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Day 1 : Departure
Depart for your overnight flights to Moscow.
Day 2 : Arrive Moscow
Upon arrival to Moscow, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is to relax or perhaps begin your independent discovery of the fabled capital of Russia. Tonight, a briefing by your Tour Director on the fascinating tour that awaits you, followed by a Welcome Dinner. Overnight.
Day 3 : In Moscow
Moscow, one of the largest cities in the world, is the symbolic heart and soul of the country. Your sightseeing tour begins at Red Square, dominated by colorful St. Basil's Cathedral and by the massive red walls of the Kremlin. Visit the Armory Museum, with its impressive collection of Tsarist, Russian, and foreign jewelry, armor, and other artifacts. Then walk by Moscow University. Continue with a drive along the wide boulevards and a stroll through GUM, Russia’s largest department store. Continue, on the north bank of the River Moskva, passing by baroque Novodevichy convent; ending the tour at the popular Arbat shopping district, time to shop or enjoy lunch on your own. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight.
Day 4 : In Moscow
Today we travel 75 km North of Moscow, to a small town of Sergiev Posad, former Zagorsk – founded in the 14th century and renowned as a center of ancient Russian art and architecture. For centuries it served as a place of pilgrimage and the religious capital of Russia. Within the old walled city admire the fairy-tale golden and blue domes of the Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra, one of the most beautiful of all monasteries. After lunch at a popular restaurant, return to Moscow, the rest of the day at leisure. This evening take an optional tour Moscow by night & Subway, to see the metro stations which Stalin called “Palaces for the People.” Dinner and overnight.
Day 5 : Moscow to St. Petersburg
Time at leisure in Moscow, before transfer to railway station for our four hours high-speed Sapsan train ride to St. Petersburg. Upon arrival at the St. Petersburg train station, transfer to your hotel. Dinner at hotel and overnight.
Day 6 : In St. Petersburg
There are not many cities in the world that can match the grace of St. Petersburg. When Peter the Great founded the city in 1703, he hired Europe’s best architects, craftsmen, and artists to build and decorate it. Spread over 100 islands and linked by over 600 bridges, it is often referred to as the “Venice of the North.” Today the main sites to be visited on the tour are Palace Square with the Winter Palace, Senate Square with the monument to Russian Emperor Peter the Great, the founder of the city, St. Isaac’s Square with St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Smolny Cathedral, Cruiser Aurora, Field of Mars, and Nevsky Prospect. Granite embankments of the Neva River. Visit Peter and Paul Fortress, Built in 1703 on a small island it was meant to protect the city from enemy attacks; and the first construction of St. Petersburg. Visit Peter and Paul Cathedral, which towers in the center of the fortress served as the burial place for Russian Emperors from Peter I. It is a museum nowadays. The gilded spire of the Peter and Paul Cathedral is the highest landmark of the city. Dinner and overnight.
Day 7 : In St. Petersburg
On our schedule for today is Alexander Nevsky Abbey, a monastery, and a 19th-century Necropolis, containing the graves of many world-famous Russian writers, composers, and sculptors. We will then visit The Hermitage, also known as the Winter Palace (previously the residence of the imperial family). The Hermitage contains over three million exhibits and possesses one of the best art collections in the world. The gallery is most famous for its collection of West European art, with paintings by Monet, Cezanne, Renoir, Picasso, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rubens, and Rembrandt. The remainder of the day at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Saint Petersburg.
Day 8 : In St. Petersburg
Today we will have a half day excursion to Pavlovsk, a royal summer estate. The land was originally used as royal hunting grounds. The site was given by Catherine the Great to her son Paul I in 1777. The classical style palace was designed by Cameron and completed by Brenna and Rossi. After Paul's accession to the throne in 1796, it was used as an official imperial residence. Later we will visit Tsarskoe Selo (formerly known as Pushkin). The estate boasts a large landscape park, dotted with architectural follies, and centered on the magnificent blue, white and gold Catherine Palace. Afternoon at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Saint Petersburg.
Day 9 : In St. Petersburg
Today we enjoy a tour of Peterhof, 18 miles from Saint Petersburg. Set in magnificent gardens, Peterhof is reminiscent of Versailles and was only used by royalty for state occasions. The Grand Palace was built for Peter the Great, enlarged for Empress Elizabeth and remodeled for Catherine the Great. In the afternoon, our group will have some free time. Tonight join your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner. Overnight
Day 10 : Depart St. Petersburg
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home with memories for a lifetime!
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