Russia Right Now with Frontiers Travel
When it comes to planning a trip to Russia, you need an inside track, a tour planner who speaks the language and knows how to negotiate a tricky bureaucracy. Natasha Tichy, a senior travel consultant at Frontiers Travel, grew up in Russia and worked there as a guide and travel planner. Now, she's introducing Americans in two different trips to places and events they could never manage on their own.
On a seven-day program, Moscow and St. Petersburg ($5,950 per person, double occupancy), September 1-7, visitors stay at the new Moscow Ritz Carlton Hotel on the north rim of Red Square. This elegant hotel has one of the best spa facilities in the city, if not the country. In St. Petersburg, visitors stay at the Taleon Imperial, a little hotel jewel, a former palace that combines czarist classic style with modern conveniences. This trip gives visitors a chance to see many of Moscow's not-to-be-missed destinations. They will stroll within the Kremlin's walls and wander through the sprawling Grand Kremlin Palace complex, formerly the official residence of 16th-century Russian tsars such as Ivan the Terrible and later, the Romanovs. Another highlight is a gala dinner prepared by Walter Scheib, the White House chef for eleven years, who promises both a memorable location and fabulous banquet.
Years ago, if you wanted to sail along the Volga, accommodations were rather grim and you didn't travel in style as you can today. Today, you can cruise in the high-style of the Imperial family on the M.S.Volga Dream on Frontiers 11-day river cruise ($7,950 per person, double occupancy), from August 25-September 4. The trip begins with an overview of St. Petersburg including visits to Imperial summer palaces and then expands into a dream world of traditional and historic Russian villages.
The visit to Kizhi Island is unlike anything you could experience anywhere else. It is an open-air museum where various wooden churches from all over Russia have been transported to this little island. All along the river history unfolds with visits to a 17th-century city, a small town founded in 1148, and finally the chance to stop at Sparrow Hills for the best views of entering Moscow by ship. The crowning experience is a gala Moscow dinner prepared by Chef Walter Scheib. Itineraries and details at www.frontiersej.com.