Welcome to St. Petersburg, where decadence and modernity meet. Once you have arrived at Pulkovo Airport, a transfer will take you to your luxurious accommodation, the Grand Hotel Europe. This cultural and culinary landmark stands on Nevsky Prospekt adjacent to Arts Square amongst the city's great architectural treasures and is an ode to the country's unique appreciation of arts. At 19:00, join your Travelling Concierge for your Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. Get to know your fellow travellers over your first taste of Russian cuisine. Later you'll set off on a private sunset cruise as you take in Russia's White Nights. A unique natural phenomenon caused by St. Petersburg's geographical location, the sky remains bright after midnight.
Delve into St. Petersburg's religious history, with a trip to Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral. Once a prison, but currently used as a museum, this wonderfully ornate building was designed by Domenico Trezzini in the 18th century. Continue your exploration of the city with your Travelling Concierge before enjoying some free time for lunch and shopping. Why not head back to your hotel for a relaxing evening? It offers a therapeutic sauna, plunge pool and beauty salon for its guests.
In the morning, visit the Church of our Saviour on the Spilled Blood, where Tsar Alexander II was fatally wounded in 1881. The Church of the Resurrection provides a stark (some would say jarring) contrast to its surroundings of Baroque, Classical and Modernist architecture. Your Journey, Your Way. Choose to take part in a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience on a relaxing bike ride to New Holland, a popular city park undergoing an extensive urban regeneration program, and aiming to become a platform for the young and creative crowd of the city. Alternatively, visit the Fabergé Museum, and see the imperial Easter eggs created for the last two Russian tsars, along with the museum's striking collection of other decorative pieces. In the evening, head to the esteemed Hermitage Museum after hours, and explore the venue with your Local Expert. Founded in 1764, the collection of the State Hermitage includes over three million works of art and world culture artefacts. In the evening you are invited for an after hours visit of the Hermitage Museum. Join your Local Expert to enter the Winter Palace which was once the official residence of the Russian Tsars and is now one of the world's largest and most prestigious museums.
Prepare for your visit to Peterhof Palace in style with a hydrofoil boat ride to the Russian Versailles. Formerly serving as a grand summer residence for Russian royalty, Peterhof has undoubtedly played a strong role throughout Russian history. After Russia gained access to the Baltic Sea during the Great Northern War, Peterhof was constructed in the early 1700s as a symbol of triumph, grandiosity, and great national pride. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, you'll explore its palaces and gardens filled with spectacular fountains and marble statues. Discover the character of Russian cuisine at Tsar restaurant and taste exquisite dishes filled with charm and tradition.
In the morning, find out more about the history of matryoshka dolls at a workshop on how the Russian nesting dolls are created. The simplicity and originality of matryoshka dolls attract the fans of Russian folk art from around the world. You'll then begin your journey to Moscow. Relax in modern luxury and business-class comfort as you travel to the founding city of Russia in just a few hours onboard the high-speed Sapsan train. A cultural and political hub, you'll be impressed by its sheer size, as it holds the title of the largest city in Europe. Head to a lecture by a local historian on the KGB, the main spy agency of the former Soviet Union.In the evening you'll enjoy a delicious menu of local specialities at your hotel.
Explore Moscow in all its glory, starting with a VIP experience at the Kremlin Royal Apartments, Kremlin Armory and historic Red Square. The sites have been long revered as symbols of the Russian statehood, earning their place on the UNESCO List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. See St. Basil’s Cathedral, a vibrant fusion of colour and patterns. Make sure you have your camera ready for a picture of this cultural symbol of Russia. You'll have free time for lunch – your Travelling Concierge can help suggest some local dining options. In the evening, see this beautiful city in a glittering new light, on a romantic dinner cruise.
Your Journey, Your Way. Choose to join your Local Expert to discover the ornate Moscow Metro, known for its extravagant interior design and displays of the Soviet past in the halls. Alternatively, visit the Mausoleum of Lenin in the Red Square, where his body is still on public display as it has been since his death in 1924. With your afternoon, why not delve into more of Russia's unique history on a trip to the State Historical Museum? Or check out Tretyakov Gallery, which houses one of the largest collections of Russian art in the world? For outdoor enthusiasts, there is the beautiful Gorky Park, which holds a number of fitness activities in the summer. Step back in time at your Celebration Dinner as you dine at the elegant Café Pushkin, a luxurious finale for your journey through remarkable Russia. The upscale Franco-Russian den is a favourite among the city’s glitterati. Chef Andrei Makhov creates flawless dishes inspired by history and adapted for modern times.
It's time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers and take a transfer to the airport.