October 13, 2017 – 7 nights
Moscow and St. Petersburg
Guaranteed Departure Tour
USD $1590* per person based on double occupancy
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
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)
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
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.
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
- 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