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Duration: 8 days Visiting: Russia
Decadence and ornate beauty await you in Russia, the world's largest country. Delve into its fascinating history and colourful culture as you explore old-world St. Petersburg and cosmopolitan Moscow. From taking a trip to the Grand Kremlin Palace's Royal Apartments where you'll learn more about the fascinating history of Russia's tsars, to uncovering the secrets of Moscow's beautiful metro and its elegant architecture, you're sure to be impressed as you travel in style and indulge in world-class fine dining.
Welcome to St. Petersburg.
Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport. Welcome to St. Petersburg, where decadence and modernity meet. Once you have arrived at Pulkovo airport, a transfer will take you to your luxurious accommodation, the Grand Hotel Europe. This cultural and culinary landmark is situated in the heart of Russia's iconic port city. Positioned adjacent to Arts Square and in the heart of the city's architectural treasures, the hotel is an ode to the country's unique appreciation of the arts. At 19:00, join your Travelling Concierge for your Welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Get to know your fellow travellers over your first taste of Russian cuisine. Later you'll set off on a private sunset cruise as you take in Russia's White Nights. A unique natural phenomenon caused by St. Petersburg's geographical location, the sky remains bright after midnight.
Highlights of St. Petersburg.
Delve into St. Petersburg's religious history, with a trip to Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral. Once a prison, but currently used as a museum, this wonderfully ornate building was designed by Domenico Trezzini in the 18th century. Continue your exploration of the city with your Travelling Concierge before enjoying some free time for lunch and shopping. Why not head back to your hotel for a relaxing evening? It offers a therapeutic sauna, plunge pool and beauty salon for its guests.
In the morning, visit the Church of our Saviour on the Spilled Blood, where Tsar Alexander II was fatally wounded in 1881. Next, move on to the Fabergé Museum, where you'll find the imperial Easter eggs created for the last two Russian tsars, along with the museum's striking collection of other decorative pieces. In the evening, you'll head to the esteemed Hermitage Museum after hours, where you'll explore the venue with your Local Expert.
Prepare for your visit to Peterhof Palace in style, with a hydrofoil boat ride to the Russian Versailles. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, you'll explore its palaces and gardens filled with spectacular fountains and marble statues. Discover the character of Russian cuisine at Tsar restaurant and taste exquisite dishes filled with charm and tradition.
Journey to Moscow.
In the morning, find out more about the history of Matryoshka dolls at a workshop on how the Russian nesting dolls are created. You'll then begin your journey to Moscow. Relax in modern luxury and business-class comfort as you travel to the founding city of Russia in just a few hours onboard the high-speed Sapsan train. A cultural and political hub, you'll be impressed by its sheer size, as it holds the title of the largest city in Europe. Head to a lecture by a local historian on the KGB, the main spy agency of the former Soviet Union. In the evening you'll enjoy a delicious menu of local specialities at your hotel.
A Day of Theatre.
Explore Moscow in all its glory, starting with a VIP experience at the Kremlin Royal Apartments, Kremlin Armory and historic Red Square. See St. Basil’s Cathedral, a vibrant fusion of colour and patterns. Make sure you have your camera ready for a picture of this aesthetic, symbolic Russian construction. You'll have free time for lunch – your Travelling Concierge can help suggest some local dining options. Famous for its opera and ballet performances, you'll also head to the Bolshoi Theatre where you’ll experience a backstage tour of the venue.
Highlights of Moscow.
Learn more about the city you're in on a Moscow Metro experience with your Local Expert. With your afternoon at leisure, why not delve into more of Russia's unique history on a trip to the State Historical Museum? Or check out Tretyakov Gallery, which houses one of the largest collections of Russian art in the world? For outdoor enthusiasts, there is the beautiful Gorky Park, which holds a number of fitness activities in the summer, along with screenings at its open-air movie theatre. In the evening, board your romantic dinner cruise, where you'll see this beautiful city in a glittering new light.
It's time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers and take a transfer to the airport. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.