Three-Night Moscow Post-Tour
August 2-5, 2008
Day 1 Sat, Aug 2 Arrive Moscow
Day 2 Sun, Aug 3 Moscow
Day 3 Mon, Aug 4 Moscow
Day 4 Tue, Aug 5 Depart Moscow
Day 1, Sat, Aug 2 Arrive Moscow Dinner
Upon arrival in Moscow, we are met and transferred to a centrally located hotel. Time to rest before dinner at a local restaurant. Walking tour of Red Square after dinner for an opportunity to experience it at night.
Overnight: Hotel Metropol or similar (3 nights)
Located in the heart of Moscow, the Hotel Metropol offers five-star luxury in a historic setting. The hotel is situated across from the famous Bolshoi Theater and a short walk from Red Square and the Moscow Kremlin. Services include a health club, pool, sauna, three restaurants, a café and a bar.
Day 2, Sun, Aug 3 Moscow B/L
Today we begin getting acquainted with the Russian capital. Founded in 1147 by Yuri Dolgoruky (literally “Yuri of the Long Arms”), Moscow rose to prominence during Mongol domination and eventually became the Russian capital. Eclipsed for 200 years by St. Petersburg, Moscow was restored as the Russian political center after the October Revolution in 1917, and celebrated its 850th anniversary in 1997.
The city has a population of 8.8 million (greater Moscow is estimated to be closer to 14 million) and covers 340 square miles (880 sq. km). For most of the 20th century, Moscow was not only the capital of Russia, but the center of world communism, as well as the political and economic center of all the Soviet Republics.
The appearance of the city center is a result of the massive reconstruction instituted by Stalin in the 1930s, calling for the demolition of much of Moscow’s historic heart. Replacements were monumental stone government buildings that included seven “Stalin Gothic” (or wedding cake) buildings that dominate the Moscow skyline. Many other classic buildings were slowly allowed to deteriorate during Soviet rule, but fortunately were not demolished.
The Soviet flag flew for the last time on 25 December 1991, and since then Moscow has been transformed. Beautiful pre-Revolutionary buildings that had been allowed to fall into disrepair under the Soviet system are being lovingly restored to their former glory.
We begin this morning with a tour of Tretyakov Gallery. The Tretyakov was founded by 19th century Russian merchant, Pavel Tretyakov, who spent 40 years and much of his fortune collecting and preserving works of Russian art. The history and trajectory of Russian art is displayed here, encompassing pieces from the 11th century to the present, and including mosaics, icons, paintings and sculptures by such artists as Rublev, Repin, and Levitan. The collection is rarely seen outside of Russia.
We have a chance to stroll on pedestrian Old Arbat Street, one of the oldest in the city, where we also have lunch.
In the afternoon we visit Lev Tolstoy House Museum. Founded in 1911 in a beautiful early 19th century building, the museum's collection includes Tolstoy's manuscripts, photographs, portraits, memorabilia and an invaluable book depository, including the author's works translated into many of the world's languages. The museum arranges excursions and lectures and conducts extensive research.
Returning to hotel late afternoon, the evening is free and dinner is independent.
Day 3, Mon, Aug 4 Moscow B/D
Today continue exploring Moscow with a visit to Kremlin and Armory Museum. The Moscow Kremlin reminds modern-day Russia of its medieval past. Built on the site of Prince Yuri's hunting lodge, the Kremlin overlooks the Moskva and Neglina rivers. In the mid-14th century, the Russian princes, ruling from the Kremlin, became so powerful that Moscow was named the center of the Russian Orthodox Church. Under the guidance of Ivan the Great, Moscow extended its influence and soon became the seat of Russian political power.
Today, the Kremlin remains the center of Moscow and Russian politics. Inside the fortress walls are palaces, cathedrals, government buildings and the Armory Museum. Built in the 16th century as a warehouse for the Kremlin's weaponry, the Armory was transformed into an exhibition hall and museum in 1814. It now houses Russia's national treasures, such as religious icons, Fabergé eggs, a bejeweled chalice belonging to Prince Yuri, and Catherine the Great's ball gowns and shoes.
Following break for independent lunch, in the afternoon enjoy a tour of Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery. Novodevichy Convent was founded in the 16th century, and was the convent of choice for noble women forced to take the veil, such as Peter the Great’s first wife and Boris Godunov’s sister. The compound contains a spectacularly beautiful church - Smolensk Cathedral - with icons from the time of Boris Godunov, as well as exhibits featuring paintings, woodwork, metalwork, embroidery, illuminated books, and jewels. Strangely enough, the main attraction of the convent is its cemetery. Such luminaries as Gogol, Chekhov, Scriabin, Mayakovsky, Stanislavsky, Prokofiev, Eisenstein, Khrushchev, Raisa Gorbachev and Boris Yelstin are buried here, and some of the graves are quite fanciful.
Returning to hotel late afternoon, we have time to rest before gathering this evening for a festive Farewell Dinner to mark the successful completion of our journey.
Day 4 Tue, Aug 5 Depart Moscow B
Following breakfast at the hotel, the tour concludes with transfers to the airport for international departures.
Land Tour Package Inclusions
Net Land Package Price Per Person
$2,225 Double occupancy, based on 6-7 paying passengers
$2,125 Double occupancy, based on 8-11 paying passengers
$2,025 Double occupancy, based on 12-19 paying passengers
$1,925 Double occupancy, based on 20-29 paying passengers
$1,845 Double occupancy, based on 30 or more paying passengers
Single room supplement: $695.
Price Does Not Include
International airfare between the U.S. and the start and ending cities; air taxes or fuel surcharges; pre- or post-tour services; visa or passport fees; medical and trip interruption insurance; evacuation costs; food or beverages not included in group meals; items of a personal nature such as laundry, alcohol, telephone expense, excess baggage fees, photo/video expenses inside museums (where allowed); other items not expressly listed as included.