Day 1 - Tuesday June 2, 2020 - USA – RUSSIA
Your magical journey to Russia begins as you depart Houston today on your overnight flight. Your flight will leave at 3.55pm from Houston on Lufthansa airlines and arrive the following day around 5.15pm (Wednesday) in Moscow, with about a 4.25hour layover in Frankfurt for the flight connection.
Day 2 - Wednesday June 3, 2020 – MOSCOW
Arrive in Moscow, a beautiful city filled with palaces, cathedrals, beautiful bridges over canals, spacious squares and wide streets. You’ll be met and escorted to your centrally located hotel. After a welcome meeting, check-in and attend a welcome dinner at the local Chekhov restaurant. Accommodation (D).
Day 3 - Thursday June 4, 2020 - MOSCOW
In the morning, you will visit the Old Tretyakov gallery which is a unique museum where one will have the perfect chance to get acquainted with the best examples of Russian art. Enjoy a tour in the halls devoted to Russian icon painting, where you will learn the painting techniques of the old masters and admire medieval masterpieces while listening to the fascinating stories about them. In the afternoon, visit the Russian handicraft centre-Izmaylovo, famous for its open-air souvenir market. Here is an opportunity to browse or to buy a great variety of traditional Russian craft objects- famous matryoshkas, wood-carving goods, porcelain, birchbark items, Russian Army uniforms and more! Here you will partake in a Matryoshka (the famous Russian nesting dolls) painting class! Evening at leisure. Accommodation in Moscow (B).
Day 4 - Friday June 5, 2020 - MOSCOW
Begin the day with an early entrance tour of the heart of the city and country – the Kremlin. You might be surprised how many ancient and magnificent structures one can see within its walls: 15th century cathedrals, a bell-tower, Patriarch’s Palace, Grand Kremlin Palace and of course the Armoury. The Armoury has a fantastic collection of insignia of Imperial power, precious clothes, ceremonial harnesses and a unique collection of imperial carriages. In the afternoon, enjoy a Moscow city tour, passing the main streets and boulevards of the ancient city. You will see all the major landmarks: Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral, Sparrow Hills and New Maiden Convent. The next stop is the Metro, as Moscow’s underground is not only the fastest means of transportation in Moscow, but also a unique architectural ensemble. Major stations built in the 1930s look like palaces richly decorated with marble, mosaic and semi-precious stones. Learn about the thrilling “underground palaces” during a tour of the oldest and most beautiful metro stations. Accommodation in Moscow (B/D).
Day 5 - Saturday June 6, 2020 - MOSCOW - VLADIMIR – SUZDAL
After breakfast, Drive to Vladimir. The history of Vladimir goes back over one thousand years and preserves examples of white-stone medieval architecture along with buildings from the 16-20th centuries. Unique memorials still remain – Cathedrals of Assumption and St. Demetrius Cathedral. You will see the famous Golden Gates (1158-1164) located close to town centre. Visit the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl river (Bogolubovo). You will have lunch at the Duke Vladimir then continue to Suzdal, check in at the hotel in Suzdal (B,L).
Day 6 - Sunday June 7, 2020 – SUZDAL
Today, explore Suzdal. The entire town is a museum which has hardly changed for the past two and a half centuries. First, visit the Monastery of St. Euthymius which was founded in the 14th century and grew in importance in the 16th and 17th centuries after donations from Vasili III, Ivan V and the Pozharsky family, a noble dynasty of the region. Among the buildings erected during this period were the Assumption Church, the bell tower, the surrounding walls and towers, and the seven-domed Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour. Continue to the Suzdal Kremlin, the oldest part of the Russian city dating from the 10th century. Together with several structures in the neighboring city of Vladimir, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992. Visit the Open-Air Museum of Wooden Architecture, which preserves traditional peasant villages for people to see how Russians lived, worked and worshipped in the 17th to 19th centuries. For lunch, enjoy a meal with a local family. This evening, enjoy at leisure. (B,L).
Day 7 - Monday June 8, 2020 - SUZDAL-GOLDEN RING-HIGH SPEED TRAIN TO ST PETERSBURG
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Moscow. On arrival in Moscow, enjoy lunch at “Bon App” restaurant before the journey through the Golden Ring. The Golden Ring of Russia is amidst plains, lakes and marshes with scattered old Russian towns. Life here is completely different from the big cities and an opportunity to see true Russia. Arrive in St Petersburg and transfer from the train station to the hotel for check-in. Accommodation in St Petersburg. (B,L).