The Pearls of Russia: Moscow & St. Petersburg Aug 7-16 2012 Sep 4-13 2012

  Moscow is the capital and the largest city in Russia as well as the largest metropolitan area in Europe with a population well over 10 million. This amazing city has served as the capital of the Soviet Union, the Russian Empire and the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Moscow has had a tumultuous history dating back to medieval times when it was founded by Prince Yuri Dolgoruki (Yuri of the Long Arms, known for the length of his arms!) in the early 12th century. It has seen numerous invasions and sieges from the Mongols to the Poles and Lithuanians to the Crimean Tatars to Napoleon and finally the Nazi’s but it has persevered and today is a thriving metropolis. The city is filled with unique architecture from the Kremlin and Red Square to giant Stalin skyscrapers to new office blocks built during the economic boom of recent years and it contains a strikingly beautiful metro system. The city is the center of political as well as economic power in Russia and visitors can feel the energy in the streets. There is always something going on in Moscow and there is so much to see
St. Petersburg is Russia’s second largest city with a population of over 5 million. It is also known as the center of Russian art, culture and literature – former citizens included Pushkin and Dostoevsky just to name a few. The entire city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is full of beautiful palaces and monuments including the Winter Palace. The city is also known as the Venice of the North because of its location on various islands in the Neva River and its many canals and bridges. St. Petersburg is home to the world famous Hermitage Museum which contains one of the world’s largest collections of art including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Matisse, Picasso as well as many other old masters and impressionists. We are sure that you will find St. Petersburg one of the most if not the most fascinating places you
Day 1 Tuesday: St Petersburg
Arrival to St Petersburg and transfer to the hotel including an orientation tour. We’ll start with an introductory tour of this 300-year old city, formerly the capital of Tsarist Russia. We’ll view some of its many squares, its cathedrals and its palaces. We will drive along the central boulevard: Nevsky Prospekt, and pass by the Kazan Cathedral. We will enjoy a view on the Winter Palace, located between the Neva River and the Palace Square. We’ll see the statue of Peter the Great, the battleship Aurora, and the Church of the resurrection. We will stop in front of the Cathedral of St. Isaac, one of the most opulent in all of Russia, as well as the Monument of Nicholas I which stands on the square.
Overnight at Angleterre hotel or similar.

Day Wednesday: St Petersburg
Today we‘ll visit the Peter and Paul Fortress in order to visit the Peter and Paul Cathedral. It is here where Peter the Great and many members of the Romanov dynasty coming after him are buried. The last Tsar buried there was Nicholas II and his family, after their remains were discovered in an unmarked mass grave. After midnight we highly recommend a night tour, “The White Nights of St.Petersburg” in order to see the opening of the bridges. (Optional Extra).
Overnight at Angleterre hotel or similar.

Day 3 Thursday: St Petersburg
This morning we’ll start the day with a visit at the Winter Palace and the world famous Hermitage Museum. The Hermitage houses a collection exceeding 3 million pieces of art, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Rafael, Van Gogh, French impressionists and many more. We will visit some of the State Rooms as well. After the museum we’ll have a boat ride on the Neva River and some of the city‘s main canals, and soak up the views of St. Petersburg’s magnificent architecture, as we pass beneath some of the 400 bridges that pass over the river and the canals. In the evening we recommend going to see one of the ballet performances for which St. Petersburg is renowned. (Optional Extra).
Overnight at Angleterre hotel or similar.

Day 4 Friday: St Petersburg
After breakfast we’ll head out to Peterhof, the Summer Palace of Peter the Great, designed much the same as the Palace of Versailles, and renowned for its gardens and many fountains and its waterfalls. After our visit we continue to the Palace of Yekaterina in the town of Pushkin. This palace became famous thanks to the amber room that was recently restored. Here, Tsar Alexander founded the Lyceum - a school for children of the nobility, where the famous author Alexander Pushkin studied. We then return to St. Petersburg, while on the way we will pass by the impressive monument to the heroes of the 900-day siege of the city during World War II. Then back to our hotel for preparations for Shabbat.
Overnight at Angleterre hotel or similar.

Day 5 Shabbat: St. Petersburg
After Shabbat services in the magnificent Choral Synagogue, restored and renovated by the philanthropist Edmond Safra, we’ll walk over to the majestic palace of Felix Yusupov, the place where Gregory Rasputin was assassinated. The palace contains wax figures of those who planned and carried out the murder in December 1916. After the tour we’ll return to the restaurant for our Shabbat dinner and after Mincha prayers we return to our hotel for some rest and relaxation.
Overnight at Angleterre hotel or similar.

Day 6 Sunday: St. Petersburg - Moscow
DToday we’ll fly to Moscow. Upon arrival we’ll depart for a panoramic tour of the city, which became capital of Russia in the 14th century. We’ll drive along the banks of the Moscow River, pass by the walls of the Kremlin, walk on Red Square and stop in front of the Mausoleum of Lenin. We then drive by the Bolshoi Theater, the statue of Karl Marx and the former KGB Center. We’ll visit Moscow’s famous underground stations that were designed by various Russian artists, as well as the renewed Church of the Savior. We’ll visit the Choral Synagogue, made famous during the time of the “refuseniks” where Golda Meir visited when she was Israel’s ambassador to the Soviet Union.
Overnight at Marriott Moscow Grand hotel or similar.

Day 7 Monday: Moscow
This morning we’ll tour Victory Park the site that integrates a church, synagogue and mosque. Afterwards we’ll visit the Museum of the Battle of Borodino, the famous battle between the Russian Army and that of Napoleon in 1812. The museum is built as a large circle creating a panorama, on the walls all around an impressive painting describing the battle. In the afternoon we’ll stroll down the famous, bustling Arbat pedestrian mall where Pushkin and his friends lived. The mall is lined with coffee houses and restaurants. In the evening we recommend a night tour of the city, to see how beautifully and creatively its buildings are lit up. (Optional Extra).
Overnight at Marriott Moscow Grand hotel or similar.

Day 8 Tuesday: Moscow
Today we’ll visit the Kremlin. We’ll tour the Cathedrals Square and visit the State Armoury that houses the treasures of the Tsars. We continue to the burial pantheon next to Novodevichy Convent where important figures of Great Russia and the former Soviet Union are buried, along with some notable Jewish artists and writers. From the gallery we’ll head for a cruise on the Moscow River from where we’ll see the famous “White House.” It was here that Boris Yeltsin, then mayor of Moscow, launched his failed coup attempt. In the evening we recommend seeing the International Folklore Show. (Optional Extra).
Overnight at Marriott Moscow Grand hotel or similar.

Day 9 Wednesday: Moscow – Home Gateway
After breakfast we‘ll visit to the Tretyakov Gallery, where Russian art from the 12th to the 20th centuries are displayed. Afterwards we‘ll spend the day at leisure, strolling around the city or doing some last minute shopping. In the evening we’ll make our way to the airport for our flight to our home gateway

Aug 7-16 2012 Land Only  $3720 Price with flights from Tel Aviv $4,340 
Sep 4-13 2012 Land Only $4,420 Price with flights from Tel Aviv $5,040
Single Supplement  $740  $1,330 
•There may be changes to the schedule and hotel reservations dependent upon internal flights. We will make every effort to visit every location mentioned.
•Domestic flight
•Comfortable air-conditioned touring coach for travelling
•Full Breakfasts and 8 main meals and supplies for making sandwiches for lunch
•Professional experienced Israeli guide
•Local English-speaking Guide as required
•First tourist class hotels or the best available locally
•Entrance to all sites mentioned in the tour plan
•Russian Visa. US Passport holders DO REQUIRE a visa to Russia
•International Flights
•International Airport and security taxes as of 01.09.09
•Tips for local service providers US$90 per person
•Travel and baggage Insurance
•Personal expenses
•Changes in air fares due to increases in fuel airport tax and security tax surcharges
•Tip for our tour guide (Recommended: $3 per person per day)
Deposit, Cancellation Fees & Policy:
A $500 USD Deposit per person must be received at the time of booking in order to confirm your reservation. Payment in full is due 90 days before departure. A minimum number of participants are required to operate tour dates. If a minimum number has not been reached prior to tour departure and the tour is cancelled you will receive a FULL refund.

•90 days before departure bookings are refundable less a $100 administration fee
•60-90 days prior to departure: $500 + $100 per passenger
•30-60 days prior to departure: $1,000 + $100 per passenger
•Less than 30 working days prior to departure: 100% of total - no refund
•We recommend purchasing Travel Insurance.
Travel insurance encompassing both cancellation and medical insurance is very important and we can not stress that enough. We recommend that our clients are adequately insured when travelling. It is crucial to purchase the travel insurance within 14 days from the 1st payment that you make for this trip (flights/cruise/tour etc). Your payment is made directly to the insurance company.
We highly recommend the 'cancel for any reason' upgrade option.