ORTHODOX TRADITIONS IN RUSSIA AND KIEV

  • Duration:12 NIGHTS/13 DAYS
  • Countries Visited:Russia
  • Tour Inclusions:
    • Round trip airfare from JFK/ St. Petersburg x KIEV/JFK
    • Accommodations in three star hotels
    • Buffet breakfast and dinner daily, and several lunches as noted in the itinerary
    • Transportation by private deluxe motorcoach
    • An overnight train trip from St. Petersburgh to Moscow in sleeper cabins
    • Two cultural performances
    • All admissions to the scheduled museums
    • Professional English speaking tour escorts
    • Baggage handling for one suitcase per person

DAY 1: DEPART USA

We depart on an overnight flight to St. Petersburg.

DAY 2: ST. PETERSBURG

We arrive into St. Petersburg, the magnificent creation of Peter the Great. We are greeted by our English speaking tour escort and are transfered to the hotel. In the afternoon we embark on a city tour including Nevsky Prospekt with all its shops and cafes, Vasilievsky Island – one of the oldest districts of St. Petersburg, with some beautiful and romantic 18th century architecture, we visit St. Andrew’s Cathedral – one of the oldest Cathedrals; Smolenskoe Cemetery (named after the cemetery church dedicated to the Icon of our Lady of Smolensk) the oldest cemetery in St. Petersburg, but now famous as the burial site and location of a chapel dedicated to St. Xenia of St. Petersburg. We return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. (D)

DAY 3: ST. PETERSBURG

Today we tour Alexander-Nevsky Lavra a beautiful 18th / 19th century monastery, embodying the glory of Imperial Russia. We see the magnificent Cathedral of the Holy Trinity where a few Holy artifacts and relics remain. Most famous are the remains of Saint Alexander Nevsky, a Russian Prince, and defender of the Orthodox Faith and Russian lands. We see Holy Resurrection Cathedral, built on the site of the murder of the Russian Tsar Alexander II. Because of this fact, it is known among the common folk as “Savior on the Spilt Blood” Cathedral. We then spend time at the Hermitage Museum, home of the last czars, formerly known as the Winter Palace. Overnight St. Petersburg. (B.D.)

DAY 4: ST. PETERSBURG

We start the day with a visit to Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Peterhof – an Orthodox Masterpiece with beautifully painted galleries and a ceramic iconostas inside. Tour the historical State Park “Peterhof” visiting the lower Park and Big Palace. This is the summer residence of the greatest Russian emperor – Peter I. A light 18th century palace accompanied by arcades of golden fountains makes it a “must see” place. The Peter and Paul Fortress in the very heart of St. Petersburg. The day when the ground was broken to build the first stronghold in the newly regained Russian lands became the birthday of St. Petersburg. We will tour the fortress and the cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul – the burial place of Romanov dynasty. Walk along Neva River – with a view of the Hermitage, SS. Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac Cathedral and countless hauntingly beautiful sites. You will see the monument to Peter the Great “Medniy Vsadnik” (“Copper Horseman”) – the symbol of St. Petersburg. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight St. Petersburg. (B.D.).

DAY 5 : ST. PETERSBURG

Today we marvel at the beauty of St. Isaac’s Cathedral – is one of the world’s biggest domed Cathedrals. At the same time, St. Isaac’s also is one of the biggest Orthodox Cathedral ever built. Never a parish church, it was built as a dedication to the Heavenly Patron of Peter the Great – St. Isaac of Dalmatia. The cathedral reflects the Western style of architecture, but Orthodox visitors still will enjoy its frescoes, mosaics and designs. The view of St. Petersburg from its observation deck is truly magnificent. Today we see the State Historical Park “Tsarskoe Selo” (Tsar’s village) – This is the place of Catherine the Great’s Palace. Built in the second half of the 18th century, it represents the glory of Russia’s “Golden Age”. You will see the amazing palace of Catherine the Great and the fully restored amber room located in it. An ethnic show, ballet, opera, theater or different entertainment will be organized one evening. Overnight St. Petersburg. (B.D.)

DAY 6: ST. PETERSURG

This morning we celebrate Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan. Kazan Cathedral was once the main cathedral of the Russian Empire. It was built in the early 19th century and from the front resembles the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome, and was built in dedication to the most venerated icon in Russia – Our Lady of Kazan. During the Soviet times, it was converted into a museum of atheism (!). In the early 1990’s, the cathedral was given back to the church and now it is the Cathedral of the Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and a place of daily services. We also visit St. John of Rila Monastery ,tour the Monastery and venerate the relics of St. John of Kronstadt. Afternoon at leisure for shopping and exploring. In the evening we have dinner in a local restaurant and then we board an overnight train to Moscow.

DAY 7: MOSCOW

We arrive Moscow and check into the hotel. We then have a tour of the Red Square, the center of activity in Moscow, surrounded by the Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral. After lunch (not included in the price), Next will be the Kremlin grounds, and its many treasures: the Cathedrals of the Assumption, of Archangel Michael, and of the Annunciation, the Bell Tower of Ivan the Great, the great bronze Czar bell and Cannon. 4.30 pm transfer by coach to Stretenski Monastery for Vigil. After Vigil board the coach for a brief driving tour of the area – Pushkin Square, the Bolshoi Theatre, Kitai Gorod. Overnight Moscow. (D.)

DAY 8: MOSCOW

Transfer by coach to St. Catherine Orthodox Church for Divine Liturgy. After Liturgy, venerate the Vladimir Icon at the Tretyakov and then depart by coach for Donskoi Monastery for a tour of this historic complex with the relics of St. Tikhon of Moscow – Apostle to America. Transfer to Christ the Savior Cathedral for a tour and dinner at the famous Boris Godunov restaurant, followed by a theatre performance (preferably Godunov Opera). Overnight Moscow. (B.D.)

DAY 9:MOSCOW- SERGIEV POSAD

After a visit to Danilov Monastery, the oldest monastery in Moscow established in the 1200’s by St. Prince Daniil. Presently it serves as the official headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Church. Then transfer to Sergiev Posad, an ancient town renowned for its Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery, one of the oldest and most prominent in Russia and the spiritual center of Russia for the past six hundred years. During a private tour, discover the monastery’s thirteen churches, the Tomb of Boris Godunov, the relics of St. Sergius of Radonezh, St Filaret of Moscow, and St. Innocent – Apostle to America. Tour the Moscow Theological Academy museum. Lunch at the Trapeznaya restaurant in Sergiev Posad. Return to Moscow, stopping at the Sofrino church goods factory/store; Drive past Sparrow Hill (Moscow University) and the Novodevechi Monastery. Vorobyovi Gori – is wonderful spot by Moscow University from where you can see almost all of Moscow. Overnight Moscow. (B.L.D)

DAY 10: MOSCOW

Today we visit the Armory museum to see its fabulous collection of Fabrege eggs, jewels, and royal thrones and Kolomenskoe Estate the former residence of Russian Czars. We stop here for pictures and then visit Arbat an “alternative” pedestrian zone; place of art galleries and souvenir shopping. The afternoon is at leisure for you to visit Tretyakov Art Museum, housing the largest collection of Russian art, or you may want to take a ride on the famous Moscow Metro or shop and just relax. Overnight Moscow. (B.D.)

DAY 11: KIEV

We transfer by coach to the airport for the brief flight to Kiev. After customs and passport formalities, you will be met and then transferred to the hotel for check-in. Today’s tour will include a visit to the golden-domed Kiev-Perchersk Lavra Monastery, where you will visit its underground catacombs built by the monks. Founded in the 11th-century, Lavra Monastery is regarded by most Russians as the most important center of old Russian culture. Remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight Kiev. (B.D.)

DAY 12: KIEV

After breakfast, tour this charming city of splendid parks, graceful bridges and many elegant buildings, including the Cathedral of St. Sofia, St. Andrew’s Church, and the Golden-Gate. Continue to Vladimir Hills for a panoramic view of the city. In the afternoon we tour the Cathedral of St. Sofia with its magnificent frescoes and murals. Farewell dinner tonight is in a typical Ukrainian restaurant with local music. Overnight Kiev. (B.D.)

DAY 13: KIEV- USA

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport for the return flight to the USA. (B)

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