The mystique of Russia is unveiled as visitors explore two of the world’s most fascinating cities – St. Petersburg (formerly known as Leningrad) and Moscow. Home of the unrivaled State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg evokes the legendary era of the mighty Tsars. Endowed with sumptuous palaces, this beautiful city also bears witness to the French taste of its founder, Peter the Great. In the grand capital city of Moscow, visitors can experience standing in Red Square, the most famous square in Russia with its multi-colored onion-domed Cathedral of St. Basil as well as gaining an insider’s view of the once-unbreachable Kremlin. In both legendary cities, you will find rich Jewish life and the recent opening of Jewish Community Centers. This is truly an incredible journey that attains the heights of a sophisticated tour of Jewish Russia.
St. Petersburg, 3 nights Belmond Grand Hotel Europe
Moscow, 3 nights Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel
6 Full Breakfasts (B)
1 Lunch (L) Day 4 on the train
Your land tour includes
Private arrival and departure transfers
Luxury 5 star hotels based on double occupancy
Breakfast daily at the hotels
First Class high-speed Sapsan Express Train between St. Petersburg and Moscow
Private licensed English speaking 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
Insurance though not included, is strongly recommended
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 travelers minimum).
No deposits are required!
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 necessary papers). Always make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the tour ends.
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 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 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 and 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 – Moscow
After breakfast transfer to the train station for departure on board 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 5 Friday 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. Walk through Zaryadye Park created on the lands of the former huge Stalinist building complex. The park today is a welcoming green area situated next to St. Basil’s Church and Red Square. Walk across one of the most famous squares in the world to reach the sprawling GUM (goom) department store now home to many of the world’s most famous brands. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel. (B)
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 visit the Tretyakov Gallery, housing the world’s largest collection of Russian art consisting of more than 50,000 items amassed by Moscow Merchant Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov. Later return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel. (B)
Day 7 Sunday Moscow – Home flights
До свидания! It is time to say goodbye to Russia. Transfer to the airport and check-in for your flight back to Canada/USA. (B)
B = breakfast L= lunch D= dinner