Group Itineraries:
Mow - Golden Ring - St Pet, 9 nights/10 days, 4*/5* hotels, Group tour,
Valid 2019

from € 2090.- pp

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Itineray in brief

Day 1/Friday. Moscow
• AM/PM: Arrival into Moscow International Airport, Transfer to the hotel with English speaking guide with a short tour en route
• EVE: Welcome Dinner at hotel restaurant

Day 2/Saturday. Moscow
• AM: Kremlin, visit to the Armoury chamber, Cathedrals
Option: special early entrance to Kremlin
• PM: City tour with Red Square visit, St Basil’s Cathedral (outside), Sparrow Hills (highest viewpoint), New Maiden convent
• Dinner: City restaurant

Day 3/Sunday. Moscow
• AM: The Old Tretyakov State Gallery with private choir performance
• Lunch: at local restaurant “Artist’s Gallery”
• PM: Metro – tour on the way to the Old Arbat area, Walking down the Old Arbat area – a pedestrian street
• Optional: Cold War Museum excursion
Return back to the hotel

Day 4/Monday. Golden Ring Cities: Sergiev Posad
• AM: Depart from Moscow to Sergiev Posad. Visiting Trinity – Sergius Lavra
• Optional 1: Matreshka-painting class
• Optional 2: Private icon-painter studio
• Lunch: at a local cafe
• PM: Transfer to Suzdal. Accommodation at hotel Pushkarskaya Sloboda (Standard rooms). Time at leisure to relax. Dinner at the locals

Day 5/Tuesday. Golden Ring Cities: Suzdal - Vladimir
• AM: City tour around Suzdal with visiting the Museum of Wooden Culture, Kremlin (its architecture), Krestovaya Palata (interior)
• Lunch: at a local cafe/restaurant in Suzdal
• PM: Visiting St. Ephimius Monastery (listening to bells’ singing). Transfer to Vladimir (distance is approximately 30 km). City tour around Vladimir with visiting Assumption/Dmitrievsky Cathedral of the 12th century, Golden Gates (architecture). Return back to Suzdal
• Dinner: at a local restaurant in Suzdal

Day 6/Wednesday. Suzdal - Moscow
• AM: Bus transfer to Moscow to the train-station
• PM: Sapsan train Moscow – St. Pet (Economy class tickets)
• Eve: Arrival in St. Pet St. Petersburg: Meeting with ES guide on the platform. Coach transfer to hotel
• Dinner: at hotel restaurant

Day 7/Thursday. St. Petersburg
• AM: Early entrance to the Hermitage Museum. Time for lunch. Orientation tour around the city, Peter and Paul’s Fortress. St. Isaac’s Cathedral. Walking down the Nevsky prospect
• Dinner: at a city restaurant

Day 8/Friday. St. Petersburg
• AM: Transfer to Peterhoff (early entrance to Grand palace and parks)
• Lunch: at restaurant Summer Palace in Peterhoff
• PM: back to the city. Faberge museum visit
• Eve option: Mariinsky/Alexandrinsky/Mikhailovsky theatre (will be known later when repertoire is confirmed)

Day 9/Saturday. St. Petersburg
• AM/PM: Trip to Pushkin (Tsarskoe Selo). The Catherine’s Palace with its Amber room, Wandering through park complex
• Lunch: at a traditionally Russian local restaurant “Podvorje”
• PM: back to the city – Church on Spilled Blood. Return back to the hotel
• Eve: Farewell dinner at restaurant “Mansarda” (3-courses, no alcohol incl)

Day 10/Sunday. St. Petersburg
• AM/PM: Departure transfer to the airport for the international flight back home

END OF SERVICES

Tour price

THE PRICE OF THE TOUR in EUR PER PERSON IN A DOUBLE ROOM
4* hotels: Park Inn Sadu 4*/Pushkarskaya Sloboda 4*/Ambassador 4*
Date/PaxDouble accommodationSGL Supliment
02.01.2019 – 15.04.2019, 14.10.2019 – 29.12.2019Euro 2090Euro 260
16.04.2019 - 12.05.2019, 15.07.2019 - 13.10.2019Euro 2182Euro 350
13.05.2019 – 14.07.2019Euro 2330Euro 498

THE PRICE OF THE TOUR in EUR PER PERSON IN A DOUBLE ROOM
Please note these are preliminary rates – subject for reconfirmation/change for exact dates
The rates are not valid for Economic Forum dates


The price includes:
  • 3 nights in a double room b/b in Hotel Park Inn Sadu 4* Moscow
  • 2 nights in a double room b/b in Pushkarskaya Sloboda 4* Suzdal
  • 4 nights in a double room b/b in Ambassador 4* St Pet
  • 5 lunches, 7 dinners
  • 19-seater for 12-14 pax for sightseeing in Moscow and St Pet
  • All entrance as indicated
  • Private English speaking Guide
  • Economy class train ticket for fast train to St Pet (NO escort on the train)
  • Porters at stations/airports in the hotels
  • 1 TL free in a single room
Highlights:
  • Private choir performance in Tretyakov gallery
  • Dinner in a private house in Suzdal
  • Early entrance to Peterhoff Grand palace, early entrance to Hermitage
  • Faberge museum collection visit
  • Matryoshka painting class or icon-painter studio visit
  • “Podvorye” lunch with unlimited beverages and folklore performance

Detailed itinerary

DAY 1 - MOSCOW
On arrival you will be met at the customs area by our Englishe - speaking guide. A private coach will take you to the city centre. Have a short tour en route. After the check in and some rest in the hotel the guests enjoy delicious dinner at the hotel restaurant.

DAY 2 - MOSCOW
Begin the tour with heart of the city - Kremlin
You might be surprised how many ancient and magnificent structures one can see within its walls: 15th century cathedrals (the coronation, wedding and bury place of Russian rulers), bell-tower, Patriach’s Palace, Grand Kremlin Palace and of course the richest museum - Armoury. The Armoury has a fantastic collection of insignia of Imperial power, precious clothes, ceremonial harness and unique collection of imperial carriages. The 17th century throne of Alexey Romanov covered with a mosaic of turquoises and 900 diamonds, a pheloneon of Metropolitan Platon decorated with 150,000 pearls (it took the embroiderer 2 years to work on the pattern!), the famous Faberge eggs – one help admiring the priceless and luxurious items.. Visit the 15th century cathedrals with fantastic interiors afterwards.
Option – special early entrance to Kremlin grounds can be arranged for the group

In the afternoon enjoy the first sights of Moscow during the city tour, passing the main streets and boulevards of the ancient city.

Originally a commercial centre, Red Square has been at the very centre of Russian history since the 15th century, from Ivan the Terrible’s confession of his misdeeds to the people in 1550, to great demonstrations, executions and the great parades of the Soviet Union’s military might. Ironically, “krasny” originally meant beautiful; it came to mean “red” only in the last century! From the time of Ivan the Great the square was used as a huge gathering place for public events, markets, fairs and festivals. The magnificent square encompasses an area of over $ 70,000 square metres and is bounded by the Kremlin walls, St.Bazil’s cathedral, the Historical museum and GUM departments store, the shopping arcade, that was completed in 1893.
At the southern end of Red Square is the almost fairy-tale like building of St Basil’s cathedral, commissioned in 1552 by Ivan the Terrible to celebrate his conquering of Kazan; legend has it that the architect was later blinded so that he could never repeat such a building that is so traditionally Russian. It is built of brick and comprises many colourful asymmetrical helmet and onion domes situated over nine chapels; the interior is full of 16th and 17th century icons, frescoes and ceiling paintings of subtle blues and pinks.

Go to the best viewpoint on Sparrow hills, from which you could easily see most of the city.

Sink in the atmosphere of the medieval Russia, when even daughters of tsars were doomed to become nuns (such were the rules, visiting the refined New Maiden Convent. This is one of the most beautiful of the city collection of buildings, located to the south-west of the city centre, with 16 gilded domes, founded in 1524. Many noble women, including Peter the Great’s first wife and his sister took vows and spent the rest of their lives here and are buried here.

DAY 3 - MOSCOW
In the morning you are welcome to visit The Old Tretyakov gallery that is a unique museum where one can have a perfect chance to get acquainted with the best samples of the Russian art. The founders of it, brothers Pavel and Sergei Tretyakov used their family fortune to become important collectors of art. Pavel opened his house to the public in 1856 and later built a new gallery for his paintings, and in 1892, both brothers bequeathed their collections to the city. The Tretyakov gallery reopened in 1995 after a nine-year renovation, and houses the world’s best collection of Russian icons, as well as a fantastic collection of other pre-Revolutionary Russian art. Enjoy a tour in the halls devoted to Russian icon painting, where you will learn the painting techniques of old masters and admire medieval masterpieces and listen to fascinating stories about them.

Option - After touring around the halls of the gallery we invite you to private choir performance
After the tour we offer you a private concert in the beautiful Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle Worker in Tolmachi, situated close to the gallery. The Church contains icons from the gallery’s reserve, among them – Russia’s most sacred object, the Icon of our Lady of Vladimir. As other cathedrals this church has a fantastic acoustics. The church is closed for the public, special chairs for the listeners are placed in the hall. An Orthodox church brings together architecture, icon painting and a service ritual reminiscent of an ancient theatrical performance. Music, as a component of this ritual, has magic properties that captivate listeners and carry them into different reality. Since Orthodox tradition doesn’t allow musical instruments during the services, it is a capella singing.


You are welcome to continue your day travelling by Moscow underground to the Old Arbat Street. On the way have a metro-tour of the oldest and the most remarkable metro stations. You will learn that it is not only the fastest means of transportation in the city but also a unique architectural ensemble. Major stations built in 30s of last century look like palaces richly decorated with marble, mosaic and semi-precious stones.
During the tour you will visit the oldest and the most beautiful metro-stations (Novoslobodskaya, Mayakovskaya, Komsomolskaya, Ploschad Revolutsii, Slavyanskiy Bulvar and some others). The guide will tell you thrilling facts of these “underground palaces” – each of these stations may be rightfully called a jewel of the world’s underground architecture.

ARBAT STREET
It is incredible to imagine visiting of Moscow without walking down the oldest and the most famous pedestrian street!
Arbat is the most famous and one of the oldest roads in the city.
Originally a suburb where traders from the East would arrive with their caravans, in the 18th Century the Arbat became popular with Moscow’s intelligentsia and artistic community, who enjoyed frequenting the many cafes and taking strolls along the area’s mansion-lined boulevards. Pushkin himself lived here with his wife in house number 53 (the building has since been turned into a museum dedicated to the poet).

Since it was no longer needed as a transport route, in the 1980s the way was paved for the Arbat to be made a pedestrian street, in which incarnation it has enjoyed a new lease of life as a tourist attraction. Maybe the legendary writers of the past no longer drink their coffee here, but a host of mime artists, soap-box poets, souvenir shops and art stalls evoke a decidedly bohemian atmosphere that can still inspire.

Option COLD WAR BUNKER
Welcome to the Cold War Museum, based on the former top-secret Soviet Command Post, N42, known more simply as GO-42
Thank to "Perestroika" you have the opportunity to visit one of the Soviet "underground command posts". The roles of this bunker included acting as the federal telephone/ telegraph communication Center, the HQ for the Soviet leadership and the Ministry of Communications, as well as the Moscow area Anti-aircraft Defense Communications. In a Global Nuclear War this Communication Center would have been one of the main Command Posts of the Soviet Government.
On arrival the guests are dressed like Soviet army officers and are taught to to assemble/dissemble Kalashnikov. Special “passes” (possible with photo of the guests) are provided for the participants.
The tour takes us 60 meters (!) below the ground and you will visit all the halls and the Duty officer rooms. Museum exhibits include the military communication devices of the soviet era. You will see also our 15 minute film about the ‘Cold War’ between NATO and USSR and explore the 7,000 sq me area of the genuine unique underground complex. Welcome cocktail can be served for the guests.


DAY 4 - MOSCOW – SERGIEV POSAD - SUZDAL
This is the town around the Trinity Monastery of St Sergius (60 km from Moscow) and is one of Russia’s most important religious and historical landmarks, and still a place of spiritual pilgrimage. Dating back to 1340, the monastery is seeped in state and religious history and visitors today still get a real feeling of Medievil Russia. The monks here withstood a 16-month siege by the Polish from 1608 – 10 and they sheltered the young Tsars Peter and Ivan in the 1680’s. During Soviet times, it was the residence of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox church, and the wealth of beautiful churches here includes the Trinity Cathedral which alone houses 42 icons by the master, Andrei Rublyov. It is possible to have lunch in one of the local restaurants.

Visit to private artist house for matreshka painting master-class
Just south of Trinity Sergius lavra there is an elegantly crumbling red brick building on the hilltop which is a famous toy factory. Sergiev Posad has a long history of toy-making — the matryoshka was invented here — and today there are still two functioning toy factories and a special school to train toy craftsmen in the region. Have a tour around the museum, particularly the second floor, and stop by the gift shop near the entrance to pick up a few very affordable handmade wooden toys for friends. After finding out the history of matryoshka have a splendid opportunity to make such a doll with your own hands and colour it up to your personal wish. Take this souvenir with you! Alternatively the group can see icon-painter process.

In the afternoon you will have a drive to Suzdal.
Fabulously ancient and wonderfully adorned, Suzdal occupies a special place among the other Russian towns. The entire town is a museum which has hardly changed for the past two and a half centuries. Over one hundred monuments, dating from different periods of the past millennium are concentrated here.
You will visit the Kremlin, the ancient trading rows and Krestovaya Palata, visit the unique museum of wooden architecture, see lots of big and small churches and listen to the bells' concert in Spaso-Efimievsky monastery. You will have eve at leisure to relax at hotel or you may take some time for self-exploration the town.

DAY 5 - SUZDAL – VLADIMIR
Since morning you will have a chance to admire the sights of ancient Suzdal.

The Suzdal Kremlin is the oldest part of the Russian city of Suzdal dating from the 10th century. Like other Russian kremlins, it was originally a fortress or citadel and was the religious and administrative center of the city. It is most notably the site of the Cathedral of the Nativity.

Together with several structures in the neighboring city of Vladimir, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.

Visit the Open-Air museum of Wooden architecture
The Saviour Monastery of St. Euthymius was founded in the 14th century, and grew in importance in the 16th and 17th centuries after donations by Vasili III , Ivan V and the Pozharsky family, a noble dynasty of the region. Among the buildings erected during this period were the Assumption Church, the bell tower , the surrounding walls and towers, and the seven-domed Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour. The cathedral was built in the style of the Grand Duchy of Vladimir-Suzdal. Its interior contains restored frescoes by the school of Gury Nikitin of Kostroma, dating from 1689. The tomb of Dmitry Pozharsky lies by the cathedral wall.

In the afternoon you will visit Vladimir town.
The history of this town goes back over one thousand years. It was founded in the 990’s on the banks of the river Klyazma by Prince Vladimir. The rise of Vladimir began under Andrey Bogolubsky, the son of Yuri Dolgoruki who founded Moscow.

Unique memorials of XII still remain in the town — Cathedrals of Assumption and St. Demrtrius Cathedral. Assumption Cathedral has preserved world famous frescoes of Andrei Rublev. You’ll see the famous Golden Gates (1158-1164) located close to the town centre and visit one of the museums on your choice: “The old Vladimir ” museum or Museum of rock crystal.
The magnificent five-domed Assumption Cathedral was designed as a sepulcher of grand princes and dedicated to the holy icon Theotokos of Vladimir, which had been brought to the city by Andrew the Pious. The cathedral was constructed in 1158–1160, expanded in 1185–1189, and painted by the great Andrei Rublev1408. In 1810, a lofty bell-tower was added in Neoclassical style.

The warrior-like cathedral of St. Demetrius was built in 1194–1197 as a private chapel of Vsevolod the Big Nest in the courtyard of his palace and was consecrated to his holy patron, St. Demetrius. For all its formal unity, the cathedral represents an international project of Russian and Byzantine masters, Friedrich Barbarossa's masons, and carvers sent by Queen Tamar of Georgia.

The Golden Gate, originally a tower over the city's main gate, was built in 1158–1164. The gate acquired its present form after having been reconstructed in the late 18th century, to prevent the dilapidated structure from tumbling down.You have one more overnight at hotel Pushkarskaya Sloboda in Suzdal.

DAY 6 - SUZDAL – MOSCOW – ST. PETERSBURG
In the morning you will have breakfast at the hotel restaurant.
Afterwards a coach transfer to Moscow train-station to catch Sapsan speedy day train to St. Petersburg

In the afternoon transfer to railway station for speed train “Sapsan”
The train has 1st class, 1 business class and 7 economy class carriages
and can fit 554 pax in total. The bistro carriage offers wide choice of hot meals and starters.
Arrive in St Petersburg – transfer to the hotel.
Evening– at leisure.
Dinner at hotel restaurant

DAY 7 - SAINT PETERSBURG
In the morning admire the wonderful collection of the world’s biggest museum – Hermitage. Today, the museum has over 2 million exhibits within its four buildings and attracts around 3 million visitors a year. The exhibitions are diverse with works by Da Vinci, Raphael, Rembrandt, an impressive collection of impressionists and largest collection of Titians in existence.

Early opening of the Hermitage before the public time is arranged for you

In the afternoon the guests will have a chance to get acquainted with one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, Saint Petersburg remains one of the most romantic cities in Russia. Among the many poetical names applied to St. Petersburg the most common are “Northern Venice” and “Northern Palmyra”. The fascinating palaces and cathedrals, beautiful bridges over Venice-like canals, spacious squares and wide streets decorated with edifices of flourished baroque and impressive classical styles, monumental sculpture and lacy iron grilles and, of course, the special spirituality of this city infects everyone who visits it. In 1991 the city was placed on the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage. With numerous palaces and the world famous Hermitage on the banks of the Neva river, the city is Russia’s most popular destination, drawing visitors from all over the world throughout the year.

Visit to Peter and Paul’s fortress
Standing on a small island at the centre of the Neva delta, the fortress was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great and is the oldest building in St Petersburg. Up to 1917, the fortress was mainly used for holding political prisoners, such as Dostoyevsky, Lenin’s brother Alexander and Peter the Great’s own son Alexei. At the heart of the fortress is the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul, with its landmark gold spire, where all of Russia’s pre-Revolutionary leaders were buried, apart from Peter, Ivan IV and Nicholas II.

St Isaacs Cathedral is the main church of the city. Commissioned in 1818 by Alexander I, this imperial cathedral with its opulent interior and huge gold dome by its height occupies the 4th place in the world among domed cathedrals. The massive granite columns had to be transported from Finland on purpose built ships and rail and the dome is covered in nearly 100kg of gold; inside, there are 10 malachite columns and a beautiful iconostasis. For visitors with energy to spare, it is possible to climb the several hundred steps of the spiral staircase to the colonnade for a fabulous view of the city.

DAY 8 - SAINT PETERSBURG
Full day outside the city – Peterhoff
Arrive to the sumptuous Peterhoff, or “Peter’s Court”, dates back to 1715 and is a former summer residence of the Russian Tsars. Most famous for its stunning golden fountains, the palace grounds house several buildings and parks – the Grand Palace (“the Russian Versailles”, now a vast museum of lavish rooms and galleries), Monplaisir (Peter’s outwardly more humble villa), the Grand Cascade (the centrepiece of the palace grounds with over 140 fountains), the Lower Park (parkland along the Gulf with more fountains and pavillions), Marly Palace and Alexandria Park. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the population of St Petersburg was invited to dine here at a great summer fete held every year.
Special early opening of Grand Palace is arranged for the guests.
Enjoy the tour of the palace and parks.

Faberge Museum

The Faberge Museum in St. Petersburg was created to preserve, study and promote the cultural heritage of Russia, as well as to develop the city's museum infrastructure. The museum's collection is made up of the world's largest collection of works by Carl Fabergé, including nine of the famous imperial Easter eggs that have great value not only as highest jewelry artworks, but also as unique historical artifacts. The museum collection also includes artworks and crafts created by Russian masters of the second half of the 19th – early 20th centuries. The museum is located in the Shuvalov Palace on the Fontanka River - one of the most beautiful palaces of St. Petersburg.

The most valuable part of the museum's collection are the nine Imperial Easter Eggs created by Faberge for the last two Russian emperors. All of them are masterpieces of jewelry art, as well as unique historical monuments associated with the reign and personal life of Alexander III and Nicholas II.

The exclusivity of the Faberge collection acquired also comes from the fact that this collection represents all areas in which the House of Faberge operated: fantasy objects of all kinds, jewelry, precious haberdashery, silverware, interior and religious objects. In addition to Faberge works, the collection includes works by his contemporaries, including famous Russian jewelers and silversmiths such as Sazikov, Ovchinnikov, Khlebnikov, Rueckert and many others.

DAY 9 - SAINT PETERSBURG
Today we offer the a tour to the former summer residences of the Russian tsars – Tsars Village (Pushkin town) to visit there the Catherine Palace and park. Situated in the suburbs of Saint Petersburg the Tsar Village is a unique ensemble comprising several pavilions, beautiful lakes and gardens and a wonderful Catherine Palace The summer palace was originally given by Peter the Great to his wife Catherine, and was rebuilt by Italian architect Rastrelli in 1756. The palace is a huge, elegant building with white and hold Baroque mouldings set against a blue background, set in a beautiful park with elaborate gardens, canals and pavilions. Catherine the Great loved living here. Some of the more beautiful rooms include the Great Hall, the State Dining Room, the Amber Room, the Blue Drawing Room, the bedroom of Alexander I’s wife Elisabeth and the Palace Church.
The clients visit Catherine palace and promenade in the beautiful park afterwards.

Enjoy lunch in “Podvorie” restaurant is located nearby Pushkin (Catherine palace) and Pavlovsk. “Podvorye” has a traditional wooden Russian décor and national cuisine. The restaurant is known to have been visited by top level officials – Vladimir Putin, Jaques Chirac, etc. It is a very cosy restaurant, the interior resembles traditional Russian terem (wooden palace), a lot of woodcarving. Meal is accompanied by folklore group singing.
Russian vodka, wine are served unlimited as well as there is entertainment during the meal (Russian folklore).
In the afternoon – return to the city.

This landmark church was commissioned by Alexander III in 1882 to honour the memory of his father Alexander who was assassinated the previous year; the altar was built on the very place where his blood stained the cobblestones. It was built to resemble St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow – hence it’s stunning exterior – and was recently completely restored inside. It does not belong to the Orthodox Church, and is open now as a museum of mosaics.

Farewell dinner is booked for the group in one of the city’s best restaurant

DAY 10 - SAINT PETERSBURG – Departure day
Transfer to the airport to catch your international flight back home