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Walk in the footsteps of Peter the Great along the winter-white carpets of St. Petersburg and Moscow - a discovery of Russia's vibrant, modern culture, haunting history, grand palaces and the imposing Red Square, on this festive sojourn to two fairy-tale imperial cities.
Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
Welcome to the magnificent city of St. Petersburg. Relax and unwind after your journey. Meet your Travel Director and fellow travelers this evening for a Welcome Reception and light dinner at your hotel. A short evening orientation drive will be the perfect introduction to this magical festive city. See some of the iconic sights in a winter wonderland setting.
Admire the landmarks of St. Petersburg during your sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. View the Tsar's Winter Palace, Nevsky Prospekt, St. Isaac's Cathedral and the statue of Peter the Great. Explore the Peter and Paul Fortress on your included visit.
Today enjoy a Small Group Sightseeing visit to the Hermitage Museum with a Local Specialist to see one of the world's largest and most valuable art collections. This world famous museum occupies five impressive buildings on the banks of the River Neva in the heart of St. Petersburg. Featuring over 3 million artifacts, the collection represents the development of world culture and art from the Stone Age to the 20th century. The rest of the day is yours to explore the city. This evening consider a visit to a theater to see a Russian Folklore show or relax at your hotel.
After a hearty Russian breakfast enjoy some free time before taking a high-speed train trip towards the Russian capital through scenic winter landscapes. Arrive later in Moscow, your home for the next three nights. An ancient city full of remarkable architecture and monuments to fallen heroes and victorious battles, Moscow is a cauldron of creativity and culture. Located on the Moskva River, the city is the country's political, economic, religious and financial hub.
Moscow is magically transformed for the festive season with more than 400 dazzling light installations placed around the city for the Christmas Light festival, and the squares come alive with Christmas Market stalls offering traditional foods and gifts from a variety of European countries. The iconic Red Square has stalls with festive Russian items and one of the many grand scale ice rinks that are installed in the city during the winter season. See St. Basil's Cathedral and visit the Kremlin during your guided sightseeing with a Local Specialist. Afterwards there is plenty of time to shop for festive souvenirs and explore the city on your own.
Today is a full day at leisure to explore the city further. Consider visiting one of the city's museums or take an Optional Experience to Sergiyev Posad, once known as Zagorsk. This city is today the largest religious and cultural center in Russia. This evening, join your fellow travelers to celebrate the Festive season at a Farewell Dinner.
Say goodbye to this unique country at the end of a remarkable trip of discovery. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.
6 nights, 6 hot buffet breakfasts, 2 dinners, On-trip transport.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|12 Dec 17||19 Dec 17||$1,795$1,660pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|17 Dec 17||24 Dec 17||$1,795$1,660pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|19 Dec 17||26 Dec 17||$1,875$1,734pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|23 Dec 17||30 Dec 17||$1,875$1,734pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|30 Dec 17||6 Jan 18||$1,875$1,734pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|7 Jan 18||14 Jan 18||$1,795$1,660pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
* Christmas & New Year's Eve Highlights: The December 20, 2017 departure will celebrate Christmas in Moscow. The December 24, 2017 departure will celebrate Christmas in St. Petersburg. The December 31, 2017 departure will toast New Year's Eve in St. Petersburg.
+ Kremlin visit will take place on Day 7 instead of Day 6 on these marked departures.
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: from $370 pp.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $62 per person.
Airport transfers: On arrival at St. Petersburg Airport transfers will operate at 11:30 am, 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport at 5:00 am and 11:00 am and at Moscow Domodevdovo Airport at 5:00 am and 1:00 pm.
Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking. Visas cannot be issued at borders in Europe.
Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.
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.
Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.
U.S. citizens traveling to Russia must 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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