New Side Trips: Two Cruises to Try
St. Petersburg is an ideal jumping-off point for cruising. New options include the Grand Princes of Russia itinerary with Academic Arrangements Abroad (800/221-1944; arrangementsabroad.com; 14 days from $9,390 per person), a New York–based operator affiliated with the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tours are geared toward serious arts aficionados, but the trip—including seven days on the redesigned Volga Dream riverboat—is open to all. A more adventurous choice is a 10-day cruise to the White Sea’s Solovetski Islands led by Infoflot (7-495/684-9188; infoflot.ru; from $1,363 per person). The accommodations are bare-bones, but this is the best way to see the remote archipelago and the main island’s Solovki monastery (formerly held by the Soviet gulag) and the area’s wild coastline.