RR21920
Enjoy more time in St Petersburg & Moscow, with guided sightseeing of the main highlights as well as plenty of free time to explore at your own pace. Kick off your time in Russia with St Petersburg before visiting historic Novgorod & then taking the overnight train to the capital city of Moscow, home to Red Square & the powerful Kremlin.
DETAILS
Starting fromR21 920
Package ValiditySet travel dates between 20 MAY 2017 - 08 OCT 2017.  *** Tour departs on SAT only ***Book & pay by 30 MAY 2017 *** South African citizens no longer require visas for travel to Russia ***
Duration9 days
DestinationRussia
Starts inSt. Petersburg
Ends inMoscow

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- Arrival airport/hotel transfer
- 7 nights 3* hotel accommodation
- 1 overnight train from Novgorod - Moscow in a 4 berth cabin including bed linen
- Breakfast daily, a lunch & 3 dinners
- A Moscow Metro travel card valid for 6 journeys
- Russian banya (sauna) experience
- Assistance of an English speaking Russian tour guide
- Guided sightseeing in St Petersburg, Novgorod & Mosow
- Touring as per itinerary

** Excludes entrance fees of approximately USD40- USD50 per person

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St Petersburg

Saturday. Welcome to Russia & the start of your holiday! Meet & greet arrival transfer from St Petersburg Pulkovo Airport to your hotel & check in. This evening you'll be treated to dinner with the rest of your group at the hotel, followed by an informative welcome meeting. Remainder of the evening at leisure - your tour guide can recommend some local bars for you to try out.

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The Hermitage

This morning a driving tour will give us a run-down on some of St Petersburg's key areas. Travelling by mini bus we will make our way along the famed Nevsky Prospekt, past the museum & university districts & a few stops will be made along the way to see the magnificent St Isaac's Cathedral & The Bronze Horseman. Later, we will enjoy a guided tour of the Hermitage - which houses one of the biggest & best art collections on earth. The rest of the day is free for you to further explore. Most of the city sights are dotted along & just off the main thoroughfare - Nevsky Prospekt. It’s an easy city to find your bearings & get around. St Petersburg has a spirited restaurant, bar & jazz club scene, plus some of Russia’s best beers.

During our time in St Petersburg there may be the chance to join one of our optional evening excursions, such as a canal cruise (May to September), a traditional Cossacks performance or a night at the Russian Ballet. There may even be the chance to try your hand at preparing Russian cuisine with an interactive cooking class. All optional excursions are subject to availability, & are booked & payable locally.

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St Pete's sightseeing

Today's touring includes either the beautifully landscaped gardens of Peterhof in summer or the lavish interiors of Catherine's Palace at Tsarskoe Selo in winter (or Pavlosk Palace if Catherine's Palace is closed). We'll also visit Peter & Paul Cathedral within Peter & Paul Fortress, which houses the tombs of the Romanov monarchs. After stopping for a hearty traditional lunch at a local restaurant, we'll continue on for a guided tour of the exquisite interior of The Church on Spilled Blood.

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Time to Explore

St Petersburg – Novgorod. As our last day in St Petersburg, today gives you the opportunity to shop for some last minute souvenirs, perhaps some traditional Russian nesting dolls or some Russian memorabilia found at the canal side market near the striking Church on Spilled Blood. Alternatively take a walk along Nevsky Prospekt. Later this afternoon we travel to Novgorod, arriving in time for dinner & a steamy Russian banya (sauna).

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Novgorod

Novgorod – Moscow. Novgorod is one of Russia’s oldest cities, located within reach of the Volkhov River & Lake Ilmen, that was formed as a town in the middle of the 10th century. A guided tour of Novgorod takes in the riverside fortified Kremlin, cathedral & other sights of interest. The Kremlin fortress was mentioned in chronicles as early as in 1044, whilst today’s walls & towers, despite being re-built in 15th century, are impressive all the same. Tonight we have dinner before travelling by overnight sleeper train from Novgorod to Moscow.

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Moscow

Early this morning, we arrive into Moscow - the capital that spawned dozens of spy novels! Today we will ride on the capital’s efficient Metro to Red Square. From here, we’ll take in the jewels of Russia’s capital on a guided walking tour, taking in sights such as the epitome of Russian power – the Kremlin, Lenin’s Mausoleum & the ritzy GUM department store.

At the south end of the square, feast your eyes on the wildly coloured, turban domed St Basil’s Cathedral, an enduring Russian symbol commissioned by Ivan IV (also known as Ivan the terrible) in 1555. Spend the remainder of the day at your own leisure.

During our stay in Moscow there will be the chance to join one of our optional evening excursions, such as a night at the famous Moscow Circus (Oct - May), a traditional Cossack Show or a Moscow by Night coach tour.

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The Kremlin

This morning we head back to Red Square to pay our respects to Lenin - the grandfather of Communism, at his eerie mausoleum. It is here that his embalmed body has lain in state since his death in 1924. Later we will continue to the Kremlin - Russia’s bastion of political might, where we enjoy a guided walk through the grounds, seeing numerous government buildings, gold-domed cathedrals & the tsar bell.

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Red Square

Today is free for you to explore Moscow at your own pace, & there are plenty of galleries, museums & shops to keep you entertained. The efficient Metro system - & your included Metro pass, means that exploring the city couldn't be easier. This evening consider sampling Moscow’s nightlife, which can rival any of the world’s capital cities!

Alternatively we offer an optional guided tour of a formerly top secret Cold War bunker turned museum today - book & pay locally. Up until recently this Stalinist-era Soviet Bunker was a secret symbol of Soviet Power. Hidden beneath an ordinary two storey apartment building in Moscow, 18 floors below ground level, this 75,000 square foot facility was constructed covertly, in the 1950s, to protect against the threat of a US nuclear attack. In the 1990s this bunker came off the top secret list & is now open to the public.

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Moscow

Sunday. Our tour ends after breakfast & hotel check out.

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