Goodbye USSR - 9 days

FROM USD $1,999

Join us in 2011 on our Goodbye USSR special interest tour to mark the 20th anniversary of the two major events in Russian history that changed the world. Perestroika and the August coup d'etat which led to the dramatic breakup of the USSR in December 1991. Mark this moment in time as well as taking in all the sites of St Petersburg, Novgorod and Moscow.

Welcome to Russia and the start of your holiday! Meet and greet arrival transfer from St Petersburg Pulkovo Airport to your hotel and check in. Tonight, our Welcome Meeting takes place. The remainder of the evening is free for you to do as you please. Your tour leader will recommend some local bars and restaurants for you to try out. Overnight - St petersburg
A city tour gives us a run-down of St Pete’s key areas. We will drive along the famed Nevsky Prospekt, the museum and university districts and a stop will be made at the Church on Spilled Blood (viewed from outside from the Nevsky prospect side for photo opportunities), The Bronze Horseman and Peter and Paul Fortress. Peter and Paul Fortress was built on the orders of Peter the Great. At one time a gruesome prison, within the compound is SS Peter and Paul Cathedral - housing the tombs of the Romanov monarchs. Later, we enjoy a guided visit at the Hermitage - which houses one of the biggest and best art collections on earth.

The rest of the day is free for you to further explore. Most of the city sights are dotted along and just off the main thoroughfare - Nevsky Prospekt. It’s an easy city to find your bearings and get around. St Petersburg has a spirited restaurant, bar and jazz club scene, plus some of Russia’s best beers. Alternatively watch an ever energetic Cossacks performance or enjoy a night at the ballet - the Russian ballet never fails to impress. Overnight - St Petersburg (B)
Goodbye USSR - 9 days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
A lavish golden room in the Winter Palace in St Petersburg
A free day to explore on your own, alternatively fill your day with sightseeing by purchasing our pukka pass. Touring will include, dependent upon opening hours and availability, either a visit to the gardens of Peter the Great’s palatial Peterhof which overlooks the Gulf of Finland (in summer) or a visit to Catherine Palace at Tsarskoe Selo in winter (or Pavlosk Palace if Catherine Palace is closed). We then stop for lunch at Tinkoff Beer Restaurant where we can enjoy a hearty meal, some beer tasting and a tour of the Tinkoff brewery. After lunch we continue with a guided tour of the interior of The Church on Spilled Blood with time to shop in the souvenir market located alongside the church. Overnight - St Petersburg (B)
Day 4: Museum of Political History
St Petersburg – Novgorod. This morning we take a special guided tour of the acclaimed Museum of Political History in St Petersburg. The building itself has a fascinating history; seized by the Bolsheviks in 1917, it became their headquarters and the centre of revolutionary activity. The museum reveals much of the secret history of the Soviet Union and provides a great insight into the tumultuous last century. Spend the rest of the day at leisure before we later travel by coach or train to Novgorod where we enjoy a steamy banya. Overnight - Novgorod (B)
A river view of Moscow Kremlin
Day 5: Novgorod
Novgorod – Moscow. Novgorod is one of Russia’s oldest cities, located within reach of the Volkhov River and Lake Ilmen. It was formed as a town in the middle of the 10th century. A tour of Novgorod takes in the riverside fortified kremlin, cathedral and other sights. The fortress was mentioned in chronicles as early as in 1044, whilst today’s walls and towers, despite being re-built in 15th century, are impressive all the same. Tonight we have dinner before travelling by overnight sleeper train from Novgorod to Moscow. Overnight - Sleeper train to Moscow (B, D)
Day 6: Moscow
Moscow. Early this morning, we arrive into Moscow - the capital that spawned dozens of spy novels! Today we will ride on the capital’s efficient Metro to Red Square. From here, we’ll take in the jewels of Russia’s capital on a guided walk in the Kitay-Gorod and Lubyanka area, taking in sights such as the epitome of Russian power – the Kremlin (guided tour on day 7), Lenin’s Mausoleum and the ritzy GUM department store.

At the south end of the square, feast your eyes on the wildly coloured, turban domed St Basil’s Cathedral, an enduring Russian symbol commissioned by Ivan IV (also known as Ivan the terrible) in 1555. Overnight - Moscow (B)
St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow's Red Square - brightly illuminated at night
A free morning to explore Moscow. There are plenty of galleries, museums and shops to entertain. This afternoon we head into Red Square and enjoy a guided walk around the grounds of the mighty Kremlin, Russia's bastion of political might. Perhaps hit one of the late night bars or nightclubs this evening; Moscow’s nightlife can rival any of the world’s capital cities! Overnight - Moscow (B)
Day 8: White House and Sculpture Park
This morning we stop outside of the Russian White House and learn about how it played such a pivotal role in the climax of the perestroika movement and the August coup. We then continue on to the Sculpture Park - formerly called the Park of the Fallen Heroes, it started as a collection of Soviet leaders statues (including Stalin and Lenin) which were ripped from their pedestals after the events of 1991, in a wave of anti-Soviet feeling. The park now also contains contemporary work, including a bust of Stalin surrounded by heads representing the victims he purged. Later today we offer the optional Inside a Soviet Bunker bolt-on Overnight - Moscow (B)
Three on the go passengers brave the cold of Russia with the help of some fluffy Ushanka hats
Day 9: Moscow
Sunday. Our tour ends after breakfast and hotel check out at 12 noon. (B)
Tour Details
  • Starts in: St Petersburg / Ends in: Moscow
  • Departs: Saturday 03 Dec 2011
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:8, Lunch: 0, Dinner: 1
  • Hotel Rating: 3 star
  • Tour Guide: 0