- Two iconic cities and two iconic places to stay, characterised by the prestige of the great Russia of the Tsars
- Experience a night, first class, on the Red Arrow train
- Included in the itinerary: private local guides and privileged access to the Hermitage
- All our additional services are included, from fast track airport services to our local Concierge service
Contact one of our Russia specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
Included in your Russian itinerary: a private guided tour of the highlights of both cities. In Moscow, your local guide will give you a behind-the-scenes tour of the capital and an insight into everyday life in Russia. And in St Petersburg, tickets for a tour of the Hermitage are included - outside public hours wherever possible. Not forgetting the assistance of our local Concierge who speaks perfect English and can be reached at any time during your trip.
YOUR PRESTIGIOUS ACCOMMODATIONIn Moscow
Just a short stroll from Red Square and the Kremlin, a large contemporary luxury chain has refurbished the walls of this ancient signature hotel of the Russian capital. Behind its ostentatious appearance, the hotel unveils an atrium, a GUM-style glass roof (GUM is Russia's main department store), stylish lounges, spacious and comfortable bedrooms - there were a thousand of them in the Soviet era, but there are barely 200 today. Added to this splendour are several restaurants, all serving excellent cuisine.
In St Petersburg
Proudly located on Nevsky Prospekt, one of the city's most beautiful avenues, the hotel is one of St Petersburg's iconic buildings. The walls still resonate with the splendour of the past: opulent banquets, balls and royal ceremonies have been held here, imbuing the place with a timeless prestige. In its time, the building has served in turn as a hospital, an orphanage and the seat of bureaucracy, before returning to its role as a grand hotel. Behind a masterful Baroque facade, the rooms offer the luxury of a different era: period paintings and furnishings, refined bedding, marble bathrooms and large vestibules. Additions to entice modern travellers include a heavenly spa and several restaurants including one which offers a brilliant fusion of French and British cuisine, as well as classically Russian caviar and vodka bar.
Flight to Moscow
Upon arrival, you'll be privately transferred to the historic centre with a guide for a three night stay in your first prestigious accommodation. Worth mentioning are the spacious rooms and the wonderful quality of their bedding, as well as the spa and its large indoor pool.
Moscow is a complex city that's full of contradictions, a microcosm of Russia as a whole. It's a city of multi-coloured orthodox churches, Stalinist architecture, futuristic Moskva-City buildings and trendy shops and restaurants highly rated by the young and wealthy. You can go to the Kremlin nearby and visit the stunning collection of Decorative Art in the Armoury Museum. Go to the Tretyakov Gallery, where Russian painting reveals its universal masterpieces. In VDNKh Park, an open-air museum of Soviet architecture, you can see 'Worker and Kolkhoz Woman', an iconic duo sculpted by Vera Mukhina for the 1937 World Expo. Behind Kursk Station, a dozen prestigious art galleries have taken over a former wine warehouse: Vinzavod is now an important artistic hub. If you need to do some shopping, then head to GUM on Red Square. Founded in 1893, the Moscow equivalent of John Lewis is on a large scale: more than 200 major brands share a mile and a half of the shopping centre. On your way out, you can stroll through the square, including Lenin's mausoleum and St Basil's Cathedral. And you can easily find restaurants and pretty cafes.
Included in the itinerary - A private tour of Moscow's must-sees. You'll visit Pashkov House, the Pushkin Museum, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the private hotels of the Moscow nobility, the Great Boulevards, the Church of the Great Resurrection, the Gorki Museum, Arbat Street and Morozov House, Tverskaya Street, Kalinin Avenue, and Lomonosov University from where you can enjoy a beautiful panorama of the whole city.
Optional - A private tour of the Kremlin and the Armoury Chamber (the Kremlin Museum of Applied Arts) - Star City, the cosmonaut training centre - your tickets to a performance at the Bolshoi Theatre.
Moscow - overnight train
Included in the itinerary - A meeting with a local guide for a more personal and confidential approach to the capital. An improvised walk to suit your wishes, and the opportunity to talk about everyday life in Russia.
At the end of the day, a private transfer to the station and first-class boarding of the overnight train to St Petersburg. The Red Arrow is the first branded train in Russia, and the first also to introduce the high-comfort sleeper car. It has been travelling between Moscow and St Petersburg since the 1930s (eight hours). The train has a restaurant car and first and second class carriages. You will travel first class: the compartments have two low bunks and are equipped with air conditioning, heating, a table, an electrical socket and a complete set of toiletries.
Night train - St Petersburg
Arrival in the early morning (breakfast on board the train). Private transfer and accommodation again for three nights in an iconic hotel, located on one of St Petersburg's most beautiful avenues.
Included in the itinerary - An afternoon with a private guide. The city of the Tsars contains three centuries of heritage: the Hermitage Museum, the fortress of Peter and Paul, sumptuous palaces and buildings... and many other jewels including St Isaac's Cathedral (19th century). Everything about St Isaac's is enormous: 40 years of construction by some 400,000 workers - it's built on 24,000 pilings driven into the underlying fenland and has 350 statues and reliefs on its facade. The interior decoration required 880lb of gold, 1,000 tonnes of bronze, 16 tonnes of malachite and more than 110 square feet of lazurite.
At the foot of the hotel is Nevsky Prospekt, and within walking distance there is Palace Square and the Hermitage. Large historic sites, a lattice of lakes, parks and shopping areas are also within walking distance. You can go out to Tsarskoye Selo, a resort of the Tsars, just 15 miles away. Or admire the wonders of decorative art and jewellery at the Karl Faberge Museum at Shuvalov Palace. You can also visit the Peterhof Palace, built to surpass Versailles, and visit Hare Island, where the Peter and Paul fortress stands - this is where the Romanovs have been buried since Peter I.
Included in the itinerary - a private visit to the Hermitage Museum. A symbol of the city, it is a huge temple dedicated to art, a suite of sumptuous palaces and a collection of historic buildings, housing nearly three million works. Its collection of jewellery, the Tsars' private collection, has no equal in Russia, either in its diversity or in its breadth. It was started by Peter I and was added to by his successors. Today it features an extraordinary collection of jewels, goldsmiths' works and timepieces by the greatest Russian and Western masters. Exclusively for you: your ticket gives you access to the museum one hour before it opens to the general public, for a visit with privileged access (subject to authorisation being obtained from the museum management, one week before the visit).
Optional - Tickets for a performance at the Mariinsky Theatre, the city's largest opera and ballet theatre - a private tour of Catherine Palace.
St Petersburg - Return flight
Private transfer to the airport and catch your flight home.
A la carte
MOSCOW - THE KREMLIN AND THE ARMOURY CHAMBER
The mythical fortress of the Russian Empire, the Kremlin is a city in its own right, with its palaces, arsenals and churches. A medieval castle that connects the modern country to its legendary past. The tower walls were first built of wood in the 12th century, then of white stone, and finally of red brick in the 15th century when the architectural ensemble took its present form. A place of history and power, also a spiritual centre of Orthodox Russia, the Kremlin is filled with palaces, cathedrals and sumptuous museums. The so-called 'Armoury Chamber' actually conceals the Kremlin Museum of Applied Arts, which has collected more than 4,000 objects Imperial objects. Gold, silverware, imperial clothing, thrones, crowns and carriages bear witness to the skill of the craftsmen and the sumptuous life of Russia's great figures of the past.
Optional - Half-day trip a private guide
MOSCOW - STAR CITY
Star City is an ancient military complex located north-east of Moscow in the city of Shchyolkovo. It is home to the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre. Many Russian cosmonauts live here with their families (about 7,500 people) and it's essentially its own little city. Included in the itinerary: visit the Mir station, the pit used for zero-gravity training sessions, the centrifuge and watch a screening of a film shot during cosmonaut training.
Optional - six hours with a private guide
SAINT PETERSBURG - THE CATHERINE PALACE
The peak of Russian Baroque architecture, the Catherine Palace is the embodiment of Russian Imperial splendour. Tsarina Catherine I, second wife of Peter the Great, received this estate along with its title. Their daughter Elizabeth Petrovna, who became Empress in 1741, then decided to transform the relatively modest residence into an opulent home, around which she had pavilions and gardens built. The next Empress of Russia, Catherine II (or Catherine the Great), was passionate about architecture and embarked on projects even larger than Elizabeth's. The palace's original Baroque luxury thus became enriched by elegant neoclassicism. Outside, the 740 acres of parkland are divided between a French garden, marked out by rope, and a wilder English park decorated with a multitude of pavilions. These include the Turkish Baths, a kind of miniature mosque, and the Great and Little Caprices, both inspired by Chinese art which was very popular at the time.
Optional - Half-day trip a private guide
On return, we take care of returning the router, so that it can be recycled.
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