Cruising on the Douro River in Portugal and the Volga River in Moscow will form part of an expanded 2017 product offering from premium tour and cruise operator Travelmarvel.

The latter in fact represents the return of an APT Group brand to Russia following the withdrawal of both itself and a wide variety of tour companies from the region a few years ago as a result of escalating hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, which now appear to have subsided to a level safe enough where travellers are being encouraged to return.

The launch of Travelmarvel’s new European brochure, due out in coming weeks, will feature a new 11-day ‘Treasures of Russia’ cruise itinerary in which passengers will board the four-deck small ship MS Vasilyi Surikov, which caters to 150 passengers per sailing, served by 72 crew. The vessel features one main restaurant catering to all passengers via a single evening dinner seating and two bars with seating for 30 and 80 guests respectively.

Sailing between Moscow and St Petersburg, the cruise itinerary will visit Lake Lagoda, Lake Onega, White Lake, the Volga River and the Moscow Canal, providing guests with an in-depth look at Russian history and culture. An extension taking passengers for three days in the Finnish capital of Helsinki will also be available to add on to this tour.

Passenger staterooms are spread across two decks, with three categories including Standard Twin Cabins, Triple Share Cabins and Junior Suites. Each air-conditioned stateroom features a built-in wardrobe, ensuite bathroom and picture window which can be opened to the fresh air. Junior Suites are roughly double the size of standard cabins and feature a separate sitting area and two windows.

Over in Portugal, three cruise and land combinations ranging from 8-21 days and each also including time in Spain will make up Travelmarvel’s initial program in the Iberian Peninsula. Guests will travel onboard the MS Douro Queen, a quaint 130-passenger ship designed especially to navigate the river. Features onboard include a sun deck with swimming pool, lounge bar overlooking the passing countryside, included alcoholic beverages served with meals, which will be made up of both authentic Portuguese and international cuisine.