Discover the heritage of a warm and welcoming country
Two cities, both alike in proudly displaying their culture and history, give you the chance to discover the heritage of a warm and welcoming country still emerging from its soviet shell.
From London Heathrow, board your direct flight to Russia's capital city of Moscow, checking in to the Park Inn Sadu hotel on arrival. Here you'll be welcomed in traditional style, being presented with bread, associated with hospitality, and salt, representative of a long friendship.
On Day 2 we embark on a sightseeing tour, travelling by coach around some of Moscow's most impressive landmarks. Sparrow Hills, situated on the bank of the Moskva River from which the city takes its name, offers a magnificent panoramic view of Moscow. Here, you will also find the Temple of the Holy Trinity, a whitewashed Russian Orthodox temple with aquamarine domes.
The impressive Moscow State University is another site you visit today, boasting of beautiful collections of diverse architectural styles and enchanting botanical gardens. You also visit Red Square. This city square is surrounded by many of the most iconic sights of the city, including the multi-coloured domes of Saint Basil's Cathedral. Also on the square is Lenin's Mausoleum, where it is possible to view the body of the Communist leader.
There'll also be a visit to the vast Kremlin building, a walled city surrounded by 18th century towers, and the seat of Russian government. This afternoon, and this evening, are at leisure to continue exploring Moscow at your own pace.
Today you get to experience one of the most visually pleasing Metro systems in the world, and a true highlight of the city, on a guided tour. Moscow's amazing Metro system dates back to the 1930's, and many of the stations are sumptuously decorated with marble, bronze, chandeliers, and stained glass.
Featuring art and sculptures spanning from Soviet philosophy to the Modernist avant-garde movement, these magnificent termini are a delight to behold and explore. Following this, you are at leisure to enjoy your last evening in Moscow.
After breakfast, transfer to the train station to board your train to the 'City of the Tsars', St Petersburg. This impressive and elegant city is a former Imperial capital, and was home to the previous royals of Russia. Until about 300 years ago, the region was completely uninhabited until Peter the Great ordered the construction of a defensive garrison to reduce the threat of Swedish attack. On the completion of the St Peter and St Paul fortress, the Tsar decided to relocate the capital here, building it with almost an unlimited supply of money. The latter half of the 18th century saw Catherine the Great come to the throne, and the city flourished further during her reign as she was a great patron of architecture and the arts - Pushkin and Dostoyevsky's work came to the fore in this time.
On arrival, you have time to enjoy lunch at your leisure, before transferring to your hotel for the remainder of your stay, where you enjoy dinner together this evening.
Begin exploring on today as you tour two of its most enticing attractions, Peterhof Palace and the Hermitage. Sometimes referred to as a 'Russian Versailles', the opulent Peterhof Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site constructed by Peter the Great. The palace is renowned for its beautiful grounds, which are filled with spectacular fountains and waterways. The numerous glittering palaces display some of the finest and most lavish artworks and ornaments that the world has to offer, and you have some time to explore before transferring to your next destination.
Continue to the Hermitage, founded by Catherine the Great in 1764 and set in the magnificent Royal Winter Palace. This evening, you are at leisure.
Please Note: For departures 19MWJ03 & 19MWJ04 Days 5 and 6 have swapped around and your farewell dinner will remain on Day 6.
Please Note: For Departure 19MWJ05 you will visit the Russian Vodka Museum.
For the 19MWJ04 you will visit the Russian Vodka Museum on Day 6.
Today you are free to explore St Petersburg at your own pace, and there is a plethora of things to do. Perhaps take a boat trip through the cities numerous canals? Due to its location on a former swamp, it boasts a myriad of pretty waterways, the perfect way to get around the city. Another option is to visit the Peter and Paul Fortress. Occupying a commanding position on an island in the Neva River, this mighty structure was the city's first stone building. It was originally designed as a defensive fort - a throwback to when the city was used to reduce the threat of an attack from nearby Sweden - but over the ages it has also been used as a prison, holding activists such as Dostoevsky and Gorky, and stands today as a museum.
This evening, meet your tour group back at the hotel to transfer to a local restaurant. Here, you enjoy your final dinner of the holiday.
Transfer to the airport after breakfast for your flight back to London. On arrival, your tour concludes.
Please note, the itinerary order may differ slightly depending on the date of departure.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
Discover the heritage of a warm and welcoming country