The largest city in Europe and one of the most significant in the world, Moscow has inspired travellers for more than 800 years. It continues to draw visitors of all ages who are eager to discover historic and modern Russia.
The giant metropolis of Moscow grew along the winding banks of the Moskva River, and a river cruise is the most relaxing way to see iconic sights such as the Kremlin and Red Square without having to deal with traffic.
Cruise ships arrive and depart from Moscow at the North River Terminal (Rechnoy Vokzal) on the banks of the Moscow Canal, which connects the Moskva River to the Volga for cruises to Saint Petersburg and other destinations in Russia.
The canal and ports were built in 1937, one of the most tumultuous years in the country’s history, and the main terminal building retains the imposing aesthetic of the Stalin regime.
The North River Terminal lies 20 kilometres north-west of Moscow city centre at Khimki Reservoir. The journey from centrally located hotels usually takes 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on traffic.
If you are travelling from the airport, allow at least 2 hours’ from Domodedovo International Airport or 30 minutes from Sheremetyevo International Airport.
Moscow’s North River Terminal was originally built to accommodate cargo vessels, but today its 13 berths cater mainly to cruise ships and the local area has been extensively redeveloped to cater for overnight passengers.
- a selection of cafes, restaurants and bars
- museum attractions
- parks and recreational facilities.
Rechnoy Vokzal metro station is just a short walk from the terminal building, offering direct access to the city centre and other destinations around Moscow. If a cruise does not depart until the morning, passengers usually spend the night on their docked boat, or find hotels in the local area.
How to Get Around
If you are travelling to or from destinations in Moscow, your cruise line will normally arrange shuttle services. Alternatively, you can make use of taxi and bus services or avoid the traffic by taking the metro.
Travel times from Moscow North River Terminal
- 30–60 minutes to the city centre (taxi 450 rubles).
The most economical option for travelling between the port and the city is to take the metro. Rechnoy Vokzal station is a 20-minute walk from the cruise terminal, and from there major stations in central Moscow are less than 30 minutes’ travel.
- 25 minutes to Teatralnaya station and city centre.
- Currency - the currency of the Russian Federation is the Russian ruble. Notes are printed in denominations of 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, 1,000 and 5,000 rubles, with coins for 1, 2, 5 and 10 ruble values.
- Time Zone - while Russia spans 16 time zones, Moscow is in the west of the country, so it is 3 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
- Weather - Moscow's continental climate ranges between freezing winters and warm, humid summers. Peak average temperatures reach 24º Celsius in July and drop to -10 º Celsius in February, with rainfall being more frequent in the warmer months of the year.
- Red Square - located in the very heart of Moscow, Red Square is many visitors’ first port of call in the capital. Originally a market square, Red Square is today a bustling pedestrian area connecting many of the city’s top attractions and dominated by the Lenin Mausoleum, as well as being the natural choice for celebrations held throughout the year.
- Saint Basil’s Cathedral - this colourful cathedral to the south of Red Square has been a Russian icon since its completion in 1561. Once considered for demolition by Joseph Stalin, the building was spared and is today protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The Kremlin - no trip to Moscow would be complete without exploring this historic red-walled fortress on the bank of the Moskva River. Home to palaces, churches, museums and theatres, the Kremlin is a city within a city and has played a central role in every stage of Russia’s dynamic history.
- Victory Park - Moscow’s most visited park, this memorial to the sacrifices of World War II was opened on the 50th anniversary of the conflict’s end in 1995. The grounds feature attractive landscaped gardens, fountains and statues, as well as a reflective and poignant war museum.