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Murmansk and Beyond

An Exclusive Arctic Train Journey

A journey through the Russian Arctic is a rarity for most travelers, made even more unique with an exclusively chartered Arctic train from Moscow to Murmansk, the Arctic’s largest city! The adventure begins with culture-filled days in Moscow, Pskov and Staraya Russa, followed by an inspiring visit to gorgeous Petrozavodsk, where the idyllic Kizhi Island on Lake Onega awaits. Then it’s off to the Arctic and the edge of the world, with a tour of amazing Murmansk on the Kola Bay as well as a visit to the dreamlike and remote port town of Teriberka. After your Arctic experience, you head back south to St. Petersburg, where you spend three eye-opening days discovering this Venice of the North. An exclusive train on this route is an absolute rarity—you won’t find such a comfortable journey anywhere else in this part of the Arctic!

Day 1 Moscow: Welome to Russia’s Capital
Day 2 Moscow to Pskov: Your First Step North
Day 3 Pskov: City of Churches
Day 4 Staraya Russa: Dostoevsky’s Summer City
Day 5 Petrozavodsk: A Day on the Lake
Day 6 Petrozavodsk: City of Cultures
Day 7 Solovetsky Islands: Last Stop Before the Arctic
Day 8 Murmansk and Teriberka: Inside the Arctic Circle
Day 9 On the Right Track: Toward St. Petersburg
Day 10 St. Petersburg: Russia’s Venice of the North
Day 11 St. Petersburg: Castles of the Tsar and the Amber Room
Day 12 St. Petersburg: The Tsars’ Crypt and a Treasure Trove of Art
Day 13. St. Petersburg: Farewell, Russia!

DATES

30 May 20 – 11 June 20 (13 Days)

Day 1 Moscow: Welcome to Russia’s Capital You arrive via airport transfer at your hotel in Moscow city center, and you immediately feel the city’s energy. That evening after dinner, you and your fellow travelers take a nocturnal city tour of Moscow, illuminated by the inviting lights of bridges, towers and palaces. After such an enjoyable day, you head back to the hotel where you grab a nightcap or simply rest your head and let the day’s sights populate your dreams. Overnight: Hotel Intercontinental (or similar) (D)

Day 2 Moscow to Pskov: Your First Step North In the morning, after a hearty breakfast at the hotel, you continue your informative guided discovery of Moscow. You explore the grounds of the Kremlin, including several gorgeous cathedrals from Russia’s Tsarist era. In the afternoon, you board your exclusive Arctic train, bound for Pskov. Overnight: On board (BLD)

Day 3 Pskov: City of Churches Your experience of this thousand-year-old city actually starts with a morning visit to the village of Izborsk, where you visit one of Russia’s most ancient fortresses. Later, you head back toward Pskov, but first visit another idyllic town, Pechory, where you see the Pechory monastery and the intriguing, so-called hermit grottoes. From here, you are just three kilometers (4.8 miles) from the border of Estonia and the European Union. After lunch you explore Pskov’s old city center, the Kremlin and the Miroschki monastery (UNESCO). In the evening, you enjoy some free time then partake of a delicious restaurant dinner before boarding your exclusive Arctic train toward your next stop, Staraya Russa. Overnight: On board (BLD)

Day 4 Staraya Russa: Dostoevsky’s Summer City In this rarely visited city, you enjoy a rare experience: a visit to the summer home of Russia’s preeminent author, Fyodor Dostoevsky. The city is known for being the inspiration for the backdrop of his final novel, the Brothers Karamazov. Later you board your exclusive Arctic train for Novgorod, where you take a boat ride on Lake Ilmen. A visit to the Cathedral of St. Sophia, one of Russia’s oldest churches, is on the program today, as is a visit to the city’s Kremlin. That evening, you depart on your exclusive train toward Petrozavodsk. Overnight: On board (BLD)

Day 5 Petrozavodsk: A Day on the Lake When you arrive in the Karelian capital of Petrozavodsk, you enjoy an excursion to historic Kizhi Island on Lake Onega. The island is home to a famous open-air museum that features dozens of beautiful wooden houses built in traditional Karelian style. Tonight you rest your head in a comfortable, centrally located hotel before continuing via rail. Overnight: Piter Inn (or similar) (BLD)

Day 6 Petrozavodsk: City of Cultures Today you have time to explore the attractive promenade of Lake Onega on your own. Here you get to discover the city’s community of Vepsians, a Finnic people and longtime cultural minority in Russia. For dinner you enjoy authentic Karelian cuisine at a local restaurant. Later that evening, you board your exclusive Arctic train for the historic town of Kem. Overnight: On board (BLD)

Day 7 Solovetsky Islands: Last Stop Before the Arctic In the small historic town of Kem on the coast of the White Sea, you take a bus to the harbor, where you board a ferry for the Solovetsky Islands, (weather permitting). Here you see the famous Solovetsky Monastery, one of the first sites in Russia to make it onto the UNESCO World Heritage List, and enjoy a traditional lunch. If the weather doesn’t play along, alternatives will be arranged. In the late evening, your exclusive Arctic train takes you toward Murmansk, your first stop within the Arctic Circle. Overnight: On board (BD)

Day 8 Murmansk and Teriberka: Inside the Arctic Circle In the morning, you enjoy a delicious meal on board your exclusive Arctic train, after which you go on an informative tour of Murmansk, the Arctic’s largest city, situated on the picturesque Kola Bay. Later you enjoy a bus excursion north through sprawling tundra and impressive Arctic landscapes to a picturesque port in the Arctic Ocean—Teriberka. The rural village is perfectly situated on the Barents Sea, where old Soviet housing and derelict shipwrecks seem to have come right out of a fantasy novel. There are two beaches nearby where you can dip your toes into the chilled waters of the Arctic Ocean—if you dare! In the afternoon, you head back to Murmansk, where you spend the rest of the night. Overnight: Azimut Hotel Murmansk (or similar) (BLD)

Day 9 On the Right Track: Toward St. Petersburg After a tasty breakfast, you head to the station with a full belly, where your exclusive Arctic train waits to take you toward fascinating St. Petersburg. Overnight: On board (BLD)

Day 10 St. Petersburg: Russia’s Venice of the North Around noon your exclusive Arctic train arrives in St. Petersburg. Over the next three nights, this ravishing city will be your home. During a city tour, you discover the most important attractions of this Venice of the North: Nevsky Prospect—the city’s main street—Palace Square, Vasilyevsky Island, the Old St. Petersburg Stock Exchange, and much more. Overnight: Park Nevsky (or similar) (BL)

Day 11 St. Petersburg: Castles of the Tsar and the Amber Room In the morning, you go on an excursion 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of St. Petersburg to the town of Pushkin, formerly known as Tsarskoye Selo, the residence of the Russian imperial family. In the middle of the town is Catherine Palace, the former summer palace of the Tsars and Tsarinas. The palace’s most famous room, the legendary Amber Room, was stolen during World War II and has been missing ever since. In 1979, however, the Russian government began building a replica of the room, which was completed in 2003. For lunch you enjoy a Tsar’s feast of Russian culinary specialties, vodka and artistic performances. That evening, you have free time to enjoy a romp around town, a visit to the theater, or a boat ride on the Neva River. Overnight: Park Nevsky (or similar) (BL)

Day 12 St. Petersburg: The Tsars’ Crypt and a Treasure Trove of Art Today you get the opportunity to visit both the Peter and Paul Fortress and the Peter and Paul Cathedral – the burial place of the Romanov Dynasty – where you can see the sarcophaguses of almost all the former Tsars and Tsarinas. On a guided tour through the world-renowned State Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg, you view spectacular paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and Raffael. The museum is located in the Tsar’s former residence, the Winter Palace. In the evening, you enjoy a farewell dinner, during which you reflect upon the extraordinary journey you have just completed. Overnight: Park Nevsky (or similar) (BLD)

Day 13 St. Petersburg: Farewell, Russia! Your transfer from the hotel brings you swiftly to the airport for your return home as you bid farewell to this lovely corner of the world. It’s a bittersweet ending to an unforgettable journey. (B)

(B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner

 

  • Private train journey on the Kirov Railroad (aka—the Murman Railroad) from Moscow to St. Petersburg via Murmansk in the Arctic Circle
  • Dostoevsky’s summer home in Staraya Russa
  • Rare visits to the cities of Pskov, Staraya Russa and Murmansk
  • Fun and informative daily talks about regional people, places and culture
  • Visit to the State Hermitage Museum and the Amber Room in Russia’s Venice of the North, St. Petersburg
  • Excursion to historic Kizhi Island and its famous open-air museum
  • Untouched Karelian and Russian towns
  • Murmansk, the Arctic’s largest city
  • Russia’s stately and impressive capital, Moscow
  • Magnificent cathedrals and religious relics
  • Excursion to the Solovetsky Islands

 

Hotels Planned

  • Moscow 1 night – InterContinental (or similar)
  • Petrozavodsk 1 night – Piter Inn (or similar)
  • Murmansk 1 night – Azimut Hotel (or similar)
  • Petersburg 3 nights – Park Nevsky (or similar)

Included in Price

  • 6 nights on your exclusive Arctic train with guaranteed accommodation in the category booked from Moscow to St. Petersburg
  • 6 nights in hotels in Moscow, Petrozavodsk, Murmansk and St. Petersburg
  • Excursions and sightseeing according to itinerary, including entrance fees, with local English-speaking tour guide for up to 26 guests
  • All transportation according to itinerary
  • All meals according to itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Vodka tasting with typical snacks
  • Baggage service in all train stations
  • Informative, informal talks about the Murman Railroad as well as local geography and history
  • Doctor on board
  • Shower facilities on board
  • Travel guide and brochure with current insights into the country and people per booking

DATES for 2020

(13 days / 12 nights)

Departure Dates
30 May 20 – 11 June 20 Moscow to St. Petersburg

Pricing From (per person)

Classic – Category II
from US$5,250 per person twin

Bolshoi – Category IV
from US$9,010 per person twin