Day 1:Welcome to Moscow
Arrive in Moscow and transfer to your centrally located hotel. Get your first taste of life in the Russian metropolis, exploring the city at your leisure.
Day 2:Moscow city tour
It’s time to get more deeply acquainted with Russia’s capital, starting with a guided tour of the Kremlin and its cathedrals. Stroll at the iconic Red Square and take a short excursion on the famous Moscow Subway.
Day 3:Fast train to St Petersburg
Spend the morning your way. In the afternoon, take the fast train, which reaches St Petersburg in approximately four hours.
Day 4:St Petersburg city tour
Our morning excursion provides an opportunity to see St Petersburg’s most famous monuments, bridges, embankments and parks. Wander down the Nevsky Prospekt, visit St Isaac’s Cathedral, the Winter Place, and other places tied to the city’s fascinating heroes and historical events.
Day 5:Day trip to Pushkin
Today we head out of St Petersburg for a day excursion to the nearby town of Pushkin, home of the Tsarskoe Selo (Tsar’s Village). Admire the baroque Catherine Palace, stroll through Catherine and Alexander Parks and visit the famous Amber room. After lunch in the grounds, we transfer to Pavlovsk, a suburb south of Pushkin, for a horse and carriage ride in Pavlovsk Park.
Day 6:The State Hermitage Museum
On our last day in St Petersburg, we pay a visit to its most lauded attraction - the State Hermitage Museum, which houses some 3 million masterpieces, spread across six magnificent historic buildings, including the splendid Winter Palace. Departure by overnight train to Petrozavodsk in Karelia.
Day 7:Karelia: Ruskeala Park
Embark on a scenic, several hour journey to the Ruskeala Mountain Park. Unique for its waterfalls and varicoloured marble quarries. The return journey will take us back to Petrozavodsk by late evening.
Day 8:Karelia: Kizhi Island
Today we visit the Kizhi Island in the centre of Lake Obega. Getting here in winter requires a ride on a hovercraft.
Today, only a small rural settlement remains on Kizhi, and the island has become an open air museum with over 80 historical wooden structures, some dating to the 14th century. After returning to Petrozavodsk, it’s time to get ready for our overnight train, which will take us above the Arctic Circle.
Day 9:Kola Peninsula
We have now crossed the northern polar circle and arrived in the small town of Olengorsk in "Russian Laplandia". We head straight to a Siberian husky farm, where and spend time getting to know the charming resident dogs here as well as their reindeer stablemates. Today you may be lucky enough to witness the glow of the Aurora Borealis.
Day 10:The Snow Village and Khibiny Mountains
This morning, our destination is the Snow Village, which has been painstakingly constructed almost entirely out of ice and snow and features ornately decorated buildings, sculptures and labyrinthine tunnels. The afternoon sees a change of pace, with the chance to carve it up on an easy snowmobile safari in the Khibiny Mountains. Don't forget to look up for Aurora's dance in the sky.
Day 11:Saami settlement
Head to one of the largest Saami settlements in the Kola Peninsula, where many traditional dwellings are still in use. You’ll get the chance to learn about the ancient Saami culture. In the afternoon, we proceed to Murmansk.
Day 12:Murmansk city tour
Today you’ll see how people live, work and play in Murmansk, the northernmost city and Russia. Your Murmansk sightseeing trip will take in the Naval Museum or the Historical Museum, and the world’s first nuclear icebreaker ship, the Lenin.
Spend your free evening discovering the surprisingly vibrant nightlife in this quirky Russian outpost. As this is your last night in the Arctic, don’t forget to look up!
Day 13:Departure from Murmansk
After breakfast, it’s time to check out of our Murmansk hotel. You’ll be transferred to the airport to catch a flight back to either Moscow or on to your next destination.
3* hotels in Moscow, St Petersburg, Petrozavodsk, Monchegorsk and Murmansk
Breakfasts in the hotels, some lunches as specified in the detailed itinerary (download for more information)
Airport and train station transfers
All transportation according to the itinerary (car, metro, hovercarft)
Local Engllish speaking tour guide
Activities and sights
All activities and sights, indicated in the detailed itinerary (download for more info)
- Train tickets
- Russian tourist visa support documents
*Russian visa can be arranged by 56th Parallel for an additional cost (for Australian citizens only). Apply for comprehensive visa service here.
- Services of the guide from the Polar Geophysical Institute (PGI) for observing Aurora Borealis.
- Flights, travel insurance, visa, tips