Russia, 10 day Jewish Tour

Special Tour 10 day Availability: January 1, 1970
St Petersburg, Russia

The Russian spirit is unveiled as you explore two of the world’s most fascinating cities: St. Petersburg and Moscow. Home of the unrivaled Hermitage, St. Petersburg evokes the legendary age of the Tsars. Rich with sumptuous palaces, this beautiful city also attests to the French taste of its founder, Peter the Great, and the grandeur of Empress Catherine. In the grand capital city of Moscow, experience standing in the Red Square with its onion-domed cathedrals and explore the once-unbreachable Kremlin. In both cities, you will also gain insight into the world’s greatest writers from the yearning heart of Chekhov and the majesty of Tolstoy to the poetic soul of Pushkin. Interwoven with world-class culture, you will experience Russia’s rich Jewish culture and visit thriving recently opened Jewish Centers. This luxurious and fascinating journey is the quintessential Jewish Russia tour.

St. Petersburg, 4 nights Belmond Grand Hotel Europe

Moscow, 5 nights Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel


9 Full Breakfasts (B)
1 Lunch (L) Day 5 on the train

Your land cost includes
Private arrival and departure transfers
Luxury 5 Star hotels based on double occupancy
Breakfast daily at the hotels
One way First Class High-Speed Train between St. Petersburg and Moscow
Private licensed guides
Private touring and sightseeing
Complete program with insights into the Jewish history of Russia
All taxes and fees

Your land tour does not include
Airfare to St. Petersburg and back from Moscow
Departure taxes, fuel surcharges, and airport improvement fees
Porterage at airports and hotels
Meals and beverages not mentioned
Early check-in/late check-out
Optional tours
Insurance though not included is strongly recommended
Visa costs
Gratuities of a purely personal nature such as laundry and valet service
Tipping to guide, driver and hotel staff
E. & O.E.

These departures are guaranteed (2 travellers minimum).
No deposits are required!

Pre/Post Tours:
We can accommodate pre or post tour arrangements in conjunction with this departure

Passport and Visa:
A  visa to Russia is required for this tour (we provide the required papers)
Always make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the tour ends


For information or reservations contact Janice Snider.

Day 1 Monday St. Arrival in Petersburg
Добро пожаловать! Welcome to Russia! Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide and assisted with the transfer to your hotel located in the center of the city. En route, we enjoy an orientation drive in this city of palaces and canals proudly sitting on the banks of the Neva River. Check-in at your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Belmond Grand Hotel Europe.

Day 2 Tuesday St. Petersburg
This morning enjoy a peek into the world of Jewish St. Petersburg. Visit the Grand Choral Synagogue consecrated in 1893. Thanks to the gracious patronage of philanthropists Lily and Edmond Safra, this Moorish-style architectural masterpiece has recently been restored to its former glory and now contains a thriving Jewish Day School. Driving along the Nevsky Prospect, one of the best known streets in Russia we pass the Square of Arts, an architectural ensemble in the center of the city where all the buildings facing the square are connected to the arts. Pass the Field of Mars which was used for many years as a training ground for regiments and parades stopping at the YESOD building, home to Jewish organizations. (The word “Yesod” means “foundation” in Hebrew.) This Jewish Center opened in September 2005 houses programs for all ages and boasts a spacious auditorium and cafe. Continue to the multi-colored five-domed Church of Our Savior of Spilled Blood built on the spot where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated on March 01, 1881, when a bomb was thrown into his carriage. Taking over 24 years to construct, its interior is decorated with mosaics. From here we stroll along the Moika Embankment to Yusupov Palace once owned by one of Russia’s richest aristocratic families.  See the grand reception and private halls of the Yusupovs. Later descend to the ground floor dining room – and stand on the very spot where the Russian mystic and self-proclaimed holy man Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin who befriended the family of Nicholas II, the last emperor of Russia, was assassinated in 1916 by aristocratic plotters (with young Prince Yusupov at the head). Return to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Belmond Grand Hotel Europe. (B)

Day 3 Wednesday St. Petersburg
This morning embark on a private cruise passing under many scenic bridges. Sail past grand, pastel-coloured French architectural facades that border the riverfront). The remainder of the day is reserved for a visit to the sprawling world-renowned Hermitage Museum, the second largest art museum in the world. Founded in 1764, the priceless collection begun by Catherine the Great features more than two and a half million works of art representing different ages, cultures, and peoples. Admire the masterpieces of Leonardo Da Vinci, Titian, Raphael, and Rembrandt, works by the French Impressionists and the magnificent interiors of the Winter Palace. A special visit will be paid to the highly secured  Gold Room, the repository of approx. 1500 works of gold displaying archaeological finds consisting of Scythian Gold, ancient Greek and Oriental jewellery from India, Iran and China. During this special tour, you will also see the famed snuffboxes crafted by Carl Faberge whose name is strongly associated with the Golden Age of St. Petersburg jewellery. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Belmond Grand Hotel Europe. (B)

Day 4 Thursday St. Petersburg
Begin the day with a tour to the town of Pushkin, the Czar’s village and home of the Russian Imperial family located some 30 km from St. Petersburg. Visit the 18th century Baroque-style Catherine’s Palace with its elaborately decorated white and blue façade known for its amazing amber room which was moved in 1755 from the Winter Palace to Catherine’s Palace, the largest royal summer residence (designed by famed Italian architect Rastrelli). Admire the Cameron Gallery with its slender ionic columns decorated with bronze busts of great figures of antiquity designed for Catherine the Great’s special dinner parties to offer the best possible views. Stroll the perfectly manicured French and English gardens. Next pay a visit to the “Formula of Sorrow” memorial in Pushkin created in 1991 to commemorate the deaths of 10,000 local Jews during the Nazi occupation. Afterwards a short drive takes you to the nearby Summer Palace of Peter the Great (Petrodvorets) often referred to as the “Russian Versailles”. This magnificent ensemble includes several palaces with the main attraction being the Lower Park with its fountains and cascades, the most beautiful one being Samson tearing apart the jaws of the lion. There are two entrances to Petrodvorets – one by road and one by water. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Belmond Grand Hotel Europe. (B)

Day 5 Friday St. Petersburg – Moscow
After breakfast transfer to the train station for departure onboard the luxurious high-speed First Class Sapsan Express train for your 3.5-hour journey to Moscow. After lunch on the train arrive in Moscow where you will meet your Moscow guide and begin the tour of Russia’s capital with a visit to the Jewish Cultural Center and impressive Choral Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the city of Moscow. Afterwards experience the classic Danilovsky Market which has continued to develop from the oldest trading place (13th Century) through times of limited supplies during the Communist era to today’s sprawling market which offers traditional and luxurious foods.     In the late afternoon check-in at your hotel located in the theater district only a few blocks from Red Square. Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel. (B/L)

Day 6 Saturday Moscow
The day is yours to explore Moscow on your own or join an optional tour (included). Visit the Kremlin whose foundation in the 12th century heralded the birth of the great city of Moscow.   At the center of the Kremlin’s architectural layout is Cathedral Square where the four main Cathedrals are located. Continue on a short walk to the carefully monitored Lenin Mausoleum where Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin’s body has been displayed since his death in 1924. Next, walk across the Red Square, one of the most famous squares in the world to Zaryadye Park created on the lands of the former huge Stalinist building complex. The park today is a welcoming green area next to St. Basil’s Church at the south end of Red Square and symbol of the country. This multi-colored landmark, a UNESCO World Heritage Site made up of 10 churches was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible. Later, visit the majestic GUM (goom) department store, now home to many of the world’s famous brands. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel. (B)

Day 7 Sunday Moscow
This morning visit the House-Museum of Maxime Gorky, one of Russia’s pre-eminent social critics is found in a mansion owned by Russian entrepreneur Ryabushkinsky. The writer Gorky’s most famous works included The Lower Depth and Twenty-six Men and a Girl. Here you will find his personal effects including his walking stick, boots and coat in the hallway. Our next stop is the House Museum of Chekhov where the sensitive Anton Chekhov lived during his most fruitful artistic period. Over 100 of his exquisite short stories were written within those walls. The museum is dedicated to the life and literary activities of the writer playwright and includes personal items of the family, photographs, furniture, and paintings. In the afternoon visit the Tretyakov Art Gallery today housing the world’s largest collection of Russian art consisting of more than 50,000 items amassed by Moscow Merchant Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov. Here you will find works including the “Trinity” by Andrei Rublev and “The Apparition of Christ Before the People” by Alexander Ivanov. Later return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel. (B)

Day 8 Monday Moscow – Peredelkino – Moscow
Today’s program includes a visit to the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center (opened in 2012) dedicated to the history of Russian Jews. Unlike many traditional historical museums, the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center is interactive. Twelve themed halls designed by the leading company in the sphere of exhibition design are equipped with interactive screens, audio visual, and the use of unique photo and video archives, documents, and interviews. Afterwards depart the city for an unforgettable visit to the Estate/Museum of Boris Pasternak, world-renowned poet and writer and author of Dr. Zhivago located in the countryside village of Peredelkino, some 25 km from Moscow where many writers (including Isaac Babel) had their dachas or country estates.  Return to Moscow in the late afternoon. Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel. (B)

Day 9 Tuesday Moscow – Yasnaya Polyana – Moscow
This exciting day tour will take you to Yasnaya Polyana some 200 km from Moscow where the great Leo Tolstoy and his wife Sonya kept a magnificent dacha. Upon arrival visit the Estate/Museum and the “Samovar” Museum (“samovars” are glorious urns with spouts, traditionally used for heating and serving. Tea is drunk from glasses often with golden handles). Later, experience a charming carriage ride along the estate (time to imagine being Anna Karenina – though perhaps with a brighter fortune). Before leaving the estate, pay respects at Tolstoy’s simple grave in the forest. Return to Moscow with thoughts of Old Russia and its premiere novelist. Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel. (B)

Day 10 Wednesday Moscow – Home flights
До свидания!  Time to say goodbye to Russia. Transfer to the airport and check-in for your flight back to Canada/the USA. (B)

B = breakfast L= lunch D= dinner

 Call Center: (800) 668-8401