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Grand Tour of Russia

11 days
10 nights

Rates

Dates

Rates:

USD
EUR

PER PERSON:

RUSSIAN VISA IS INCLUDED!

$ 3,890.00 (double occupancy)
$ 1,000.00 (hotel single supplement)

Dates:

May 10, 2019 - May 20, 2019 
May 24, 2019 - Jun 03, 2019 
Jun 14, 2019 - Jun 24, 2019 6 seats left
Jun 28, 2019 - Jul 08, 2019 
Jul 05, 2019 - Jul 15, 2019 
Jul 19, 2019 - Jul 29, 2019 
Aug 23, 2019 - Sep 02, 2019 
Sep 06, 2019 - Sep 16, 2019 

Hotels:

Moscow: Intercontinental Tverskaya 5* or similar
Suzdal: Nikolayevsky Posad 4* or similar
St. Petersburg: Domina Prestige 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
6 nights in St. Petersburg
Fast train from Moscow to Vladimir
"Sapsan" fast train from Moscow to St. Petersburg 
Tours described per itinerary with entrance fees
Daily breakfast, 2 lunches, 6 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
Museum of Crystal
Museum of Lacquered miniature
Stop in Yuriev Polsky 
Tour of Suzdal and Kremlin
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: Grand Palace 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: $690 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

Itinerary:

Day 1  : Moscow - arrival

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

RED SQUARE - ST. BASIL 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 rule around Red Square and Kremlin we will have to do a lot of walking today - approx. 4-5 hours in the morning.

Day 3  : Moscow - Vladimir - Suzdal

MOSCOW CITY TOUR - NOVODEVICHY CONVENT - FAST TRAIN TO VLADIMIR - CITY TOUR IN VLADIMIR - VLADIMIR CATHEDRALS - MUSEUMS OF CRYSTAL AND LACQUERED MINIATURE - DINNER AT THE FARMER'S HOUSE

In the morning we will check-out of the hotel as our next overnight will be in Suzdal. We will be returning to the same hotel on Monday so you can leave your luggage with the concierge and travel with a light overnight bag.

Our Russian tour continues 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.

* Novodevichy Monastery has been under renovation and a visit is not guaranteed.

In the afternoon we board a fast train Sapsan which takes us to Vladimir in less than 2 hours. In Vladimir we meet a local guide and begin a guided tour of the Russia’s ancient Golden Ring cities.Vladimir is located 124 miles east of Moscow. A local guide and a driver will meet our group at the train station.

Vladimir is the medieval capital on the Klyazma river. Vladimir’s three main monuments are on the UNESCO World Heritage List: the magnificent five-domed Assumption Cathedral, the Cathedral of St. Demetrius, and the Golden Gate. You will see all three of them, as well as the Museum of Crystal, Lacquered Miniature.

We continue to Suzdal, with dinner at the Local Farmer's house, and later we drive for overnight in Suzdal. (B, D)


Day 4  : Suzdal - Yuriev Polsky - Sergiev Posad - Moscow

TOUR OF SUZDAL - SUZDAL KREMLIN - WOODEN ARCHITECTURE MUSEUM - YURIEV POLSKY - SERGIEV POSAD - DINNER IN MOSCOW

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

In the afternoon our journey takes us to one of the oldest towns in Russia - Yuriev Polsky, on the Koloksha River. It was founded by Yury Dolgoruky in 1152. The town's main landmark is the Cathedral of St. George  built in 1230–1234. It is the latest pre-Mongol construction in Russia, famous for its stone sculptures, and also the model for first stone churches in Moscow Kremlin. 

Lunch at a local restaurant is followed by a trip to Sergiev Posad. The town 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.

We return to Moscow in the evening for overnight and dinner. (B, D)

Day 5  : Moscow - St. Petersburg

TRETYAKOV GALLERY - FAST TRAIN TO ST. PETERSBURG - SHORT CITY TOUR AND DINNER IN ST. PETERSBURG

In the morning we check out of the hotel and 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. (B)

In the afternoon we board a fast train to Moscow. Lunch on the train. We arrive in St. Petersburg around 18.00hrs and transfer to the hotel with a short city overview and dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight in St. Petersburg (B, L, D)

Day 6  : St. Petersburg

CITY TOUR OF ST. PETERSBURG - VISIT TO YUSUPOV PALACE AND FABERGE MUSEUM

After breakfast, we will start the day with a 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 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. (B)

Your tour includes a visit to the Faberge Museum at the Shuvalov Palace with the biggest collection of Faberge works including famous Easter eggs.

Overnight in St. Petersburg (B)

Day 7  : St. Petersburg

HERMITAGE MAIN EXPOSITION AND GENERAL STAFF BUILDING

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.

 

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

PETERGOF WITH GRAND PALACE AND PARK WITH FOUNTAINS - NAVAL CATHEDRAL OF ST. NICHOLAS IN KRONSTADT

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 in the suburbs. As a result, the Monplaisir Palace and the Grand Palace were erected. The Grand Palace with its lavish interiors, gilded decorations, mirrors, and paintings dominate the estate. 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 nearby Hermitage Pavilion, which also has nice views and artwork, is a two-story dining room where guests sitting on the upper floor ate and drank in peace, occasionally lowering the table to the ground floor where servants refilled wine glasses, replaced dirty plates, and spat in the beef stroganoff. 

After a short break for 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.

Image result for st. nicholas naval cathedral in kronstadt

Return to St. Petersburg for dinner at a local restaurant and overnight.

Overnight in St. Petersburg (B, D)

 

Day 9  : St. Petersburg

PUSHKIN WITH CATHERINE PALACE AND AMBER ROOM - LUNCH AT A LOCAL RESTAURANT - ST. PETERSBURG SIEGE MUSEUM

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

PETER-&-PAUL FORTRESS - CHURCH OF THE SAVIOR ON SPILLED BLOOD - ST. ISAAC CATHEDRAL

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

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.

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 

Our next 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.

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  : St. Petersburg

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

Notes:

GROUP SIZE: max 15 people, all departures are guaranted for min. 2 people.

Due to public transport reguations around te Red Square and Kremlin in Moscow, Day 2 of the tour requires a lot of walking, approximately 5 hours!