Peter the Greatís northern paradise
1 - 7 Oct 2017 (7 Days)
Study Tour Lecturer:
Study Tour Overview
Built from scratch among inhospitable marshes by the ambitious and cosmopolitan Tzar, Peter the Great, following Russia’s acquisition of Ingria from Sweden in the Great Northern War, St Petersburg was to be a statement of imperial Russia’s growing status. Apart from a short interim, the city was Russia’s capital from 1712 until 1918. Embellished by Peter’s successors, who employed a stunning array of European architects to design magnificent palaces and cathedrals, St Petersburg expanded to become a glittering showcase of Romanov, and Russian, power. Despite bearing witness to the dramatic upheavals and violent ravages of the 20th century, perhaps the most striking aspect of St Petersburg for the modern visitor is how, at its heart, the city remains so unaffected by modern building. The skyline viewed from the top of St Isaac’s cathedral appears unchanged from centuries past, with not a high-rise building in site.
The Hermitage is, with good reason, one of the world’s most famous art museums. Our two visits to its immensely rich collections will allow focused explorations of some of the highlights, with some time allowed for you to explore your own favourite period. Excursions to the breathtakingly grand Peterhof and Catherine’s palace will give us an insight into the lost world of Romanov splendour, while our visits to fascinatingly diverse cathedrals and churches convey the decorative intensity of the Orthodox church. The climate at the beginning of October is sufficiently clement to allow us to enjoy the city in its full glory, before statues are covered to protect them from winter ice, and high-season cruise crowds will have abated.
Programme Details - Click to show details
Programme Details - Click to hide details
The programme details for this Art History Cultural Study Tour are as follows:
Morning flight c. 9:15am with BA from London Heathrow to St Petersburg. By private coach to the centre of the city and a visit to the Russian Museum, with art from ancient icons to 20th-century paintings. By coach to our luxurious five-star hotel in the city centre, a stone’s throw from the imposing sight of Isaac’s cathedral.
Morning walking tour of Vasilyevsky Island, the heart of Peter the Great’s city and St Petersburg’s oldest quarter, including the Strelka district, Rostral Columns and the University Sculpture Gardens. We continue to Menshikov Palace, the city’s first edifice to be built from stone, to marvel at the impressively restored 18th-century interiors. After lunch visit Peter and Paul fortress, housing a cathedral dedicated to the apostle princes — the city’s second tallest building — a former prison and a number of exhibitions on the city’s history, there are also wonderful views from atop the battlements. Some free time later in the afternoon.
In the morning, explore the historic heart of St Petersburg. The gilded dome of Isaac’s Cathedral dominates the skyline around Admiralteysky prospect, meanwhile inside the building contains a captured Napoleonic flag. Our walk also takes in the Bronze Horseman statue, Nevsky Prospekt and the exterior of the Singer building. We arrive at the Church on the Spilled Blood, colloquially named after the assassination attempt on Tsar Alexander II, the exterior and interior are superbly decorated with glorious polychrome mosaics. After lunch the first of two in-depth visits to the Hermitage: this afternoon we will focus on the exquisite collection of 17th and 18th-century Dutch art, as well as taking some time to discover some of the French art and interiors.
Coach excursion to Catherine Palace, designed by the Italian architect Rastrelli and named after Peter the Great’s second wife, the gaudy exterior of this Baroque masterpiece alludes to the glittering splendour of the interior, of which the fabled Amber Room — originally created for Frederick the Great in Prussia in 1701 before disappearing during WWII — is a highlight. After lunch continue to Pavlovsk Palace, designed for Catherine’s son Grand Duke Paul, the cool classical interiors provide an interesting foil to the less understated grandeur of our morning visit.
Coach excursion to Peterhof. This stunning summer palace complex, famously enlarged by Rastrelli for Empress Elizabeth, is a far cry from the original building that Peter the Great constructed to oversee the creation of the Kronstadt naval base. After lunch return to the city centre for our second visit to the Hermitage, taking in the highlights of Italian art, after which you are at leisure to explore your favourite area of the museum’s vast collection.
Morning visit to Nikolsky Cathedral. Nicknamed the Sailor’s Church due to its dedication to St. Nicholas, and surrounded on two sides by canals, this ice-blue baroque marvel contains many 18th-century icons and a fine carved wooden iconostasis. Continue via Lviny Bridge to Yusupov Palace, with probably the best 19th-century interiors in the city, this building is notorious as the place where Rasputin was murdered in 1916. In the afternoon visit the Fabergé Museum, housing the world’s largest collection of pieces by the famous jeweller, including nine magnificent glittering imperial Easter eggs. The remainder of the afternoon is free.
By coach to Alexander Nevsky Monastery, named after the city’s patron saint who led Russia to victory over the Swedes in 1240, the monastery is St Petersburg’s oldest and most important religious institution, and the burial place of many of Russia’s most famous artistic figures. The centrepiece of the complex is the classically styled Trinity cathedral, whose gold and turquoise domes house an elaborate iconostasis containing a silver reliquary, which in turn houses the remains of St Alexander Nevsky. After lunch proceed to the airport for a mid-afternoon flight to London, scheduled to land at Heathrow Terminal Five at c. 5.30pm.
Please note that at this stage the programme is still provisional. Although we aim at the greatest degree of accuracy from the outset, some details, especially the order of visits, may be subject to change.
What Is Included - Click to show details
What Is Included - Click to hide details
This Art History Cultural Study Tour includes:
- Scheduled return flights (Economy class) with British Airways between London Heathrow and Saint Petersburg
- Transfers and excursions by private coach
- Six nights B&B in the luxurious five-star Hotel Astoria (roccofortehotels.com/hotels-and-resorts/hotel-astoria/), located in the heart of St Petersburg next to St. Isaac’s cathedral — hotel bar, high quality restaurant and lounge — rooms are furnished in a comfortable contemporary style
- Three dinners and two lunches
- Guided visits to monuments and museums listed in the programme
- All entrance fees, taxes, and gratuities for coach drivers and waiters
- Services of the lecturer and tour manager
- Detailed programme and study notes
- Small group between 12 and 22 participants
- Three dinners and six lunches
- Transport between home and London Gatwick
- Travel insurance. We strongly advise you to be covered by adequate travel insurance.
Price and Stamina - Click to show details
Price and Stamina - Click to hide details
The price of this tour is £2,590.00 per person, based on two people sharing.
Options available are: Double room for sole use supplement £410.00. The price of this tour without flights £2,300.00.
Deposit payable at the time of booking £300.00 per person.
Specific fitness requirements for this Study Tour:
This tour involves a large amount of walking on level ground and well-paved streets. Museum and site visits require prolonged periods of standing without the possibility of a rest. Coach journeys should not exceed one hour.
Please note that all our Study Tours involve a significant amount of standing and walking, often across uneven ground, over cobbled streets, or up and down steps and inclines. While we do not have an upper age limit for participants, we require you to have a level of fitness which does not spoil other participents' enjoyment of the holiday and you should be able to walk at a reasonable pace and / or stand for at least thirty minutes without aid or requiring a rest.
If you are in any doubt as to whether a particular tour is suitable for you, please ring us to check before placing your booking.
Booking / Payment Information - Click to show details
Booking / Payment Information - Click to hide details
How to Book a Study Tour Holiday:
You can book on-line by going to the tour web page and clicking the "Book this tour" button, or download a tour booking form** or ring us on 01280 820521 or write to us - see our address details below. More information about the booking procedure can be found in the "Booking Procedure, Terms and Conditions" section below.
How to Pay by Credit or Debit Card:
You can pay your deposit or balance payment for a Study Tour Holiday in the following ways:
- On-line by clicking the "Make a payment" ..button in this section and following the instructions.
- Or ring us to make your payment (please have your your credit or debit card details ready (and we will also need to have your phone number or email address) - our contact details are on each page.
Please note that payment can be made by cheque, bank transfer or debit card (Maestro or Visa Debit cards - free of charge). On-line card payments are processed securely by WorldPay on our behalf. Credit card payments (Visa and MasterCard only) incur a 2% handling fee to contribute to the charges levied upon us by card companies and this handling fee is non-refundable under any circumstances. We will NOT retain any card information once payment has been received.
**Note: You can get a free copy of Acrobat Reader by clicking here.
We only accept payment in British Pounds (GBP) and accept the following types of cards only:
An on-line booking may be cancelled within 7 days of the booking being made and the associated on-line payment will be refunded less an administration charge. We would need to be informed of the cancellation in writing within the 7 day period. Our normal booking terms and conditions will also apply.
Art Pursuits Abroad will not have access to any of the card details that you provide to WorldPay when you make your payment.
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Booking Procedure, Terms and Conditions - Click to show details
Booking Procedure, Terms and Conditions - Click to hide details
A provisional booking should be made by telephone or through our website. Once we have confirmed availability, we will hold your reservation for one week.
To make your booking definite, please fill in our booking form. This must be signed by the person authorised by all persons named on the form to make the booking based on our terms and conditions. If you make a booking on behalf of others as well as yourself, we shall take it that you have the authority of each of those other people to enter into that contract and that you and they have agreed to be jointly and severally liable to us. You then need to send your completed and signed booking form to us together with the deposit specified in the tour description. This deposit is non-refundable unless we have to cancel the holiday in which case all money you have paid us for that tour will be refunded.
Once we have received these, a contract exists between you and Art Pursuits Abroad Ltd. We will then issue you a booking confirmation invoice. Please check this invoice carefully as soon as you receive it. Contact us immediately if any information appears to be incorrect. We regret we cannot accept any liability if we are not notified of any inaccuracies in any document within fifteen days of sending it out. If you are booking within eight weeks of the date of departure, full payment is required with your booking. The final balance is payable at the latest eight weeks before the tour. It is your responsibility to ensure that the full amount reaches us on time. If it doesn't, we are entitled to assume that you wish to cancel your booking. In this case, we will be entitled to keep all deposits paid or due at that date.
Payment can be made by cheque, bank transfer or debit card (Maestro or Visa Debit cards - free of charge). We also accept credit card payments (Visa and MasterCard only), but these incur a 2% handling fee to contribute to the charges levied upon us by card companies. Please note that this handling fee is non-refundable under any circumstances.
Download a copy of the Booking Procedure.
BOOKING TERMS AND CONDITIONS
The basic tour price is per person sharing a double room and includes VAT. A list of what is included in the price of a tour is given in each tour's description.
PASSPORTS AND VISAS
You must have a valid passport for all our tours. For most countries, this needs to be valid for six months beyond the dates of travel. Non-European nationals may have to obtain a visa. Visa requirements for British citizens on our tours outside Europe are stated in the individual tour description.
We require that you have adequate holiday insurance, covering medical treatment, repatriation, loss of property and cancellation charges. We also recommend that you carry a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which can be obtained from the Department of Health.
AGE AND FITNESS
All our tours involve a significant amount of standing and walking, often across uneven ground, over cobbled streets, or up and down steps. While we do not have an upper age limit for participants, we require you to have a level of fitness which does not spoil other participants' enjoyment of the holiday and you should be able to walk or stand for at least thirty minutes without aid or requiring a rest.
If you are in any doubt as to whether a particular tour is suitable for you, please ring us to check before placing your booking. If you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your study tour or has any special requirements as a result of any medical condition or disability (including any which affect the booking process), please tell us before you confirm your booking so that we can assist you in considering the suitability of your chosen study tour and/or making the booking.
In any event, you must give us full details in writing at the time of booking and whenever any change in the condition or disability occurs. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your participation in our study tour develops after your booking has been confirmed. If we reasonably feel unable to accommodate properly the particular needs of the person concerned, we must reserve the right to decline their reservation or, if full details are not given at the time of booking or the condition/disability develops after booking, cancel when we become aware of these details. You further agree to accept the authority and decisions of Art Pursuits Abroad and our tour lecturer or manager whilst on your study tour. If in the opinion of any such person(s) your health endangers the safety or smooth running of the study tour we reserve the right to cancel your study tour or your participation in any part of it and shall have no further liability to you..
CANCELLATIONS AND CHANGES BY YOU
If you have to cancel your booking, we will make a charge to offset costs incurred on your behalf. Charges vary according to the period of notice given. Up to 57 days before the tour the deposit is forfeited. Thereafter, a percentage of the total cost of the tour will be due:
- Between 56 and 29 days: 40%
- Between 28 and 15 days: 60%
- Between 14 days and 3 days: 80%
- Thereafter: 100%
We take as the day of cancellation that working day on which we receive written confirmation of your cancellation. Your travel insurance policy may cover you for at least some of your losses.
If you want to make a change after your initial booking, we shall endeavour to try to satisfy your requirements once we have received written confirmation from you, but we shall make a charge to reflect any cost involved in this.
CANCELLATIONS AND CHANGES BY ART PURSUITS ABROAD LTD
We do our utmost to provide the tour programme as confirmed, but we reserve the right to modify or cancel the tour and any of its ingredients if unforeseen circumstances arise. If a programme change represents a significant loss to the tour, we will offer compensation. If you decide to cancel because the alternative offer were not acceptable, we will give a full refund. We also reserve the right to cancel the tour if there are insufficient bookings up to eight weeks before departure. If we have to cancel the tour, we will offer a full refund of all money paid to us.
COMPLAINTS AND PROBLEMS
If something goes wrong, please inform a member of our staff as soon as possible. We will then endeavour to put things right quickly. If a problem cannot be resolved while on tour, you will need to send us a written report within 28 days of your return, giving full details of your complaint. We will then endeavour to agree a reasonable level of compensation, if appropriate. In the unlikely event that agreement cannot be reached, you may wish to take advantage of the independent dispute resolution scheme offered by AITO - details available on request.
YOUR FINANCIAL PROTECTION
In accordance with the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 all passengers booking with Art Pursuits Abroad Limited are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us, including repatriation if required, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Art Pursuits Abroad Limited.
FOR ART PURSUITS ABROAD LIMITED AIR HOLIDAYS
We provide full financial protection for our package holidays, by way of our Air Travel Organiser's Licence (number 6436). When you buy an ATOL protected flight-inclusive holiday from us you receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and whom to contact if things go wrong.
We will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable alternative). In some cases, where we are unable to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder may provide you with the services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable).
If we are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to those Trustees any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us (or your credit card issuer where applicable). You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ATOL scheme.
FOR ART PURSUITS ABROAD LIMITED RAIL-BASED PACKAGES AND INDEPENDENT TRAVELLERS
In accordance with the Package Travel, Page Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 all passengers booking with Art Pursuits Abroad Limited that do not include flights are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us, including repatriation if required, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements in the unlikely event of the insolvency of Art Pursuits Abroad Ltd.
Consumer Aware: Your booking is insured by IPP Ltd and its panel of insurers. This insurance is only valid for passengers who book with and pay directly to Art Pursuits Abroad Ltd. For further information see www.ipplondon.co.uk.
OUR LIABILITIES TO YOU
We accept responsibility for ensuring that all parts of the tour are supplied as described and that all services reach a reasonable standard. However, we shall not be liable for the failure or improper performance of these services where such failure or improper performance is attributable to the fault of the client, or the unforeseeable or unavoidable actions of an unconnected third party or to unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our or our suppliers control. Our obligations and responsibilities shall also be limited where international conventions in respect of air carriers apply.
These conditions form part of your contract with Art Pursuits Abroad Ltd and are governed by English law. All proceedings shall be within the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
Download a copy of the Terms and Conditions.
Financial Security and Consumer Protection - Click to show details
Financial Security and Consumer Protection - Click to hide details
In accordance with The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 all passengers booking with Art Pursuits Abroad Limited are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us, including repatriation if required, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Art Pursuits Limited.
FOR ART PURSUITS ABROAD LIMITED AIR HOLIDAYS
Art Pursuits Abroad Limited air holidays are ATOL Protected, since we hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 6436. All the flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate
FOR ART PURSUITS ABROAD LIMITED RAIL-BASED PACKAGES AND INDEPENDENT TRAVELLERS
In accordance with the Package Travel, Page Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 all passengers booking with Arts Pursuits Abroad Limited that do not include flights are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us, including repatriation if required, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements in the unlikely event of the insolvency of Art Pursuits Abroad Ltd.
Consumer Aware: Your booking is insured by IPP Ltd and its panel of insurers. This insurance is only valid for passengers who book and pay directly with/to Art Pursuits Abroad Ltd. For further information see www.ipplondon.co.uk.
OUR LIABILITIES TO YOU
We accept responsibility for ensuring that all parts of the tour are supplied as described and that all services reach a reasonable standard. However, we shall not be liable for the failure or improper performance of these services where such failure or improper performance is attributable to the fault of the client, or the unforeseeable or unavoidable actions of an unconnected third party or to unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our or our supplier’s control. Our obligations and responsibilities shall also be limited where international conventions in respect of air carriers apply.
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