**River Cruise Your Way no longer offers river cruises to Russia effective 02/22/2022**
How big is Russia? Fifty rivers enter Lake Onega, which covers an area of 3,753 square miles and itself empties into the Svir River.
Flowing out of Lake Onega, in the northeast of Leningrad Oblast, Russia, the Svir River flows westward for 139 miles into Lake Ladoga, thus connecting the two largest lakes in Europe. In the 18th century, Peter the Great connected the Svir with the Neva River via the Ladoga Canal, making it part of the Volga-Baltic Waterway.
For many outsiders, Russia remains a “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma,” but to travel through the country on a river cruiser is to gain a rare and intimate perspective on this exotic land and its people. From the breathtaking wooden churches on Lake Onega’s Kizhi Island, to the fairy-tale charms of Mandrogy’s open air museum, to St. Petersburg, the golden “Venice of the North,” the Svir carries you through centuries of Russian culture, religious heritage, and natural beauty, to give you a unique sense of how life in Russia really is.
Compared with other river cruise routes, Russia has a short season from early May through the end of October, with the high season being the June White Nights, with near-endless daylight, July, and August. Many of the major river cruise lines offer Russian itineraries; however, only Viking features its own ships. The Svir is almost always combined with the Volga and lakes of the region that form the waterways that connect Moscow and St. Petersburg.