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Russia: Last Journey of the Tsars

from $2,449.00

An exciting journey across Russia in the footsteps of the Tsars

  • Reviews 8 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Leisurely / Moderate
  • Group Size Small Group
    6 - 16
All about the Russia: Last Journey of the Tsars.

On the night of the 17th July 1918, the Tsar of Russia and his family were executed in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth largest city just east of the Ural Mountains, the gateway to Siberia and a whole other Russia. On this journey we follow their final footsteps: from Moscow we travel by train across this historically fascinating, yet almost unknown region of Russia. Visiting ancient Suzdal and Vladimir, Kazan; capital of the Republic of Tartarstan – the centre of Russia’s Muslim culture; the once closed city of Gorky – now known as Nizhny Novgorod. Finally, on day 7 we will reach Yekaterinburg a city overflowing with history and culture.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts and 1 dinner
* All accommodation
* Airport transfers (at designated times)
* Letter of invitation for visa

Tour leader throughout

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Explore some of Russia’s lesser known cities
  • Travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway
  • Visit cathedrals, monasteries and mosques
  • Evening dinner with a local family
  • St Petersburg Extension available
  • 7 nights comfortable hotels, 1 night sleeper train
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs.
  • Travel by private mini bus and sleeper train
  1. Day 1 Start Moscow.

    Arrive in the early evening and transfer to our centrally located hotel in Moscow. The journey takes approximately 1 hour from Sheremetyevo Airport yet during peak season this can be longer due to traffic. The closest subway station to our hotel is Arbatskaya on the blue line (the only station where all four lines meet).After dinner we recommend an evening walk onto Red Square.*Arbat House Hotel or similar*

  2. Day 2 Full day sightseeing tour of Moscow. Evening train to Suzdal.

    This morning we enjoy a walking tour of Moscow, surely one of the most iconic cities in the world. Our route takes us across Red Square, with time to visit Lenin’s Mausoleum and the ornate GUM Shopping Centre. We then hop aboard the marvellous, efficient Metro system, for a short tour of some of the most beautiful stations. Many are lined with marble, stained glass and adorned with chandeliers.After lunch, we will explore the Kremlin – a city within a city. It is still the seat of political power in Russia and contains many of its greatest treasures. We visit the magnificent cathedrals of St. Michael the Archangel, the Annunciation and the Assumption, as well as the Tsar Bell and the golden domes of Ivan the Great Bell Tower.In the early evening, we transfer to Kurskaya train station for the train to Vladimir, with an onward transfer to Suzdal. It’s an interesting run, firstly through the suburbs of soviet blocks and then pretty countryside that surrounds the Russian capital.*Suzdal Inn or similar*

  3. Day 3 Guided tour of Suzdal and wooden architecture museum.

    Suzdal is sometimes called the ’diamond in the Golden Ring’ – a ring refers to the ring of ancient towns and cities of historic and religious importance surrounding Moscow. This small town of wooden cottages and fine churches once served as the capital of Russia, when Moscow was not much more than a cluster of cowsheds. It transformed into a major monastic centre in the times of Ivan the Terrible and also became an important commercial hub.Our morning walking tour will take in all the main sights, including the Kremlin and the Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral. After a lunch stop, we’ll visit the Museum of Wooden Architecture, where buildings from all over the region were bought up to protect them from redevelopment. The museum really gives us an idea of how people in the past lived. The ’village’ includes houses, workshops and even two whole churches.In the evening we visit a local family and enjoy a traditional evening meal at their home.*Suzdal Inn or similar*

  4. Day 4 Transfer to Vladimir; sightseeing and free time. Evening train to Nizhny Novgorod.

    Today we return to Vladimir, somewhat more industrial than Suzdal, due to its location on the Trans-Siberian line, but no less significant. The town is another former capital of Russia and home to several UNESCO protected architectural masterpieces, including the Golden Gates, St Demetrius’ Cathedral and the Dormition Cathedral.In the late afternoon, we board the eastbound Trans-Siberian Express for Nizhny Novgorod arriving in time for a late dinner.*Gorky Hotel or similar*

  5. Day 5 City tour of Nizhny Novgorod; optional afternoon excursion to Makaryev Monastery. Overnight train to Kazan.

    Nizhny Novgorod, known as Gorky until 1991, was once a ’closed city’ to foreigners to safeguard the security of Soviet military research and production facilities. It was also home to the exiled nuclear physicist Andrei Sakharov an activist for disarmament, peace and human rights. With these dark days behind it, Russias fifth largest city is now home to a beautiful restored cliff-top Kremlin overlooking the confluence of the Volga and Oka rivers.After a morning tour of the main sights, there is free time or you may wish to take an optional excursion along the Volga River, to the 15th century Makaryev Monastery.After an early dinner back in the city, we once again board the Trans-Siberian Express, this time in 4 berth cabins for the overnight journey to Kazan the capital of the Tatarstan Republic.*Sleeper train*

  6. Day 6 Full day in Kazan, Russia's Tartar Capital.

    Kazan is sometimes referred to as ’Istanbul on the Volga’, a city where East meets West, and the Orthodox domes and spires compete with the minarets to form the most unique skyline of any Russian city. This is the capital of the Tatarstan Republic, autonomous, oil-rich, but still firmly under Moscow’s control. Since 2000 vast sums of money have been spent cleaning up the city, adding bilingual street signs and building a stunning new mosque. Kazan really is like no other city in Russia.Our morning tour includes the Kremlin, The Qul Sharif Mosque, Khan’s Mausoleum and the Temple of All Religions. The afternoon is free to enjoy the city at your leisure.*Maksim Gorky Hotel or similar*

  7. Day 7 From Europe to Asia, cross the Ural Mountains.

    After breakfast, we start out final journey by rail to Yekaterinburg. Boarding the Trans-Siberian Express we head east, leaving Europe behind and move into the Asian region of the colossal nation that is Russia. Our 14.5hr journey passes through the dense forest of pine, small industrial towns, wooden villages and the rolling foothills of the Urals, the journey really gives us a sense of what the rest of the country is like and an idea of just how vast and remote some parts are. Station stops are a real highlight of the day as there is time to leave the train, buy home cooked snacks from locals and meet some of our fellow passengers. This is a day to relax and watch the world go by, before reaching our final destination of Yekaterinburg late in the evening.*Marins Park Hotel or similar*

  8. Day 8 Morning tour of Yekaterinburg; free afternoon.

    Yekaterinburg is our final destination on this epic journey, a city that has played a huge part in the recent history of Russia. Here, on the 17th June 1918, the Romanov Family met their fate, having been taken here from St Petersburg (then Petrograd) in April of the same year. In a dark cellar of a modest house, they were shot and stabbed by Bolshevik troops, changing the course of European history forever.The house no longer stands, having been pulled down in 1977 by the orders of Boris Yeltsin. Today the new Church on the Blood sits on the same site. As well as a city tour we visit the Museum of The Royal Family. We then have a free afternoon to enjoy the city and you may choose to visit the Museum of Military Glory, or maybe just relax with a coffee in one of the cities many cafes.*Marins Park Hotel or similar*

  9. Day 9 End Yekaterinburg

    Our tour ends after breakfast.

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Where you stay

Hotels and sleeper train

Suzdal Inn, Suzdal, Russia

You will spend 7 nights in comfortable 3 star hotels and 1 night on a sleeper train. All accommodation is offered on a twin share basis with private facilities. Our properties in all three cities are in central locations, within walking distance of the main sights (no more than 20 minutes). Wi-Fi is available free of charge but may only be accessible in public areas and is often temperamental. Each hotel offers a buffet breakfast.

The sleeper train is based on 4 berth cabins. Linen is provided. If you have trouble getting into an upper bunk, please let Exodus know at the time of booking.

Single supplement excludes sleep train between Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan.

Life on the Trans-Siberian Railway
Maxim Gorky Hotel, Kazan, Russia
Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 1 dinner are included

There are not many restaurants and cafes in Russia where you can try true Russian cuisine. Nowadays Russian food is a mixture of cuisine from neighbouring countries such as Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and other Central Asian countries. There are pancakes and pies with different fillings, delicious khachapuri (traditional Georgian pie with homemade cheese suluguni), caucus kebabs, Uzbekistani plov (rice dish with meat and vegetables) and soups (traditional Russian schi with solty cabbage or Ukrainian borsch with beetroot). Your leader will arrange group dinners in different places to get the most out of this gastronomic mix throughout your journey.

Vegetarians are well catered for in Moscow but less so outside the capital. Meals are generally good value and you can expect to pay USD$30-$45 equivalent per person for dinner and between USD$8-15 equivalent for a lunch snack.

Although this is not the exact final journey the Romanov family took in 1918 (they were taken from St Petersburg, then the capital of the country), it does give us a fascinating inside into Russia’s recent history, from the Revolution of 1917, to the rise of the USSR, through to the reign of Vladimir Putin today.

This trip is graded as Leisurely/Moderate (2) and we visit as much as possible in some of Russia’s lesser-known cities, certainly off most Western tourist maps. The itinerary is busy and we visit a lot of churches, monasteries and museums. Although we do have minibus transport please be prepared to walk some distance. Entrances to all sites listed in the itinerary are included.

At train stations, you will be expected to carry your luggage up and down steps through tunnels and over bridges.

On occasion, the government may choose to close Red Square without warning. For the overnight train journey, we use second class compartments that comprise of 4 berths and are of a reasonable standard, with bed linen provided. Please note that cabins can be rather hot. We do not have our own private compartments and people not from the group may be sharing with us if the group is an odd number.

All nationalities require a visa for Russia. These requirements will vary depending on your nationality. It is your responsibility to arrange a visa prior to travel, but we will provide you with more information after booking to help and advice with this.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

A Russian journey from Europe to Asia

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the locations where major events in Russian history occurred, e.g. siege of Vladimir, execution of Royal Family.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Very helpful and efficient. He dealt well with sickness amongst group members and made sure that everybody kept good time during what was a tightly-scheduled trip. Very open and informative about Russian society and traditions.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Always dress for cold weather. I arrived in Moscow to 25degC heat which dropped to 16degC on Day 2 and, in Kazan, became 6degC with a sub-zero wind chill.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Artem was very quick to follow up after the trip with contact details of group members.

Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

Russia by trans Siberia railway

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In Yacatherinburg at the church of the spilled blood
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Great holiday, Russia is far more advanced than we in the West tend to think
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Suzdal with its Chekovian impressionist atmosphere. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Nizhny Novgorod. Tran-Siberian rail journey.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding leader. Relaxed but utterly efficient. Eager to engage with all members of the group and willing to share real insights into the developments in Russia over the last 30 years. He made a great contribution to the success of the tour.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy the Russian Standard vodka - it seems to ward off germs!

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Russia: Last Journey of the Tsars

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I'm not sure I'd describe moments as inspirational as much as very enjoyable and sometimes unexpected. Visiting Red Square at night on our first evening together as a group. The peace of small-town Suzdal after the tourist hoardes of the Moscow Kremlin. Seeing where the Romanovs were murdered in Yekaterinburg, and hearing conflicting theories about their fate. The attractiveness of Kazan. Hopping off the train to buy food from women selling meals on the platform at stations in the middle of nowhere. Eating great plov, khachapuri and shashlik all over the place....
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Yvgeny was calm and organised, and I had absolute confidence he would get us safely from one destination to the next. He was happy to talk about the ins and outs of everyday Russian life, and it was interesting to hear about his plans for his family dacha - a welcome escape from the pressures of Moscow living.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't change too much money into roubles all in one go. Prices are a lot more reasonable once you leave Moscow, and there are money exchanges in every town/city. Take insect repellent, particularly for Suzdal where we we all fell victim to mosquito bites. And don't overpack. The trip involves a lot of getting on and off trains and carrying your bag up and down numerous flights of stairs.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great trip if you want to see a slice of 'real' Russia and travel with real Russians, away from the main tourist route between Moscow and St Petersburg.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

There's more to Russia than Moscow and St. Petersburg!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Nizhny Novogord probably surprised me the most. I was expecting a pretty dank, industrial city. However it was actually a lovely place with a real European vibe, great cafes, a small Kremlin with a good modern art museum and a fascinating history, especially during the Soviet period, when it was a closed city.The pretty town of Suzal was also lovely and a total contrast to Moscow.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide was cool, calm and organsied. Considering this was a first depart all went very well.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light, carrying cases on and off the train, over bridges and through tunnels isn't easy. Don't forget mosquito repellent, around Suzal was particularly bad.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go with an open mind about Russia and you'll be plesently surprised.

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Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
May 22, 2021
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$2,449.00
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June 5, 2021
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August 28, 2021
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September 18, 2021
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