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Imperial Russia

IMPERIAL RUSSIA
MOSCOW & ST. PETERSBURG

TOUR PRICE
From R 33,300 per person sharing
From R 6, 590 Single Room Supplement
Excludes air fare
Price reduces 3 or more persons
Tour price is entirely subject to confirmation and changes according to the season.



This programme includes:
  • All tours and visits per the itinerary
  • 3 nights at 4 star Cosmos Hotel, Moscow, or similar, bed & breakfast
  • 7 nights at 4 star Moskva Hotel Hotel, St Petersburg, or similar, bed & breakfast
  • Private English-speaking licensed guide services
  • All transport in a comfortable air-conditioned bus
  • Entrance fees at all sites per the itinerary
  • Transfers to/from Novgorod the Great
  • Transfers from/to airport/railway station on arrival/departure
  • 2nd class train tickets Moscow - St Petersburg (Sapsan Express)

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This programme excludes:

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  • International & domestic air fares & tax
  • Visa and visa handling charge
  • Lunches/dinners
  • Optional excursions
  • Theatre/Folk Show tickets
  • Drinks, snacks and any extras throughout the tour
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance

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OTHER RUSSIAN TOURS AVAILABLE

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IMPERIAL RUSSIA: MOSCOW &
ST. PETERSBURG
ITINERARY

DAY 1
Depart Cape Town or Johannesburg for Moscow.

DAY 2
On arrival at Moscow's Sheremetyevo II Airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred to the 4-star Cosmos Hotel (bed & breakfast), located on one of the city's major streets, 20 minutes from the city centre. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight Moscow.



DAY 3
After breakfast at the hotel, you have a sightseeing tour of Moscow, starting with Red Square famous for the grand military parades of the Soviet era and lined by the 19th century GUM shopping arcade on one side and the mighty walls of the Kremlin opposite. You will see St. Basil's Cathedral, Lenin's Mausoleum where Vladimir Lenin has been since his death in 1924, the State Historical Museum and other sights of the area. The tour continues along the Moskva River embankment where you will enjoy views of the Kremlin, and continue to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Novodevichy Convent and Moscow State University. You will also visit the Sparrow Hills for a panoramic view of Moscow. Optional lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon, you will visit the Tretyakovskaya Gallery which is one of the most celebrated and extensive collections of Russian art and artifacts in the world. Overnight Moscow.



DAY 4
After breakfast at the hotel, you have a morning tour of the Kremlin, the walled heart of Moscow. The Kremlin originated as a wooden elevated fortress and as Moscow developed in circles around this fortress. During the tour you will see the Assumption Cathedral which is the oldest and largest cathedral in the Kremlin and is where the coronations of the tsars took place. The Archangel Cathedral is the second largest cathedral and was the burial place of Russian princes and tsars until 1712, when the Russian capital moved to St. Petersburg. The Annunciation Cathedral was the private chapel of the Royal family. Optional lunch at a city restaurant. Following lunch, you will visit the Diamond Foundation renowned for its unique collection of masterpieces of jeweller's art, rare pieces of precious stones and nuggets and precious metals. In the historic part of the collection the best examples of the imperial jewellery are on display where you can also see the state regalia including the crown of the Russian Empire made for the coronation of Katherine II in 1762. Later you will visit the Armory, which is the oldest and richest museum in the Kremlin containing 4,000 exhibits comprising royal jewellery, gold plate, astounding Fabergé eggs of the Romanov family and artifacts. The evening is at leisure. Optional visit to Moscow Circus. Overnight Moscow.



DAY 5
After breakfast and check-out at the hotel, you will visit the famous Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts one of the finest museums in Russia and famous for its major collection of antiquities as well as Gauguin, Cézanne and Picasso masterpieces. Optional lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards you will be taken on a tour of the famous and unique Moscow Metro. Later you will be transferred to the railway station for your 5 hour journey on the comfortable Sapsan express railway train to St. Petersburg (16:30 to 20:25). On arrival at St. Petersburg you will be met by our agent and transferred to the 4 star Moskva Hotel (bed & breakfast). Overnight St. Petersburg.



DAY 6
Today, you will have a half day tour to Pushkin to see the stunning white, gold and blue Catherine Palace (named after Catherine the Great - second wife to Peter the Great) and to stroll around the beautiful park surrounding the palace. From there you continue to Pavlovsk (named after Paul, son of Catherine the Great) to see the Great Palace with its more classical design. Pavlovsk is most famous for its 600ha Park which is a masterpiece of landscape architecture. Optional lunch at a local restaurant in Pushkin. The evening is at leisure, with the opportunity of an optional visit to a Russian folk-show with completed in 1861 as a residence for Emperor Nikolay I's son, Grand duke Nikola. Overnight St. Petersburg.



DAY 7
After breakfast at the hotel, you will have a half-day sightseeing city tour, when you will become acquainted with the main architectural and historical monuments of St. Petersburg. You will see the city's main avenue Nevsky Prospect adorned with splendid buildings such as the Kazan Cathedral, the house of Books, the Anichkov Bridge (with its famous equestrian statues), the Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace and the Alexander Nevsky Monastery. Among the rich parade of sights to be enjoyed will be Palace Square, Senate Square. The Spit of Vasilevsky (Bazil) Island, bridges and embankments of this “Venice of the North”. There will be a visit to the Peter-and-Paul Fortress commissioned by Peter the Great in 1703. The Peter-and-Paul Fortress was used mainly as a political prison, with the first inmate being Peter the Great's own son, Alexi, who was tortured to death in 1718 for treason. Optional lunch at a city restaurant. In the afternoon there will be a visit to the State Hermitage Museum, one of the world's most famous museums housed in Catherine the Great's lavish summer palace, containing the private art collection of the tsars. This museum is second only to the Louvre in its collection of French art. The evening is at leisure. Overnight St. Petersburg.



DAY 8
After breakfast, you will visit the Yusupov Palace - a monument of classical architecture, built in 1760 for Princes Yusupov, the richest aristocratic family in Russia. It was here that Grigori Rasputin, the favourite of Nicolas II and his wife, was murdered in December 1916. Afterwards you will visit St. Isaak's Cathedral. The cathedral took 40 years to construct, under Montferrand's direction, from 1818 to 1858. Originally it was the city's main church and the largest cathedral in Russia and is now the third largest domed cathedral in the world. Optional lunch at a city restaurant. This afternoon you will enjoy a cruise by boat along the main rivers and canals of St. Petersburg. This is a unique way to appreciate St. Petersburg. Every bridge in the city is an architectural masterpiece. The evening is at leisure, with the opportunity of an optional visit to the Hermitage Theatre. Overnight St. Petersburg.



DAY 9
After breakfast you drive to the Gulf of Finland to visit the Peterhof Grand Palace and Park, the summer residence of Peter the Great. The park has probably the most astonishing display of waterworks in the world, the so-called Kingdom of Fountains. Optional lunch at a local restaurant in Peterhof. The remainder of the day is at leisure, with the opportunity of an optional visit to the Maryinsky Theatre this evening. Overnight St. Petersburg.



DAY 10
After breakfast, you will visit the State Russian Museum, once the palace of Grand Prince Mikhail, another of St. Petersburg's treasures. It contains more than 300,000 exhibits, including Russian and Soviet paintings, sculptures, graphic, decorative and applied art. Different schools of old Russian paintings are well represented - there are 6 000 icons among them. Afterwards you visit the Church on Spilled Blood, built over 24 years. This church differs from other churches and cathedrals in St. Petersburg with the unique and superb interior mosaic decoration. Optional lunch at a city restaurant. This afternoon, you will visit the Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral. This evening is at leisure. Overnight St. Petersburg.





DAY 11
After breakfast, you will depart to the ancient capital of Russia, Great Novgorod - one of the oldest Russian cities. Velikiy Novgorod (Novgorod the Great) was first mentioned in chronicles in 859. Some historians call it the cradle of Russian democracy for the way it was ruled. The city has grown upon the famous trading route “from the Varangians to the Greeks”, and quickly became a centre of trades and crafts. Later you will visit the Novgorod Kremlin (1044), St. Sophia's Cathedral, Yaroslav's Court Yard. Through the Kremlin a road leads to the pedestrian bridge which connects the Sophiyskaya and Torgovaya sides of the city, as it was in medieval times. Optional lunch at a local restaurant in Novgorod. Afterwards you will visit the St George Monastery and the museum of wooden architecture “Vitoslavlitzy” as well as a visit to the Novgorodian crafts market. Overnight St. Petersburg.



DAY 12
After breakfast, you check out of the hotel and will be transferred to St. Petersburg's Pulkovo II Airport for your return flights to South Africa.

DAY 13
Arrive Cape Town (or Johannesburg).
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