15D12N Russia & Murmansk Northern Lights

Moscow and St. Petersburg may be Russia's twin capitals, but each has a distinct spirit of its own. This tour helps you discover both cities by exploring beyond the highlights to hidden local gems. Aurora Borealis is nature’s most dazzling light show that often gets a spot on many a traveller’s bucket list. The Murmansk Region, which is located on the Kola Peninsula, is very popular among Russian tourists who go there to ski, snowboard and visit traditional Sami villages.

Exceptional Experiences:

  • Visit Michelin-star chef Nino Graziano’s first restaurant in Moscow. Semifreddo has a Sicilian-inspired menu and boasts an open kitchen where you can watch Moscow’s best Italian chef at work.

 

  • Watch a Russian ballet performance in the unique Hermitage Theatre - the private theatre of the Czars in the past

 

  • See fantastic winter landscapes accompanied with magnificent views of the Northern Lights on a Northern Lights Hunting Tour

 

  • Travel about 25 km along the glacier valley of Kukisvum to the Kukisvumchorr Path on a Snowmobile Ride

 

  • Go on a husky sled ride and take in the beauty of the winter forest and learn about the daily life and history of the Saami people

 

  • Have a traditional meal in a national cafe and try local dishes such as Lim salmon soup or try local Pacula herbal tea.

 

  • Go reindeer sledging, play traditional Saami games and take pictures in the national clothing of the Saami people.

 

  • Enjoy king crab tasting dinner at a local tundra restaurant.

 

  • Travel to the utmost point of the earth. Feel what the first explorers felt when they got to the edge of the world, where the land disappears and the ocean begins. Be ready to experience a face-to-face meeting with the nature, no people, no crowds will be around.

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Itinerary:

Day 1: Singapore  -  Moscow  (-/-/-)

Departure from Singapore Changi Airport for your flight to Moscow, located on the Moskva River in western Russia, is the nation’s cosmopolitan capital.

 

Day 2: Moscow (-/-/D)

Upon arrival into Moscow, enjoy an airport transfer with private vehicle and driver. For your added comfort, an English-speaking assistant will help you with check-in, as well as walk you through the welcome package documents, your itinerary, and answer your questions. After check-in, spend time at leisure before dinner.

Accommodation: 5* The Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow

Exclusive Amenities, For 2020:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in, subject to availability
  • Guaranteed 4pm late check-out
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

 

Day 3: Moscow (B/L/D)

Set out on a full-day must-see highlights tour of Moscow with a private guide and vehicle. Have your camera ready to capture snapshots of the city’s iconic sights such as the historic Bolshoi Theatre, the former KGB building from where the notorious Soviet enforcement agency once operated, and the Sofia Embankment with the imposing Kremlin looming across the river. No visit to Moscow is complete without a walk in Red Square, the most famous plaza in all of Russia.

Recognized together with the Kremlin as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll stroll this vast cobblestone square, gazing upon the city’s most recognizable landmarks; the colorful onion-shaped domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral, the red walls and towers of the Kremlin (office of the Russian president), the Lenin Mausoleum, the State Historical Museum, and the famous GUM department store. Visit the Kremlin’s Armory, once the royal arsenal in 1508 and now one of the oldest museums in the city of Moscow. If you are interested in visiting the Diamond Fund, please let your guide know. As it is not possible to pre-purchase entrance tickets, a ticket will be purchased for you on-site.

Tonight, visit Michelin-star chef Nino Graziano’s first restaurant in Moscow. Semifreddo has a Sicilian-inspired menu and boasts an open kitchen where you can watch Moscow’s best Italian chef at work.

Accommodation: 5* The Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow

 

Day 4: Moscow  (B/L/D)

Meet your private guide and vehicle and make your way to the Christ the Savior Cathedral, the tallest Orthodox Christian church in the world. A view of its stunning white-and-gold exterior is only trumped by a look inside at its impressively ornate central dome paintings.

Drive to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Novodevichy Convent and walk within the white fortifications of the impressive 15-building complex. Cathedrals, towers, ramparts, and more, Novodevichy is a walk-through Russia’s past, as over the centuries it has become the final resting place of prominent Russian nobles, notable authors, and political figures.

Then, head to trendy Arbat Street, the most famous pedestrian shopping street in the country. Stroll the Arbat with your guide, learning about the great fire of 1812, and of famous artists who once called the neighbourhood home.

Conclude your day with a discovery of the Moscow Metro, a grand relic of the Soviet Union and a source of pride and joy for the city. Each station has a unique decorative motif utilizing mosaics, statues, marble floors and walls, semi-precious stones, and lavish corridors donned with stunning chandeliers.

Have dinner in the city centre followed by an evening performance of traditional Russian folkloric music.

Accommodation: 5* The Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow

 

Day 5: Moscow - St. Petersburg (B/L/D)

Today, you will continue towards Moscow where you will be dropped off at the train station for your Sapsan high-speed train to St. Petersburg. (Approximate travel time is 4 hours.)

Meet your driver and vehicle for a private train station transfer. An English - speaking assistant will be on hand to help you with your connection.

Spend the rest of your day at leisure.

Accommodation: 5* Hotel Astoria, a Rocco Forte hotel

Exclusive Amenities, For 2020:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • $100 USD Equivalent Food & Beverage credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

 

Day 6: St. Petersburg (B/L/D)

After breakfast, set out on a full day highlights tour of St. Petersburg to get acquainted with the main architectural and historical monuments of the city. Drive along the world-famous Nevsky Prospect. See Palace Square, the world’s third-largest square, with the Alexander Column, the Triumphal Arch of the General Staff Building, and the Winter Palace complex, home to the UNESCO-listed Hermitage.

See the candy-coloured domes of the remarkable Church of the Savoir on Spilled Blood and visit St. Isaac’s Cathedral. The fourth-largest cathedral in the world, the 19th century neoclassical St. Isaac’s Cathedral was constructed to host as many as 12,000 worshippers at once, and its enormous skyline-dominating dome was covered in solid gold at the request of Peter the Great. Experience the dazzling cathedral interior, and don’t miss out on a chance to climb the 250 steps to the colonnade of the dome where you’ll have a magical 360-degree view of the city.

You’ll also visit Peter and Paul's Fortress, and the site where Peter the Great first broke ground for the construction of St. Petersburg. The citadel boasts a 400-foot bell tower and became the burial site of many Russian tsars and nobles.  It is the historical nucleus of the city as well as one of the most interesting and beautiful architectural landmarks. St. Peter & Paul Cathedral with its long-gilded spire is the burial place of all Russian emperors from Peter the Great to the last of the Romanovs Nicholas II. Designed to protect newly acquired lands in the mouth of the Neva River, the fortress lost its military significance before it was completed. It was turned into the most dismal political prison of Russia for almost 200 years.

Accommodation: 5* Hotel Astoria, a Rocco Forte hotel

 

Day 7 St. Petersburg (B/L/D)

Today you’ll set out with a private guide and vehicle on a tour of the Hermitage Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site not to miss in St. Petersburg. Spread across four massive buildings, including the renowned Winter Palace, the Hermitage is comprised of nearly 360 rooms in total. View works by Old Masters including Da Vinci (Room 214), Caravaggio (Room 237) and Rembrandt (Room 254), and admire the splendour of the incredible white marble Jordan Staircase, Peter’s Memorial Hall, the Pavilion Hall, and the Military Gallery, featuring hundreds of portraits of generals from the Patriotic War of 1812.

Your guide will help navigate you to any specific areas of interest within the vast collection displayed in the museum. Your visit also includes entrance to the exclusive Gold Rooms and Diamond Room of the Treasure Gallery. Stand awestruck in the Gold Rooms, where you’ll see a vast display of gold from Ancient Greece as well as early Eastern cultures, not to mention the world’s best collection of Scythian gold. Let the Diamond Room dazzle you with a collection of priceless gems from the Romanov family, precious diplomatic gifts received by the Russian State, intricate Faberge creations, and more.

Then, before we wrap for the day, a unique event awaits you in the evening – watch a Russian ballet performance in the unique Hermitage Theatre - the private theatre of the Czars in the past.

Accommodation: 5* Hotel Astoria, a Rocco Forte hotel

 

Day 8 St. Petersburg (B/L/D)

Take a full-day trip to Pushkin, originally named Tsarskoe Selo (Tsar's Village), famous for the marvellous Catherine Palace and park. The town, also known as Pushkin, in honour of the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, was the main summer residence of the royal family. The collection of the palace includes a large number of precious works of art, such as furniture, porcelain, statues, and canvases, including personal belongings of Russian emperors and members of their families. Visit one of the most remarkable interiors of Catherine Palace, the Amber Room. Your private guide will tell the story of the construction of Catherine Palace and about the tragic moments in the palace's history, connected with the Nazi occupation during World War II.

Continue with the summer residences of the Royal family, Peterhof. The world-famous palace, fountain, and park are an outstanding landmark of Russian artistic culture of the 18th-19th centuries.

Accommodation: 5* Hotel Astoria, a Rocco Forte hotel

 

Day 9: St. Petersburg - Murmansk (B/L/D)

Catch a morning flight to Murmansk that will take about 2 hours. Upon arrival to Murmansk, you will be transferred to the hotel for a rest.

Later, visit the Alyosha Monument in honour of the defenders of the Soviet polar region during the Great Patriotic War. You get to rise to the observation platform, opening incredible views of the Murmansk city centre.

Then you continue to visit the Memorial complex dedicated to the tragic events that took place on the Kursk Submarine, followed by the Church of the Savior on Waters and the lighthouse. A definite highlight is a 1-hour guided visit to the famous Lenin Nuclear Icebreaker.

Return to the hotel after lunch for check-in.  Later in the evening, you are in for an overwhelming and unforgettable activity as you are going for Northern Lights hunting.

Tonight, you see fantastic winter landscapes accompanied by magnificent views of the Northern Lights - this is a trip you will remember for years to come! You return to the hotel at about 2 a.m.

Note: Depending on the weather conditions, the Northern Lights hunting tour can be rescheduled for the next day with a higher possibility of witnessing the Aurora Borealis

Accommodation: 4* AZIMUT Hotel Murmansk

 

Day 10 Murmansk  (B/L/-)

Following breakfast, meet your guide and start a tour to the Snow Village. Located at the foot of the Khibiny Mountains, the unique Snow Derevnya Complex boasts a large territory that encompasses a snow labyrinth, beautiful snow and ice sculptures, as well as a visitor's centre and a gift shop. You have about two hours to explore the village on your own.

As a highlight of the day you are invited to go on a Snowmobile tour. In about 1.5 hours you travel about 25 km along the glacier valley of Kukisvum to the Kukisvumchorr Path that connects the South and North parts of Khibiny.  The tour ends at the Serdtsevidnoye Lake, from where one can get a good view onto the Kuniyok River valley.

On your way back you do a speed circle on the thick ice of Maly Vudyavr lake. After lunch in a local restaurant, you are transferred back to Murmansk by car and have the rest of the day at leisure.

Accommodation: 4* AZIMUT Hotel Murmansk

 

Day 11: Murmansk  (B/L/D)

After breakfast, transfer to the exciting Husky Park. Here you get to meet the beautiful blue-eyed dogs and learn more about the breed. Then enjoy the beauty of winter nature behind a bunch of wagging tails during an exciting Husky dog ride. Your dog sledging distance is of about 5 km, so sit back and take in the beauty of the winter forest. In the afternoon you are taken to the territory of the Saami settlement to meet the locals.

During the tour, you get to learn about the daily life and history of the Saami people and visit the enchanted alleys idols of four elements - fire, earth, water, air and five magical icons of love, happiness, luck, fate and health.

Have a traditional meal in a national cafe and try local dishes such as Lim salmon soup or try local Pacula herbal tea. Get familiarized with the Saami reindeer, husky, foxes and rabbits and even get a chance to feed deer. Then go reindeer sledging, play traditional Saami games and take pictures in the national clothing of the Saami people.

After the tour, enjoy king crab tasting dinner at a local tundra restaurant.

Accommodation: 4* AZIMUT Hotel Murmansk

 

Day 12 Murmansk

Today, you will travel to the utmost point of the earth. This destination is a unique place indeed – vast arctic landscapes, long lines of coastal cliffs, far-stretching waters of the ocean, endless tundra, and screaming migratory birds in summer. It feels like a different world. No picture can render the emotions you experience here.

An off-roader will take you to Teriberka village, going past smooth arctic tundra — bright in summer and snow-covered in winter. Be ready to experience a face-to-face meeting with nature, no people, no crowds will be around. Once you get there, you will go on a hike or sledge behind snowmobile across the rocky coast, and sandy beaches with a magnificent view of coves, cliffs, waterfalls, and emerald green waves breaking on the shore.

Make a stop at The Graveyard of ships for a quick photo stop.

Then, move out into the Arctic Ocean for a once in a lifetime experience. Feel what the first explorers felt when they got to the edge of the world, where the land disappears and the ocean begins. Be ready to experience a face-to-face meeting with nature, no people, no crowds will be around. Your personal guide-geographer will accompany you on your way. He will show you the safest trails and tell you lots of stories about the area, fish and oil resources, animal life, northern nature, and severe climate. When listening to the historical stories you will be able to visualize icebreakers, international Arctic expedition vessels, the Arctic convoys and navy battles of World War II.

Accommodation: 4* AZIMUT Hotel Murmansk

 

Day 13  Murmansk - Moscow (B)

Depart for Moscow in the morning. Meet your driver and vehicle for a private airport transfer. An English-speaking assistant will be on hand to help you with your hotel and the rest of the day will be free, at your leisure.

Accommodation: 5* The Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow

Exclusive Amenities, For 2020:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in, subject to availability
  • Guaranteed 4pm late check-out
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

 

Day 14 Moscow - Singapore (B)

Check out from your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight back home. We hope you've enjoyed your trip to Russia and return home with lifelong memories and unforgettable impressions. We wish you a safe flight and hope to work on your future trips!

 

Day 15 Singapore 

Arrival in Singapore. Home sweet home.

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Please note: This itinerary is designed to give you an idea of what to expect on the tour but is not set in stone. What we actually do on a given day is flexible and can be tailored based on the interests of the group.


This itinerary and its package inclusions might be changed later in time, subject to availability.

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