Easy Pace Russia with Christmas Markets Winter 2020-2021
8 days with
Day 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.(Dinner with Wine)
Day 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.(Breakfast)
Day 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.(Breakfast)
Day 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.(Breakfast)
Day 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.(Breakfast)
Day 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.(Breakfast)
Day 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.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 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.(Breakfast)
All This Included
Russia is a whole new place come winter, with its snow-dusted cities and the festivities of Russian Orthodox Christmas in full swing.
Included Insight Services
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
One-way Sapsan train journey from St Petersburg to Moscow is included.
Complimentary transfers from St Petersburg airport are available at scheduled times, on arrival day. Complimentary transfers to Moscow's Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo airports are available at scheduled times, on departure day. If your flights are outside these times or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way.
Moscow: Your Celebration Dinner straddles the culinary East to West divide and includes drinks to toast your travels with your newfound friends.
Dining Summary: 7 Breakfasts (B) and 2 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee. Festive Highlight Dinners: 29 Dec New Year’s Eve drinks in St. Petersburg & 7 Jan Russian Orthodox Christmas Dinner in St. Petersburg.
Top Rated Highlights
St. Petersburg Christmas Markets: Russian Christmas Markets are unique. St. Petersburg brings to life the traditions and festivities from the regions of Russia, combined with those from around the globe. Explore on 23 Dec, 30 Dec & 7 Jan departures.
Moscow Christmas Markets: The entire city is involved in the celebration of the season with each of Moscow’s districts adding their own influence to the fair. Rare, handcrafted treasures are waiting to be found, while soul-warming, local and global foods will keep the cold at bay. Explore on all departures.
St. Petersburg: Sightseeing with a Local Expert will show you St. Isaac's Cathedral, the fortress of St. Peter and Paul and Decembrists' Square. As you travel along the bustling Nevsky Prospekt, see the Cathedral of Kazan and the iconic Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood.
St. Petersburg: With a Local Expert, visit St. Catherine’s Palace and the Amber Room.
St. Petersburg: With a Local Expert, explore the stunning former Winter Palace of the Tsars, now the spectacular Hermitage Museum, one of the world's greatest repositories of European art.
Sapsan Train: Sapsan in Russian, translates to falcon. Relax in modern luxury and comfort while you swoop by rail from St. Petersburg to Moscow in just four hours.
Moscow: Explore this fascinating capital with your Local Expert. Visit Red Square to admire the landmark buildings of St. Basil's Cathedral, the Kremlin and Lenin's Mausoleum.
Moscow: Explore the opulent Metro stations, described as 'underground museums.'
Moscow: Visit one of the cathedral's and the Armoury Chamber when you venture inside the Kremlin.
St. Petersburg: Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg, Ligovsky
Moscow: Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel
* International travel often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange flights to arrive on or before Day 1.
* If travellers have not booked their flights with Insight Vacations, flight details must be provided at least 60 days prior to departure.
* A valid passport with at least six months validity after your return date is required.
* Canadian passport holders require a visa for Russia. Guests need an Invitation Letter from Insight Vacations before they can apply for their Russian visa.¿ The entire visa process should start a min 90 days prior to departure, within 30 days rush fees will apply.
* Russian train: Full passport details are required prior to final payment.
* Winter Departures: Hotels and inclusions may very. All departures will visit Christmas Markets. Additional sightseeing in Moscow instead of visiting Petrodvorets is also included.
* Day 1: Guests should arrive by the last transfer time or they may miss out on the Welcome Reception. Transfers to the hotel departs St. Petersburg airport at 2:30pm and 5:00pm.
* Day 8: Transfers will arrive at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport at 5:00am, 8:00am and 11:00am. Transfers arrive at Moscow's Domodedovo airport at 5:00am, 10:00am and 1:00pm.
Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
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