Trains, boats and plains

Combining Russian travel by rail and water is now on the cards with the first cruise from Moscow to Kazan, the World Heritage city 600 kilometres east of the capital.

Honoured by UNESCO and known for the fact that Muslim Tatars and Christians live side by side, travellers will see the Russian Orthodox Cathedral and Qolsharif Mosque next to one another within the walled fortress during a city wander.

The sailings to Kazan on the M/S Gorky include the riverside town of Uglich founded in 1188; Kostroma, with a working monastery; and Cheboksary, which includes a tipple at a beer museum.

From Kazan, travellers can jump on the Trans-Siberian Express on to Vladivostok or Beijing via Mongolia.

In India, the newest cruise ship on the Ganges starts its journeys on the upper reaches of the river between Farakka and Patna and the Hooghly River or Lower Ganges between Kolkata and Farakka from February.

The 50-metre Rajmahal, with extra-shallow draught, is designed for stretches of low water and low bridges.