The Volga, Europe’s longest river, holds a significant place in Russian history. It is here that the cradle of Indo-European culture began 7,000 years ago. During medieval times, the river served as a major artery providing trade and new settlement. It is here that Peter the Great sailed the Volga from Moscow to St. Petersburg on a mission seeking to bring Russia out of the Dark Ages.
Experience a grand tour of the Volga including some of the world’s greatest art and architecture, and discovering hidden villages with Old World charm.
With centuries’ worth of European music and literary works, the Volga is celebrated in song of the Volga boatmen with this famous verse – “Mighty stream so deep and wide, Volga, Volga, our pride”.
The best way to discover the rich history of the Volga and the great cities that line its banks is by Russia’s river cruise ships. As you travel along the Volga, you’ll gain an understanding of the people, culture, and tradition that have made this waterway an important part of Russian life.
In 1937, the Moscow-Volga Canal was completed, linking Moscow with an impressive system of waterways. These waterways run from St. Petersburg all the way to Astrakhan. Today, travelers can experience the same trip that Peter the Great first imagined. Sailing from Moscow to St. Petersburg allows travelers a view of some of Russia’s greatest medieval cities situated along the Volga.
The Volga Delta
The Volga Delta is Europe’s largest inland delta which forms where the Volga River drains into the Caspian Sea. You can see broad pastures that are crisscrossed by a network of waterways, and forests with sweeping areas of willows, poplars, and alders.
The Volga Delta is a popular destination spot for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. The marshlands have become a sanctuary for beavers, otters, and plenty of wildlife from herons to the great bald eagle. The Volga Delta offers some excellent fishing including the Tench, Asp and the Zander.
Nature and wildlife in the Astrakhan region are well preserved in the Astrakhansky Zapovednik, one of Russia’s oldest nature reserves. Astrakhansky Zapovednik is home more than 250 avian species earning its reputation as a true sanctuary for birds.
Willows are arched over the glistening waters, while wild boars, foxes, and rodents roam through the hollow slender reeds. The Great Blackheaded Gull, White-tailed Eagle, Caspian Tern, Dalmatian Pelican, Penduline Tit, Night Heron, Cetti’s Warbler, the elegant Demoiselle Crane and Black-winged Pratincole are among the many birds that live in the preserve.
For more information, visit Russian River Cruises