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Grand Tour of Russia

11 days
10 nights

Rates

Dates

Rates:

USD
EUR

PER PERSON:

RUSSIAN VISA IS INCLUDED!

$ 4,350.00 (double/twin occupancy)
$ 5,200.00 (single occupancy)

Dates:

Apr 17, 2020 - Apr 27, 2020 
May 10, 2020 - May 20, 2020 
May 22, 2020 - Jun 01, 2020 3 spots left
Jun 20, 2020 - Jun 30, 2020 
Jul 03, 2020 - Jul 13, 2020 
Jul 24, 2020 - Aug 03, 2020 
Aug 14, 2020 - Aug 24, 2020 
Sep 04, 2020 - Sep 14, 2020 
Sep 18, 2020 - Sep 28, 2020 
Oct 02, 2020 - Oct 12, 2020 
-  2021 dates
May 24, 2021 - May 31, 2021 

Hotels:

Moscow: Intercontinental Tverskaya 5* or similar
Suzdal: Nikolayevsky Posad 4* or similar
St. Petersburg: Domina 5* or similar

Listed hotels will be used on all tours. If changes become necessary for any reason, substitute hotels will be similar to those listed.

Included:

3 nights in Moscow
1 night in Suzdal
5 nights in St. Petersburg
1 night - overnight train from  Vladimir to St. Petersburg
Tours described per itinerary with entrance fees
Daily breakfast, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
Folklore Show in Moscow
Transfers on the 1st and last day of the tour
Russian Visa is included!

Highlights & Experience:

INCLUDED TOURS AND VISITS

City Tour of Moscow
Visit to St. Basil Cathedral
Tour of Red Square and the Kremlin
Visit to the Armory
Moscow Metro tour
Visit to Tretyakov Gallery
Tour of Vladimir with Cathedrals
Tour of Suzdal Kremlin and St. Euthymus Monastery
Wooden Architecture Museum in Suzdal
City Tour of St.Petersburg
Visit to St. Isaac Cathedral
Visit to Peter-and-Paul Fortress
Visit to Church of Savior on Spilled Blood
Hermitage tour: Main Building
Hermitage tour: General Staff Building with Impressionists and Modern Art
Pushkin: Catherine Palace and Amber Room
Yusupov Palace with Grigory Rasputin Chambers
Peterhof: Bathhouse and Park with Fountains
Kronstadt with St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral
Visit to WWII Museum and St. Petersburg Siege Memorial
Visit to Faberge Egg Museum

Optional Services:

Novgorod extension:  $480.00 per person (min 2 people)
1 additional night in St. Petersburg
12-hour tour to Velikij Novgorod including Kremlin, St Sophia cathedral, Yaroslav Court, Yurjev Monastery, Museum of Wooden art and lunch.

Kizhi extension: from $450 per person (min 2 people)
Roundtrip train from St. Petersburg to Petrozavodsk
Transfers train - hydrofoil terminal
Boat tickets Petrozavodsk - Kizhi - Petrozavodsk
Escort guide on a boat
Entrance fee to Kizhi Museum
English-speaking guide on the city walking tour and Kizhi walking tour
Click for more information 

Itinerary:

Day 1  : MOSCOW

Private transfers

On the first day of your Russian tour you will be met at the airport by our driver and transfered to the hotel. Your day is free to rest after the flight or you can explore on your own. Overnight in Moscow.

Day 2  : MOSCOW

City tour of Moscow - visit to Novodevichiy Monastery - visit to Tretyakov Gallery

In the morning our Russian tour starts with sightseeing in Moscow. The circular city of Moscow radiates out from the Kremlin fortress. It helps to understand that Moscow is a round city and there are several circular roads called rings. You will drive through the famous areas of Moscow within the boundaries of the Garden Ring and the Boulevard Ring. They afford excellent views of the Kremlin, the Red Square and Kitay Gorod area, Tverskaya, Arbat, and the Zamoskvorechje area with the fascinating Church of Christ the Savior. You will enjoy the best panoramic views of the city from the Sparrow Hills, topped by the Moscow University skyscraper built in 1953.

After the driving city overview tour you will visit the Novodevichiy Convent founded in 1524. The convent was proclaimed UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004. The convent is closely linked to the political, cultural and religious history of Russia. It was used as a shelter by women of the Tsar’s family and the aristocracy. Members of the Tsar’s family and entourage were also buried in its cemetery. The convent provides an example of the highest accomplishments of Russian architecture with rich interiors and an important collection of paintings and artefacts.

Lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch we visit the Tretyakov Gallery, one of the most celebrated and extensive collections of Russian art and artifacts in the world. It is located in Zamoskvorechye - one of the oldest districts of Moscow. The collection contains more than 130,000 masterpieces of Russian art created throughout the centuries by many generations of Russian artists.

Overnight in Moscow (B, L)

Day 3  : MOSCOW

Red Square - Visit to St. Basil's Cathedral - Kremlin grounds and cathedrals - Armory - Moscow Metro - Dinner and folk show in the evening

After breakfast we will walk to the historic Red Square to visit the Kremlin and the Armory. You will discover the golden domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral, the elegant arcades of the GUM department store, the State Historical Museum, and other landmarks around the Red Square area. Inside the Kremlin you see the three famous Cathedrals of the Assumption, Annunciation, and Archangel, dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Among other landmarks are Ivan the Great Bell Tower, Tsar Bell, Tsar Cannon, Hall of Facets, and Terem Place.

Armory is known for its stunning collection of royal treasures such as regalia, Faberge Easter eggs of precious metals and jewels, the jewel-studded and sable-trimmed gold Cap of Monomakh, the throne of Tsar Alexey decorated with 800 diamonds, the coronation dresses of the 18th century empresses, and Elizabeth's sleigh which she rode from St. Petersburg to Moscow for her coronation. The sleigh was pulled by 23 horses at a time. The Great Kremlin Palace, (the official residence of the Russian president) is between the Armory and the Annunciation Cathedral.

In the afternoon you will ride the famous Moscow Metro and visit its finest stations decorated with granite, marble, bronze, statues and other pieces of art making it look more like a museum than a subway. Moscow Metro is one of the most efficient and beautiful transportation systems in the world carrying over 10 million passengers daily, more than the New York and London systems combined. It was designed by prominent Russian architects and artists whose goal was to create not just a transportation system but a showcase to glorify socialism and its achievements. This goal was undoubtedly achieved and today residents and guests of the capital enjoy the world's best underground metro. 

We will return to the hotel around 5:00pm (17:00) to rest and in the evening we go to have dinner at the local restaurant and enjoy an acclaimed Russian folk show.

Overnight in Moscow (B, D)

Please note that due to no transport traffic rule around the Red Square and Kremlin we will do a lot of walking today. Be prepared to walk for at least 6-7 hours, make sure you have comfortable shoes, plenty of water and are physically fit to handle today's strenuous program. Let us know if this is a problem and we will arrange a private guide and transport for you (additional fee).

Day 4  : MOSCOW - SERGIEV POSAD - SUZDAL

Sergiev Posad - St. Trinity Monastery - Russian cuisine dinner at a local farmer's house in Suzdal

In the morning we will check-out and drive to Sergiev Posad.

Sergiev Posad was built around the Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius, and is one of Russia's most important religious and historical landmarks, a place of pilgrimage of the Russian Orthodox Church and one of the most important museums housing the icons of Andrei Rublev and other famous masters of the 15th to 18th centuries.

Lunch at a local restaurant (not included).

After lunch we continue our tour to  Suzdal - another Golden Ring town with numerous monasteries and a remarkable ratio of churches to citizens (at one point, forty churches for four hundred families). 

In Suzdal we will visit a local farmer's house and treated to a delicious Russian cuisine dinner. 

Overnight in Suzdal. (B, D)

Day 5  : SUZDAL - BOGOLYUBOVO - VLADIMIR

Tour of Suzdal - Suzdal Kremlin- St. Euthymus Monastery - Wooden Architecture Museum - Church of the Intercession on Nerl - Vladimir Cathedrals and Golden Gates

In the morning we explore Suzdal - another Golden Ring town with numerous monasteries and a remarkable ratio of churches to citizens (at one point, forty churches for four hundred families). This may have been due to the princely families' spirit of competition. Many of the churches are the finest examples of Old Russian architecture. We will visit the Kremlin with Krestovaya Chamber and the Wooden Architecture Museum

Lunch at a local restaurant (not included)

After lunch we drive to Bogolyubovo located on the high bank of river Nerl, several kilometers away from its confluence with the Klyazma river. Bogolyubovo was founded by prince Andrey Bogolyubsky in 1158. According to a legend, he spent the night here,  and in his dream saw Our Lady who told him to build the monastery at this location. Prince Andrey followed the orders, and in a short time (1158–1165), the palace, fortifications, and the nearby church of the Intercession on the Nerl were constructed. and grew up to a town known as Bogolyubov. After Andrey Bogolyubsky was murdered in 1174, the town ravaged and 1238 destroyed by Batu Khan. The remains of the palace were used by the monastery. Since 13th century, Bogolyubovo is only a small village near the monastery.

Our next stop is Vladimir - the medieval capital on the Klyazma river. You will see Vladimir’s three main monuments that are on the UNESCO World Heritage List: the magnificent five-domed Assumption Cathedral, the Cathedral of St. Demetrius, and the Golden Gate

Dinner at a local restaurant. After the dinner we will board an overnight train to St. Petersburg thus avoiding the long drive back to Moscow.

Overnight onboard the train, first class private cabins (B, D)

Day 6  : ST. PETERSBURG

City tour of St. Petersburg - Visit to Peter-and-Paul Fortress and Yusupov Palace with Rasputin Chambers.

Breakfast on the train. Transfer and check-in.

In the afternoon we start with lunch and the  best sightseeing tour of St. Petersburg. We will drive by the elegant buildings on the Nevsky Prospect, Kazan Cathedral, Admiralty, Strelka, Rosstral Columns, Fontanka, Canal Griboyedova, the Palace Square, Winter Palace, Summer Gardens, and other remarkable landmarks. The tour includes inside visit to Peter-and-Paul Fortress.

Peter-and-Paul Fortress was built in 1704 to defend the city from naval attacks, however it never served its primary purpose. Instead, its historical mission turned out to be rather gruesome: thousands of workers died while building the fortress, many political prisoners, including Peter's own son Alexi were kept and tortured in its cells. The tombs of the Romanov family are also in its Cathedral.

Overnight in St. Petersburg (B, L)

Day 7  : ST. PETERSBURG

Hermitage main exposition and General Staff Building with Impressionists Exhibit.

We begin our day with the morning tour of the Hermitage Art Museum, one of Russia’s main treasures. Occupying six stunning buildings along the River Neva, the Hermitage is the second largest art museum in the world (Louve in Paris is the first) founded in 1764 . The museum has a wide range of art on display (over three million pieces!) - from prehistoric collections to modern art.

Lunch break (lunch is not included)

French Impressionist and modern art are displayed in the General Staff Building and features Renoir, Mattisse, Dega, Picasso, Malevich, Petrocelli, Kandinsky, Giacomo Manzù, Giorgio Morandi and Rockwell Kent.  

Today you will visit both Winter Palace and General Staff Buiilding expositions!

Overnight in St. Petersburg (B)

Day 8  : ST. PETERSBURG

Peterhof with visit to Monplaisir Bath House and Park with fountains - Kronshstadt - visit to Naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas

After breakfast you will visit Peterhof, located on the southern shores of the Finnish Gulf 14 miles away from St. Petersburg. Often referred to as "the Russian Versaille," it is one of St. Petersburg's most famous sightseeing attractions. Inspired by Versailles, Peter the Great wanted to build an imperial palace with gardens in the suburbs of St. Petersburg. As a result, the Grand Palace and smaller Monplaisir Palace were erected. The Park outside the Grand Palace is a splendid kingdom of 144 unique fountains, all operating by a combination of naturally generated water pressure and magic.

The outwardly-modest Monplaisir Palace which Peter I preferred to the Grand Palace has a nice sea view and several interesting rooms, such as the State Hall where Peter would force his guests to drink huge quantities of wine until they passed out.

The most interesting and overlooked part of the complex is the Bathhouse that you will visit today. The Bathhouse is small, intimate and equally odd. Here you will find a wooden structure with a strair and a handrail, a bathtub, a shower and a treatment room.  You will also see a huge kitchen with copper kettles and pans  hanging from large racks. Allegedly Catherine the Great sometimes stood at the hearth herself, cooking for her guests. After seeing many palaces in Moscow and St. Petersburg you will absolutely appreciate this unique glimpse into the bathing culture of the Russian court. 

Lunch at a local restaurant

After lunch, we will drive to Kronstadt, an old town on the Gulf of Finland founded by Peter the Great as a naval base. Traditionally, the seat of the Russian admiralty and the base of the Russian Baltic Fleet were located in Kronstadt guarding the approaches to Saint Petersburg. The historic centre of the city and its fortifications are part of the World Heritage Site. We will visit the absolutely stunning Naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas built in 1903–1913 as the main church of the Russian Navy and dedicated to all fallen seamen.

Overnight in St. Petersburg (B, L)

Day 9  : ST. PETERSBURG

Pushkin with Catherine Palace and Amber Room - WWII and S. Petersburg Siege Memorial

After breakfast we will begin an all day tour to Pushkin 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. 

Lunch at a local restaurant.

On our way back to St. Petersburg we will stop by an impressive memorial dedicated to the struggle and hardship of the residents living in the city during WWII. The Monument to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad and St. Petersburg Siege Memorial was built to be the main focal point of Ploshchad Pobedy (Victory Square) in the early 1970s. A special bank account was opened to take donations and many people took part in the construction including volunteers and famous artists of the Soviet Union such as Mikhail Anikushin, Sergey Speransky, and Valentin Kamensky, all of whom participated in the defense of Leningrad.

Overnight in St. Petersburg (B, L)

Day 10  : ST. PETERSBURG

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood - St. Isaac Cathedral - Yusupov Palace -Faberge Museum

Our tour of St. Petersburg continues today with three important visits:  The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood,  St. Isaac Cathedral and Faberge Museum.

Our morning visit is to one of the world’s largest and most splendid St. Isaac Cathedral. Beautifully decorated inside with marble of 13 colors, malachite, lapis-lazuli, paintings, mosaics, and stained glass made by the most famous Russian artists, it can accommodate about 10,000 people at a time. The Cathedral was designed by then unknown architect Auguste de Montferrand and opened in 1858.

We continue to the Faberge Museum at the Shuvalov Palace with the biggest collection of Faberge works including famous Easter eggs.

Lunch at a local restaurant (lunch not included)

After lunch we continue our sightseeing with a visist to Yusupov Palace with Grigory Rasputin Chambers.   Yusupov Palace is located on a quiet stretch of the Moika River. One of two surviving St. Petersburg residences of the wealthy Yusupov family, it has retained many of its original interiors and is most famous as the scene of the murder of the notorious Grigory Rasputin, a peasant who had gained control over the tsar's family due to his alleged supernatural powers.

In the afternoon we visit a stucnning Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood erected 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 

In the evening you will enjoy a delicious Russian Cuisine dinner at one of the local restaurants in the city. Overnight in St. Petersburg (B, D)

Day 11  : DEPARTURE FROM ST. PETERSBURG

Private transfers

Today marks the end of your Russian tour. Transfer to the airport. (B)