Day 1 Arrival at Moscow Airport
Welcome to Russia
On arrival at Moscow International Airport you will be met by our local representative and you will be transferred to the hotel.
Day is free, for you to explore the city at your own pace.
Moscow is a bustling metropolis, Russia’s beating heart
Vibrant, modern, and oh-so–fashionable, the Russian capital rivals the world’s best cultural destinations.
This thriving city is home to famous Bolshoi Theatre and the impressive Kremlin.
Moscow is the biggest Russian and European city, with more than 12 million inhabitants. It has been the capital of Russia since the 15th century, except from 1712 to 1918, when the capital was transferred to St. Petersburg. The city was founded in the 12th century and the Kremlin, its main fortress, was erected in 1156. Moscow rapidly gained importance and the Duchy of Moscow became the main political centre among the principalities of central Russia before Ivan III, Grand Prince of Moscow, united most of these states under his control. He liberated central Russia from the Mongol and Tatar invaders, expanded the Russian state, and was named Grand Prince of Rus, with Moscow as its capital. The city has been destroyed by invaders several times throughout its history: the Mongols, Crimean Tatars, Poles, and Swedes have all occupied the city, and even Napoleon remained here for six weeks before beginning his catastrophic retreat during the Russian winter.
Overnight in Moscow
Day 2 Moscow
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will have a complete panoramic tour of Moscow. Vibrant, modern, and oh-so–fashionable, the Russian capital rivals the world’s best cultural destinations. The thriving metropolis is home to famous Bolshoi Theatre and the impressive Kremlin. Theatres, concert halls, chic stores, hip restaurants, and trendy clubs abound along the Moskva River. The ideal way to get in touch with the city, including its historical centre and major monuments. We will stroll along the broad avenues, making our way through the famous Tverskaya Street to the top of Sparrow Hills, under the imposing stare of Lomonosov University, one of the Stalin-era skyscrapers scattered throughout the city. From there we will admire an impressive panorama of the city, followed by a stop at Victory Park and another in front of Novodevichy Convent and its lake, the inspiration for Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. We will approach the historical centre from the banks of the Moskva River, coming out near the White House, location of the siege of the Russian Government. We will also stop at Arbat Street, a busy pedestrian thoroughfare nicknamed the “Moscow Montmartre” because of the artist that used to live in the area and the painters that nowadays populate the street. We will pass in front of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the Parliament Building (Duma), Bolshoi Theatre, and the imposing facade of Lubyanka, headquarters of the KGB. We will continue through the alleyways of the ancient merchant district Kitai-Gorod, which contains numerous small churches, finally arriving at Red Square, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in the world and designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It was named Red, or “Krasnaya” in Russian, which in Old Russian was a synonym of “beautiful.” Now the square is surrounded by the famous buildings of the Russian Historical Museum, the Kremlin, and Saint Basil’s Cathedral with its gorgeous onion domes, built by order of Ivan the Terrible. Red Square is also home to Lenin’s Mausoleum and features Russian Army parades on various holidays throughout the year.
Exterior visit to Novodevichy Convent and its famous “Swan Lake”. Novodevichy Monastery, designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, is one of the most beautiful monasteries in all of Russia and is situated in the southwest of the capital on a meadow next to the Moskva River. Numerous outstanding and famous Russian personalities from the worlds of art, science, and even politics are buried: Boris Yeltsin, Khrushchev, Kropotkin, and Molotov rest here, along with Chekhov, Gogol, Mayakovski, Bulgakov, and also Rostropovich, Shostakovich, Stanislavsky, Rubinstein, Chaliapin, and Eisenstein.
In the afternoon visit to the Kremlin and its cathedrals. The word “Kremlin” in Russian means fortress, and in early Rus every important town had a fortress encircled by a wall where the main buildings, churches, and cathedrals were located and protected.
We will begin our tour on Manege Square, the site of the imperial stables as well as an ancient livestock fair. We will pass by Russia’s "Kilometre Zero" and continue our walk, admiring as we go the Art-Nouveau facades of the luxurious National and Metropol hotels as well as the Parliament Building (Duma). We will stop in front of Bolshoi Theatre and the imposing face of Lubyanka, headquarters of the KGB. We will stroll through the alleyways of the ancient merchant district of Kitai-Gorod, home for numerous small churches, including the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan and the Cathedral of the Epiphany. We will also stop at GUM, the famous historical galleries which have been transformed into a veritable temple of luxury, and afterwards continue our walk at Red Square, included in the UNESCO World Heritage list and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in the world. It was named Red, or “Krasnaya” in Russian, which in Old Russian was a synonym of “beautiful.” Now the square is surrounded by the famous State Historical Museum, Kremlin, and St. Basil’s Cathedral with its fabulous onion domes, built by order of Ivan the Terrible. Red Square is also home to Lenin’s Mausoleum, and additionally features parades by the Russian Army on various holidays throughout the year. We will walk along the Kremlin walls, visiting Alexander Garden, the most ancient in Moscow and home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with its eternal flame.
Visit to the Moscow metro. Opened on May 15, 1935, by the Soviet government as a symbol of the technological and industrial prowess of the political system, the Moscow metro was considered to be the "People’s Palace."
Overnight in Moscow
Day 3 Moscow-Murmansk-Kirovsk
Breakfast at the hotel. Today your driver will pick you up and drop you to the airport for your onward flight to Murmansk. On arrival in Murmansk your will be picked up and drop to your hotel.
The Russian Arctic and the Kola Peninsula in particular are excitingly remote areas. Few visitors venture here. This region was mostly closed during the Soviet era, when it developed as the important mining and military center that is still today. It has been opened to tourism only recently, and it still has some logical deficiencies and shortcomings: the infrastructures are obsolete and sometimes in poor condition, and the welcoming structures are just starting to develop, the hotel standards being below the usual Russian standards... Travelers should take it into account and adapt their expectations accordingly. Nevertheless, the beauty of the landscapes and the immensity of its spaces compensate for these inconveniences.
Murmansk is the most accessible gateway to the Russian Arctic and Russian Lapland. With its 300,000 inhabitants, it is the largest city in the world located north of the Arctic Circle. It is situated at the bottom of a navigable fjord in the Barents Sea, and is one of the most important fishing, commercial, and military ports of Russia. It is connected to the rest of the country by road and rail, as well as by several regular daily flights to Moscow (1500 km) and St. Petersburg (1000 km). For centuries, the Russians had called this coast "Coast of Murman"; the word "Murman" meaning "Norwegian" (Norman) in Old Russian. In the 12th century, the Republic of Novgorod, then the most important Russian state, started sending colonists to the coasts of the White Sea and the Arctic. These people, called "Pomors" ("Maritime"), were the first Russians to settle permanently in the Murmansk region. From the 16th century, Russia strengthened its position in the region against Sweden and Norway; it built several forts and the small town of Kola, 12 km south of present-day Murmansk.
Visiting "Saami City" and Small Reindeer Sleigh Ride. Saami City is located about 110 km south of Murmansk, in the central part of the Kola Peninsula, and in the area of former settlements of the Saami. There are very few descendants of the Sami who originally inhabited this region, and today we will have the opportunity to meet one of them. He will show us old pictures and tell us stories, anecdotes, and traditions. We can see the buildings and religious symbols of the Saami, and meet their inseparable companions: reindeer and huskies. We will have a chance to take a short walk (5-10 minutes) in a sleigh drawn by reindeers (4 people per sleigh) and then warm up with a traditional soup.
After lunch departs to Kirovsk. The small town of Kirovsk is located at an altitude of 350 meters, at the very foot of the Khibiny Mountains. It has about 30,000 inhabitants and is divided into three separate neighbourhoods. It was founded in 1929, and today it is a curious mix of the mining community and a center of sports and adventure tourism. Kirovsk has the largest alpine ski resort in northern Russia, with 6 tracks certified by the FIS, a maximum height of 1,050 meters and a vertical drop of nearly 700 meters. From here numerous expeditions depart to the Khibiny Mountains, to some of the national parks in the region of Murmansk, and to the neighbouring Karelia to enjoy mountain skiing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, etc. At the entrance of the village we can see the Orthodox Church of the Image of Edessa, with its colourful red bricks and golden domes.
Night trip for Northern Lights hunting. The Khibiny Mountains are a fairytale setting to try to observe the Northern Lights. We will leave the village by coach and then we will hike around 30 minutes through a wide track to reach a wide valley hidden between the mountains.
Overnight in Kirovsk
Day 4 Kirovsk-Murmansk
Breakfast at the hotel.
Snowmobile Safari in the Khibiny Mountains. The Khibiny Mountains, with their spectacular terrain and beautiful valleys, provide a unique setting for snowmobile safaris. In addition, due to the height here, safaris can usually be carried out until May. We will leave the village through a valley, going towards the heart of the range, to reach a mountain pass beaten by the winds and a frozen mountain lake.
We will change clothes in the base of the snowmobiles, where we will receive all the necessary equipment, as well as the basic instructions of driving snowmobiles and the rules to follow during the safari, which will be translated for us by our guide. Then we will split into groups of about 6 snowmobiles, each group accompanied by an instructor (Russian or English speaking).
Two people will travel in each snowmobile – one will drive the snowmobile, the other will travel as a passenger. The two people take shifts driving the snowmobile following the instructor’s indications and changing each other at the stops made for that purpose. The supplement for being alone on the snowmobile is 60 EUR (upon request).
Departure from the hotel at 09:00, finish at 12:00. Transportation time: approximately 1 hour, round trip. Duration of a safari: approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
If the snowmobile safari can’t start because of adverse weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances, the activity will be reimbursed. If the safari has started, and it has to be shortened because of worsening weather conditions or other circumstances, emergency, etc., no refund will be made. A voluntary withdrawal by a passenger at any time (before or during the safari), for whatever reason, will not result in any refund.
Visiting the "Snow Village" in Kirovsk. Every year since 2008, 20 artists from Russia and its neighbouring countries create from scratch an underground village, completely carved in snow and ice. It is the largest snow-carved structure in the world, and consists of more than 20 chambers and numerous connecting corridors, which stretch for 2,000 sqm. Each year the village is devoted to a different theme. We can walk through the impressive halls where the artists have carved beautiful filigrees and sublime decorations enhanced by coloured lights.
Descent in "vatrushki" (inflatable sled). We will have the opportunity to practice a pastime that all Russians love since their childhood: to go down a small slope riding "vatrushki" (“donuts”), a kind of a round-shaped inflatable sledge that glides at full speed on snow and ice.
After lunch we will continue through the Kola Peninsula towards Lake Imandra bordering the National Park of Russian Lapland. We will travel across landscapes of an indescribable beauty. Along the way, we will also see some of the major industrial and mining centres in the region, such as Olenegorsk and Monchegorsk. Stop at Lake Imandra and Husky Sleigh Ride. Lake Imandra is the second largest lake in the European Arctic region, and the largest in Russian Lapland. Its coastline draws capricious forms creating many bays, nooks, and islets. It has a maximum depth of 67 meters, 850 square km of surface and is located about 150 km south of Murmansk. Its waters are transparent and rich in fish. We will visit the farm of the famous Russian “huskies”, specially trained and used to the harsh polar conditions. We can enjoy a ride (15 minutes) in a husky-drawn sledge on the frozen waters of Lake Imandra and then warm up with genuine Russian vodka, accompanied by the typical "zakusky". On the sled, we will be covered with blankets, but you must bring warm clothing. There will be one passenger per sled, in addition to the "musher" or guide, who speaks Russian and sometimes English.
If the ride is impossible due to meteorological conditions, the activity will be refunded. If the journey has begun but must be shortened or cancelled by a sudden aggravation of weather conditions or other circumstances, emergencies, etc., no refund will be made. A voluntary withdrawal by a passenger at any time (before or during the ride) would not result in any refund.
Departure back to Murmansk. In route a hunting for Northern Lights are one of the greatest shows that Nature gives us. The night sky is illuminated in a fairy-tale ballet of multi-coloured lights that seem to dance before our eyes. It is a phenomenon created by the arrival of solar particles, charged with energy, meeting the Earth's magnetic field and the gases in our atmosphere. This creates an impressive show of dancing lights whose shapes change capriciously in the night skies. To try to spot the Aurora Borealis in the best possible conditions, we must avoid light pollution, thus leave urban settlements and head to rural areas, preferably on top of a hill to enjoy a better view. The region of Murmansk is one of the most favourable parts of the world for the observation of the Northern Lights, due to the following reasons: it is located in the very North, about 300 km above the Polar Circle; the temperatures, although cold, are moderated by the Gulf Stream. And Murmansk enjoys more clear days than other cities on the same latitude. Murmansk is located right in the so-called "Oval of the Northern Lights", the part of the world where it is easier to see them. In Murmansk and its region, we can see the northern lights between the end of September and April.
Overnight in Murmansk
Day 5 Murmansk-Saint Petersburg
Breakfast at the hotel. Visiting the Nuclear Icebreaker "Lenin". During the numerous expeditions to the Russian Arctic, to the various bases and settlements in the northernmost part of the country, the Russians clearly saw the need to extend the endurance of their ships. Icebreakers consume a lot of energy because of the power they need to break the ice shell. For a traditional diesel-powered icebreaker, endurance reaches a maximum of 40 days, even when carrying 70% of its weight in fuel. The Soviet Union therefore decided to build the first nuclear-powered icebreaker in the world: The "Lenin". She was built in the St. Petersburg shipyards. Launched in 1957, she was finalized in 1959. She was powered by 3 nuclear reactors, which were then replaced by 2 of a more advanced and safer type. The "Lenin" had one year endurance, with a power of 45,000 horses. In 1989, she was retired from service, having travelled nearly 600,000 nautical miles (one million kilometres) through the ice of the Arctic. After all these years of good and loyal service, she now serves as a museum in the city of Murmansk. She is located not far from "Atomflot", the headquarters of the Russian fleet of nuclear ice-breakers, the only one in the world. During our visit to the "Lenin" we will see the different parts of the ship, which is adapted for a crew who had to spend long periods in complete autonomy, without contact with the outside world: the canteen, the cinema, the small hospital, the cabins, the map room, the captain’s bridge, and, of course, the nuclear reactors, now deactivated.
Panoramic Tour of Murmansk. The city extends from North to South on the banks of the Murmansk Fjord along about 20 km. It was built on the hills overlooking the fjord, so we can enjoy panoramic views in different places along our route. Most of the monuments we will see are related to the character of Murmansk as a fishing and military port, as well as to its important role in both world wars, especially during World War II, when the city heroically resisted several German attacks and was one of the main entry points of the Allied military aid to the Soviet Union.
We will start at the city centre, at the Five Corners Square. Next to it, the Central Park is located with its curious Monument to the Cod, the main product of the Murmansk fishing fleet. At the crossroad of Lenin Avenue and Karl Marx Street there are two of the most important buildings of the city, the Town Hall and the Regional Museum of Local Lore, the oldest stone building in Murmansk. We will then pass in front of the Monument to the Patriarchs Cyril and Methodius, who introduced writing in Russia creating the Cyrillic alphabet. We will proceed by the Court of Justice and the House of Culture, continuing along Lenin Avenue, where we can admire many examples of Stalinist architecture. We will see the Drama Theatre, next to the Monument to the Arctic Border Guards. We will go up Lieutenant Schmidt Avenue, passing the Monument to the Sailors and Ships of the Fleet, the Central Station, and the sport area, with the Ice Palace, the Central Stadium, and the communal swimming pool. After a stop in front of the Monument to the Arctic Explorers, we will reach the hill where some of the main monuments of the city are located: The Orthodox Church of Saint Saviour on the Waters, the Memorial to the Sailors Fallen in Times of Peace, and the moving Monument to the Kursk Submariners, with the turret of the infamous nuclear submarine that sank in 2000 in the waters of the Barents Sea, killing its 118 crew members. It was based in one of the military facilities near Murmansk. From here, we can enjoy a panoramic view of the city. We will continue around Lake Semenovskoye where we can find the statue of the famous cat "Semyon" lost by its owners in 1987 during a trip to Moscow. For 6 years, the cat travelled 1,800 kilometres all the way back to Murmansk to come home. We will then arrive at one of the highest points of the city, the Monument to the Defenders of the Russian Arctic during World War II, an impressive statue of a Soviet soldier nearly 40 meters high, better known under the nickname of "Alyosha", diminutive of Alexei. The Eternal Flame for the Unknown Soldier is also located here. We will admire a spectacular view of the city, its port, the Murmansk Fjord, and its surroundings. After seeing the statue of the Waiting Woman, dedicated to the sailors' wives, we will move to some of the city suburbs, passing by the Orthodox Church of All Saints, one of the most remarkable in Murmansk. We will reach the bridge over the Kola Bay, where we will enjoy another beautiful panorama of the city and its fjord. We will then return to the center.
After the tour transfer to the airport for your onward flight to Saint Petersburg. On arrival transfer to the hotel.
Overnight in Saint Petersburg
Day 6 Saint Petersburg
Breakfast at the hotel. Today experience a complete panoramic tour of St. Petersburg. “Russia’s window to Europe”, the “Northern Venice”, the “Museum City” - regardless of the alias it goes by, St. Petersburg is a must-see. Built on mud and water in 1703 by Tsar Peter the Great, this magnificent city in northern Russia captivates, highlighted by its stately palaces, elegant bridges and majestic granite embankments flanking the river and canals crisscrossing the city. Its beauty and richness will leave you utterly spellbound.
When Peter the Great wanted to push Russia toward European standards, judging his country underdeveloped and its nobility and institutions out-dated, he decided to move the capital from Moscow and build a new one from scratch closer to northern Europe, which he admired. The location seemed to be poorly chosen - a marshy land in the Great North, plagued with malaria in summer and a harsh climate in winter where thousands of forced labourers would die building the city. However, it soon began to grow rapidly, becoming a magnet for architects and artists from all over Europe who built avenues, parks, churches, palaces, canals, bridges, schools, a University, and the Academy of the Arts, and embellished the city to a degree previously unimaginable. The luxury and technical sophistication used during the construction and the wealth of the tsar’s court can be seen in the numerous palaces and theatres, as well as the luxurious facades decorating the broad avenues, called "Perspectives" (Prospects) in the native Russian. The numerous canals, islands, and bridges that were built to drain the marshy soil and the impetuous Neva lent St. Petersburg its unique character. All of this led to the city being designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
St. Petersburg remained the Russian capital for more than two centuries, from 1712 to 1918. After the Russian revolution, the capital was moved back to Moscow, after which the city endured a period of decline. The communists even changed its name twice, first to Petrograd and then to Leningrad. After the fall of the Soviet Union, St. Petersburg recovered its name and, thanks to significant reconstruction and restoration, has been restored to its past glory and splendour.
Today St. Petersburg is a vibrant, dynamic city with five million inhabitants and is the fourth largest city in Europe. It is the most visited city in Russia and, in addition to its wonderful cultural heritage, offers visitors an impressive palette of recreational activities all year round.
A guided tour completely in English, this tour is ideal for getting the feel of the city, and in particular its historical centre and major monuments. Participants will enjoy Nevsky Prospect along with its most prestigious buildings: the Anichkov, Stroganov, and Beloselsky-Belozersky Palaces; Lutheran, Catholic, and Armenian churches; the orthodox Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, the Eliseev, Singer, and Mertens buildings, and many others. We will cross the Fontanka, the river that, along with the Moika River and Griboyedov Canal, formed the border of the city centre. The banks of Griboyedov Canal are home to the well-known Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, built in the so typically Russian style with its multi-coloured cupolas and gold onion domes. The former Winter Palace, once a residence of the tsars and now the Hermitage Museum, dominates the northern bank of the Neva River, while on the opposite bank the silhouette of the Peter and Paul Fortress and its high spire command the skyline. We will stop by the House of Peter the Great - it was from this modest residence that the Tsar personally kept an eye on the construction of "his" city between 1703 and 1708. On Vasilyevsky Island we will see the Strelka, the Menshikov palace and a historical building which is part of the State University. We will pass by the Admiralty with its imposing gold broach, a symbol of the Russian navy on which Peter the Great wanted to base his empire. His equestrian statue is erected in front of the Senate building and St. Isaac’s Cathedral with its impressive columns made from Finnish red granite. Then there are the buildings of the Conservatory and Mariinsky Theatre on Theatre Square, after which the tour will conclude with a visit to the St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral, surrounded by canals. Visit to the Kuznechny food market. Situated in one of the oldest parts of the city, the so-called Dostoevsky quarter, it was built in the beginning of the 20th century and today is the most well-known market. What is most amazing is that before you buy you can taste almost any product here - the best guarantee of quality! Once you have tried some honey or a slice of cheese you will not be able to leave without taking some of these delights with you.
Exterior visit to the house of Peter the Great. This small wooden house was inspired by the Dutch houses of the 18th century. It was one of the first buildings of St. Petersburg and it was from this spot that the Tsar watched the construction of his city between 1703 and 1708. There is a living room, a bedroom, and an office, all with period decorations and furnished with the tsar’s personal belongings.
Exterior view of the cruiser Aurora. The Aurora is the ship of the Imperial Navy whose guns announced the beginning of the Russian Revolution on October 25, 1917 when its crew joined the Revolutionaries, neglecting an order to leave the city. Its sailors not only gave the signal for the assault on the Winter Palace, but even participated in it. Visitors will appreciate its historical guns and enjoy the beautiful view of the Neva and embankment.
Visit to the Peter and Paul Fortress and its cathedral, pantheon of Romanov Tsars. Located on a small island opposite the winter palace and dominating three branches of the Neva River, the Fortress was intended to protect the city from a naval assault. It was the city’s first building and is considered the foundation of St. Petersburg, while the tsars also used it as a political prison for their main opponents. Now it is a museum and one of the best spots in the city to enjoy magnificent panoramic views of the Neva’s southern bank. One of the guns on the top of its bulwarks is even fired every day at noon, and what was initially a small wooden church built inside the big fortress was eventually expanded and improved on, becoming the current cathedral, both hits with visiting tourists. There we will take in the graves of all the tsars of the Romanov dynasty and their families, including the grave of Peter the Great, founder of the city, and those of Nicholas II and his family, killed during the Bolshevik revolution of 1918. Their remains were buried in the cathedral in 1998.
After lunch visit to the Hermitage Museum. The magnificent Hermitage Museum is the most important sight in St. Petersburg, occupying the Winter Palace, former residence of the Russian tsars, and three more adjacent buildings overlooking the Neva River. The Hermitage is Russia’s biggest museum and one of the most important in the world. It was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and it grew richer through the centuries as tsars purchased entire art collections abroad. Today it is home to more than three million masterpieces and hosts invaluable collections of sculptures, pictorial art, crystals, porcelain, carpets, jewellery, engravings, and antiques from the classical era, modern art, weapons, medals, coins, precious books, and many more. It is well known all over the world for its collections of Italian, Flemish, French, and Spanish pictorial art, and particularly for its paintings of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Rembrandt. Its sumptuous interiors, richly decorated by the most talented artists, are a marvellous frame for this unique collection.
Visit of St. Isaac Cathedral and climbing to the dome to admire the panoramic view. This St. Petersburg landmark was designed and constructed by two main architects: the Spanish Agustin de Betancourt and French Auguste de Montferrand. St. Isaac’s Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, while also one of the richest by the luxury of its materials: gold, malachite, lazuli, 14 varieties of marble, more than 40 minerals and semiprecious stones, granite from Finland, and 600 square meters of mosaics, along with numerous paintings and sculptures. The dome is covered with 100 kilograms of gold. The imposing columns are each 43 meters high and made from a single piece of granite from Finland. More than half a million workers took part in the construction of the cathedral, made particularly difficult by the swampy ground, the magnitude of the project, and the heavy materials that were employed - more than 300,000 tons! Today the cathedral is a museum, with only one small chapel used for religious purposes every day, though religious services are still held on the most important orthodox holidays. Visit to the dome of St. Isaac’s Cathedral.
Day 7 Saint Petersburg
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will have an excursion to Pushkin and visit to Catherine Palace with its famous “Amber Room” and its park. The small city of Pushkin, located 30 kilometres to the south of St. Petersburg, was named after the great Russian poet. In the past it was also called Tsarskoye Selo, meaning “Village of the Tsars”. Catherine Palace, named after Peter the Great’s wife, Catherine I, is one of the most beautiful residences of the Russian tsars. It was designed by the famous Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli, the designer of the most important monuments and palaces of the city, and was constructed in the 17th century, spanning the reigns of five tsars. Each of them altered the palace according to their own personal tastes and what was in vogue at the time, from the initial Rococo through to the later Neoclassic. It was a favourite of Catherine II, her incomparable heritage crowned by the Amber Room, covered from floor to ceiling with Baltic amber. The Amber Room was kept from the public for almost 100 years and opened only after a full renovation in 2003, on the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg. We will also admire the beauty of the large ballroom known as the Grand Hall or the Hall of Paintings. The beautiful architecture of the palace is surrounded by the neighbouring park, where you can walk among the birches, firs, lakes, ponds, streams, bridges, sculptures, and pavilions - unforgettable beauty that has been the subject of many poets and artists.
After lunch visit of Pavlovsk park and exterior view of the palace. The palace at Pavlovsk was a present made by Catherine the Great to her son Pavel, who would become Tsar Paul I, in 1777. Its magnificent park, covering 600 hectares along the valley of the Slavyanka River, is one of the most extensive landscape parks in the world and the biggest of its kind near St. Petersburg. It was designed by Charles Cameron in the English style, and was originally a game reserve for the tsar. The Dutch gardens, their colourful flowerbeds situated next to the Palace, were reserved exclusively for the imperial family. The park is considered a masterpiece of European landscape architecture, with green slopes along the meandering Slavyanka, gentle streams, and beautiful monuments among the meadows and woods. The park is a favourite among the residents of St. Petersburg, who love to walk here all year round.
Visit of St. Nicholas Naval Church. This beautiful Russian Baroque building is remarkable for its massive golden cupolas. It was built in an area where sailors had lived ever since the town was founded by Peter the Great due to the many canals crisscrossing the neighbourhood and the proximity of the port, and the Naval Regiment established its headquarters there. The cathedral itself was a gift from Prince Golitsin to Tsaritsa Elisaveta Petrovna for the feats of Russian fleet, as the temple of St. Nicholas the Miraculous, patron saint of sailors, with architect Chevalinsky managing construction from 1753 to 1762. The cathedral building is actually composed of two separated churches on different floors: Saint Nicholas Church on the lower one and Epiphany Church above it. Both are richly decorated with moulding and Corinthian columns, the ensemble crowned by a beautiful freestanding bell tower.
Day 8 St. Petersburg/End of trip
After breakfast. The day is free until checkout time. The driver will pick you up and drop you to the airport for your onward flight.
AED 12,990/- Per person, Prices are based on twin sharing.
Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights.
Destinations: Moscow, Murmansk, Kirovsk, Saint Petersburg.
The rates are subject to availability at the time of booking request. In the event if there are rate changes due to increase in Govt taxes, or hotel charges a surcharge, or BAR rates (Best available rates), we reserve the right to amend the rates without notice. The exchange rate is subject to change. Please ensure that you have secured the relevant visa / entry permits & valid passport. The best source of visa information is the embassy of the country itself.
If you are interested in going ahead with this booking, we would require deposits or payments as follows either in the form of cash or cheque:
Please ensure that the names given to us for reservations match the names in your passport, as hotels, sightseeing tour companies are very particular about name changes. Mismatched names may result in heavy amendment penalties. We strongly recommend travel insurance as part of your package – we have excellent rates with the world’s best companies – please let us know if you wish us to add this to your package.
Economy class airfare from Dubai / Moscow / St. Petersburg / Dubai.
Internal flights from Moscow / Murmansk / St. Petersburg.
2 nights accommodation in Moscow based on double room occupancy.
1 night accommodation in Kirovsk & Murmansk based on double room occupancy.
3 nights accommodation in St. Petersburg based on double room occupancy.
Air-conditioned transfers according to program.
All visits and entrances according to the program.
Daily breakfast, 4 lunches and 4 dinners..
Complimentary travel insurance.
All airline and hotel taxes.