Harken back to the golden age of Russia—a time of creativity, enlightenment, and extravagance. Experience the country’s wealth and beauty with this journey to the city of the Tsars, home to breathtaking architecture, fabulous palaces, and treasure troves of art and culture.
Built by the Romanov Dynasty, St. Petersburg is Russia’s imperial capital. On our journey, we immersed ourselves in the culture and history of this city. Highlights included visits to The State Hermitage Museum, one of the oldest museums in the world housing collections dating back to Catherine the Great, and a visit to the Mariinsky Theatre to see a performances by the world renowned Mariinsky Ballet.
We explored the city’s architecture and history with visits to Catherine Palace, home to the gilded Amber Room; Alexander Pushkin Museum and Memorial Apartment, the celebrated poet’s former dwellings carefully preserved after his death; and the Fabergé Museum, housing nine of the famous Imperial Easter Eggs. We also cruised down the Neva River to view St. Petersburg, dubbed the “Venice of the North,” from one of its many waterways.
Our accommodations at Belmond Grand Hotel Europe brought us closer to experiencing life as the imperial family once did. This iconic hotel has been in existence for over 140 years and is located in the heart of St. Petersburg. See our highlights below…
Thursday, July 23
Once our travelers arrived in St. Petersburg, they were transported to the beautiful Belmond Grand Hotel Europe. Considered a “cultural and culinary landmark since 1875,” the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe is both centrally located near historic theatres, monuments and museums.
On our first evening, travelers were given the option to see the Sleeping Beauty ballet at the legendary Mikhailovsky Theatre.
Friday, July 24
After a delicious buffet breakfast at the Belmond Grand’s L’Europe restaurant, our travelers departed on a city tour of St. Petersburg. Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, and Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood were just a few stops on this whirlwind tour across the city.
Travelers ate lunch at Terassa. This rooftop restaurant is located in one of St. Petersburg’s tallest buildings and features stunning panoramic views.
After lunch, our travelers visited the State Hermitage Museum, one of the world’s largest museums with over 3 million items in its collection.
Saturday, July 25
On this day, our travelers departed on a one-hour cruise to Peterhof Palace, often nicknamed “the Russian Versailles.” The spectacular fountains, Grand Palace, and gardens are a sight to
Following Peterhof, travelers made the short trek via car to the oldest of the imperial palaces, the Oranienbaum (commonly known as Lomonosov).
Sunday, July 26
In the morning, our travelers departed for the Naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas (also known as the Sailors’ Cathedral) during Orthodox mass. Our travelers were also granted the privilege of a closer look at the State Hermitage Museum, including a viewing of the Impressionists collection in the General Staff Building and a private tour of the Diamond Room and the Gold Room.
During the evening, travelers were treated to the Raymonda Ballet at the famous Mariinsky Theatre featuring Prima Ballerina, Uliana Lopatkina.
Monday, July 27
Today was a full day of museum and palace tours, including the Fabergé Museum, the Grand Duke Vladimir Palace, and the Yusupov Palace. At the Fabergé Museum, travelers could see the largest collection of Carl Fabergé works, including nine Imperial Easter Eggs.
In the evening, travelers were given the option to see the Eugene Onegin Opera at the Mikhailovsky Theatre.
Tuesday, July 28
Today, our travelers took a day trip to Pushkin and Pavlovsk, a one-hour drive from the hotel. When they arrived in Pushkin, they were given a private tour of Catherine Palace—the grand, blue-and-white palace named after Catherine I.
In the afternoon, travelers toured the Pavlovsk Palace, whose simplistic Palladian architecture outside belies the ornate interiors—including an Italian Hall, a Grecian Hall, an Egytpian Vestibule and the Hall of War.
Travelers were granted the option of seeing The Fountain of Bakhchisarai Ballet at the Mariinsky.
Wednesday, July 29
After having the option to see wonderful ballets and operas all week, travelers were given a backstage tour of Mariinsky Theatre and, later, a tour of the State hermitage Museum Storage Facility. At the Museum Storage Facility, travelers could see a vast number of the museum’s collection not part of the permanent displays.
Thursday, July 30
St: Petersburg: the Russia of the Tsars came to close and our travelers departed on their international flights home.