A rail adventure combining art and antiquities with such attractions as the Hermitage Museum, Red Square and the Kremlin. Gain insights into Russia's transformation over the centuries.
On arrival at St. Petersburg Airport transfers will operate at 2:30 pm and 5 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Tread in the footsteps of tsars and tsarinas, of artists, poets and musicians, whose great gifts to the romantic city of St. Petersburg you will have an opportunity to see during an orientation drive through Russia's Imperial City after meeting your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception and light dinner.
Explore opulent royal history and the might of imperial Russia on a sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. View the magnificent Tsar's Winter Palace, Nevsky Prospekt, St. Isaac's Cathedral and the statue of Peter the Great, whose inspired vision for this Baltic settlement saw it rival even the most sophisticated of European capitals. Explore the Peter and Paul Fortress on an included visit before we connect with loclas, meeting some of the students of St. Petersburg's Theater for canapés and an unforgettable stage performance at our Be My Guest experience. Learn how your visit will make a difference to the theatrical education of St. Petersburg's youth. Later, join a Small Group Sightseeing visit with a Local Specialist to the Hermitage Museum. Occupying five buildings on the banks of the Neva, the Hermitage features some three million artifacts, representing the development of world culture and art from the stone age to the 20th century. This evening, consider a theater visit to enjoy a fascinating Russian Folklore performance.
The narrow lanes and grand boulevards of St. Petersburg are ours to explore today. Admire the ornate domes and colorful mosaics of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood and the gold-plated dome of St. Isaac's Cathedral. Perhaps consider joining an Optional Experience to the gardens and miracle of engineering reflected in the fountains of Peter the Great's summer residence at Peterhof, designed to rival the opulence of Versailles.
After a hearty breakfast, enjoy some time at leisure before boarding a train to the Russian capital. En route, contemplate the tumultuous and captivating history of an ancient city that oozes grandeur, and the indomitable spirit of the Russian nation which saw it send the first man to outer space. Straddling the Moskva River, this city is the country's political, economic, religious and financial hub—and your home for the next three nights.
The imposing Red Square—the site of grand celebrations and beautiful architecture—takes center stage this morning during a guided sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. Visit inside St. Basil's Cathedral and see the Kremlin Walls and towers before spending some time at leisure exploring the sights. Perhaps stroll along the banks of Moskva River or join an Optional Experience to admire the exquisite underground art and history showcase that is the Moscow Metro.
Kick-start your morning immersing yourself in the kofe culture of Moscow, before taking to its streets to learn about its triumphs and defeats. Consider visiting one of the city's fascinating museums, explore the city's extraordinary literary and artistic heritage or take an Optional Experience to the 14th-century Sergiyev Posad, a place of pilgrimage and the largest religious and cultural center in Russia. This evening, we toast to the magic and magnificence of Mother Russia, joining our fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner.
We close the door on our epic vacation in two iconic Russian cities and say farewell to newfound friends. Return transfers will arrive at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport at 5 am, 10 am and 1 pm and at Moscow Domodedovo Airport at 6 am, 10 am and 12 noon. Conditions apply.
8 meals: 6 Buffet Breakfasts, 2 Dinners.
Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.
Soak up the atmosphere and romance of this former imperial capital, known as the "Venice of the North". Board a private boat to cruise through the canals and along the River Neva. You'll sip champagne as your Local Specialist provides commentary about the city that has inspired artists for generations.
Adult Price: €46
Your Local Specialist will offer a guided tour of the interiors of two iconic churches. The Church of the Saviour on the Spilt Blood, built to commemorate the assassination of Tsar Alexander II, has one of the country's most intricate displays of mosaic icons. Additionally, St Isaac's Cathedral is the 4th-largest cathedral in the world. Designed by a French architect, its immense interior is comprised of malachite and other precious materials.
Adult Price: €44
On this full-day tour, your Local Specialist will take you to the villages of Pushkin and Petrodvorets, where you will visit Catherine's Palace and Peterhof Gardens. Recently restored, Catherine's Palace is most famous for the fabled and wholly unique Amber Room. Located on the Baltic, Peterhof Gardens are modeled after those at Versailles. Following a guided tour, you'll have time to enjoy a stroll as you marvel at the gilded fountains. This optional involves reservations and entrance prepayments. If you decide to cancel the optional a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred
Adult Price: €89
This two-part tour pays tribute to Russia's noble and royal families and provides an explanation for the collapse of the monarchy. You'll see the opulent interior of Yusupov Palace, one of the grandest noble residences in the country, and learn about the plot to murder the mystic Rasputin. Then, visit the tombs of Tsar Nicholas II and his family at Peter and Paul's Cathedral.
Adult Price: €51
There may be an opportunity to attend a ballet performance in the historic atmosphere of a Tsarist era theatre. Subject to availability of tickets and performance. Price will vary from €80-€110, depending on the venue and the Ballet Company. This optional involves reservations and entrance prepayments. If you decide to cancel the optional a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred
Adult Price: €110
A chance to attend one of the best Russian folklore programs in St. Petersburg. You’ll enjoy a high-energy performance featuring Cossack dances, songs, instruments and costumes from around Russia. During intermission, sample local champagne and vodka. An unforgettable experience! This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
Adult Price: €58
Discover ancient cathedrals, the world's largest cannon and the emperors' bell. You'll also visit the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Built on the site where the Soviet government dynamited the original Cathedral, it was funded by donations from millions of Muscovites. Finally we'll take a stroll through the famous Arbat street. Once inhabited by the tsar's artisans and equerries, often referred to as Moscow's Montmartre, it's lined with càfes, restaurants and shops selling local souvenirs. This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. If you decide to cancel the optional a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.
Adult Price: €54
You'll have a opportunity to skip the queues and take a guided tour of the Treasure Chamber of the Russian Tsars - one of the most important museums in Russia due to its unique collection. You’ll see priceless Faberge eggs and Catherine the Great's diamonds and many gowns. You’ll also discover the Imperial carriages, which are studded with precious stones and gold; coronation thrones; and other one-of-a-kind items from the Romanov Dynasty. This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. If you decide to cancel the optional a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.
Adult Price: €52
Often cited as the most beautiful subway system in the world, Moscow's grandiose Metro stations are decorated with mosaics, stained glass and bronze statues. They're also one of the few remaining places featuring Communist iconography. We'll finish our guided visit with a walk through Red Square, where the evening illuminations should provide enviable photo opportunities.
Adult Price: €37
68 km from Moscow, Sergiyev Posad (known as Zagorsk in the Soviet era) is the centre of the Orthodox faith and Russia's most important pilgrimage site. You'll visit recently-renovated Troitse-Sergiieyeva Lavra, a working monastery, unique in the fact that it still operated during the atheist years of Communist rule. You'll also have time to browse the markets, where you might like to buy locally-crafted lacquer boxes or Matryoshka dolls. This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. If you decide to cancel the optional a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.
Adult Price: €53