IMPERIAL RUSSIA TO MODERN TIMES
The life of Imperial Russia left a legacy of grand buildings and treasures of art that reflect a lifestyle that few in today’s Russia can imagine. This special tour highlights the treasures of Imperial Russia and includes exclusive tours of art collections in Moscow and St. Petersburg with leading art experts, visits to countryside palaces, attending a famous ballet, and the comfort of staying in world class deluxe hotels while traveling amidst an intimate, small group tour, with the personalized service that is a part of Iconic Journeys Worldwide.
Day 1- September 15- Arrival in Moscow
Upon your arrival at the airport, you will be transferred to your hotel for check in. Depending on the time of arrival, embark on a brief city tour, afterwards embarking on a scenic evening boat tour. Enjoy a welcome dinner tonight at meet your fellow travelers. Overnight in Moscow. (B, D)
Day 2- September 16- Panoramic City Tour, Novodevichy Convent & Red Square
Today, explore the main cultural and historic sites of Moscow; the Kremlin embankment, The Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Sparrow Hills, the Moscow State University, Poklonnaya Hill, Pushkin Square, Tverskaya Street, and Manezhnaya Square.
Pay a visit to one of the most sacred places in Moscow known as the Novodevichiy Convent and walk along one of its oldest streets, Arbat. After lunch, enjoy the sites as you take a scenic walking tour along the Red Square to admire the charming Kazan Cathedral, the Kremlin Walls, the famous Ruby Stars on the Kremlin Towers, the legendary Lenin Mausoleum, and the colorful St. Basil Cathedral. Overnight in Moscow. (B)
Day 3- September 17- Kremlin, Armory Chamber, Pushkin State Museum
Get ready for a day of excitement as you visit the heart of Russia, the Moscow Kremlin. Please note that once inside the Kremlin, there is no place to stop to rest or to have a snack. We suggest a hearty breakfast this morning to tide you over for a late lunch. This is a long day of walking and standing, so please make sure to wear appropriate footwear! Inside the Kremlin, you will see the largest bell in the world, as well as the largest canon. Neither was ever used due to the enormous size! You can also view its gala squares, ancient palaces and magnificent golden-domed cathedrals, as well as the Armory chamber, which is the treasure house filled with an incredible jewelry collection.
After lunch, gaze upon one of the richest collections of original works of foreign art in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. The Pushkin is best known for its French Impressionist collection; a group of paintings that were originally acquired by two famous Russian industrialists who lost their collection after the Revolution. Overnight in Moscow. (B)
Day 4- September 18- Sergiev Posad
Following an early breakfast and check out, you will take a trip to Sergiev Posad known as the “Russian Vatican” for its magnificent blue and golden cupolas scattered all around the town.
Upon arrival, enjoy a wonderful sightseeing tour around the most cherished treasures of Sergiev Posad. The highlight of the day is a tour lead by a churchman in the spiritual center of Russian Orthodoxy, the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius.
After a lunch break, your guide takes you to the cozy town of Suzdal. After check-in, you will have a free evening to enjoy the atmosphere of provincial Russia. Overnight in Suzdal. (B)
Day 5- September 19- Tour of Suzdal and Vladimir
After breakfast meet your guide at the hotel lobby and enjoy a sightseeing tour of Suzdal known as a city-museum of the Golden Ring. Suzdal boasts its large number of preserved historical monuments of ancient Russian art and architecture. During the tour, you visit UNESCO World Heritage Site – the brilliant architectural complex of the Kremlin. Continue your trip to the Museum of Wooden Architecture which is an example of classical ancient Russia.
After a lunch break, you are taken to Vladimir to witness unique architectural creations. During your tour around this town, head inside the Dormition Cathedral that preserves the world famous frescoes of Andrei Rublev dating back to the 15th century. Explore the architectural complex of the Cathedral of St. Dimitriy (exterior) and walk along a central pedestrian street full of galleries, artists, and local souvenirs. Afterwards, head back to the Moscow hotel. Overnight in Moscow. (B)
Day 6- September 20- Transfer to St. Petersburg
After early breakfast, check out of your hotel to board a high-speed train to St. Petersburg. Your guide and driver will meet you at the station and take you to your hotel, and then you will head to your welcoming lunch. Afterwards you will be taken on brief city tour and then a boat trip along the cities’ major rivers and canals.
There are few cities like St. Petersburg where water is as much a part of the city’s make-up as brick or stone. Built across the Neva River, St. Petersburg is interlaced with a hundred canals with over 800 bridges crossing them. In the city center, St. Petersburg is home to many of the city’s grandest buildings, and boat trips along the historic rivers and canals are an essential part of any sightseeing itinerary. Overnight in St. Petersburg. (B, L)
Day 7- September 21- Panoramic city tour, Church on the Spilled Blood, Peter and Paul Fortress
During this tour you will drive along St. Petersburg’s most magnificent sights, such as the Winter Palace, the Palace Square, the Bronze Horseman, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral and the Nevsky Prospect. Discover the heart of St. Petersburg, the place of the burial of Russian tsars, better known as Peter and Paul Fortress. After lunch you will visit the Church on the Spilled Blood, one of the most breathtaking Russian churches. Overnight in St. Petersburg. (B)
Day 8- September 22- The Hermitage Museum with visit to Gold Room & Faberge Museum
Today, enjoy touring the magnificent State Hermitage, known to be the world’s second largest art museum. Here are some of the world’s greatest and most inspiring art collections to date, which includes paintings from celebrated masters such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Titian, and Rafael.
After lunch you will visit the biggest private collection of Faberge jewelry in Shuvalov Palace. The Shuvalov Palace was renowned for the elegant balls held there in the first half of the 19th century, which were frequented by all the Petersburg nobility, including the imperial family. Overnight in St. Petersburg. (B)
Day 9- September 23- Peterhof and Tsarskoe Selo Summer Residences
Today you will go to Peterhof, located on the coast of the Baltic Sea to admire the fabulous Upper and Lower fountain gardens of former Peter the Great’s summer residence, as well as its Grand palace and pavilions.
After lunch in the gardens you will take a trip to Pushkin/Tsarskoe Selo to visit the pearl of Russian Baroque; Catherine’s palace. The luxuriousness of the state rooms and the famous Amber room will take your breath away. Construction of the Amber Room began in 1701 at Charlottenburg Palace, home of Friedrich I, the first King of Prussia. It was then moved to Catherine’s Palace in 1755 by orders of Czarina Elizabeth. Unfortunately during World War II, Nazi’s looted the entire room of treasures, as they believed it was intentionally made for Germans. Thankfully, twenty-five years and 11 million dollars later in 1979, the Amber Room was fortunately reconstructed and now remains at the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Reserve.
Afterwards we will drive to Podvorye restaurant for a farewell dinner with Russian folklore accompanying the meal. Overnight in St. Petersburg. (B, D)
Day 10- September 24- Departure
Check out of your hotel, where you will be transferred to the airport for departure.
Moscow: Marriott Grand Hotel (or similar) ★★★★★
Suzdal: Pushkarskaya Sloboda (or similar) ★★★★
St. Petersburg: Dom Boutique Hotel (or similar) ★★★★★
$5,795 per person
$1750 single supplement
All accommodations with breakfast
Welcoming dinner and lunch
All touring and entrance fees on sites noted on itinerary.
Russian visa application
Travel/trip insurance **Travel Insurance is strongly encouraged. Penalties in the case of cancellation or expenses in the event of an unexpected illness or injury can be costly
Gratuities to guide and driver