Russia is a whole new place come winter, with its snow-dusted cities and the festivities of Russian Orthodox Christmas in full swing.
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).
Airport transfers depart from St. Petersburg Airport at 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm. In the evening, meet your Tour Director for a warm, friendly Welcome Reception and an opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
Morning sightseeing with a Local Expert includes views of St. Isaac’s Cathedral and Decembrists’ Square. Travel down Nevsky Prospekt for views of B the great Cathedral of Kazan and onion-domed Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood. With the afternoon at leisure, why not explore the festivities of the annual International Winter Festival where St. Petersburg showcases an array of culture from the regions of Russia, combined with Christmas traditions from all over the world?
In the little town of Pushkin, visit St. Catherine’s Palace with a Local Expert. A ‘Golden Enfilade’ of suites lead to the restored Amber Room, a truly unique and spectacular chamber solely decorated with amber panels, gold leaves and mirrors. Later, cross the Neva River to Peter and Paul Fortress, where St. Petersburg’s foundation stone was laid in 1703. With a Local Expert, visit the fortress to see the imperial tombs of the Romanov rulers and learn the secrets of Russian history.
Visit the Hermitage, one of the world’s greatest museums. Located in the Winter Palace, wander through this fabulous collection of paintings and objets d’art, ranging from Egyptian carvings to Impressionist masterpieces. The rest of the day is free.
In the morning, perhaps visit the former residence of the Yusupov family and the scene of Rasputin’s murder? Then board your high-speed Sapsan train to Moscow.
Begin your exploration of the Russian capital with a Local Expert. Start in Red Square, lined by Moscow’s landmark buildings. At one end, rises the onion-shaped domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral. In front of the Kremlin, stands Lenin’s Mausoleum. During your stay, you will also visit one of the Metro stations that Stalin called ‘palaces for the people’. Gain a local insight into the themes depicted among the marble, mosaics, sculptures and chandeliers. In your free time, why not view the crown jewels and Fabergé Egg collection of the Imperial Russian Family? You may like to wrap up warm and venture out to explore the dazzling festivities of the Christmas season. Snow-covered stalls are crowned with twinkling fairylights, while vendors serve warm drinks and food. When Moscow’s ‘Journey into Christmas’ begins, each district becomes part of the festival, offering everything from exciting street shows and concerts, to master cooking classes of traditional Russian foods. There really is something for everyone.
With the morning at leisure, you can use your time as the final chance to collect a few souvenirs. The Christmas Markets offer plenty of unique art pieces and classic Russian ornaments. Perhaps visit the Borodino Panorama Exhibition, or take an optional experience to Zagorsk - renowned as a center of ancient Russian art and architecture? In the afternoon, walk inside the walls of the Kremlin Fortress to visit one of the cathedrals and the Armoury Chamber. On your last night, enjoy delicious food, great wine and wonderful company at your evening Celebration Dinner.
Departure transfers will arrive at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport at 5:00 am, 8:00 am and 11:00 am and at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport at 5:00 am, 10:00 am and 1:00 pm.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|30 Dec 17||7 Jan 18||$2,050pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
Please note it is necessary to obtain a Russian Tourist Voucher and a Russian Visa for this tour. It is your responsibility to obtain both documents prior to travel. The $50 fee for the Russian Tourist Voucher is included in the cost of your tour. However, the fee for the Russian Visa will be an additional charge.
Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.
Single Room Supplement: $500 p.p.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $70 per person.
AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.
Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.
7 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) both with wine, plus tea or coffee.
January 7th departure is on tour for Russian Orthodox Christmas and will enjoy a festive Welcome Dinner.
U.S. citizens traveling to Russiamust have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. Travelers visiting Russia will also need an entry visa. We will send you application forms to complete to obtain your visa prior to departure. Visa costs and entry requirements can change at any time. Please visit travel.state.gov to learn more.
The currency in Russia is the Ruble. While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive in Russia, you’ll usually find better exchange rates in your destination. The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Russia. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling. It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.
Russian food is rich and hearty, with a strong preference toward soups, herring, pickled vegetables, savory pancakes and rye breads. Try specialties such as beef stroganoff, borscht soup (beetroot soup) and pelmeni (meat dumplings). Russians love sweets and pride themselves on their desserts, especially the traditional ponchiki (hot sugared doughnuts). Vodka is popular and is often served straight or can be flavored with herbs and spices.
Russia’s continental climate varies dramatically, with temperatures reaching the high 80s during summer heat waves and normally plummeting to single digits during winter months. We suggest bringing a variety of clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.
Tipping has become more common throughout Eastern Europe in recent years. In Russia, it’s acceptable to leave 5-15 percent gratuity when dining out if a service fee has not already been added to your bill. It’s always a good idea to tip in cash and also important to note that some restaurants in Russia will not accept credit cards.
At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director. Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit. A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.
Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.
You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions. All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers. In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group.
If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.
We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.
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