LOW DEPOSITS - JUST £49 PER PERSON!
A tremendous-value Russian adventure
OFFER ENDS 31st JULY*
Discover two of the world's most intriguing and exciting cities. Moscow, the beating heart of Mother Russia, radiates Slavic might and majesty, while St Petersburg - with its great squares, opulent palaces, parks and canals - deserves its place on the roll call of greatest European cities. Don't miss this great-value opportunity to see them both in one unforgettable week.
Fly to Moscow, and upon arrival meet your Tour Manager and transfer by coach to your hotel base for the next three nights. Rest and relax after the journey, and enjoy your first evening in the city.
This morning's three-hour included guided coach tour will introduce you to this extraordinary place, and serve to orientate you. The tour will include the fabled Kremlin and adjacent Red Square, where multi-coloured, onion-domed St Basil's Cathedral, Lenin's eerie Mausoleum and the former GUM State Department Store, now a glittering shopping mall, look out over the vast space. Other highlights of the tour might include Revolution Square, the newly rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (one of the city's most striking landmarks), the Bolshoi Theatre and the infamous Lubyanka, former KGB headquarters.
This afternoon, an optional guided walking tour will reveal some of the secrets of the Kremlin, as you pass through the turreted walls and enter a truly fascinating enclave of imposing buildings like the Senate House and the Presidium, the vast State Kremlin Palace concert hall, beautiful squares and breathtaking churches and palaces. Sobornaya Square is home to the trio of cathedrals and the magnificent Ivan the Great Belltower, the Kremlin's tallest structure.
This evening you can choose to round off a wonderful day by enjoying dinner in the city.
A further day to enjoy the city. Some will head off to explore under their own steam; many, however, will enjoy a full-day optional 'Highlights of Moscow' tour, taking in Victory Park, where the Museum of the Great Patriotic War commemorates the Soviet Union's incalculable sacrifices in World War Two. Enjoy a visit to one of Moscow's landmark Metro stations - vast repositories of priceless art and artefacts - and to the Kremlin's Armoury Palace. Enjoy free time for shopping, and the chance of dinner and a final evening in Moscow.
Transfer to Leningrad Station, bid "do svidanya" to your Moscow guide and board the train to St Petersburg, arriving later today. On arrival at St Petersburg's Station, meet your Tour Manager and transfer to your hotel for three nights.
After breakfast enjoy a fascinating orientation and introductory tour of the 'Venice of the North', which in fact, but for its canals and innumerable bridges, is more Paris or Madrid, given the grand sweep of its squares and the opulence of its great palaces and civic buildings. Founded by Peter the Great as a westward-looking bastion, and grown under the stewardship of his daughter Elizabeth and legendary empress Catherine the Great, St Petersburg is a match for the finest of all European cities.
Palace Square, towered over by the Alexander Column, is also home to the fabled Winter Palace of the Tsars, a Baroque masterpiece that houses part of the extraordinary Hermitage Museum. The exquisite Admiralty building is crowned by a gilded spire and topped in turn by a weather vane in the shape of a frigate, the city's most enduring symbol. Close by, majestic St Isaac's Cathedral dominates the skyline, while elsewhere, other highlights might include the Mariinsky Palace - home of the Kirov Ballet, the onion-domed Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood, and wondrous Smolny Cathedral. Across the Neva River lies the Peter and Paul Fortress, where the city began, and Peter and Paul Cathedral, burial place of the Romanov Tsars.
This afternoon, however, you'll step inside the gilded portals of the fabled Hermitage museum, to enjoy a guided tour of some of its phenomenal collection.
Please note: The entrance fees to the buildings are not included in the morning. Entrance to the Hermitage museum is included.
Join today's optional excursion to the Imperial Palace at Pushkin and stunning gardens at Peterhof, both lovingly reconstructed since World War Two, and reflecting the grandeur of Imperial Court life, under Catherine the Great and the Romanovs. Entrance is included to the palace, and a visit is made to Peterhof's garden.
This evening join the optional evening excursion to the famous folklore show at the historic Nikolaevskiy Palace, to immerse yourself in the traditions of Cossack dancing and folk songs.
A last optional excursion includes entrances to, and a guided tour of, the Peter and Paul Fortress, and a visit to the sumptuous, intimate Yusupov Palace, perhaps the city's finest Imperial residence, scene of the murder of legendary 'monk' Rasputin.
This afternoon, transfer to the airport for the return flight to the UK.
Please note that visas are required for travel on this tour. The visa application process requires you to appear in person at the Russian embassy in either Edinburgh or London. We will send you full application details, including your invitation letter, approximately eight weeks prior to your holiday. Please note that you can not obtain your visa until you have received your invitation letter from us. The cost of the visa is approximately £110 per person if obtained directly. The cost is approximately £187 per person if using the services of our preferred visa agency - CITB. Passports must be valid for at least six months after the visa expiration date.
Passports and visas
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour.
Hotel transfer times
We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
Combining hotel transfers
If you'd like to join any of the optional excursions on this tour, please be aware that they are only available in advance and that it will not be possible to book them once you arrive on holiday.
Booking optional excursions
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. This includes reversing the itinerary. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
An Airport Development Fee has been introduced at a few UK Airports. You will be required to pay this charge at the following airports prior to checking in for your flight: Blackpool, Durham Tees Valley, Newquay and Norwich. The amount varies from airport to airport, but it is generally between £5 and £10 per person. Please visit the airport's website for further information.
Airport development fees
*Low deposit of £49 per person applies to new bookings made between 21st June and 31st July 2017 (inclusive) only. This offer only applies to selected air-inclusive holidays. This offer is subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time.