ARRIVE MOSCOW, RUSSIA
Upon arrival in Moscow, transfer to your hotel. This evening, join fellow guests for a welcome dinner.
Tour Moscow, starting at the Kremlin, and beat the crowds with an exclusive before-hours visit to the State Armory. View its impressive collection of carriages, royal gala clothes and fabulous Fabergé eggs. Then, visit two Kremlin cathedrals: Assumption and Archangel. After lunch at a local restaurant, stroll Red Square to view Lenin’s Tomb and St. Basil’s Cathedral. See the city from a different perspective when you ride the Moscow Metro, renowned for its ornate stations.
This morning, enjoy a talk by a Russian scholar and then continue your explorations of Moscow. See the New Maiden Cemetery, final resting place of Chekhov and other noted figures. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Tretyakov Gallery, one of Moscow’s greatest treasures. Behind the gallery’s whimsical façade lies the foremost collection of Russian fine art in the world.
THE GOLDEN RING
Leave the city for the Golden Ring, the circle of venerable cities northeast of Moscow. Visit Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, the most important monastery in the Russian Orthodox Church. Continue to the old town of Suzdal, pausing to learn how the iconic Matryoshka dolls are made. Check in to your hotel and enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride before dinner.
Explore Suzdal, often described as an open-air museum of Russian history. Eat lunch with a local family before visiting a traditional workshop specializing in fresco painting. After some time at leisure, enjoy a revitalizing visit to an authentic Russian bath.
Pause in Vladimir on the way back to Moscow. Board a high-speed Sapsan train for the ride to St. Petersburg, the crowning glory of Peter the Great, arriving later in the evening.
Start the day with early, crowd-free access to the Hermitage, home to three million pieces of artwork. After lunch at a local restaurant, learn the history of the Romanovs when you meet with Zoya Belyakova, an expert on the subject. Cruise the city’s canals and visit St. Isaac’s Cathedral to marvel at its gilded dome, and the red granite columns that grace its façade.
Drive to Peterhof, summer estate of Peter the Great. Tour the Grand Palace, which is opened for you before official operating hours. Return to St. Petersburg via hydrofoil and visit the fascinating Peter & Paul Fortress.
Travel to Tsarskoe Selo (the Tsar’s Village), also called Pushkin. View Catherine Palace and the world-famous Amber Room, now restored to its original glory. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure, and tonight, join your fellow guests for a farewell dinner.
DEPART ST. PETERSBURG
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart.