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Tour of Russia with Helsinki and Tallinn

14 days
13 nights

Rates

Dates

Rates:

$ 3,590.00 (double occupancy)
$ 3,990.00 (single occupancy)

Dates:

Aug 15, 2017 - Aug 28, 2017 

Hotels:

5* Hotel in Moscow (Peter I or similar)
4* Hotel in St. Petersburg (Sokos Vasilevskiy or similar)
4* Hotel in Helsinki (Seurahuone or similar)
4* Hotel  in Suzdal (Pushkarskaya Sloboda)

Included:

3 nights in 5* Hotel in Moscow (Peter I or similar)
5 nights in 4* Hotel in St. Petersburg (Sokos Vasilevskiy or similar)
2 nights in 4* Hotel in Helsinki (Seurahuone or similar)
1 night in Suzdal (Pushkarskaya Sloboda)
1 overnight Cruises with onboard accommodation with dinner
1 night on Grand Express luxury overnight sleeper train
Daily Breakfast 
Sightseeing tours with an English speaking guide in Moscow, St Petersburg, Tallinn & Helsinki
Transportation by a/c minibus
Roundtrip ferry Helsinki-Tallinn-Helsinki
All entrance and admission fees 
Airport/train station/hotel transfers by private car 
All taxes and service charges

 

Highlights & Experience:

 

City Tour of Moscow
Visit to Cathedral of Christ the Savior
Visit to Novodevichy Monastery
Tour of Red Square and the Kremlin
Visit to the Armory
Visit to St. Basil's Cathedral
Moscow Metro tour
Visit to Tretyakov Gallery
Tour of Vladimir and Bogolyubovo
Tour of Sergiev Posad
Tour of Suzdal and Wooden Architecture Museum
City Tour of St.Petersburg
Visit to St. Isaac Cathedral
Visit to Peter-and-Paul Fortress
Hermitage tour with visit to Golden Room
Pushkin: Catherine Palace and Amber Room
Pavlovsk:Park and Palace
Yusupov Palace with Grigory Rasputin Chambers
Peterhof: Palace and Park with Fountains
Visit to State Russian Museum
Visit to Spilled Blood Church
Visit to Faberge Museum

 



Itinerary:

Day 1  : Moscow

Welcome to Moscow! Upon arrival, after clearing passport control and customs proceed to the arrival area to meet our representative. You will be assisted to your vehicle and transferred to the hotel. Hotel check-in and free time to rest after a long flight.

Optional: Russian Circus show or Moscow River Cruise 

Day 2  : Moscow

Moscow City Tour is a general overview of the city and its main areas within the boundaries of the Garden Ring and the Boulevard Ring: Red Square, Kremlin, Kitay Gorod, Tverskaya, Arbat and Zamoskvorechje. The tour will include famous landmarks: Red Square and Kremlin, St. Basil's Church, Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Novodevichiy Convent, Luzhniki, the White House, Moskva River and others. You will drive to the Sparrow Hills, 6 km south-west of the Kremlin, topped by the Moscow University skyscraper, for the best panoramic view of the city. During the tour you will visit Novodevichiy Convent founded in 1524 and proclaimed UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004. The convent has sheltered many famous Russian ladies such as Irina Godunova (the sister of Boris Godunov), Sophia Alekseyevna (sister of Peter the Great), Eudoxia Lopukhina (first wife of Peter the Great) and others. In the afternoon you will get acquainted with the Red Square and Kremlin area. This is where you will see the famous St. Basil's Cathedral, Mausoleum, Historical Museum and GUM store. Inside Kremlin the main landmarks are three Cathedrals - Assumption, Annunciation and Archangel - dated back to the 15-16th centuries, Ivan the Great Bell Tower, Tsar Bell, Tsar Cannon, Hall of Facets and Terem Place. Between the Armory and the Annunciation Cathedral is the Great Kremlin Palace the official residence of Russian president. Your tour will include a visit to the Armory - a stunning collection of wealth and treasures accumulated by Russian state and church over the centuries. The collection includes royal regalia, Faberge Eggs of precious metals and jewels, the 800-diamond throne of Tsar Alexey, the jewel-studded and sable-trimmed gold Cap of Monomakh worn for coronations for two centuries, the coronation dress of Catherine the Great, the sleigh in which Elizabeth rode from St. Petersburg to Moscow for her coronation pulled by 23 horses at a time.

Day 3  : Moscow

In the morning we will visit Tretyakov Gallery in one of the oldest parts of Moscow Zamoskvorechje. Pavel Tretyakov, a Russian merchant and patron of the arts, donated his collection to the city of Moscow in 1892. It has since become a world-famous museum with more than 170,000 works by Russian artists from early religious paintings to modern art. In the afternoon continue with an exciting Moscow Metro ride. It is one of a kind subway system in the world carrying more passengers daily than New York and London systems combined. The prominent Russian architects and artists participated in the construction and design of the stations. The primary goal of their work was not just to create a transportation system but also to showcase and glorify socialism and its achievements. As a result it turned out to be one of the most extravagant projects of the Soviet Union where each station looks like a palace decorated with statues, marble columns, frescos and mosaics. Arbat Street- is where you find several nice souvenir shops.

Day 4  : Moscow - Sergiev Posad - Suzdal

In the morning we will drive the Golden Ring outside Moscow. The first stop is Sergiev Posad. Russian cuisine lunch upon arrival followed by a tour of the Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius. Sergiev Posad is one of Russia's most important religious and historic landmarks, a place of pilgrimage of the Russian Orthodox Church and one of the most interesting museums, where one may find the icons of Andrei Rublev and other famous masters of the 15th-18th centuries. Your Russian tour continues to Suzdal, 130 miles northeast of MoscowSuzdal is an Old Russian town of the Golden Ring dating back to the 11th century. It is a well-known tourist center with many remarkable riverside churches and monasteries dating back to the 11th - 13th century, some of which are included in UNESCO World Heritage List. The scenery is very picturesque and Russian, with a feel of a small provincial town with beautiful landscape and rustic unpaved roads and houses. Dinner in Suzdal and hotel check-in.

Day 5  : Suzdal - Vladimir - Sergiev Posad - Moscow

In the morning we will explore Suzdal.  During the tour we will visit Kremlin with Krestovaya Chamber, the Wooden Architecture Museum and Savior Monastery of St. Euthymius with Transfiguration Cathedral. After the tour we will enjoy Lunch at local restaurant or local family’s house and continue to Bogolyubovo to visit Church Of The Intercession-on-Nerl. Our next stop is Vladimir located on the river Klyazma, 200 km (124 miles) to the east of Moscow. One of the medieval capitals of Russia, today modern Vladimir is part of the Golden Ring of the ancient Russian cities. Its three main monuments are on the UNESCO World Heritage List: the magnificient five-domed Assumption Cathedral, Cathedral of St. Demetrius and the Golden Gate. You will visit all three of them. In the evening we will transfer to Moscow and board overnight Grand Express train to St. Petersburg.

Day 6  : St. Petersburg

Upon arrival in St Petersburg, you will be assisted to your car and transferred to the hotel.  Your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby to begin the City Tour of St. Petersburg. During the tour you will drive by the elegant buildings on the Nevsky Prospect and stately palaces along the Palace Embankment, you will see the Palace Square, Winter Palace, Alexander Column, the famous Bronze Horseman monument to Peter the Great, Admiralty, Schmidt Bridge, Strelka with Stock Exchange and Rosstral ColumnsAlexander Nevsky Lavra, Canal Griboyedova, Fontanka, Kazan Cathedral, Church on Spilled Blood and other architectural, historical and cultural landmarks.Our tour includes two exciting visits to Peter and Paul Fortress and Spilled Blood Church.   Peter-and-Paul Fortress was built in 1704 to defend the city from naval attacks, the purpose it never served. Its history turned out to be rather gruesome as thousands of laborers died while building it, many political prisoners, including Peter's own son Alexi were kept and tortured in its cells, and the tombs of the Romanov family are now in its Cathedral.  The stunning Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood was built on the spot where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated in March 1881. The construction of the church was almost entirely funded by the Imperial family and thousands of private donors. Both the interior and exterior of the church are decorated with incredibly detailed mosaics, designed and created by the most prominent Russian artists of the day. After a busy day of sighseeing relax and enjoy picturesque rivers and canals of St Petersburg.

Day 7  : St. Petersburg

In the morning we continue our program with the tour to Peterhof on the southern shores of the Finnish Gulf, 14 miles away from St. Petersburg. In 1704 Peter I built a wooden house on the Gulf while overseeing the construction of the nearby Kronstadt Fortress, thus beginning the history of world famous Petergof. In 1713 the area became an imperial residence. The Grand Palace was inaugurated in 1723 and later expanded by Empress Elizabeth. The beautiful park famous for its cascade fountains surrounds the Grand Palace. The intricate system of about 150 fountains is operated without the use of water pumps, by a combination of naturally generated water pressure and magic. Each of the fountains is a unique splendid beauty created by a man. Upon return to St. Petersburg from Peterhof we will visit Faberge Museum by public transport. Faberge Museum is one of the newest museums in St. Petersburg. It holds a fabulous collection, including the largest collection of Faberge eggs to be found anywhere in the world – even in Russia, only the Moscow Armory comes close to rivalling this exhibition. The museum also holds a galaxy of other items made by Faberge, as well as his contemporaries.  

Day 8  : St. Petersburg

Today you will visit one of the nation's main glories - the State Hermitage Art Museum. The museum occupies six magnificent buildings along the embankment of the Neva River in the heart of St Petersburg. The focal point of this unique architectural ensemble is the Winter Palace, former residence of the Russian tsars that was built according to the design of Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli. The Hermitage collection was put together throughout two and a half centuries; it consists of over 3,000,000 works of art and showcases the development of the world culture and art from the Stone Age to the 20th century. 

The tour includes visit to the Gold Room collection of antiquities includes a large number of gold artifacts: bracelets, rings, earrings, female and male clothing decorations. The earliest works presented in the Gold Room date back to 4th-3rd century B.C. The first ancient goldsmiths' works came from the Siberian Collection of Peter the Great. Probably, the most striking object in the Gold Room collection is the horse attire presented to Nicolas I by Makhmud - the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. The saddle cloth is encrusted with more than 16,000 diamonds. One of the most recent sections of the Gold Room is a collection of works by Carl Faberge and his goldsmiths.

Day 9  : St. Petersburg

After breakfast we will visit St. Isaac’s Cathedral - one of the world’s largest Cathedrals that can accommodate about 10,000 audiences. Its spectacular dome dominates the skyline of St. Petersburg and can be observed from many miles away. It was designed by then unknown architect Auguste de Montferrand and opened in 1858. The Cathedral is lavishly decorated inside with marble of 13 colors, malachite, lapis-lazuli, paintings, mosaics and stained glass made by the most famous Russian artists.

Later on, we visit the State Russian Museum which holds the largest collection of Russian art in the world. The museum is in the former Mikhailovsky Palace which was designed by the famous Carlo Rossi. The Palace was built for the Grand Duke Mikhail, the brother of Tsars Alexander I and Nicolas I as a compensation for not being able to have his own time on the throne. There are over 400,000 works of art in the collection and it covers everything in Russian history from the 10th century and up to the present day.

Day 10 St. Petersburg
After breakfast we will begin an all day tour to Pushkin and Pavlovsk. Both towns are located 18-20 miles from St. Petersburg. Pushkin's original name is Tsarskoye Selo (Tsar's Village). It was renamed in 1937 after Russia 's famous poet Alexander Pushkin who used to study here. Its palaces and parks were created under Empresses Elizabeth and Catherine the Great between 1744 and 1796. The main landmark is the Catherine Palace designed by Rastrelli and the famous Amber Room inside the Palace. The centerpiece of Pavlovsk is the Great Palacedesigned by Charles Cameron on Catherine the Great's orders for her son Pavel, the future Paul I. 

Day 10  : St. Petersburg

After breakfast we will begin an all day tour to Pushkin and Pavlovsk. Both towns are located 18-20 miles from St. Petersburg. Pushkin's original name is Tsarskoye Selo (Tsar's Village). It was renamed in 1937 after Russia 's famous poet Alexander Pushkin who used to study here. Its palaces and parks were created under Empresses Elizabeth and Catherine the Great between 1744 and 1796. The main landmark is the Catherine Palace designed by Rastrelli and the famous Amber Room inside the Palace. The centerpiece of Pavlovsk is the Great Palacedesigned by Charles Cameron on Catherine the Great's orders for her son Pavel, the future Paul I. 

Day 11  : St. Petersburg

After breakfast explore the famous Yusupov Palace on the Moika, a former residence of an immensely wealthy and noble Yusupov family known for their philanthropy and art collections. The luxury interior of the palace is well preserved thus making it a very interesting museum to explore. More than 40,000 works of art including works by Rembrandt, jewelry, sculptures kept in the palace. The palace is most famous, however, as the site of Grigoriy Rasputin's murder plot organized by its late prince Felix Yusupov.

In the evening board the overnight St Peter Line Ferry to Helsinki, accommodations with dinner onboard

Day 12  : Helsinki

Upon arrival meet your guide for Helsinki highlights tour. You will see grand cathedrals, modern art galleries and Helsinki’s one-of-a-kind Rock Church. The tour will introduce you to the life of the capital of Finland and its various historic and architectural periods, all of which combine to create a harmonious urban envirionnment. 

The magnificent historical center is a great example of 19th century architecture. The Senate Square offers a view of the impressive Helsinki Cathedral, which towers above the square and the main building of the Helsinki University, the National Library and the Government Palace. In the middle of the square is a statue of the czar Alexander II. The Uspenski Cathedral, the largest Orthodox Church in Northern Europe dominates the eastern skyline of the city center. The nearby Presidential Palace, created by C.L. Engel, was once the residence of the Russian Czar and Grand Duke of Finland on his visits to the town. The Ateneum Art Museum, the Finnish National Gallery, and the contemporary Kiasma art museum are both cultural sites worth seeing. Of course, we cannot miss A. Aalto’s Finlandia Hall, which houses a concert hall and a conference center. 

The impressive Temppeliaukio (Rock) Church is a must-see; the church is carved into a solid rock and combines both high technology and a close relation to the nature in it´s architecture. A short pause is made to see the monument of the famous Finnish composer Sibelius, situated in Sibeliuspuisto park. Another important landmark we’ll visit is the Olympic Stadium, designed in functionalist style. The Helsinki Olympic Games were held in 1952. The tour ends at your hotel. 

Day 13  : Helsinki – Tallinn

The contrast of modern atmosphere of the Finnish capital to the old worldliness of the Estonian capital city is instant, after a comfortable ferry crossing we look forward to showcasing you the best of Tallinn during the next four hours. We will start by panoramic drive to the lovely Kadriorg Park & Palace area famously built by the Russian Czar Peter the Great. The lush green 300- year Old Park also offers seasonal treats of a rose garden, a picturesque Swan Pond and an insight to the modern day Estonian administration by the Presidential Chancellery.

During the walking tour of Tallinn Old Town, we are surrounded by countless turrets, ancient walls and dwelling houses leading us back in time to the Hansa days, when merchants convened to this 800-year-old city.  Today, these invitingly charming cobbled streets make up one of the best-preserved medieval environments in the world.

After the tour comes to an end, your tour guide is happy to give you a local’s insight into the best shopping and discoveries in Tallinn on your own. We will also provide you with a city map and instructions for your return ferry to Helsinki at the end of the day.   

Day 14  : Departure from Helsinki

Transfer to the Airport.