DAY 1. Departure
Leave the US on your overnight flight for your journey to Russia.
DAY 2. Arrival in Moscow.
You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Balance of day at leisure for rest and relaxation.
DAY 3. Moscow
After breakfast, you will be escorted on an in-depth tour of this fascinating Russian capital. Enjoy the grandeur of Red Square and the Russian White House. See Moscow University, the former KGB headquarters and central Moscow. Experience a deep sense of history as you trace the footsteps of the legions of princes, paupers and poets who have passed through this ancient city. This afternoon's tour takes you to the heart of the city - the Kremlin. This former Moscow citadel - "Kremlin" means"fortress" - houses exquisite palaces, presidential buildings lovely churches and scores of major historical monuments. Your tour of the Kremlin will also include a visit to the fascinating State Armory, the oldest museum in Russia. As its name implies, it contains many ancient weapons and armor, as well as a treasure-trove of gorgeous crown jewels, gold-encrusted icons, bejeweled royal scepters and exquisitely carved thrones. All these lovely treasures eloquently tell the history of Imperial Russia. Visit Novodevichy convent. Originally built as a fortress, it also functioned as a convent for women of the royal family and prison for Princess Sophia, sister of Peter the Great, after she made three aborted attempts on his life to deprive him of the throne. The convent itself is a unique example of 16th- and 17th-century architecture.
DAY 4. This morning delight in a visit to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.
Here, discover an important collection of French Impressionism, as well as other major schools of Western art, dating from the Renaissance through the 20th century. After the museum, ride the amazing Moscow Metro, where every station is an individual monument to Soviet art and design. Evening transfer to the train station for your overnight first-class trip to St.Petersburg.
DAY 5. Morning arrival in St. Petersburg.
Transfer to your hotel with a city tour. En route, you will
enjoy the sights of this gorgeous city – Tsar Peter the
Great's"Window to the West." Only 300 years old, the city
was built by Tsar Peter to capture and rival the beauties of
Paris and Venice. You'll love the extravagant baroque
architecture of the city center, Nevsky Prospect, Palace
Square and Smolny Convent. This afternoon, enjoy the
many wonders of the elegant Winter Palace, which now
houses the Hermitage Museum, one of the largest art and
cultural museums in the world. This vast collection (about
65,000 items) includes some of history's most important art.
DAY 6. Today a late morning drive will take you to the lovely
city of Pushkin – Formerly Tsarskoe Selo, the Tsar's Village.
Enjoy an escorted tour of the beautiful baroque-style
Catherine Palace, built by Empress Elizabeth and named for
her mother Catherine the First. The architect was Bartolomo
Rastrelli, who also designed the Winter Palace, as well as the
Hermitage Pavilion. Visit Pavlovsk, one of Tsar Pavel's summer
palaces. Like many other royal residences, the palace
sustained heavy damage during the war, but most of it has
been restored to its former glory. Next, visit Yusupov Palace,
where Rasputin was murdered!
DAY 7. This morning tour Peter and Paul Fortress with its
famous Peter and Paul Church, which contains the tombs of
Russian rulers from Peter the Great through Alexander III.
After visiting the fortress,your tour continues to St. Isaac's
Cathedral (constructed 1818-58), the largest in the city,
with its tall gilt dome one of the many focal points of
St.Petersburg. Your tour continues with a visit to Alexander
Nevsky Abbey. You will visit the oldest cemetery in Russia,
with many of the country's most famous historical figures.
DAY 8. Bid farewell to this elegant, exciting city, as we
transfer you to the airport after your fascinating journey.