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The Legacy of Doctor Zhivago
This tour theme is dedicated to the power of survival, love, peace, and struggle between larege and small. It is in great part inspired by the book “Doctor Zhivago”, written by Boris Pasternak. This book tells of the turbulent period in Russia when the country was swept by the bloodshed of Revolution and Civil war. Love, loyalty, sacrifice, and patriotism are questioned in the novel continuously. Yet, the apogee of the story is simple and beautiful…that love always prevails…
It is a true romantic getaway. You will have a chance to experience both the peace of the countryside and the urban energy of the Russian capitals. It combines a great deal of adventure, comfort, and fun in a friendly and predictable environment. The history and culture of Russia alone offers plenty to tickle your mind. The days of gray skies and gloomy moods of a long lasting economic depression are over. Busy shopping malls and intense nightlife will keep your adrenalin pumping. Strong spirit, hope, and love are in the air. It is sure to recharge your battery for many years to come.
The Mariinsky (Kirov) Theater
Moscow - St. Petersburg Grand Express
The Bolshoi Theater
Kremlin and Red Square Ensemble
The Russian Banya
DAY 1 (St. Petersburg)
Welcome to the city of palaces, bridges, and canals kissed with gentle fog and charming "white" nights. Combine it with colorful history, a noble spirit, and architectural grace, and you will quickly see why St. Petersburg is considered among the most beautiful cities in the world. Our bilingual guide and driver will be your first ambassadors. They will be waiting for you at the arrival hall of the airport or train station (depending on which way you choose to travel to St. Petersburg) and, once the customs procedure is over, will gladly take you to the hotel Astoria. After you check in, we will leave you alone until early evening, so that you can recover from jet leg and take advantage of the many nice things “Astoria” has to offer. Around 5 - 6pm (depending on your arrival time), our guide will call you to check if you are interested in the driving city tour. We will take you to the center of St. Petersburg along the famous Nevsky Prospekt with short stops at the Palace Square, major cathedrals, and bridges. After the city tour, you will be invited for a short visit to one of the central nightclubs. If you decide to stay longer, our guide will explain how to order a taxi. Otherwise, the driver will take you back to the hotel for the night. Overnight accommodations are at the 5 star Astoria Hotel (Executive Room, Double occupancy.)
DAY 2 (St. Petersburg)
There is a good chance you might still have jet leg, so we will plan on a late start. Our guide and the driver will meet you at the hotel at 10-11am and take you to the Hermitage Museum for a 3-4 hours excursion. If you are an art, architecture, or history fan, you will have a blast at the Hermitage.There is plenty to see and experience there. After the tour, the driver will bring you back to the hotel for lunch and a short break to relax. At 4-5pm, we will pick you up again for a shopping tour. We will drive around with stops at popular artisan places often located right on the streets as well as malls and shops. St. Petersburg offers a great choice of hand made jewelry, antique and art items. After shopping, the driver will take you back to the hotel. The rest of the evening is yours. If you decide to go out, the hotel receptionist will help you with the taxi and make recommendations for dinning. Overnight is at the 5 star hotel “Astoria”. (Executive Room, Double occupancy).
DAY 3 (St. Petersburg)
Hopefully St. Petersburg’s weather is treating you well. The morning will be dedicated to the Peterhoff Palace, located within an hour's drive of the city. The palace is known as the "capital of fountains" or "The Russian Versailles". During the tour we will visit the Great Palace and walk through Peterhoff's Parks, Gardens and cascades of fountains. After the tour, we will return to the hotel for lunch, packing, and some time to relax. At 5-6pm our guide and the driver will pick you up with your luggage at the hotel and take you to the famous Mariinsky (Kirov) theater for a 2.5-3 hours show. The theater has a snack buffet, but if you want a real meal, have one before the theater. After the theater, we will have an hour or so of spare time. Finally, between 10-11pm, the guide and the driver will take you to the Rail station for an overnight ride to Moscow on the Luxury "Grand Express" train. (Grand Deluxe Suite, Double occupancy).
DAY 4 (Moscow - Suzdal)
Welcome to the capital of the world’s largest country! Grand Express arrives to Moscow in the morning, around 9:00am. We hope you enjoyed your ride and are ready for your next destination. Our guide and driver will meet you at the arrival platform, where they will then take you for a 3 hour city tour by car. During the tour, you will visit popular historic landmarks and sites with great panoramic views. After the city tour, we will take you to the city center for lunch. The guide will leave you with the driver at this point. After lunch, the driver will take you to Suzdal town (4-5 hours drive). During the trip you will enjoy charming Russian countryside with tiny wooden houses and endless farm fields and forests. If there's no traffic, you will arrive in Suzdal around 5-6pm. The driver will take you straight to the hotel “Pokrovskaya” located on the territory of a medieval Monastery. The rest of the evening is yours. If weather permits, take a walk around the Monastery or to the town center. For dinning, the Monastery’s restaurant is a good start. If you want a wider choice and socializing atmosphere, walk to the main streets of Suzdal. Overnight is at a wooden cottage on the grounds of the 3 star hotel “Pokrovskaya”. (TWIN occupancy).
DAY 5 (Suzdal – Moscow)
Suzdal town is a part of the so called “Golden Ring” of Russia. It is off the beaten path in some ways, with no train station or airport. It was first mentioned in 1024. The feeling of solitude and isolation that surrounds Suzdal enhances the sights and sounds of this delightful town of churches and monasteries, museums and enchantingly, decorated old wooden houses. Mornings in Suzdal have the special distinguished charm of the country with firewood smoke, fresh pastries, and ancient churches. Take your time in the morning. Most sites in Suzdal are within walking distance. Our driver will also be at your service any time you need it, so it is your call what you would like to do.. explore the town by car, take it easy, walk around, or relax and enjoy the peaceful countryside. Almost every monastery in Suzdal has English-speaking guides, so you can easily opt for guided excursion if needed. There are several things to try when in Suzdal. You should make sure to taste medovukha, a sort of lightly fermented honey drink. Horse drawn carriage rides are available in the center of town, and in winter, they turn into troika (sleigh) rides. Also, try to find time a visit to the Spaso-Yevfimievsky Monastery, to hear the bells tolling. Around 4-5pm, the driver will take you back to Moscow (4-5 hours drive). If there's no traffic, you will be at the hotel Metropol around 9pm or later. The hotel offers plenty of choices for dining and entertainment. Overnight is at the 5 star hotel Metropol.( VIP floor, Double occupancy).
DAY 6 (Moscow)
Hope the breakfast was good! The sun is shining and Moscow’s golden domes are blinding your eyes. We will pick you up around 10am, and take you for a 3-4 hour walking tour around the Kremlin and Red Square. After the tour, the guide will make suggestions for lunch. You can also return to the hotel and dine there. After the lunch and a short break (1-2 hours), our guide will return to pick you up for the shopping tour around Moscow’s city center. During shopping, you will visit Russia’s largest malls and multiple souvenir kiosks. After shopping (around 5pm), we will take you back to the hotel so that you can prepare and dress for your night out to the Bolshoi theater. After the show (2-3 hours), you can return to the hotel, or join Moscow’s bustling nightlife. Overnight is at the 5 star hotel Metropol. (VIP floor, Double occupancy.)
DAY 7 (Moscow)
Today will be dedicated to bargain hunting and fun. After breakfast, our guide and the driver will take you to Moscow’s famous flea markets. If opened, we will start with the Izmailovsky Flea market, followed by smaller flea markets catering to local residents, where you can hunt for bargain souvenirs, antique, paintings, hand made oriental rugs, items made of mammoth tusks, Matryoshka dolls, lacquer boxes and brooches. For lunch, the driver will take you back to the hotel or the restaurant/location of your choice. We assume you will probably want to spend some time on your own, and after few days in Russia, you should be fine to navigate the city center without a problem. So, we will leave you alone for the rest of the day and the evening. Meanwhile, per your choice, we will book for you a starter from this list: the “Russian Banya”, Moscow’s Circus, a boat ride on Moskva River or reservations at The Seventh Heaven restaurant located in Europe’s tallest Ostankino tower. If you like the theater, Moscow has many genres for you: Operetta, Opera, Classic music, Comedy, and Jazz. Just let us know your preference. We will make recommendations and reserve it for you. If you want to dedicate this night to the Moscow’s nightlife, you can start enjoying it as early as 6pm until 6am. Most Clubs and Restaurants in Moscow do not require an advance reservation. Lastly, if you do prefer to be accompanied by a guide during the evening outing, this is not a problem as long as you inform us in advance. Overnight is at the 5 star hotel Metropol. (VIP floor, Double occupancy).
DAY 8 (Moscow departure)
Hope you had a great time! Depending on the departure time, the driver and guide will pick you up at the hotel 4 - 5 hours prior departure and take you to the Airport/Train Station. The guide will assist with questions related to custom procedures and passport control. At this point we are saying goodbye, yet, we hope to see you again soon in Russia. Have a nice flight!
Included:Invitation Letters for Russian Tourist Visas for 2;
Hotel "Astoria" (5 star), 2 nights, w/breakfast;
Hotel "Pokrovskaya" (3 star), 1 night, no breakfast;
Hotel "Metropol" (5 star), 3 nights, w/breakfast;
Luxury train "Grand Express", one way for 2;
Private car with A/C as described;
Professional bilingual guide as described;
Hermitage Museum, general admission for 2;
Mariinsky Theater tickets, orchestra seats for 2;
Peterhoff Palace general admission fees for 2;
Bolshoi Theater tickets, orchestra seats for 2;
Kremlin Territory and Armory Museum admission for 2;
Choice of /Russian Banya, Circus, Theater, Dinner/ for 2;
Sokol orientation guide;
Not included:Transportation TO/FROM Russia;
Meals (except breakfasts in Moscow & St. Petersburg);
Photo/Video surcharges in museums;
Minibar & Phone charges on the train & hotels;
Cover fees, drinks charges at clubs, bars, restaurants;
Special tour-related note:Due to seasonal fluctuation of accommodation fees, Sokol Tours reserves the right to adjust the cost accordingly;
Please carry a bilingual dictionary with you all the time;
If any of the museums or theaters listed in the Itineary will be closed, we will replace it with the similar alternative.
Most museums in Russia are closed on Mondays.
Most classic theaters are closed in the summer.
Be prepared for rain, snow, frost and hot weather.
Cities of the Czars
Doctor Zhivago and Pasternak
Golden Ring of Russia in Depth
Kremlin & Red Square highlights
Moscow the City
Rail Cruise "Tsar": Russia-Mongolia-China (15-16 days)
Royal Estate - Catherine's Palace
Royal Estate - Peterhof Palace
Sergiyev Posad - the Holly Place
The Czar of Russian Poetry
Tolstoy's Yasnaya Polyana
Welcome to St. Petersburg - day tours
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