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Alongside the Volga River, there are a number of Russian lakes, rivers and canals that all comprise the sprawling Russian Waterways. The Waterways link the capital, Moscow, with St. Petersburg on the coast of the Baltic Sea. The best parts of Russia are waiting on the Waterways, a refreshing experience of Moscow’s colourful Kremlins and the calm countryside churches and monasteries such as Kizhi’s Transfiguration Church.


The main section of the Waterways, the Volga River, rises northwest of Moscow and flows 2,193 miles (3,530 km) to the Caspian Sea, making it Europe’s longest river. The river splits into two, the main flow heading east past Tver, Dubna, Yaroslavl and other towns, and then south past historic Volgograd (Stalingrad) towards the Caspian Sea, while a short course heads past Uglich towards the Moscow Canal. It holds great symbolic and historical importance to Russia and is home to eleven of Russia’s largest cities.
Moscow Canal
At the end of the Volga’s southwest course, the Volga flows into the Moscow Canal and connects with the Moskva River on the south side. From the Tushino estuary and the Volga River, the canal stretches 128km through Moscow, and provides access to the White, Baltic, Caspian, Azov and Black Seas. The number of reservoirs around the area supply Moscow with half of the water its citizens consume.

Volga-Baltic Waterway

As a means to connect the Volga River with the Baltic Sea, canals and rivers were formed through the north of the Waterways. Previously called the Mariinsk Canal System, the Volga-Baltic Waterway starts from Rybinsk, moving north and including the two smaller rivers, Svir and Neva, and the lakes of Onega and Ladoga. At St Petersburg, the Neva River flows into the Gulf of Finland after travelling 229 miles (368km).

Weather & When to go

The cruising season is May to September. The early summer has average temperatures of around 23°C (73°F), with occasional heat waves. May and September are the cooler cruising periods, with max temperatures of around 18°C (64°F).

Popular ports in Volga

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