Introduction to Russia

Great cities are born on the banks of great rivers, and so it has been in Russia. Moscow, founded on the confluence of the Moskva and Neglinnaya rivers, was transformed from a sleepy medieval outpost to a power capital for centuries. St. Petersburg, forged from the marshes of the Neva River by Peter the Great, became the opulent Czarist capital in the 18th century.

Classical Russia and The Ultimate Moscow & St. Petersburg offer you wonderful opportunities to discover timeless art treasures, culture and history, year round. You view the collections of the Pushkin Museum that attest to the foresight and sophistication of Moscow merchants. The dazzling art at the Hermitage Museum is the legacy of the shrewdness of Catherine the Great. You visit some of the world’s most lavish palaces – Petrodvorets and Pushkin, and two of the most historic, Yusupov and Menshikov Palaces. You discover the great talents of Russian artists at the Russian Museum and Tretyakov Gallery. The Dostoievsky House Museum speaks volumes on the Russian veneration for their writers. The lavish lifestyle of the former nobility comes alive with visits to the Armoury Museum and Diamond Fund, and the creative talent of modern Russia is seen in the restoration of the Amber Room at Pushkin. A fine lunch, an evening cultural event, and special visits – all these give you the chance to savor the Russian love for art, culture and fun.

Delights of Old Russia will transport you back in time with visits to historic, beautiful towns and villages where the pace of daily life is still tranquil. In winter Russia is in full cultural swing, and transformed under its snowy blanket, creating a magical landscape. In spring, the snowy landscape gradually gives way to reveal beautiful parks with thousands of trees. Summer brings vistas of colorful gardens, dazzling fountains, and endless daylight hours. In fall, the cultural season returns,and the birch trees transform the urban scenery to shimmering gold before the snowy blanket returns.