"My daughter and I just returned from our excursion to Moscow, Vladimir, Suzdal and St. Petersburg. We had an absolutely marvelous time! Our guides were excellent. They were professional, friendly and exceedingly knowledgeable on all aspects of Russian history and culture. We would not have had as enjoyable a trip without their assistance! The weather was great and the itinerary was comprehensive. Thank you for making this once in a lifetime trip a memory my daughter and I will always treasure."
DAY 1. USA/EN ROUTE: Our Russian journey begins with an overnight flight to Moscow. All meals served on board, as well as complimentary beverages, movies and earphones for your travel comfort. If you fly from Europe your Day 1 will start on Day 2 of this program.
DAY 2. ARRIVE MOSCOW: Arrive at Moscow International Airport. Upon arrival, meet awaiting tour escort and motor coach and continue to the hotel for check-in. Overnight in Moscow.
DAY 3. MOSCOW: After breakfast, embark on a sightseeing tour of the city, including Red Square, which was originally known more prosaically as the tog or market place. The present name dates from the 17th century, meaning "beautiful." Red Square is famous for its scene of markets, fairs and religious festivals, as well as a famous place of execution. Here, rebels met their deaths beside the raised circular dais called the "Lobnoe Mesto," from which state decrees were also read out. The tour continues with the former headquarters of the KGB, Moscow University and the Russian "White House." Lunch on own in the city center. Lunch if followed by the tour of the Kremlin, which includes a visit to the fascinating State Armory, the oldest museum in Russia. As its name implies, it contains many ancient weapons and armor, but it also houses a treasure-trove of gorgeous jewels, gold-encrusted icons, bejeweled royal scepters and exquisitely carved thrones. All of these lovely treasures eloquently tell the history of Imperial Russia. Overnight in Moscow.
DAY 4. MOSCOW /VLADIMIR /SUZDAL: After breakfast, meet awaiting motor coach and drive to the Golden Ring of Russia, including Vladimir, an ancient historic Russian town located on a tributary of the Volga. Upon arrival you will have lunch at a nice local restaurant, which will be followed by a city tour of Vladimir. The city dates back to the 10th century and some of its highlights such as the Golden Gates and the Byzantine Assumption Cathedral you will be able to admire during the tour. Continue to Suzdal, one of the most beautiful cities of the Golden Ring. Dinner and overnight in Suzdal.
DAY 5. SUZDAL/MOSCOW/ST.PETERSBURG OVERNIGHT TRAIN: After breakfast, full-day sightseeing of Suzdal, the best preserved town on the Golden Ring. Tour sights include the Kremlin of Suzdal and Assumption Cathedral. Lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch you will visit a Museum of Wooden Architecture and then head for Moscow to catch an overnight train to St.Petersburg.
DAY 6. ST.PETERSBURG: Breakfast snack provided on board the train. Upon arrival begin a city sightseeing tour including views of the Peter and Paul Cathedral designed by the famous architect Rastrelli. It stands on the grounds of Peter and Paul Fortress in the oldest section of the city and contains the tombs of Russian rulers from Peter the Great through Nicholas II. Lunch on own in the city center. Check-in at the hotel. After lunch visit the Hermitage Museum, one of the largest art and cultural museums in the world. Its vast collection (about 65,000 items) includes some of history's most important art. Overnight in St.Petersburg.
DAY 7. ST. PETERSBURG: After breakfast, travel outside St. Petersburg to the lovely city of Pushkin – formerly Tsarskoe Selo, the Tsar's Village. Tour Catherine Palace, the beautiful Baroque-style building that was built by Empress Elizabeth and named after her mother, Catherine I. The architect was Bartolomeo Rastrelli, who also designed the Winter Palace and the Hermitage Pavilion. Like many other royal residences, the palace sustained heavy damage during the war, although most of it has been restored to its former glory. Lunch on own in St.Petersburg. After lunch continue on your city tour along Nevsky Prospekt and visit Yusupov Palace, site of Rasputin's death. The rest of the day is available for independent sightseeing, shopping and last-minute photo opportunities. Overnight in St. Petersburg.
DAY 8. ST.PETERSBURG/USA: After breakfast, time at leisure for independent sightseeing and shopping. Transfer to St. Petersburg International Airport. Our journey comes to an end as we board our flight bound for the USA.