The Experience

Experience an unforgettable encounter with a complex country as you meet Mikhail Gorbachev’s personal assistant, walk Red Square in Moscow, cruise the canals of St. Petersburg and tour Peterhof Palace before the crowds arrive. Day 1: Arrive Moscow, Russia
Upon arrival in Moscow, you are met and transferred to your hotel. This evening join your Tour Director for your welcome dinner.

Ritz-Carlton Moscow | Meals: D
Day 2: Moscow | Hallmarks of the City
Embark on a full-day, guided walking tour of Moscow. Begin at the Kremlin, a treasure trove of Russian history. Its State Armory is home to a vast array of priceless artifacts, including a fine collection of Faberge eggs. Later, view the dazzling exhibition of the State Diamond Fund, and then visit two of the Kremlin’s cathedrals. Enjoy lunch at leisure and continue to Red Square, Lenin’s Tomb and the colorful St. Basil’s Cathedral. Later, ride the Moscow metro, famed for the ornate splendor of its stations.

Ritz-Carlton Moscow | Meals: B
Day 3: Moscow | Perestroika in Person
This morning, meet Pavel Palazhchenko, personal assistant and interpreter for Mikhail Gorbachev, for a talk on current Russian politics. Then journey to the picturesque Kolomenskoye Estate and tour its church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built by Vasily III to commemorate the birth of his son, history’s Ivan the Terrible. Stroll to Peter the Great’s cottage, and then take part in the re-creation of a Russian wedding ceremony, entertained with authentic folk songs and games. Return to downtown Moscow for lunch and shopping at leisure in the Arbat, the city,’most charming and lively pedestrian street. Then explore the Museum of Icons, including a visit to the icon restoration workshop to watch its experts apply their skills.

Ritz-Carlton Moscow | Meals: B D
Day 4: Moscow/St. Petersburg | Venice of the North,
Visit Novodevichy Convent and adjacent New Maiden Cemetery, where you find the tombs of Chekhov, Shostakovich, Stanislavsky, Khrushchev, Gromyko, Molotov and Raisa Gorbachev. Later, board the high-speed train, Sapsan, to St. Petersburg, enjoying lunch en route. Transfer to your hotel when you arrive, to settle in and relax before embarking on an scenic evening cruise through the city’s splendid rivers and canals.

Grand Hotel Europe | Meals: B L D
Day 5: St. Petersburg | Visit with an Artist
View Nevsky Prospect, Palace Square, the Winter Palace, the Admiralty and Vasilevsky Island on a drive through St. Petersburg, and stop at the Peter & Paul Fortress. Its cathedral is the burial place of Peter the Great. Tour St. Isaac’s Cathedral, whose gilded dome dominates the city’s skyline. After lunch at a local restaurant, continue to the Church of the Resurrection of Christ (Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood) to marvel at its stunning interior and exterior, both richly adorned with mosaics, precious stones, enamel and colored tile. Take afternoon tea at the home of renowned artist Yuri Petrochenkov. Enjoy intriguing stories about Russia as told by Yuri and his wife, Nelly, and delight in Yuri’s wonderful collection of Russian art, including his exquisite porcelain eggs, two of which were purchased by Malcolm Forbes.

Grand Hotel Europe | Meals: B L
Day 6: Peterhof Palace | Summer Estate of Peter the Great
Drive to Peterhof Palace, the great summer estate of Peter the Great comprised of a series of palaces and gardens on the Gulf of Finland. Enjoy a before-hours tour of its Grand Palace, arranged by us so you avoid the crowds. Visit Monplaisir Palace as well, and then return to St. Petersburg via hydrofoil for lunch at a local restaurant. Continue to the awe-inspiring Hermitage, a museum commissioned by Catherine the Great, which houses three million pieces of artwork. This evening you have the opportunity to attend a performance during the famed White Nights Festival of the arts.

Grand Hotel Europe | Meals: B L
Day 7: Pushkin | Lunch at an Authentic Dacha
Travel to Tsarskoe Selo (the Tsar’s Village), more commonly known as Pushkin. View beautiful Catherine Palace its formal parks stretch to Rastrelli’s blue-and-white Hermitage building and its world-famous Amber Room, which has been restored to its original glory. Enjoy a traditional Russian lunch at rustic Podvorie Dacha restaurant before returning to St. Petersburg. Later, join your Tour Director for your farewell dinner.

Grand Hotel Europe | Meals: B L D
Day 8: Depart St. Petersburg
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to depart.

Meals: B

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