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Russia & China in 25 Days

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Imperial Cities & Kingdom of Cathay

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Trip Highlights
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Moscow
Saint Petersburg
Beijing
Guilin
Li River
Shanghai
Xi'an
Included
All flights
Accommodation
All transfers.
Activities
Some meals
Availability
Departures Available
until May 2023
available
available
Categories available
superior
included
luxury
From + $700
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Discover the imperial cities of Russia, from Moscow's spectacular Red Square to the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. Head to China to explore the Forbidden City and walk on the mighty Great Wall. Admire the world-famous Terracotta Warriors in eternal Xi'an and discover the tranquil landscapes of Guilin. Finally, let Shanghai amaze you with its mix of new and old.

1st Day: US - Night on board

Arrive at your US departure airport ready to catch a flight to Moscow. Night on board.

* If either your outbound or inbound flights depart in the early hours (before 4:00 a.m.) you must arrive at the airport the night before the indicated departure day.

2nd Day: Moscow

Touch down in Moscow, and transfer to the hotel.* Spend the remainder of the day at your leisure and feel free to get out and about to discover Moscow at your own pace! Overnight stay in Moscow.

* Transfers are not included between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. You will have the possibility to add transfers between these times in the next stage of the booking process.

3rd Day: Moscow

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, head off to Gorki Leninskiye, once a retreat for Muscovite noblemen, before later being nationalized under the Soviet government and used by Lenin in his later years. Discover its history and its beautiful architecture. Return to Moscow in the afternoon and spend the remainder of the day at your leisure, exploring this iconic city at your own pace. We recommend an optional city tour to uncover Moscow's most emblematic sights.* Overnight stay in Moscow.

Optional Moscow City Tour: Enjoy a fascinating city tour, which allows you to discover the best and most interesting parts of Moscow. Explore the historical center, including Red Square and the beautiful Sofiiskaya Embankment. Then, visit the modern parts of Moscow. and enjoy a panoramic view of the hills of Vorobyevy, taking in the famous '7 Sisters', the Soviet skyscrapers built by Stalin.

4th Day: Moscow

Breakfast at the hotel. Today, discover the Kremlin and its cathedrals, one of the most impressive artistic ensembles in the world. Inside you will see the majestic Arsenal, the Senate, Congress Palace, the Grand Kremlin Palace, the Czar's Canyon and the cathedrals of the Archangel Michael of the Twelve Apostles and the Assumption. In the afternoon, visit Moscow's impressive Metro stations and enjoy a walking tour through lively Arbat Street in the heart of the city. Overnight stay in Moscow.

5th Day: Moscow - St. Petersburg

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, visit the Tretyakov Gallery, which is home to the largest and most impressive collection of Russian fine art in the world. Be amazed by the splendor of your surroundings and the beautiful works of art as you discover the vast number of priceless masterpieces. Later, transfer to the station to take the Sapsan Bullet Train, a high-speed train, from Moscow to St. Petersburg. On arrival, transfer from the station to the hotel. Overnight stay in St. Petersburg.

6th Day: St. Petersburg

Breakfast at the hotel. Discover St. Petersburg at your own pace today as you enjoy the day at your leisure. Soak up the atmosphere of this cultural center or perhaps explore some of the city's fantastic museums. Alternatively, we recommend an optional city tour.* Overnight stay in St. Petersburg.

* Optional St. Petersburg City Tour: Enjoy a guided city tour of St. Petersburg, whose historical center contains a great number of monuments and buildings of baroque and neo-classical architecture. Also visit the Fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul, the pantheon of the Russian Tsars, which dates back to the time of Peter the Great.

For departures between April and October, you will visit the Hermitage on Day 6 of the itinerary and enjoy the optional city tour and visit of Peter & Paul Fortress on Day 7 of the itinerary.

7th Day: St. Petersburg

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, set off to the Winter Palace, former residence of the Russian Tsars. In its interior find the most famous museum in the world, the Hermitage, whose collection has more than three million works of art by legendary artists such as Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci. Later, enjoy a free afternoon in which we suggest visiting the gardens of Petrodvorets to stroll among its beautiful fountains, with waterfalls decorated with dozens of golden sculptures. Overnight stay in St. Petersburg.

For departures between April and October, you will visit the Hermitage on Day 6 of the itinerary and enjoy the optional city tour and visit of Peter & Paul Fortress on Day 7 of the itinerary. 

8th Day: St. Petersburg

Breakfast at the hotel. Spend your final day in Russia exploring St. Petersburg at your leisure. Discover its grandiose buildings, such as Peterhof palace and experience local life along Nevsky Avenue, at the heart of the city. Overnight stay in St. Petersburg.

9th Day: St. Petersburg - Night on board

Breakfast at the hotel. Bid farewell to Russia as you transfer to the airport ready to board your flight to Beijing. Night on board.

* Early transfers are not included for flights leaving before 10:00 a.m. You will have the possibility to add transfers in the next stage of the booking process.

10th Day: Beijing

Arrive in Beijing, the enormous capital of China, famed for its ancient sites such as the iconic Forbidden City, and the gateway to some of the most-visited portions of the Great Wall. Transfer to the hotel and overnight stay in Beijing.

11th Day: Beijing

Breakfast at the hotel. Spend the day exploring Beijing at your leisure, visiting the sights or delving into the fabulous cuisine. Alternatively, we recommend an optional excursion to the Temple of Heaven or to the Hutong district.* Overnight stay in Beijing. 

* Optional Temple of Heaven: Enjoy a tour of the fantastic Temple of Heaven, a religious complex where you could have the opportunity to watch the locals practising Tai Chi in tranquil surroundings. 

* Optional Hutong Excursion: Visit the traditional Shichahai Hutong neighbourhood and take a rickshaw ride. Hutong refers to the narrow terraced streets made up of charming courtyard garden houses. You have the opportunity to enter a local home and enjoy a home-made dumpling lunch. Finally head to Lama Temple, with free time for shopping. 

You may find a cheaper price at the destination, but it is recommended that you book through Exoticca to secure your place in advance.

12th Day: Beijing

Breakfast at the hotel. Set off on an exciting excursion to the best-preserved section of the Great Wall of China. The Juyongguan section is the most visited part of the wall and is the best representation of the former splendour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Of unimaginable length, the wall can be seen from space. On the way, admire the countryside and stop at an impressive Jade Workshop, where artisans work with this precious stone. Arrive at the Great Wall where you have a minimum of two-hours to learn about the history of the wall and enjoy walking on this ancient relic of the past. Lunch. Return to Beijing and stop at the Summer Palace, a former imperial garden from the Qing era. It is home to a vast array of palaces, landscaped gardens and sparkling lakes. Bask in the natural beauty of your surroundings. Return to your hotel. We recommend an optional Golden Mask Show, a beautiful cultural performance.* Overnight stay in Beijing.

Optional Golden Mask Show: Set in the era of the Golden Mask Dynasty, a legendary age in China, the story tells the story of a queen, who wears a golden mask, and creates a splendid dynasty. It is a fabulous insight into China's history and arts. 

You may find a cheaper price at the destination, but it is recommended that you book through Exoticca to secure your place in advance.

13th Day: Beijing

Breakfast at the hotel. Today, enjoy a tour of the most important sights of Beijing including Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Olympic Park. Explore iconic Tiananmen Square, then head to the Forbidden City, an impressive palace complex and home to the former Imperial Chinese Palace for the years spanning from the Ming to the Qing dynasties. It is the world's most visited attraction and showcases immaculate Chinese design and architecture. Afterwards, visit a traditional Chinese Medicine Centre, for an insight into this ancient practice. Lunch. Finally, visit the famous Olympic Park, where you can admire the beautifully architected Bird's Nest Stadium and Water Cube Aquatics Centre. Transfer to the hotel. We recommend an optional Red Theater Kung Fu Show.* Overnight stay in Beijing.

Optional Red Theater Kung Fu Show: Admire the intricacies of this martial art as you enjoy a professional show.

Please note: the Forbidden City is closed on Mondays, so the order of the itinerary may be changed to accommodate this closure.

You may find a cheaper price at the destination, but it is recommended that you book through Exoticca to secure your place in advance.

14th Day: Beijing - Xi'an

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the train station for an exciting Bullet Train journey to Xian. Arrive and check-in to the hotel. Afterwards, visit the South Gate Old City Wall, which is the most complete city wall to have survived in China, as well being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. Continue to visit the Muslim Quarter and enjoy some shopping time there. In the evening enjoy a delicious Dumpling Banquet for dinner. Overnight stay in Xi'an.

15th Day: Xi'an

Breakfast at the hotel. Today, discover one of China's most iconic sights as you enjoy a visit to the Terracotta Warriors Museum. Approximately 8,000 sculpted figures were buried alongside Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, and today you can see this once in a lifetime sight for yourself. Each figure is impressively crafted and unique. Be blown away by the intricacy and the sheer number of the figures as you learn about their significance. Also visit the local Terracotta Factory and the Yanyuan Art Museum, to learn about the ancient art of Chinese Calligraphy, and even try it out for yourself. Afterwards, visit the Muslim Quarter and enjoy some shopping time there. Return to the hotel. We recommend an optional Tang Dynasty Show for an evening of entertainment.* Overnight stay in Xi'an.

* Optional Tang Dynasty Show at Shanxi Theater: Enjoy the Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show with fabulous music and dancing from the era of the Tang Dynasty, China's golden age. The show is a unique way to get to know the historical culture of the ancient city of Xi'an.

You may find a cheaper price at the destination, but it is recommended that you book through Exoticca to secure your place in advance.

16th Day: Xi'an

Breakfast at the hotel. Today, enjoy a free day to explore Xi'an at your own pace. Be sure to dive into the local food scene and sample the delights of one of Xi'an's bustling street food markets. Overnight stay in Xi'an.

17th Day: Xi’an - Guilin - Yangshuo

Early breakfast at the hotel. Early this morning, transfer to the airport for a flight to Guilin (6:30 a.m.), located in the south of China and famous for its stunning limestone hills, or karsts, and dramatic natural landscapes. Upon arrival, head to the Yangshuo region and enjoy a boat cruise on the Li River to admire the landscape which unfolds itself like a scroll of Chinese ink painting. Afterwards, head to the natural wonders of Moon Hill and the Big Banyan Tree which has survived the wind and rain over the centuries since it was planted nearly 1500 years ago. Walk along West Street and enjoy the bustling atmosphere. Return to the hotel and, in the evening, we recommend an optional Liusanjie Impression Show, performed in the landscape of the Li River.* Overnight stay in Yangshuo.

* Optional Liusanjie Impression Show: Admire the unbelievable beauty of the Li River at night as it is lit up in an Impression Light Show. The waters of the Li River set the stage and a dozen beautifully lit rock formations form a natural backdrop. 

You may find a cheaper price at the destination, but it is recommended that you book through Exoticca to secure your place in advance.

18th Day: Guilin

Breakfast at the hotel. Explore unique Elephant Trunk Hill, a trunk shaped rock that extends into the river. Afterwards, visit a local Pearl Factory. Afterwards, transfer to Guilin and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. This evening, we recommend an optional Four Lake Night Cruise with Cormorant Fishing Show*. Overnight stay in Guilin.

* Four Lake Night Cruise with Cormorant Fishing Show: Downtown Guilin lights up at night, and the best way to enjoy its beauty is to take a night cruise around the city’s Four Lakes scenic area. Enjoy panoramic views of the city’s multicoloured nighttime skyline and enjoy a Cormorant Fishing Show. 

You may find a cheaper price at the destination, but it is recommended that you book through Exoticca to secure your place in advance.

19th Day: Guilin

Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a day at your leisure, exploring the landscapes and lakes by boat or visiting the various historic monuments and pagodas. Overnight stay in Guilin.

20th Day: Guilin - Shanghai

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport for a flight to Shanghai. Arrive in Shanghai, the global financial hub which sits on China's central coast. Transfer to the hotel and after getting settled, take a walking tour of Nanjing Road and the Bund to get to know Shanghai's diverse neighbourhoods. Return to the hotel and, in the evening, you have the option to enjoy a Huangpu River Cruise.* Overnight stay in Shanghai.

Huangpu River Cruise: Soak up the highlights of Shanghai's city skyline from the comfort of the river cruiser as you enjoy an evening of spectacular views.

You may find a cheaper price at the destination, but it is recommended that you book through Exoticca to secure your place in advance.

21st Day: Shanghai

Breakfast at the hotel. Today, embark on a full-day visit of the highlights of Shanghai. Step back in time in the charming traditional Yu Garden, learn about the city's history at the Shanghai Museum, and explore the modern side of the city. Visit an authentic Silk Factory to discover how this coveted fabric is manufactured. Return to the hotel. Why not enjoy an optional Acrobatic show this evening.* Overnight stay in Shanghai.

Optional Acrobatic Show: Experience one of the world's oldest performing arts as you are immersed in an evening of culture and entertainment. 

You may find a cheaper price at the destination, but it is recommended that you book through Exoticca to secure your place in advance.

22nd Day: Shanghai

Breakfast at the hotel. Spend the day at your leisure, shopping, exploring the sights or simply relaxing in one of the city green spaces. We recommend an optional complete full-day tour of Shanghai.* Overnight stay in Shanghai.

* Optional Shanghai Full-Day City Tour: The tour will start with a ride on the Maglev train, the first and only commercial rail line of its type in the world. The train is the fastest in the world with a top speed of 431 kilometres per hour! Afterwards, enjoy free admission to the Observation Deck on the 88th Floor of Jinmao Tower where you will have the best view of the entire city. The next stop is A.P. Plaza, Shanghai’s biggest market, home to more than 1,000 stores. Enjoy 2-hours of free time to shop for bargains. Finally, visit the entertainment area of Xintiandi.

You may find a cheaper price at the destination, but it is recommended that you book through Exoticca to secure your place in advance.

23rd Day: Shanghai

Breakfast at the hotel. Spend the day at your leisure, searching for bargains or souvenirs in one of the many shopping centres, strolling around the colonial Bund or sampling the diverse street food. Overnight stay in Shanghai.

24th Day: Shanghai - Night on board

Breakfast at the hotel. It's time to bring your journey through Russia and China to an end. At the indicated time, transfer to the airport for a flight back to the US. Night on board.

25th Day: US

Arrive in the US and end your trip.

25 days trip including flights*

23 days and 22 nights in destination

1

NYC - MOW

2

NYC - MOW

Moscow

3

Moscow

4

Moscow

5

St. Petersburg

6

St. Petersburg

7

St. Petersburg

8

St. Petersburg

9

LED-PEK

Beijing

10

Beijing

11

Beijing

12

Beijing

13

Xi'an

14

Xi'an

15

Xi'an

16

Yangshuo

17

Guilin

18

Guilin

19

Shanghai

20

Shanghai

21

Shanghai

22

Shanghai

23

PVG - NYC

24

PVG - NYC

25

PVG - NYC

* It may change depending of your departure city, departure date and arrival date.

The calendar does not display internal flights, trains or other transportation included in the itinerary.

Accommodation: 22 Nights

Select your hotel category:

Included activities

Activities availability is subject to departure dates and itinerary selected.
Included

Half-Day excursion to the Great Wall of China

Visit the fascinating Juyongguan Great Wall, the Jade Factory and the Olympic park.
Included activity for day 12
Included

Full-Day Beijing city tour

Enjoy a tour of the impressive Tiananmen Square, the splendid Forbidden City and the Summer Palace.
Included activity for day 13
Included

South Gate Old City Wall Visit

Visit the most complete city wall to have survived in China, as well being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. Continue to visit the Muslim Quarter and enjoy some shopping time.
Included activity for day 14
Show more

Available Activities

Activities availability is subject to departure dates and itinerary selected.
See the price of optional activities after selecting the date in the next step
Optional

Moscow City Tour

Enjoy a 3-hour city tour of Moscow including Red Square and the beautiful Sofiiskaya Embankment as well as the modern parts of the city. Entrances not included.
Suggested activity for day 3
Optional

St. Petersburg City Tour

Enjoy a 3-hour guided city tour of St. Petersburg including the impressive Fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul, the pantheon of the Russian Tsars.
Suggested activity for day 6
Optional

Half-Day Temple of Heaven Excursion

Enjoy a tour of the fantastic Temple of Heaven, a religious complex where you could have the opportunity to watch the locals practising Tai Chi in the tranquil surroundings.
Suggested activity for day 11
Show more

The price includes

  • Included in all our trips. more information
  • Departures from main US airports.
  • International flights: US - Moscow, Shanghai - US.
  • International & internal flights: St. Petersburg - Beijing, Xian - Guilin, Guilin - Shanghai. *
    more information
  • Train from Moscow to St. Petersburg in Economy class. Bullet Train from Beijing to Xian. **
    more information
  • 21 nights accomodation in Superior and Luxury category hotels, and 1 night in flight from St. Petersburg to Beijing. ***
    more information
    See hotels included
  • 21 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner.
  • Transfers in air-conditioned vehicle. ****
    more information
  • Visits and entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary. *****
    more information
    See itinerary
  • All air taxes and fuel surcharge.
  • Letter of invitation to process your visa for Russia and China. ******
    more information
  • English-speaking guide.

Not included

Visa (mandatory) drinks, tips* and any other services not mentioned in what's included.

* It is mandatory to select the option of mandatory tips in the next step of the reservation process or to pay directly when you arrive in China.

* Documentation of the internal flights will either be available in the "My bookings" section in your "Customer Area" 14 days before your trip or delivered to you on arrival at your destination. It is essential to fill in the passport information correctly for each passenger in the given boxes at the end of the reservations process.

IMPORTANT: Maximum checked baggage limit on internal flights is 20kg.

** We cannot guarantee that you and your travel companions will be allocated seats together on the Bullet Train from Beijing to Xi'an. Some train journeys and flights can be early in the morning in order to successfully follow the schedule.

*** The hotels stated in the letter of invitation do not need to be definitive; the hotels will be confirmed between 45 and 30 days before departure.

**** Transfers are not included for flights arriving in Moscow between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. and for flights leaving St. Petersburg before 10:00 a.m. If your flights fall between these times, you have the possibility to add transfers in the next step of the booking process. 

The maximum waiting time for airport transfers in China will be 120 minutes.

***** You may find a cheaper price for optional excursions at the destination, but it is recommended that you book through Exoticca to secure your place in advance.

We recommend carrying cash in either the local currency or in US Dollars.

****** Once your booking and details of your reservation are confirmed, you will receive an invitation letter from our supplier in Russia. You will receive it at least one month before your departure date. We are able to provide a visa invitation letter for the proposed duration of the original tour ONLY. If you are extending your stay in Russia you will be required to arrange any additional invitation letters/documentation independently, in order to obtain a visa for the entirety of your stay in Russia. Alternatively, for approx. 20 euros per person we can arrange for a third-party invitation letter to be issued by your chosen accommodation.

IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOUR PASSPORT DETAILS ARE CORRECT FOR THE LETTER OF INVITATION. The letter is necessary for making your visa application: IT IS NOT A VISA. If you have any questions please contact our Customer Service Team on +1 888-488-0592.

As an individual, you can have your visa processed at any consulate of the Russian Embassy in the United States (which can be found in Washington, New York, San Francisco, Houston, and Seattle) as well as at the Russian Visa Center in the USA (http://www.ils-usa.com).

The visa application process requires an application form, a valid passport, one passport-sized photo, your trip confirmation from Exoticca, a Visa Support Letter (VSL) also provided by Exoticca, and a processing fee. If a revision is required after the VSL has been issued, there is a $50 per person Russia Visa Support Letter change fee that will be applied.

Visas services for the Embassy of the Russian Federation are managed by Invisa Logistics Services at their Visa Center, 1680 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.Tel. (202) 827-0895; Fax (202) 827-0896. All applicants must first complete an online Visa Application Form at http://visa.kdmid.ru and then either appear in person at the Visa Center ($33 fee in addition to the Consular visa fees) or submit their application via a visa service. Details at https://washington.mid.ru/en/. (Note - although the Russian embassy recommends multiple-entry visas for US citizens, it is not necessary).

A single-entry visa is sufficient for itineraries with one entrance into the Russian Federation. Visa processing can take as long as 4-6 weeks during which time your passport will be unavailable for other international trips.

IMPORTANT: In order to receive your invitation letter for your Chinese Visa (mandatory) it is important that all of your details and names are given to Exoticca exactly as they appear on your passport. Once you receive your invitation letter from us you will be required to go to the Chinese Embassy in person with your passport, a passport photo, invitation letter and an Exoticca Booking Form (provided by Exoticca) to apply for your Chinese Visa. Please apply for your visa as early as possible. The cost is approximately $150.

MANDATORY: Please send copies of the passports of all passengers to customerservice@exoticca.com as soon as you have booked your trip in order for us to process your Chinese Visa Invitation Letter.

  • Entry requirements
    Passport with a minimum of six months validity with 2 blank passport pages.
  • Visa
    A visa is required to enter the country. This is issued at the consulate before travel with a letter of invitation.
  • Currency
    Russian Ruble.
  • Language
    Russian.
  • Electricity
    220 V. 2 pin European style plug..
  • Health
    There are no mandatory vaccinations for travelers from the U.S.
  • Time zone
    UTC + 03:00.
  • Other useful information
    Due to its size, Russia has great climatic variation however the predominant climate is continental.
  • Tourist Office website
    https://europe.russia.travel/ 

Remember to download your e-ticket to confirm the times of your flights and to complete online check-in using the airline’s website, or directly at the check-in desk at the airport.

Accommodation at the hotels is as indicated. In the event of any changes to accommodation, they will always be of the same, or a higher category. The category of hotels is not standardized across all countries in the world. For this reason, the criteria may differ depending on the destination country's own standards.

In the case of adverse weather conditions, for safety reasons or for any other reasons deemed appropriate, the order and duration of the excursions included in the itinerary may be changed or canceled without prior notice.

Children age: 2 - 12 years old (the third bed will be a rollaway bed).

 

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