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Twin Capitals of Russia, 8 Days

Category: Group Tours

 



 

 

 Small Group Departures, Russia  2017      
                                                                    

Weekly Saturday Departures, year-round                                                           






Twin Capitals of Russia, Classic  •  
8 Days

 Moscow (3 nights) → High Speed day train → St. Petersburg (4 nights) 

 



Two great cities combined in a mouth-watering Introductory tour of Russia 



The enigmatic capital of Russia, Moscow, and its younger sibling, the princely Saint Petersburg, are without doubt two of Mother Russia’s greatest possessions.


Moscow is a vibrant center of the ‘new Russia’, while St. Petersburg is renowned for its magnificent palaces, world class museums, elegant canals and grand architecture.

If it is your first visit to the largest country on earth, this tour will leave you gasping at the wonders these two cities has to offer. And if you have tasted Russian culture before, this tour will rekindle the fire in seconds 

 

 

 An ideal base to explore the country’s rich and

diverse cultural and historical heritage





 

 

Tour Benefits To Enjoy:

 

· Frequent Departures, Year Round
· First Class Hotels
· All Must-see sights included in tour price, no extra pocket expenses required 
· Individual transfers 
· Travel in smaller groups with English-speaking guide in each city

 
 

Hotels:      

· In Moscow: Novotel Moscow Centre ****


· In St Petersburg: Sokos Palace Bridge ***** 
 

  

Itinerary Overview:  

Day 1      Arrive in Moscow
Day 2     Moscow, Sightseeing
Day 3     Moscow, Sightseeing
Day 4     Moscow. Bullet day train to St. Petersburg
Day 5     St. Petersburg, Sightseeing
Day 6     St. Petersburg, Sightseeing
Day 7     St. Petersburg, Sightseeing
Day 8     See You Again, St. Petersburg

  

 

Tour Highlights:

 In Moscow: 

Visit the historic Kremlin, the Red Square with its iconic St. Basil’s Cathedral
Explore the opulent collection of Czar’s Treasures in the Kremlin
Visit the Tretyakov Art Gallery, Russia’s largest repository of national art including 11-12th cc. icons
Marvel the artistry of the massive Moscow Subway
 New: a trip to the luxurious Country Estate outside of Moscow, at Gorki Leninskiye, to visit the famous Museum-Reserve. Lunch is included


In Saint Petersburg:
Get introduced to Russia’s cultural capital, view its superb architecture, gleaming imperial palaces and mansions, rivers  and canals, learn facts about city’s mind-boggling collection of museums
 Visit the oldest structure of St. Petersburg, its historical Peter-and-Paul Fortress, the resting place of the czars of Romanov dynasty, a stunning monument of regal bearing
Lose yourself amid the artistic treasures and imperial interiors of the Hermitage Museum
Take in the gilded splendor of Catherine’s Palace with its famous Amber Room 

 

 


 

 

Read more about Places You Will Visit

  

  

 

   

 

 



Day-By-Day Program:



DAY 1     SAT
Arrive in Moscow. You will be met by our representative at the airport (Domodedovo or Sheremetyevo airports) and transferred to downtown Novotel Moscow Centre Hotel ****


DAY 2     SUN
10 am: Meet your local guide at hotel lobby for a panoramic City tour of Moscow, with photo stops. The tour features the views of the Kremlin, Red Square, Lenin’s Tomb, St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow State University, fine squares and streets of imperial grandeur. In the afternoon visit the Tretyakov Art Gallery, Russia’s largest and the most important repository of national art including the world’s finest collection of Russian icons (B)


DAY 3     MON 
Tour of the Kremlin Grounds symbolizing the mystery and power of Russia. Also visit the splendid Armoury Museum to see Czar’s treasures including crown jewelry, court carriages and the world famous Faberge Eggs (B)


DAY 4     TUE
Today explore with your guide Moscow’s magnificent Metro stations, a real wonder of the urban world, decorated with chandeliers, sculptures, stained-glass windows, beautiful mosaics and marble. Continue with a walking tour of the artsy Old Arbat street, city’s major pedestrian street. In the afternoon take a High Speed Day train to St. Petersburg. A regular sitting class category, dep 4.30 pm arr 8.45 pm. Upon arrival in St. Petersburg, you will be transferred to downtown Sokos Palace Bridge *****  for a 4 nights’ stay (B)


DAY 5     WED 
After breakfast, take in a city Hightlights tour of Russia’s Cultural Capital featuring the beautiful views of the Winter Palace, Palace Square, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Bronze Horseman Statue, the fashionable Nevsky Prospect, Neva river embankment & much more (B)


DAY 6     THU 
Today your guide will take you for a tour of the Hermitage Museum. One of the most spectacular museums in the world, the Hermitage has a vast collection occupying a grand ensemble of buildings. See the highlights of the museum such as the Old Masters of Western European art collection, French Impressionists display and the State Rooms of the Winter Palace. Be prepared for a lot of walking! Today also visit Peter-&-Paul Fortress, the city’s oldest structure where most of Russia’s czars and czarinas lie buried (B)


DAY 7     FRI 
Today travel outside of St. Petersburg to Pushkin to visit the exquisite Catherine’s Palace with its famous Amber Room (B)


DAY 8     SAT 
After breakfast your tour ends (B)

 

 


 

Read more about Places You Will Visit

   

Need help in obtaining the Russian Visa? Please click here 


 

  

 

 

 

 



TOUR FEATURES:


Accommodations at First Class 4 & 5-star hotels, breakfast daily
High Speed day train, Moscow - St. Petersburg, a regular sitting category
 Individual transfers upon arrival & departure
 Major sightseeing in each city, with a licensed English-speaking guide
 Entrance fees to sites and museum included in the program


 

Featured Sightseeing, Moscow: 

- A comprehensive city tour of Moscow’s most noteworthy landmarks
- Visit Kremlin territory: a tour behind fortified walls of the Kremlin with a visit inside the cathedral
- See Czar’s treasures collection in the Armory, Kremlin’s richest & oldest museum
- Ride Moscow Metro, the largest public network in the world, tour its palatial & graffiti-free stations
- A walking tour of the Old Arbat Street, city’s major pedestrian street
- Explore the Tretyakov Art Gallery, Russia’s National Gallery containing the world’s finest collection of icons



Featured Sightseeing, St. Petersburg:

- Get a good introduction to city’s many remarkable sites with a City tour 

- Visit inside city’s nucleus, the historic Peter-and-Paul Fortress
- Explore the jaw-dropping Hermitage Museum, the world-class treasure trove of world art

- A trip outside of St. Petersburg to Pushkin to visit the exquisite Catherine’s Palace with its famous Amber Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dates & Prices, 2017: 

 

 

 Departures - 2017:

 Price    Departures - 2017 Price
         
January 14, 28 $ 1,785  

July 01, 08

$ 2,075 

February 11, 25

$ 1,675

 

July 15, 22, 29 

$ 1,975

March 11,18, 25, April 01

$ 1,765

 

Aug. 05, 12, 19, 26

$ 1,975

April 08, 15, 22

$ 1,765

 

Sept 02, 09, 16, 23, 30 

$ 1,975 

April 29, May 06

$ 1,975

 

October 07, 14, 21

$ 1,875 

May 13, 20*, 27*

$ 2,075   November 04, 18  $ 1,765
June 03*, 10*, 17*, 24

$ 2,075 

  December 02, 23 $ 1,795
         

The above prices are in Canadian dollars, per person, based in twin share. Tour dates marked with *) fall on White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg


Single Room Supplement: applies to hotels Only
 
January-April 22, Oct 07-Dec. 23, 2017:          $ 520
April 29-May 06; July 15-Sept. 30, 2017:         $ 650 

High Season: May 13-July 08, 2017:               $ 780


January 14
, 2017: Orthodox Christmas departure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Reviews: 

 The couple traveled on our Twin Capitals of Russia, Aug 31-Sept 07, 2016, with 1 night pre-tour extension in Moscow. 

Booked with Intours by Vision 2000 travel agency, North York Ontario.


Travel Agent: ... i am happy to forward you this e-mail from my very special clients

TO:  INTOURS CANADA


Re:  Twin Capitals of Russia


We just wanted to express our delight after touring Moscow & St. Petersburg. 

Your organization was excellent, from the choice of Hotels to the tour itself.

We were promptly picked up at the airport by your designated driver and driven to our Hotel.

The Hotel Radisson Blu Bellaruskya was very new and up to date and comfortable. 

 

We arrived one day early before the tour, We think it was a good idea, to get over the jet lag and looked around the city on our own. The next day we met other group participants and our tour guide Maria.

We really enjoyed seeing the many treasures of Russia in Moscow and especially St. Petersburg.

We were a little apprehensive before leaving, but we honestly found it to be a very pleasant and enjoyable experience.  Even though we were not able to speak or read a work of Russian, most people did speak English and were very helpful.  We have traveled extensively throughout Europe and found Russia to be a jewel.

I would make only one suggestion: to give a few extra options for the evenings.  We enjoyed the Russian folkloric and ballet one evening and would suggest perhaps a final farewell typical Russian dinner with the whole group.

 

It was also good because we had only 18 people in the group, which made it a bit easier to get around. 

Again, even though they gave us time to explore on our own, perhaps some optional excursions would be good. (only a suggestion)

Overall, we were very pleased,  we will have very pleasant memories of our tour and would highly recommend it to anyone.


Sincerely, 

Rino & Sylvia M.


 


A party of 6 who traveled on Twin Capitals Sept 14-21, 2015 with 1 night extension in Moscow and 1 night post-tour in St. Petersburg  

 

Morning Sergei,

Apologies for the delay in responding but I was travelling for work last week.

Feedback from the group is that the trip was a roaring success. The sight-seeing schedule was comprehensive enough to give us exposure to the highlights and left enough time for us to explore on our own. The transfers all went smoothly, we got through the Moscow airport quickly and had the expected delays at Saint Petersburg airport. The guides were top-notch, knowledgeable, approachable, and committed to ensure our experience was a good one. Since it was a large group there were times when it was difficult to hear the guide, but that's not unexpected and was not a problem overall. Both hotels were very good as far as suites, food, service, and location. The Domina Prestige stood out as it's brand new and has some  great modern design and decorating.

We ventured to Peterhof on our own and even though we only saw a fraction of it, the grounds and fountains did not disappoint.

All things considered it was a great trip, very good value for the money and we'd recommend Intours to other travelers. 

Thank you again for all the help and advice to make this a successful trip. 



Regards,

Heather W. 

October 21, 2015

Scarborough Ontario 

 

 

 

 Serguei, 

I am glad to hear from you. 


Yes, I have had a great trip to Russia. I returned rather tired (but a good tired) and with some catching up to do, so dropping you a line slid down the agenda. Anyways, here are some highlights. 

So, I arrived without incident. I think it was 5 or 6 pm by the time I got to the hotel, so I did not do anything on the Friday.


I thought Hotel Novotel Moscow Centre was less central than i would have liked, but then i discovered it was near two subway lines, the Ring line and a line going to the centre so the location turned out to be quite good.

There were a couple of restaurants up the street, Dzhon Dzholi's (Jolly John) which was very good and Burger something (burger-city?) which was ok, and a Khleb Nasuchchnij (i was fond of these, they were in St. Pet too).

Saturday was my free day in Moscow. I tried going to Red Square but it was blocked off for City of Moscow Day (Sept 10-11, 2016). There were exhibits on Tverskaya ultsa and on the Garden ring so I explored there.

Also went out to Park Kolomenskoye, which I had visited with my dad about 25 years ago. It was nice.

Sunday, i met the group and guide (Tatiana). I decided Leninsky -- Gorki wasn't my best choice for the day so i did not go with them there.

I talked to some of the group after. They seemed happy with the trip there and said they had stopped at Novodevichy Convent on the way back.

I wanted to go to the Catholic Church on Sunday. I had been before to St. Louis of the French on Malaya Lubianka, about a block from famous KGB building.

After that i checked out the neighborhood, including Detsky Mir, now a kind of shopping centre of store for young people and children.


Roads towards the centre were still blocked to road traffic but you could walk. After a bit of a walk i decided to get back on the subway and go to Novodevichy Convent,  


I had been there many years ago but wanted to see it again. There are some nice walking trails nearby and you can see Moscow City from there - which i was not aware of until i saw the buildings (I asked Tatiana later; she told me it was called Moscow City; it seemed like Moscow's answer to La Defense in Paris, or Canary Wharf in London).

Next stop was Novodevichy Cemetery, which i had not visited before. Tat was quite interesting. I looked at the map and found the graves of Nikita Khruschev, Boris Yeltsin, Nikolai Gogol, Dmitri Shostakovitch and Eldar Ryazanov.  

Back to the subway and one more stop at the Church of Christ the Savior.



Monday, we had our group tour of the Kremlin and Tsar's treasures; also a tour of the Metro and walk on the Arbat. It was a good day.  


Tuesday, we checked out of our hotel and then we had our visit to the Tretyakov art Gallery. I quite enjoyed that. Saw Andrei Rublov's 'Trinity' of course.

Time for a later lunch, early dinner, before catching the high speed train (Sapsan, I think it was called) to St. Petersburg. The train was great, only it is not well equipped for luggage.


As I recall, Russian people traveling domestically do not tend to travel with a lot of baggage, unlike North Americans. Anyway, we got everything stowed. Some worried about overhead space being precarious.

I much prefer this train to the overnight one.


A couple of observations so far.

 

Infrastructure is a lot better than it used to be. Retail space has been built up so the city does not seem as crowded. You don's have crowds of people pushing. There's not the big shortage of table space in restaurants and coffee shops.

Traffic is a lot more polite.


Banking, well, one issue with banking is that bank machines only seem to want to give you 5000 rubles which is not a lot.

Once I got a machine to give me 10,000.

It leaves you a bit cash-poor though you can use credit cards in a lot of places.

 

One way this trip was different from my previous group trips (went with my father in 1998 and 2003) was that we did not have group meals. They were almost a necessity in the old days as there were not that many places to ear, but the difference was that they bound the group together whereas this time i really just saw the people on the excursions.
We had about 29 people.   


It was a diverse group: quite a few from the UK. A number from the Philippines, a Philippino-American engineer and his wife living in Azerbaijan, a couple of Americans, and some others. 


Wednesday in St Petersburg was our tour day. We had a tour of the city, a tour of the Peter and Paul fortress and numerous stops for photos.

 

We stopped at a nice souvenir shop on Mitninskaya Naberezhnaya (Mitninskaya Embankment), across the street from the residence I lived in for 4 mos in 1986, now taken over by an oil company. I did some exploration on my own later in the day.


Dom Knigi (in Russian, the House of Books, formerly a building that was sitting the famous Singer Company, yes, a number one producer of those sewing machines) and the old churches, Catholic, Lutheran and Armenian are now open.


Thursday was our Hermitage tour. I used the afternoon to take the city bus to Smolny Cathedral.


Friday was our trip to the Catherine Palace at Pushkin. I've been there a few times and really like the palace and i saw the restored Amber Room for the first time. They also left us an hour to explore the park, which was time well spent. I hadn't seen it on previous trips.


So, that was the end of the organized trip. We had different guides for St. Petersburg and Moscow. Both of them were very good. 



So on my own: 

Sat: did a walk about; went to St. Isaac's Cathedral, bronze horseman, Menshikov Palace, Kunstkammer and a canal cruise in the evening. The Cathedral and the Canal cruise were the best of those.


Sun: St. Catherine's Church for Mass; Kazanskij Sobor, Alexander Nevsky Lavra, Church of the Bleeding Savior (very impressive inside) and Mikhailovsky Park


Mon: Took the Marshrutka to Orienbaum (good thing i have my Russian); Scaffolding on the main palace at the moment but you can go inside; about half the grounds are closed for a major reno, but the part you can see is very nice. Saw the Chinese Palace from the outside but unfortunately it was not open to tour that day. Anyway, i had a really good day there. Hope to see it in a few years when the reno is done. Caught a city bus to the train station and took electrichka (local commuter train) back to St. Petersburg. 


Tue: back to the Hermitage to see the part that is in the General Staff HQ; then caught the Hydrofoil to Peterhof. Spent the afternoon in the lower park which is a very big place. If you want to take the hydrofoil back, you can't get to the upper park without paying again to get back to the lower part - but it was fine. There was enough there for an afternoon.  


Next time: i'll try to see Kronstadt, and Pavlovsk as well as an improved Orienbaum. 



Petersburg Hotels: 


Domina Prestige: very nice, room a bit gaudy (all red) but a luxury room. Very good breakfast but breakfast room can be chaotic at busy times. Best to get up early. 

The Bridge Hotel, where i stayed for the last night, It was okay but definitely a step down from the Domina 5*. The room and bath were about half the size; very well kept, but no water or toiletries provided. 


I had a comical experience at check in; first the lady said 'your room will be ready in an hour'. i said 'ok'. Then the lady said, 'how about an hour and a half'. i said 'Fine'. 'Come back at 1.00', she replied. And it was 9:30 am.


Maybe i wasn't a very good negotiator. Anyway, it did not really matter. I was planning to go out for the day (Peterhof) and i cam back at supper time. Breakfast was fine, but simpler.


The driver picked me up on time both days so that was good.



Restaurants: 


I ate at Dve Palochki, Marchelli's and once at Pizza Hut (i remember Gorbachev doing ads for them), all of wehch were good. I was really pleased with both Dve Palochkin and Marchelli's. Pizza Hut is North American of course, and i try to eat local when traveling.  

Anyway, that is my report for now. I'll go through my photos and will send you some. 



Blessings, 


Pail Finn

Trenton Ontario Canada 


October 29, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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