1 Welcome to St. Petersburg.
Airport transfers depart from St. Petersburg airport at 14:30 and 17:00. Meet your Travel Director and travel companions at 19:00 for a friendly Welcome Dinner served with wine. (DW) Stay: Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg, Ligovsky.
2 St. Petersburg Sightseeing.
Morning sightseeing with your Local Expert includes views of St. Isaac's Cathedral, the fortress of St. Peter and Paul and Decembrists'Square. Travel along Nevsky Prospekt for views of the great Cathedral of Kazan and the iconic, onion-domed Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood. The rest of the day is yours to explore. Perhaps experience the festivities of the annual International Winter Festival where St. Petersburg showcases an array of culture from the regions of Russia, combined with Christmas traditions from all over the world? Or, if you'd prefer to relax, head back to your hotel where you can make the most of its luxury facilities. (B)
3 The City of Tsars.
In the little town of Pushkin, visit St. Catherine's Palace with a Local Expert. A ‘Golden Enfilade'of suites lead to the restored Amber Room, a truly unique and spectacular chamber solely decorated with amber panels, gold leaves and mirrors. Later, cross the Neva River to Peter and Paul Fortress, where St. Petersburg's foundation stone was laid in 1703. With a Local Expert, visit the fortress to see the imperial tombs of the Romanov rulers and learn the secrets of Russian history. (B)
4 The Hermitage Museum.
Located in the Winter Palace, the Hermitage is one of the world's greatest museums. Marvel at this fabulous collection of paintings and ornaments, ranging from Egyptian carvings to Impressionist masterpieces. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore, shop or relax. (B)
5 High Speed Sapsan Train to Moscow.
Enjoy a relaxed start in the morning, or perhaps visit the former residence of the Yusupov family and the scene of Rasputin's murder? Later, board your high speed Sapsan train and relax in modern luxury and comfort as you travel to Moscow in just a few hours. On arrival in this fascinating city, you are transferred to your hotel for a leisurely three-night stay. Famous for its unique history and colourful architecture, explore Moscow's enchanting city centre and get lost in its captivating Modern art scene. (B) Stay: Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel.
6 Moscow, a Russian Revelation.
Begin your exploration of the Russian capital with a Local Expert. Start in Red Square, lined by Moscow's landmark buildings. At one end rises the onion-shaped domes of St. Basil's Cathedral, in front of the Kremlin stands Lenin's Mausoleum, while on the opposite side, the grand GUM department store offers a variety of glamorous goods. During your stay, you will visit one of the Metro stations which Stalin called ‘Palaces for the People.'Gain a local insight into the themes depicted among the marble, mosaics, sculptures and chandeliers. You will also view the crown jewels and Fabergé Egg collection of the Imperial Russian Family. In your free time, you may like to wrap up warm and venture out to explore the dazzling festivities of the Christmas season. Snow-covered stalls are crowned with twinkling fairylights, while vendors serve warm drinks and food. When Moscow's Journey into Christmas begins, each district becomes part of the festival, offering everything from exciting street shows and concerts, to master cooking classes of traditional Russian foods. There really is something for everyone. (B)
7 Exploring the Kremlin.
In the morning you are at leisure to relax or explore the Russian capital as you wish. The Christmas Markets offer plenty of unique art pieces and classic Russian ornaments. Perhaps visit the Borodino Panorama Exhibition, or take an Optional Experience to the renowned centre of ancient Russian art and architecture, Zagorsk? In the afternoon, walk inside the walls of the Kremlin Fortress to visit one of the cathedrals as well as the Armoury Chamber. Later, enjoy delicious food, great wine and wonderful company as you toast to your travels during your Celebration Dinner. (B/DW)
8 Farewell Moscow.
It's time to say goodbye to Moscow and your fellow travellers. Departure transfers will arrive at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport at 05:00, 08:00 and 11:00 and at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport at 05:00, 10:00 and 13:00. (B)