Four nights from only £939 per person
Selected departures from May to September 2013
St Petersburg has always been high on the traveller's 'wish list' of 'must see' destinations. Plus, it is wonderfully stimulating to extend your horizons sometimes beyond the familiar facades of our neighbouring European capitals, taking a mesmerising journey to one of the world's most beautiful, yet least known, great cities. The imperial capital of the Tsars was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, and is truly worthy of an Emperor! The majestic boulevards and splendid Baroque buildings, threaded by winding canals and set amongst great parks, are redolent of the classical Italian cities that so inspired Peter as he set about fulfilling his great vision.
Today, St Petersburg is a magnificent monument to him and the Russia of old, with a wealth of things to experience. Firstly you have one of the greatest museums in the world, the Hermitage, crammed with fine art, the magnificence of one of the world's largest Cathedrals, St Isaac's and the immense scale of the Waterfront that has to be seen to be believed. On Vasilevsky Island, the original city, there is Peter and Paul fortress and its ornate cathedral with marbled columns and glittering chandeliers. So aptly, it was the final resting place of the Romanovs and so close to the cruiser Aurora, whose firing of guns signalled the start of the Russian Revolution in 1917.
St Petersburg though has another face too: lose youself in the parks, take a stroll along the canals criss-crossing the city or window shop in the city's department stores and markets. Then there is the superb Mariinsky Theatre, home to the Kirov, one of the World's most famous ballet companies with whom artists Nureyev, Nijinsky and Anna Pavlova gained worldwide recognition. Other famous St Petersburgers have included, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Stavinsky and Pushkin whose cultural legacies are alive and well in a lively arts scene. Wherever you go in the city though, you cannot help feeling that St Petersburg was, and still is pivotal in world events and has changed more radically in its mere 300 years of history than probably anywhere else in the world. The city was founded by an emperor ans was home to Catherine the Great, 'Bloody Sunday' and Romanovs. The Russian Revolution in 1917 led to the foundation of the world's first communist state, radically changed the course of 20th century world history, ultimately affecting such far-flung countries as Cuba and Vietnam. Then came a change of name to Leningrad, Stalin, the three year long siege during the Second World War, and following on, the 'Cold War'. In recent times it has been time for two more St Petersburgers to take centre stage: Boris Yeltsin and Vladimire Putin, with yet more events following in their wake. Today though, St Petersburg has emerged from its more turbulent past, reclaiming its rightful place amongst the world's most beautiful and fascinating cities as somewhere you really must experience for yourself.
Fully escorted price includes:
- Scheduled British Airways flights direct to St Petersburg from Heathrow
- Excellent four-star centrally located hotel within walking distance of many of the sights, including the Hermitage
- Guided sightseeing tour of one of the world’s most beautiful but least known great cities
- Guided tour of the Hermitage – the Tsars’ Winter Palace - one of the greatest single museum collections on earth
- Visit to Vasilevsky Island, renowned for its remarkable collection of museums, the cruiser Aurora, Peter & Paul Fortress and its stunning cathedral - final resting place of the Romanovs
- Guided visit to the Peterhof, stunning estate of the Tsars, with its magnificent palaces, glorious gardens and fabulous fountains
- Services of an experienced tour manager
The price per person includes return flights, four nights bed and breakfast, based on two people sharring a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement of £199 to £299 per person, return transfers, all tours and entrance fees as mentioned, and the services of a Riviera tour manager.
Not included: Russian Visa. All Russia Visa Application forms must be completed electronically and be signed by the applicants. The granting of a visa is at the discretion of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in London and its Consulates. All payments made towards visa fees and service charges are non-refundable and do not guarantee the issuance of a visa should your application be declined. Please ensure you have at least two empty pages in your passport, and that it is valid for a minimum of six months after the visa's expiration. You will also need one recent passport photo, a 'Tourist Voucher' which can be obtained from the hotel via us - no charge applies for this however a fee of approximately £40 is charges by the hotel should the reservation be cancelled. Applications can be made by post or in person at the embassy however the initial application must always be completed on line at http://ru.vfsglobal.co.uk. Alternatively should you require additional help please contact us for a recommendation of agencies who can help with your application. Please apply for you tourist voucher and visa no more than six weeks prior to travel.