Russian Waterways - Views from the Grand Circle M/S Rossia River Ship

01 of 75

Saint Petersburg River Terminal Area

Saint Petersburg River Terminal Area
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison

Cruising Russian Waterways between St. Petersburg and Moscow

Cruising the Russian waterways between St. Petersburg and Moscow is a great way to see some of the Russian countryside. Many ocean-going cruise ships visit St. Petersburg on cruises to northern Europe and the Baltics, but for those seeking an in-depth experience in just one country, a Russian Waterways cruise is a marvelous way to discover the culture, history, and people of Russia. Since Russia's capital is landlocked, a waterways cruise is the only way to get to Moscow on a ship.

I sailed on the Grand Circle Small Ship Cruises' M/S Rossia, and loved the ship and itinerary. The small ship sailed the 900 miles separating St. Petersburg and Moscow in seven days, and we passed through 21 locks as the Captain navigated the rivers, lakes, canals of the Volga-Baltic Waterways.

More Photo Galleries and Information on Russian Waterways Ports of Call

Photo Galleries of the Grand Circle Small Ship Cruises' M/S Rossia

  • M/S Rossia Russian River Ship - Cabins and Interior
  • M/S Rossia Exterior and Deck Areas
  • M/S Rossia Dining and Cuisine
  • Russian Waterways Onboard Activities

The River Terminal is northwest of St. Petersburg on the Neva River, a drive of about 30 minutes to an hour from downtown (depending on traffic).

Continue to 2 of 75 below.
02 of 75

Riverboats at the Saint Petersburg, Russia River Cruise Terminal

Riverboats at the Saint Petersburg, Russia River Cruise Terminal
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 3 of 75 below.
03 of 75

Neva River Bridge and Sunset Near St. Petersburg, Russia

Neva River Bridge and Sunset Near St. Petersburg, Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 4 of 75 below.
04 of 75

Factory on the Neva River Near St. Petersburg, Russia

Factory on the Neva River Near St. Petersburg, Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 5 of 75 below.
05 of 75

Neva River Bridge Near St. Petersburg

Neva River Bridge Near St. Petersburg - Sights Along Russian Waterways Cruise
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 6 of 75 below.
06 of 75

Neva River Sunset in Russia

Neva River Sunset in Russia - Sights on a Russian Waterways Cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 7 of 75 below.
07 of 75

Cargo Ships on the Neva River in Russia

Cargo Ships on the Neva River in Russia - Russian Waterways Cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 8 of 75 below.
08 of 75

Cruising the Svir River in Russia

Cruising the Svir River in Russia on a Russian Waterways Cruise
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 9 of 75 below.
09 of 75

Industrial Area Along the Svir River in Russia

Industrial Area Along the Svir River in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 10 of 75 below.
10 of 75

Small Russian Village on the Svir River

Small Russian Village on the Svir River
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 11 of 75 below.
11 of 75

Cruising the Svir River in Russia - Evergreens and Beech Trees

Cruising the Svir River in Russia - Evergreens and Beech Trees
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 12 of 75 below.
12 of 75

Svir River Bridge

Svir River Bridge
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 13 of 75 below.
13 of 75

Riverboat on the Svir River in Russia

Riverboat on the Svir River in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 14 of 75 below.
14 of 75

Russian Village on the Svir River

Russian Village on the Svir River
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 15 of 75 below.
15 of 75

Russian Riverboats at the Dock on Kizhi Island in Lake Onega

Russian Riverboats at the Dock on Kizhi Island in Lake Onega
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 16 of 75 below.
16 of 75

Cargo Ship on the Kovzha River Section of the Volga-Baltic Waterway of Russia

Cargo Ship on the Kovzha River Section of the Volga-Baltic Waterway of Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 17 of 75 below.
17 of 75

River Traffic on the Volga-Baltic Waterway in Russia

River Traffic on the Volga-Baltic Waterway in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 18 of 75 below.
18 of 75

Fishing from the Banks of the Kovzha River in the Volga-Baltic Waterway

Fishing from the Banks of the Kovzha River in the Volga-Baltic Waterway in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 19 of 75 below.
19 of 75

Lock on the Volga-Baltic Waterway

Lock on the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 20 of 75 below.
20 of 75

Ship's Lock on the Volga-Baltic Waterway

Ship's Lock on the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 21 of 75 below.
21 of 75

Lock on the Volga-Baltic Waterway

Lock on the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 22 of 75 below.
22 of 75

Ships in Lock on the Volga-Baltic Waterway

Ships in Lock on the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 23 of 75 below.
23 of 75

Water Pouring into Lock on the Volga-Baltic Waterway

Water Pouring into Lock on the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 24 of 75 below.
24 of 75

Gates Opening in Lock on the Volga-Baltic Waterway

Gates Opening in Lock on the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 25 of 75 below.
25 of 75

Leaving a Lock on the Volga-Baltic Waterway

Leaving a Lock on the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 26 of 75 below.
26 of 75

Houses Along the Shoreline of the Volga-Baltic Waterway

Houses Along the Shoreline of the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 27 of 75 below.
27 of 75

River Traffic on the Kovzha River Section of the Volga-Baltic Waterway

River Traffic on the Kovzha River Section of the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 28 of 75 below.
28 of 75

River Ships on the Kovzha River in Russia

River Ships on the Kovzha River in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 29 of 75 below.
29 of 75

Village on the Kovzha River Section of the Volga-Baltic Waterway in Russia

Village on the Kovzha River Section of the Volga-Baltic Waterway in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 30 of 75 below.
30 of 75

White Lake on the Volga-Baltic Waterway in Russia

White Lake on the Volga-Baltic Waterway in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 31 of 75 below.
31 of 75

White Lake Village and Church on the Volga-Baltic Waterway

White Lake Village and Church on the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 32 of 75 below.
32 of 75

Tug Pulling Logs in White Lake on the Volga-Baltic Waterway

Tug Pulling Logs in White Lake on the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 33 of 75 below.
33 of 75

White Lake on the Volga-Baltic Waterway

White Lake on the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 34 of 75 below.
34 of 75

Riverboat on White Lake on the Volga-Baltic Waterway in Russia

Riverboat on White Lake on the Volga-Baltic Waterway in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 35 of 75 below.
35 of 75

Pleasure Boat on White Lake on the Volga-Baltic Waterway

Pleasure Boat on White Lake on the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 36 of 75 below.
36 of 75

White Lake Church on the Volga-Baltic Waterway in Russia

White Lake Church on the Volga-Baltic Waterway in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 37 of 75 below.
37 of 75

M/S Rossia's Sister Ship, the M/S Tikhi Don, on the Volga-Baltic Waterway

M/S Rossia's Sister Ship, the M/S Tikhi Don, on White Lake on the Volga-Baltic Waterway in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison

The M/S Rossia rendezvoused with her twin sister ship, the M/S Tikhi Don in the White Lake of the Volga-Baltic Waterway.

Continue to 38 of 75 below.
38 of 75

Grand Circle Small Ship Cruises' M/S Tikhi Don on the White Lake

Grand Circle Small Ship Cruises' M/S Tikhi Don on the Volga-Baltic Waterway in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 39 of 75 below.
39 of 75

Crew Transferring Package from M/S Tikhi Don to M/S Rossia

Crew Transferring Package from M/S Tikhi Don to M/S Rossia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison

We all speculated about what cargo was in this large box. Imagine our surprise when we learned it was a box of Matryoshka dolls, ready for painting.

Continue to 40 of 75 below.
40 of 75

Tikhi Don River Cruise Ship - White Lake on the Volga-Baltic Waterway

Tikhi Don River Cruise Ship - White Lake on the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 41 of 75 below.
41 of 75

Krokhino Church - Flooded Remains of 15th Century Church

Krokhino Church - Edge of the White Lake on the Sheksna River of the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 42 of 75 below.
42 of 75

Krokhino Church - Edge of the White Lake on the Sheksna River

Krokhino Church - Edge of the White Lake on the Sheksna River of the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison

The Krokhino Church sits on the edge of the White Lake on the Sheksna River of the Volga-Baltic Waterway. It was built in the 15th century, and it was flooded when the Soviets built the hydroelectric stations along the river in the 20th century.

Continue to 43 of 75 below.
43 of 75

Krokhino Church - Edge of the White Lake on the Sheksna River

Krokhino Church - Edge of the White Lake on the Sheksna River of the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 44 of 75 below.
44 of 75

Krokhino Church - Between the White Lake and the Sheksna River

Krokhino Church - Edge of the White Lake on the Sheksna River of the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 45 of 75 below.
45 of 75

Krokhino Church - Located on the Juncture of theWhite Lake and the Sheksna River

Krokhino Church - Edge of the White Lake on the Sheksna River of the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 46 of 75 below.
46 of 75

Village of Goritsy, Russia on the Sheksna River on the Volga-Baltic Waterway

Village of Goritsy, Russia on the Sheksna River on the Volga-Baltic Waterway in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 47 of 75 below.
47 of 75

Goritsy Church of the Resurrection on the Sheksna River in Russia

Goritsy Church of the Resurrection on the Sheksna River in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 48 of 75 below.
48 of 75

Church of the Resurrection in Goritsy, Russia

Church of the Resurrection in Goritsy, Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison

The somewhat dilapidated Church of the Resurrection is the most prominent site in Goritsy, Russia.

Continue to 49 of 75 below.
49 of 75

Church in Uglich, Russia as Seen from the M/S Rossia River Ship

Church in Uglich, Russia as Seen from the M/S Rossia River Ship Sailing the Volga-Baltic Waterway
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 50 of 75 below.
50 of 75

Church of Saint Dmitry on the Blood in Uglich, Russia on the Volga River

Church of Saint Dmitry on the Blood in Uglich, Russia on the Volga River
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 51 of 75 below.
51 of 75

View of Church Domes in Uglich, Russia

View of Church Domes in Uglich, Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 52 of 75 below.
52 of 75

Church of Saint Dmitry on the Blood in Uglich, Russia

Church of Saint Dmitry on the Blood in Uglich, Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 53 of 75 below.
53 of 75

Russian Naval Ship on the Volga River

Russian Naval Ship on the Volga River
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison

Most of the ships on the Volga-Baltic Waterway were either cargo or passenger ships. However, this military ship was also patrolling the river.

Continue to 54 of 75 below.
54 of 75

Russian Orthodox Church on the Banks of the Volga River

Russian Orthodox Church on the Banks of the Volga River
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 55 of 75 below.
55 of 75

Tourist Camp on the Moscow Canal

Tourist Camp on the Moscow Canal
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison

We saw several tourist camps and campgrounds along the river, especially as we neared Moscow.

Continue to 56 of 75 below.
56 of 75

Volga River Bridge

Volga River Bridge
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 57 of 75 below.
57 of 75

Church on the Banks of the Volga River in Russia

Church on the Banks of the Volga River in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 58 of 75 below.
58 of 75

Belfry of the Flooded Church of the Trinity in Kalyazin on the Volga River

Belfry of the Flooded Church of the Trinity in Kalyazin, Russia on the Volga River
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 59 of 75 below.
59 of 75

Church of the Trinity Belfry in Kalyazin, Russia

Church of the Trinity Belfry in Kalyazin, Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 60 of 75 below.
60 of 75

Volga River View - Hotel on the Banks of the Volga River in Russia

Volga River View - Hotel on the Banks of the Volga River in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 61 of 75 below.
61 of 75

Church of the Trinity and Satellite Dish - Old and New of Russia

Church of the Trinity and Satellite Dish - Old and New of Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison

The contrast between the belfry of this flooded 17th century church and the modern satellite dish is interesting.

Continue to 62 of 75 below.
62 of 75

Large Satellite Dish on the Volga River Near Kalyazin, Russia

Large Satellite Dish on the Volga River Near Kalyazin, Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison

This gigantic dish looked very out-of-place along the Volga River, especially since most of what we saw was countryside, villages, and churches.

Continue to 63 of 75 below.
63 of 75

Moscow Canal Lock in Russia

Moscow Canal Lock in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 64 of 75 below.
64 of 75

Leaving a Lock on the Moscow Canal in Russia on the M/S Rossia River Ship

Leaving a Lock on the Moscow Canal in Russia on the M/S Rossia River Ship
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison

Moving through locks is always fascinating, and this one has a vertical gate that drops down and lets the ships pass over it.

Continue to 65 of 75 below.
65 of 75

Village on the Volga River in Russia

Village on the Volga River in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 66 of 75 below.
66 of 75

Riverboat on the Moscow Canal in Russia

Riverboat on the Moscow Canal in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 67 of 75 below.
67 of 75

Fisherman on the Moscow Canal in Russia

Fisherman on the Moscow Canal in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison

Fishing is certainly a world-wide activity, as I see determined fishermen everywhere I cruise.

Continue to 68 of 75 below.
68 of 75

Sailing on the Moscow Canal in Russia

Sailing on the Moscow Canal in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 69 of 75 below.
69 of 75

Moscow Canal View in Russia

Moscow Canal View in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 70 of 75 below.
70 of 75

Homes on the Moscow Canal in Russia

Homes on the Moscow Canal in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 71 of 75 below.
71 of 75

Church on the Moscow Canal in Russia

Church on the Moscow Canal in Russia
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 72 of 75 below.
72 of 75

Northern River Terminal on the Moscow Canal at the Khimki Reservoir near Moscow

Northern River Terminal on the Moscow Canal at the Khimki Reservoir near Moscow
Russian Waterways Picture (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 73 of 75 below.
73 of 75

Kizhi Island Open Air Museum on Lake Onega - Karelia, Russia

Wooden Church in Kizhi, Russia
Russia River Cruise (c) Linda Garrison

Kizhi Island is one of over 1650 islands in Lake Onega, the second largest lake in Europe, which is in the Karelia Republic. Kizhi is one of the largest outdoor museums in Russia, and focuses on peasant life and customs in the Russian north and includes 83 wooden structures, most of which date back to the 18th or 19th century.

Kizhi Island is often included as a port of call on Russian Waterways cruises between St. Petersburg and Moscow. The museum has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1990. The open air exhibit includes churches, homes, and other old wooden buildings that were either built on Kizhi or have been collected from around northern Russia and preserved on Kizhi.

We visited Kizhi for a day from the Grand Circle M/S Rossia and loved walking around and learning about this fascinating part of the world. It was a rainy day, but the trails were wooden or paved, so we just wore our rain suits and carried umbrellas.  

Continue to 74 of 75 below.
74 of 75

Svirstroy, Russia - Russian Waterways Cruise Port of Call on the Svir River

Svirstroy Back Yards and Gardens
Svirstroy, Russia Picture (c) Linda Garrison

Svirstroy is a small village of about 1000 residents located on the Svir River about 150 miles east of St. Petersburg. The Svir connects the two largest lakes in Europe--Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega.

Svirstroy is sometimes a port of call on Russian Waterways cruises between St. Petersburg and Moscow. The highlight of our day in Svirstroy was a walk through the small village and a visit to the home of Julia, a retired widow who served us tea and piroshkis while we queried her about life in Svirstroy over the past 75 years.

We also loved the shopping in Svistroy, which was much cheaper than in the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg. The residents of this small village have built wooden kiosk-sized shops and sell all sorts of Russian handicrafts and artwork. Needless to say, everyone loaded up on souvenirs and gifts. Fortunately, it was a short walk back to the river ship!

Continue to 75 of 75 below.
75 of 75

Yaroslavl, Russia - The Russian Florence - City of Churches and Bears

Transfiguration Cathedral in Yaroslavl, Russia
Yaroslavl (c) Linda Garrison

Yaroslavl, Russia is a town of about 600,000 residents at the junction of the Volga and Kotorosl Rivers. Yaroslavl is almost 1000 years old, having been founded in the year 1010 by Kiev Prince Yaroslav the Wise.

Yaroslavl is home to many churches, most dating back to the 16th or 17th century. We went inside the Church of St. Elijah the Prophet and were mesmerized by the magnificent icons and frescoes of the church. A small men's choir serenaded us, which added to the atmosphere. Next, we rode the short distance to the Spassky Monastery, which is one of the oldest complexes in Yaroslavl. We gazed up at the Spaso-Preoprazhensky Cathedral (Savior Transfiguration Cathedral) and were entertained with a bell concert outside the cathedral.

Finally, we enjoyed watching a wedding motorcade of gaily decorated cars zip through the streets.

Was this page helpful?