Splendours of Russia
from $7225
Duration: 19 Days
Peer into Russia's past and present on this comprehensive tour through some of Russia’s less explored cities, towns of the famous Golden Ring as well as the jewels in Russia’s crown – Moscow and St Petersburg. Explore the marvels of this transcontinental nation, travelling east from Moscow to Yekaterinburg, and on to Siberia. Traverse a section of the Trans-Siberian Railway and explore the legends the past with visits to palaces, museums and Moscow’s iconic Red Square. Surround yourself with culture, history and breathtaking architecture and get beneath the surface of Russia on this ultimate 19-day small group adventure through such an endlessly intriguing country.
  • Discover the Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery and learn about history through the lives of the famous Russians who now rest here.
  • Journey to Leo Tolstoy's estate at Yasnaya Polyana where he wrote his masterpieces War and Peace and Anna Karenina, plus enjoy a traditional lunch of his household recipes.
  • Be wowed by the delicate carvings and craft of a Siberian shaman and folk artist in Tobolsk.
  • Join in local life and customs as you share a meal in a Russian home in the fairytale-like Golden Ring town of Suzdal.
  • Discover treasure-upon-treasure at the incredible art collection housed in St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum – the former Winter Palace of Catherine the Great.
  • Moscow - Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery
  • Tula - Yasnaya Polyana (Tolstoy's Estate)
  • Yekaterinburg - Ganina Yama tour
  • Yekaterinburg - Guided city tour
  • Pervouralsk - Picnic at Europe-Asia border
  • Pokrovskoye - House-Museum of Grigoriy Rasputin
  • Tobolsk - City tour (Kremlin & Castle Prison Museum)
  • Tobolsk - Minsalim Folk Art workshop
  • Suzdal - Home-cooked dinner
  • Suzdal - Guided Walking Tour
  • Moscow - Kremlin & Armoury Guided Tour
  • Moscow - Red Square & Lenin's Mausoleum
  • St Petersburg - Hermitage Museum
  • St Petersburg - Peterhof Park & Fountains
  • Day 1 Location: Moscow
    Zdrastvutye! Welcome to Russia. The great city of Moscow has survived centuries of revolution and tumult, from the days of the tsars through the communist era to today's contemporary society. Moscow is a fascinating, historic city with a wealth of sights to see. You will be collected from the airport on arrival and transferred to your hotel if you have booked an airport transfer with us prior to travel. There will be an important welcome meeting at 6 pm where you will meet your group leader. After the meeting, perhaps head with everyone for an optional dinner so you can get acquainted with your fellow travellers and enjoy your first taste of delicious Russian cuisine.
    Day 2 Location: Moscow
    This morning, hop on the metro and join your leader on an tour to the Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery. The fortress like Convent is a true architectural masterpiece of the 16-17th century, representing the Baroque style popular in Moscow at the time. It has also played a crucial part in Russia's political and religious history. Next to it is the peaceful cemetery, where many of the greatest Russian minds rest forever, including Nikita Khrushchev, Boris Yeltsin, Mikhail Bulgakov, Nikolai Gogol, Konstantin Stanislavskiy and many others. Learn about their life and stories which also contain some of the most important parts of Russian history. In the afternoon, enjoy some free time in this magnificent city. Moscow’s metro system is renowned for its beautifully crafted stations, adorned with high ceilings, curved archways, and in some instances, chandeliers. Stalin’s vision was to create a metro system that would resemble 'palaces for the people' and, even moving roughly nine million people each day around Moscow, they are palatial, meticulously clean and an easy way to get around. So why not spend some time hopping on and off the metro to see some of the most beautiful stations? Your leader will be able to help you with more directions. Otherwise, maybe take the time to visit Red Square and Kremlin if you haven't already, or take a cruise on the Moscow river. Tonight, you might want to watch one of the renowned ballet performances on offer at a grand theatre such as the Bolshoi – be sure to book in advance so you secure a seat.
    Day 3 Location: Yasnaya Polyana – Tula
    This morning, travel from Moscow to Yasnaya Polyana – the birthplace of writer Leo Tolstoy (approximately 3 hours). Yasnaya Polyana is his former estate and is now a lovingly preserved museum. Here is where he wrote his aclaimed novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina. His grave is also within the grounds. Lunch will be included here, where you'll taste traditional specialties from Tostoy's day. Afterwards, continue on to Kozlova Zaseka Station Museum, commonly known as the 'last station'. This is where Tolstoy set off for his final journey, and the station has kept its unique 19th century appearance. Today is all about exploring a time gone by and understanding the life of this famous writer and icon of Russian literature. In the late afternoon, take the short journey to Tula, where you will stay overnight. If there is time, your leader will take you for a walk around the Kremlin and central parts of town. Enjoy an optional dinner out with the group before relaxing for the evening.
    Day 4 Location: Moscow – Overnight Train
    In the morning, travel back to Moscow, taking approximately 4 hours. You’ll have a small amount of time in Moscow to purchase snacks or drinks for tonight’s train journey, and then late in the afternoon, board your train to Yekaterinburg (approximately 27 hours).
    Day 5 Location: Yekaterinburg
    Enjoy breakfast included in the dining car this morning and spend the rest of the day watching the countryside pass by as you traverse this section of the Trans-Siberian railway. Arrive into Yekaterinburg in the late evening and transfer to your hotel for a restful night.
    Day 6 Location: Yekaterinburg
    Today is time to stretch your legs and explore the fourth largest city in Russia. Named after Peter the Great’s wife, Yekaterina, and known as Sverdlovsk during the Soviet era, Yekaterinburg is located near the crossroads between Europe and Asia. In the morning, take a guided city tour of Yekaterinburg, strolling along the main streets and learning about its history and development as a major intersection in the Ural Mountains. Walk along the man-made dam 'Plotinka', catching a glimpse of the Cathedral on Blood and learning how it got such a name. Head to the former KGB headquarters and see the Black Tulip memorial – commemorating victims of the Afghan Wars. Finish in downtown, where you’ll have an optional lunch. In the afternoon, drive to the monastery complex of Ganina Yama outside of the city – the location where bodies Romanov royal family were discovered down a mine shaft after their horrific execution. 
    Day 7 Location: Pervouralsk – Yekaterinburg
    Yekaterinburg is close to the Europe-Asia border and so today, you will visit one of the monuments that symbolise this 'border' between West and East. This monument was the first, opened in 1837, and is located in the town of Pervouralsk. It was built when the country was preparing for its first visit by Emperor Alexander II to the Ural region. The journey takes around 1 hour. Enjoy a picnic lunch, including champagne and caviar. Transfer back to Yekaterinburg in the afternoon, with an evening at your leisure.
    Day 8 Location: Tyumen
    Take a morning transfer to the Siberian city of Tyumen (approximately 5 hours). Founded in 1586, Tyumen was the first major city in Siberia. Walk down the Tura Embankment and over Lover’s Bridge and visit the Aleksandrovsky Garden. This evening, enjoy an included dinner of northern Siberian cuisine with your group at Chum Restaurant-Museum. It’s a unique institution that feels like you’re in a lodge deep in the Siberian wilderness.
    Day 9 Location: Pokrovskoe – Tobolsk
    In the morning, transfer to Pokrovskoye (approximately 1.5 hours). Here, you will visit the House-Museum of Grigory Rasputin – a mysterious man who had great influence over the Romanovs, and who died at the hands of conspirators in St Petersburg. His original house was demolished in 1980, however in 1991, Marina and Vladimir Smirnov reconstructed the house opposite its original position and opened a private museum. After visiting the museum, continue on to Tobolsk (approximately 2.5 hours). Lunch is included today.
    Day 10 Location: Tobolsk
    Today, take a guided city tour of Tobolsk, visiting the Kremlin and the old Castle Prison, where prisoners including Fyodor Dostoevsky and Tsar Nicholas II served sentences. Tobolsk is rich with history, and your knowledgeable guide will provide great insight into the past. In the afternoon, take a fascinating visit to Minsalim’s workshop – a welcoming artist and sometimes shaman who creates traditional carvings from bone, wood and rock. Check out his refined work over a cup of tea and learn about some of the cultures who have long called Siberia home. If you have time, you could explore the old town beneath the Kremlin's gatehouse, or the Governor's House – one of the best in Siberia and also known as the Museum of the Family of Nicholas II, opened in 2018.
    Day 11 Location: Tyumen – Moscow
    Today is quite a long travel day where you will transfer back to Moscow. Take private transport back to Tyumen (approximately 4 hours), then head on an afternoon flight to Moscow (approximately 2 hours). Depending on flight schedules and traffic from the airport, you should be back in Russia’s capital early evening, in time for a optional dinner with your group. Look back over your Russian journey together as you celebrate the memories you've made.
    Day 12 Location: Moscow
    Spend the day at your leisure in the grand city of Moscow. You might like to head on the metro to discover the Red Square and palatial shopping mall GUM, or better yet, you may like to book yourself in to an Urban Adventures tour, like Made In Moscow Shopping Tour, where you’ll spend the afternoon checking out the bohemian district, full of modern art and hipster culture. For more information see urbanadventures.com/destination/Moscow-tours. Keep in mind that there will be another group meeting at 6 pm, where your group composition may change. After the meeting, your group leader will organise an optional meal so you can enjoy some delicious Russian cuisine with new friends, if you wish.
    Day 13 Location: Moscow – Suzdal
    Transfer to the train station and take the Strizh high-speed train to Vladimir. These trains reach up to 250km/h, with the journey taking just under two hours. You will need to be able to carry your own bags through the train station and onto the train. From there you will transfer by private minivan to Suzdal (approximately 30 minutes). The town is a main stop on Russia’s legendary Golden Ring, the circle of ancient and former capitals that played an important part in the formation of the Russian Orthodox Church and hold the memories of significant events in Russian history. The fairytale-feel historic small town of Suzdal is filled with contrasting examples of early Russian architecture, where onion-domed monasteries stand next to decorated little wooden cottages. Here there are opportunities to drink mead by the riverside with a symphony of cathedral bells in the air, and peek inside the crumbling churches that line the narrow streets and alleys. Tonight you’ll share a meal of hearty regional flavours with local friends.
    Day 14 Location: Suzdal – Moscow
    Get to know Suzdal a little better today with a walking tour of this ‘open-air museum’. Take in the sights – the grandeur of the Kremlin, the opulent frescoes of the Cathedral of the Nativity, the trading square, market and monastery (approximately 3 hours). This tour is made even more memorable by the sight and sound that will greet you when you enter one of the main cathedrals – the angelic, clear and ethereal voices of a local choir. The beautiful sound will fill and transform the space like the sunlight that streams through the windows. You will leave Suzdal in the afternoon and return to Moscow by train, arriving at approximately 8pm (expect approximately 3 hours total travel time back to Moscow).
    Day 15 Location: Moscow
    Today, with a local guide by your side, enter cobbled Red Square, surrounded by the brightly coloured domes of St Basil’s Cathedral, the opulent GUM Department store, the fairy-tale building of the State Historical Museum, and the imposing walls of the Kremlin. From the days of Ivan the Terrible to the military parades of the Cold War, the square has long been at the heart of Russian history. We have the option of travelling to begin the tour by Metro (1 station, plus approximately 10 minutes walk to and from the station) or on foot (approximately 30 minutes walk total), which takes you through interesting historic streets. Enter the Kremlin grounds, home to the oldest and most important churches in the country, and the tombs of Tsars and Tsarinas. Walk through the soaring towers and cathedrals of the political and spiritual heart of Russia before entering the Armoury Museum, home to an eye-bulging former royal collection of Faberge eggs, coronation robes and glittering jewels. This afternoon is a free for you to explore the city’s wonders. Perhaps take the metro to see elaborately decorated stations unlike any other – the fascinatingly decorated 'Palaces of the People'. Otherwise you might relive the nation's turbulent past at Victory Park, travel back to the beginnings of Russian art at the Tretyakov Gallery, or pick up some souvenirs at the Izmailovo Markets. Maybe step inside the colourful St Basil's Cathedral on Red Square. Legend has it that tsar, Ivan the Terrible, had the two architects blinded so that they couldn't build anything as beautiful.
    Day 16 Location: Moscow – St Petersburg
    Before leaving Moscow today, visit the Mausoleum of Russia’s most famous revolutionary – Lenin. The initiator of the 1917 Russian revolution that ushered in the era of communism, you will join the sometimes long queue lining up to visit his austere eternal resting place on Red Square. Then you will board a high speed train once again to race through the Russian countryside to one of Russia’s most celebrated cities (approximately 4 hours). Arrive in the beautiful centre of former imperial capital St Petersburg, where your private transfer will take you to your hotel. A living museum, St Petersburg is a blend of baroque European architecture and Russian royal history, built by the Russian Tsar Peter the Great, whose legacy can be felt in its enigmatic streets and showcase cathedrals and museums.
    Day 17 Location: St Petersburg
    St Petersburg is truly one of Europe’s, and the world’s, finest cities. Take the day to explore this beautiful city brimming with historic centres. Today you will explore one of Russia’s most spectacular sights – the stunning Hermitage museum. One of the largest and oldest museums in the world, it was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and houses one of the world's premier art collections. Your tour will begin around 10am and continue until around 2pm, however you are then of course free to continue any independent exploration. There is a cafe inside for when you need a break to recharge! The Hermitage boasts over 2.7 million exhibits and displays a diverse range of art and artefacts from all over the world and throughout history (from Ancient Egypt to the early 20th century Europe). The collection includes works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian, a unique collection of Rembrandts and Rubens, many French Impressionist works and several sculptures by Rodin. Expert have calculated that, if you watch each item for no longer than a minute and spend 8 hours in the Hermitage daily, it will still take you almost 15 years to view all the museum’s exhibits. Perhaps take a boat to see landmarks from a Neva river cruise or climb the belfry of St Isaacs Cathedral for a rare high view of the city. Then of course there are the world class performances at the Mariinsky Theatre to occupy your evening.
    Day 18 Location: St Petersburg (Peterhof)
    This morning you travel a short distance out of the city (40 minutes by hydrofoil) to uncover the opulence of the stunning Summer Palace and Park of Peter the Great, known as Peterhof or Petrodvorets. Your memorable arrival will be a special moment, much like that of the esteemed guests and European royalty of history. Disembarking at the pier and walking up the Fountain Alley, the magnificence of the water features and the splendour of the Big Palace will all be spread out before you – a breath-taking sight. The Tsar was heavily influenced by European styles and customs and so the place is roughly modelled on Versailles. Built to impress on guests the ruler’s wealth and taste, the grounds of the park are filled with fountains, cascades and landscaped gardens, and the location right on the Gulf of Finland makes for beautiful views. The palaces (of which there are three – Great Peterhof Palace, Marly Palace and Monplaisir Palace) are fascinating not only for the elaborate halls and galleries, but also for the fact that they have been so accurately restored after being almost completely destroyed during Nazi occupation in World War II. Return to St Petersburg at 2pm, and use any free time to visit the last minute sites you might have missed. Tonight is your final night with your new travel companions, and so your leader will organise an optional farewell dinner at one of the city's great restaurants.
    Day 19 Location: St Petersburg
    Your Russian adventure will come to an end today after breakfast. There are no activities planned and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. An airport transfer is not included, however your leader or hotel staff can help you book a taxi for your flight. St Petersburg has much to offer, so we recommend that those that wish to see more extend their stay a day or two.
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    Last modified (date)

    27 Feb 2020

    Trip title

    Splendours of Russia

    Trip code



    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020


    Peer into Russia's past and present on this comprehensive tour through some of Russia’s less explored cities, towns of the famous Golden Ring as well as the jewels in Russia’s crown – Moscow and St Petersburg. Explore the marvels of this transcontinental nation, travelling east from Moscow to Yekaterinburg, and on to Siberia. Traverse a section of the Trans-Siberian Railway and explore the legends the past with visits to palaces, museums and Moscow’s iconic Red Square. Surround yourself with culture, history and breathtaking architecture and get beneath the surface of Russia on this ultimate 19-day small group adventure through such an endlessly intriguing country.




    Private Vehicle,Overnight Sleeper Train,High Speed Train,Public Bus,Metro,Taxi,Plane

    Physical Rating


    Physical preparation

    You will be expected to carry your own luggage including up and down stairs, in busy public transport hubs, and on and off buses and trains. Although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage, you are expected to be able to walk with and handle your own luggage for up to 30 minutes. And some accommodation may not have lifts. Good general fitness and mobility will play a big part in making your trip more enjoyable.

    Joining point

    Marco Polo Presnja Hotel Гостиница Марко Поло Пресня

    123104, Moscow, 9, bldg. 1, Spiridonjevskij Lane



    Phone: +7495 6600606

    Joining point description

    Marco Polo Presnja Hotel is situated in historical Moscow center, close to the Patriarshiye Ponds and the main city attractions, such as the Red square, the Kremlin, the Bolshoy theaters as well as several ancient churches and the synagogue, are located just few blocks away. It is also near Tverskaya street with numerous boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. The hotel offers comfortable rooms including en-suite bathroom, TV & AC. For more information, please go to http://www.presnja.ru/en/default.html

    Joining point instructions

    ARRIVAL TRANSFERS An arrival transfer from the airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Transfers cannot be arranged on arrival. Please advise your flight arrival details no later than 7 days prior to your departure. If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation. If you have pre-arranged an arrival transfer with us, our local operator will have sent a driver to the airport. The driver will be waiting for you at the arrival hall (inside), beyond the passport control, after getting luggage and clearing customs. As you exit to the arrivals – you’ll see plenty of drivers holding signs, just look for a sign with our logo + Your Surname If you can't allocate the driver - call the following number of the local supplier: Ilya 007 916 156 49 69 In rare case if local supplier not answering – call Russia Emergency Number listed below Please note that driver will be waiting for you for 1 hour after your arrival time If you experience flight delay or luggage lost, please don’t hesitate to call above numbers so we can coordinate your transfer more efficiently If you are making your own way to the joining hotel: Moscow has 4 international airports (Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo, Vnukovo and Zhukovsky). Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo are the most commonly used by our travellers. All airports have public transport links that allow you to get to our starting point hotel cheaply and quickly. From Sheremetyevo you can take the airport express train (RUB500, 30-40 minutes) to metro station Belorusskaya (Белорусская) on the dark green & brown (circle) lines. The train runs every hour from 6am to midnight. You can find timetables and buy aeroexpress ticket on-line at www.aeroexpress.ru. From Domodedovo, the airport express train runs every hour to metro station Paveletskaya (Павелецкая, RUB500, 40 to 50 minutes) on the brown (circle) & dark green lines. From Vnukovo airport, the airport express train goes to Kievskaya (Киевская) metro station on the dark blue & brown (circle) line and takes approx. 35 minutes (RUB470). From these stations, take the metro (RUB55) to the green line. Our starting point hotel is located 15 minutes walk from metro station Tverskaya (Тверская). Exit the metro, cross by the underground walkway to the south west side of Tverskaya street. Head south west towards MacDonalds (the first one in Russia and once the biggest in the world). On the first intersection after MacDonalds turn right to the Sytinskiy lane (Сытинский переулок). Keep walking till the hotel. The lane will turn left soon and become Bolshoy Palashevskiy lane and then Spiridonievskiy lane. Once the lane turned left, our hotel will be on the right hand side after the forth intersection. By taxi: The taxi ride from the airport to our starting point hotel takes at least one hour depending on traffic and should cost around 4000 RUB (approx. US$65, to be paid in local currency). Avoid taxi touts. From all airports we recommend you use the services of one of the official taxi desks (such as MosCab, Gett) located on the ground floor inside the arrival terminal. Your leader will put a welcome note on the reception. Please look for it as it contains important information.

    Finish point

    Red Stars Hotel

    Naberezhnaya Reki Pryazhki 30, Admiralteyskiy

    St Petersburg


    Phone: +7 812 6404000

    Finish point description

    Red Stars Hotel is a centrally located stylish hotel offering comfort and conveniences for travellers in St. Petersburg. The ensuite rooms are airconditioned with flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi. The hotel is only 500 m from the Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall. Nevsky Prospect and the famous Hermitage Museum are 15 minutes away by public transport. Admiralteyskiy is a great choice for travellers interested in cathedrals, art and history.

    Finish point instructions

    If you have pre booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your departure transfer time. If you plan to make your own way to the airport, the hotel can help you book a taxi. It'll take about 30 minutes to an hour to the airport, depending on using tolled highway or not. Otherwise, by public transport: From the hotel walk to the right for 150 m till the intersection of Dekabristov st and Angliyskiy prospect, cross it and wait for bus #22 at the bus stop, take 5 stops to “Metro Nevsky Prospect” (40RUB, 20 minutes) Take off the bus and go inside Nevsky Prospekt subway station - entrance to the Metro is marked by an 'M'. Tickets cost 45 RUB. From Nevsky Prospekt (НЕВСКИЙ ПРОСПЕКТ) take 7 stops to “Moskovskaya” (МОСКОВСКАЯ) metro stop, it’s blue line. Follow the signs to the airport exit. From the bus stop take the bus #39 to the Pulkovo airport (40RUB, 20 minutes).

    Important information

    1. Please note in order for our local operator to book train tickets in Russia, below information must be provided to us no later than 40 days before departure. This information should be exact the same as per your passport. Additional fee will apply for changing train tickets if wrong details are provided. • Passenger's full name (first, middle and last) • Full Passport Details (number, expiry, issued) • Date of Birth 2. A Complimentary Arrival Transfer is included in the cost of the trip. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking or no later than 14 days prior to arrival. 3. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available to book on this trip including all nights except the overnight train. 4. Gratuities included only for the essential services that you will receive as part of your tour package. Please see the 'Money Matters' section of the Essential Trip Information for more details. 5. Check -in luggage limit for the domestic flight from Tyumen to Moscow is 20kg.

    Group leader

    All Peregrine Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Peregrine Adventures endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Peregrine Adventures we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.


    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Peregrine itinerary, and Peregrine Adventures makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Peregrine Adventures' operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:


    RUSSIA Most visits to Russia are trouble-free, but petty crime does happen in cities. In St Petersburg there have been reports of street crime where tourists have been specifically targeted. These crimes are carried out by well-organised gangs. Be aware of pickpockets in the main tourist areas and around the main railway concourses. Bogus police officers have harassed and robbed tourists. If you are stopped always insist on seeing identification.Avoid openly carrying expensive items. Avoid walking about late at night alone. Incidents of violence in major cities are usually linked to criminal/business activities and are not usually directed against foreign visitors. If you are travelling by overnight train in a sleeping compartment, store valuables in the container under the bed or seat. Don’t leave your sleeping compartment unoccupied as some compartments only have a simple lock on the sliding door. On some trains there may be an additional security device, which can be attached to the fitted handle/lock unit. There may also be a steel switch at head-height on the door panel which, when pulled down, prevents the closed door from being slid open. Don’t agree to look after the luggage of a fellow traveller or allow it to be stored in your compartment. When on international trains crossing borders, you should be extra vigilant and pay special attention to your luggage to be sure that no one else has put anything in your luggage.


    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking RUSSIAN VISAS Most nationalities require a visa for Russia.  RUSSIA - LETTER OF INVITATION (LOI) You will need a Letter of Invitation (LOI), sometimes called a Voucher or Visa Support Letter in order to apply for your visa. Logins and your trip code will be sent to you at the time of booking so that you can obtain your LOI online through our local partners in Russia, Parallel 60, via this link:  https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/russian-letter-invitation-loi-and-visa You will then be able to download your LOI instantly. Please note that the LOI included in the cost of your tour is for a Single Entry Tourist Visa. We will also add 3 days to the LOI duration before and after your trip dates for your convenience in case you have booked pre or post accommodation. If you require a different visa type or are planning to stay longer than these dates please contact Parallel 60 (www.visain.ru) directly to request a LOI to fit your specific travel plans. INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR RUSSIAN VISA APPLICATION: Once you have obtained your LOI you can apply for your visa. You must apply for your Russian visa in advance. Visas are not available on arrival or en-route. It is your responsibility to apply for your own visa either directly through a consulate or by using a visa agent. We do not recommend trying to obtain your Russian visa outside of your home country or place of residence as your application may be refused. Use ONLY the information and dates on your LOI when filling in your visa application. There is no need to reference us or include a copy of your itinerary as Parallel 60, our Russian partners, are the official inviting organisation. Do not be concerned if the destinations and accommodation listed do not match your trip exactly. This information is for the purposes of obtaining the visa only, not an indication of where you must travel and stay once in Russia. DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR RUSSIAN VISA APPLICATION: * Letter of Invitation (LOI) * Photocopy of your passport * Passport size photos  * Flight or other transport details (if requested) * Please check with the consulate for any other specific requirements VISA EXTENSIONS IN RUSSIA Please be aware that visa extensions are NOT possible in Russia. INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR RUSSIAN TRAIN TICKET BOOKINGS Train tickets in Russia are booked with passport numbers. Please make sure you provide us with your correct passport number. If you have to renew your passport after booking please notify us as soon as you have a new passport number and bring your old passport with you on your trip. If we receive changes to passport numbers less than 30 days prior to departure we cannot guarantee purchase of train tickets. We do NOT recommend travelling on multiple passports for trips that involve border crossings by train. This can cause difficulties with train ticket bookings and cause significant issues delays at immigration. RUSSIAN MIGRATION CARDS All foreign citizens entering Russia are required to fill in a migration card on arrival. The entry portion of the card will be retained by immigration upon arrival. The stamped exit portion of the card must be kept with your passport during your stay in Russia and submitted to immigration upon departure. If you are not given a migration card at immigration on arrival you must request one, even if the immigration official says that you do not need one. Loss or failure to receive the exit portion of the card will result in you not being able to travel on our trip as all hotels require this card for registration and may result in significant delays or fines upon departure. If you travel to Russia from one of the Custom Union countries – Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, please ask for one when going through immigrations into one of these countries or make sure to get one when entering into Russia.

    Why we love it

    Discover the Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery and learn about history through the lives of the famous Russians who now rest here.

    Journey to Leo Tolstoy's estate at Yasnaya Polyana where he wrote his masterpieces War and Peace and Anna Karenina, plus enjoy a traditional lunch of his household recipes.

    Be wowed by the delicate carvings and craft of a Siberian shaman and folk artist in Tobolsk.

    Join in local life and customs as you share a meal in a Russian home in the fairytale-like Golden Ring town of Suzdal.

    Discover treasure-upon-treasure at the incredible art collection housed in St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum – the former Winter Palace of Catherine the Great.

    Is this trip right for you

    This trip includes one overnight train journey (approximately 27 hours). Train travel is an essential experience in Russia and a great chance to see the grand scale of the country and interact with its people. You will stay in a comfortable twin share cabin, with shared toilet facilities. Please note there is no shower on board. It’s best to pack luggage that you’ll be able to comfortably carry, as you’ll have to do so yourself for the duration of the trip (to-and-from hotel and on-and-off transportation). If you would like to see ballet performances in Moscow or St Petersburg, please be advised to book the tickets online well in advance so as not to miss out. This trip is a comfortable way to see the highlights and learn the history of Russia’s most iconic sights, using private transport and high-speed day trains. We pack a lot in to this short itinerary, so be prepared for full days of activities. We highly recommend staying additional days in St Petersburg and Moscow to get the most out of these fascinating destinations.


    RUSSIA GIARDIA Giardia intestinalis, a parasite that causes severe diarrhoea has been reported from time to time in the water supply in Russia. For this reason, we recommend against drinking unboiled tap water in all Russian cites. IMPORTANT - BANNED MEDICATIONS By law, travellers bringing prescribed medicines into Russia must carry a prescription in the patient's name, that includes the name of the drug and prescribed quantity. According to official channels, if your medication contains "narcotic or psychoactive substances", a notarised translation into Russian is also required. This may include medications containing codeine or opiates, sleeping pills, medication for ADHD, antidepressants and strong painkillers. Some medicines that you can buy over the counter in your home country may require a prescription in Russia. There have been cases of travellers being detained at border crossings when undeclared or banned medications have been discovered by customs sniffer dogs. If you’re unsure whether you need to provide a prescription and notarised translation to bring your medicines into Russia, check with the Russian Embassy before you travel. TICKS In spring and early summer in rural areas of Russia ticks are prevalent. Please take precautions when walking in these areas by wearing long trousers and covered shoes, and check your clothes and body thoroughly. HYGIENE The diet and hygiene standards on this trip may be very different from what you are used to so please take care with washing hands before meals etc. and bring some medication/re-hydration salts etc if you commonly experience stomach problems with a change in diet.

    Food and dietary requirements

    RUSSIA What is food in Russia really like? See our blog here for some must try foods: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/5-foods-really-need-try-russia/ Vegetarians in Russia certainly won't go hungry as there are usually plenty of meat-free options on menus including salads, certain soups, and cooked dishes such as mushrooms, potatoes, cabbage, buckwheat, dumplings with vegetable fillings, savoury pancakes etc. Vegans will need to look for options without mayonnaise, sour cream and cheese which are common in Russian dishes. Moscow, St Petersburg and increasingly other towns have an ever growing number of excellent vegetarian and vegan eateries. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may wish to supplement inclusions with their own supplies from markets or supermarkets.

    Money matters

    When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document). How Much Money? You should carry sufficient funds for meals, drinks, optional activities, additional sightseeing, shopping and tips. As a guideline we suggest that you allow US$15-US$20 per day would allow you to eat and drink reasonably well. Optional Tours & Activities We include many sightseeing activities on our trips; however, there are additional optional tours and activities that you may wish to undertake during your free time. These may incur additional expenses.These activities are not a mandatory part of our tours because, from past experience, we have found that our travellers have appreciated some free time whilst on tour. RUSSIA The official currency of Russia is the Ruble (RUB). 1 ruble = 100 kopeks. ATMs are widespread in Russia so the easiest way to access cash on your trip is to bring a credit or debit card. Please check with your bank about overseas withdrawal fees before you depart and note that recent travellers have experienced difficulties in using credit cards without a debit function from US banks for purchases or withdrawals. If you are travelling to remote parts of the country you will need to prepare cash exchanged into local currency. The easiest foreign currencies to exchange are USD and EUR, however please be aware of the security risk of carrying large amounts of cash. Commission is sometimes charged for currency exchange. Check the rate before you exchange as what is advertised is sometimes only for transactions above US$500, carefully check the amount you are given and ask for a receipt. Due to restrictions on changing money in Russia, only US$50 and US$100 notes/bills printed after 1996 and in good condition (no creases, marks, stamps or tears) will be accepted. Avoid bringing US$ notes in smaller denominations. By law, all purchases in Russia must be made in local currency. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting. On this trip, we have included gratuities for the essential services that you will receive as part of your tour package. This will cover tips to drivers, specialist local guides (where applicable), restaurant staff for included meals, porters, bellboys and other hotel staff, including room-cleaning staff. This amount DOES NOT include a tip for your tour leader, so you may wish to set aside some funds for this. It is customary to tip your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. You also wish to put aside some money for your own tipping, such as when you are doing our own optional sightseeing or activity that involves local guides and/or drivers or when joining in optional groups meals or dining out on your own. In these instances, we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier. The amounts can vary greatly according to destination, so we suggest that you ask your tour leader to give you guidance on what are appropriate amounts to tip. Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline $US3-5, or the equivalent in any currency used on the trip, per person, per day can be used. Please do not tip with coins or dirty notes as this is regarded culturally as an insult. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip isn't compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

    What to take

    What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg. Many travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller suitcases or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps or handles. If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. A lockable bag or small padlock will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day. Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip. Essential: - Clothing: a mixture of lightweight and dry fast clothing and warm layers are recommended essential for travelling in this region. Long shirts, pants, scarves are useful for covering shoulders & knees when visiting religious sites. - Shoes: sturdy and comfortable shoes for walking long distances are essential. - Personal travel documents inc. your passport (visa), travel insurance, fight tickets and trip notes. Photo copies of your passport and visa, passport size photos and travel insurance will be handy. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary. - small first aid kit including items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, Band-Aids and insect repellent, and essential medicine depending on your doctors advice. - Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card and money belt - Sun protection like hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Recommended: - Refillable water bottle (1.5 litre capacity suggested): The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. - Cell phone, camera with spare batteries, charger, and adapter plug - Hand wash, travel wipes, toiletries and small towel - Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries) - Torch or flash light esp. for stay at local guesthouses or home stays Optional: - Sleeping bag. Useful for camping, overnight trains and poorly heated hotels, particularly during the winter months of Dec - Feb when temperatures are low. - Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather. - Ear plugs to guard against street noise and snorers. - A good book, a journal and music player for overnight train rides and longer drives. Other things to consider: - Check weather in destinations you are travelling to online a few days before you go to make sure you pack appropriate clothing - Laundry facilities may not be available in all destinations, so make sure you have a few cycles of clothes to tide you over until your next chance to wash

    Climate and seasonal

    RUSSIAN PUBLIC HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day: 1 Jan New Year Holiday Week: 2-8 Jan Orthodox Christmas Day: 7 Jan Defenders of the Fatherland Day: 23 Feb (25 Feb 2019, 24 Feb 2020) International Womens Day: 8 Mar (9 Mar 2020) Spring & Labour Day: 1 May Spring & Labour Day Holiday: 2-3 May 2019 Victory Day: 9 May (11 May 2020) Russia Day: 12 Jun Unity Day: 4 Nov OTHER OBSERVED HOLIDAYS: Old New Year: 14 Jan Special Operations Forces Day: 27 Feb Orthodox Easter Sunday: 28 Apr 2019, 19 Apr 2020 Day of Knowledge (First Day of School): 1 Sep

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.


    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: https://www.peregrineadventures.com/feedback

    Pre-departure checklist

    Before you travel please download our pre-departure checklist to make sure you are fully prepared for your trip: http://www.peregrineadventures.com/pre-departure-travel-checklist

    Emergency contact

    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete. BOOKING ENQUIRIES / ISSUES For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at: www.peregrineadventures.com/contact-us CRISIS AND EMERGENCIES In case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our local ground representative on the number below: Peregrine’s Local Operator: +7 918 615 1572

    Responsible travel

    Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers and staff are trained on these principles, and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel Responsible travel is important to Peregrine. Maintaining our integrity and upholding principles of sustainable development are core to our travel ethos. Our values are ingrained in the culture of our business and in the design of our trips. We respect the people, cultures and local environments that we encounter while travelling and encourage the spread of good will and cross-cultural sharing. We are committed to making a positive contribution wherever possible. Read more about responsible travel with Peregrine here: https://www.peregrineadventures.com/responsible-travel

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on a different Intrepid trip than your own. CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. RUSSIA REGISTRATION: According to Russian law, all foreign citizens must be registered with the immigration authorities within 7 business days of arrival into Russia. If you have made your own independent travel plans in Russia for more than 7 days outside of your trip dates with us, please ensure you are registered through your accommodation in order to avoid any issues at passport control when leaving the country. HOT WATER: Please note that in many cities in Russia, including Moscow, hot water is turned off for up to one month during summer for routine maintenance. During this time only cold water may be available at some accommodation. HOMESTAYS & GUESTHOUSES: Please note that at our homestays and guesthouses rooms may be multishare and open gender. When we stay at people's homes, beds may be sofa beds or mattresses on the floor. DOUBLE BEDS: Please note that rooms with double beds are not always available at our accommodation in Russia and two single beds in a twin share room is the default. Wherever possible we will put couples in rooms with double beds if available.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.


    Feature Stay Moscow Hotel (5 nights),Hotel (12 nights),Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night)

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