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.
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.
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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