Russian Explorer

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Days: 8

Moscow & St Petersburg

Guaranteed Departure Tour – 8 Days

Price – from USD 1,799

Discover the extraordinary history and culture of Russia on this Guaranteed Departure Tour featuring Russia’s biggest and most beautiful cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

 

Russian Explorer

St. Basil’s Cathedral on Red Square

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THE HOLIDAYS OF YOUR DREAM ARE WITHIN REACH!

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LAST CHANCE TO BOOK AND GET THE BEST RATE ON WINTER 2018 ALL-INCLUSIVE ESCAPES!

LAST CHANCE to book early and save up to 50%* on your stay! Beat the rush and secure our guaranteed lowest rates for Christmas and New Year’s! Take advantage of Club Med’s Early Booking Rates GUARANTEED for Winter 2017/18 now and get the best pick of rooms from 35 exceptional resorts. Travel through May 5th, 2018. (more…)

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How to Be a Travel Fashionista

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Every single traveler likes to dress up. Today travel is all about style and fashion. Travelers cares a lot about their look. This is completely comprehensible, as everyone wants to look gorgeous on photos and videos. Nowadays fashion trends are the same in almost every country. The same brands, the same trends. But there are some very specific looks for every country that we are going to discuss in this post.

How to Be a Travel Fashionista

Ecuador – Panama Hat

These stylish hats are created from plaited leaves of the toquilla straw plant. The hat is thought to have orginated in Ecuador, but nowadays it is universally known as a “Panama Hat”. If you have never tried wearing a hat, or if you want to start wearing one, the Panama Hat is an ideal choice. It suits almost everyone, doesn’t look too pompous; it’s mature, never gets “old-fashioned,” and it could be a perfect way to cover up your hair when it doesn’t look good, or protect your head from the sun’s burning rays.

How to Be a Travel Fashionista. Panama hats in the sun in Otavalo Ecuador.

Panama hats in the sun in Otavalo Ecuador.

USA – Cowboy Boots

These boots, which were apparently not made for walking, are very popular in The United States. In the beginning, they were an essential accessory for cowboys back in the day, but now they have become simply fashionable. Moreover, the idea of the trend found followers around the globe. This is because cowboy boots are amazing to wear and very versatile. They have a Cuban heel, are rounded to a pointed toe, have a high shaft, and, traditionally, no lacing.  Nowadays this fashion trend is supported by such famous brands as Tony Lama, Anderson Bean, Justin, Lucchese, Double H and many more.

How to Be a Travel Fashionista

Photo: depositphotos.com

Dredlocks –  Jamaica

The first known reference to this hairstyle dates back to ancient Egypt, where dreadlocks first emerged on Egyptian artifacts. Mummified remains of ancient Egyptians wearing dreadlocks were found at some archaeological sites. The hairstyle was later brought into popular culture with the help of world famous, incredible reggae artist Bob Marley, originally from Jamaica. These days it is extremely popular in Jamaica and all over the world. If you want to entirely plunge into the flavor of this special country, try this hair-dress. If you don’t like classical dreadlocks, you can try diverse variations more suitable for modern travelers: cornrows, braids, plaits, African hair braiding, and many others.

How to Be a Travel Fashionista

Japan – Gyaru, Lolita

Gyaru is a Japanese transliteration of the word “girl”, and this trend first appeared in the late 1990s. Japanese girls would dye their hair in bright vibrant color, even a mix of different colors (the less natural it looked – the better), and put an enormous amount of fake tan on their skin. Nowadays this subculture has less popularity than it had few years ago, but it has influenced the new Lolita fashion. Here the bright, unnatural pastel colors remain, but the concept is different – which is to be in frilly dress with bows and curls. In Japan there are even a lot of modern and popular Lolita fashion brands, such as Angelic Pretty, Atelier Pierrot, Milk, Moi-même-moiti and many more. The last one refers to Gothic Lolita, a style which requires black dresses and skirts, lacy hair accessories, and jewelry adorned with delicate crosses.

How to Be a Travel Fashionista

Japanese girl in lolita cosplay.

Iceland – Beard Cap

A Beard Cap could seem extremely unusual and even useless when first encountered. However, it is based on a traditional “lambshed-hood” that served a purpose for Icelandic farmers. Imagine how hard it was to experience the blustering snowstorms that occurred there regularly. The knitting pattern makes sense since the cap covers the head and neck – with only a small opening for the face. The first appearance of the Beard Cap as a fashion trend dates back to 2005. The design concept belongs to Vík Prjónsdóttir and his studio; today they are available in the Gentleman or Farmer style.

How to Be a Travel Fashionista

Photo: beardbeanie.com

 

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October Revolution Tour

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October 13, 2017 – 7 nights

Moscow and St. Petersburg

Guaranteed Departure Tour

USD $1590* per person based on double occupancy

Aerial Kremlin view in Moscow

Itinerary:

Day 1 (Friday)

Upon arrival in Moscow, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel to check in for 3 nights at the 4 star Holiday Inn Tagansky Hotel.

Day 2 (Saturday)

After breakfast, meet our English speaking tour guide for an orientation tour of the city, starting, on foot, with some of the spectacular underground metro stations in Moscow, known as the ‘Palaces of the People’. Later, by coach, you will see some of the famous landmarks including Red Square, the Kremlin, the White House and the famous Moscow streets.

We also include a visit to The Museum of Contemporary Russian History, ironically located in a former nobleman’s mansion, with an extensive collection that documents the country’s political development over the last 150 years. Tour concludes at around 18.00hrs at the hotel

Entrances today: Metro, Museum of Contemporary Russian History.

Day 3 (Sunday)

After breakfast, our guide will take you to the famous landmark of the city, the magnificent Kremlin. Within the territory you’ll visit the fascinating Armoury Museum, with a spectacular collection of costumes, silver and arms amongst a vast treasure trove of exhibits. We also visit today the Museum of Moscow Railway. In its original inception this was simply an exhibition of Vladamir Lenin’s funeral train – still the highlight – and a selection of its regalia, but the museum has reopened as a collection covering the city’s varied locomotive history.

We see fine examples of Revolutionary art, when we visit the New Tretyakov Gallery on Krymsky Val, the only permanent exhibition of 20th century Russian art in the country. With works by Russian avant-garde masters from the 1900s-1920s famous all over the world, such as K.Malevich, V.Kandinsky, M.Chagall, P.Filonov and L.Popova.

Entrances today: Kremlin, 1 Cathedral, Armoury, Museum of Moscow Railway, Tretyakov Gallery

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – SEPTEMBER 25, 2015: Kremlin Armory is one of oldest museums, established in 1808 and located in Moscow Kremlin. Kremlin Armoury is currently home to Russian Diamond Fund

Day 4 (Monday)

Breakfast and check-out. We visit the famous Art Museum, opposite Gorky Park. This is the final resting place for the many Soviet statues evicted from Russia’s parks and squares following the collapse of Communism. Founded in 1992, the park has been accumulating monuments for over 20 years, and today its collection comprises more than 700 sculptures. Highlights include the huge steel sculpture of the Soviet world, innumerable giant Lenins, monuments to the Red Army, and a de-nosed Stalin.

We transfer to Leningradsky rail station for your journey from Moscow to St Petersburg on the high speed Sapsan train. Departs Moscow at 16:30hrs *. Arriving at approximately 20.45 hrs, transfer with our local guide and check in to the 4 star Novotel St Petersburg City Centre Hotel.

Entrances today: Art Museum. Evening at leisure. (*Train times may vary)

ST.PETERSBURG, RUSSIA – 3 JULE 2016: Michael’s Street – a street in the Central district of St. Petersburg. It passes from Arts Square to the Nevsky Prospekt.

Day 5 (Tuesday)

After breakfast, your panoramic orientation tour of the city will commence. You will see many major sights of this beautiful city. Included is a visit to Peter and Paul Fortress, a fort which guards the city of St Petersburg, located on the island, facing the Hermitage and dominating River Neva. Built as a fortification during the Russian-Swedish war, never used as a fortress, it was turned into a political prison. There, a son of Peter the Great, Prince Alexei, writer Radischev, Decembrists and revolutionaries were held as prisoners. The Cathedral, designed by Tresini, contains the remains of Russian rulers since 1725.

We continue to the Cruiser Aurora; on the night of October 25-26 1917, it fired a blank shot at the Winter Palace (then the residence of the Provisional Government), giving the signal to the rebellious workers, soldiers and sailors of the city to storm the palace. That moment triggered a dramatic episode in Russia’s history and was the start of over 70 years of Communist leadership.

We also visit Finlandsky railway station, most famous for having been where Vladimir Lenin returned to Russia from exile in Switzerland on 3 April 1917 ahead of the October Revolution. We also visit Smolny institute, built as an Institute for Noble Maidens, in 1917, the building was chosen by Lenin as the Bolshevik headquarters during the October Revolution. It was Lenin’s residence for several months, until the national government was moved to Moscow’s Kremlin in March 1918.

Entrances today: Peter and Paul Fortress, Cruiser Aurora, Finlandsky Rail station, Smolny Institute

The Peter and Paul Fortress in a sunny day

Day 6 (Wednesday)

After breakfast, we visit the Hermitage Museum – the magnificent collection of art in the winter palace of Catherine the Great. One of the largest museums in the World, founded in 1764; its collection includes over 2.7 million items, including masterpieces of Leonardo Da Vinci, Rembrandt and Rubens. It was here that Bolsheviks arrested the Provisional Government in the Small Dining Room of the private apartment, which we will visit. We also include the new General Staff building, home to the French impressionist collection. We include today a visit to the Museum of Political History, housed in the former mansion of society prima ballerina Mathilda Kschessinska.

In just a few months in 1917, however, the mansion changed from a center of the St. Petersburg’s demimonde to a hotbed of revolutionary activity. Warned she was in imminent danger Kschessinska herself fled for France on 27 February, where she later married Grand Duke Andrey Vladimirovich, cousin of Nicholas II and probably the father of her teenage son, and continued to dance until the age of 64, setting up a ballet school that taught several future stars including Dame Margot Fonteyn.

In 1917, the building was seized by the Bolsheviks and became their headquarters and center of their revolutionary activities. Lenin made a historic speech from one of the balconies after his arrival in the city. It became the Museum of the Revolution in 1957. The exhibition is based on the original collection, which contained artefacts gathered by key players in the Revolution, including their own personal effects, documents, posters, pamphlets and banners.

Entrances today: Hermitage museum, Museum of Political History. Evening at leisure.

Day 7 (Thursday)

After breakfast at the hotel, you will be taken by your guide to visit one of St Petersburg’s most prized Palaces. In the town of Pushkin (formerly Tsarskoye Selo) 29km south of St. Petersburg, is Catherine’s Summer Palace. The construction of the palace for the Empress Catherine started in 1717. A park in the French style was laid out around the palace and, in the middle of 18th century, Tsarskoye Selo became the official royal residence. This palace is famous for the ‘Amber Room’, now completely restored to its former glory.

Not far from the Catherine’s Palace there is Alexander Palace, the favorite residence of the last Russian Emperor and their initial place of imprisonment after the revolution that overthrew the Romanov dynasty in early 1917. Return to your hotel.

Entrances today: Catherine’s Palace. Evening at leisure.

Katherine’s Palace hall in Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin), Russia

Day 8 (Friday)

After breakfast at your hotel, check out by 12.00 am and your departure transfer will be provided to the airport / station as required.

Land price: USD $1,590*

* Price is per person based on double occupancy for the land program in USD for the departure listed above and includes all taxes. Flights, insurance, photo and video charges at museums and places of interest, hotel registration fee payable locally in St. Petersburg (about USD6 per person), tips, items of personal nature are not included.

Single room supplement: USD $510

The tour price includes:
  • Accommodation based on two persons sharing a twin room including breakfast:
  • 3 nights in Moscow – 4 star Holiday Inn Tagansky Hotel, standard room
  • 4 nights in St. Petersburg – 4 star Novotel St Petersburg City Centre Hotel, standard room
  • Transfers: arrival/departure in Moscow and arrival/departure in St Petersburg
  • Sightseeing program with an English speaking guide
  • Entrances in Moscow—subway, Museum of Contemporary Russian History, Kremlin with Armoury Museum, Museum of Moscow Railway, Tretyakov Gallery, Art Museum
  • Entrances in St. Petersburg – Peter and Paul Fortress, Cruiser Aurora, Finlandsky Rail station, Smolny Institute, Museum of Political History, Hermitage Museum, Catherine’s Palace
  • Economy class high-speed Sapsan train ticket from Moscow to St. Petersburg
  • Visa support letter for duration of tour
  • 24-hour emergency contact
Notes:
  • Check in after 14.00 hours (Moscow) 15.00 hours (St Petersburg). Check out by 12.00 hours
  • Accommodation may be substituted with similar grade hotels
  • Tours and timings may vary according to local conditions and substitutions may be made if necessary
  • Visa support – is supplied for duration of tour only. Extension of visa support is extra
  • Russian Visa – you will need to obtain a tourist visa BEFORE you arrive in Russia

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Incredible Beauty of Galapagos Islands

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Incredible Beauty of Galapagos Islands

Located just above the Equator in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the South American continent and 600 miles west of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are famous among tourists all over the World.

Incredible Beauty of Galapagos Islands

This archipelago has about 19 islands: three main volcanic islands, six small islands and 107 rocks. The Galapagos Islands were discovered in 1535 by Tomas de Berlanga, the Spanish Bishop of Panama. The name of Galapagos Islands has Spanish origin; it is related to the Spanish word galápago— a kind of water turtle and the name of a saddle similar in form to some turtles from Galápagos in the Pacific Ocean. Galapagos Islands have been called a unique ‘living museum and showcase of evolution’. Located at the junction of three oceanic currents, the Galápagos represent a great collection of marine species.

Incredible Beauty of Galapagos Islands

Volcanic and seismic activities influence the island’s life processes. The result of which was the advancing of exceptional animal species such as the land iguana, the giant tortoise, and different types of finch; this is what inspired Charles Darwin to create his theory of evolution by natural selection. After becoming Ecuador’s first national park in 1959, these 19 islands are now highly protected and together with the surrounding marine reserve were declared a World Heritage site.

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Hong Kong: Pearl Of The Orient

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It’s easy to get bombarded with postcard perfect imagery of the major tourist spots of a foreign city, but realistically, these are only a tiny proportion of what you’ll actually experience. What about the rest of the city, the little lane ways and market stalls you’ll fall in love with and spend hours wandering?

If you’re planning a visit to Hong Kong you no longer have to crawl through google street view, location tagged selfies on Instagram or long travel blog articles just to get a real vibe of the place. I spent a week exploring the city’s widely diverse districts and neighborhoods; here are some of my favourites.


 

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Where Are The World’s 20 Most Wow Honeymoon Destinations?

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Planning a honeymoon or other romantic getaway? Wondering where to venture and where to stay? Discover the creme de la creme of honeymoon destinations and resorts from travel experts.

Recognizing their savvy, BRIDES Magazine tapped the insights of Virtuoso’s romantic travel professionals in a new survey. Only Virtuoso advisors were invited to share their picks for the world’s most wow honeymoon destinations and resorts. Their lists form the perfect guide for couples looking for the ideal trip of a lifetime.

The World’s 20 Most Romantic Destinations

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Ecotourism: the New Face of Travel

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Ecotourism: the New Face of Travel

While ecotourism began to gain popularity in the 1980s, it has more recently received significant attention. For many, ecological issues have become some of the most significant concerns in modern times.  

In 2010, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) declared that the tourism industry is responsible for more than 5% of all global carbon emissions. The same organization estimated that the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry are increasing by 20% to 34% every year. The World Economic Forum and Booz & Company conducted research and estimated that carbon emissions will double by 2035 if nothing is done to mitigate the problem. On the positive side, sustainable tourism has greatly increased as more travelers have become concerned about climate change.

So it is quite reasonable to try ecotourism in order to preserve our planet.

Ecotourism: the New Face of Travel

But what does ecotourism mean?

In short, it’s about responsible traveling that helps to preserve the natural areas and environment of your destination. Basically, your impact should be minimal while providing a positive experience for you as well as your hosts.

In recent decades the popularity of leisure tourism has had a significant impact on sensitive natural areas, which are highly influenced by large numbers of tourists visiting for their holidays. Some of these natural areas are so sensitive that without the right trip management they can be damaged with little chance to recover. If the amount of tourists coming to these areas continues to grow, it could result in significant environmental degradation. Recently preserved, closed and little-known areas are becoming well-known and popular. Experienced tourists often want to visit remote and inhabited areas to get away from crowded tourist sites and long lines to the top destinations, or beaches with no space to spread out.

Ecotourism: the New Face of Travel

The popularity of ecotourism shows an increased awareness in people of their impact on the environment and their ability to support more sustainable approaches. Additionally, ecotourism can provide an alternative economic development opportunity for local communities with few other income-generating options. Moreover, ecotourism can also be educational and raise activism among travelers, making them more conscious of conservation issues.

The positive impact of ecotourism is evident and it is highly important that it is gaining more fans among travelers worldwide. According to a survey conducted by TripAdvisor, 71% of its members stated that they would choose more environmentally friendly trips during the next 12 months. The challenge for numerous organizations and tour agencies is to attract as many tourists as possible to participate in eco-travel in order to help preserve the planet.

To Book Your Trip
Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768

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