Northern Lights and New Year's Eve in the Russian Far North aboard the Imperial Train
10 Day Tour, from £4060 per person
Moscow in winter is nothing short of iconic. The immense historic buildings and squares wear a thick white coat of snow and travellers and locals alike shuffle past, wrapped up in furs to keep the chill at bay. Journey from Moscow to St Petersburg aboard the luxury Imperial Russia Train and spend the day discovering St Petersburg’s biggest attractions, from the Peter & Paul Fortress to the Pushkin town and the impressive St Catherine’s Palace. Continue north to the far reaches of Murmansk, far north of the arctic circle, to aim to catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis. Spend New Year’s eve in a Murmansk Hotel and set off to enjoy the frozen winter wilderness by dog sled at the house of Ded Moroz (Russia’s Father Christmas).
The journey also stops at lake-side Petrozavodsk, capital of the Republic of Kareliea, to explore Karelian traditions in the surrounding villages and Vologda on the Vologda River to tour the city’s impressive Kremlin.
Fly to Moscow and transfer to your five-star hotel.
Awake in Moscow and embark on a full-day guided sightseeing tour of the Russian capital, visiting Moscow’s most iconic attractions. Walk through the famous Red square, adorned with festive New Year’s decorations and in the afternoon, continue to the Kremlin—symbol of the Russian state and one of the greatest complexes in the world— and discover its magnificent collections of relics and pieces of art. Explore the Armoury museum, built in 1841 as a weapons and arms factory, which now houses Russian treasures ranging from religious icons to Fabergé eggs. (B,L,D)
Today visit the Kolomenskoe museum, a former royal estate. Experience the rigid ‘Russian winter’ with indoor and outdoor activities and partake in a traditional tea ceremony with Russian style pancakes. After lunch, discover the Old Arbat Street for an afternoon walking and shopping tour of Moscow’s famous thoroughfare. Originally forming a key part of the trade route into Moscow, the street developed into a district for nobility and parliamentary members, before becoming home to artists and intellectuals. After dinner in a local restaurant, transfer to the railway station to board the Imperial Russia Train to depart to St Petersburg. (B,L,D)
Arrive St Petersburg in the morning and after breakfast set off on a guided sightseeing tour of the city. See Peter & Paul’s Fortress and the famous St. Isaak and Kazan Cathedrals, before continuing to the Pushkin town. After lunch, discover the grand estate of Tsarskoye Selo and admire its lavish late-Baroque Catherine’s Palace. Return to St Petersburg to visit Petrovskaya Akvatoriay before enjoying dinner with gypsy show and dancing. Transfer by bus to the rail station to depart to Petrozavodsk. (B,L,D)
Arrive at lake-side Petrozavodsk early in the morning. After breakfast, tour the village of Kinerma and learn more about the history of its ancient 16th-century Karelian settlement. Join a local family for a traditional tea-drinking ceremony and tuck into traditional Karelian cakes. In the afternoon, return to Petrozavodsk and visit the Museum of the fine arts and join a master-class in the technique of serigraphy (silk-screen printing). In the evening, transfer to the train to depart overnight to Murmansk in the far north. (B,L,D)
Enjoy your breakfast aboard the Imperial Russia train and reach Murmansk during the morning. On arrival, transfer to your hotel and check-in for two nights. After lunch, start a guided sightseeing tour of the city including the huge ‘Lenin’ ship, a soviet nuclear-powered icebreaker, a soldier and sailor memorial and several impressive local bridges. In the evening, return to your hotel to prepare for New Year’s Celebration. (B,L,D)
After a late breakfast, head over to the house of Ded Moroz or Father Frost—a Slavic character of folklore similar to Father Christmas. Spend the day enjoying activities like dashing off for a ride in a dog sled and meeting Father Frost. In the evening, return to your hotel to relax and enjoy your last night in Murmansk. You’re so far north here that on a clear night, the skies can erupt with a dance of the spectacular northern lights. (B,L,D)
Spend the day on board of the Imperial Russia train, travelling to Vologda. Enjoy watching the fascinating winter scenery whiz past the window, join interesting lectures, listen to live music and sample delicious gourmet Russian food prepared by the chef on board. (B,L,D)
In the afternoon, arrive Vologda and set off on a guided sightseeing tour of this city located on the Vologda river. Visit the Kremlin and its territory and join a master class. In the evening, enjoy your farewell dinner on board of the Imperial Russia Train and depart to Moscow. (B,L,D)
Arrive Moscow and transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK.
10 day tour, from £4060 per person
- Accommodation on board of the Imperial Russia train and hotels en route
- Meals as specified (B= breakfast, L= lunch, D= dinner)
- All transfers and transportation
- Sightseeing with English-speaking guide
- Entrance fees on sightseeing tours as specified
- Doctor on board
- Towels, bathrobe and slippers available onboard of the “Imperial Russia” train
- International flights – please contact us for best available prices
- Russian Visa
- Supplements for higher grade compartments – please contact us for prices
Imperial Russia Train
In Russia and Mongolia passengers travel on board the “Imperial Russia” Train, a comfortable modern train charted exclusively for tourists and ideal for long distance travel. The train is composed of VIP, first class plus, first class, standard compartment, restaurants and bar.
In China passengers travel on board the Chinese charter train which offers standard class accommodation. The change of trains takes place at the town of Erlian on the Chinese border.
All passport and customs formalities at the Russian-Mongolian border and the Mongolian-Chinese border are done in the train, so the passengers may stay in their compartments.
Click on images to enlarge
Tour Route Map
- Russia, Moscow
- Russia, St Petersburg
- Russia, Petrozavodsk
- Russia, Murmansk
- Russia, Vologda
- Russia, Moscow
Click on images to enlarge