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riverboat for sale europe

Used canal and river boats for sale

Le Boat boasts an international reputation and over 50 years of experience, providing you with reliable and accurate advice in addition to an extensive network. Whether you're searching for the PERFECT canal boat for yourself or looking to sell your boat under the best possible conditions, trusting us means that you can be sure of models that have been carefully selected by our experts, flawless organization for the completion of your project, and guidance from true professionals.

Our selection of river boats for sale :

Size : 11.9 x 3.7m Cabin : 3 Boat price : 85.000 €

Nicols 1000

Size : 10 x 3.7m Cabin : 3 Boat price : 65.000 €

Become a Le Boat Owner by choosing one of our great offers

With Le Boat, you can either buy a well maintained used-boat out of our fleet, or you can enter our Ownership Programme and enjoy a wealth of advantages for 7 years.

riverboat for sale europe

We have selected for you the best riverboat models from our fleet or from our brokers. All you have to do is choose your future home!

riverboat for sale europe

Our Ownership programme allows you to experience the perks of boat ownership without the financial burdens and inconveniences typically associated with it. Enjoy a 7-year adventure across 17 regions while also receiving a guaranteed monthly income.

Here’s is an example of the great boats you can buy through Le Boat Brokerage

Find out more about our latest news

NEW: Super Van Craft 1220

NEW: Super Van Craft 1220

Regina a 12.20 m Super Van Craft in exceptional condition! Currently in the port of Saint-Jean-de-Losne for sale exclusively at our Le Boat base. Superb lines, exceptional condition inside and out. It's perfectly maintained. One of the only models built for the French canals with a Volvo 140 hp (...)

The real cost of owning a boat: Find out everything you need to know in our blog post!

The real cost of owning a boat: Find out everything you need to know in our blog post!

Owning your own boat is a dream inherited from childhood and fuelled by our adult sailing. A boat is a passion purchase, but you should not forget to consider the costs of maintaining and using it. Find out in our blog post all the advice you need to make a safe purchase:  The real cost of (...)

riverboat for sale europe

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New and Used Boats and Barges For Sale

Inland waterways boats and barges for sale.

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riverboat for sale europe

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riverboat for sale europe

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riverboat for sale europe

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riverboat for sale europe

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riverboat for sale europe

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riverboat for sale europe

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Boats and barges for sale - Recently Added

riverboat for sale europe

2019 Piper 49M for sale 330,000€

stunning Piper 49M available immediately

Rives and Reves Piper 49M. Moored in the center of Paris she has been used mainly as a pied de terre low hours just fully serviced by the Piper team

riverboat for sale europe

1998 Chaparral 240 Signature for sale 12,500€

Leisure on the Lot.

Springbok – a versatile Sports Cruiser with a twin-propeller stern-drive, equally at home on sea or inland waterways. Located in southwest France at Port Lalande, Castelmoron, on the beautiful Lot…

riverboat for sale europe

2004 French & Peel 24m Widebeam for sale £239,950

We are very pleased to list this amazing 24m Widebeam. She has been completely stripped and rebuilt internally to a very high standard indeed! Comprising a forward double with en-suite,…

riverboat for sale europe

1978 Bounty 37 for sale £29,950

A very well presented example having undergone an extensive refit over the past 6 months. This includes: Hull Painted, antifoul, topsides polished, rudder toe replacement Engine fuel feed pipe Hydraulic…

riverboat for sale europe

2003 Motor Cruiser Euro Classic for sale 57,000€

Euro classic boat for sale. Boatshed Midi Canals is pleased to offer this rare Euro classic 129 for sale. A smaller model than the EuroClassic 139 or 149 range, but…

riverboat for sale europe

1997 Cruisers Yachts Esprit 337 for sale 105,000€

Motor Cruiser for sale in France. Boatshed Paris is happy to offer this inland and coastal cruiser built by the American builder, Cruisers Yachts, a 10.60 m live aboard cruiser…

riverboat for sale europe

1939 Lightship Houseboat for sale £525,000

Lightship 93 is one of the most iconic vessels currently in London and is now for sale through Boatshed London. For the last few years, she has been used as…

riverboat for sale europe

1926 Dutch Barge Luxe Motor for sale 120,000€

Live aboard luxemotor for sale in France. Boatshed Bourgogne is please to offer this residential Dutch barge for sale. A Luxmotor from 1926 and looking very pretty indeed. This barge…

riverboat for sale europe

1950 Residential Mooring 36ft x for sale £30,000

An opportunity to bring a 36ft narrowboat into one of the best marinas in London. The mooring is of limited length, but can accommodate a 36ft narrowboat. There is currently…

riverboat for sale europe

2018 Waterlodge Apartboat XL for sale £134,950

Wow! This vessel offers great views, open plan living accommodation and all of the plus sides of life afloat – she’s even close to the main local shops, bars and…

riverboat for sale europe

1929 Dutch Barge 18m for sale 125,000€

Residential Dutch barge and cruising home for sale in France. Boatshed Bourgogne is pleased to propose what must be one of the best maintained live aboard barges for sale on…

riverboat for sale europe

1990 Dutch Steel Motor Cruiser 3 for sale 35,000€

Double helm Dutch steel cruiser for sale in France. Boatshed Paris is happy to offer this Altena cruiser for sale in the Picardie region. Built in 1990 in the ALTENA…

riverboat for sale europe

No Second Chances! – How to Sell Your Boat

Our guide to preparing your boat for Boatshed brokerage, to advertise on Waterways Boats, and to welcome potential buyers.

BOAT SELLERS GUIDE

riverboat for sale europe

Caveat Emptor! – How to Buy Your Boat

Our guide to researching, inspecting, assessing and purchasing a boat – privately or through Boatshed

BOAT BUYERS GUIDE

All details have been provided by sellers and are published in good faith. We cannot guarantee accuracy nor warrant regarding condition and prospective buyers must make their own necessary investigations.

Vessels may be subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal without notice.

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Tjalk Dutch Barge 19m Bow thruster Recent Survey (04/2024)

Boat of the Moment

Tjalk dutch barge 19m bow thruster recent survey (04/2024), featured boats.

Linssen 37SE Open plan forward dinette version

Linssen 37SE Open plan forward dinette version

Boat Ref: #332703

€79,000.00  

11.50m, 1992, Canal de Rhone à Sete

Nicols Confort 1100 ex hire boat

Nicols Confort 1100 ex hire boat

Boat Ref: #332177

€49,000.00  

11.00m, 1999, midi canals

Tjalk Dutch Barge 15m Bow thruster

Tjalk Dutch Barge 15m Bow thruster

Boat Ref: #332601

€140,000.00  

14.80m, 1903, Canal latéral to Garonne

Wide Beam 65ft Live aboard

Wide Beam 65ft Live aboard

Boat Ref: #331341

€130,000.00  

19.90m, 2012, Canal latéral to Garonne

Tjalk Dutch Barge 21m House boat

Tjalk Dutch Barge 21m House boat

Boat Ref: #333035

€129,000.00  

20.84m, 1913, Toulouse

RECLA Tarpon 42 Owner Version

RECLA Tarpon 42 Owner Version

Boat Ref: #330131

€99,000.00  

12.93m, 2007, midi canals

Nicols Sedan 1000 Ex hire cruiser

Nicols Sedan 1000 Ex hire cruiser

Boat Ref: #332372

€45,000.00  

10.00m, 1992, Garonne lateral canal

Residential Barge 19m Construction monitored by marine surveyor

Residential Barge 19m Construction monitored by marine surveyor

Boat Ref: #324717

€245,000.00  

19.00m, 2009, Canal latéral à la Garonne

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Selling your boat?

We take care of every step when it comes to selling your boat..

Your broker will advise you of the most suitable price to market your boat at.

Your broker will work with you to create a detailed listing for your boat.

We handle the negotiation process for you, ensuring you get the best deal.

Boatshed is one of the world's largest yacht brokerage groups that prides itself on giving potential buyers the most complete and accurate picture of the boat that they want to buy. Boatshed Brokers personally visit every boat that they list, taking unlimited photographs and videos which are available online to registered users anywhere in the world.

Here's what our customers have to say...

Wir sind begeistert. Alles wie beschrieben wurde eingehalten . Auf jede Frage auch nervende gab es eine ehrliche Antwort. Auch nach dem Kauf werden wir von Magali und Graham weiter betreut. Super Leistung und Danke schön.

— Christian M. 3/24, Boatshed Midi Canals

We are excited. Everything as described was followed. There was an honest answer to every question, even the annoying one. Even after the purchase, we continue to be supported by Magali and Graham. Great performance and thank you very much.

Absolutely fantastic service from Graham and Magali. Thank you very much.

— Karl. W, March 2024, Boatshed Midi Canals

Friendly brokers, personal service, I would choose them every time. Thank you for all your help with the purchase and sale of my boats.

— Don. E, March 2024, Boatshed Midi Canals

Thanks Graham. Very, very pleased with Boatshed and how well the whole process worked! Rarely do you get exactly what was advertised but in this case what you promised was delivered in spades. Thank you for that.

— Roger L, January 2024, Boatshed Midi Canals

The experience was excellent from first contact through to completion. We would just like to say a big thank you to Graham for all his help and being so friendly and professional.

— Hazel & Mansell R., September 2023, Boatshed Midi Canals

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riverboat for sale europe

  • Penichette for sale

Canal boat and Penichette ® for sale in France & Europe

Over the last 40 years, Pénichette ® has become an iconic boat around European waterways. This type of boat was specifically designed for inland navigation and has a really distinctive line on the water.

Locaboat owns the largest fleet of Pénichettes ® in Europe. All our boats are well-maintained and wintered by our experts.

Several models are available per range. You can visit the boats at our bases in France and in Germany.

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We have the following ranges for sale at the moment:

riverboat for sale europe

Pénichette ® P.935W

Pénichette ® p.1120r, pénichette ® p.1260r, pénichette ® p.1500r, pénichette ® p.1165fb, interested and wishing to learn more.

Please contact our team by email at: [email protected] .

What are the next steps?

Step 1 : We will answer all your questions and provide you with all the information available on the boat. Please note that second-hand boats will be sold as is. However, they will be given a full service before being handed over. Any faulty equipment will be repaired or replaced, technical equipment will be checked and in good working order.

Step 2 : You make an appointment with us to visit the boat. Perhaps you would like to test your boat before buying it? In this case, you can hire it during the season. If you confirm your purchase after this rental, the latter will be deducted from the sale price of the boat.

Step 3 : A sale contract, duly completed by both parties, will allow you to reserve the boat until the date when you actually take possession. Payment of a deposit will be required and the balance must be paid when you take possession of the boat at the latest.

Step 4 : Cast off onboard your Penichette ® !

The Pénichette ® Have a look at our self-drive boat

Let yourself be inspired by our series of photographs of our Pénichettes ® P.935W & P.1107W !

Canal boats for sale across France and Europe

What are pénichette boats and why should you buy one.

The Pénichette boat has become the defining boat when it comes to European waterway travel over the last half a century. Perfectly designed to navigate Europe’s canals, the Pénichette boat is created specifically for inland water travel and is defined by its unmistakable line in the water. Locaboat operates the largest fleet of Pénichette boats in all of Europe, all of which are maintained by specialist staff. There are a variety of canal boats for sale in France , Germany and also canal boats for sale across Europe .

Buying a Pénichette boat can have huge benefits, not only for your holiday pleasure but for your overall health and well-being. Let’s take a looks at the many reasons why you might want to buy a used Penichette boat:

  • A boat to call your own! While renting a canal boat can be exciting, actually owning your own boat means you no longer have to rely on certain time constraints and others to dictate your boating holiday.
  • Owning a boat creates the perfect space to share with family and friends on the water. Time spent on the boat also promotes a sense of well-being and can improve your mental health.
  • Buying barges for sale in France or any other European country is not only something that will benefit your holidays, but it is also a financial investment. The robustness of the Pénichette boat means it often keeps its value for many years, and you can sometimes even make a profit with a few boat improvements.

Four stages of securing a canal barge for sale with Locaboat

Firstly, the seller of the boat will provide all the information you need and answer any questions about the boat that you’re hoping to buy. A full appraisal of the boat will be carried out, and any faults will be repaired or exchanged, ensuring it is all in working order.

Secondly, you will make an appointment with one of the bases to view the boat. You can even test the boat before buying it by renting it for the season. If you agree to buy the boat once you have tried it out, the rental price will be taken off the sale price.

Thirdly, a deed of sale is then drawn up and signed by both parties, allowing you to reserve the boat until it finally becomes your property. A deposit should be paid, and then the full balance once the boat passes into your possession.

Fourthly, cast off at the helm of your Pénichette and enjoy endless memorable boating holidays .

What are the benefits of buying European canal boats for sale?

Unlike renting a boat for a weekend or a week-long holiday, buying river boats for sale in France gives you far more freedom and control over your waterway journeys. If you want to stay moored in one place for an extended period of time, you can. If you want to change your plans at the very last second, owning your own boat means you can do this without being held back.

Thinking of your boat as a second home that is also mobile really shows how much buying a boat can really benefit your life. There’s no need to search for overpriced and uncomfortable holiday accommodation when you already have your home away from home canal boat. Similar to having a second home, you can also lend out your riverboat out to friends and family to use. As they are easy to drive and maintain, passing the keys over to a friend or family member is a breeze. Just remember to check if your insurance covers them!

Checks you should make when you see a used canal boats for sale

Boats for sale from Locaboat are well maintained and cared for, ensuring your investment doesn’t turn into an expensive loss of money. There are certain checks and assessments you can carry out when you’re looking for a second-hand French canal boat for sale . By ensuring these things are looked over before you commit to buying a Pénichette boat, you can have the highest quality boat possible.

You should ensure that the boat has been treated for protection against damage from the elements. Sun and water damage on the outside of the boat can go a long way to ageing and damaging a boat’s performance.

It’s also important to make a cockpit check when you’re buying a new or used boat. Sometimes boats will have a double cockpit, with both an exterior and an interior one. It is essential to make sure nothing is missing or needs replacing. This may include installing the latest boat navigation technology, something that will help you while travelling around Europe’s waterways.

The boat’s bedding is also a key element to make sure everything is present and correct. Being able to sleep well while you’re travelling along the canals and rivers is important, and you may want to change it to your style and tastes. Finally, you’ll want to check that the sanitary equipment is all working as it should. Bathrooms and toilets specifically need to be in good working order before a Pénichette can be sold.

Choose from two different types of Pénichette boats

Opt for the classic pénichette if you’re travelling light.

The Classic Penichette is the perfect boat for travelling through rivers and canals. Made famous for their iconic design – they look like the traditional barge – the Classic Penichette is the easiest to manoeuvre license-free boat and is perfect for families or those with little experience. With the ability to hold between two and seven people, this Classic Penichette provides excellent comfort onboard. The Classic Penichette also has a large sunroof that will give you great visibility, especially when the cockpit is raised by two-thirds. Equipped with a large solarium deck, there’s plenty of space to enjoy the European sun when you’re off the helm.

The Pénichettes Terrasse is better suited for larger groups

Much larger than the classic model, the Pénichettes Terrasse offers boaters a large rear terrace and a much larger living room space. Its u-shaped bench allows holidaymakers to sit together and enjoy meals outside. Pénichettes Terrasse can cater for 2 to 12 people, and each cabin has a double bed, a sink and storage space. Thanks to the two opening roofs and a large bay window, that waterway sun can stream into the Pénichettes Terrasse and be enjoyed by everyone on board.

What do canal boats for sale in Europe cost?

Buy a comfortable river boat in good condition.

Locaboat sells a number of Pénichette boats every year in France and the rest of Europe, averaging around ten annually. Many of these models were constructed through the late 1980s and mid-1990s, making them decades old. Despite this, they are so well made and cared for that they’re still in top condition. The boats are not only looked after, but they are also driven regularly and maintained in a winter harbour. Maintaining and refurbishing the boats, they keep themselves in excellent resalable conditions and will continue for many decades to come. Designed to carry five to seven people, these boats are nine to eleven metres long.

Other fees to consider when you’re buying a boat

Along with paying for the actual boat, there are other fees to consider if you’re thinking of buying a boat on the continent. First of all, you’ll need to pay for a place to moor your boat, which is known as a mooring fee. This mooring fee in your home port could cost between ​​€1,000 and €1,500 depending on the port and how often you need to use it. Alongside the mooring fees, you will usually have to pay an issuance fee too. This can vary between €200 and €500/year depending on the level of insurance that you’re looking for. The insurance fee is there to cover three different conditions; repairs, environmental pollution and liability.

For your first outing choose from a myriad of European waterways

Exploring the canals and waterways of france.

Once you have purchased your boat, you’ll have the exciting task of deciding where you’re going to take it for its first outing. Home of the Pénichette boat, France is one the best places in which to put your boating holidays into action. In the north of France, the Bretton region opens up a whole world of boating opportunities, crossing both rivers and canals. The main route through this picturesque northwest countryside is along the Blavet Canal or through the Nantes-Brest Canal.

Being able to travel along the Brittany waterways with a canal barge for sale in France gives you the opportunity to take in all of the smaller and niche-like delights of the region.

Further to the east of the country, the historical region of Burgundy offers up a famous network of crisscrossing canals, vineyards and iconic French towns and cities. A famous wine-producing region, Burgundy attracts those who want to mix their boating holidays with a little bit of gourmet fine dining and wine tasting.

Arguably the most famous canal route in all of France is the Canal du Midi in southern France. Searching for boats for sale on the Canal du Midi France will open up a world of history, famous landmarks and towns and cities that fall out of the imagination and before your eyes. Being such a famous waterway for canal exploration, you will not struggle to find many boats for sale on the Canal du Midi.

Travelling through Germany with your new boat

You’ll also find a large number of canal riverboats for sale in central Europe, Germany especially. Germany has vast swathes of areas taken up by lakes, rivers and canals, perfect for houseboat exploration. One of the premier destinations is Germany’s northeastern ​​Mecklenburg Lake District. Known as the land of a thousand lakes, the German Lake District allows you to explore the pristine countryside, nature and riverside settlements with ease – this can be said about Germany’s largest lake, Müritz. Müritz is situated within the Müritz National park – a fantastic place to get out and explore on foot. The fragrant beech forests of the national park invite you off the boat and onto dry land, an ideal place to hike and explore the ​​Mecklenburg woodlands.

It’s not only the woodlands and countryside of Germany that can be explored by boat. Why not trade the touristic route of the city streets and explore the German capital of Berlin and the towns of Potsdam and Brandenburg via boat. The interconnecting canals, rivers and waterways make stopping off at any of the inner city, and town spots a simple undertaking. This way, you dodge the crowds and traffic that often back up when travelling into the capital.

Known as the Tuscany of the north, the Bradenburg area of Germany is another of the must-see areas when you purchase a canal boat in Germany. Travelling on a northwesterly course, you can explore the open spaces of the Havel River valley. Navigating this river gives you access to the Westhavelland Nature Park.

Where to go when you find a canal boat for sale in the Netherlands

Another nation that is ideally suited to travelling via boat is the Netherlands. A vast network of canals covers the entire country, allowing you to move from one town to another with perfect ease. After finding a canal boat for sale in Holland, you can choose from a string of different routes around the country. Starting from the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, you can navigate your way around the famous canals of the city, stopping to visit iconic attractions such as the Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Anne Frank’s home and the Heineken Experience.

You can leave Amsterdam in a variety of directions using the extensive canal system. Heading north, you can explore the sparsely populated and beautiful northern reaches of the country.

This includes the famous cheese-making town of Edam and the idyllic Lake Alkmaardermeer where a variety of wildlife can be seen. The nearby Akersloot region is a picture perfect example of the Netherland’s waterways, with picturesque views of rolling farmland and quintessential Dutch windmills.

Heading south from Amsterdam allows you to boat through the heart of Holland and on through Loosdrecht, a landscape dotted with dikes, open water, canals and idyllic lakeside villages. Boating further south from Loosdrecht, you will then come to the town of Utrecht. Known for its medieval centre and tree-lined canals. Utrecht has its own dutch city charm that can compete with the capital Amsterdam.

Go boating through the Emerald Isle

Securing a canal boat for sale in Ireland allows you to travel across the island in style and really take in every nook and cranny of the beautiful country. Covered in all directions by a series of rivers and canals, exploring the length and breadth of the country can be done with ease. The main and most famous route through the country is via the River Shannon, a river that runs through the country and allows you to navigate your way through Ireland’s most picturesque surroundings.

Starting from Carrick-on-Shannon in County Leitrim, you can start your journey along the Shannon River, going in a northerly direction. First arriving at Keshcarrigan, boaters will notice a quintessential idyllic Irish village, with an ancient pagan burial site overlooking the nearby lough. Continuing north, you’ll eventually arrive at the town of Ballinamore.

Ballinamore has a traditional beauty to it, one that makes it a perfect stopping off point on your journey down the river. With charming Irish houses and green flowery gardens, there is so much to enjoy in Ballinamore.

Moving further on, you will eventually arrive at the border regions of Ireland and the UK near Leitrim. This border region is renowned for its stunning beauty and delightful fishing spots. Close to this region is the Lough Key Forest Park, a stunning lough surrounded by an 800-hectare park. The water itself is part of local legend and myth, with the lake being named after a druid named Cé, who drowned here during the formation of the lake. Getting out of the boat and exploring the wider park will reward you with views of Myriad Islands; Castle Island, which houses a medieval castle, Stag Island, Bullock Island, Drummond Island and more.

riverboat for sale europe

Why choose Locaboat?

Locaboat Holidays has been the industry specialist for boating holidays and waterways cruises since 1977. Inventor of the Pénichette ® , Locaboat is as famous for the friendliness and quality of its customer service as for the comfort and easy handling of its boats. When you rent a boat from Locaboat, you’ll benefit from the advice of local experts who are passionate about boating and will do their utmost to make sure you enjoy a wonderful holiday.

riverboat for sale europe

More than 200 routes throughout Europe

riverboat for sale europe

1.4 million customers since 1977

riverboat for sale europe

97% of our customers would recommend us

riverboat for sale europe

More than 40 years of expertise to draw on

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  • Boats for Sale
  • River Boats

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OWNER!! 2016 North River Seahawk 21 with Yamaha 9.9 Kicker! Trailer included! This 2016 North River Seahawk 21 is a versatile vessel that comes with a Honda 150 4-stroke engine...

Broom Boats River Boat

Henley on Thames (United Kingdom)

Henley Sales and Charter

Kyrenia was constructed as Kyrenia of Brundall in 1961 at the venerable yard of Broom boats in Brundall. This particular design was known as the Broom Robb and was a popular family cruiser with...

Viking 61 Enclosed Bridge

Puerto Cabello, VE (United States of America)

2006 Viking 61 Enclosed Bridge- Luxury Afloat! Experience luxury and performance like never before with the 2006 Viking 61 Enclosed Bridge. Meticulously crafted, this yacht offers an elegant in...

Viking 55 Convertible

DO, Dominican Republic (United States of America)

TOP FEATURES: - 3 cabins - 3 heads - Salon - Dining table - Freezer - Microwave - TV - A/C - Electronic equipment - Garmin GPS - Generator: Onan 21 Kw (12V)

Viking 54 Convertible

PR, PUERTO RICO (United States of America)

Viking 54 Convertible “Wet Dream” is the ideal offshore fishing machine/ cruiser utilizing every square inch of space to maximize comfort for anglers and guests. Powered with MAN 1550 CRM engin...

Viking Billfish

United States of America

Borden Yachts

2021 MAN 16 (Engine 1) Engine Type: Inboard Fuel Type: Diesel Hours: 500 Power: 800 hp 2021 MAN 16 (Engine 2) Engine Type: Inboard Fuel Type: Diesel Hours: 500 P...

Gibbs & Son Dunkirk Little Ship

CA (United States of America)

Of course all Dunkirk Little Ships are unique with their link being their presence and participation in Operation Dynamo when the British navy was boosted by hundreds of small ships which had b...

Bayliner 285 Cruiser

Sunny Isles, (United States of America)

This is a nice example of a well-kept Bayliner 285 that is ready to cruise today! Contact Peter Kelly to setup your private showing at.

The Warren (United States of America)

MULE PRO DXT *****Special Offer Warren Display Model Save £3600***** The utility vehicle of choice for many. The MULE Pro-DXT stands at the top of the Kawasaki MULE series...

Miami, (United States of America)

Main Salon - Large L-shaped couch gray fabric - Storage underneath couch - Teak coffee table - Beige woven safivea carpet - Crown stereo and amplifier marantz - Focal audio throughout vess...

PBW River Launch

Blue Duck is the result of several months of collaboration between a discerning client and her chosen boatbuilder, Hamish Patterson of PBW in Hawkshead. The client knew she wanted something bes...

Frazier River Boat

THAMES (United Kingdom)

How many vessels can witness their original builder coming on board aged over 90 at the helm of a boat built by them decades earlier? Merita is one of these rare birds, built in Falmouth and re...

River and Tides River Boat

Kingston on Thames (United Kingdom)

Built by Rivers and Tides in Germany fifteen years ago then finished to my specification by Dennetts here on the Thames and with just two owners from new, Moules Frites is a smart and unique 17...

Custom Boats river boat

She can best be described as an Eastern European version of a Riva (a fast little motorboat) probably built for the lakes outside Berlin in the former East Germany in the vicinity of Kopernick....

Balt Yacht SunCamper 35

Bray (United Kingdom)

Bray Marine Sales

This 2023 Balt Yacht SunCamper 35 was supplied by ourselves, and the highest specification sold to date in the UK. Fitted with the largest engine option of the Yamaha 115hp mak...

Marlow (United Kingdom)

Boat Showrooms

A rare opportunity to purchase this very sought after 2013 Piper 65M. Specification includes 2 cabin, 6 berth layout, 150hp Beta diesel Engine, 10 Kva Generator, Hydraulic b...

***New Arrival*** Are rare opportunity purchase this 2016 Piper 49L with mid-ship wheelhouse & aft cabin.Specification includes 2 cabin layout, 105 HP Beta diesel, 5Kva ...

Stofberg Dutch Barge

Historic cruising Dutch barge built in 1901 and now over one hundred years later she is resplendent having been given a new lease of life as a cruising houseboat. She is currently fitted out as...

Discovery Sunline 31

Upton upon severn (United Kingdom)

Tingdene Boat Sales Limited

The Discovery Sunline 31 is a well equiped 6 berth cruiser with 3 cabin areas. The cockpit features a large seating and social dining area for up to 8 people. This spac...

Maidenhead (United Kingdom)

This stylish modern 6-berth cruiser is a refreshing change from the dated riverboat designs of the 70s, providing a user-friendly boat for rivers and lakes with enough space fo...

GS 25 Cruiser

TheGS 25is for those who desire a traditional inboard shaft drive displacement cruiser but still with modern amenities. The classic lines with its long and deep coc...

Johnson & Jago River Cruiser Canal

United Kingdom

Private seller

River Crusier Canel Boat Used Mainly on Windermere This is a one owner boat that has been lovely looked after and is only being sold due to bereavement. This is a Hand Crafted BoatBu...

Broom Boats Navigator Class

Norfolk Yacht Agency (United Kingdom)

Norfolk Yacht Agency Ltd

BROOM NAVIGATOR Powered by a Nanni N4.50 (50hp) diesel engine fitted in 2016. Navigator 1, the original Broom Navigator has undergone extensive renovation in her current ownership and is in trul...

* Price displayed is based on today's currency conversion rate of the listed sales price.

ABOUT RIVER BOATS

River boats cover a broad spectrum of vessels, from small fishing skiffs to large houseboats . When searching for used river boats for sale, consider the best size and style for the river conditions. Narrow search results by brand, location, or price point to find the best-suited used river boat.

Main Characteristics of River Boats

River boats come in all shapes and sizes, from the smallest skiffs to large river barges. While the size and flow of the river will impact what kind of boats are most suited to traversing them, what many river boats have in common is their flat or shallow V-hulls. This allows them to navigate shallow river waters with ease. But that doesn't mean that ocean-going boats can't also navigate rivers, and you'll often see sailboats and sport boats on rivers, too.

Whether the boat is being used as a fishing boat, for long-term living aboard, or as a day cruiser will determine what characteristics make it ideal for the role. A houseboat for example, will have ample living space and home comforts, while fishing boats need to be small, lightweight and capable of navigating shallow or marshy areas.

Types of River Boats

River houseboats offer a home on the water and are very specific styles of vessel. They focus on living space and comfort over cruising (they can be either cruising or non-cruising/static styles) and offer couples or families the chance to live self-sufficiently by using features such as solar panels and LPG. They'll usually incorporate several cabins, a full-sized galley, saloon, head, and plenty of deck space. They come in all shapes, sizes, and price points so the market is hugely varied.

The trusty Jon boat offers excellent river daytripping thanks to its flat bottom and tough hull made from aluminum or fiberglass. Suitable for even shallow rivers and waterways, Jon boats can be well-equipped for fishing expeditions. And thanks to their compact and lightweight properties, they can be launched and trailered easily from river slips.

Unlike the Jon boat, a bass boat has a modified V-hull that allows it to cut through rougher waters on larger rivers and river mouths/bays. Bass boats are purpose-built for bass fishing (and often duck hunting), and designed to navigate the shallows and reed-laden shores of rivers and inland waters.

Skiffs , too, land in the category of river boats thanks to their small size, flat bottoms, and ability to navigate tight spots and shallow areas. These are best suited to smaller rivers and waterways, and are typically able to carry a couple of passengers for a day of fishing or sightseeing.

Canal Boats/Barges

In Europe, traditional canal boats , narrowboats , and barges ply the rivers. These long, slim boats are designed with hulls that run efficiently at displacement speeds and don't create a large wake that erodes riverbanks. They have cabins, heads, saloons, and galleys, and the outdoor space is usually on the roof.

Best River Boat Brands

With such a broad spectrum of boats on rivers, there is unsurprisingly a broad selection of brands too. When it comes to Jon boats, brands such as Lund , Crestliner , and Tracker are highly regarded in the industry, as are Lowe , Pelican, and Excel . Many of these brands also build quality bass boats, using their fishing expertise in this different sector. Other brands to consider when looking to buy a bass boat include Ranger , Nitro , and Skeeter .

On the opposite end of the size scale, houseboat builders are constructing large liveaboard vessels designed with all the home comforts for long-term river life. Brands such as Gibson Boats , American Houseboat, and Trifecta Houseboats build modern, luxurious houseboats with plenty of amenities. On the other side of the Atlantic, brands such as Collingwood , Aintree Boats, and Braidbar are just some of the canalboat brands creating traditional narrowboats designed for the narrow canals of Europe and the UK.

Why Choose a River Boat?

While any boat can theoretically be a river boat if the river is deep enough for the boat's draft, boats designed specifically for rivers allow for more activities. Small, flat-bottomed fishing boats can navigate even the shallowest waters and readch some of the best fishing grounds, while large houseboats designed for living on rather than cruising, means many more home comforts and self-sustainability.

Why are River Boats Popular?

Inland waterways offer some of the most beautiful cruising grounds there are, as well as good access to fishing and hunting. Whether a boat is designed as a liveaboard, or is a small aluminum or fiberglass fishing boat, they make popular choices for those looking to navigate on the tranquil rivers and canals in comfort and safety.

This article was written by Samantha Wilson in February 2024.

MANUFACTURERS IN RIVER BOATS

River boats by make, river boats by country.

Cruise Routes (Interactive Map)

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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

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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

riverboat for sale europe

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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Moscow - Russian Rivers and Waterways Port of Call

riverboat for sale europe

Moscow is a wonderful city to visit, and travelers on river ship cruise tours to or from St. Petersburg spend a few days in Moscow . This capital city of Russia was our last port on a river cruise tour, and we had about four days to see most of the highlights. Our first day we did an overview driving tour and rode the subway under the Mockba (Moscow) River to Red Square. The next day we toured the State Armory and the Kremlin.

These photos show some of the other highlights you can see with three or four days in Moscow .

The Northern River Terminal is located on the Moscow Canal in the northwest section of Moscow at the Khimki Reservoir.

Most river cruise ships sailing between Moscow and St. Petersburg use the ship as a hotel while in Moscow. Because of traffic, it's often a long drive into the city, but the sights along the way are interesting, and you only have to unpack once for the river cruise.

View of Downtown Moscow from Sparrow Hills

Sparrow Hills is the best place to get a great panoramic view of Moscow. The Sparrow Hills overlook the Mockba River and are near Moscow State University.

Novodevichy Convent in Moscow

Novodevichy Convent in Moscow was founded in 1524, and was once used as a sort of prison for the unwanted wives and sisters of the Tsars. Peter the Great sent both his first wife and his sister to Novodevichy. Since the convent had such famous nuns, it was very wealthy due to the many donations of the Tsars and their families. At one time in the 1700s, the cloister had over 36,000 serfs working in 36 villages. Novodevichy was ravaged by the French armies in 1812, but the brave nuns saved the buildings by disarming the fuses set to blow them up. The Soviets wanted to make the convent into a museum in the early 1920s, but it was again saved.

Novodevichy also has a cemetery with the graves of many famous Russians, including Nikita Khrushchev, Anton Chekhov, Raisa Gorbachev, and Yuri Nikulin.

View of the Mockba River in Moscow, Russia

The Mockba (Moscow) River runs into the Volga via the 79.5 mile long Moscow Canal.

River ships sailing between Moscow and St. Petersburg on the Baltic Waterways embark and disembark at the Northern River Terminal about an hour's drive from the city. The drive time can vary significantly in length because of the heavy Moscow traffic. The river looks peaceful here, as it winds around the cosmopolitan area of Moscow.

Cathedral of Christ the Redeemer (Cathedral of Christ the Savior) in Moscow

The Cathedral of Christ the Redeemer, also known as the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, is the largest church in Russia, holding 10,000 worshipers.

The original Cathedral of Christ the Savior was built over 44 years to celebrate the 1812 victory over Napoleon. It was completed in 1883. Stalin had the church destroyed in 1931, but it was rebuilt using mostly private funds in 1999. The new church is a replica of the original. Note that it took 44 years the first time and only 4 years the second to complete the church! Isn't modern technology impressive.

One interesting tidbit is that it took three attempts to blow up the church in 1931. Stalin planned to build a huge Palace of the Soviets on the cleared land, but engineers determined that the land was too boggy. In the 60 years intervening, the space was used for a variety of things, including a year-round swimming pool!

Vendors' Market and Ski Jump at Sparrow Hills in Moscow

The panoramic view of Moscow from Sparrow Hills is a stopover for most tour groups, so we were not surprised to see a large number of vendors. The ski jump was a surprise, but Moscow gets very cold in winter, so winter sports are very popular. This ski jump is near Moscow State University and has a great view of the city. Seeing this ski jump reminded me of the famous Holmenkollen Ski Jump in Oslo, which also has a great view of that northern capital city.

Russian Soldiers' Memorial in Victory Park in Moscow

Matryoshka dolls for sale in moscow.

I thought this display of dolls was beautiful! The Matryoshka nesting dolls range in price from just a few dollars to thousands of dollars.

Central Museum of Armed Forces in Moscow, Russia

This small band greeted us at the Central Museum of Armed Forces in Moscow. They played a variety of band music and made us all feel very welcome.

Grand Triumphal Arch Celebrates the Victory Over Napoleon in the War of 1812

This arch looks a little like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and it is located near the Victory Park Metro Station in Moscow.

This Grand Triumphal Arch is decorated with the coats of arms from the 48 Russian provinces. To celebrate the victory over France in the war of 1812, it also includes bas-reliefs of the "Expulsion of the French." The arch was originally built in 1834, but has only been on this site since 1968.

It is a little ironic that this arch resembles the Paris Arc de Triomphe , which Napoleon built between 1806 and 1836 to celebrate his French victories.

Moscow Metro Station at the Ploshchad Revolyutsii (Revolution Square)

This station near Red Square has many statues honoring the workers of Russia.

Moscow Metro Station near Victory Park

The Metro in Moscow is one of its shining industrial achievements. Construction on the Metro was begun in 1931 and continues today. The system has over 165 stations and 155 miles of track. Over 9300 trains, traveling sometimes as fast as 56 mph, navigate the huge system each day. Almost 10 million people ride the Moscow Metro every day, which is more than the New York and London systems combined. We found the Metro to be very efficient, with trains arriving every few minutes.

Navigating the Metro system can be somewhat of a problem for non-Russian speaking riders. Most of the signage is in Cyrillic only, and the stations are quite large. Trying to find the correct exit while walking long distances underground can be challenging.

On our cruise tour, we rode the Metro as a group with our program director from near Victory Park under the Mockba River to Red Square. Several of the group ventured out on their own during our time in Moscow, and many rode the Metro. They all returned with stories of getting lost underground, but none seemed the worse for the experience, and they all loved telling the tales.

Red Square in Moscow

Red Square in Moscow is a must-see for visitors to the capital city of Russia.

The Kremlin in Moscow, Russia

The Kremlin is a favorite of Moscow tourists. Inside these walls are buildings for the government of Russia, cathedrals, and the wonderful State Armory museum.

Taras Bulba Restaurant in Moscow

We enjoyed a traditional Ukrainian lunch at this cute restaurant in Moscow before checking in at our hotel.

Buses Wait for Passengers Outside Museum

River cruise tour groups are usually divided into groups for the duration of the tour. Each group had their own bus when touring.

Military Airplanes at the Central Museum of Armed Forces in Moscow, Russia

Although much of the military museum was indoors, there was quite a collection of planes, helicopters, missile launchers, and tanks outside.

Foreign Ministry Building, One of Moscow's Seven Stalinist-Gothic Skyscrapers

Seven skyscrapers with layers giving them a "wedding cake" appearance dot the Moscow skyline. The style is considered Stalinist-Gothic.

Russian and American War Veterans at the Central Museum of Armed Forces

Meeting with some World War II Russian War veterans was a highlight of our day at the Central Museum of Armed Forces in Moscow.

Rocket Launchers and Missiles at the Central Museum of Armed Forces in Moscow

The inside of this museum is particularly impressive, but you will need a guide since all of the signage is only in Russian.

Old Arbat Pedestrian Shopping Area in Moscow

We all enjoyed exploring the shops on this mile-long pedestrian shopping area.

Food prices were high in the tourist attraction, with two small pizzas, two small beers, and a bottle of water at an outdoor cafe costing $40. Many of our group ate at the large McDonalds, where prices were more reasonable.

Female Cosmonaut Model at Star City Cosmonaut Training Center near Moscow

Female cosmonauts play an important role in the Russian space program. In 1963, Valentina Tereshkova from Yaroslavl was the first woman in space.

Souvenir Shop in Old Arbat Shopping Area in Moscow

The area of Old Arbat had many English signs to attract the tourist trade.

Centrifuge at Star City Outside Moscow, Russia

This 18 meter centrifuge is the world's largest. The centrifuge weighs over 30000 tons, and the maximum load is 30 G, but most tests are run at 3 or 4 G.

A centrifuge ride is the first test for a cosmonaut, whose entire training school takes from five to eight years. The centrifuge can simulate the extreme force of gravity that cosmonauts (and astronauts) face when going into space. A centrifuge training session lasts about 30 minutes, and the trainee experiences both the centrifugal force as well as the spin of the pod he/she is riding in. Just typing this makes me a little queasy!

Cosmonaut's Bathroom Facilities on First Space Flights at Star City

Just like in the USA, everyone who visits the Star City cosmonaut training center near Moscow wants to know how cosmonauts "go to the bathroom". They have more sophisticated equipment today, but this contraption from the early space flights is fairly self explanatory.

Star City Tank Used for Cosmonaut Weightlessness Training near Moscow

This 12-meter deep pool is used to simulate weightlessness training. The pool is flooded and the cosmonauts perform repair tasks on the model of the International Space Station. SCUBA diving underwater is very similar to the weightless experience the cosmonauts experience when working in outer space.

Mir Space Station Replica at Star City near Moscow

The original Mir disintegrated when it fell to earth in 2001. Mir, which means peace in Russian, was launched in 1986.

Marvel Paull with Statue of Yuri Gagarin at Star City near Moscow

Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space, and the Star City Cosmonaut training center was named after him in 1968.

River Cruise Passengers with Yuri Onufrienko, Russian Cosmonaut at Star City

In case you can't tell, Yuri is the one in the middle. My famous traveling mother, Marvel Paull, is on the left and Dick, a cruise friend is on the right.

A highlight of our day in Star City was a visit with Yuri Onufrienko , a Russian cosmonaut who spent extended time in space at the Mir space station in 1996 and the International Space Station in 2001-2002. Yuri patiently took many questions from our small inquisitive group.

Cosmonaut Space Suit at Star City near Moscow

Cosmonauts sit in this position on take off. Thanks to Jerry G. for the tip about the sign. It says, "Don't touch!"

Stained Glass Window at Star City near Moscow

Program directors at farewell dinner in moscow.

After 16 days of discovery, learning, and fun, we had a farewell dinner with the six Program Directors - Evgeny, Olga, Vladimir, Svetlana, Violetta, and Marina - in Moscow.

The Kremlin is a triangular, walled citadel in the center of Moscow. The Kremlin is considered by most to be the heart of the city. First conceived in the 12th century, the Kremlin (which means fortress) was expanded by Tsar Ivan III (Ivan the Great) during the 15th century. His architects designed the magnificent Cathedral of the Assumption and the Faceted Palace, and the Kremlin was an interesting mix of both Russian and Renaissance styles. During the Soviet time of the 1930s, many of the Kremlin buildings were destroyed or vandalized, and the complex remained closed to the public until 1955.

Today the Kremlin is home to the Russian President and his administration. Many buildings are open to the public, but you may need to be with a guide (check in advance).

I visited the Kremlin when in Moscow on a Russian Waterways cruise tour from St. Petersburg.

The Kremlin was also one of the 21 finalists for the New Seven Wonders of the World.  

Red Square in Moscow, Russia

Red Square's name has nothing to do with Communism or Soviet Russia. The old Russian word for "beautiful" and "red" was the same; the square was supposed to be called "Beautiful Square". Red Square has been the center of Moscow activity since the 16th century when the Tsar cleared the area and allowed vendors, shoppers, and businesses to fill the square. Today this square is surrounded by the Moscow Kremlin, the State Historical Museum, GUM Shopping Mall , and St. Basil's Cathedral .

Many of the important events of the last three hundred years in Russia have been marked by parades or demonstrations in Red Square. Anyone who enters Red Square will have memories from TV or movie reels of this magnificent public square. Those of us who grew up during the Cold War era can remember the parades of soldiers, tanks, and other armaments past Lenin's Tomb just outside the Kremlin Wall. The World War II generation remembers Red Square as the site of a huge victory celebration at the end of the war.

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Russian Tours and Cruises from Express to Russia

  • Moscow St. Petersburg Cruise

Moscow Cruise Route

Frequently asked questions from our travelers, what is the best time of the year to go on a moscow - st. petersburg river cruise.

The cruises are operated from the month of May until the beginning of fall. The best weather conditions during this period are usually from June through late July, but if you are looking for a trip at a more relaxed pace with less tourists in the cities on the route, we highly recommend to take a look at the months of May and September.  For more info, please see our useful tips .

Which cities and towns will I visit on a Moscow - St. Petersburg cruise?

The cruise itinerary covers all the main and the most important locations on the route. During the cruise you will have a chance to get acquainted not only with Moscow and St. Petersburg, but also with smaller towns and villages like Goritsy, Kizhi, Yaroslavl, Mandrogui. The number of cities and towns to be visited and the exact itinerary vary depending on the duration of the cruise.

Is it better to start the cruise in Moscow or in St. Petersburg?

The starting point of the cruise is totally up to you. You won’t miss any important sights whether you start the cruise in Moscow or in St. Petersburg. We always recommend checking the flight schedules from your city first in order to decide whether it is more convenient for you to fly into Moscow or St Petersburg.

A Russian Land Tour or a River cruise - which is better?

This decision completely depends on your preferred way of travelling. During the Russian river cruise you will not only visit the two largest cities of Russia, but also small towns and villages along the route and you will have a chance to participate in master classes, learn a little Russian language and dive into local Russian culture and hospitality. For those who prefer custom-made programs and more free time in the cities of their choice we recommend a land tour, both are excellent options. To find out more about the differences click here .

Do I need a visa for a Russian River Cruise?

If your citizenship is not on the list of countries with visa-free access to Russia, you will need a valid Russian visa. Please make sure to start the process in a timely manner, so as to avoid any last-minute pressure. More details on Russian Visas can be found here .

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The river cruise ship 'Heidelberg' is seen following an accident on Danube river, near Komarom

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Suspected German 'Reichsbuerger' coup plotters go on trial, in Frankfurt

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Workers erect a barrier to block the view of a popular Mount Fuji photo spot, in Fujikawaguchiko town

Swarmed with tourists, Japan town blocks off viral view of Mt. Fuji

Japan's majestic Mt. Fuji was some 700,000 years in the making, but on one sultry May morning, it was gone.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu arrives to his Likud party faction meeting at the Knesset,in Jerusalem

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Russia seizes Deutsche Bank, UniCredit assets

A Russian court has ruled that Deutsche Bank and UniCredit's assets in Russia are to be seized, documents showed.

European banks have largely exited Russia after Moscow launched its offensive on Kyiv in 2022.

A court in Saint Petersburg ruled in favour of seizing 239 million euros ($260 million) from Deutsche Bank, documents dated May 16 showed.

The same day, it ordered the seizure of around 463 million euros worth of assets belonging to Italy's UniCredit.

Both decisions were issued in answer to a request from RusKhimAlians, which was planning to build a major gas processing and liquefaction plant in cooperation with German company Linde, which pulled out of the project due to Russia's military assault.

RusKhimAlians sued UniCredit and Deutsche Bank -- both guarantors of the project.

UniCredit was one of the European banks most exposed to Russia when Moscow started its 2022 campaign in Ukraine, with a large local subsidiary operating in the country.

It began preliminary discussions on a sale last year, but the talks haven't advanced.

Chief executive Andrea Orcel said UniCredit wants to leave Russia, but said that gifting an operation worth three billion euros was not a good way to respect the spirit of Western sanctions on Moscow over the war.

Nevertheless, UniCredit has gradually reduced its exposure to Russia and managed to increase the ratio of its capital to risk-weighted assets to 16 percent from 15 percent last year.

For more news like this visit The Economic Times .

Russia seizes Deutsche Bank, UniCredit assets

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British twins went on vacation in Mexico and faced a life-or-death battle

Three years ago Melissa and Georgia Laurie were swimming in a river when a crocodile dragged Melissa under water. Georgia fought the crocodile, and now King Charles has given her a medal for bravery.

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Soldiers stand outside in the snow. Tanks and other military equipment are in the background.

Putin Is Selling Victory, and Many Russians Are Buying It

Vladimir Putin’s message to his country appears to be taking hold: that Russia is fighting against the whole Western world — and winning.

Military cadets at an exhibition of equipment captured from NATO countries in front of the Victory Museum in Moscow. Credit...

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By Valerie Hopkins

Photographs by Nanna Heitmann

Reporting from Moscow

  • May 15, 2024

The word “victory” is everywhere in Moscow these days.

It is being projected from gargantuan LED screens alongside major intersections and highways and written on red flags whipping in the wind. It’s prominent at an exhibit of Western weapons destroyed on Ukrainian battlefields and lugged back to Moscow as war trophies on display in — where else? — Victory Park.

Victory is precisely the message that President Vladimir V. Putin, 71, has sought to project as he has been feted with pomp and pageantry after another electoral success, while his army sweeps through Ukrainian villages in a stunning new offensive in the northeast.

“Together, we will be victorious!” Mr. Putin said at his inauguration last week after securing a fifth term as president. Two days later, the country celebrated Victory Day, Russia’s most important public holiday, which commemorates the Soviet contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

Honor guard members walk down a red carpet in the center of a large hallway as people look on from either side.

During the first year of the invasion, many Russians were shocked and ashamed by the war; hundreds of thousands left the country. During the second year, they were concerned about a potential second wave of mobilization.

But with the war now in its third year, many Russians seem to have learned to accept it, interviews over the last week and recent polling show. And “victory” is an easy sell in Mr. Putin’s Russia.

Western sanctions have inflicted few economic hardships. The military news from Ukraine is increasingly positive. Yes, soldiers are still returning in coffins, but mostly to families in the hinterlands , not among the Moscow elite. And for many, the deaths only reinforce the idea, pushed by state news media and driven home relentlessly by Mr. Putin, that Russia is facing an existential threat from the West.

“We can feel that victory is near,” said Andrei, 43, who said he traveled to Moscow for the May 9 holiday celebrations from the Chita region, almost 3,000 miles from the capital.

Like others interviewed for this story, he declined to provide his last name, indicating apparent mistrust of Western news media.

He was among those who braved the cold and even snow to visit the collection of recently captured Western military equipment. (Ukraine also displays destroyed Russian tanks in the center of Kyiv). But the brash exhibit in Moscow, with flags on the equipment showing which countries donated them to Ukraine, fits Russia’s narrative that it is fighting against the whole developed world — and winning.

“When you see all this, and all these flags, it is clear that the whole world is supplying weapons and you know that a world war is going on,” Andrei said. “It’s Russia against the whole world, as usual.”

Ivan, another visitor to Victory Park, waited his turn to pose in front of the rusted and charred hulk of the German Leopard tank, flashing a smile and giving a thumbs up as his friend photographed him. People jostled for a spot beside a similarly destroyed American-made M1 Abrams tank.

“There has been so much talk about these Abrams, about these Leopards, and what is the result?” said Ivan, 26.

“They are all standing here, we are looking at them, we see what condition they are in. This is great!” He smiled.

The bravado exhibited by Russians like Andrei and Ivan this month mirrors the confident posture of Mr. Putin as he steers Russia past economic challenges and to greater battlefield advantage in Ukraine.

His inauguration included a church service in which he was blessed by the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill I, who expressed hope that the president would remain in power until “the end of the century.”

According to the Levada Center, an independent polling institution, about 75 percent of Russians profess support for their army’s actions in Ukraine. (About a quarter of the population is against the war, the poll and other research shows, but protests are effectively banned, and repression is so intense that many people are afraid to acknowledge or share antiwar or anti-government content online).

Thousands who fled Russia have returned. Their lives have adapted to the new normal, and have actually changed less than those in the West might expect.

“It’s what, the 13th package of sanctions they’re making?” Ivan said, laughing. “So far, we don’t feel anything.”

Robots built by Yandex, Russia’s homegrown version of Google, can be seen traversing Moscow’s sidewalks making deliveries. Inflation is under control, at least for now. According to a report last month by Forbes, the number of billionaires in Moscow — measured in U.S. dollars — increased so much that the city moved up four spots in the global rankings, behind only New York City.

“Most of the brands that allegedly left Russia have not gone anywhere,” said Andrei, adding that he and his daughter planned to have lunch at a rebranded K.F.C. What had changed, he said, was that “the consolidation of society has taken place” over the rationale for the war, as well as the conservative social values Mr. Putin is pushing.

Mr. Putin and others trumpeted that apparent cohesion when the official results of his preordained election victory in March were announced, with a record 88 percent of the vote going to the incumbent, a figure that Western democracies decried as a sham.

“Russia is such a complicated, multiethnic country that to understand it and govern it, you need more than one term,” said Oleg V. Panchurin, 32, a veteran of the war in Ukraine.

“If it’s going to be President Putin, then I would be happy if he served 10 terms,” said Mr. Panchurin, who said had been recently wounded near Zaporizhzhia by a Ukrainian drone.

Some civilians who were interviewed said they were pleased the president had taken a hard-line conservative position promoting traditional family values.

Zhenya, 36, and his girlfriend, Masha, expressed gratitude that the government had “finally handled the L.G.B.T.Q. issue” — by banning what it called the “L.G.B.T.Q. movement.” The pair were attending a 1940s-themed Victory Day celebration in a park in central Moscow where participants fox-trotted and waltzed as a live military band played.

With no one who could credibly replace him, the prospect that Mr. Putin will stay in power as long as he is alive feels increasingly possible to ordinary Russians, said Andrei Kolesnikov, a Moscow-based senior fellow at the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center.

“Everyone understands that this is for a long time,” he said. “The longer he is in power, the more apprehension there is about who will be next, who will be worse.”

“We are moving closer to a scenario where we could see the effect of Stalin, when, after his death, people were crying, because people didn’t know how to live,” Mr. Kolesnikov added.

Russians who oppose the government say they increasingly fear that they will have to wait for Mr. Putin’s death for anything to change.

“I feel a very strong sense of hopelessness,” said Yulia, 48, a teacher who was visiting the grave of Aleksei A. Navalny, the opposition politician, in southeast Moscow. Mr. Navalny, who died in prison in an Arctic penal colony in February, had long been considered the only possible challenger to Mr. Putin. Yulia declined to use her last name out of fear of possible repercussions.

“I don’t see a way out of this,” she said.

Yulia’s son, Pavel, said, “We are sure that everything depends on the death of person in a certain place.” His mother shushed him, noticing the uniformed Russian National Guard forces that stood nearby; even in death, Mr. Navalny is still monitored closely by the government. Still, there was a steady stream of visitors to the grave.

On the other side of Moscow, mourners were still coming to show their respects to the 145 victims of the March 22 terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall, one of the deadliest in Europe in the past decade. Floral wreaths, plush toys and photos of the victims were placed near the destroyed concert hall.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, and American officials have blamed Islamic State Khorasan Province, or ISIS-K , a branch of the group. Even so, the Kremlin has sought to cast blame on Ukraine and the West.

One woman who declined to give her name said she was sure the West was behind it — despite the fact that the United States had warned Moscow of an imminent attack . According to the Levada Center, half of those polled believe Ukraine was behind the attack, with almost 40 percent saying Western intelligence services were involved.

Vladimir, 26, who was visiting the improvised memorial for the first time, said he didn’t blame the Kremlin for failing to heed the warnings.

“I want the terrorists to be destroyed,” said Vladimir, a supermarket employee. But the president, he said, was doing a great job. “He works so hard.”

“ May God keep him alive and healthy,” he said. “If, God forbid, Putin dies, what will happen to our country?”

Anastasia Kharchenko contributed reporting from Moscow and Alina Lobzina from London.

Valerie Hopkins covers the war in Ukraine and how the conflict is changing Russia, Ukraine, Europe and the United States. She is based in Moscow. More about Valerie Hopkins

Our Coverage of the War in Ukraine

News and Analysis

The United States and Europe are coalescing around a plan to use interest earned on frozen Russian central bank assets to provide Ukraine with a loan to be used for military and economic assistance .

The Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s talks with President Vladimir Putin of Russia were a show of solidarity  between two autocrats battling Western pressure.

Ukraine asked the Biden administration to provide more intelligence  on the position of Russian forces and military targets inside Russia.

Europe’s Defense Industry: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine jolted Europe out of complacency about military spending. But the challenges are about more than just money .

Putin’s Victory Narrative: The Russian leader’s message to his country appears to be taking hold : that Russia is fighting against the whole Western world — and winning.

A Boxing Win Offers Hope: The Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk became the world’s undisputed heavyweight champion, a victory that has lifted morale  in a country struggling to contain Russian advances.

How We Verify Our Reporting

Our team of visual journalists analyzes satellite images, photographs , videos and radio transmissions  to independently confirm troop movements and other details.

We monitor and authenticate reports on social media, corroborating these with eyewitness accounts and interviews. Read more about our reporting efforts .

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