Russian River Cruise
Odyssey Unlimited Small
August 12 - 27, 2004
The Russian Rivers cruise started in
After a stay of 6 days in St.
Petersburg we started the cruise part of
trip. It was nice being on board the M/S Litvinov
docked in St. Petersburg. It was a floating hotel
our tour. We had our meals on board. When we
free time it was possible to travel all over town
the underground Metro that was nearby. There
many interesting sights to see in this
that has been renamed a couple of times. The Bolsheviks
it Leningrad for a long period of time. Now it is
to the original name.
time at the dock. This is the afternoon
an overnight flight from Washington, to JFK and then
stop in Helsinki. The coming and returning take a lot of
fun out of international travel. I started out of Binghamton
6:14 am because you cannot get to JFK from our little
It felt good to have a shower and hit the sack.
The M/S Litvinov was one of 24
similar ships traveling the Rivers of Russia.
We were docked with several similar
ships like the Litvinov as we
toward Moscow. It was just and adequate experience. These
are not like the River cruisers of France and Germany. The
was just acceptable. The ships chef to the passengers that if they
three star dining the were on the wrong ship. There were three
lounges to relax in and only 1 public TV, so I missed the Olympics
the melt down of the NY Yankees. The sights of rural Russia, St
Moscow we visited more than made up for the ship's shortcomings.
The following pictures were taken on
our morning city tour that was taken on our first full day in St.
Petersburg. In the afternoon, we toured the Hermitage Museum. It was
rainy and I could not take pictures inside the museum so I retired my
camera for the afternoon. The art of the great masters were very
interesting to view.
Russian naval ship Aurora that fired
the first shot of the Bolshevik revolution. Doc Moore is posing next
to the ship. He is a big time historian!
The resurrection Church (Church of the
Saint Isaac's Cathedral
Shopping Russian Style!
There were hundreds of shopping
areas and little booths
the places we visited. Sales were strictly cash transaction.
The good old USA dollar was very
popular with the Russian
Decembrist's Square. Monument to Peter
(The Bronze Horseman)
The green drape in the rear of this
photo is the site of
Secretary of State Seward signed the papers to buy
Alaska from the
This is a typical Russian apartment
St. Petersburg and Moscow. These were constructed
WWII. There were no single family dwellings in St.
Moscow or other larger cities. Everyone
in apartment building like these. There are hundreds
similar buildings in St. Petersburg and all other large cities
Russia. In many cases, there are still multiple families living
these apartments. Apartments for single families is still very
to find. One outcome of this living arrangement is
the Russian's who can afford to do so are building Dasha's
in the countryside. It is difficult to travel around the cities on
Friday's afternoons when the
citizens leave for their Dasha's for
In St. Petersburg, there were many of
the Russian made cars on the streets. In Moscow, there were mostly imported
foreign cars traveling about.
St. Petersburg is a sea port and cruise
ships dock there all summer long.
The swimming opportunities along the
River were many and
saw lots of people swimming in what had to be very cold water.
The water in the lakes and Rivers
was the color of tea.
We were assured that the water was
very pure and safe to drink.
On the third day in St. Petersburg
we bussed to Peterhof for a tour.
Peterhof was the summer residence of
the Russian Emperors.
A visit to the Palace of Peterhof
outside of St. Petersburg was our first tour into the Russian countryside.
The fountains and gardens were very
beautiful at the summer palace.
Musicians dressed in period costumes at
Counting the take from the tourists!
Another view of the gardens and
Looking toward the Baltic Sea.
A photo opt with Sasha our tour guide.
She is a resident of St. Petersburg.
Some local young people playing for
tips in the gardens of Peterhof.
On the morning of the fourth day,
we had a tour of the
Catherine Palace located in Pushkin.
This is the The Great (Catherine)
Palace. It is the Imperial Palace which is also known as Tsarakoye Selo
A picture of the destruction at this
Great Palace after World War II.
One of the many rooms that have been
Grand Ballroom scene.
amber room in the palace.
A rear view of the Palace of Catherine
St. Petersburg's War Memorial is
very striking and celebrates the
of the Russian soldiers in World War II. It was a
monument to photograph.
A monument to Peter the Great in front
of the Mikhailovsky Palace. It is now a museum in St. Petersburg.
Vasilyevesky Island from the Neva
River. The fortress of Peter and Paul is in the foreground.
The New Hermitage Museum as seen from
the Neva River.
After several days in St. Petersburg
we are sailing toward
Lake Ladoga, the
largest fresh water lake in Europe.
Sailing to Moscow on the Neva River.
An abandoned church trapped by rising River water.
Dacha's along the River bank. We are
sailing on to Ladoga Lake. It is a very large fresh water lake. Next
stop is Svirstroy on the Svir River.
Native musicians greeted us in the
shopping area of Svirstroy.
Svir River traffic.
port of call.
Our first port of call was at the
village of Nizhi to visit the Transfiguration Cathedral and the Church of
Intercession of the Mother of God (A winter church). The
transfiguration Cathedral was built in 1674.
mill and all the building except for the Cathedral were moved to the
to create a
Another day ends! We are heading for
the Volga-Balt Canal. Next port of call is Coritsy on the River Sheksna.
We were bussed 8 km from the village of
Goritsy to the town of Cyril-Kirillov. This photo shows the entrance to
the fortified monastery of St. Cyril's.
Passing through a lock. We traversed
16 locks in our sail from St. Petersburg and Moscow.
The Church of the Kazen Icon of the
Most Holy Theolokos.
Typical Russian apartments in a city
along the River. They were build during Stalin's time in the 50's
St. Elijah's Church in Yaroslavi.
The Holy Trinity Cathedral in the
Ipatiev Monastery in the town of Kostroma on the Volga River.
We toured the Museum of Architecture at
Kostroma. It was behind the monastery.
A photo opt, with smiles and no tipping
Small city tourist shopping
opportunity. There were dozens of stands like this at every stop along
one of many Lenin statues we saw while traveling.
Uglitch founded in 937. This is the
Church of Prince Dimitry the Martyr (Church-on-the-Blood).
Kaliazin Bell tower of the St. Nicholas
Cathedral-on-the-Zhabana. This part of the town has been flooded after
construction of the Uglich River lock. It is a reminder of how villages
had to be moved as River improvements occurred.
After Uglich, we sailed on the Volga
River to Moscow. Our last day or so of River travel we traversed the
Moscow Canal. This included going through 6 steep locks.
Behind me is the Cathedral of St Basil
in Red Square near the Kremlin. This was our first stop tour stop in
GUM or the State Department Store
facing Red Square. The shops inside were like those found in our city
Lenin's Tomb in Red Square. The square
was shut down whenever the tomb is open for viewing of Lenin's body. I
did not stand in line to see a corpse!
The Tsar's bell cracked as hell! This
bell was cast to prove that Russia could cast large cannons. Needless to
say it was not a big success.
Tsar's Cannon, 1586. They did make
some good sized cannons in that time frame.
In front of the arsenal building in the
Kremlin. All of these cannons on the wall were captured from the invading
In many cities we visited, we saw
wedding parties being photographed. Both church and state weddings were
This spot with the Kremlin in the
background where many of the newscasts from Moscow are taped. This is not
a place for winter tapings! But does lend itself to a great summer shot.
I thought this was a great place to end my trip photos.
I found Russia to be very
interesting. Nothing like I imagined. They are even with us in many
ways. There is a certain energy in the new
Russia that is easy to see. If you did not know better, you would think
you were visiting cities in our country. I would recommend a trip like
this to anyone interested in travel!