Travel

AACI Kosher Russia: Moscow, St. Petersburg – 100 years from the Revolution   

21 August 2017 - 31 August 2017
Locations: Moscow, St. Petersburg

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Visit Moscow and St. Petersburg the two cities that define Russia’s past, present and future. Take a quick detour to some magical rural destinations as well!

Moscow is unlike any other city on earth. It is the wealthy economic center for one sixth of the world’s land mass and has over 120 ethnic groups and nationalities. A diverse and vibrant city with a strange combination of traditional Russian architecture and newer Soviet style, Moscow is an adventure waiting to happen!

St. Petersburg is one of the world’s most beautiful cities with all the ingredients necessary for an unforgettable travel experience: high art, lavish architecture, wild nightlife, an extraordinary history and rich cultural traditions that have inspired and nurtured much of the modern world’s greatest literature, music, and visual art. From the mysterious twilight of White Nights to world-beating opera and ballet productions, St. Petersburg charms and entices everybody.

Tour Highlights:

  • Moscow: Choral Synagogue, Red Square, Manege Square, St Basil Cathedral, Kremlin & Armory Chamber, Tretyakov Gallery & The Metro
  • Entrance to the Diamond Fund in the Kremlin to see the Crown Jewels St. Petersburg, Choral Synagogue, Peter & Paul Fortress, Peterhof by Hydrofoil, Pushkin, Shuvalovka, Summer Gardens & Yusupov Palace, Faberge Egg Museum and Museum of political History
  • 2 Hermitage visits!
  • Cruise the canals of St. Petersburg
  • Petersburg by night with the Bridge Opening
  • Circus in Moscow
  • Folklore show in St. Petersburg

DAY 1, Monday August 21: Israel / Moscow
Early departure from Ben Gurion by Aeroflot flight at 01:05 am arrival in Moscow 05:10 am

Welcome to Moscow: Upon arrival we will have a leisurely panoramic tour of Moscow including the famous Red Square including spending time in the middle of the world-famous Red Square. We will then proceed to Chabad’s Marina Roscha Jewish Community Center. We will have a chance to daven Shacharit, tour the complex and have a delicious brunch.

We will proceed to the Museum of Russian Jewish History, the first Jewish museum in Moscow, which, after a long interval, was reopened on May 18, 2011. On display are rare documents, photographs and pictures dating back to the 18th century. You will learn about traditional Jewish professions and crafts, and about their relationship with the government before and after the Revolution. Several rooms are devoted to the life of the Jewish community during Soviet times. The museum was founded by Sergey Ustinov, vice-president of the Russian Jewish Congress. Unfortunately the museum doesn’t have enough room to accommodate all its exhibits (only 1000 items are on display; more than 3000 exhibits are kept in storage).

Check in the hotel and preparations for dinner.

DAY 2, Tuesday August 22: Moscow
Our next stop is beside the Kremlin Walls. After an extensive tour of Moscow’s highlights and  spending time in the middle of the world-famous Red Square, we will proceed to the St. Basil’s Cathedral (the colorful church that stands along the Red Square) and then on to the Kremlin.

A visitor un-steeped in Russian history would not guess that the beautiful basilicas and edifices comprising the Kremlin were once part of a royal fortress shielding Moscow from centuries of fierce Mongol invasions.  The Kremlin is so beautiful that Stalin himself did not dare to disturb this crowning treasure, which astounds with an eclectic mixture of playful colors, architectural bravado and eerier sternness of structure and function in the form of Lenin’s Mausoleum.

The Kremlin of Moscow is one of the most recognizable symbols of Russia and, as you will experience yourself, its interior is sDavid London Pictures 353tupendous. Half of its area is reserved for the government and the other half is open to the public. We will explore the Kremlin with our Moscow guide who will te
ll us many interesting tales about events that took place inside the walls of the Kremlin since 1147.

After strolling inside the Kremlin walls we will proceed to the highlight of the Kremlin grounds – the Armory Chamber museum exhibiting the most unique and precious artifacts from different times in Russian history such as the famous Faberge Eggs and Catherine the Great’s Imperial dresses Finally, we will visit the exclusive Diamond Fund to see the Crown Jewels. This tour will give you the feeling of traveling back in time.

In the afternoon we will visit one of the most exciting sites in Moscow, located deep beneath the surface. On Stalin’s order, the Moscow Subway was built to display the advantages of socialism. Today the Soviet Union is gone, but the beautiful underground city is still active and transports milDavid London Pictures 358lions of passengers each day. The Moscow Subway was constructed not only to streamline the city’s transportation, but also to celebrate the accomplishments of the Soviets. The entire subway comprises works of socialist realism, making passengers feel as though they are entering various underground palaces, not merely riding the subway to work. Apart from its immense cultural value, Moscow’s subway is a highly efficient transportation system that carries three million passengers daily and spans the entire city in a star-like fashion. Interestingly, the subway can also serve as a nuclear shelter in case of war.

After dinner we will go on a Night city tour of Moscow.

DAY 3, Wednesday August 23: Moscow
Moscow’s most famous collection of art and one of the world’s top galleries is the Tretyakov Picture Gallery. It began as the private collection of a wealthy Muscovite merchant, Tretyakov, who lived in the 19th century and donated his collection to the city. The State Tretyakov Gallery possesses a unique collection of Russian art, which includes masterpieces, which span a period of a thousand years.             We will proceed to visit the Izmailov Market (famous Flea market of Moscow).

After dinner we will see an amzaing Moscow Folk Lore Show.

DAY 4, Thursday August 24: Moscow
We start the day with a visit to Victory Park and Museum, which was only completed in the mid-nineties, and is something of a last gasp for the Soviet tradition of monumental triumphal art. Located on and around the Poklonnaya Gora, the hill where Napoleon waited in vain to be given the keys to the city when his troops surrounded Moscow in 1812. The park is set in an area steeped in Russian military history. The majority of the museum is dedicated to the great Patriotic War better known to us as WW2. The Great Patriotic war is the seminal event in Russian History that still reverberates today.

Onto the Synagogue and Holocaust Memorial complex. The memorial site was built in 1998 by architect Moshe Zarhy from Israel and it is located on Poklonnaya Gord in Moscow. The synagogue was built to complement an Orthodox church and a mosque that are also part of the outdoor museum dedicated to Russia’s victory in World War II.  En route to the hotel we view the Bolshoi Theater.

DAY 5, Friday August 25: Moscow/St. Petersburg
Morning transfer to the airport for flight to St. Petersburg. Upon arrival, we will have a short |panoramic tour. Having seen the main historical sights of the Russian Northern Capital you will at the same time have the most romantic trip you could imagine! Our guide will take us to the Peter and Paul Fortress and St Isaac’s Cathedral. Return to hotel to prepare for Shabbat.

Services at Coral Synagogue.

DAY 6, Shabbat, August 26: St. Petersburg
On Shabbat if you wish you can attend services at the lovely Choral Synagogue. After Shabbat lunch, we will go on a walking tour of the area, including our first tour of the Hermitage (Shabbat friendly). Remember Shabbat come out at 9:30pm!

DAY 7, Sunday, August 27: St. Petersburg
Today we have a second guided excursion to the Hermitage. The collection of the State Hermitage includes more than three million works of art and artifacts of world culture. Among them are paintings, graphic works, sculptures and works of applied art, archaeological finds and numismatic material.

The main architectural ensemble of the Hermitage, situated in the center of St Petersburg, consists of the Winter Palace, the former state residence of the Russian emperors, the buildings of the Small, Old (Great) and New Hermitages, the Hermitage Theater and the Auxiliary House. The museum complex also includes the Menshikov Palace and the Eastern Wing of the General Staff building, the Staraya Derevnya Restoration and Storage Center and the Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory.

In the afternoon, we will visit the Yusupov Palace. Located on Moika Embankment, it is one of the most beautiful examples of classicism style constructions in St. Petersburg. Decorated with a six-column portico, the Palace delights with a harmony of proportions and silhouette elegance. It is best known as the Palace on the Moika River where Grigory Rasputin was murdered in 1916. Grigory Rasputin was one of the most controversial figures in Russian history. After the demise of the royal family to which he himself had greatly contributed, he was on the run. Prince Felix Yusupov lured Rasputin to the Palace and poisoned him. Nowadays, the cellar where the dramatic events took place houses the exhibition “Grigory Rasputin: Pages of Life and Death”. Visitors can see the wax figures of Rasputin and the plotters, as well as other interesting exhibits.

DAY 8, Monday, August 28: St. Petersburg-Pushkin-Pavlovsk-St. Petersburg
Catherine’s Palace was a gift from Peter the Great to his wife Catherine, whom he loved very much; ironically he build the palace on the other side of the city. Catherine’s Palace is located in the town of Pushkin (also known as Tsarskoe Selo). We will experience the wonder of the Summer Palace, where gold and marble statutes adorn the beaming sea entrance from the cold stormy waters of the Baltic to this sun-drenched gold-dripped masterpiece. Enter the Amber Room, a beautiful room built of pure amber that disappeared during the German occupation in World War II but is now restored to its original magnificence.

DAY 9, Tuesday, August 29: St. Petersburg- Peterhof-Shuvalovka – St. Petersburg
Today we will venture to the outskirts of St. Petersburg via hydrofoil to visit Peterhof Palace, the summer residence of Russia’s royalty. Stroll in the vast Lower Park with 176 glorious fountains of various forms and styles, numerous gilded statues of ancient gods and heroes, including the famous Samson Fountain. Visit the magnificent, beige and white Grand Summer Palace, lavishly decorated with two white pavilions with gilded cupolas. While walking through its lavish parks and elegant rooms, you can easily imagine that you have been transported to Versailles.

DAY 10, Wednesday, August 30: St. Petersburg
We cannot be in St. Petersburg without visiting the world Famous Faberge Egg Museum – The museum’s collection contains the world’s largest collection of works by Carl Fabergé, including nine of the famous Imperial Easter Eggs, regarded not only as the finest jeweled works of art, but also as unique historical artifacts. The museum’s collection also includes decorative and applied works made by the Russian masters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The museum is located in the Shuvalov Palace on the Fontanka River – one of the most beautiful palaces in St. Petersburg; and to continue we will visit the most interesting Museum of Political History – The museum exposition devoted to the history of the Russian revolution of the period from 1917 to 1922 depicts the circumstances, which led to the fall of the monarchic power in Russia in March 1917, and describes the attempt to form a new democratic state system.

In the evening after a farewell dinner, we will enjoy a visit to the circus.

DAY 11, Thursday, August 31: St. Petersburg
In the morning we bid Russia farewell and transfer to the airport for our return flight home with Aeroflot at 08:10 on the morning of August 31 arriving in Israel at 12:40.

Flights:
SU 505  21 AUG Tel Aviv – Moscow        Departs-0105.  Arrives-0510
SU 6627 31 AUG St Petersburg –Tel Aviv Departs-0810.  Arrives-1240

Price: AACI members $4,199 per person in a double room              Currency Converter
Non – AACI members add $ 50 per person in a double room
Single supplement $1,060

 Price Includes:

  • Flights on Aeroflot airlines from and return to Israel
  • Domestic flight Moscow-St. Petersburg
  • 4 nights deluxe hotel in Moscow
  • 6 nights deluxe hotel in St. Petersburg
  • Meals: Full board, breakfast and dinner daily with provisions for making sandwiches for lunch.  
  • Transportation in air-conditioned coach as per itinerary
  • Local guides for the excursions and visits as per program including entrance fees
  • Tour leader from Israel
  • Porterage of one bag per person at hotels
  • AACI staff escort

Not included:

  • Visa fee for Russia where relevant
  • Any item of a personal nature
  • Any other items not mentioned in ‘Price Includes’
  • Travel/Medical insurance

Prices are subject to change due to fuel or tax increases.  The itinerary may vary. Minimum number of participants needed for this tour to operate.

FINAL PAYMENT DUE BY June 22nd AND WILL BE CHARGED TO YOUR CREDIT CARD AUTOMATICALLY WITH OUT PRIOR NOTICE.

Deposit of $300 due at time of registration.

*Cancellation from time of registration until April 30th 2017: $150 per person.
*Cancellation between May 1st- May 31st 2017: $1200 per person
*Cancellation between June 1st– June 21st 2017: 50%
*Cancellation from June 22nd to day of departure: 100%

Russia 2017 Registration Form      Russia 2017 Insurance

FOR RESERVATIONS PLEASE CALL YOUR LOCAL OPHIR TOURS OFFICE

JERUSALEM 03-526-9424 HENRIETTE_H@OPHIRTOURS.CO.IL
NETANYA 03-526-1714 SHARON_BE@OPHIRTOURS.CO.IL
RAANANA 09-777-7100 MARCELLE_K@CWT.CO.IL
RAANANA 09-777-7100 LIA_H@OPHIRTOURS.CO.IL
BEIT SHEMESH 02-991-1474  DAWN_M@CWT.CO.IL