Moscow to St Petersburg holiday in Russia

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18 Feb 2017
£ 1049
including UK flights
11 Mar 2017
£ 1079
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08 Apr 2017
£ 1099
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13 May 2017
£ 1099
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24 Jun 2017
£ 1149
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22 Jul 2017
£ 1099
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02 Sep 2017
£ 1099
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16 Sep 2017
£ 1099
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Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Moscow to St Petersburg holiday in Russia

Local Crafts and Cultures:
We offer a full variety of cultural excursions on this trip. At Moscow we visit Red Square, Lenin’s Tomb, the Kremlin grounds and Armoury. At Novgorod there is St. Sofia’s Cathedral and Yaroslav’s Court; whilst in St. Petersburg we can visit the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Church of the Spilt Blood and the Hermitage Museum inside the Winter Palace. By paying for entrance, guided tours or souvenirs here, we are really contributing to the longevity of these places. Many of the churches on our itinerary also offer charity boxes for contribution to upkeep and restoration of architecture. Through local market visits, clients can become accustomed with traditional Russian handicrafts, like embroidered clothing and hand painted Matryoshka dolls.

Accommodation and Meals:
We will spend six nights in comfortable hotels and one overnight on a sleeper train. All of our accommodations use local staff as much as possible, which has a positive effect on local employment levels and economy. Where meals are provided, ingredients will be sourced locally as much as possible. Free lunches and dinners are a wonderful opportunity to support local market vendors, cafes and restaurants by trying some of the authentic and varied cuisine available in Russia. Thanks to recent sanctions on importing goods, there has been a growing interest in typically Russian food, although there is a real mixture of food from neighbouring countries and former Soviet Republics.

Our local partners support various local associations including Nochlezhka NGO, who provide a night bus service to offer mobile care for the homeless people of St Petersburg. They provide tea, coffee, food, blankets, health care, warm clothing and links to social services. Should you wish to bring any old clothes to be distributed, your group leader will ensure they are donated to the charity once you reach St Petersburg. Support is also offered to Upsalla Circus, who train children from disadvantaged backgrounds with circus skills and should you wish to see a performance, this could be arranged.

A Fair Deal:
All of our staff and suppliers are locally employed from Russia, meaning all income generated remains in the country and benefits the economy. Our local guides are trained in responsible tourism issues, which come across in briefings to clients on environment and community. Our optional tours, bike hire and boat rides, all bring business to local companies.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

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