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to see Moscow when it is more bustling, choose to go during the summer, or from June to August.
You Should Know See the vibrant St. Basil's Cathedral, located in Red Square, and the Tretyakov Gallery, which displays Russian fine art. Take a Jewish Moscow tour, which allows you to learn more about the history of the Jewish people who settled here. Visit the Kremlin and see the Tsar's Bell and Tsar's Cannon behind red-bricked Kremlin walls. Moscow is home to Lenin's tomb and mausoleum, the site is free and is located in Red Square but the wait could be either short or long, depending on when you go.