Moscow and St Petersburg
8 days from £1399 per person*
*based on sharing on a twin/double basis and a minimum of 40 paying passengers
Moscow and St Petersburg are home to some of the world’s finest art and architecture and have played an influential role in the history and culture of Eastern Europe. Join us on this fascinating tour of a lifetime that will allow us to marvel at grand and iconic sites. In the mysterious city of Moscow visits will include the Kremlin as well as the Armoury. St Petersburg is the Imperial capital of the Tsars founded in 1703 by Peter the Great and inspired by his vision to reproduce the baroque beauty of classical Italy. Our visit will include many of the famous sites including the unmissable Hermitage and the breath-taking Catherine Palace.
Fly from the UK to Moscow. On arrival we will be greeted by our local guide and the coach for the transfer to our hotel. Dinner included at the hotel.
After breakfast we will have a full day city sightseeing tour that will include a visit to the Kremlin and the Armoury. The Kremlin is the former residence of the Russian Tsars and is of unique architectural beauty. We then visit The Armoury, the treasury of the Russian Tsars with its unique collection of gold and silver items dating from the 12th to 19th centuries, the state regalia, thrones, carriages, coronation dresses, Faberge eggs and Russian arms. Dinner at the hotel.
After breakfast our coach will collect us for a visit to the Novodevichy Convent, now a museum. The convent is one of the finest examples of 16th-19th century architecture and was built on the territory of a former convent for ladies ‘of noble birth’. The Cathedral is the oldest building in the convent’s history and there is also an arts museum in the grounds. We will then return to the city centre of Moscow for the afternoon where we will have some free time to visit any of the amazing sites on our own such as St Basil’s Cathedral or the Tretyakov Gallery, Russia’s National Museum. Alternatively we may wish to take a relaxing cruise from which to view the Kremlin, St Saviour’s Cathedral and Gorky Park from a different perspective. Dinner at the hotel.
This morning we check out of our hotel and will have a guided tour of some of the main metro stations of the city. The Moscow Metro was one of the USSR’s most extravagant architectural projects. Stalin ordered the metro’s artists and architects to design a structure that embodied ‘brilliance’ and ‘a radiant future’. The purpose of its high ceilings and grandiose chandeliers was to remind travellers that Stalin had delivered something substantial to the people in return for their sacrifices. We will then take the train to St Petersburg. A coach will transfer us to the hotel where we will be based for the next 4 nights on a bed and breakfast basis. Dinner is included on the evening of arrival.
After breakfast we start our guided sightseeing tour of St Petersburg including visits to Kazan Cathedral, St Isaac’s Cathedral, Mariinsky Palace, The Bronze Horseman (statue of Peter the Great), The Fields of Mars, St Michael’s Palace and the Church on the Spilled Blood. Dinner under own arrangements.
This morning we visit The Hermitage, the magnificent collection of art housed in the winter palace of Catherine the Great. One of the biggest museums in the world and founded in 1764, its collection includes masterpieces by Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael, Rodin, Rembrandt, Rubens and the French impressionists. We continue to The Peter and Paul Fortress built to guard the city of St Petersburg. The construction of the Fortress began in 1703 but was never used as a fortress turning its bastions into political prison cells. Dinner under own arrangements.
Today we visit the royal palaces outside of St. Petersburg. The construction of Catherine Palace was started in 1717 for Empress Catherine and became the official Royal residence. We will visit Pavlovsk Palace, an 18th-century Russian Imperial residence built by Paul I of Russia. The palace and large gardens are now a Russian state museum and public park. After the many disasters that struck the house, it was ultimately restored by Italian and Russian architects adding decoration inspired by Roman models discovered at Pompeii and Herculaneum. It is filled with the finest 18th-century French furnishings, paintings, sculpture and porcelain. Dinner under own arrangements.
Today we check out of our hotel and, flight times permitting, have the morning free for some final shopping and sightseeing. Transfer by coach to the airport for our return flight back to the UK.
We use 4 star international hotels based in good locations for the touring itinerary
• Return flights from selected UK airports
• All coaching as required in Russia
• 3 nights half board accommodation in Moscow
• Porterage at hotels and train station
• English-speaking guides for transfers and sight-seeing as per the itinerary
• High-speed train between Moscow – St Petersburg
• 4 nights bed and breakfast accommodation in St Petersburg
• Dinner on evening of arrival in St Petersburg
• Full touring itinerary inclusive of entrance fees as per the itinerary
What’s not included
• Single supplement
• Travel insurance
The team from Wiltshire-based Success Tours helped Mary organise the trip. She says, “Their hard work and attention to detail was impeccable.”Flying with British Airways, the group’s first stop was Moscow, where their local guide greeted them. Mary recalls, “We took in all the capital’s main sites including the Kremlin and the Armoury as well as some of the main metro stations. Moscow Metro was one of the USSR’s most extravagant architectural projects and, with its grandiose chandeliers, high ceilings and marble columns, it’s not to be missed!”The group then travelled by train to St Petersburg. Highlights of the group’s time here include visits to the Hermitage, the magnificent collection of art housed in the winter palace of Catherine the Great, and the beautiful 18th century Pavlovsk Palace, which is now a state museum and public park.Of the whole experience, Mary says, “I first visited Moscow in the Soviet days of the 1970s and, on my return, it was brilliant to see the cosmopolitan hub the city has transformed into. My group, seeing the country for the first time, were also amazed. Russia should be on everyone’s to do list.”