Imperial Splendors of Russia

Explore the grand capitals of the czars—Moscow and St. Petersburg—on this 8-night adventure in Russia. Cross Red Square to St. Basil’s iconic domes and admire Faberge eggs inside the Kremlin walls. See the stately opulence of Peterhof and Catherine Palace. Stroll the canals of St. Petersburg and explore the world-famous Hermitage Museum.

Dates
Sep 2 - Sep 11, 2020  (10 Days)
Cost

$3,795 per person, double occupancy

For more Information
travel@commonwealthclub.org

(415) 597-6720

Wednesday, September 2
Depart your gateway city for Moscow, Russia
Thursday, September 3
Moscow, Russia

Arrive and transfer to the InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya. This evening, get to know your fellow travelers at a Welcome Reception and Dinner. InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya (D)

Friday, September 4
Moscow

Explore Moscow’s highlights and Red Square. With more than 12.1 million residents, Moscow is Russia’s most populous city, as well as the largest one on the European continent. Become acquainted with its notable landmarks on a panoramic tour. See the vast fortifications of the Kremlin, bustling Tverskaya Street, Red Square, Manezhnaya Square and the Arbat, a pedestrian-friendly area and one of the city’s oldest streets. Other highlights include the “Seven Sisters,” known as Stalinskie Vysotki by Muscovites, a collection of skyscrapers commissioned by Stalin and constructed from 1947–1953. Visit the copper-domed Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior, a 20th-century creation. Then step inside imposing Red Square. Visit the ornate GUM department store and stroll to St. Basil’s Cathedral to admire its colorful onion domes. Free Time to enjoy lunch on your own, followed by a tour of the Kremlin. Travel inside the red-walled Kremlin, a self-contained 15th-century city that includes palaces, gold-domed cathedrals and a medieval fortress. At the Armoury Chamber, marvel at the glittering treasures of Russian monarchs, including Fabergé eggs, gold and silver works of art, royal carriages and armor.  InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya (B)

Saturday, September 5
Moscow

Our Enrichment program today explores Russian Art. We examine diverse historical trends, including Byzantine-influenced icons, neoclassical paintings and the modern art movement, pioneered by Kandinsky and Chagall.  At Tretyakov Gallery, witness the evolution of Russian sculptures and paintings in a striking collection that spans a thousand years. After your visit, enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant. You have free time to pursue your own interests for the rest of the day. InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya (B,L)

Sunday, September 6
Moscow

Visit Novodevichy Cemetery in the morning.  Founded in 1524 on the Moskva River, the Novodevichy complex was part of a defensive ring of monastery fortresses that once guarded Moscow. Take a guided tour of the adjacent cemetery, where many prominent artists and political leaders, including Anton Chekhov, Nikolai Gogol, Nikita Khrushchev and Boris Yeltsin, are buried. We then go underground to discover the city’s uniquely beautiful Sovietera Metro stations, featuring marble floors, chandeliers, mosaics and decorative artwork. Free time this afternoon so you can make your own plans for lunch and sightseeing.  Dine together in the evening at one of the city’s fine restaurants. InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya (B,D)

Monday, September 7
Moscow / St. Petersburg

After an early breakfast, transfer to the Leningradskaya rail station for your high-speed Sapsan train ride to St. Petersburg. Sapsan is the Russian word for the peregrine falcon, and like its namesake, this train is incredibly fast, zipping between cities at speeds of up to 155 miles per hour. Transfer to the Angleterre Hotel and enjoy time for lunch on your own. Then we explore St. Petersburg’s highlights. Marvel at this picturesque city, founded in 1703 and filled with canals and hundreds of bridges, due to its location across numerous islands in the delta of the Neva River. Admire the Bronze Horseman, the famous statue of Peter the Great on a rearing horse; the neoclassical gold-spired Admiralty; the Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood; as well as other historic monuments, palaces and churches that make St. Petersburg one of Europe’s most dazzling cities. Visit lavish St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the Peter and Paul Fortress, home to some of the city’s oldest buildings. Its cathedral holds the tombs of the most famous Russian czars.  Enjoy a delicious dinner at a local restaurant. Angleterre Hotel (B,D)

Tuesday, September 8
St. Petersburg

Explore Russian Music and Ballet. The country’s composers, choreographers and ballet dancers have reached the highest echelons of the classical arts. Learn how Russia’s passion for music and dance fostered these talents.  Visit St. Petersburg Theater Classic Ballet School to delight in an intimate look at the artistry of this ballet company, founded in 1996. After an introduction from the ballet group’s director, observe the dancers’ intense warm-up exercises at the barre from your seat in the practice room. Then watch the dancers gracefully pirouette, leap and glide in costume during an exclusive performance of pieces from famous ballets. Relax over lunch at a restaurant in the area. Free time to enjoy the afternoon at leisure.  In the afternoon, we learn about Czarist Russia. Czar, the Russian word for emperor, was the title given to the rulers of the Romanov Dynasty who determined Russia’s destiny from 1613 to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Delve into the riveting story of their reign.  Angleterre Hotel (B,L)

Wednesday, September 9
Peterhof / Catherine Palace

Be transported back in time to the reign of Peter the Great at his spectacular palace, Peterhof. Overlooking the Gulf of Finland, the estate delights visitors with expansive formal gardens, landscaped parkland, grottoes, statues and a remarkable array of magnificent fountains. Feel the cool mist as you stroll near the breathtaking Grand Cascade, which alone comprises 64 decorative fountains. At a country house, savor lunch and sample vodka, then celebrate folk traditions during a show featuring live Russian folk music and dancing.  This afternoon, visit The Catherine Palace, a splendid baroque residence built by Empress Elizabeth for her mother, Empress Catherine I, which was inspired by the palace at Versailles. Admire the Amber Room, an exquisite chamber decorated with gold leaf and intricate inlaid amber panels. The original priceless decorations were stolen by the Nazis during World War II and recreated later through a joint German-Russian effort.  Angleterre Hotel (B,L)

Thursday, September 10
St. Petersburg

Visit the State Hermitage Museum. This acclaimed museum, which began as the private gallery for the acquisitions of Catherine the Great, contains one of the world’s finest and broadest art collections, including paintings by French, Dutch and Italian masters; fine Asian art; Greek and Roman antiquities; Egyptian mummies and much more. On your half-day visit, enjoy early entry, which allows you to view the most popular exhibits before the museum opens to the public. The Hermitage is located within the opulent Winter Palace. This afternoon we enjoy a canal cruise, gliding along the city’s tranquil waterways on a short, guided boat ride. Enjoy free time to pursue your own interests for the remainder of the afternoon. This evening, gather for a Farewell Dinner with your fellow travelers to share stories of your Russian adventures and celebrate your journey. Angleterre Hotel (B,D)

Friday, September 11
In Transit

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the return flight to your gateway city. (B)

Map

Cost
$3,795 per person, double occupancy
$755 single room supplement

All prices quoted are in USD, per person, based on double occupancy and do not include air transportation costs (unless otherwise stated).  VAT is an additional $295 per person.

Included
Accommodations (with baggage handling): 4 nights in Moscow, Russia, at the first-class InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya; 4 nights in St. Petersburg at the first-class Angleterre Hotel;  All transfers in the Land Program: high-speed train and deluxe motor coaches, plus baggage handling; Extensive Meal Program: 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners, including Welcome and Farewell Dinners; tea or coffee with all meals, plus wine with dinner; Opportunities to sample authentic cuisine and local flavors; Expert-led Enrichment programs enhance your insight into the region; Discovery excursions highlight the local culture, heritage and history: Enjoy a panoramic tour of Moscow’s highlights; See the Kremlin and Red Square; View the art of the Tretyakov Gallery; Explore Novodevichy Cemetery and admire the Metro stations; Delight in St. Petersburg’s elegant ambience; Witness ballet dancers in action up close; Marvel at Peter the Great’s majestic palace; Feel like royalty at lavish Catherine Palace; Revel in a live performance of Russian folk singing and dancing; Benefit from early access to the Hermitage Museum; Free time to pursue your own interests; A Welcome Reception to mingle with fellow travelers; A personal VOX headset to hear your English-speaking guide clearly; Tipping of guides and drivers; Complimentary travel mementos

Not Included
Air transportation costs; fees for passports and, if applicable, visas; entry/departure fees; personal gratuities; laundry and dry cleaning; excursions, wines, liquors, mineral waters and meals not mentioned in this brochure under included features; travel insurance; airport transfer costs for those not participating in AHI's FlexAir; all items of a strictly personal nature

What to Expect

This is a moderately active tour. All excursions are rated according to their activity level, and depending on the excursion, more leisurely alternatives may be available. For the safety and enjoyment of each participant and the group, participants must be able to:

  • Walk on average 1-3 miles at a steady pace. On this tour, you’ll be walking in cities and towns and should be able to walk at a steady pace for approximately 1-2 hours.
  • Be able to walk on uneven surfaces. Some of walking excursions require good balance as you walk over cobblestone sidewalks/roads and uneven pavement.
  • Stand for up to approximately 1-2 hours at a time each day.
  • Walk up and down stairs, some without handrails, without the assistance of another person.
  • Get off and on motor coaches, trains and/or boats without assistance
  • Walk through train corridors whether the train is stopped or moving

Learn from our expert guide throughout the trip. Hear from guest speakers on a variety of topics along the way.

Cancellation
All cancellations for any reason will be subject to a $300 per person administrative fee. You may choose, at the time of cancellation, to apply the withheld administrative fee to a future AHI Travel program that will operate in the current calendar year or year following.

  • Cancellation from 120 days to 76 days prior to departure will result in forfeiture of 15% of the entire cost of the trip per person
  • 75-30 days, 50% of the trip cost per person
  • cancellation from 29 days up to the time of departure will result in 100% forfeiture of the entire cost of the trip

TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE IS AVAILABLE. AN APPLICATION WILL BE SENT AFTER YOU RESERVE. All cancellations must be submitted in writing to AHI Travel and Commonwealth Club of California. CANCELLATION OF TRIP OPTIONS-Purchases of optional excursions, trip extensions and additional hotel nights become fully nonrefundable 45 days prior to departure. Air transportation and private transfer purchases are subject only to penalties assessed by the airlines and transfer suppliers.

Mobility and Fitness to Travel
The right is retained to decline to accept or to retain any person as a member of this trip who, in the opinion of AHI Travel is unfit for travel or whose physical or mental condition may constitute a danger to themselves or to others on the trip, subject only to the requirement that the portion of the total amount paid which corresponds to the unused services and accommodations be refunded. Passengers requiring special assistance, including without limitation those who permanently or periodically use a wheelchair, must be accompanied by someone who is fit and able to assist them, and who will be totally responsible for providing all required assistance.

Air Transportation
The price of air transportation offered by AHI Travel is based on Advance Purchase Excursion fares. After tickets are issued, penalties up to 100% of the ticket price may be levied. If connecting flights are requested, special promotional fares may be used, in which case penalties of as much as 100% may be assessed by the airlines if reservations are changed or canceled after ticketing. After departure, if the reservations are changed, you will be charged the higher, all year Economy class fare. VARIATIONS TO THE GROUP ITINERARY MUST BE REQUESTED NO LATER THAN 60 DAYS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE. Passengers who choose to make their own airline reservations independently will be wholly responsible for arrival and departure transfers, and any airline fees or penalties incurred as a result of program cancellation and/or change in travel dates, or airline schedule(s).

Baggage
Baggage restrictions vary according to the airline policy and the class of service flown. Details will be provided with your pre-departure information. Baggage allowances are subject to change by the carrier without notice. Excess baggage charges for additional or oversized/overweight pieces are expensive and not included in your trip price; plan your wardrobe accordingly. Transport of baggage and personal effects is at the owner's risk throughout the travel program.

Eligibility
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a national membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415)597-6720.

Authority to Use Images and Audio Recordings
On occasion, AHI Travel obtains, from its staff, or from trip participants, photographic or video images of passengers and trip activities. By participating in this travel program, you authorize AHI Travel, without providing compensation to you, or obtaining additional approvals from you, to include photographic and video recordings of you, as well as voice recordings included with any videos, in AHI Travel's sales, marketing, advertising, publicity and/or training activities.

Responsibility
AHI Travel and The Commonwealth Club of California do not own or operate any entity which provides goods or services for this program, and act only as agents for the independent suppliers of travel conveyance, transport, accommodations or other services. All such persons or entities are independent contractors. As a result, AHI Travel and the Sponsoring Association are not liable for any negligence or willful act of any such person or entity or any third person. In addition and without limitation, AHI Travel and the Sponsoring Association are not responsible for any delays, delayed departure or arrival, missed carrier connections, loss, death, damage or injury to person or property or accident, mechanical defect, failure or negligence of any nature howsoever caused in connection with any accommodations, transportation or other services or for any substitution of hotels or of common carrier equipment, with or without notice, or for any additional expenses occasioned thereby. Dates, Program Details and Tour costs, although given in good faith and BASED ON TARIFFS, EXCHANGE Rates and other information CURRENT AT THE TIME OF PRINTING, ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT OR BEFORE THE TIME OF DEPARTURE. No revisions of the printed itinerary or its included features are anticipated; however, the right is reserved to make any changes, with or without notice, that might become necessary, with the mutual understanding that any additional expenses will be paid by the individual passenger. Baggage and personal effects are the sole responsibility of the owners at all times. If the entire program is cancelled for any reason, participants shall have no claim other than for a full refund. By forwarding the deposit, the passenger certifies that he/she has no physical, mental or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for himself/herself or other passengers and accepts the terms of this contract set out herein and in more specific pre-departure passenger information. The airlines and other transportation companies concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission, or event, during the time passengers are not on board their conveyances. The passage contract in use, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the company(ies) and the passenger and/or purchaser of this trip.

Registration
Commonwealth Club of California-CST# 2096889-40 AHI: CST Registration No. 2028271-20. Fla. Seller of Travel Reg. No. ST-33300 Iowa Seller of Travel No. 520 Ohio Seller of Travel Reg. No. 8889139. Washington State Seller of Travel Reg. No. 601-820-781. PARTICIPATING AIRLINES-all IATA and ARC Member Carriers.