Russian Waterways: St. Petersburg to Moscow

Cruise for six nights aboard MS Volga Dream along the scenic rivers, lakes and canals that link Russia’s cultural capitals. Spend three nights in St. Petersburg and one night in Moscow in deluxe accommodations. Visit the State Hermitage Museum and Catherine Palace. Explore Russia’s heartland in 10th-century Uglich and medieval Yaroslavl. Discover the open-air museum of Kizhi Island. Optional Moscow post-tour extension.

Dates
Aug 2 - Aug 13, 2019  (12 Days)
Cost

from $5,795 per person, double occupancy

For more Information
travel@commonwealthclub.org

(415) 597-6720

Friday, August 2
Depart the U.S.
Saturday, August 3
St. Petersburg, Russia

Arrive in regal St. Petersburg, Peter the Great’s elegant urban achievement and Russia’s cultural capital, and transfer to the centrally located, Five‑Star Belmond Grand Hotel Europe. This evening, attend the Welcome Reception in the hotel.  Belmond Grand Hotel Europe (R)

Sunday, August 4
St. Petersburg

This morning, by specially reserved early entrance, visit the UNESCO World Heritage‑designated State Hermitage Museum, the former tsarist palace of Catherine the Great and among the largest and most respected museums in the world. Its prestigious collections are rivaled only by the museum’s lavish interior. Then, tour the new halls of the State Hermitage Museum’s General Staff Building to view priceless 19th‑ and 20th‑century French Impressionist and Post‑Impressionist works, including 74 masterpieces presumed “lost” in a storeroom during World War II. This evening, choose to attend an optional Russian ballet performance (schedule to be determined). Belmond Grand Hotel Europe (B)

Monday, August 5
St. Petersburg

Explore the city’s UNESCO World Heritage‑designated historic center, where legendary landmarks are scattered across more than 30 islands and linked by 342 bridges. See exquisite examples of Russian Baroque and neoclassical architecture along the main thoroughfare, Nevsky Prospekt; the ornate Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood (Church of the Resurrection of Christ), built on Emperor Alexander II’s assassination site; and the iconic golden spire of the Admiralty. Visit 19th‑century St. Isaac’s Cathedral, whose striking gilded cupola crowns the city’s skyline, to admire its dazzling interior of malachite and lapis lazuli. Tour St. Petersburg’s oldest edifice, the Peter and Paul Fortress, built in 1703 to guard the country’s only outlet to the Baltic Sea. Later, visit the imperial compound of Pushkin and the elaborate Rococo Catherine Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. See the jewel-encrusted Amber Room, laden with six tons of solid amber, deftly carved and framed in gold leaf and said to be the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Stripped and confiscated by the Nazis in 1941, it was meticulously reconstructed over 25 years to honor St. Petersburg’s 300th anniversary. This evening, you may choose to attend an optional Russian folklore performance in Nicholas Palace (schedule to be determined). Belmond Grand Hotel Europe (B,L)

Tuesday, August 6
St. Petersburg

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage‑designated site of Petrodvorets, commissioned by Peter the Great to rival Versailles, and tour the Grand Palace and the elaborately landscaped grounds, encompassing two centuries of imperial style, executed to perfection; enjoy lunch in the Lower Park. Embark the deluxe, small ship Volga Dream this afternoon and attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception. Volga Dream (B,L,R,D)

Wednesday, August 7
Neva River / Lake Ladoga / Svir River / Svirstroy

Admire the passing wilderness of serene meadows, virgin pine and birch forests lining the banks of the mighty Neva River along the shores of Lake Ladoga, Europe’s largest lake. This afternoon, call at charming Svirstroy, a riverside village evoking a pastoral way of life. See the historic Lodeynoe Pole, where Peter the Great established the Olonets Shipyard, birthplace of the Baltic Fleet. Visit the home of a local villager and enjoy tea and Russian pies before continuing along the gleaming Svir River between Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega. Volga Dream (B,L,D)

Thursday, August 8
Lake Onega / Kizhi Island

Early this morning, be on deck for the unforgettable approach to Kizhi Island, then tour the UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Kizhi Pogost, a remarkable open‑air museum of 18th‑century Karelian and north Russian wooden architecture. Admire the Church of the Transfiguration, considered the world’s tallest entirely wooden building and an architectural masterpiece, featuring 22 cupolas built completely of wood and without a single nail. Cruise scenic Lake Onega, with over 1600 small islands, in view of the beautifully untouched Karelian countryside, home to both Finns and Russians. Volga Dream (B,L,D)

Friday, August 9
Lake Beloye / Goritsy / Sheksna River

Along the shores of Lake Beloye, admire rural communities continuing the long‑standing traditions of Old Russia. From tranquil Goritsy, transfer to the Kirillo‑Belozersky Monastery, founded in 1397, and see its collection of paintings, early printed books and pictorial embroidery. It is said that Vasily III prayed here for an heir, and soon after, his wife Elena gave birth to the future Ivan the Terrible, Russia’s first tsar. Catch glimpses of a bygone era along the Sheksna River as you pass by rustic family farms and quaint dachas, traditional Russian wooden cottages. This evening, enjoy a dinner of Russian delicacies followed by a specially arranged sampling of Russian vodkas. Volga Dream (B,L,D)

Saturday, August 10
Lake Rybinskoye / Volga River / Yaroslavl

Cruise Lake Rybinskoye, surrounded by scenic wilderness. Dock in Yaroslavl, the oldest city on the Volga River and one of the “Golden Ring” of fortified 11th‑ to 15th‑century cities and villages built to encircle Moscow. This UNESCO World Heritage site is renowned for its 17th‑century stone churches crowned with painted onion domes and soaring turrets. Stroll along the river to the exquisite Church of Elijah the Prophet, an architectural masterpiece in the heart of the Old Town and filled with well‑preserved frescoes. See the elegant Monastery of the Transfiguration, founded in the 12th century. Volga Dream (B,L,D)

Sunday, August 11
Uglich / Volga River

Arrive in the “Golden Ring” city of Uglich and walk to the 17th‑century Church of Prince Dimitri‑on‑the‑Blood, built on the site where Ivan the Terrible’s young son met his tragic demise. Admire its cluster of red turrets capped with shimmering blue onion domes and the interior’s elegant frescoes. See the stately five‑domed Cathedral of the Transfiguration, built along the Volga River in 1713. This afternoon, cruise the great Volga River, the main artery of the Russian heartland for over a millennium, and into the Moscow Canal, which provides Moscow access to the White, Baltic, Caspian, Azov and Black Seas. Attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception on board the ship this evening. Volga Dream (B,L,R,D)

Monday, August 12
Moscow

Arrive in Russia’s illustrious capital city, which has embodied the nation’s heart and soul for over 850 years. Disembark the ship for a panoramic tour of Moscow featuring the Cathedral of Christ the Redeemer, the monument of Peter the Great, the renowned Bolshoi Theatre and expansive views of the city from University Square. Explore Moscow’s cultural and historical treasures beginning with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Kremlin, the imposing “Citadel of the Tsars.” See magisterial Red Square, a UNESCO World Heritage site where both Romanov tsars and Soviet commissars have flexed their power, and admire the grandeur of 16th‑century St. Basil’s Cathedral, one of the country’s most striking Orthodox monuments. Check into the Five-Star Marriott Royal Aurora Hotel and enjoy dinner in the hotel this evening. Marriott Royal Aurora Hotel (B,L,D)

Tuesday, August 13
Moscow / U.S.

Continue on the Iconic Moscow Post‑Program Option, or transfer to the airport for your flight to the U.S. (B)

Map
Iconic Moscow: April 13 - 14

Further explore the jewels of Russia’s capital and delve deep into its Cold War and pre‑revolutionary past. Ride the Moscow Metro, where train stations are museums in their own right. Tour the fascinating Cold War Museum at the Bunker-42 on Taganka, a former secret military complex. Visit the acclaimed State Tretyakov Gallery; the Armoury Museum—the oldest museum in Russia— to see the world’s largest collection of Imperial Fabergé eggs; and the Tolstoy House Museum, where author Leo Tolstoy lived in 1882. Spend two nights in the Five‑Star Marriott Royal Aurora Hotel.

Cabin Categories (Prices are per person, double occupancy)

  • 7 - $5,795 Stateroom with two twin beds and one or two portholes, Cabin Deck 
  • 6 - $6,795 Stateroom with two twin beds and two windows, Main Deck aft (limited availability)
  • 5 - $7,595 Stateroom with two twin beds and two windows, Main Deck
  • 4 - $7,995 Stateroom with one double bed and one or two windows, Promenade Deck aft
  • 3 - $8,495 Stateroom with one double bed and one or two windows, Promenade Deck midship and forward
  • 2 - $8,695 Stateroom with one double bed and one or two windows, Promenade Deck midship
  • 1 - $8,995 Stateroom with two twin beds and one or two windows, Sun Deck
  • Junior Suite - $9,495 Suite with one queen bed, two windows, chair and desk, Sun Deck and Promenade Deck midship (limited availability)   
  • Owner’s Suite - $10,395 Large suite with one queen bed, eight windows and sitting area with sofa, chair and desk, Promenade Deck (limited availability)  

Single occupancy cabins are available in category 5 at $12,195 and in category 4 at $12,895 on or before January 4, 2019.  

Prices above reflect the Early Booking Discount. Add $1,000 for reservations made after January 4, 2019. Taxes are an additional $150 per person and are subject to change.

The Volga Dream has been specially contracted for this tour, and the applicable deck plan is available on request from Gohagan & Company and reflects the only valid cabin categorization of the vessel.

Included
Exclusive lectures and presentations by study leaders; Three nights in St. Petersburg in the Five‑Star Belmond Grand Hotel Europe; Six nights aboard the exclusively chartered, deluxe Volga Dream; Cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow on Russia’s legendary waterways— the Neva River, Lake Ladoga, the Svir River, Lake Onega, Lake Beloye, the Sheksna River, Lake Rybinskoye and the Volga River; One night in Moscow in the Five-Star Marriott Royal Aurora Hotel; Meals as specified in the itinerary; Complimentary house wine and soft drinks included with lunch and dinner, and coffee and tea available 24 hours aboard ship; Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions; All entrance fees and tours as described in the itinerary; Transfers and luggage handling abroad if your arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s); Gratuities to local guides and drivers on included excursions and transfers; Hospitality desk in the hotel and aboard ship; Experienced Gohagan & Company Travel Directors throughout the program; Pre‑departure materials, including a reading list; Automatic $250,000 flight insurance policy for each participant ticketed on flights by Gohagan & Company

Not Included
International airfare; Taxes of $150 per person (subject to change); Gratuities to ship personnel ($15 per person, per day); Hotel staff gratuities ($1-2 dollars per person, per day) and gratuities for activities on your own; Passport and visa fees; Meals and alcoholic beverages not listed as included; Transfers and baggage handling to/from airport/hotel on day(s) of arrival and/or departure if you are arriving earlier or later than and/or departing earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s); Two optional cultural performances, available at additional cost; Any overnight on land due to flight schedule(s); Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls and Internet access; Accident/sickness, trip cancellation and baggage insurance; Baggage charges on aircraft; airfare and associated local taxes not listed as included; Airport facility taxes and federal inspection fees not listed as included; All other services not specifically mentioned in the “Included” section

Optional Post-Tour:  Iconic Moscow
$895 per person, double occupancy
$1,195 per person, single occupancy

Included
Ride the Moscow Metro, where train stations are museums in their own right; tour the Cold War Museum at the Bunker-42 on Taganka; visit the State Tretyakov Gallery; the Armoury Museum to see the world’s largest collection of Imperial Fabergé eggs; and the Tolstoy House Museum, where author Leo Tolstoy lived in 1882; two nights in the Five‑Star Marriott Royal Aurora Hotel.

 

Cancellations
Cancellations for all or any part of the trip including Pre/Post Program(s) reservation(s) will not be effective until received in writing in the offices of The Commonwealth Club. Should you have to cancel, the following terms will apply:

  • From the time of booking through 120 days prior to departure: $200 ($50 Pre/Post Program(s)) 
  • From 95 to 119 days prior to departure: $800 ($200 Pre/Post Program(s)) per person
  • From 60 to 94 days prior to departure: 50% of the published full regular tariffs
  • 59 days or less prior to departure: No refund

A “no-show” or early return from the trip will result in forfeiture of 100% of the published full regular tariffs.

In addition, any applicable airline cancellation fees, optional excursion cancellation fees and administrative fees may apply. 

Discounted Reservations
Discounts apply only to those reservations received in the offices of The Commonwealth Club in writing, accompanied by the required deposit, by September 22, 2017. In the event a “discounted” reservation must be cancelled, no “replacement” reservation can be substituted at the discounted rate. A “replacement” reservation is a new reservation and can be substituted only at the full-fare tariff. Cancellation penalties may apply.  

Trip Insurance
We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance. In the event that you must cancel your participation in a travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed Travel Insurance Services website.

Eligibility
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a worldwide membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415)597-6720.

Airfare
Airfare is subject to change and availability and, depending on the fare basis, likely is nonrefundable. Your airline ticket constitutes a contract between you and the airline, even if purchased through Gohagan.

Luggage
Luggage allowance policies are set by the airlines and may change without notice.

Physical Accessibility
All programs require physical independence and mobility. Any physical or mental condition that may require special medical attention or physical assistance (for example, the need for a wheelchair) must be reported in writing when you make your reservation. Travelers must be able to embark or disembark motorcoaches alone or with minimal assistance from your traveling companion and climb stairs and step over raised thresholds without assistance. Travelers requiring assistance must travel with a companion who will be responsible for handling equipment.

Rates
Prices quoted are based on fares in effect at the time of printing and are subject to change at any time. On land and/or cruise programs, even after full payment, Gohagan reserves the right to increase the tour price in the event of cost increases due to changes in supplier costs, currency fluctuations or fuel or energy surcharges and all such increases are to be paid to Gohagan upon notice to the tour participant of such increases. On programs which include Gohagan purchased interstate or international air (which originates or returns to the United States), no increased costs will be passed on after final payment except for subsequently imposed governmental tax increases.

Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk, and Binding Arbitration Agreement Responsibility  
The Commonwealth Club and Thomas P. Gohagan & Company and its and their employees, shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors or trustees, successors, and assigns (collectively “Gohagan”), do not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for your trip including, for example, lodging facilities, airline, vessel, or other transportation companies, guides or guide services, local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional excursions, food service or entertainment providers, etc. All such persons and entities are independent contractors. As a result, Gohagan is not liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person or entity or of any other third party. In addition and without limitation, Gohagan is not responsible for any injury, loss, death, inconvenience, delay, or damage to person or property in connection with the provision of any goods or services whether resulting from, but not limited to, acts of God or force majeure, acts of government, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, bites from or attacks by animals, insects or pests, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind or the threat thereof, sickness, illness, epidemics or the threat thereof, the lack of availability of or access to medical attention or the quality thereof, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, mechanical or other failure of airplanes, vessels, or other means of transportation, or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart timely or safely. If due to weather, flight schedules or other uncontrollable factors, you are required to spend an additional night(s), you will be responsible for your own hotel, transfers and meal costs. Baggage is entirely at owner’s risk. The right is reserved to decline to accept as a trip participant, or remove from a trip, without refund, any person Gohagan judges to be incapable of meeting the rigors and requirements of participating in the activities, or who is abusive to other trip participants, leaders or third parties, or who Gohagan determines to detract from the enjoyment of the trip by others. Specific room/cabin assignments are within the sole discretion of the hotel or cruise line. Gohagan reserves the right to change the itinerary or trip features at any time and for any reason, with or without notice, and Gohagan shall not be liable for any loss of any kind as a result of any such changes. Ship schedules, port calls, hours of arrival and departure, sightseeing events, special programs and guest lecture series (if applicable), are subject to change or cancellation. Gohagan reserves the right to substitute motorcoach transportation using hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical or other conditions beyond the control of Gohagan. Gohagan is not responsible therefor and is not required to compensate passengers under these circumstances. Gohagan may cancel a trip (or an option) for any reason whatsoever; if so, its sole responsibility is to refund monies paid by the participant to it. Gohagan, however, is not required under these circumstances to refund the cost of any purchased travel insurance. Gohagan is not required to cancel any trip for any reason including without limitation, United States Department of State, World Health Organization or other Warnings or Advisories of any kind. Gohagan is not responsible for penalties assessed by air carriers resulting from operational and/or itinerary changes, even if Gohagan makes the flight arrangements or cancels the trip. Gohagan reserves the right to substitute vessels, hotels or attractions of a similar category for those listed in this brochure.

Binding Arbitration
Any dispute concerning, relating or referring to this Agreement, the brochure or any other literature concerning the trip, or the trip itself, shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. Sections 1-16, either according to the then existing Commercial Rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or pursuant to the Comprehensive Arbitration Rules & Procedures of the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (JAMS). Such proceedings will be governed by substantive (but not procedural) Illinois law and will take place in Chicago, IL. The arbitrator and not any federal, state, or local court or agency shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, conscionability, or formation of this contract, including but not limited to any claim that all or any part of this contract is void or voidable. Please understand that by agreeing to these terms and conditions, the participant and Gohagan are waiving the right to a trial by jury.

Acceptance of Contract
By forwarding of deposit, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants and accepts the terms contained in this Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk and Binding Arbitration Agreement.

Registration 
Commonwealth Club CST#: 2096889-40; Gohagan CST#: 2031868-40, WST#: 601 767 666, OST#: TA 0905.