A great power
European Russia stretches from the borders of Belarus and Ukraine to the Ural mountains, over 1000km east of Moscow; even without the rest of the vast Russian Federation, it constitutes by far the largest country in Europe.
Formerly a powerful tsarist empire and a Communist superpower, Russia continues to be a source of fascination for travellers. Moscow, Russia’s bustling capital, combines the frenetic energy of an Eastern city with the cosmopolitan feel of a Western one.
With its dense human traffic and show-stopping architecture – from the Kremlin’s tsarist palaces and onion domes of St Basil’s Cathedral, through the monumental relics of the Communist years to today’s massive building projects – the metropolis can feel rather overwhelming.
By contrast, with its beautiful canals and graceful buildings, St Petersburg, Russia’s second city, is nicknamed “the Venice of Northern Europe”.
A cruise to Russia is a unique chance to visit this seaport, founded in the eighteenth-century by tsar Peter the Great and intended to emulate the best of Western European elegance.
Today, its people are more relaxed and friendly than the capital’s, and its position in the delta of the River Neva is unparalleled, giving it endless watery vistas.