Winston Churchill once incisively described Russia as “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”.
Of course, the answer to the perennial riddle that is Russia remains tantalisingly elusive, but on our latest Traveller Tour, we have gathered a team of expert guests who will do their best to help unwrap at least some of this fascinating country’s mysteries.
Indeed, the ethos of Traveller Tours is to create unique itineraries for our readers to a diverse range of destinations around the globe that draw directly on our own expertise and experience. You won’t find a tour quite of this calibre anywhere but right here.
We’re pleased to announce that our latest tour is led by Deborah Snow, a Walkley Award winning investigative reporter and author from The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age and, notably, a former Moscow correspondent for the ABC.
For Deborah herself, the tour will be a true journey of rediscovery as she retraces her time in Russia when she covered some of the most definitive and tumultuous moments in the post Soviet Union-era of this complex yet captivating nation.
To complement Deborah in her own unravelling of the Russia riddle on this magical 13-day river cruise between St Petersburg and Moscow, in partnership with the respected Viking Cruises, will be three other Russia-based experts, one of whom includes a former cosmonaut.
I invite you to join Traveller on this insights rich journey with a formidable group of experts who will provide an unrivalled experience of Russia’s past, present and future.
Anthony Dennis, Editor, Traveller
DAY 1 SEPTEMBER 3
Arrive in St Petersburg and transfer to your ship. Relax and enjoy some free time before dinner. MEAL DINNER SHIP VIKING INGVAR
DAY 2 SEPTEMBER 4
Today, in the company of former Russia correspondent, Deborah Snow, take a tour of Catherine Palace before lunch at Restaurant Podvorie, which is renowned for its authentic Russian cuisine. This afternoon, enjoy a tour of the city including a visit to the Peter and Paul fortress, now home to the State Museum of the History of St Petersburg. Tonight, see an exclusive ballet performance at the famous Mariinsky Theatre. B L D
DAY 3 SEPTEMBER 5
Today in the company of Deborah, enjoy a full-day tour of the Hermitage Museum, the second-largest art museum in the world. Your visit includes privileged access to some of its secure vaults, which are kept offsite, and you will be guided by one of the Hermitage’s expert historians. Lunch is at Restaurant Metropol. B L D
DAY 4 SEPTEMBER 6
View some of Russia’s most renowned cultural treasures, the Fabergé eggs, on a visit to the Fontanka Embankment and Shuvalov Palace, home of the Fabergé Museum. Lunch and dinner are served on board as you depart St Petersburg early this evening. Join Deborah for a talk and Q&A where she will introduce you to the history, society and politics of Russian culture. B L D
DAY 5 SEPTEMBER 7
Relax on board as you travel the Neva River, cross Europe’s largest lake, Lake Ladoga, and enter the Svir River. You’ll have time to explore the museum village of Mandrogy which has a vodka museum and shop for Russian handicrafts. You also have the option to visit a banya, a traditional Russian bath house, or take part in a workshop on the art of making matryoshka, Russian nesting dolls, on board your ship. Continue along the Svir’s 225-kilometre Blue Route towards Lake Onega. B L D
DAY 6 SEPTEMBER 8
During breakfast, dock at Kizhi Island on Lake Onega and enjoy a walking tour through the heritage-listed Open-Air Museum of Architecture. The museum houses two remarkable churches, built in the 1700s, which appear silver in bright sunshine but are constructed entirely from timber, and without a single nail. Depart Kizhi in the late morning.
DAY 7 SEPTEMBER 9
Cruise along the Volga–Baltic waterway and arrive in Kuzino. Take a guided walk through the historic Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, founded by Saint Cyril in 1397. See the Assumption Cathedral and local museum. You can also choose to visit a children’s school or the local Merchant House. B L D
DAY 8 SEPTEMBER 10
Arrive mid-afternoon in Yaroslavl, one of Russia’s Golden Ring cities. Meet your expert, historian and philosophy professor Valeriy Tomashov, and tour the ancient town. During your free time, you might like to visit the Church of St. Elijah the Prophet which features detailed frescoes and icons. B L D
DAY 9 SEPTEMBER 11
Go on a walking tour through the village of Uglich with your expert, local author and museum director Viktor Erokhin. See the former Kremlin of Uglich and visit the Church of St. Dmitry on the Blood, built on the site where Ivan the Terrible’s son, Dmitry, died in mysterious circumstances. Then meet a local family who will welcome you into their home for tea. B L D
DAY 10 SEPTEMBER 12
Arrive in Moscow at lunch time. Enjoy a half-day city tour and see the famed Bolshoi Theatre. Stop at Red Square to take in the brightly-coloured domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral. You can also explore Moscow’s famous GUM Department Store and experience the city’s Metro. Enjoy an evening performance of traditional Russian folkloric music. Deborah will host an in-depth talk and Q&A about her time as Russia correspondent during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. B L D
DAY 11 SEPTEMBER 13
In the company of Deborah, learn about the history of space exploration with a visit to Museum of Cosmonautics. Exclusive to Traveller Tours, you’ll have the opportunity to meet Aleksandr Laveykin, a retired Soviet cosmonaut. He will share his insights and experiences of space travel. Later, on a night tour of Moscow, see the city’s most famous monuments, including St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin, illuminated by lights. Afterwards, enjoy drinks and canapés on the rooftop of The St. Regis hotel with spectacular views over Red Square, another exclusive Traveller Tours experience. B L D
DAY 12 SEPTEMBER 14
Go behind the walls of the Kremlin and see historic gems such as the Tsar’s Cannon and Tsar’s Bell. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure. You can join an optional tour of Moscow’s oldest museum or the Kremlin Armory, or visit Red Square or Lenin’s Tomb. B L D
DAY 13 SEPTEMBER 15
After breakfast, disembark and transfer to the airport for your return flight. Alternatively, you can take some extra time in Russia with a two-night Moscow extension. B
TOUR DETAILS AND INCLUSIONS
Departure Date: September 3, 2019
Tour name: Traveller Tours – Waterways of the Tsars
Prices: From Deluxe Stateroom $9995pp; Verandah Stateroom $11,495pp; and Verandah Stateroom $11,795pp. Prices include return economy flights to Russia.
Call centre number: 138 747
Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm
- Return economy class flights to Russia from major cities in Australia
- Private river-view stateroom
- All onboard meals including beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- Culture Curriculum: Lectures and performances of art, music, cooking, dance and history
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onboard tipping and gratuities
- Nordic spa facilities Prices are subject to availability.
Booking conditions available at vikingcruises.com.au/travellertoursrussia
Ph: 138 747
Monday to Friday 9am-6pm