Delve into an incredible wealth of culture, history and art on this comprehensive 17-day tour. The tour begins by exploring Russia’s medieval heart – Vladimir, Suzdal and Sergiev Posad – in the Golden Ring, before travelling to its modern capitals, Moscow and St Petersburg. The remarkable history of these cities, immortalised in iconic landmarks such as the Kremlin, is equalled by their extraordinary collections of art, at the Hermitage and the Tretyakov Gallery, and leading cultural institutions, such as the Bolshoi. The tour is rounded out with a day trip to Catherine the Great’s palaces and select performances.
Evocative Red Square and the treasures of the State Armoury in Moscow
Explore the Kremlin, seat of the tsars, headquarters of the USSR and residence of Vladimir Putin
Russian Masterpieces at the Tretyakov Gallery
Visits to St Petersburg’s cultural highlights, including the Hermitage and Faberge Museums, Yusupov Palace and the Church of the Spilled Blood
Wander through the magnificent palaces of Catherine the Great
Historic Suzdal, with its wooden architecture and churches of the Golden Ring
Day 1: Arrive into Moscow Domodedovo Airport.
Days 2–4: Travel to Sergiev Posad and visit the Trinity Monastery of St Sergius. Continue to the charming Golden Ring town of Suzdal for three nights; visit historic Vladimir.
Days 5–10: Explore Moscow, from revolutionary history at Red Square, to the churches and museums of the Kremlin, the Tretyakov Gallery, and legendary Bolshoi Theatre.
Day 11: Travel by fast train to St Petersburg.
Days 12–17: Marvel at St Petersburg’s extraordinary landmarks, galleries, churches, palaces and museums, including a day trip to Catherine’s palaces at Pushkin.
Start & Finish
The tour begins at the Airhotel Domodedovo Airport, Moscow, and ends at our hotel in St Petersburg. Emirates and Qatar Airways offer direct flights into Moscow and out of St Petersburg from most Australian cities. Contact us for quotes and bookings.
A detailed itinerary for this tour will be available in the coming months. To receive a copy of the published itinerary once available, please register your interest below and we will be sure to email you a copy. If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 02 9235 0023.
Son of refugees from the former Soviet Union, he works as a journalist and lived in Moscow for seven years.
Geoff Winestock grew up on the North Shore of Sydney but his interest in Russia and the Russian language started with his family who arrived as refugees from the former Soviet Union after the war.
He took an Honours degree in French Literature and then worked as a journalist, but in 1992 when the Cold War ended and it suddenly became possible to return to his parents’ homeland, he moved to newly independent Russia. He lived in Moscow for the next seven years, the period of unstable rule under President Boris Yeltsin. In that time, he helped found Moscow’s first daily English language newspaper, The Moscow Times, which survives to this day. He has a graduate diploma in Economics and his special interest was the transition from communism to Russia’s Wild East version of capitalism, involving the privatization of huge Soviet factories and the hyperinflation and government defaults that destroyed many middle class people’s savings. He covered the rise of the oligarchs who now wield power, meeting many of them personally. For his final two years in Russia, he was the editor-in-chief of The Moscow Times.
He left with his young family in 1999 to work in the Brussels bureau of the Wall Street Journal where he covered the European Union for four years. Since returning to Australia he has worked for newspapers as a reporter, editor and columnist.
Russian history has always been part of his identity, from the darkness of Stalin’s Terror to the literature that still holds a unique place in western civilization to the gracious, fascinating alleys of Moscow’s inner ring where he loves to wander.
In order to avoid unnecessary transfers and allow for individual exploration, we select comfortable, centrally-located hotels wherever possible. Where possible, most of the hotels we use are 4-star. We prefer smaller hotels if available, and we are constantly researching and reviewing our choices.
What is included in the tour price?
Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:
Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate public transport is also used for short distance travel on some tours
All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
Services of tour leader throughout tour
All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
Local guides at some sites
Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.
What is not included in the tour price?
Open-age tours do not include the following:
Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required
Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.
If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:
More than 60 days before departure: $500*
60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due
*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.
Unused Portions of the tour
We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.
Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.
Passport and Visa
A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.
Will the tour price change?
If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.
Will the itinerary change?
Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.
Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.
Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller.