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The Crimean Express Railway Journey (CE14)
15 days 14 nights
St Petersburg - Yalta
11th October 2013 - Southbound from St Petersburg
20th October 2013 - Northbound from Yalta
From Only £9,695
13 days 12 nights railway journey option - Moscow - Yalta (CE12)


The Crimean Express Railway Journey Itinerary

Day 1 St Petersburg (Pre-Tour Extension - Optional) For clients taking the St Petersburg extension, arrive at St Petersburg Airport, where you are met and transferred to a luxury five-star hotel in the centre of the city for a two-night stay.
Day 2 St Petersburg (Pre-Tour Extension - Optional) Today we tour this magnificent city and visit Catherine the Great’s rococo Summer Palace in Pushkin, including the world-famous Amber Room. Lunch is at the Podvorye Restaurant in Pavlovsk before returning to the imperial capital city of the Russian Empire for an afternoon tour of the key sights including St Isaac’s Cathedral and Nevsky Prospect.
Day 3 Moscow, Russia Clients travelling from St Petersburg will travel on the afternoon high speed train to Moscow. For other passengers who are arriving today at Moscow airport, you are met and transferred to a luxurious five-star hotel located in the heart of this vibrant city for a one-night stay. We all enjoy a welcome dinner at our hotel, whilst you meet your fellow travellers and, together, look forward to the rail voyage that lies ahead.
Day 4 Moscow Our city tour of Moscow principally takes us to Red Square, an iconic symbol of Russia’s former military and political might. Here we see an eclectic mix of fascinating architecture, such as the ornate St Basil’s Cathedral with its magnificent onion-domed spires, the grandeur of The Kremlin and the sombre and evocative site of Lenin’s tomb. In the late afternoon, we board the Golden Eagle and after settling into our modern, stylish cabins, we enjoy dinner in one of the beautifully designed restaurant cars as our journey begins.
Day 5 Minsk, Belarus We spend the morning in Minsk, capital of Belarus and enjoy a tour of this city which saw fierce fighting during World War II before rejoining the Golden Eagle in the afternoon as we travel across the Belarus countryside towards the Ukraine.
Day 6 Kiev Our tour of this ancient city includes the beautifully restored Monastery of Caves, Lavra Complex which has the highest bell tower in the former USSR, the huge Mother Ukraina WWII monument and museum, a stroll along Khreshchatyk Street, Saint Sophia’s Cathedral and Independence Square.
Day 7 Lvov, Ukraine Breakfast is early prior to our arrival in Lvov, capital of the Western Ukraine and an ancient city that has seen many rulers. Named ‘Lemberg’ during Polish/Austrian rule, and again briefly during Nazi occupation, the old city, with its winding streets has survived almost untouched. Our city tour includes lunch before we re-board our train and head south.
Day 8 Kishinev, Moldova Passing over the Moldovan border during the night, spend the morning travelling through the picturesque Moldovan countryside before we arrive at lunchtime in the capital city of Kishinev. After lunch, our afternoon tour of the city includes a visit to a local winery.
Day 9 Odessa, Ukraine Breakfast finds us heading south to the Black Sea, where we arrive in the elegant city of Odessa at lunchtime with its tree-lined Primorsky Boulevard featuring street cafes on the embankment and the Potemkin Steps. This Black Sea city was immortalised in Einstein’s 1925 film ‘Battleship Potemkin’. Nearby is the impressive Opera and Ballet Theatre.
Day 10 Balaclava, Ukraine Today we arrive into Sevastopol which is home to the Russian Black Sea Fleet and is a town steeped in the history of the Crimean War and World War II, on both occasions being under siege for almost a year. We visit Balaclava and the Diorama depicting the Word War Two battle and from where there is a fine view of the valley where the Charge of the Light Brigade took place. The valley is now covered in neat rows of vines and in the middle is a white stone memorial to the infamous Charge.
Day 11 Sevastopol & Sudak, Ukraine Our tour of Sevastopol this morning includes the Old Town, the Panorama (a 360-degree painting and montage depicting the siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War) and Khersones, reputed to be the most complete ancient Greek settlement in existence, and only opened to foreigners a few years ago. In the afternoon we leave Sevastopol and travel by train to the Bakhchisarai where we visit the 16th century Hansaray (or Khan’s) Palace and Uspensky Cave Monastery. This evening we spend our final night onboard the Golden Eagle.
Day 12 Feodosiya and Sudak, Ukraine After breakfast we arrive in the seaside resort of Feodosiya where we visit the Aivazovsky Gallery before taking the spectacularly scenic coastal road to Yalta, stopping off at Sudak, a popular beachside resort on the Crimean peninsula, with a well-preserved and imposing Genoese Fortress which overlooks the town, and the centre of the Crimean viticulture industry. We arrive early evening at the Hotel Oreanda in Yalta for a 3 night stay.
Day 13 Yalta Today there is a guided tour of Yalta including Chekhov’s House and the Botanical Gardens, followed by lunch at the Swallow’s Nest, a fairy-tale castle breathtakingly perched high above the sea. This restaurant is a world famous location and many world leaders have eaten here. In the afternoon we take a scenic cruise along the picturesque coastline before visiting the Massandra Palace and Imperial Winery, touring the cellars (they have bottles dating back to 1775 and many bottles from the Tsars personal collection).
Day 14 Yalta This morning we visit Alupka Palace which was built for Count Mikhail Vorontsov, former special envoy to the United Kingdom and friend of the Marlborough Family. The Palace is a strange, but attractive combination of a Scottish castle with Arabian additions. Churchill stayed here during the Yalta conference of February 1945. In the afternoon we enjoy a private tour of the Tsar’s Summer Palace at Livadia and the site of the Yalta conference between Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill. A champagne reception in the grounds will be followed by a concert of chamber music and dinner in the restaurant attached to the palace.
Day 15 Airport transfers to Simferopol Airport for guests connecting to international flights.

Please note the order of visits in the Crimea may change as some venues may need our groups to be split.