Sail and Walk Adventures

Duke of edinburgh youth adventure oct 2024.

These 5 days 4 nights multi day adventure journeys on the Lady Nelson meet the requirements of the Adventurous Journey section for any level of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

Wooden Boat Festival 2025

Sail on the lady nelson during the wooden boat festival:.

Celebrate the Australian Wooden Boat Festival on Hobart's own iconic wooden boat: the Lady Nelson.

Lady Nelson Derwent River

Sailings & Events

Wooden Boat Festival sail past

Short Sails

90 minute tall ship harbour sails from hobart.

Come aboard and experience tall ship sailing on one of the world's most picturesque harbours.

Haul on a line, set the sails, steer the ship - or just relax and take in the scenery.   

Where we go and the number of sails put up will be based on the weather and the number of volunteer crew and passengers. 

Welcome to the Lady Nelson Tasmania.

Based at the beautiful, picturesque waterfront of Hobart and just minutes' walk from the centre of town, this two masted, square rigged tallship is a popular sight with locals and tourists alike.

Built locally in 1988, the ship is a full size replica of the original Lady Nelson Brig that brought the first European settlers to Hobart in 1803 - read about the orginal and replica ships in "Our Story".   

The Lady Nelson sails majestically up and down the River Derwent to the joy and delight of her passengers who are offered the opportunity to enjoy a tall ship sailing experience. Passengers are able to help set sails, take a turn at the helm or just enjoy the feel of a traditional sailing ship at sea.

Managed by the Tasmanian Sail Training Association , the vessel is run entirely by trained and qualified volunteers who crew and maintain the ship.  All of the funds we raise providing a sailing experience contribute directly to the running of the ship. 

We welcome donations which can be Tax Deductible.

Lady Nelson Review

Cruise Routes (Interactive Map)

Request a quote download brochure

Russian River Cruises

  • Find your cruise
  • Moscow — St. Petersburg
  • Moscow — Astrakhan
  • Astrakhan — St. Petersburg
  • St. Petersburg
  • Cruise Highlights
  • News & Travel Tips

Russia is again welcoming travelers!

  • A negative PCR test is all that's needed to enter Russia
  • Regular flights are now operating to / from Russia
  • Visas can be issues quickly (Volga Dream provides your invitation)
  • All Volga Dream personnel and guides are fully vacinated
  • Bookings are transferable without penalty for 12 months
  • Volga Dream arranges PCR-tests if needed for your outbound flight

Check our COVID-19 Policy page to learn more.

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Luxurious river cruises in russia.

Explore authentic Russian cities. Enjoy premium service and engaging activities as you sail the Volga River.

Moscow. Red Square. St. Basil Cathedral

2022 Cruise Season

Join our signature small group journeys and cruise in luxury along the Russian Volga river!

St. Petersburg. Palace bridge

The Russian Odyssey

An extended 'South to North' view of Russia from Astrakhan to St. Petersburg through Moscow.

Kizhi Island

Explore Moscow, St. Petersburg and Russia’s Golden Ring in greater depth. Stay at gorgeous Four Seasons hotels. Enjoy special access to iconic cultural sites.

Moscow. Red Square

Lower Volga

Treat yourself to an unforgettable experience cruising the Volga river from Moscow to Astrakhan. The tour includes 2 nights in Moscow.

Yaroslavl. Local Church

Find Your Cruise

Select destination Moscow — St. Petersburg Moscow — Astrakhan Astrakhan — St. Petersburg

View all months

A Volga river cruise is more than a geographical voyage; it’s also a journey through Russia’s rich and captivating history. No other experience takes you so completely to another place and time. The Volga is Europe’s longest and largest river; it meanders through the stories of Ivan the Terrible and his rise to power, the two historic ‘Greats’ Peter and Catherine, and then on into today. It’s a unique opportunity to see modern Russia in the context of its intriguing history, ably assisted by friendly and professional academics and tour guides. A Volga Dream Russian river tour promises to leave you with an unforgettable afterglow of fond memories.

St. Petersburg. Petehof

Moscow to St. Petersburg River Cruise

Moscow and St. Petersburg are Russia’s best-known cities, but the towns of Russia’s historic Golden Ring are delightful too. The luxurious Volga Dream offers a unique opportunity to visit these Russian gems by sailing gently along the Volga River on an unforgettable cruising experience. In small, exclusive groups you’ll enjoy preferential access to some of Russia’s most significant cultural sites.

Volgogard. Mamaev Hill

Moscow to Astrakhan River Cruise

Your River Cruise on the luxurious MS Volga Dream takes you from Moscow along Russia’s grand Volga River to the legend that is Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) and Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea. Along the way, you’ll discover the treasures of Yaroslavl, the oldest city on the Volga, medieval Nizhniy Novgorod and beautiful Kazan, the ancient Tatar capital. We plan our tour carefully to combine the very best of Moscow with a world-class Volga River cruise.

Discover Russia with MS Volga Dream - Click-through map

hobart sailing tours

We love hearing from guests about their time in Russia and one comment often hear is how surprised people are by the Russian capital. We can’t say for certain what people expected but we do know that it’s always far removed from what they imagined! It’s been called a modern metropolis, a cosmopolitan city, an historic gem, an architectural treasure and a cultural powerhouse, among other descriptions. Majestic Moscow has always surprised our guests and left them with lasting and fond memories.

Russia’s famous Golden Ring is an archipelago of historic towns surrounding Moscow. Uglich is one of the oldest and was founded under Igor, the last Varangian prince. It once resisted the Mongol invasion and its ancient walls saw the grisly murder of young Dmitri, son of Ivan the Terrible. The impressive Church of St. Dmitri on the Blood, with its classic onion domes and blood red walls, is a fine example of classic Russian architecture. The tour ends with an enchanting choral concert.

This, the oldest city on the Volga River, and now a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasts a wealth of ancient orthodox treasures. The impressive Transfiguration of the Savior, adorned with murals depicting St. John’s apocalyptic visions can be seen in the Spassky Monastery. The Church of St. Elijah the Prophet is decorated with an awe-inspiring selection of rich frescoes. For a real taste of pre-revolutionary Russia, visitors are entertained by a costumed reception at the Governor’s House.

Close to the shores of White Lake once were the ‘tsar’s fishing grounds’. It lies in a place so serene that ancient monks chose to build no fewer than three holy sites here, including the Ferapontov Monastery. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, its chapels boast magnificent frescoes by Dionysius, one of Russia’s most renowned icon painters. The Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery was a refuge for many nobles during tumultuous times and later a fortress that successfully repelled invading armies.

The Karelia region is a vast and naturally beautiful wilderness that spreads all the way from St. Petersburg to the Arctic Circle. The glorious island village of Kizhi consists almost entirely of the traditionally styled wooden buildings of ‘Old Russia’. Among them is the famous Transfiguration Church built in 1714. Remarkably, and in testament to the craftsmen of the time, not a single nail was used in its construction! Kizhi is one of the favorite stops on the river cruise to St. Petersburg.

A typical rural hamlet brought to life by warm and welcoming villagers. Volga Dream guests are invited into local homes to enjoy classic Russian fare, tea with jam and ‘pirozhki’ (pies). Enthusiastic hosts share Russian traditions and the appeal of village life while proudly showing off their scrupulously kept homes and kitchen gardens. The tour continues with a brief bus ride to see a unique World War II memorial and then, for a real glimpse of Russian life, a visit to a local primary school.

Nizhny Novgorod

This was once a wealthy city thanks to its proximity to rich eastern trading routes. During the Soviet era, the city was closed to outsiders because of its military importance. It’s also where many political prisoners were sent to live out their days in exile. The 16th-century Kremlin ramparts offer spectacular views and the city is known for its elaborately decorated churches. For Volga Dream cruise guests, the highlight of the day is an evening folk concert performed by local children.

Sailing along the Volga river, the riverbank gradually ceases to be dominated by Orthodox churches. Instead, beautiful mosques appear as the river crosses into Tatarstan where the first stop is scenic Kazan, the region’s capital. Inside the white walls of the citadel, the famous Kul Sharif mosque and the old Cathedral of Peter and Paul stand side-by-side symbolizing the two faiths’ long and peaceful coexistence in the region. A concert of traditional Tatar music ends the Volga Dream tour in Kazan.

Passing the Zhigulevskie Mountains offers wonderful views from the sundeck before touring the city. One of the key attractions is the fascinating Space Museum, which offers a revealing glimpse of how the Soviet Union pursued its ambitious journey to the cosmos. The town is also noted for its beautiful esplanade, perfect for a relaxed stroll beside the Volga river. This in turn leads to the Samara State Art Museum. Founded in 1897, it is home to a collection of more than 16,000 works of art.

This city is best known for its close associations with cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin. The Russian hero who achieved worldwide fame as the first man in space lived and studied here. Saratov used to be home to a large German community, a heritage that can still be seen in the local architecture. The Volga Dream tour visits the Radishchev State Art Museum, the first picture gallery in Russia outside Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Originally called Tsaritsyn, the city was renamed Stalingrad from 1925 to 1961 in honor of the USSR’s leader. During World War II, the city’s residents put up a heroic defense, repelling an advancing Nazi invasion. The battle for Stalingrad has gone down in history as a pivotal moment in the bloody conflict on the eastern front. The most ferocious and deadly fighting took place on Mamayev Hill, where an imposing memorial now stands close to the excellent Battle of Stalingrad Panorama Museum.

Saint Petersburg

If Moscow surprises, then St Petersburg delights. Peter the Great founded the city to showcase Russia’s newfound enlightenment. He wanted to show the modern world a cultured and advanced society. In short, he built the city to impress and in that he succeeded splendidly! The striking buildings were designed by some of the finest architects Europe had to offer and even now, the ‘Venice of the North’ never fails to enchant with its spectacular buildings and impressive canal network. It is a city of true grandeur.

Cocktails with the Captain

Commanding any ship is a complex role that calls for a long list of skills. Captains know their vessels inside out as well as well as the routes they sail and when things don’t go to plan, they have to make instant decisions. Above all though, the most important part of the job, underpinning everything they do, is to keep the ship and everyone aboard safe. The Captain’s cocktail party is a great and a wonderful opportunity for passengers and crew to get acquainted as the gets underway.

Matryoshka doll painting

There is nothing more typically Russian than a Matryoshka. It embodies the fact that there’s always something deeper to be found in every aspect of Russian life. Learning the traditional designs and techniques used to decorate these iconic dolls offers a pleasant diversion and some cathartic creativity!

Superb Service & Dining

Our restaurant serves the highest standard of international cuisine, freshly made by our Cordon Bleu Chef. Choose either a sumptuous buffet or set menu for lunch while dinner is always four or five courses with full service. High praise for the exquisite quality of meals is yet another constantly recurring feature in feedback from our guests.

Meet the Professor

From the Mongol hordes to Soviet times, Russia’s history is, like all of Europe’s, a complex web of political intrigue, war and peace, trade and treaties, as well as heroes and villains. Academics devote whole lifetimes to studying Russia’s long past and one of them presents a series of lectures shedding light on everything from Gorbachev to Chekhov, Khrushchev to Ivan the Terrible and of course, contemporary Russia. Our Professor is on board throughout the river cruise for informal conversation.

Beginner’s Russian

The Russian language can be rather beautiful and poetic and we know that many seasoned travelers enjoy trying their hand at different languages. Our onboard teachers provide an introduction to the riches of Russian, so guests can try out a few useful words and phrases on real Russians during the exciting river tours from Moscow to St. Petersburg or from Moscow to Volgograd!

Russian tea tasting

The drink we tend to associate with Russia is vodka, but tea, in fact, is the much more universal beverage of choice throughout the country. Guests will get acquainted with the Russian tea etiquette, a fundamental component of the country's social culture, and enjoy the traditional tea ceremony while cruising from St. Petersburg to Moscow or taking a Grand Volga river tour.

Russian Dinner & Vodka Tasting

All our dining is international but for Russian Dining night, the Chef includes a selection of traditional Russian dishes: Chicken Kiev, Kulebyaka and no Russian table is complete without Borsch. To add to the ‘Taste of Russia’ optional Russian dress, or at least a touch of Russian style, is provided along with enthusiastic help from our staff!

Russian Cooking Class

A plate of pelmeni might not look like much to the untrained eye, but it forms the heart of Russian cuisine and culture. Basically, it's a type of dumpling: small portions of meat and onion wrapped in a thin sheet of unleavened dough and boiled, a little like ravioli. Guests can join a Russian cooking class onboard the MS Volga Dream to learn how to cook this delicious Russian dish.

Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov Piano Recital

Some of the greatest classical music ever written comes from Russia. It’s hard to imagine a more fitting stage for a virtuoso solo recital by our resident concert pianist than the mighty Volga or a better backdrop than the heart of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov’s own serene homeland.

Russian River Cruise Aboard Volga Dream

Moscow to St. Petersburg

Why Volga Dream

Kizhi Island

Family Owned & Operated

MS Volga Dream is Russia’s only family-owned river cruise ship. She can accommodate up to 100 guests, far fewer than most other cruise ships on the river making for a uniquely friendly and intimate atmosphere aboard.

Moscow. Four Seasons view

Five-Star Central Hotels

We at Volga Dream are completely convinced that, our guests should stay in great 5-star hotels in Moscow and St. Petersburg within comfortable walking distance of all the major attractions, theaters and restaurants, rather than having to waste time in traffic.

MS Volga Dream. Owner's Suite

Luxurious Accommodation

The MS Volga Dream is the most intimate and elegant 5-star cruise vessel in Russia. She boasts 56 cabins, all river facing, ranging from comfortable Standard Cabins to spacious Junior Suites and the luxurious forward facing Owner's Suite.

Yaroslavl. Local Church

Russian Cultural Experience

Explore Russia's past with the help of professional tour guides. Our on-board program includes fascinating talks on Russian history and politics, Russian language lessons, a festival of Russian cuisine (including vodka tasting!), and much more.

MS Volga Dream cuisine

Gourmet Dining

Our on board restaurant serves international cuisine to the highest standard, all freshly made by our Cordon Bleu Chef. For Russian Dining night, he prepares a selection of traditional Russian dishes: Chicken Kiev, Kulebyaka and Borsch.

MS Volga Dream bartenders

Tailored Service

All our service crew members are native Russians who are fluent in English and handpicked by the Owner. Proudly, the Volga Dream is famous for her hard working and very hospitable personnel who take care of every aspect of your life aboard.

Download Our Brochure

It's never been easier to plan your next holiday in Russia. Download our free brochure to learn more about authentic Russian river cruises.

Volga Dream Brochure

Escape the hassle and bustle and add a satisfyingly informative element to your trip and bring together a colorful mosaic of people, history, traditions,  religion, music and art. These are the many strands that time has woven into what is known today as Russia.

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hobart sailing tours

Guide to Visiting The MONA Museum in Hobart, Tasmania

MONA Museum, or the Museum of Old and New Art, has been billed as the place that revitalized Hobart and put it high up on the must-see destination list of Tasmania in Australia.

It is the largest privately funded museum in Australia and I’ve been keen for years to see what all the fuss is about. It’s not only a place for art lovers, but it’s a space for entertainment.

The founder David Walsh has described the museum as a “subversive adult Disneyland.” This might be why it’s considered one of the best things to do in Hobart .

I was more interested in the winery and off site brewery attached and the photos of people lazing around on bean bags with beautiful river views that I always see of MONA.

If you’re thinking of visiting MONA but not sure what it’s all about, here is an overview of our experience…

About Mona Museum

  • Cost: $35 per adult. Under 18 tourists and concessions $10. Under 12s enter for free.
  • Getting There: The MR-1 Fast Ferry takes 30 minutes from Hobart and costs from $20. For other options click here.
  • Opening Hours: Open 5 days a week from 10am–5pm. Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They are closed Wednesday and Tuesdays. For holiday periods click here .
  • Website: For full details on your visit to MONA visit the MONA website.

The Mona Museum is not just a public art museum. MONA frequently showcases large-scale art and performance events.

It was founded by art collector David Walsh, who built the museum on the banks of the River Derwent, on the Berriedale Peninsula in Hobart.

The museum is accessible via ferry which is just as arty as David Walsh’s collection inside. You can sail in the “Posh Pit” which is a private deck with a wine bar and canapes.

The MONA site also sits on the Moorilla Estate, a huge winery that you can also visit as part of your trip to MONA.

There are also two restaurants and bars, a gift shop, and cafes, as well as luxury accommodation pavilions where guests can stay.

The architecture is impressive. It contrasts against the landscape with its hard, angular, and industrial-looking facade. It has a podium, a grassy lawn area, and a garden with native plants. There’s also a tennis court.

In the summer, they host two festivals; the summer festival in January, Mona Foma, which has a mix of music and art. In June, there is the Dark Mofo winter festival, which showcases centuries-old winter solstice rituals. It celebrates darkness through art, music, food, and film.

You can get a guided tour of MONA from Hobart which includes your entrance ticket, ferry ride and a knowledgable guide.

Our Experience Visiting MONA

Our trip to MONA started on the ferry, which is an experience in itself. You can reach MONA by road, but we felt a trip up the Derwent River would make the experience all that more special.

The weather wasn’t helping out so much, but the sheep seats did. Kalyra and Savannah were instantly put into the right joyful mood to enter an art gallery with.

We pulled up to the dock and got an inkling of the architectural grandeur of the building carved into the cliff face.

Inside the museum entrance is a spiral staircase that leads down to three larger levels of display spaces built into the side of the cliffs.

It made the experience inside the gallery that more special, walking down into the cavernous depths to be confronted by graphic images, ones that caused you to dig a little deeper into your thought recesses, and those that were a little more playful.

The MONA museum is not just about standing there and staring at a painting on the wall, hoping to get a chance to read what it’s about or figure it out yourself. You’re a part of the experience as you move through.

I’m not one for art galleries or museums so wasn’t sure that it would wow me.

You’re given an O – which is an iPod device. It helps you discover what each of the artworks is with some thoughts from the founder David Walsh and sometimes the artist’s voices themselves.

There were exhibitions such as the pulse, which gives you the chance to have a light bulb measure your pulse.

Or a trampoline you can jump on to create music with the bells hanging below.

These were the first exhibits we saw and the girls were hooked. So was I.

It’s by far the best, most interesting, and fun art gallery I’ve ever been to.

It was made even more special that the girls enjoyed doing it as well. The only complaint that was heard was when we had finished. Kalyra whined that she wanted to go back in and see more.

Even though the art and the concepts were above her head, I loved the exposure the trip to MONA gave her to art and the idea that the world can be interpreted in many different and fun ways, and from that perspective, you can create pieces of work that people from around the world flock to in their thousands to see.

My favourite exhibits were the weather instrument – a machine that was powered by the wind, which moved a pencil that created a drawing – an artwork by the wind. I LOVED it!

I also loved the concept of the fat car – an obese Porsche showing the effects of consumerism.

There was also a mummy room called the Pharos Wing, which featured underground galleries and some large-scale artworks by James Turrell which has a light show at sunrise and sunset.

In 2017, a tunnel called Siloam, was built connecting to the Pharos Wing and cost $18 million to make. Here you can see the work of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who was famously convicted and jailed for the art he made.

It also has The Divine Comedy by Alfredo Jaar, which takes visitors on a journey through the three chambers of the afterlife (paradise, purgatory, and heaven).

But the artwork is not restricted to the inside, there’s some outdoor art too. There’s the Charles Ross’ magical Spectrum Chamber where the children can jump on the trampoline and see rainbow colors.

The most fun one was the white cubed room. Inside were 30 TV screens, with Madonna’s biggest fans singing the entire Immaculate Conception album in acapella. It was fun to watch and I almost jumped up and belted out the words to Borderline with them.

The only one I did not like was the human excrement machine, Cloaca Professional by Wim Delvoye. I think we arrived when it was pooping time and the smell drove me out before I could take a good look.

MONA sure is designed to open your mind – it’s a good place to learn about “It’s not better or worse, just different.”

You can do cellar tours of Moorilla Winery, but we opted for a Moo Brew Beer and a glass of wine from the Bogan Bar.

Which was very fitting for me, as I did wear my UGG boots to MONA. True bogan form, at 15 degrees and high winds, I was freezing. And I’m more about comfort than fashion.

If you like wine and art, you will love this tour you can book through Get Your Guide. The Moorilla’s Wine Meets Mona Art Day Tour includes wine tasting at Moorilla Estate, lunch at the Source Restaurant and explore Mona, the Museum of Old and New Art. See rates and availability here or below

Final Thoughts on Visiting MONA in Hobart

MONA gets the big thumbs up from us, despite our apathetic art appreciation. Put it on your Australia list for sure.

BUT, when you do come down here to visit Mona, make sure you tack on a couple of extra weeks to see some other things to do in Tasmania.

This country is SOOOOO great and has so much to offer.

There is so much to take in at Mona, you need at least half a day. We enjoyed lunch in the cafe with views out to the river, before walking to the winery area out the back.

In the summer, there is usually some live music happening outside. There was a big gospel choir event on.

While that is not my thing, it was great to sit on the grass and do some lawn-lounging, while the girls played and danced to some upbeat music.

I can only imagine how great a venue it would be when the MOFO festival takes place in January.

Where to stay in Hobart

  • YHA Hostel  – smack bang in the centre of Hobart with an easy walk to everything in the city and waterfront, the YHA is your  best   budget  option. Clean, comfortable and with a variety of room options. We stayed there in a family room with private ensuite and were very comfortable.
  • Salamanca Inn  – excellent mid-level accommodation in a perfect location. Stumble 50m to Salamanca Place and enjoy the markets and everything on offer and walk to the best Hobart has to offer. This all-suite hotel with self-contained apartments was great for us as a family. You can read our review here
  • Crowne Plaza Hobart, a 4-Star IHG Hotel. Guests love it for room, the location with a short stroll to the Pier and Salamanca Restaurants and markets, fantastic views from the floor to ceiling windows, and great breakfast.

More ideas for Hobart (and nearby destinations)

  • A guide to the fantastic Salamanca Markets
  • A Guide to Port Arthur and their awesome ghost tour
  • 3 Hours of Unspoilt Wilderness on a Bruny Island Cruise in Tasmania
  • What to do in Hobart, Tasmania
  • How To Get The Best views of Hazards Beach, Tasmania
  • Awesome things to do on Bruny Island, Tasmania
  • 24 Best Places to Visit in Tasmania

Disclaimer: We visited as guests of MONA, but all thoughts, ideas, and opinions in this guide are our own. You can also read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor

MONA Museum, or the Museum of Old and New Art, has been billed as the place that revitalized Hobart and put it high up on the must-see destination list of Tasmania in Australia. It is …   Guide to Visiting The MONA Museum in Hobart, Tasmania Read More »

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    Experience Hobart from the water on a 3-hour sailing tour by ocean-racing yacht. As you glide along the River Derwent, admire the city's coastal scenery, look for wildlife and help the crew with tasks like trimming the sails or grinding the winch.

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