Easy Pace Spain - Insight Vacations

Easy Pace Russia with Christmas Markets (Winter 2017-18)

Duration: 8 days Visiting: Russia

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Dates & prices

Russia is a whole new place come winter, with its snow-dusted cities and the festivities of Russian Orthodox Christmas in full swing.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to St. Petersburg

    Airport transfers depart from St. Petersburg Airport at 14:30 and 17:00. In the evening, meet your Tour Director for a warm, friendly Welcome Reception and an opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

  2. Day 2

    St Petersburg Sightseeing

    Morning sightseeing with a Local Expert includes views of St. Isaac’s Cathedral and Decembrists’ Square. Travel down Nevsky Prospekt for views of the great Cathedral of Kazan and onion-domed Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood. With the afternoon at leisure, why not explore 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?

  3. Day 3 - Relaxed Start

    The City of Tsars

    (Relaxed Start) 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.

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    The Hermitage Museum

    (Relaxed Start) Visit the Hermitage, one of the world’s greatest museums. Located in the Winter Palace, wander through this fabulous collection of paintings and objets d’art, ranging from Egyptian carvings to Impressionist masterpieces. The rest of the day is free.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    High-Speed Sapsan Train to Moscow

    (Relaxed Start) In the morning, perhaps visit the former residence of the Yusupov family and the scene of Rasputin’s murder? Then board your high-speed Sapsan train to Moscow.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    Moscow, a Russian Revelation

    (Relaxed Start) 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. During your stay, you will also visit one of the Metro stations that Stalin called ‘palaces for the people’. Gain a local insight into the themes depicted among the marble, mosaics, sculptures and chandeliers. In your free time, why not view the crown jewels and Fabergé Egg collection of the Imperial Russian Family? 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.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    Exploring the Kremlin

    (Relaxed Start) With the morning at leisure, you can use your time as the final chance to collect a few souvenirs. 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 Zagorsk - renowned as a centre of ancient Russian art and architecture? In the afternoon, walk inside the walls of the Kremlin Fortress to visit one of the cathedrals and the Armoury Chamber. On your last night, enjoy delicious food, great wine and wonderful company at your evening Celebration Dinner.

  8. Day 8

    Depart Moscow

    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.

Highlights

 

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • St. Petersburg: Sightseeing with a Local Expert will show you St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Decembrists’ Square, the great Cathedral of Kazan and the Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood.
  • St. Petersburg: With a Local Expert, visit St. Catherine’s Palace and the Amber Room. Learn the history of the city at Peter and Paul fortress.
  • St. Petersburg: With a Local Expert, explore the spectacular Hermitage Museum - one of the world’s great repositories of European art and housed in the stunning former Winter Palace of the Tsars.
  • Moscow: With a Local Expert, explore one of Moscow’s opulent Metro stations.
  • Moscow: A Local Expert will show you this wonderful city. Tour Moscow’s Red Square and see the iconic St. Basil’s Cathedral as well as Lenin’s Mausoleum.
  • Moscow: Walk inside the walls of the Kremlin Fortress with your Local Expert.

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.
  • 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.
  • High Speed Train: ‘Sapsan’ in Russian means ‘falcon’. Relax in modern luxury and comfort while you swoop by rail, from St. Petersburg to Moscow in just four hours.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Moscow: Join in a fun-filled Celebration Dinner that straddles the culinary East to West divide and includes drinks to toast to your new-found friends.
  • 7 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) both with wine, plus tea or coffee. 7 Jan departure is on tour for Russian Orthodox Christmas and will enjoy a festive Welcome Dinner.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • St. Petersburg: The Solo Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge is centrally located on Vasilyevsky Island, the historical centre of St. Petersburg. Parts of the hotel date back to the mid-19th century and have been renovated from what was once the wine cellars of the famous Eliseev family.
  • Moscow: Perfectly located on the main street of Moscow, leading directly to Red Square and the Kremlin, the Marriott Grand Hotel features comfortable rooms with an art deco touch.

OUR FIVE-STAR SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Insight Tour Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend in a foreign land.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat touring coach, with extended Business Class legroom and on-board restroom.
  • 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. Plus, we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
  • From time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish - a local tidbit representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Complimentary transfers from St Petersburg Airport are available at scheduled times only, on arrival day. Complimentary transfers to Moscow's Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo airports are available at scheduled times only, on departure day. Should your flights not coincide with complimentary transfers, charged transfers are available on arrival and departure days, or when additional accommodation is booked through Insight Vacations. Alternatively, please make your own way from/to the airport.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Accommodation

 

Sokos Palace Bridge St petersburg

St Petersburg (Central) - Russia

Marriott Grand Moscow

Moscow (Central) - Russia

Marriott Grand, Moscow

*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Note prices displayed reflect available discounted rates (i.e. Early Payment Discount, Last Minute Deals). All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.
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