Russia’s waterways offer a unique perspective of the region. Here, in no particular order, are five of the best Russian river cruises

Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, Moscow. © ITAR-TASS Photo Agency / Alamy
Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, Moscow. Credit: ITAR-TASS Photo Agency / Alamy

Waterways of the Tsars

From Russia’s capital, Moscow, to the bustling city of St Petersburg, and the rural riverside towns in between, this Viking cruise of the ancient waterways enables you to explore another side of Russia. The 13-day itinerary costs from £2,595pp, travelling on a newly refurbished ship, including return flights, all meals, wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, 11 guided tours (visiting five UNESCO World Heritage Sites), Russian language lesson, Russian cuisine workshop, ballet or opera, port charges, airport taxes and transfers. Visit vikingrivercruises.co.uk or call 020 8780 7995.

Imperial Waterways of Russia

Titan Travel, in partnership with Uniworld, offers this 13-day cruise from Moscow to St Petersburg, costing from £4,299pp, including a saving of up to £200 when booked before 30 September 2013, and includes direct flights, transfers, full board on the River Victoria, complimentary beverages on board, excursions, English-speaking local guides and Titan’s VIP Home Departure Service®. Visit titantravel.co.uk/uniworld or call 0800 988 5867.

Highlights of the Volga River

For a different side of Russia, this 13-night cruise will take you from Moscow to Astrakhan, visiting towns including Uglich, Saratov and Volgograd. From £1,578pp, including return flights from London to Moscow, transfers and full board. Visit intouristuk.com or call 0844 875 4026.

Moscow to Rostov-on-Don

Begin your voyage in Moscow before sailing southwards through the historic heartland of Russia. Visit numerous cities and towns that played roles in the formation of modern Russia and arrive in Rostov-on-Don. The 15-day cruise costs from £1,751pp. Visit travelallrussia.com or call 0203 519 2208.

Yalta to Kiev

This 12-night cruise takes you through the Ukraine and passes through the Cossack state of Zaporizhya and Odessa. From £1,466pp, not including flights. Visit riverfleet.com or call 0808 134 9952.