Cruise on Volga River in 2003

Volga Cruise Map During most of my 2 weeks in Russia, my home away from home was the river cruiser Viking Pakhomov. Our Circumnavigator group used it as a hotel in Moscow and St. Petersburg except for 3 nights. We also spent a week cruising on the boat between Moscow and Saint Petersburg while stopping to explore some of the historic cities of Russia.

Click to enlarge the map to see our route. We departed Moscow on September 26th and transited a number of locks to visit Uglich. Then we turned south on the Volga to visit Kostroma, then turned north visiting Jaroslavl and after 2 days sailing visited Kizhi. From Kizhi, we retraced our path across Lake Oneda to cross Lake Ladoga, Europe's largest fresh water lake, and arrived in Saint Petersburg on October 2nd.

We visited many Churches and monasteries and all of us enjoyed the singing! Typically the singers were 4 men who are not priests, but musicians earning a few dollars and selling their CDs. You can also see that the standard of living is lower than in Moscow or Saint Petersburg. Most people have an income of about $150 a month and one in six homes lacks indoor plumbing. In Kostroma, we saw people buying huge sacks of potatoes for the winter.

Lock with sister ship Our sister ship just fits in the same lock with us. Lock Forward Looking forward, we will be lowered 20 feet in this lock.
Bridge Passengers get a tour of the bridge. Doomed Church Building the canal system in the 1930s flooded some villages. Here is a doomed church.

Watch Tower Watch Tower in the town of Kostroma. This is one of the classic yellow colors often see in Russian buildings. Lenin Statue Lenin still pointing the way forward to socialism. The locals use it to give directions.
Church Bus Russian Orthodox Cathedral is on one side of the town square. Skaters The old Communist Party HQ building is on the other side with skaters enjoying the square.
Founders Statue Statue to the founder of the city of Kostroma Founder Stone Local guide by memorial stone to celebrate the founding of Jaroslavl in 1010.
Kostroma Statue Statue to honor the hero Ivan Susan who died tricking the Polish army into a swamp and saved Mikhail Romanov, crowned in 1613. Bear Park The bear is the symbol of Jaroslavl and under the bear is the age of the city. It will be a thousand years old in 2010.

Kizhi Distant On the remote Island of Kizhi, there are the world famous wooden churches. Kizhi Near The church was built in 1713 and is the only surviving wooden church from the Peter the Great era.