When: Jun 10—Jun 17
Tour Leaders: ,
Tour Style:
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Treasures of Russia: Moscow & St. Petersburg

Explore the cultural and architectural riches of Russia in St. Petersburg and Moscow and explore its Soviet past. Gain a full understanding of the Mennonite experience in Ukraine through a consideration of the land of Lenin, Stalin, and the Tsars. You’ll see many famous sights including the Winter Palace—once home to the tsars of Russia, Peterhof Palace and Gardens, the Kremlin, Red Square, wartime cemeteries, and stunning cathedrals. Tour storyteller Len Friesen is Professor of History at Wilfrid Laurier University. He teaches Russian history and speaks Russian fluently. Mary and Len lived in Russia during Gorbachev’s time and have many stories to share.

For an enhanced travel experience, consider combining this tour with the Mennonite Story & Highlights of Ukraine Tour, June 1-10, 2019.

At A Glance


  • June 10-17, 2019
  • 8 Days

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Itinerary

Monday, June 10     Moscow

Arrive in Moscow from home cities or following the Ukraine Mennonite Heritage Tour. Settle into your hotel and enjoy a meal together with fellow tour members. Optional evening walkabout in the city to get your bearings.

Tuesday, June 11     Moscow

Take a guided tour of the Kremlin Armoury—which stored weapons and royal treasures beginning in 1508 and became a museum in 1813. Today, the Armoury is home to many unique collections of Russian, Western, and Eastern European art and cultural objects, including the Imperial Crown of Russia and the ivory throne of Ivan the Terrible. This afternoon, have lunch at the famous GUM department store and explore the ancient centre of Moscow in a walking tour, including historic Red Square and Lenin’s tomb. Following dinner at the hotel, relax on your own or join Len and Mary on an evening tour travelling on the Moscow Metro where no station is alike.

Wednesday, June 12     Moscow

Discover the beauty of the Tretyakov Gallery, which houses the greatest collection of fine Soviet-era art in the world. Stop at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour to view their stunning worship space in this, the tallest Orthodox church in the world. At the Novodevichy Cemetery see beautifully sculpted tombstones and visit the graves of famous Russians including Anton Chekov, Raisa Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, Stalin’s wife Svetlana, and Nikita Khrushchev. This evening, you could attend the circus, go to a musical performance, or take a stroll with Len and Mary.

Thursday, June 13     St. Petersburg

After a restful morning, spend the afternoon on a train to St. Petersburg. This evening, get oriented to St. Petersburg on a guided walk with Len and Mary, who have lived in and travelled to this city many times.

Friday, June 14    St. Petersburg

Begin your day with a tour of the famed Winter Palace and Hermitage Museum, which boasts an impossibly large collection of paintings and artifacts housed in six striking buildings constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries. En route to the museum, see significant landmarks such as the statues of Nicholas I and Peter the Great. Spend the afternoon on a tour of the Peter and Paul Fortress—the original citadel of St. Petersburg and burial place of the Tsars from the time of Peter the Great. On the way to the Fortress, walk along the eastern tip of Vasilyevsky Island. Pass over the Trotsky Bridge and along the Summer Gardens on your return to the hotel. This evening, unwind at the hotel, or opt for an excursion to the ballet at the Imperial Winter Palace Theatre or other venue.

Saturday, June 15     St. Petersburg

An exciting day awaits with a trip to Peterhof, for a guided tour of the gold-trimmed Grand Palace with its 30 plus rooms, fountains, and gardens. This afternoon, drive to the Piskaryovskoye Cemetery—an enormous memorial cemetery dedicated to those who died during the Siege of Leningrad. We will learn about its little-known connection to Russian’s President Putin. There will be some optional excursions this evening.

Sunday, June 16     St. Petersburg

The last full day in Russia is yours to see the city however you choose. Go back to places of interest, see something new, shop, or whatever your heart desires. Your knowledgeable tour leaders will give you plenty of recommendations.

Monday, June 17

Return to your home countries with stories and insights into Russian and Soviet culture and history.

 

Check the pricing page for what is included and excluded in the tour fare.

For further information, please contact us. We would be happy to be of assistance.

Click here for a printable PDF of the tour itinerary and costs.