RUSSIA SINGLES VACATION
St. Petersburg, Moscow & Kiev
10-nights, International & Domestic Air - Just $2,850
August 28th - September 8th
Russia is one of the most extraordinary countries in the world, with an almost matchless depth of cultural and historical riches, and landscapes that have inspired artists and poets for generations. From the glittering spires of St Petersburg, the fabulous palaces of the Tsars or simply the haunting and unique landscape of the steppes. Until you've actually seen them, it is hard to imagine the extraordinary glamour of the gilded palaces built for the Russian emperors. These historic buildings, created by the world's finest craftsmen with absolutely no expense spared can make you gasp with the sheer glamour. Palaces like Catherine's Tsarkoe Selo and the Peterhoff, with its sparkling fountains, can make even Versailles look second rate. Just by visiting the Red square you will be standing on the place of great historical significance where Russian sovereigns decided fates of their people for centuries.
This is the land of great love stories like Doctor Zhivago and Anna Karenina. It is the birthplace of the world's greatest romantic ballets, from Swan Lake to Sheherezade. If you have even the remotest interest in art, you will be blown away by Russia's unique artistic heritage. In St Petersburg's Hermitage museum, you have what is possibly the world's greatest art collection, with room after room of masterpieces, from Raphael to Matisse. And that is just a fraction of the art Russia has to offer, with an almost inexhaustible array of galleries and museums in St Petersburg and Moscow housing a gargantuan feast of fine art. But Russia's artistic attractions lie not just in the paintings hung in the galleries, but all around you, in the buildings, both large and small, which have seen the hands of artists at work over the century. From the Russian circuses to the ballets, from classical music concerts to jazz festivals; Russia has perhaps one of the most vibrant entertainment cultures in the world.
We will start our journey with 3 days in St. Petersburg where our hotel is just a few minutes walk away from the Hermitage Musuem and close to many shops and restaurants.
The Hermitage Museum is one of the most important sights to see for any visitor to St. Petersburg. Galleries upon galleries of old masters are located within the sumptuous interior of the Hermitage. We will also pay a visit to the one of Russia's most famous historical prisons, the Peter and Paul Fortress with the Prison Museum and the Peter and Paul Cathdral (http://goeasteurope.about.com/od/stpetersburgtravel/p/peterandpaulcathedral.htm). Then there’s the Catherine Palace, also known as the Summer Palace at Tsarskoe Selo (http://goeasteurope.about.com/od/stpetersburgtravel/a/Tsarskoe-Selo.htm), which is part of a gorgeous complex of parks, guest houses, and the blue-and-gold palace itself. Visitors often feel breathtaken at how Russia's royalty once lived. Every inch of the Catherine Palace speaks of luxury.
There are no shortage of interesting sights in St. Petersburg, another one being the Church of Our Savior on the Spilt Blood in St. Petersburg. The exterior may satisfy your desire for sparkle, but the interior of the church will wow as well. The interior of the Church on the spilt Blood is covered in mosaics that mimic paintings of famous Russian artists.
Our next stop is Moscow. We will get on the fast train and be in Moscow in just 4-hours. During the next 3-days we’ll visit the must-see sites including the Red Square, the largest and most famous square in Russia. Like a magnet it attracts all visitors of Moscow. Standing on Red Square you see the most significant buildings in the capital – the Kremlin, GUM department store, the State History museum, the Lenin's Mausoleum. A real wonder is the elaborate brightly domed Saint Basil's Cathedral. It's like an exotic stone flower planted by the architects of the 16th century. The first time you see this colorful, Russian masterpiece, it seems unreal. The cathedral was built in the 16th century by the decree of Ivan the Terrible. The wonderfully ornate structure was restored in 2004. Visitors who choose to tour the inside of the cathedral are treated to a complex interior filled with nooks and crannies that are painted throughout with Russian Orthodox depictions.
Another must-see is the Kremlin. The Kremlin is the center of government in Russia. The term "Kremlin" roughly translates as "fortress" in English and every major city in Russia had one. The Moscow Kremlin is a giant fortress consisting of a brick wall surrounding the Kremlin grounds on which stand cathedrals, a palace, an armory, an arsenal and numerous government buildings. The Kremlin is vast and packed with interesting historical landmarks, museums and cathedrals.
We will set up a Moscow River Boat Excursion that takes you through the center of the city past many of Moscow's greatest buildings and views. In two hours you can get great views of the Kremlin, Gorky Park, Vorobevy Hills, Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow State University and more.
Other sites include, the Bolshoi Ballet (http://www.bolshoi.ru/en/), the Tretyakov Gallery (http://www.moscow.info/museums/state-tretyakov-gallery.aspx), the Pushkin State Museum (http://www.museum.ru/gmii/defengl.htm) and the Conservatory (http://www.mosconsv.ru/english.phtml) which we will have opportunities to see.
Now, on our final leg of this journey we will fly to Kiev, Ukraine, a place I’ve only heard good things about. We will have 4 days here to explore and enjoy everything this amazing city has to offer. Our beautiful, 4-star hotel is perfectly located in the heart of the city – walking distance to many of the attractions.
Having survived the Mongol Empire, WWII, Chernobyl, and Soviet rule, Kiev is the proud capital of the Ukraine. Filled with theaters, museums, religious sites, modern buildings and ancient ruins, the city of Kiev is the center of Ukrainian culture. The Monastery of the Caves, founded in 1015, and Saint Sophia Cathedral, founded in 1037, are both World Heritage Sites. The Museum of the Great Patriotic War, topped by the massive Motherland Statue, provides gorgeous views of the city below. Kiev was recently voted third in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel: Top Ten Countries for 2012. The city boasts two stunning UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and is fast becoming a major cultural destination for Europe.
We will set up tours to take in all the top sites including the greatest monument of Kiev, the Pecherska Lavra, built almost nine centuries ago. A complex of churches, masterpieces of architecture by themselves, has been a holy place of worship for devout Christians. Famous for its catacombs with the saints' relics, Lavra is also called the Monastery of Caves. Museum collections of miniatures and church treasures amaze visitors from all over the world; St. Sophia's Cathedral, with its 13 beautiful golden domes. We’ll visit the gorgeous blue and cream Mariyinsky Palace, located on top of a hill in a beautiful park overlooking the Dnipro river. The magnificent building was used as a Kiev residence of the Tsar's family. We’ll also take some time to stroll Andriyivsky Uzviz, the most ancient and steep street in Kiev and a favorite place for outdoor fairs, festivals and concerts. Click here (http://ua-traveling.com/en/article/top-10-places-to-see-in-kiev) for a nice overview of other places to visit in Kiev. There is a Hop on/ Hop off (http://www.openkiev.com.ua/) bus that can help us take in most of these special places and we will also set up an optional private tour.
For those who enjoy nightlife on your vacations, we’ve saved the best for last. From bog-standard boozers to elite cocktail joints, from classy casinos to scintillating strip clubs, from underground rock venues to hands-in-the-air house havens, Kiev has got a bit of everything - and whichever nightspot you happen to visit, it's normally going off at a hundred miles an hour. Kiev's nightclubs take some seeing to be believed thanks to their raucous atmosphere, full on hedonism and - let's face it - ridiculously good looking girls. The clubs there can be very high-tech such as Privilege (http://www.kiev-life.com/drink/pubs_cafes_details/49-Privilege) or Arena (http://www.kiev-life.com/drink/pubs_cafes_details/3-Arena) two of the better known clubs.
And that will conclude this 10-day trip. We are going in prime-time summer months so I expect the weather to be ideal. This trip also follows on the heals of the Scandinavia trip for those who might be able to do both back to back (4-days in between).
DEPOSIT - $200
THIS TRIP IS BEING RUN BY ED REDER FROM SINGLES IN PARADISE (http://www.singlesinparadise.com)
Click here (http://www.singlesinparadise.com/singlestravel_russia.htm) to visit the official webpage for this trip
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Deduct $885 with your own air. This would still include our Moscow to Kiev flight.
1 BA 28AUG LAX-LHR 340P 1000A
2 BA 29AUG LHR-DME 1105A 605P
3 VV 04SEP LED-KBP 1100A 1155A
4 BA 08SEP KBP-LHR 120P 250P
5 BA 08SEP LHR-LAX 405P 705P
I love this itinerary! Not too early, not too late on the departures and return. We are on British Airways departing LAX at 3:40 p.m. on the 28th of August. Change of planes in Heathrow, England then continue to St. Petersburg arriving at 6:05 p.m.
We fly to Kiev on Sept 4th at 11 a.m.
Return on September 8th with our departure at 1:20 p.m. arriving back in LAX at 7:05 p.m. Perfect.
Roundtrip & domestic air 10-nights hotel in 3 & 4-star hotels with daily breakfast 3 half day city tours Train from St. Petersburg to Moscow Not included:
• Gratuities: guides and bus driver are at your discretion.
• Passport/visas: Valid passport and Russian visa required. Processing fees are $175.
• U.S. Departure Taxes/ fuel surcharge - currently running $685 (subject to change).
HOTEL VERA - 3-Star
All rooms have private bathrooms, AC (central or individual), TV, direct dial telephones, hairdryers, refrigerators.
Hotel Vera occupies a historical 1903 Art Nouveau building in the center of St. Petersburg, Russia and offers 70 unique rooms with exceptional service for tourists and business travelers. The hotel has been renovated to offer accommodations with all modern conveniences while retaining the charm of an architectural masterpiece which has been entered into the St. Petersburg Registry of Architectural Treasures as the house of a wealthy merchant Stepnov.
Hotel Vera is within walking distance of Nevsky Prospect and the Moscow Railway Station, offering visitors to St. Petersburg easy access to all major tourist attractions such as the Hermitage, Russian Museum, Peter & Paul Fortress, Smolny and St. Isaac’s Cathedrals.
TRIPADVISOR: 18 out of 228 hotels in St. Petersburg! http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g298507-d578275-Reviews-Hotel_Vera-St_Petersburg_Northwestern_District.html
KATERINA CITY HOTEL - 4-star
Hotel Katerina City is a modern 4 star business hotel ideally located in the Moscow city center, just a few minutes' walk from Paveletskaya metro station and only 3 km away from the Red Square and Kremlin.
Modern European architecture and fresh interiors in a Scandinavian style are combined with the home-like atmosphere that makes Katerina City hotel the perfect retreat in a hectic city like Moscow. Each of our 120 hotel rooms & suites is fully equipped with all necessary amenities always including free Wi-Fi and complimentary mini-bar.
TRIPADVISOR: Ranked 7 out of 234! http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g298484-d299830-Reviews-Katerina_City_Hotel-Moscow_Central_Russia.html
11 MIRRORS DESIGN HOTEL - 4 Star
11 Mirrors Design Hotel is perfectly located in the heart of Kiev. Explore the most interesting sights, places, restaurants, nightclubs and luxury shopping nearby.
Each of the 49 guestrooms and suites at 11 Mirrors Hotel takes inspiration from contemporary interior design with profound understanding of worldwide trends and new concepts. Smart elegance without any heavy elements and imperial exaggerations sets up a creative environment and encourages interaction and inspiration. The Hotel’s staff provide an exceptional full-quality service. One deserves only the best things in life. With this in mind we created this unique design hotel for you — the business leaders and creative class who understand the real value of living.
TRIPADVISOR: #2 out of 103 hotels in Kiev! http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g294474-d3226230-Reviews-11_Mirrors_Design_Hotel-Kiev.html
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