Russia - Land of Imperial
This tour can be enjoyed by
itself, or can be combined with any of our other touring offered
before or after this tour.
You can add extra time in
Moscow or elsewhere at the beginning and/or end in St Petersburg of your tour.
Total flexibility. And
The tour commences when you
arrive and are transferred to your hotel in Moscow on Sunday, ?
May 2006 (dates to be confirmed).
If you're starting your
travels in the US, you'll probably take an overnight flight on
Saturday ? May (or sooner), to arrive into Moscow on Sunday
If you have been on one of
our British tours immediately before this, you can simply take a
plane from London to Moscow on Sunday ? May. It is only
about a 3½ hour flight.
The tour ends on Tuesday ?
May when you will leave St Petersburg, probably to fly back
home, or wherever else you then choose to travel.
If you're traveling
immediately back to the US, you can arrange to take a flight any
time that day. You will probably arrive back in the US the
same day, or perhaps your flight itinerary might require you to
spend an overnight between connecting flights, in which case
you'd arrive back on Wednesday ? September.
Four nights of accommodation
in a central Moscow hotel
First Class sleeper berth on
the overnight train between Moscow and St Petersburg
Four nights of accommodation
in a central St Petersburg hotel
Transfer from the
airport in Moscow and to the airport in St Petersburg
Breakfasts every morning
Feature dinners in Moscow and
Extensive guided touring in
both Moscow and St Petersburg
Optional theatre visits in
Moscow and St Petersburg to the Bolshoi and/or the Mariinsky
(Kirov) Opera and Ballet companies
In Moscow you will see
The Kremlin and the ancient
cathedrals located in its grounds
Lenin's Tomb (if open)
St Basil's Cathedral
Sparrow Hills, University of
Moscow and views over the city and river
GUM, Manezhnaya Square Mall,
and other shopping opportunities
Tour of Moscow's ornate metro
Private tour of KGB museum
Tretyakov Art Gallery
Pushkin Fine Arts Museum
Sergiev Posad monastery
In St Petersburg you will see
Peter Paul Fortress and
Church where the last Tsar is now buried
The Bronze Horseman
St Isaac's Cathedral
Church on the Spilled Blood
Souvenir Market and other
Canal cruise by river boat
Hydrofoil ride to
Petrodvoretz Palace, Fountains and Gardens
Catherine Palace in Pushkin
and the Amber Room
Famous Imperial Lomonosov
Porcelain Factory tour
Russian traditional Folk
Day 1 (Saturday) :
Leave the US
You should make your
own arrangements to fly from the US to Moscow, departing on
Saturday -- May - or earlier if you wish to spend extra time
before the start of the main tour.
Day 2 (Sunday) :
Welcome to Moscow
St Basil's Cathedral on Red Square. We'll visit this
No matter what time
your flight arrives into Moscow, and no matter which airport
you arrive at, you'll be met by a private car and driver who
will then drive you to your Moscow hotel where we'll be
spending the next four nights.
If you are joining the tour from Britain, then you can
simply fly from London to Moscow today. It is about a
3½ hour flight.
Day 3 (Monday) :
The Kremlin and nearby
Inside the Kremlin Walls are several lovely cathedrals.
Lenin's Tomb in Red Square. 21 January 2004 saw the
80th anniversary of his death.
Today we will start off
with a tour around central Moscow's major sights, and then
we'll concentrate on a walking tour around the Red Square
and Kremlin area.
We'll visit the famous Kremlin,
walking around the inside of its grounds, and visiting one
of the ancient cathedrals inside.
Outside the Kremlin walls we'll
see Lenin's Tomb and hopefully, if it is open, be able to go
inside and see Lenin's preserved body.
We'll also have a chance to see
fantastic St Basil's Cathedral on Red Square, and as an
option, a tour of the Kremlin Armory, a staggering
collection of wealth, with literally buckets of diamonds on
Close to the Kremlin is the famous
GUM store (now a lovely mall) and also close by is the
extraordinarily up-market Manezhnaya underground mall -
complete with stores that wouldn't look out of place in our
own swankiest malls.
We'll have a feature dinner this
evening, giving everyone a chance to better meet their
fellow tour members.
To break the ice, and for some fun, we'll be holding a
'Travel Insider' competition, with a suitable prize
for the winner awarded at dinner.
Day 4 (Tuesday) :
Touring around Moscow
Krushchev's grave at Novodevichy. The two different
colors represent the good and bad aspects of his
It took Alexander Ivanov 20 years to paint this picture -
'The Appearance of Christ to the People'. It fills one
wall of a room at the Tretyakov Gallery. His sketches
for the picture fill several more walls.
One of the elaborate metro stations - no wonder the
Muscovites referred to them as 'Underground Palaces' when
they first opened in 1935
visit the Novodevichy Cemetery, where many of Russia's most
famous people are buried.
A trip up to the Sparrow Hills,
next to the massive 'Stalin skyscraper' that is the Moscow
State University, will give us lovely views out over the
Moscow river and city.
And, talking about lovely views,
we'll then go to the Tretyakov Gallery, crammed full of
exquisite paintings from Russian artists that are virtually
unknown in the west. My favorite Russian painter is
Aivazovsky, let's see who you like the best.
This evening there will be a
chance to visit some of Moscow's ornate and very beautiful
Day 5 (Wednesday) :
Moscow - The Sublime and the Ridiculous (you choose which is
Old buildings, art stall and souvenir shops in the Arbat
The enormous new Christ the Savior Cathedral
The KGB headquarters on Lubyanka square. If we're
lucky, we might get to go inside. If we're very lucky,
we might be allowed to leave again, too!
You'll have a chance for some shopping in the Old Arbat
And, in a mix of 'the sublime and the
ridiculous' we'll also visit the massive new church built
after Russia's independence, and then go on to the Pushkin
Fine Arts Museum, where incredible treasures from all around
the world, including the gold from Troy, can be found.
The Pushkin Museum is also renowned for its collection of
French impressionist paintings.
If time allows and if we can get
clearance, we'll try to also include a private tour of the
KGB's museum in their famous and feared Lubyanka
Day 6 (Thursday) :
Moscow, overnight train to St Petersburg
A holy spring with miraculous healing powers at Sergiev
Moscow's famous circus will entertain you on our last night
in that city.
An exciting and full day today.
This morning we travel out of
Moscow, to the small town of Sergiev Posad, about two hours
travel from the city center. This is the home to
Russia's holiest monastery, which we'll visit. In the
monastery is a holy spring - the water from it is supposed
to have miraculous powers. We'll ensure that you all
have a chance to have a small sip of this water.
Later in the day, after returning
to Moscow, we'll enjoy a performance at the world famous
Completing a full day of varied
experiences today is an overnight train ride to St
Petersburg. This eight hour journey will be in two
person private sleeping compartments in first class
Observing a Russian tradition, we'll
have plenty of 'Soviet Champagne' to toast the journey's
Day 7 (Friday) :
Welcome to St Petersburg
The Bronze Horseman, in the background, part of the
The view looking over to the Mayoral office building, from
the top of St Isaac's Cathedral.
You went to sleep in Moscow. You'll wake up this
morning in St Petersburg - a city that is like a living
museum, where all around you are the most gorgeous buildings
dating back 100 - 300 years.
We go first to our hotel for a
chance to freshen up after our train journey, then we head
into the city to start enjoying the sights of this fantastic
We'll see a varied mix of sites
and sights, including the famous Bronze Horseman statue of
Peter the Great, the Peter Paul Fortress where the last Tsar
is now buried, and St Isaac's Cathedral.
Day 8 (Saturday) :
St Petersburg - The best Museum in the World?
The entrance to the massive Winter Palace, now known as the
The Mariinsky Theatre, home of the Kirov Ballet and Opera -
possibly the very finest ballet company in the world.
If you wish, we'll try and arrange tickets to a performance
Today is our 'art' day. In the morning, we go to the
incredible Hermitage museum - possibly the finest museum in
the world, with over 3 million items in its collection
(they're not all on display and you won't see them all
In the afternoon, you can choose
whether you wish to stay on at the Hermitage or travel the
short distance to another former royal palace, now in use as
the Russian Museum - a treasure trove of Russian art.
Day 9 (Sunday) :
Touring in St Petersburg
A view from one of St Petersburg's many canals.
Matryoshka dolls, Palekh boxes, Soviet artifacts, and many
other things for sale at the souvenir stalls
I have a set of this 'Cobalt Blue' china at home - we'll
visit the factory that makes it, and, if you like this or
any of their other hand painted designs, you can buy them
from their factory shop
varied day of St Petersburg experiences today. We'll
go for a boat cruise along the city's canals - St Petersburg
is called, by some, 'the Venice of the North'. We'll
visit a church that looks similar to St Basil's in Moscow,
but which is very much bigger, and then visit a nearby
If you're wanting something in
particular as a souvenir of Russia, let us know, and we can
advise you where the best shops and pricing can be found,
and we'll help you with bargaining, too, if necessary.
Now for a special experience.
We'll go for a tour of the Lomonosov Imperial Porcelain
Factory in one of the suburbs.
Here you'll see incredibly
beautiful hand painted china, both historic pieces that had
been made exclusively for the Tsars, and also modern designs
that you can then consider buying at the factory outlet
Day 10 (Monday) :
St Petersburg - Extraordinary Palaces
Some of the amazing statues and fountains at Petrodvoretz
The Grand Cascade at Petrodvoretz
An example of the sumptuous interiors at both palaces
This morning we travel by high speed hydrofoil, to the
Tsar's summer palace at Petrodvoretz.
This palace has been compared to
Versailles, because both palaces have extensive fountains
After we've spent some time at
Petrodvoretz, we'll then travel to another nearby palace
(there are palaces everywhere in and around St Petersburg,
which was the Imperial Capital of Russia between 1703 and
This one, in the suburb of Pushkin, is
the Catherine Palace, and features the recently restored
This evening we'll enjoy a Russian
Folk Music Show at yet another palace.
Day 11 (Tuesday) :
Our group itinerary ends after breakfast at our hotel this
If you're leaving today, we'll be
pleased to provide a private transfer to St Petersburg's
airport for you.
If you've chosen to stay longer in
Russia, then we hope you enjoy the balance of your time in
this great country.
Estimated between $2000 -
$2500 per person, share
A single supplement of
is available. We will also help to match together singles
if you'd like to share with a compatible fellow single traveler.
These prices reflect a 3% discount
A $250 per person
non-refundable deposit is required to confirm your places on
You are responsible for
arranging your travel between the US and Russia.
The Russian Consulates in
the US charge approximately $100 to issue you a Russian visa -
we can help you with this (see note below).
Why is Air Not Included?
You will save money and gain
flexible convenience if you arrange your own air travel.
These days airlines seldom give discounts to groups, and
sometimes even charge more, while also adding extra restrictions
to the tickets!
You can choose whichever
carrier has the best fare and the best schedules for you, and
you can also choose a carrier that you wish to earn miles with.
You can even cash in miles and fly on frequent flier awards.
We'll be pleased to answer
any questions you might have about arranging your air
transportation, of course.
Optional Extras - Theatre
It is difficult to predict
exactly what will be presented at the various theatres in Moscow
and St Petersburg - schedules regularly change completely!
And it is difficult to predict exactly what the cost of tickets
will be as well.
But, by the time we get to
each city, we'll know exactly what opportunities might exist to
attend performances at world famous theatres such as the Bolshoi
in Moscow and the Mariinsky in St Petersburg (hint - these days,
the Mariinsky offers performances of a much higher artistic
standard than the Bolshoi).
I'll be sure to be attending
a performance or two myself, and if you want to enjoy some of
the finest opera and ballet of anywhere in the world, I'll
arrange tickets for you, too.
How to Extend or Vary this Tour
There are many ways you can
extend or vary this tour.
You could spend more time
in Moscow before the start of this tour, and/or, if you wish,
more time in St Petersburg at the end of the tour.
During the tour, all of the
day touring is of course optional and you can substitute your
own activities if you prefer.
After your time in Russia,
you can of course travel to anywhere else in Europe that you may
wish to visit.
Truly, this tour gives you a
great number of ways to add extra time and sightseeing.
And, if you have more questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
We're here to help ensure your experience is as good as
Visa for Russia
Probably everyone will need
a visa for Russia. We will provide you with an official
visa invitation and supporting paperwork to make it easy for you
to be granted a single entry visa.
The Russian Embassy and
Consulates charge a visa issuing fee (usually about $100 - this seems
like a lot, but it is considerably less than the
fee Russian people must pay for a US visa!); this fee depends on
how much in advance of travel you request the visa.
We can expedite the visa
process for you, at no cost, if you send your completed
paperwork, passport, and payment to us. We add a nominal
$20 to cover the cost to get the applications hand carried to
the Consulate, hand delivered back to us, and then sent by
insured priority mail back to you.
Tour Terms and Conditions
standard terms and conditions
apply to this tour.
In addition, please note
these extra terms :
1. The 45 day
payment due date is considered to be (to be advised).
2. Tour price is based on a
ruble/US exchange rate in the wholesale range between 28.5 and
29.5, and a Euro/US exchange rate in the wholesale range between
1.16 and 1.26. If the exchange rates vary outside of this rate
prior to final payment being received, the tour price will be
adjusted (either up or down) to reflect the change in the cost
of tour components. If the price of the tour increases by
more than 5%, participants will be offered a no cost, no penalty
opportunity to cancel and receive a full refund of all monies
3. Triple share
rates may be available. Ask for a quote if this is
4. We suggest
you try and limit yourself to one main suitcase and one smaller
item per person, so as to ensure there are no problems getting
your luggage onto the overnight train.
The Travel Insider is
licensed by the State of Washington as a seller of travel -
registration number 602 036 247.
13 Dec 2005, last update
08 Jul 2017