LOCAL COLOUR: Distinctive Russian church design.
LOCAL COLOUR: Distinctive Russian church design. Contributed

Experience romance of Russia

A NEW "red carpet" cruise tour in Russia this August features a luxury river cruise from Moscow to St Petersburg, tickets to the Moscow Circus, a Russian ballet performance and a traditional Russian meal.

Australian cruise agency Cruise Express also offers packages with a journey along the world's longest and most famous train route - the Trans Siberian Railway - from one end of the world's biggest country to the other.

Until March 31, fly free offers from Australia are available with packages - conditions apply.

The 12-day Russian cruise holiday begins on August 28 with passengers boarding the luxurious vessel MS AmaKatarina for 11 nights aboard, including the first three sightseeing in Moscow.

Passengers will see Red Square, the Kremlin and the former KGB building and ride the underground Moscow Metro trains which stop at stations festooned with elaborate mosaics, marble statues and crystal chandeliers.

The cruise from Moscow to St Petersburg along the Volga and Svir rivers offers daily touring at villages, Russian language lessons onboard, a meal with a Russian family at their house and a visit to Russia's wooden Church of the Transfiguration - built in 1714 without a single nail.

The final three nights are in St Petersburg where passengers visit the spectacular Hermitage Museum and Peterhof Palace and see a Russian ballet performance.

Fares for the 12-night Russian Waterways package start from $6490 a person, twin-share, including 32 meals, champagne with breakfast and wine and beer with dinner. Other tour options include (prices are twin-share):

A 19-day river cruise and Poland package from $9789 a person

A 15-day trans-Siberian rail and Moscow package from $15,995 a person

A 29-day rail and river cruise combo from $21,190 a person

Phone Cruise Express on 1300 764 509 or visit Cruise Express.

>> Read more travel stories.

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