Proposal of services
Moscow & Saint Petersburg
7 nights/8 days

Itineray in brief

Day 1/Friday
• PM: Arrival in Moscow, private transfer Bus/Guide

Day 2/Saturday. Bus/Guide 8 hrs.
• AM: City tour including Red Square, Lenin’s Tomb, St. Basil’s Cathedral (outside), Sparrow Hills (highest viewpoint), Moscow State University, New Maiden convent (outside), Christ the Savour Church
• PM: Bakhrushina Theatre museum
• EVE: Bolshoi or Stanislavsy theatre performance

Day 3/Sunday. Bus/Guide 8 hrs.
• AM: Galina Ulanova ballet dancer apartment-museum visit
• PM: backastage tour of Bolshoi
• EVE: Bolshoi or Stanislavsy theatre performance

Day 4/Monday. Bus/Guide 4 hrs.
• AM: Kremlin tour, visit of Armoury Chamber, Cathedrals, special early entrance
• PM: Drive to Leningradskaya railway station for fast train “Sapsan”

Arrival transfer to the hotel upon arrival Bus/Guide
Option: Introductory lecture Hermitage Curator on Russia Ballet and ballet in Saint-Petersburg

Day 5/Tuesday. Bus/Guide 8 hrs.
• AM: Mariinsky backstage tour-TBC upon request. A visit of the exhibition “Stars of Russian Ballet” at one of the branches of the Theatre Museum by Samoylov.
• PM: Yusupov Palace visit with a backstage tour of the unique private theatre. (Anna Pavlova, a famous Russian prima ballerina of the late 19th –early 20th century, performed on the stage)
Option: Private Canal boat trip (the weather permitting)
Evening: Mikhailovsky theatre/Hermitage performance

Day 6/Wednesday. Bus/Guide 8 hrs.
• AM: Excursion to the Hermitage Museum
Option1: Special Early opening Hermitage before public time (TBC)
Option2: Tour of the museum by curator (subject for reconfirmation for the exact date)

Option3: Jewellery collection visit
• PM: A visit of the Children’s Ballet Theatre with a performance

Day 7/Thursday. Bus/Guide 8 hrs.
• AM: Pushkin, Catherine’s palace and parks, Amber room.
Option: Russian Troika ride
Lunch at local restaurant “Podvorie” with Folk show during lunch. Folk show “Feel yourself Russian”. (different from the folk show at Podvorie)

• AM: Departure transfer

Detailed itinerary

Upon arrival in Moscow you will be met by ES guide – have a private transfer.

In the morning you will admire 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, (outside) 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.

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 (outside). 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.

Go to the best viewpoint on Sparrow hills, from which you could easily see most of the city. Visit the State Lomonosov University – the biggest and the most prestigious institution – the university museum and some of its staff (at one time the tallest building in Europe).
Sparrow Hills (or Vorobyovy Gory), known as Lenin Hills is a hill on the right bank of the Moskva river and one of highest points in Moscow, reaching a height of 220 m (720 ft), or 60–70 m (200–230 ft) above the river level.

The observation platform, which gives a good panoramic view of the city, is on a steep bank 85 m (279 ft) above the river, or 200 m (660 ft) above sea level. The Luzhniki Stadium (formerly the Lenin Stadium), where the opening and closing ceremony for the 1980 Summer Olympics took place, is right below, across the Moskva River. Next to it is the Novodevichy Convent, with its Naryshkin Baroque towers.

Not far from the observation platform is the Luzhniki Metro Bridge. The two-level Metro-Bridge traverses the river to link Komsomolsky Prospekt with Vernadsky Prospekt. It serves two urban transport systems: motor vehicles and the Moscow Metro subway. The glass-walled subway station Vorobyovy Gory is at the lower level of the bridge.

In the Afternoon visit Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum. A.A.Bakhrushin State Central Museum keeps a unique collection of theatre relics of Russia. Here one may see the history of all kinds and genres of theatre art from the beginning to recent times. Almost 1,5 million exhibits are stored in the reserves of the Museum: they are archives of theatre personalities, portraits of eminent actors, singers, producers, dramatists, ballet-masters, dancers, composers, painters; costumes, personal belongings and properties; set designs and sketches made by great masters of scenery; posters and programs, photographs of artists and performances, rare books devoted to theatre art, video and cinematographic documents, articles of the theatre daily life.

Aleksey Aleksandrovich Bakhrushin, who collected all these precious treasures, was born in a merchant family. In the 1890s A.A.Bakhrushin started gathering his theatre collection and this became his main occupation.

A.A.Bakhrushin Theatre Museum, the largest collection of monuments of theatre art, is well-known all over the world. Its exhibitions are organized in our country and abroad.

In the evening optional ballet performance in one of the theatres

Galina Ulanova Apartment –museum. In the museum opened for visitors in 2004 and located in the high building on Kotelnicheskaya Embankment In the museum opened for visitors in 2004 and located in the high building on Kotelnicheskaya Embankment the works of visual, decorative and applied arts are exhibited among which are the works of Alexandre Benois, Marc Chagall, Arthur Fonvizin and others. The library numbers about 2 400 books and many of them have presentation inscriptions. Apartment still looks like at the days of life of the great Russian ballerina. Museum exposition consisting of the photos, bills, letters and memorial things tells about life and activity of Galina Ulanova — since her debuts on the stage and finishing last years of her life.

In the afternoon enjoy exciting backstage tour of Bolshoi theatre

The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, one of the major symbols of Russia and one of the most famous theatres in the world, has finally reopened in November 2011 after six years of reconstruction!! Dancers, Muscovites and theater connoisseurs from around the world are looking forward to great event.
The historical Bolshoi theatre building was designed by architect Joseph Bovéand was built in 1824. The new Edifice of the Bolshoi Theatre was rebuilt and enlarged several times and now it is considered one of the most mesmerizing theatrical buildings in the world due to its wonderful architectural style. Ballet and opera performances are staged at the Bolshoi Theatre with the participation of the world stars.
The Tsars loved Bolshoi Theatre, so did the Soviet leaders and so do both Muscovites and foreign visitors!
Backstage tour is arranged for the group.

In the evening – optional performance

You might be surprised how many ancient and magnificent structures one can see within the walls of the Kremlin: 15th century cathedrals (the coronation, wedding and burial place of early Russian rulers), the bell-tower, the Patriarch’s Palace, the Grand Kremlin Palace and of course the richest museum – the Armoury. Special early entrance to kremlin with Armoury visit.
The Armoury has a fascinating collection of Imperial insignia including precious clothes (some of which are currently on show at the Victoria and Albert museum in London), ceremonial harness and a unique collection of carriages. You can see the 17th century throne of Alexei Romanov covered with a mosaic of turquoises and 900 diamonds, a phelonion of Metropolitan Platon decorated with 150,000 pearls (it took the embroiderer 2 years to complete) and of course the famous Fabergé eggs. You will also visit two of the 15th century cathedrals.

In the afternoon transfer to railway station for speed train “Sapsan”. The train leaves at 13:30 and your seats are in business class carriage.

The train has 2 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. Economy class seats are equipped with individual light. No meal at the economy class included, newspapers – at extra charge. Each carriage fits 66 pax.

Arrive in Saint-Petersburg at 17:40 – transfer to the hotel with guide’s assistance.

Option –Introductory lecture at the hotel of Alexey Leporc on Russian Ballet and ballet in St. Petersburg

Start your tour today with the Special Backstage tour of Mariinsky Theate. The guests will see how a performance is engineered, the rooms where the dancers/singers prepare for the performance, and how the scenery is made. It is also a unique opportunity to see scenery painting by famous Russian artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.
One of the city’s attractions is the Imperial Opera Theatre called Mariinsky in honour of Maria Fedorovna, the wife of Emperor Alexander II. Built by architect Cavos in 1859-1860, it was inaugurated in 1860. Today the Mariinsky Theatre is one of the most beautiful in the world, famous for its renowned performers such as Marius Petipa, Matilda Kshesinskaya, Anna Pavlova, Rudolf Nyreev, Michael Barishnikov, Fyodor Shalyapin and others. The theatre has witnessed the triumphs of several generations of opera and ballet stars.

A visit of the exhibition “Stars of Russian Ballet” at one of the branches of the Theatre Museum by Samoylov

Samoylov museums of Theatrical and Music art.
Located next to the Alexandrinsky formerly the Imperial Theatre and St. Petersburg's premier stage for classical drama, this small museum displays costumes, set designs, playbills and other artefacts connected to some of the greatest names of Russian ballet and drama, including ballet stars Anna Pavlova and Rudolf Nuereyev, Michael Baryshnikov, theatre director Vsevolod Meyerhold, artists and set designers Leon Bakst, Boris Kustodiev and Kazemir Malevitch. The museum is named by the actor dynasty of the Samoylovs. Thirteen members of this family were theatre workers. The museum is located in the house which had earlier belonged to actor V. V. Samoylov. The exposition contains Samoylov’s personal articles, things which belonged to members of his family and fellow actors, theatre sketches and pieces of painting.

You will visit one of the most interesting and nicely preserved palaces of the city – Yusupov palace, bulit in the 1740’s and then bought by Catherine II for one of her ladies in waiting and was eventually bought by Prince Nikolai Yusupov in 1830 for 250,000 roubles! It was here that Prince Felix Yusupov planned and carried out the murder of Rasputin, who was lured to the Palace under the pretext of meeting Felix’ young beautiful wife Irina. All the rooms are beautifully restored and full of art, and the highlight must be the exquisite private theatre, built for Zineida Yusupov, where such renowned artists as Anna Pavlova and Shaliapin have performed Backstage tour of the unique private theatre (Anna Pavlova, a famous Russian prima ballerina of the late 19th –early 20th century, performed on the stage)

Option: Private Canal boat trip (the weather permitting)
The city of St Petersburg looks completely different from the water, and a canal ride will show the visitor several parts of the city which are missed during a city tour by coach. The city is situated on 42 islands, being washed by more than 90 rivers, Neva’s arms and channels. The granite embankments with the slopes and piers have become peculiar pedestals for the magnificent palaces: Winter, Marble, Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich (Neva), Mikhailov, Mariinsky, Stroganof, Yusupov (Moyka), Anichkov, Sheremetyev, Dukes Beloselski-Belozerski (Fontanka). A private boat is rented for the guests. The lower deck has got a roof to protect the clients from the wind and rain. There are tables and chairs there. For those who would like a breath of air, there is an open air terrace on the upper deck. For some tourists it is a nice possibility just to relax at the end of the day, enjoying the sights from the boat, to others – learn more about the city, listening to the guide’s story. There is a possibility to serve a cocktail on board or/and to provide musicians that would entertain the guests during the trip.

Option- Ballet performance in Mikhailovsky or Hermitage theatre

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.

Option 1 - Early opening of the Hermitage before the public time may be arranged for you.
Option 2 - you will see the Royal Jewellery Room which contains stunning ancient gold items (some date back to the 2000 BC!) as well as Russian tsars garments, weapons, etc.richly ornated with jewels (mostly diamonds) and also beautiful powder and snuff boxes, fans, table sets, etc.which are true objects of jewellery art. Most of them belonged to Russian tsars and tsarinas (e.g.Catherine the Great) and some were made by famous Faberge jewellery workshop.
Option 3 – Tour by the curator
Special private performance of the school pupils is arranged for the guests in one of the centrally located venues.

Ballet school leading by V. Kuramshin established in 1994 (in October 2009 it celebrated its 15 anniversary). Vladislav Kuramshin - a graduate of the Leningrad Academic Choreography school (now – Vaganova ballet school), then the ballet dancer of the Kirov (Mariinsky) theater...
The Ballet school is a unique institution, because children start professional ballet education here from 5-6 years, and by 10-11 years our pupils achieve such success that they can perform the most difficult elements of classical choreography, such as, for example, 32 fouettes, the golden standard of ballet technique (not every adult ballerina can do it!). The school is a private educational institution. Our theatre has been on ballet tours with great success many times in Germany, Bulgaria, Italy, France, Turkey, Czech Republic, Latvia, Estonia, Spain, Finland and Croatia. It repeatedly became the winner of various international ballet festivals and competitions.

Today we offer 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.

Amber workshop visit

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).

Option-troika ride

Folklore Show at the Nikolayevsky Palace in the evening
The folk show 'Feel Yourself Russian' is comprised of the bright performances of Saint Petersburg professional folk companies. The musicians of the Russian folk ensemble 'The Souvenir' play traditional accordion, balalaika as well as some rare and even exotic musical instruments. The dance company 'Petersburg Stars' brilliantly performs lyrical dances of the Russian North, stirring dances of the Cossacks from the Don and Voronezh, dancing miniatures of the Urals and Siberia. 'The Maidan' Company performs Cossack songs and dances in their original form. The folk instruments quartet 'Naiggrysh' plays versions of the well-known Russian tunes and the folk music of different nationalities. The national color of the performance is enriched with the bright dresses made in accordance with Russian traditions. Divided into two parts the show lasts for about two hours. In the intermission Russian snacks and beverages (canapes with caviar red and black, ham, smoked sausage, cheese, fruit, strong and soft drinks) are served. In the interval the guests are also welcome to listen to classical music performed by a string quartette and buy various Russian souvenirs.

Departure transfer
End of program in Russia