New Pass Lets You Travel All Day on the River

For MTNew trips on the river include a tour around the island opposite the Kremlin and a daylong pass that lets you travel on as many river boats as you want.
Moscow is not very good at using its river. A few years ago when Moscow bid for the Summer Olympic Games, it promised to use the snake of the Moscow River as the traffic hub that would mark the games as its own, but London got the call for the 2012 games and the river idea was soon forgotten.

This year, as the river looks ever-so inviting on a hot summer day, there are finally a few new tricks thrown in for river journeys.

The Stolichnaya Sudokhodnaya Company, which runs most of the popular routes along the river, is offering daylong passes on its routes so that sightseers can get on and off the boat as many times as they like throughout the day and visit anywhere along the river.

Another new addition is a trip around what has been dubbed "Zolotoi Ostrov," or "Golden Island," across from the Kremlin. This tour departs from the lover-padlocked bridge near the Old Tretyakov Gallery and sails along Vodootvodny Canal. If you are lucky, the British ambassador will pop out to wave "hello" as your boat rolls past the British Embassy residence on Sofiiskaya Naberezhnaya.

Specially designed boats were ordered from a St. Petersburg shipyard to ferry guests through the canal's shallow waters and low-arching bridges. These boats will feature an open and closed salon, restrooms, snacks for sale and an audio tour guide. This tour made its debut over the May holidays.

The most popular tourist route runs from Kievsky Station to Novospassky Bridge. Find the wooden mooring not far from the Radisson Slavyanskaya Hotel to board at Kievskaya metro station. The boats run approximately every 20 minutes from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online or at one of the company's signature blue-and-white booths at river moorings throughout the city.

The older routes have their own river trams, which have been carrying passengers on the Moscow River for over 70 years. Routes run from the tree-lined shores of Moscow's far north, from the placid northern Serebryany Bor, through the historic center and all the way down to the city's southern outskirts at Marino.

"It gives you a panorama of Moscow; you understand where everything is. … It gives you the feeling of how large this city is and how vast Russia is," said Leila Kalniazova, a Moscow resident from Kazakhstan who is a big fan of the river tram trips.

Adult tickets for city tours are 400 rubles, children's tickets are 150 rubles and passengers under 6 years of age ride free. Daylong passes are 500 rubles for adults and 200 rubles for children. For more information about tour times or ticket availability, go to Tel. 225-60-70.