- 7 nights at a Five Star Hotel in Saint Petersburg
- All entrances as per program except optionals
- Transportation by private vehicles as per program
- Private English speaking guide
- 3 lunches at local restaurant
- 4 dinners
- Visa support letter
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Unique Dance and Arts focused journey to Saint Petersburg, Russia. Experience private before hours tours with top museum curators,dancers and artists. Learn about crafts and folklore and experience the destination through performances. Perfect for dance teachers and schools. Help your students explore the world through dance and art tours!
Depart on your overnight flight to Saint Petersberg, Russia.
Welcome to the thriving capital of dance and arts, Saint-Petersburg. Upon arrival you will be met by your Tour Manager and have a private transfer to your hotel.. Welcome dinner this evening .(D)
Introductory words of Alexey Leporc about Saint-Petersburg, Russian Ballet and ballet in St. Petersburg
Professor Leporc is a Curator in the Department of Western European Art at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. As well as is his curatorial responsibilities, he is also Professor of 15th – 20th century West European art and architecture at St Petersburg Europe University. Since 1990 he has held various research and teaching positions at Vienna’s Insititute of Art History, in Munich’s Central Institute of Art History and the Berlin Kulturstifung der Laender. He has accompanied several high level visits to Russia over the years for The World Monuments Fund, The Guggenheim Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum and The Courtauld Institute and National Arts Collections Fund. He accompanied a highly successful visit for the Oxford University Society in 2008.
In the morning after having breakfast the guest will have a chance to get acquainted with one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, Saint Petersburg remains one of the most romantic cities in Russia. Among the many poetical names applied to St. Petersburg the most common are “Northern Venice” and “Northern Palmyra”. The fascinating palaces and cathedrals, beautiful bridges over Venice-like canals, spacious squares and wide streets decorated with edifices of flourished baroque and impressive classical styles, monumental sculpture and lacy iron grilles and, of course, the special spirituality of this city infects everyone who visits it. In 1991 the city was placed on the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage. With numerous palaces and the world famous Hermitage on the banks of the Neva river, the city is Russia’s most popular destination, drawing visitors from all over the world throughout the year.
Visit to Peter and Paul’s fortress
Standing on a small island at the centre of the Neva delta, the fortress was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great and is the oldest building in St Petersburg. Up to 1917, the fortress was mainly used for holding political prisoners, such as Dostoyevsky, Lenin’s brother Alexander and Peter the Great’s own son Alexei. At the heart of the fortress is the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul, with its landmark gold spire, where all of Russia’s pre-Revolutionary leaders were buried, apart from Peter, Ivan IV and Nicholas II.
St Isaacs Cathedral
Is the main church of the city. Commissioned in 1818 by Alexander I, this imperial cathedral with its opulent interior and huge gold dome by its height occupies the 4th place in the world among domed cathedrals. The massive granite columns had to be transported from Finland on purpose built ships and rail and the dome is covered in nearly 100kg of gold; inside, there are 10 malachite columns and a beautiful iconostasis. For visitors with energy to spare, it is possible to climb the several hundred steps of the spiral staircase to the colonnade for a fabulous view of the city.
The Church of Spilled Blood
The Church on Spilled Blood commissioned by Alexander III in 1882 to honour the memory of his father Alexander who was assassinated the previous year; the altar was built on the very place where his blood stained the cobblestones. It was built to resemble St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow – hence it’s stunning exterior – and was recently completely restored inside.
“The St. Petersburg World of Water”, an information and education centre opened for the city’s in St. Petersburg’s first water tower, a monument of 19th century industrial architecture. The museum’s exhibits, models, installations and multimedia displays tell of the past, present and future of city’s water supply and drainage system, the use of water in everyday life and the current state of water resources. Museums of this kind enjoy great popularity in Europe, but are not yet very widespread in Russia. In addition to photographs and archive material, pipes and appliances, on the fifth floor there is a reconstruction of a genuine water-worker’s corner during the siege ( a bed, a stool and table). There is a model of the mechanism controlling the water channel with the operator standing beside it (a waxwork figure). In the annexe to left you will find a large-scale map of the Neva on the floor; special lights highlight the areas that would be floored at various levels of water. A variety of short-term exhibitions are held in the right-hand annex. Near the walls of the tower stands the statue of St. Petersburg water-carrier, pulling a barrel of water. Water was carried around the city in barrels such as this in first half of the 19th century. (B,L)
In the morning admire the wonderful collection of the world’s biggest museum – Hermitage. Today, the museum has over 2 million exhibits within its four buildings and attracts around 3 million visitors a year. The exhibitions are diverse with works by Da Vinci, Raphael, Rembrandt, an impressive collection of impressionists and largest collection of Titians in existence.
Early opening of the Hermitage before the public time may be arranged for you.
Special private performance of the school pupils is arranged for the guests in one of the centrally located venues
Ballet school leading by V. Kuramshin established in 1994 (in October 2009 it celebrated its 15 anniversary). Vladislav Kuramshin - a graduate of the Leningrad Academic Choreography school (now – Vaganova ballet school), then the ballet dancer of the Kirov (Mariinsky) theater.
The Ballet school is a unique institution, because children start professional ballet education here from 5-6 years, and by 10-11 years our pupils achieve such success that they can perform the most difficult elements of classical choreography, such as, for example, 32 fouettes, the golden standard of ballet technique (not every adult ballerina can do it!). The school is a private educational institution. Our theatre has been on ballet tours with great success many times in Germany, Bulgaria, Italy, France, Turkey, Czech Republic, Latvia, Estonia, Spain, Finland and Croatia. It repeatedly became the winner of various international ballet festivals and competitions. (B,D)
Today you will visit one of the most interesting and nicely preserved palaces of the city – Yusupov palace, bulit in the 1740’s and then bought by Catherine II for one of her ladies in waiting and was eventually bought by Prince Nikolai Yusupov in 1830 for 250,000 roubles! It was here that Prince Felix Yusupov planned and carried out the murder of Rasputin, who was lured to the Palace under the pretext of meeting Felix’ young beautiful wife Irina. All the rooms are beautifully restored and full of art, and the highlight must be the exquisite private theatre, built for Zineida Yusupov, where such renowned artists as Anna Pavlova and Shaliapin have performed. Backstage tour of the unique private theatre (Anna Pavlova, a famous Russian prima ballerina of the late 19th –early 20th century, performed on the stage)
Start your tour today with the Special Backstage tour of Mariinsky Theate. The guests will see how a performance is engineered, the rooms where the dancers/singers prepare for the performance, and how the scenery is made. It is also a unique opportunity to see scenery painting by famous Russian artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.
One of the city’s attractions is the Imperial Opera Theatre called Mariinsky in honour of Maria Fedorovna, the wife of Emperor Alexander II. Built by architect Cavos in 1859-1860, it was inaugurated in 1860. Today the Mariinsky Theatre is one of the most beautiful in the world, famous for its renowned performers such as Marius Petipa, Matilda Kshesinskaya, Anna Pavlova, Rudolf Nyreev, Michael Barishnikov, Fyodor Shalyapin and others. The theatre has witnessed the triumphs of several generations of opera and ballet stars.
A visit of the exhibition “Stars of Russian Ballet” at one of the branches of the Theatre Museum by Samoylov
Samoylov museums of Theatrical and Music art
Located next to the Alexandrinsky formerly the Imperial Theatre and St. Petersburg's premier stage for classical drama, this small museum displays costumes, set designs, playbills and other artefacts connected to some of the greatest names of Russian ballet and drama, including ballet stars Anna Pavlova and Rudolf Nuereyev, Michael Baryshnikov, theatre director Vsevolod Meyerhold, artists and set designers Leon Bakst, Boris Kustodiev and Kazemir Malevitch.
The museum is named by the actor dynasty of the Samoylovs. Thirteen members of this family were theatre workers. The museum is located in the house which had earlier belonged to actor V. V. Samoylov. The exposition contains Samoylov’s personal articles, things which belonged to members of his family and fellow actors, theatre sketches and pieces of painting. (B,D)
This morning we visit The Ethnography museum, devoted to the culture and everyday life of the peoples of Russia. One of the world's largest ethnographic museums. The tools, domestic items, folk costumes, utensils and objects of ritual that are exhibited in the 24 halls of the museum, give an idea about the occupations of the population, their dwellings, holidays, rites and religious beliefs. Most of the exhibits illustrating the domestic culture of the various peoples of Russia in the 19th and 20th centuries are presented in the form of lifesize models. The focal point of the museum is its Special Storeroom which contains a great variety of national ornaments, weaponry and devational objects, made of precious metals, pearl and precious and semiprecious stones. Many of these artefacts are the only ones of their kind and the art of their production has long been forgotten. The displays feature "The Slavs of Eastern Europe" and "From the History of St. Petersburg Gubernia" dwell on the distinctive features of regional cultures.
Fabergé Easter egg masterpieces
The House of Fabergé, founded in 1842 in St. Petersburg, manufactured a wide range of items, from unique pieces made by order of the Russian royal family, European monarchs and Eastern rulers, to mass-produced goods (jewelry, silver utensils, and gemstone carving sculptures). The peak of the creative work of Carl Fabergé, who headed the family business in 1872, is considered to be his Easter eggs with surprises inside, made to the order of the last Romanovs – the Emperors Alexander III and Nicholas II. The Fabergé museum's collection has nine Fabergé Imperial Easter eggs, which is the second largest collection of Imperial Easter eggs in the world, being just a single egg less than in the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Armory. The Fabergé museum's collection is also significant because it includes the very first Imperial egg, the “Hen” egg (1.01), created in 1885, which launched the famous Imperial Easter series; the “Coronation” egg (4.01), dedicated to the coronation of Nicholas II and Alexandra Fyodorovna; and, finally, the last Imperial egg – the Order of St. George egg. This egg, made during World War I, was given by Nicholas II to his mother, the Empress Maria Fyodorovna (9.01).
The House of Fabergé created 50 Imperial eggs altogether. Each one of them took a year’s worth of work, starting just after Easter, and was barely finished by Holy Week a year later. Carl Fabergé personally delivered each new Easter masterpiece to the Tsar. Each new egg was striking for its novelty, the originality of its composition, and its virtuoso jewelry work.
Fabergé created precious Easter gifts both for the Russian imperial family and for members of titled families and the world's industrial elite. For example, Fabergé created a luxurious Easter egg clock (10.01) in 1902 for Consuelo, Duchess of Marlborough, who was a representative of the Vanderbilt clan of American tycoons.
Seven Easter eggs were made by the House of Fabergé in the Kelch cycle from 1898 to 1904, with the first being the “Hen” egg (12.02), and the last being the “Chanticleer” egg (12.01). These eggs were made for Varvara Petrovna Bazanova (wife of Alexander Kelch). Bazanova came from a very wealthy family of Moscow merchants, owning gold mines and a railway construction and shipping company. Kelch commissioned the seven eggs from Fabergé for his wife.
Private canal boat ride (season permitting)
The city of St Petersburg looks completely different from the water, and a canal ride will show the visitor several parts of the city which are missed during a city tour by coach. The city is situated on 42 islands, being washed by more than 90 rivers, Neva’s arms and channels. The granite embankments with the slopes and piers have become peculiar pedestals for the magnificent palaces: Winter, Marble, Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich (Neva), Mikhailov, Mariinsky, Stroganof, Yusupov (Moyka), Anichkov, Sheremetyev, Dukes Beloselski-Belozerski (Fontanka). A private boat is rented for the guests. The lower deck has got a roof to protect the clients from the wind and rain. There are tables and chairs there. For those who would like a breath of air, there is an open air terrace on the upper deck. For some tourists it is a nice possibility just to relax at the end of the day, enjoying the sights from the boat, to others – learn more about the city, listening to the guide’s story. There is a possibility to serve a cocktail on board or/and to provide musicians that would entertain the guests during the trip. (B,L)
Full day outside the city – Peterhoff Arrive to the sumptuous Peterhoff, or “Peter’s Court”, dates back to 1715 and is a former summer residence of the Russian Tsars. Most famous for its stunning golden fountains, the palace grounds house several buildings and parks – the Grand Palace (“the Russian Versailles”, now a vast museum of lavish rooms and galleries), Monplaisir (Peter’s outwardly more humble villa), the Grand Cascade (the centrepiece of the palace grounds with over 140 fountains), the Lower Park (parkland along the Gulf with more fountains and pavillions), Marly Palace and Alexandria Park. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the population of St Petersburg was invited to dine here at a great summer fete held every year.
Special early opening of Grand Palace is arranged for the guests. Enjoy the tour of the palace and parks
Upon arrive from have a lunch at the restaurant Orangerie
After lunch visit Alexander Nevsky Lavra. This working monastery was founded by Peter in 1713, and became a lavra (superior monastery) in 1797. Inside, you’ll find the Tikhvin and Lazarus Cemeteries, where many of Russia’s famous artistic figures such as Rimsky-Korsakov and Dostoyevsky, and famous architects are buried, the Trinity Cathedral, the St Petersburg Metropolitan’s House and the Orthodox Academy.
Hydrofoil (back from Peterhof)
Most visitors to Peterhof prefer to travel 18 miles to the Grand Palace and Park by hydrofoil. Individuals and groups use it to zip down the Neva River to Peterhof's setting on the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea and/or back to the city. The hydrofoil trip takes about 30-45 minutes. Seeing the Peterhof Grand Palace, fountains, and park from the water is breathtaking.
Ballet performance in Mikhailovsky or Hermitage theater this evening. (B,L)
After breakfas we depart for the former summer residences of the Russian tsars – Tsars Village (Pushkin town) to visit there the Catherine Palace and park. Situated in the suburbs of Saint Petersburg the Tsar Village is a unique ensemble comprising several pavilions, beautiful lakes and gardens and a wonderful Catherine Palace The summer palace was originally given by Peter the Great to his wife Catherine, and was rebuilt by Italian architect Rastrelli in 1756. The palace is a huge, elegant building with white and hold Baroque mouldings set against a blue background, set in a beautiful park with elaborate gardens, canals and pavilions. Catherine the Great loved living here. Some of the more beautiful rooms include the Great Hall, the State Dining Room, the Amber Room, the Blue Drawing Room, the bedroom of Alexander I’s wife Elisabeth and the Palace Church.
The clients visit Catherine palace and promenade in the beautiful park afterwards.
Amber workshop visit
Enjoy lunch in “Podvorie” restaurant is located nearby Pushkin (Catherine palace) and Pavlovsk. “Podvorye” has a traditional wooden Russian décor and national cuisine. The restaurant is known to have been visited by top level officials – Vladimir Putin, Jaques Chirac, etc. It is a very cosy restaurant, the interior resembles traditional Russian terem (wooden palace), a lot of woodcarving. Meal is accompanied by folklore group singing.
Russian vodka, wine are served unlimited as well as there is entertainment during the meal (Russian folklore).
The folk show 'Feel Yourself Russian' is comprised of the bright performances of Saint Petersburg professional folk companies. The musicians of the Russian folk ensemble 'The Souvenir' play traditional accordion, balalaika as well as some rare and even exotic musical instruments. The dance company 'Petersburg Stars' brilliantly performs lyrical dances of the Russian North, stirring dances of the Cossacks from the Don and Voronezh, dancing miniatures of the Urals and Siberia. 'The Maidan' Company performs Cossack songs and dances in their original form. The folk instruments quartet 'Naiggrysh' plays versions of the well-known Russian tunes and the folk music of different nationalities. The national color of the performance is enriched with the bright dresses made in accordance with Russian traditions. Divided into two parts the show lasts for about two hours. In the intermission Russian snacks and beverages (canapes with caviar red and black, ham, smoked sausage, cheese, fruit, strong and soft drinks) are served. In the interval the guests are also welcome to listen to classical music performed by a string quartette and buy various Russian souvenirs.
Departure from Russia with learning experiences which will last a lifetime. Departure transfer provided.