Sunday: By coach from our area to Heathrow where we fly with British Airways to Moscow. In Moscow we will be met by our local guide and transferred to our hotel. The evening is at leisure.
Monday: We enjoy a Moscow introductory panoramic tour where we will see many of the most famous sights of Russia’s capital: Novodevichy convent, Sparrow Hills for a panoramic view over the city, Moscow State University, the Sport stadium Luzhniki, the Cathedral of Christ of the Saviour, the KGB headquarters at Lubyanka, Red Square –with St Basil’s cathedral, the Historical Museum, GUM and Lenin’s mausoleum. We have a guided tour of the Kremlin Territory and the cathedral. The Kremlin is the former residence of Russian Tsars and it is an architectural ensemble of unique beauty which took shape between the 15th and 20th centuries.
Tuesday: To Tretyakov Gallery, the national museum of Russia founded in 1856 by Pyotr Tretyakov. The collection, with its 100,000 exhibits, includes 5,000 works of ancient Russian art and world famous paintings by Russian artists, as well as many sculptures. Then our guide takes us on a guided tour of Moscow’s famous Metro System where we explore some of the famous and beautiful stations, known as the ‘Palaces of the People’. Finally we have free time in Old Arbat street for shopping and exploring.
Wednesday: We transfer to the rail station to board the high speed Sapsan train to St Petersburg, a journey of about 4 hours. As decreed by Tsar Nicholas 1 the line is almost completely straight. We have a St Petersburg City Tour on arrival. Known as the ‘Venice of the North’, St Petersburg has a very different feel to Moscow. Some of the sights we will see include the Bronze Horseman Statue, the Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood, and Palace Square.
Thursday: We have a tour of the Hermitage Museum founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great, the Museum is located in her magnificent Winter Palace and is one of the biggest art museums in the world. The collection includes over 2.7 million items, including masterpieces of Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael, Rodin, Rembrandt and Rubens. Then to the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood which was built on the site where Emperor Alexander II was fatally wounded 1881. Architecturally, the cathedral differs from Saint Petersburg's other structures which are predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical. The Saviour on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism and it intentionally resembles the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.
Friday: We travel south for a tour of Catherine Palace in Pushkin. The palace was named after Catherine I, the wife of Peter the Great, but owes its splendour to their daughter Elizabeth, who chose Tsarskoe Selo as her chief summer residence. Catherine Palace is also home to the legendary Amber Room which has been reconstructed and is now one of the highlights of a visit to the palace. Later to the shores of the Baltic Sea, Petrodvorets (or Peterhof as it was formerly known), is an imperial treasure replete with lush parks, monumental cascades and gilded fountains. Following the 1917 Revolution, this former Summer residence of the Tsars was nationalised and turned into a public museum.
Saturday: We transfer to the airport and fly back with British Airways to Heathrow where we are met by a Barnes Coach.
Please Note: You will be required to have a visa will be required for this tour, more information can be found here