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  • 15 Days Magnificent Russia
  • 15 Days "Magnificent Russia" River Cruise Package from $7,322pp $4,299pp after Getaway Cash travel credits and Free Flight vouchers:
    • Return flights
    • Russian visas
    • Airport transfers
    • 7 nights' Gold standard hotel accommodation
    • Ballet or other performance at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre followed by a sumptuous dinner
    • 4-star river cruise from Moscow to St Petersburg
    • In-depth sight-seeing tours of both Moscow and St Petersburg
    Save up to 39% off standard retail.
    Peterhof Palace St Petersburg
    Peterhof Palace St Petersburg
    • Peterhof Palace St Petersburg
    • Gold standard Moscow accommodation
      Central to the main attractions.
    • Bolshoi Theater
      Enjoy an evening performance here.
    • The magnificent Bolshoi Theater
    • Enjoy dinner at a beautiful restaurant near the Bolshoi
      Included in the Gold Star package.
    • Included dining
      Russian cuisine at its best.
    • Visit famous Gorky Park
    • Stunning metro rail stations in Moscow
    • Boulevard Ring
      These are the lights over the Christmas period. Well worth visiting during summer as well.
    • The Kremlin
      Wonderful place to visit and be captivated by the history.
    • Red Square Moscow
    • St Basil's Cathedral
    • Kitzy Island
      Visited on most of the river cruise options.
    • St Petersburg Gold class accommodation
    • Yaroslavl
      One of the Volga River cities visited on most river cruise options.
    • Catherine Palace in St Petersburg
    • Moscow after dark
    • Cruise the Volga and Neva rivers
    • Panorama of St Petersburg at summer sunset
    • Enjoy a performance at the Bolshoi Theater


    Gold star package from only $9,380 $5,799 per person after travel credits and flight vouchers.

    Membership due for renewal or not enought travel credits to get the maximum discount? Book this trip or any featured package and get a free 2-year renewal plus bonus travel credits so you get the lowest price. Call today on 1800 669 579.

    Compare with Trip-a-Deal

    11-day river cruise (advertised as 13 days which includes flight days) at $3,999. Lower class of cabin and excludes visa service, hotel accommodation and other inclusions.

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    • Compare with Trip-a-Deal
    • There is no cabin class on this ship called Outside Cabin


    Trip Highlights

    Russia is an exciting, new frontier for keen travellers. Going there for the first time might seem like a crazy adventure - and although a "closed door" policy was in place for almost a century, Russia is not that scary at all. The country and main cities especially are very much open for tourism business. This travel package lets you see the magnificence of Russia up close with included tours of Moscow and St Petersburg as well as an unforgettable river cruise which lets you into the heart of rural Russia.

    Enjoy these highlights*:

    • Stay in Gold standard, luxury accommodation
    • See more of Moscow’s main sights and lesser known attractions on small-group tours
    • Visit Moscow’s extravagant metro stations
    • Be enthralled by a performance at Moscow’s Bolshoi theatre
    • Follow with dinner at a beautiful nearby restaurant
    • Enjoy a wonderful river cruise from Moscow to St Petersburg with included excursions
    • Discover the Hermitage, one of the world’s largest art museums
    • Immerse yourself in St Petersburg’s highlights on guided tours
    • Visit the stunning Peterhof and Catherine Palace in St Petersburg

    * Two packages are available. Gold star package highlights shown. See Inclusions for details of Silver star package option.

    Global Escapes Travel

    In the style of most Global Escapes Independent Traveler itineraries, this is a perfect blend of self-guided adventure and forward-planning to ensure that the main elements are organised in advance allowing for plenty of time to relax and take in each place you visit.

    Member Pricing

    Getaway Cash (GCash) travel credits reduce the price of your trip from retail down to industry-wholesale. Free Flights Vouchers further discount your holiday.

    More Details | Travel Club Free Trial

    Not yet a member? Submit a booking enquiry for any package and we'll automatically register you to receive $3,000 in GCash travel credits and 90 days to book a trip. There's no obligation to book and you can cancel any time.





    YOU PAY*



    Gold star package from only $9,380 $5,799 per person after travel credits and flight vouchers.

    Membership due for renewal or not enought travel credits to get the maximum discount? Book this trip or any featured package and get a free 2-year renewal plus bonus travel credits so you get the lowest price. Call today on 1800 669 579.

    * All prices are per-person on a twin-share basis and bookings are subject to availability. Price, Getaway Cash travel credit usage, Free Flights Voucher usage and deposit amount varies according to travel date. All prices are estimates only. A firm quote (travel plan) with payment terms will be submitted for consideration prior to agreement to proceed. Full booking terms and conditions are available here.

    Not yet a member?

    Simply submit a booking enquiry and we'll automatically provide you with a 3-month Travel Club Trial account. No payment is required and you get instant access to member prices.


    "During any season, at any hour of the day, Moscow thrills visitors with its artistry, history and majesty."

    "It’s a joy to discover the latest on the dynamic and liberal art scene in the major cities of Russia and I particularly relish the serene countryside, with Lake Baikal a favourite location. Above all, it has been encounters and passionate conversations with warmly welcoming, highly educated and hospitable Russians that have made the most lasting impression on me." – Simon Richmond, Coordinating Author, Lonely Planet Russia

    This is a first-class travel itinerary that's fully flexible. Want more or fewer days or you want to include a special destination or activity? No problem, we’ll customise a travel plan for you.

    Discover Russia soon.

    Video link

    Click/tap to watch this short video and learn about the sights and beauty and that await you.

    Package inclusions:

    Gold star package:

    • Russian visa application service and fees *
    • Flight to Moscow and return flight from St Petersburg
    • Private airport transfers
    • 3 nights' Gold+ standard accommodation in central Moscow with breakfast
    • Ballet, opera or other performance at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre
    • Dinner at either Bolshoi Restaurant or Brasserie Most
    • In-depth tours of Moscow’s best sights and attractions
    • 7-day premium river cruise staying in an upper-deck, junior-suite **
    • All meals on cruise
    • 4 nights’ Gold+ standard accommodation in central St Petersburg with breakfast
    • Guided tours of St Petersburg’s best sights and attractions
    • Daily hotel breakfasts

    Silver star package:

    • Russian visa application service and fees *
    • Flight to Moscow and return flight from St Petersburg
    • 1 night' Silver standard accommodation in central Moscow with breakfast
    • Tours of Moscow’s best sights and attractions included with river cruise
    • 11-day river cruise staying in a junior-suite or upper-deck cabin (6 nights river cruise, total of 4 nights in Moscow and St Petersburg) **
    • All meals on cruise
    • 2 nights’ Silver standard accommodation in central St Petersburg with breakfast
    • Daily hotel breakfasts

    * Russian visa application agent processing service and all fees included. Valued at over $1,000 per couple.

    ** Cabin class and configurations vary according to the ship operating the cruise and will be confirmed you when we supply a travel plan for approval.

    Cruise inclusions:

    • Full board, three meals per day (buffet style breakfast, lunch and dinner are from preselected menu).
    • Complimentary In-room dining breakfast every morning. By request.
    • Water, tea/coffee for all meals, sparkling wine for breakfast, 1 shot of vodka or 1 glass of red/white wine or juice is included for each dinner. 1 bottle of still water per person is provided in cabins on arrivals day in-suite and junior-suite cabins replenished daily.
    • “Russian welcome drink ceremony” on embarkation day.
    • Early-risers breakfast with tea, coffee and cookies.
    • Captain’s dinner with a special menu, Russian national cuisine dinner.
    • Activities on board: Captain’s bridge tour, master classes, morning aerobics, evening entertainment and live music concerts.
    • Luggage handling onboard.

    Cruise inclusions might vary from the above and will be confirmed you when we supply a travel plan for approval.

    All packages include:

    • Lonely Planet guide for Russia
    • No fees to alter the itinerary (you just pay for the adjusted itinerary)
    • Extra nights at industry wholesale price (using GCash travel credits)
    • Google Drive folder with soft copies of all travel documents
    • Comprehensive, printed itinerary
    • Personal travel consultant to help plan and customize your holiday
    • Option for best-in-class travel insurance at member price

    Carefully selected accommodation:

    Hotel standards

    Read about our accommodation rating standards and the methods used to assess quality.

    Fully customisable:

    This itinerary is fully customisable to suit your requirements. Your personal travel consultant is available to discuss changes and additions that will enhance your travel experience.

    Special value:

    Lonely Planet Logo

    Lonely Planet is renowned for its first-hand approach, up-to-date maps and commitment to providing the best information for travelers. Lonely Planet authors are experienced, insightful travel experts. They personally research the places they write about - both in the first and in subsequent editions - and provide essential travel details along with a wealth of insider information and first-hand tips.


    You will receive this guide to help you gain the most out of your holiday. Recommendation: Take the time to read suggestions for things to see and do before you leave home. Take your Lonely Planet guide with you in your luggage.

    * All prices are per-person on a twin-share basis and bookings are subject to availability. Price and deposit amount varies according to travel date. If flights are shown as included then a flight cost provision (allowance) applies and is based on travel from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. Travel can be arranged from any other major centre and for any number of people. All prices shown are estimates only. A firm quote (travel plan) with payment terms will be submitted for consideration prior to agreement to proceed. Total price after member discount (using Getaway Cash credits and Australian Escapes Free Flights Vouchers if applicable) is generally payable as follows: Deposit on booking, balance 120 days prior to departure. Packages can be priced for families and groups on request. Standard (retail) price comparisons are with similar packages offered elsewhere or what would be payable by a non-member for the same package. Travel insurance if included is a provision only and may be declined on requestTravel insurance pricing if stated is based on comprehensive travel insurance for two travellers aged 69 years or less as at the date of departure from Australia. No recommendations or advice are given in regard to travel insurance suitability. Valid for 2019 and 2020 travel. Travel Directions Pty Ltd (t/as Australian Escapes Holiday & Travel Club) standard booking terms and conditions apply to all booking enquiries and bookings and are available here to view (or visit our website and go to either the "Booking Enquiry" or "About Us" menu item.)

    Your Itinerary

    One of the great joys of travel in Russia is being swept away by the boundless hospitality of the people. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Winston Churchill both wrote famous lines about Russia being an enigmatic riddle. Embrace this conundrum and you, too, are sure to find yourself swept away by a passion for Mother Russia.

    During your journey you will have a chance to get acquainted with Russia, its history and modern life, discover Russian culture in all its diversity and enjoy picturesque and breathtaking landscapes, and of course, meet Russian people known for their hospitality and good nature.

    Your Russian adventure starts in Moscow (or St Petersburg on some dates). You’ll have plenty of time to absorb what the Russian capital has to offer before embarking on a fascinating cruise on the Volga and Neva Rivers. Then your four nights in fairy-tale St. Petersburg will leave you wanting much more of the largest country on the planet.

    Please note: Your final river cruise itinerary and inclusions (starting on Day 5 below) might vary from what is shown here and will be confirmed with you prior to booking.

    "Travel far enough, you meet yourself" - David Mitchell


    “Massive.” Is the word that will come to mind when first see Moscow. The city is huge and everywhere you go there are statues, plaques, and monuments for historically significant people, places, and events. You’ll continually realize the significance of the city as you look around. You’ll be staying at a centrally located affording you a perfect opportunity to have a look around. Make sure you read your Lonely Planet guide on the plane, so you are ready to make the most of your stay here.

    Stunning metro rail stations in Moscow

    A map of the metro system will be your best friend as you try to navigate through the city. Luckily, the metro is inexpensive and takes you anywhere that you need to go. Metro stations in Moscow are notoriously beautiful, you could spend an entire evening riding from stop to stop, simply to see and photograph the metro stations. Each station is different from the next, with an individual theme and specific artistic style. Mosaics, stained glass, and sculptures fill the halls, and locals pass by as if nothing were there.


    This morning is free time, then this afternoon you’ll see Moscow through local eyes on this intriguing 4-hour city walking tour. Check out iconic must-sees such as Pushkinskaya Square, Red Square and the colourfully domed St Basil’s Cathedral; and pair them with revealing detours into places only Muscovites know.

    St Basil's Cathedral

    With your knowledgeable guide, leave the beaten track to sample the city’s favourite fast food, visit an atmospheric Russian Orthodox church, and discover tucked-away haunts often missed by visitors. Along the way, hear about Moscow’s imperial and Soviet days, and learn fascinating facts about everyday life in today’s city.

    Enjoy a performance at the Bolshoi Theater

    This afternoon rest-up because tonight you’ll be taking in a performance at the famous Bolshoi Theatre. Choose from ballet and opera performances (subject to the available schedule). Enjoy dinner at the stunning Bolshoi restaurant right near the theatre.


    If you haven't done so already, we recommend a visit this morning to the most remarkable metro stations in Moscow built during Stalin's times, recognised as the most beautiful in the world!

    You will see magnificent sculptures of the Soviet people on the Revolution Square station, the Kurskaya Station Lobby designed in marble and granite, the Hall of Fame of the World War II on the Komsomolskaya station with impressive mural mosaics of Russian glorious victories and many others.

    The Kremlin

    This afternoon around 3pm you’ll meet your licensed Kremlin guide and step into the Kremlin to enjoy a 2–hour visit to this epic mediaeval fortress. Gain insight into Russian heritage and culture and grab picturesque photo opportunities at the UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Travel back to the 12th century, when Moscow was three times smaller than the present territory of the Kremlin. Visit the most ancient building in Moscow, the Assumption Cathedral, where the last Emperor of the Russian Empire was crowned. Listen to numerous stories about Russian Tsars and Tsarinas, boyards and patriarchs, the last Emperor and the communist government.

    Moscow after dark

    Tonight around 8pm you have the option of seeing Moscow after dark when it is all beautifully lit up. The mighty Russian capital illuminated at night is a memorable sight. Magnificent golden cupolas of Orthodox churches stand next to grand palaces and imposing Stalinist façades on the banks of the Moskva River. Hear stories and explore Moscow with a local guide. (“Moscow After Dark” optional: $79 per person.)


    The morning is yours to continue to discover more of Moscow or to just relax before boarding your cruise ship this afternoon. After comfortably settling into your cabins, the crew will introduce themselves at a welcome cocktail before dinner.


    Uglich was founded in 1148 as a small princedom bordering on Muscovy and is one of the most beloved towns in Old Russia.

    Cruise the Volga and Neva rivers

    The view of the town as you approach it from the Volga River is breathtaking with the Cathedral of the Resurrection and St. John´s Church rising from the horizon. The history of the town is fascinating; At the end of the 16th century, Maria Nagaya, seventh wife of Ivan the Terrible, lived in honorary exile at the Kremlin in Uglich. It was here in her garden that the 10-year-old Prince Dmitry of the Rurik Dynasty, heir to the Russian throne was murdered by Boris Godunov who wanted to seize power for himself. On the spot of his death, the Church of St. Demitrius of the Blood was built and still stands today.

    The death of Prince Dmitri brought on the start of the Time of Troubles, a dynastic and political crisis and one of the most tumultuous periods in Russian history which ended 15 years later after the election of a new Tsar Mikhail Romanov (the first Tsar of the Romanov Dynasty). Inside the Kremlin the oldest building in Uglich, the Palace of Tsarevich Dmitry also stands. During your time in Uglich you will learn more about the town’s past and walk along the paths of Russian history.

    Inclusion: Walking tour with visit to the Church of St. Demitrius on the Blood and the Transfiguration cathedral. 


    Stretching for 29 kilometres on both banks of the Volga, Yaroslavl is an important port with a population of 600,000. It was founded in the 1010 by Prince Yaroslav the Wise and is one of the ancient Russian cities making up the Golden Ring. It was destroyed by the Tatars in the 13th and 14th centuries but then restored and rebuilt and by the 17th century it had become Russia’s second largest city after Moscow and an important cultural and political center.


    Today, Yaroslavl retains many noteworthy monuments of its colorful past. Of special interest is the magnificent 13th century Spassky Monastery ensemble, a group of majestic 17th century cathedrals, an elegant rotunda and remnants of an ancient trading center. The churches of St. Nicholas and Elijah the Prophet have some of the Golden Ring´s most impressive frescoes.

    Inclusion: City tour with a visit to the Transfiguration Monastery and Church of Elijah the Prophet. 


    Goritsy is a tiny settlement 7 kilometers from the St. Cyril on the White Lake Monastery. The remains of the Nunnery of the Resurrection that sits on the banks of the Sheksna River can be visited and is within a quarter of a mile of where the ship stops. Goritsy is definitely a site to see for anyone with an interest in Russian history. St. Cyril on the White Lake was founded in 1397 by Kirill Belosersky on the shore of Lake Siverskoye. The monastery had wide trade in the 15th to 17th centuries and was used as a fortress to protect Russia’s nobility during the Times of Troubles.

    After lunch you will return to your ship and set sail in the direction of St. Petersburg along the Volga Baltic Canal. The Volga Baltic Canal is a series of canals and rivers that connect the Volga river to the Baltic Sea.

    Inclusion: Tour the Monastery of St. Cyril on the White Lake.


    Via the Volga Baltic Canal, our cruise takes us to the tiny island of Kizhi, located at the northern end of Lake Onega. The island is renowned for its open-air Museum of Architecture, which is assembled from over 80 monuments of wooden architecture from various areas of the country and restored to form a glimpse of the past.

    Kitzy Island

    The most impressive site on the island is the Church of the Transfiguration or Preobrazhenskaya (the church of twenty-two wooden domes). This masterpiece of architecture, featuring five tiers of 22 domes, was built in 1714 without the use of a single nail, only an axe and pine trees. The church magically changes color as the day grows old, it is certainly one of the most interesting things you will see during your time in Russia.

    Inclusion: Cruise along Europe’s second largest lake, Lake Onega and arrive on the island of Kizhi. Here you will visit a fascinating open-air museum containing numerous examples of elaborate Russian, wooden architecture.


    The town is more of a living museum than a live-in village. It features a collection of old wooden houses and is geared towards showing visitors what a traditional Russian village resembled in the past. One of the features here is the Vodka Museum, which contains thousands of different brands and types of Russia's favourite pastime.

    Enjoy walking around this traditional Russian village in its beautiful setting and spending a day of rest, relaxation and fun. We will have a fantastic barbeque picnic on the banks of the river.


    Your time in St. Petersburg will begin with a Panoramic City Tour. This tour is the best way to get acquainted with all of the city's major highlights. Our professional guide will take you down Nevsky Prospect, St. Petersburg's most famous and vibrant thoroughfare. There you will see some of the city's most interesting architectural monuments including the Kazan Cathedral (exterior) and the Winter Palace.

    Panorama of St Petersburg at summer sunset

    One of the highlights of your entire cruise will be a visit to the Hermitage, Russia's premier museum containing one of the largest art collections in the world. The museum consists of five historical buildings including the Winter Palace - the residence of the Russian Tsars. The museum contains over 3 million pieces of art with dates ranging from high antiquity to the present day. Among the Hermitage's treasures are artworks by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens as well as many others.


    This morning you will say goodbye to your ship's crew and the many new friends we are sure you will have met during your time with us. We are sure that your memories of the trip will last a lifetime and we look forward to welcoming you to Russia sometime in the future.

    Make your way this morning to your centrally located St Petersburg accommodation and spend your afternoon discovering more of the city. We will have booked your accommodation for the night prior so you can immediately check in this morning. You also have the option to check in the night before if preferred.

    Your introductory tour of the city will give you a taste of what you can see here. Take it easy today because the next two days with be spent really getting to see the main sights and hidden gems of St. Petersburg. Later, head out for a lovely evening at a nearby restaurant.


    This is the self-guided part of your holiday, and it’s very easy. Let’s start with Peterhof - St. Petersburg's most famous and spectacular Imperial estate. You’ll catch a train to the estate. The most picturesque way to Peterhof is by train. It takes 36 minutes to get from the Baltic Railway Station to the "New Peterhof" Station. City buses will bring you to the Upper Garden from the station in 15 minutes.

    Peterhof Palace St Petersburg

    The Grand Palace and park complex of Peterhof with its unique array of fountains is one of the most beautiful in the world. Peterhof is perhaps St. Petersburg's most famous and luxurious Imperial estate. The Grand Palace, filled with fascinating and elaborate interiors, sits on top of a high seashore ridge overlooking the vast Lower Park. The palace at Peterhof sits amidst an enormous park, adorned with fountains, statues and pavilions.

    The Upper Garden is a typical French-style formal garden with five fountains including one depicting Neptune, the God of the Sea. The estate's Lower Park lies between the Grand Palace and the seashore and boasts the world's largest system of fountains, earning the title the “Russian Versailles”. The park's unique fountain system was designed in the 18th century and doesn't require the use of any pumps to operate the fountains.

    There are three major cascades and over 140 fountains in the park. The most impressive is the Grand Cascade, located directly below the Grand Palace and featuring an impressive golden statue of Samson grasping the mighty jaws of the lion. The park's other cascades feature black and white chess board designs, Chinese dragons and numerous other features are definitely worth seeing!


    Today, you’ll enjoy a 3-hour guided group tour in of Catherine Palace (without waiting in line). Enjoy the beauty of Catherine Palace with a professional guide, who will tell you the history of the palace, describe rooms as you walk through them, and tell you some Russian monarchy secrets.

    Catherine Palace in St Petersburg

    All Russian monarchs lived, worked, greeted audiences, and held diplomatic receptions, gala balls, and masquerades in these gorgeous palace halls. Explore the beautiful Tsarskoye Selo park and experience the grandeur of the Russian Baroque palace of Catherine the Great and unlock the secrets of the Amber Room.

    Step into the world of the empresses Elizabeth and Catherine, as you walk through the gilded ballrooms and imperial halls, and marvel at the opulent decorations. The park that surrounds the palace is a spectacular work of Russian gardening art from the 18th and 19th centuries, which combines masterpieces of architecture with the stunning beauty of nature.


    Today is a flexible day for you to return to any of the places you’ve visited in the past two days, cross more off your sight-seeing list or to simply relax. Refer to your Lonely Planet guide for tips and ideas.


    Today we say a fond proshchay (pronounced “presh-ay”) which is good-bye in Russian and return home with an easy departure from your St Petersburg accommodation with prearranged airport transfer.

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