The Northern Lights

Duration: 11 days

Highlights: Red Square, St Basil's Cathedral, the Kremlin, the Arctic Circle, Sami culture, Aurora Borealis, the Hermitage, Peterhof, Catherine's Palace

Request a quote

A&K DMCs’ specialised services are only available on a business-to-business basis, to travel industry professionals. We regret that we cannot provide quotations for consumers.

About you
About your request

Send itinerary to client


Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Moscow

Upon arrival at Moscow, you will be met by your local English-speaking guide in the arrivals hall, and privately transferred to your hotel.

Overnight: Marriott Royal Aurora

Meal Plan:

Day 2 - Moscow

Your captivating full-day tour of this magnificent city begins with a visit to Red Square. Admire its prominent landmarks - Lenin's Tomb and St Basil's Cathedral, a colourful multi-domed complex whose architects were supposedly blinded by Ivan the Terrible so that they could never recreate such splendour again. Afterwards, visit the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, one of Russia's most important cathedrals, completely destroyed in Stalin's time and restored in 1990. Complete your touring this morning with a visit to the Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery, the final resting place of Nikita Khrushchev, Raisa Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin, amongst many other famous names. Drive through the Moscow State University campus and marvel at a panoramic view of Moscow from an observation platform on Vorobyovy (Sparrow) Hills, the highest spot in Moscow. You may also wish to take a ride on the famous Moscow metro, renowned for the ornate splendour of its stations.

This afternoon's inspirational sightseeing takes in the highlights of the world's best collection of Russian icons and pre-Revolutionary Russian art. Your private guide will accompany you to the eye-catching Tretyakov Gallery, whose collection today consists of over 100,000 outstanding works of art. Originally the private collection of a wealthy Russian merchant, Pavel Tretyakov, this vast art collection was given to the Russian nation as a gift in 1892 and is one of Moscow's greatest treasures (8 hours, driver and guide).

Overnight: Marriott Royal Aurora

Meal Plan:

Day 3 - Moscow

No visit to Moscow would be complete without exploring the Kremlin Territory. For centuries, the Kremlin has been witness to many well-known and tragic events in Russia's past and so it is a treasure trove of Russian history. Your half-day tour begins with the extraordinary State Armoury, the oldest museum in Russia and home to a vast collection of precious stones, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century jewellery and other priceless artefacts dating as far back as the fourteenth century. It is also home to an impressive selection of carriages from the best Russian and European masters, precious fabrics, royal gala clothes and a fine collection of Faberge eggs. Your tour also includes one of the Kremlin's cathedrals: Assumption, the cathedral of coronations and the burial place of religious leaders, or Archangel, the royal burial church. (4 hours, driver and guide)

You may also wish view the Diamond Fund Exhibition in the afternoon. The rest of your day is at leisure.

Overnight: Marriott Royal Aurora

Meal Plan:

Day 4 - Moscow - Murmansk

 You will be met from your hotel today by your English-speaking assistant and privately transferred to Moscow airport for your departure flight (flight tickets not included).

Upon arrival in Murmansk, you are welcomed at the airport and privately transferred to the Azimut Hotel for check-in. After lunch, a guide comes to the hotel to collect you for a 4-hour city excursion, including a visit to the first nuclear icebreaker, 'Lenin'. Murmansk is the biggest city within the Arctic Circle, lying on the eastern shore of Kola Bay in the Barents Sea. Few remain unimpressed after witnessing the infinite rivers and lakes, endless woods and polar nights.

Overnight: Azimut Hotel

Meal Plan:

Day 5 - Murmansk

Transfer this morning to a traditional Sami settlement to better understand the life of this semi-nomadic Arctic people. There are some authentic dwellings, with floors covered by reindeer fur (kuvaksa). Many beautiful reindeer can always be found in the settlement and they enjoy being stroked by visitors and fed with carrots and bread. In addition to the reindeer, other wildlife abounds, including the likes of foxes and polar foxes, hares and huskies. Get involved in traditional Sami games and try your hand at throwing a lassoo, as well as reindeer-sledging.

After a snack of fish soup and herbal tea, you may like to try some authentic local dress and have your photo taken with the reindeer. In the afternoon, you proceed to a Siberian Husky farm for some husky-sledging and traditional Sami lunch.

This evening, your guide meets you at a hotel and leads you on a special treat - hunting the famous Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis.

Overnight: Azimut Hotel

Meal Plan:

Day 6 - Murmansk

Transfer this morning to the city of Kirovsk. After a short exploration of the city, take a gondola chairlift up to the top of the mountain for some magnificent panoramic views of the Khibiny Mountains.

Afterwards you make your way to Snow Village, a large construction of ice and snow with stunning sculptures and labyrinths, where you enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Having admired the artwork inside, you embark on an active adventure, sledging down the hill on a banana or pancake inflatable, behind a snowmobile!

Returning back to your hotel for the evening, you again have the chance to track down those glorious colours of the Aurora Borealis lighting up the Arctic sky.

Overnight: Azimut Hotel

Meal Plan:

Day 7 - Murmansk - St Petersburg

Today you will be privately transferred to the airport for your departure flight to St Petersburg (flight tickets not included). Upon arrival you are met by your local English-speaking guide in the arrival halls and privately transferred to your hotel.

Overnight: Hotel Astoria

Meal Plan:

Day 8 - St Petersburg

Find your bearings in St Petersburg, starting with an orientation drive through the historical city centre to see the main sights, such as Nevsky Prospect, Palace Square, the Winter Palace, Admiralty and Vasilevsky Island. Your first stop is at the Church of the Resurrection of Christ (more familiarly known as the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood), a superb example of Russian architecture and decorative art from the end of the nineteenth century. The church was built on the spot where Alexander II was fatally wounded in 1881, hence the more commonly used name! Marvel at its stunning interior and exterior, both richly adorned with stunning mosaics, precious stones, enamel and coloured tiles - true to the style of the age of the Muscovite Tsars of the seventeenth century. The icon-cases and canopy are not to be missed as they are rare examples of jewellery work and masonry. You might also wish to visit St Isaac's Cathedral. It was built between 1818 and 1858, by the French-born architect Auguste Montferrand, to be one of the most impressive landmarks of the Russian Imperial capital.

After free time for lunch, experience St Petersburg in the manner Peter the Great intended, with a one-hour private journey on a canal boat. When establishing the "Venice of the North" on forty-two islands within the River Neva's complex delta, he envisaged the river to be the main thoroughfare of the city, and, until the mid-eighteenth century, there were no bridges and people crossed between islands by ferry.  Your cruise allows you to gain a unique perspective of the city not observed when driving along the streets, the granite embankments appearing like peculiar pedestals for the magnificent palaces. Disembark at the fascinating Peter & Paul Fortress, which Peter the Great built in 1703 to provide protection from the Swedes. The Fortress Cathedral is the burial place of most of Russia's Tsars and Tsarinas from the 18th century onwards, including Peter the Great himself, the great architect of St Petersburg. (8 hours, driver and guide)

Overnight: Hotel Astoria

Meal Plan:

Day 9 - St Petersburg

This morning, start with a visit to one of the most famous museums in the world, the awe-inspiring Hermitage in the lavishly decorated Winter Palace.   The Hermitage occupies six magnificent buildings and houses 3 million pieces of artwork from the Stone Age to modern times. The main building and largest part of the museum is the Rococo-style Winter Palace, residence of the Tsars from 1762 to 1917. The museum was commissioned by Catherine the Great and she and her successors built the Hermitage collection in large part with purchases from the private collections of the Western European aristocracy and monarchy. By the time Nicholas II ascended the throne in 1894, he was heir to the greatest collection of art in Europe. The whole museum complex was bombarded during the siege of Leningrad in WWII but re-opened to the public in 1945. (8 hours, driver and guide)

Overnight: Hotel Astoria

Meal Plan:

Day 10 - St Petersburg

Head south out of the city with your expert guide to Tsarskoe Selo ('the Tsar's village'), more commonly known as Pushkin. Peter the Great gave the estate to his wife Catherine, who started to develop the royal country residence, but it was her daughter Empress Elizabeth who was largely responsible for the construction of the beautiful Catherine's Palace. Set in landscaped parkland, one of the baroque palace's highlights is the famous Amber Room, a chamber decorated with amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors which has been restored to its original glory. There are numerous other architectural delights, such as the Hermitage Pavilion and the neoclassical Alexander Palace, the favourite residence of Tsar Nicholas II.

Admire the stunning treasures at the Fabergé Museum with your expert guide. Founded by entrepreneur Viktor Vekselberg, the museum opened its doors in December 2013 to display a glittering collection of Faberge eggs and objets d'art created by Peter Carl Fabergé and his contemporaries. Vekselberg's collection of Faberge objects is rated as one of the world's most valuable and includes items he bought from the Forbes family for $100 million in 2004. (8 hours, driver and guide)

Overnight: Hotel Astoria

Meal Plan:

Day 11 - Depart St Petersburg

Today you will be privately transferred to the airport for your departure flight.

Overnight:

Meal Plan:

Select Your Home Region

×