14Days 11Nights Russia Christmas Lights & Polar Nights

Take in the beautiful city of St Petersburg, graced by festive decorations and nature's own wintry adornments, before exploring deep into the Russian Lapland and Norwegian Lapland, both located north of the Arctic Circle in pursuit of the awe-inspiring Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) at Kirkenes Snowhotel and return to the magnificent capital of Moscow.

Exceptional Experience

 

  • Champagne Drink Reception and Exclusive welcome dinner
    A great opportunity to meet your fellow travelers. Specially selected international wines are included in dinner, as with all meals during the tour.

 

  • Cityscapes
    Explore the cultural centre of Russia, St Petersburg, made famous by the Hermitage Museum and Moscow, the magnificent capital with its eclectic mix of architecture.

 

  • Luxury Train Voyages
    Embark on the trip of your lifetime through Russia and the Artic Circle on your quest to see the Northern Lights. An exceptional opportunity waits as you celebrate New Year’s Eve on board our signature Gala Caviar Dinner in the beautifully designed restaurant car.

 

  • Nature's Winter Magic
    Be amazed by nature’s very own light show, the Aurora Borealis. On clear winter nights, the lights blaze across the silent sky in vibrant shades and colours. A truly memorable experience for anyone.

 

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Itinerary:

 

Day 1: SINGAPORE - ST. PETERSBURG  (-/-/-)

Departure from Singapore Changi Airport for your flight to St. Petersburg, Russia - the most beautiful city in Russia.

 

Day 2:  ST. PETERSBURG   (-/-/D)

Upon arrival into St Petersburg and transfer to the luxurious Grand Hotel Europe (or similar) for a two-night stay. This evening you are invited to a champagne drinks reception with the opportunity to meet your fellow travellers before our exclusive welcome dinner. Specially selected international wines are included with dinner, as with all meals during the tour.

At the start of your adventure why not extend your stay in St Petersburg with pre-tour nights to explore more of the city at your leisure and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the Christmas markets or go ice skating on one of the outdoor rinks in the central squares?

 

Day 3: ST. PETERSBURG - Sightseeing of Catherine Palace & Hermitage   (B/-/-)

St Petersburg is a stunning city, crowded with splendid palaces, impressive historical monuments, wide boulevards, beautiful bridges and is renowned as the Ballet Capital of the World. St Petersburg is beautifully decorated in preparation for Rozhdestvo (Russian Christmas) which is celebrated on the 7th January. Today we have a guided tour of Catherine’s Palace in Pushkin and the Hermitage Museum, the former Winter Palace of the Tsars which houses the royal art collection of over three million works. It is one of the world’s largest and most impressive art museums. Make your evening in St Petersburg extra special by purchasing a ticket for a ballet or opera performance at one of the world-renowned St Petersburg theaters (subject to schedule and availability and pre-booked at least six weeks prior to departure).

 

Day 4: ST. PETERSBURG (New Year's Eve) Gala Caviar Dinner   (B/-/D)

Today there is a tour of St Petersburg featuring the key sights including St Isaac’s Cathedral and Nevsky Prospect. This afternoon we transfer to the station to board Russia’s premier luxury train, and settle into our modern, stylish cabins to embark upon our rail adventure to the Arctic Circle. We have a unique opportunity to celebrate New Year’s Eve on board at our signature Gala Caviar Dinner in the beautifully designed restaurant car, specially decorated tonight for our New Year’s Eve Party. Enjoy complimentary champagne, international wines and live musical entertainment for a New Year’s Eve you won’t forget.

 

Day 5: CROSSING THE ARCTIC CIRCLE (New Year's Day) (B/L/Afternoon Tea/D)

Today we have the opportunity to have a relaxed start to New Year's Day with a sumptuous breakfast and to unwind after our evening of celebration. We can reflect on the many sights we are about to experience on our rail journey, maybe listen to a talk or simply relax and enjoy the ever-changing winter landscape outside our window. Our guest astronomer will host an afternoon tea with freshly baked Russian cakes and talk about the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) in our stylish Bar Lounge car. Today our train crosses the Arctic Circle on our quest to see the Northern Lights.

 

Day 6: KIRKENES & NORTHERN LIGHTS (B/L/D)

This morning we leave our train with an overnight bag at the Russian border station of Nikel and we transfer by bus (90 minutes drive) across the Russian/Norwegian border to Kirkenes for a two night stay at the Thon Hotel (or similar). We will visit the magical Snow Hotel just 15 km outside Kirkenes. We’ll have a welcome drink in the snow bar and a tour of the Snow Hotel with its ice sculptures and snow painting by local and international artists. After a traditional meal including a reindeer hot dog in the snow hotel’s warm lodge restaurant we’ll take an evening bus tour in search of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). If the sky is clear our guest astronomer will be on hand to advise us during star-gazing and will bring the night sky to life with his extensive knowledge.

Optional Activities in Kirkenes: You may like to book some additional optional activities such as a Snowmobile Safari (2 hours), Snow Shoe Walking Tour (2 hours), take a magical excursion by husky dog sledge (2 hours) or go in search of the Northern Lights by husky dog sledge (4 hours). Each sledge is pulled by a team of eight dogs, and can seat two people and a driver called a dog musher. These activities have limited places and should be requested at the time of booking the tour - please contact us for prices.

 

Day 7: KIRKENES SNOWHOTEL & NORTHERN LIGHTS  (B/L/D)

This morning a unique winter experience awaits on our King Crab Fishing adventure. The excursion begins with a snowmobile-drawn sleigh across the frozen fjords. Warm clothing and a helmet is provided. Through a hole in the ice you will be shown by your master guide how to catch the magnificent Arctic King Crab (which can span two metres and weigh upto 15kgs). We then continue by sleigh to the nearby Fisherman's Lodge. It is here by a cosy log fire that your King Crab meal awaits. The crabs you catch will be prepared and cooked for you here. This afternoon we return to the Snow Hotel to see the resident reindeers and visit the biggest husky dog farm in eastern Finnmark or return to Kirkenes Village for a walking tour.

For a really memorable experience why not choose the ‘coolest’ hotel check-in around and stay overnight at the Snow Hotel? Upgrades to the snow hotel are limited so book early to avoid disappointment. The snow hotel stays at a constant minus five degrees centigrade and thermal sleeping bags are provided. Showers, toilets and a Scandinavian sauna are provided in a building next to the snow hotel.

 

Day 8: ARCTIC CIRCLE & NORTHERN LIGHTS  (B/L/Afternoon Tea/D)

Today we cross the border back into Russia and re-join our train which is waiting for us in Nikel. We’ll spend the afternoon on board travelling through arctic Russia. Relax and enjoy the ever-changing winter landscape outside your window, chat to fellow passengers or listen to a lecture by our guest astronomer. Afternoon tea with freshly baked Russian cookies will be served in our stylish bar car.

 

Day 9: MURMANSK & NORTHERN LIGHTS (B/L/D)

We will continue to Murmansk, a city halfway between Moscow and the North Pole, and 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle. As the main city of the Kola Peninsula, it started as a tiny settlement and Arctic trading post. In 1916, under pressure from the British to establish a support port, Murmansk was founded. Thanks to the influence of the Gulf Stream, the port is ice-free year-round. Homeport of Russia’s nuclear-powered icebreakers we’ll visit the Nuclear Icebreaker Museum Ship

 

Day 10: PETROZAVODSK (Russian Christmas Eve)  (B/-/D)

Petrozavodsk stretches along the western shore of Lake Onega - the second largest lake in Europe. It is one of the major cultural and industrial centres of the North-West of Russia and is the capital of the Republic of Karelia. We take a city tour and then celebrate Sochelnik (Russian Christmas Eve) with a Karelian Folk Performance and continue our festivities with a traditional Russian Christmas Eve meal, known as the Holy Supper. As always a generous allowance of international wine and drinks are included with our dinner as we celebrate together.

 

Day 11: VLADIMIR & SUZDAL (Russian Christmas Day)  (B/-/-)

The historic city of Vladimir was founded in 990 and is one of Russia’s oldest communities. With an architectural wealth, it has been decreed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What better place to spend Rozhdestvo (Russian Christmas), celebrated today? Our tour takes in Uspensky Cathedral, built between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. It is considered one of the most important and beautiful of Russian cathedrals, where many of the prominent Russian Tsars were crowned. From Vladimir we travel to Suzdal, one of Russia’s most perfectly preserved walled cities dating back to 1024, located 35 kilometres from Vladimir. Here we visit the atmospheric St Euthymius Monastery to witness an enchanting choral performance by the resident monks. No Russian winter experience would be complete without the horse-drawn sleigh ride through this stunning location.

 

Day 12: MOSCOW, Red Square & Moscow Metro (B/-/-)

This morning we arrive at Moscow Kazansky station. Included in our time spent in Moscow is one night at the five-star Ritz-Carlton. Superbly located in Moscow city centre, and within easy walking distance of Red Square, the Kremlin and the Bolshoi Theatre, this historic hotel offers spacious and luxurious accommodation. The O2 Lounge, a stylish rooftop terrace, features panoramic views over the Red Square and the Kremlin. The spacious ESPA spa centre includes a hot tub, indoor pool, and 14 treatment rooms. Crystal lighting, candles and beautiful facilities create the perfect atmosphere, and a wide variety of spa treatments, as well as the sauna, are available. There is also a fitness centre, and a beauty salon.

We visit the Red Square, an iconic symbol of Russia’s former military and political might with its eclectic mix of fascinating architecture, such as the ornate St Basil’s Cathedral’s magnificent onion-domed spires, the beautiful façade of the world famous GUM Department store constructed in Tsarist times, and the sombre and evocative site of Lenin’s tomb. We’ll also take a tour of the opulent and unique stations of the Moscow metro - showpieces of Socialist art furnished with statues, frescoes and mosaics, unsurpassed anywhere in the world.

 

Day 13: DEPARTURE FROM MOSCOW (B/-/-)

Our touring programme this morning takes us to the grandeur of the Kremlin - the spiritual, historical and political heart of Moscow. We will enjoy an exclusive private viewing before it opens to the public. We’ll also see the treasures of the Tsars in the Armoury Chamber. A return to the Moscow Aurora late morning brings the tour to a close and airport transfers are provided for your departure flight back home.

 

Day 14: ARRIVAL SINGAPORE 

 

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Package Includes:

  • Proposed Flights on Finnair
    • SINGAPORE/HELSINKI                AY132     23:25/06:15
    • HELSINKI/ST. PETERSBURG     AY701     07:55/08:55
    • MOSCOW/HELSINKI                    AY714     20:30/22:15
    • HELSINKI/SINGAPORE               AY131     23:55/16:30
  • Return airport transfers
  • 2 nights' accommodation in St Petersburg at the Grand Hotel Europe or similar
  • 6 nights' accommodation onboard the Luxury Train - Silver Cabin
  • 2 nights' accommodation in Kirkenes (North Norway) at the Thon Hotel Kirkenes or similar
  • 1 night's accommodation in Moscow at the Hotel Ritz Carlton or similar
  • Guided off-train excursions
  • Full-board throughout the itinerary
  • Drinks with meals (including specially selected international wines)
  • All gratuities
  • Experienced English speaking tour manager
  • Onboard Doctor
  • Onboard Guest Astronomer
  • Robes, slippers and toiletries in-cabin
  • Porterage throughout
  • Siberian felt boots, hat and scarf to keep
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • ATOL protection

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