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THIS IS NOT THE FULL BROCHURE

We invite you to call Sarah or Gwen at 1-800-762-4216 to request the full brochure. The brochure will include Important Traveler Information (and answers to most questions) and a Reservation Form. We can send the brochure through the Postal Service or as a PDF attachment. If you would like to receive a PDF, probably the best way to keep the message from going into a SPAM filter is to send a message to sarah@serioustraveler.com. If you are already on our mailing list, no need to complete the entire brochure request form.

February 23 - March 5, 2017 • 11 days
$4450 based on double occupancy
from New York, JFK via Finnair including taxes
plus Russia visa processing $311
Single Supplement $880

Day by Day Itinerary

February 23 Depart New York
Thursday

Please check in at Finnair at New York’s JFK no later than 2:45 PM. Your journey starts today at 5:45 PM aboard Finnair AY006. Dinner and breakfast enroute.

February 24 Connect in Helsinki
Friday Arrive Moscow

Arrive in Helsinki at 8:50 AM this morning and connect with the short flight to Moscow AY153, which departs at 9:30 AM and arriving at 12:05 PM (noon). Welcome to Russia! Our guide, Ludmila, will be there to greet us and point out sights en route to the hotel. The afternoon is free for rest. Welcome dinner at the hotel. After dinner we’ll have an impressive view of Red Square at night. (D)

****Moscow Courtyard City Center

February 25 Moscow
Saturday

This is certainly a day to remember! Begin with breakfast and depart the hotel at 8:45 AM. Today we go inside the Kremlin. Its 64 acres enclose palaces, cathedrals and towers including the splendid Ivan the Great Tower and Belfry. Within the complex are the Grand Kremlin Palace, the Terem Palace, the Palace of Congress and historic Cathedral Square. Ringing the square are the historic Archangel, Annunciation and Assumption Cathedrals. We’ll go inside one of them. The Czar Bell and Czar Cannon make a good photo op. We’ll have a two hour guided tour of the Armory. There you’ll find the exquisite Fabergé Egg Collection and much more. Filled with exquisite icons and paintings, carriages and costumes, this is the most historic of the Kremlin’s monuments.

In the afternoon view the Romanov Chambers, where according to legend, and maybe it is true, the founder of the Romanov dynasty, Czar Mikhail Romanov was born. It is very colorful and one can feel the atmosphere of medieval Russia there. Although a venerable Moscow institution, the Palace is for some reason not often frequented by foreigners. This is a shame, as it gives an unusually complete glimpse of a world unknown to most Russians, let alone foreign visitors.

You’ll also have a chance to see Red Square during the day before returning to the hotel to prepare for our first Theater outing tonight. We’ve included a theater performance at the Bolshoi tonight for all your evenings in Moscow with transportation. Performances to be announced when available. (B-L)

****Moscow Courtyard City Center

February 26 Moscow
Sunday

After a late breakfast we depart at 10:00 AM for a guided tour of the superb Tretyakov Gallery with its fine collection of Russian art. Visit the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Time permitting have a photo op at Novodevichy Convent. While in this area of Southwest Moscow we see Sparrow Hills and the University where we are invited to a prominent artist’s studio. Tatiana Shihireva and her husband Nikolai Kononchuk recently had their work shown at the exhibition in Moscow. Now they work together - Nikolai makes very artistic carved and painted frames for Tatiana’s batiks. You can see Tatiana’s works at http://www.tbatik.ru/. The website is in Russian only. (B-L)

****Moscow Courtyard City Center

February 27 Moscow
Monday

Today we have an excursion to Sergiev Posad (pictured on the cover), the medieval town that is the seat of Russian Orthodoxy. Enjoy lunch before returning to Moscow. (B-L)

****Moscow Courtyard City Center

February 28 Moscow
Tuesday St. Petersburg

Before leaving Moscow, board the Metro to see the magnificent underground museums. We’ll end at Arbat Street, Moscow’s colorful pedestrian precinct lined with boutiques, art galleries, theaters and cafés.

In the afternoon we board the Sapsan, the Peregrine Falcon (fast train), to St. Petersburg. Overnight at the 4-star Marriott Courtyard hotel in St. Petersburg. (B)

**** Marriott Courtyard Pushkin

March 1 St. Petersburg
Wednesday

Welcome to St. Petersburg! With its name changed back to St. Petersburg from Leningrad, this relatively young city was conceived and built by Peter the Great only 300 years ago. At every turn you’ll find the city’s grand neoclassical architecture mirrored in a network of canals and rivers. Travel along Nevsky Prospekt, the city’s most elegant boulevard lined with palaces, mansions, and churches, most of which are fine examples of Russian Classical and Baroque styles. The impressive Kazan Cathedral is here.

The richly gilded St. Isaac’s Cathedral, and the famous “Bronze Horseman” statue of Peter the Great are located just off Nevsky Prospekt as are the well known Mariinsky Theater (Kirov) and Maly Theaters. Other landmarks such as the Admiralty Building and the Smolny Convent will be pointed out to you.

Have a very special visit to the exquisite Usipov Palace with its beautiful recreated interiors. Once a residence of the wealthy and respected Usipov family, it saw one of Russian history’s moments of high drama – the murder of Grigory Rasputin.

The Mariinsky Theater (formerly the Kirov) now has two stages. We’ve included a performance and transportation for three evenings in St. Petersburg. Performances to be announced when available. (B-L)

**** Marriott Courtyard Pushkin

March 2 St. Petersburg
Thursday

Today we’ll visit the Hermitage Museum. Located in a splendid ensemble of buildings in the Palace Square, the buildings were at one time royal residences and offices of the State. The principal building, the Winter Palace, itself an outstanding example of Russian Baroque, is today part of the Hermitage Museum Complex. Boasting over two million art and history exhibits, all displayed in halls and galleries that are themselves masterpieces, this is most definitely one of the world’s finest museums. Enjoy lunch at the Museum restaurant, and then continue our visit of the Hermitage.

Before our afternoon ends, we visit inside the Peter and Paul Fortress that contains the Peter and Paul Cathedral where the Romanov czars lie buried.

Return to the hotel for a rest before our evening at the theater tonight. (B-L)

**** Marriott Courtyard Pushkin

March 3 St. Petersburg
Friday Tsarskoe Selo

After a late breakfast depart at 10:00 AM for a full day excursion to Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin) and visit the exquisite Catherine Palace. Set in 1,500 acres of beautifully landscaped parklands, the palace with its brilliant azure facade and gold moldings, is the main structure. We’ll see some of the best-known chambers in the restoration work still underway. Then visit the Church of our Savior on Spilled Blood, reopened in 1997 after 27 years of restoration.

In the afternoon return to the hotel to prepare for another entertaining evening at the Mariinsky or other theater. (B-L)

**** Marriott Courtyard Pushkin

March 4 St. Petersburg
Saturday

We begin today’s Museum visits with the Russian Museum with works you’re sure to recognize as similar to ones you saw at Tretyakov, but now you’ll get to have a better look at your favorite styles and artists. Enjoy a light lunch.

In the afternoon we also see the recently opened Faberge Museum. As a farewell treat with dinner, we’ll attend an energizing and colorful performance of Russian Folk dance. (B-L-D)

**** Marriott Courtyard Pushkin

March 5 Depart St. Petersburg
Sunday Helsinki
Arrive New York

We’ll bid a fond farewell to Russia as we transfer to the airport for our 1:05 PM flight AY166. Arrive Helsinki at 1:15 PM and connect with Finnair flight AY005 departing at 2:10 PM to New York arriving at 3:55 PM. We are sure you will have many happy anecdotes to share with relatives and friends. (B)

Note: Flight schedules and order of sightseeing subject to change.

B=Breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner

 

THIS IS NOT THE FULL BROCHURE

We invite you to call Sarah or Gwen at 1-800-762-4216 to request the full brochure. The brochure will include Important Traveler Information (and answers to most questions) and a Reservation Form. We can send the brochure through the Postal Service or as a PDF attachment. If you would like to receive a PDF, probably the best way to keep the message from going into a SPAM filter is to send a message to sarah@serioustraveler.com. If you are already on our mailing list, no need to complete the entire brochure request form.

 

Experience the Highlights of Moscow and St. Petersburg
Including the Medieval Towns of Vladimir, Suzdal and Fedoskino

Treasures of Russia
September 28 - October 10, 2017

13 days based on double occupancy
$4880 from New York, JFK via Finnair including taxes
plus Russia visa processing $296

 

 

Day by Day Itinerary

September 28 Depart New York
Thursday

Please check in at Finnair at New York’s JFK no later than 2:40 PM. Your journey starts today at 5:40 PM aboard Finnair AY006. Dinner and breakfast enroute.

September 29 Connect in Helsinki
Friday Arrive Moscow

Arrive in Helsinki at 8:50 AM this morning and connect with the short flight to Moscow AY153 departing at 9:25 AM and arriving at 11:05 AM. Welcome to Russia! Our guide, Ludmila, will be there to greet us and point out sights enroute to the hotel. The afternoon is free for rest. Welcome dinner at the hotel. After dinner we’ll have an impressive view of Red Square at night. (D)

****Moscow Courtyard City Center

September 30 Moscow
Saturday

This is certainly a day to remember! Begin with breakfast and depart the hotel at 8:45 AM. Today we go inside the Kremlin. Its 64 acres enclose palaces, cathedrals and towers including the splendid Ivan the Great Tower and Belfry. Within the complex are the Grand Kremlin Palace, the Terem Palace, the Palace of Congress and historic Cathedral Square. Ringing the square are the historic Archangel, Annunciation and Assumption Cathedrals. We’ll go inside one of them. The Czar Bell and Czar Cannon make a good photo op. We’ll have a two hour guided tour of the Armory. There you’ll find the exquisite Fabergé Egg Collection and much more. Filled with exquisite icons and paintings, carriages and costumes, this is the most historic of the Kremlin’s monuments.

Then it’s time to relax over a special lunch at a downtown restaurant. In the afternoon view the Romanov Chambers, where according to legend, and maybe it is true, the founder of the Romanov dynasty, Czar Mikhail Romanov was born. It is very colorful and one can feel the atmosphere of medieval Russia there. Although a venerable Moscow institution, the Palace is for some reason not often frequented by foreigners. This is a shame, as it gives an unusually complete glimpse of a world unknown to most Russians, let alone foreign visitors.

Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure. (B-L)

****Moscow Courtyard City Center

October 1 Moscow
Sunday

After breakfast we depart at 8:00 AM for a city tour including the Cathedral of Christ the Savior Cathedral and visit the inside if open.

After lunch, enjoy a guided tour of the superb Tretyakov Gallery with its fine collection of Russian art.

We are invited to a prominent artist’s studio. Tatiana Shihireva and her husband Nikolai Kononchuk recently had their work shown at the exhibition in Moscow. Now they work together - Nikolai makes very artistic carved and painted frames for Tatiana’s batiks. You can see Tatiana’s works at http://www.tbatik.ru/. The website is in Russian only. Tonight you may wish to go to the theater for an optional Bolshoi Performance (schedule available closer to departure). (B-L)

****Moscow Courtyard City Center

October 2 Moscow-Vladimir
Monday Suzdal

After an early breakfast leave for the Golden Ring. The first stop is the city of Vladimir, founded in 1108. From 1157 to the mid 1300s it was the capital of ancient Rus. It boasts three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Golden Gates and the Assumption and St. Demetrius Cathedrals. We’ll also see the lovely glass museum. Continue to Suzdal to visit the Savior Euphemium Monastery. Enjoy dinner followed by a folk show of Vishenka ensemble in Suzdal. Tonight enjoy a lecture and discussion, “Understanding the Russians” by Ambassador Magee (lecture #1). Overnight in Suzdal. (B-D)

****Goriachie Klyuchi-Suzdal

October 3 Suzdal
Tuesday

After breakfast hear “The Art of Russian Lacquer Box Painting” by Ambassador Magee (lecture #2). Then we have a full day in Suzdal. Our tour includes the Kremlin (of Suzdal), the outdoor Wooden Museum of Architecture and the Historic Center with the Monastery and Cathedral. Perhaps we’ll hear a bell concert. This will be a very relaxing and joyful. We will also walk through the Pokrovsky Nunnery. In the afternoon see a suburb of Suzdal - Bogolyubovo Village with the functioning monastery. The rest of the day is at leisure to stroll around Suzdal where the entire town is an exquisite collection of cozy homes featuring wood-carved windows. Dinner and overnight in Suzdal. (B-D)

****Goriachie Klyuchi-Suzdal

October 4 Suzdal-Fedoskino
Wednesday Skazka-Moscow

Following breakfast, return to Moscow with lunch in Skazka en route. But first visit Fedoskino, the most famous of the villages where the black lacquered hand painted paper maché boxes are crafted. We’ll be shown around the factory and see the entire process, including artists at work. Subjects include village and peasant scenes, landscapes and portraits. The characters appear life-like full-bodied and real. See the museum collection and have an opportunity to purchase very high quality pieces (while the dollar is strong)! The top paintings often lack the decorative border, and gold foil highlights the painting. Mother of pearl inlays are a specialty. Fedoskino masters use oil paint rather than tempera. Arrive back in Moscow in time for dinner. (B-L-D)

****Moscow Courtyard City Center

October 5 Moscow
Thursday St. Petersburg

Before leaving Moscow, board the Metro to see the magnificent underground museums. We’ll end at Arbat Street, Moscow’s colorful pedestrian precinct lined with boutiques, art galleries, theaters and cafés.

In the afternoon we board the Sapsan, the Peregrine Falcon (fast train) to St. Petersburg. Overnight at the Marriott Courtyard Pushkin. (B)

**** Marriott Courtyard Pushkin

October 6 St. Petersburg
Friday

In the morning, Ambassador Magee will present, “Glories of the Mariinsky Theater” (Lecture #3). Welcome to St. Petersburg! With its name changed back to St. Petersburg from Leningrad, this relatively young city was conceived and built by Peter the Great only 300 years ago. At every turn you’ll find the city’s grand neoclassical architecture mirrored in a network of canals and rivers. Travel along Nevsky Prospekt, the city’s most elegant boulevard lined with palaces, mansions, and churches, most of which are fine examples of Russian Classical and Baroque styles. The impressive Kazan Cathedral is here.

The richly gilded St. Isaac’s Cathedral, and the famous “Bronze Horseman” statue of Peter the Great are located just off Nevsky Prospekt as are the well known Mariinsky Theater (Kirov) and Maly Theaters. Other landmarks such as the Admiralty Building and the Smolny Convent will be pointed out to you.
After lunch we have the special opportunity to visit the fascinating residence of the U.S. Consul General, which has been the past home of Russian nobles, city officials and even Soviet-era orphans.

Optional Mariinsky performance (tonight or another evening; schedule available in winter). Free time and dinner on your own this evening. (B-L)

**** Marriott Courtyard Pushkin

October 7 St. Petersburg
Saturday Tsarskoe Selo

Begin with “Current U.S. — Russian Relations” (lecture #4) by Ambassador Magee. Following, a full day excursion to Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin) and visit to the exquisite Catherine Palace. Set in 1,500 acres of beautifully landscaped parklands, the palace with its brilliant azure facade and gold moldings, is the main structure. We’ll see some of the best-known chambers in the restoration work still underway.

After lunch visit the Church of our Savior on Spilled Blood, reopened in 1997 after 27 years of restoration. Dinner in St. Petersburg this evening. (B-L-D)

**** Marriott Courtyard Pushkin

October 8 St. Petersburg
Sunday

After breakfast, hear “Russia Today” (lecture #5) by Ambassador Magee. Then we’ll visit the Hermitage Museum. Located in a splendid ensemble of buildings in the Palace Square, the buildings were at one time royal residences and offices of the State. The principal building, the Winter Palace, itself an outstanding example of Russian Baroque, is today part of the Hermitage Museum Complex. Boasting over two million art and history exhibits, all displayed in halls and galleries that are themselves masterpieces, this is most definitely one of the world’s finest museums.

Have a very special visit to the exquisite Usipov Palace with its beautiful recreated interiors. Once a residence of the wealthy and respected Usipov family, it saw one of Russian history’s moments of high drama – the murder of Grigory Rasputin. (B-D)

**** Marriott Courtyard Pushkin

October 9 St. Petersburg
Monday

We’ll make a visit inside the Peter and Paul Fortress that contains the Peter and Paul Cathedral where the Romanov czars lie buried. Then, enjoy a boat ride on the canals of St. Petersburg. Some snacks of Zakuski and drinks are included. It is a covered boat and can run in rainy weather.

Later we have a scheduled visit with Ambassador Magee’s artist friends.

Enjoy a Farewell Dinner tonight with folk show at Tchaikovsky. See the short video of the performance from which the photo in the brochure was taken at http://youtu.be/GmAn-k0PSfQ (B-D)

**** Marriott Courtyard Pushkin

October 10 Depart St. Petersburg
Tuesday Helsinki
Arrive New York

We’ll bid a fond farewell to Russia as we transfer to the airport for our 11:55 AM flight AY166. Arrive Helsinki at 1:10 PM and connect with Finnair flight AY005 departing at 2:10 PM to New York arriving at 3:50 PM. We are sure you will have many happy anecdotes to share with relatives and friends. (B)

Note: Flight schedules and order of sightseeing subject to change.

B=Breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner

 


Post-trip Extension
All The Time You Want
in St. Petersburg
October 10 - 13, 2017


Spend three additional days exploring and enjoying St. Petersburg with our guide and lecturer on hand. Built 300 years ago by Peter the Great as Russia’s Window on the West, St. Petersburg remains today a great cultural center of Eastern Europe. Enjoy her many museums, elegant boulevards and magnificent architecture.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

October 10, 11, 12 St. Petersburg
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Enjoy three full days in St. Petersburg with our guide on hand to offer suggestions and assistance. Charlie will also accompany the group with minimum of six. You might spend additional time at the Hermitage, Fabergé Museum or visit the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory for a bargain or two. Ludmila can also assist with tickets to the ballet or other performances. (B)

**** Marriott Courtyard Pushkin

October 13 Depart St. Petersburg
Friday Helsinki
Arrive New York

We’ll bid a fond farewell to Russia as we transfer to the airport. In Helsinki connect with Finnair flight AY005 to New York arriving at 3:50 PM. (B)

Note: Flight schedules and order of sightseeing subject to change.

 
THIS IS NOT THE FULL BROCHURE

We invite you to call Sarah or Gwen at 1-800-762-4216 to request the full brochure. The brochure will include Important Traveler Information (and answers to most questions) and a Reservation Form. We can send the brochure through the Postal Service or as a PDF attachment. If you would like to receive a PDF, probably the best way to keep the message from going into a SPAM filter is to send a message to sarah@serioustraveler.com. If you are already on our mailing list, no need to complete the entire brochure request form.

 

 

© 2017 Travel Concepts International, Inc. CST 2005743-40

Travel Concepts International, Inc.
Cultural Tours to Better Understand the World and Its People

5500 Bucks Bar Road • Placerville, CA 95667 U.S.A. • Voicemail/Telephone/Fax 1-530-621-3007
Voicemail/Tollfree in U.S.A. 1-800-762-4216
G
wen@SeriousTraveler.com • Web site www.SeriousTraveler.com