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Moscow & St Petersburg Tour
I had a wonderful holiday in Russia. All the bad preconceptions on security, food, friendliness were wrong, Marriott hotel excellent. Both Moscow and St Petersburg were great. Many thanks to Jelene who was most helpful when needed, wonderful humour and made the holiday what it was. All the local guides used were of good calibre and I think got us through the crowds in a very good way. They were very knowledgeable and funny too. I usually wouldn’t go on a tour but I am so glad I did this one as I don’t think we would have seen as much without the support of Riviera Travel’s expertise.
Review by Charmion Gillmore on 27 September 2016
We just wanted to thank you for a wonderful holiday in Moscow & St Petersburg at the beginning of this month. This is the first time we have been on a guided tour type holiday but felt this would be a good way of getting the best out visiting these cities. We were very well looked after from start to finish on our trip, our tour manager Yelena was extremely helpful and friendly and she ensured everything ran smoothly throughout the holiday. We’d be grateful if you could pass on our thanks as we missed her after check in/security at the airport & didn’t get chance to thank her personally. The local guides also were very knowledgeable and entertaining and we learned a great deal about the places we visited.
The Moscow hotel in particular was very nice and centrally placed for seeing the sights and we able to explore the city quite easily during our free time, the only thing we would say is that we would have liked a little more free time in St Petersburg to explore on our own but time constraints didn’t allow this, I think we would have preferred perhaps an extra day there so the activities could have been spread out a little to allow for a bit more extra free time, however this is just our personal preference.
Thank you again, we would definitely recommend this trip.
Review by Karen & Russell Underwood on 28 September 2016
I am delighted to give feedback on my recent trip with Riviera Travel to Moscow and St Petersburg. From the beginning to the end the whole tour was so efficiently organised and our tour manager, Helena, was always available to assist with any query or problem which cropped up. The tour guides were so knowledgeable and they enhanced all the tours with their informed commentaries. The Marriott Hotel in Moscow was perfect in every way, but the bedrooms in the Novotel, St Petersburg were basic. However they were very clean and we soon got used to the lack of ‘frills’. The transport was excellent, always on time and very safely driven.
I would certainly recommend your Company to my friends and in fact we are thinking of booking with you next year.
Review by Christine Ward on 21 September 2016
Congratulations. Just back from Moscow and St Petersburg 1/9/16 to 7/9/16.
Credit where credit is due, superb trip. Our guides were brilliant.
Thank you for a very special trip. Forty Six of us in total, and all back safe and sound.
Everything was spot on.
Review by Liz and Chris King on 21 September 2016
Good Afternoon all at Riviera Travel.
We have just returned from the Moscow & St. Petersburg Tour with yourselves and want to thank you for a wonderful trip.
Our Tour Manager - Bernie - was absolutely wonderful. He organized everything so well and with such a lovely manner. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he was a joy to travel with. He even organized good weather for us!!
Our local tour guides for the palaces and places of interest were all great too and very informative.
As I’m sure you will be aware, we have travelled with you quite a lot and have already booked for Sicily next summer.
Keep up the good work. Once again many thanks.
Review by David and Karen Parker on 21 September 2016
Once again Riviera has produced a wonderful tour. Despite the tortuous process of getting a Russian Visa it was an action-packed visit. Moscow, particularly, was a total surprise: so clean, so colourful, so friendly…......an absolute joy to be there. Both hotels were perfectly located and very welcoming, the train journey a super way of understanding the vastness of Russia and Bernie, our guide, a most delightful and informative leader. Nothing was too much trouble for him. His knowledge and experience ensured that the trip was a total success.
Review by Peter Roberts on 20 September 2016
Brilliant tour! Wonderful cities to visit! Hotels in both places were excellent - the Novotel rooms in St Petersburg were much smaller than Marriott in Moscow - but then how much time do you spend in them?! Outstanding breakfasts in both hotels - an enormous range of food - I don’t know why people have previously complained about the Novotel. The main tour guide went out of his way to arrange other events for those interested, such as ballet, a show, river cruise etc. All tour guides very knowledgeable - all round excellent tour!
Review by Pat on 15 September 2016
What better way of completing our amazing trip than writing our review. With so much to see and do, be inspired and dazzled, Moscow and St Petersburg is a must-do holiday. The Courtyard Marriott, an excellent choice of hotel and so central to the main part of Moscow, The Kremlin, Red Square. With a definite contrast to St Petersburg, the Novotel was a very nice hotel, a lovely restaurant to unwind with travelling guests.
Our tour rep was Helena, she was the icing on the cake and we cannot praise her enough. Also our guides in both Moscow and St Petersburg, Yoletta, Olga & Galena. They were so informative and compassionate and inspired us all to want to know more. We know now the reason we chose to visit Russia.
Review by Patricia and Paul Bennett on 9 September 2016
The Lucas’s & Fox’s would like to complement Riviera Travel on the guides provided on this tour. We were particularly pleased with Bernie who accompanied us throughout and with Vera who looked after us in Moscow. we were also very impressed with Anya in St Petersburg who was brilliant.
Nothing was too much trouble for her and her knowledge of the history related to the artifacts and sites visited was first class. We thanked all of the guides at the time but would like you to pass on our compliments to all of them now we are back in the UK.
We were very happy with the Marriott Hotel in Moscow but the hotel in St Petersburg whilst OK did not compare to the Marriott so was a little disappointing. Overall the holiday was brilliant but on reflection we would have preferred it to be longer (10 days) as there was so much more to see in both places.
Review by Richard Lucas on 2 September 2016
How much we enjoyed our recent trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The hotels were very central and comfortable in both Cities. We were impressed both by our tours and with our taste of Russia.
Our UK guide Kevin made a very good travelling companion.
Well done for a good holiday.
Review by Malcolm WAITE on 2 September 2016
We have just returned from a wonderful trip to Moscow and St Petersberg and just wanted to let you know that our Tour Guide Bernie was excellent - very informative, interesting and a great sense of humour and very helpful. That’s all! We’ll be in touch for our next holiday all being well soon.
Geraldine & Paul Bingham (Cyprus)
PS Vera and Anya also were very good tour guides.
Review by Geraldine & Paul Bingham on 2 September 2016
We have just returned from a wonderful tour of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Our Tour Guide, Bernie, couldn’t do enough for us and was extremely knowledgeable about these great cities. We will certainly be using your Company in the future. Bernie is a real credit to your organisation.
Review by Linda Craig on 2 September 2016
This was our first organised tour and we enjoyed it immensely. Bernie the tour manager was outstanding and the guides in both Moscow and St Petersburg were excellent. Both hotels were well placed and of a high standard. Great trip and met some lovely people!
Review by Anita and Peter Spink on 27 August 2016
We returned on Monday from a most enjoyable and informative holiday to Moscow and St Petersburg. We have to commend Riviera, yet again, for laying on such a well planned programme with very informative, enthusiastic and “patriotic” guides. The tour manager Bernie was absolutely brilliant - a wonderful asset for Riviera. Not only was he constantly educating us with his own personal experiences in Russia over many years but he, without fuss, ensured that all members of the party knew exactly where they should be and when. In addition the 2 hotels were very comfortable and strategically located.
Thank you Riviera for ensuring we had a wonderful week in Russia.
Review by Richard and Diana Purssell on 25 August 2016
Not really done an organised tour before but this was really good. Tour manager Bernie was brilliant and Vera and Tamara in Moscow and Anya and Olga in St. Petersburg were very knowledgeable….they could answer questions about Catherine the Great and then the Soviet education some of them received. Very good holiday with some lovely people. Please Riviera can you do a trip one step up…so more detailed visits to The State Armory in Moscow and much longer in The Hermitage…..maybe with a choice of where to visit…Amber room, Gold treasures etc
Review by Bryony Dalgleish on 24 August 2016
This was a fantastic trip which was well organised. Bernie and the local guides are very good. Both hotels are in a good location and both are of a good standard. Moscow was a wonderful suprise. I would recommend this tour.
Review by Ann Ratcliffe on 6 August 2016
Our 3rd Riviera tour, Russia was a revelation, beautiful, clean, friendly and seemed very safe. Moscow receiving a major facelift for the 2018 football, so quite a lot of construction St Petersburg seemed busier but just as opulent. Our tour manager Bernie was very informative and enthusiastic about his adopted home. Our various Russian tour guides were very helpful but a little more difficult to understand. Would encourage anyone debating the tour to go, we really enjoyed our visit.
Review by Frank and Jane Peet on 2 August 2016
We have just returned from a tour of Moscow and St Petersburg and wanted to briefly thank you, your staff and guides for a wonderful week away. We generally travel independently but found the thought of tackling Russia on our own a little daunting, so booked the Riviera Travel tour. We expected Russia to be interesting but were bowled over by the beauty, grandeur and scale of the architecture, the chilled-out and happy-go-lucky atmosphere, the range and quality of food, the friendliness of the locals and, frankly, the ease of travel (the latter of which was clearly much eased by our tour manager and guides!) Bernie is a wonderful tour manager, knowledgeable and, attentive. We couldn’t have been in better hands. Our guides Tatiana (Moscow) and Olga (St P) were also faultless. Everything went like clockwork. We cannot believe we crammed so much into a week. Thanks to all, we will certainly be booking with Riviera again.
Review by Peter and Sandra Whitehead on 2 August 2016
This is by far the best tour we have been on with Rivera. Moscow and St Petersburg are fabulous Cities our Guides Tatiana in Moscow and Victor in St Petersburg were outstanding. Chris, Rivera’s Rep looked after our every need, the two hotels we stayed in were excellent and ideally situated in the centre of both cities. Getting the Visa is a little daunting but persevere its well worth the trouble. We know Riviera can not include everything but St Catherine’s Palace is a must to see. Wonderful Holiday and we will be booking again soon.
Review by Dave and Mary Smith on 30 May 2013
Excellent tour of these 2 superb cities. Hotels well situated. Riviera’s rep, Bernie was very helpful & informative & all the guides for both cities were very good. Thank you Riviera & here’s to future holidays with your Company. David & Gill Stockford
Review by David & Gill Stockford on 24 June 2013
We were delightfully surprised by the excellent tour inside the Kremlin. Your Tour Manager, Bernie Jenneskens, quickly inspired confidence which enabled us to maximise our use of ‘free time’, including eating out, despite our inability to speak or read Russian! The art and architecture in St Petersburg is simply stunning and the additional boat tour of the canals was a pleasant rest for the feet, at the end of an excellent week.
Review by Tom Ryan on 9 July 2013
Wonderful trip to see Russia. Our constant guide Jeffrey was first class and the local guides in Moscow and St. Petersburg were excellent. The local guides should write up their knowledge of the cities for tourists to buy because there is so much information that it is impossible for older people like myself to remember all the wonderful history of these two cities. Just a suggestion! Another great holiday after Croatia last year. Mary and James Muldoon
Review by James Muldoon on 12 August 2013
Don’t often write reviews but this was an excellent trip. Tour Manager Bernie has to be the best. All our pre-conceived ideas of Russia were false. Brilliant
Review by David & Eileen Wiley on 7 October 2013
After a lifetime’s ambition to visit Russia our holiday with Riviera exceeded all expectations. As usual, Riviera ‘s organisation and attention to detail were excellent and our Russian tour guides, Tatania and Anya “made” our visit with their fount of information. Not forgetting our Tour Manager, Bernie whose wealth of “hands on” experience of Russia over many tears combined with looking after us so well added to our enjoyment. The hotels were good and eating out at reasonable prices no problem.
Review by Keith & Gillian Sargent on 8 October 2013
Wow what a tour - well done Riveria you have done it again. We went with our friends Sue and Pete not knowing what to expect we were very pleasantly surprised. The worst part of the holiday was getting the Russian Visa. We did it ourselves - I do not recommend it - better to pay a little more and get an agent to complete the detailed form. We got there in the end. The journey there was well planned and went without a hitch - going through Frankfurt airport was easy - although big. The Marriott hotel was great - lovely hot towel rails to dry out the clothes - it always seems to rain in Moscow!! Food and accommodation was good - staff very helpful and friendly - even with a smile!! The tours were well organised with Tatiana the local guide - a great sense of humour not faltering once with history and dates. The train ride went without a hitch having our cases moved around by porters saved the ankles being knocked making it much easier for us punters. The Novotel in St Petersburg was good and very central - so easy to move around - we almost felt like locals. I must also mention Tatiana the third who was another excellent guide - making sure we were all happy at all times - her knowledge base was also brilliant - I just want her here now to remind me what all the pictures are I took - some 600 of them!!!! The whole trip was a great experience we are glad we have done it - we would recommend it to everyone who has the slightest interest in Russia. Thank you Riveria Di, Tony, Sue, Pete
Review by Di and Tony on 7 June 2014
The hotels were excellent and in great areas for easy access to the sights, particularly Moscow. Tour guide - Bernie was excellent nothing too much trouble, very helpful friendly guy. Local guides were all excellent - sooo knowledgeable. Also really friendly and fun people. Bus drivers were great too. Dropping us were we wanted to go after tours. Wasn’t sure how safe I would feel but all excellent. People were friendly and the weather was great…can’t give Riviera the credit for that!! Excellent all round tour with all the important and wonderful sites included. Maybe wondered about an extra day in St Petersburg as there was so much to see but not a criticism. I fancy visiting Rio Carnival… any chance of a tour there? My first trip with Rivieara but not my last. Big thank you
Review by JUlie Wolstenholme on 20 June 2014
My mother and I recently went on the above tour and we wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how much we enjoyed it. The organisation was very impressive allowing us to really make the most of our time in each city. Our tour guide Bernie and local guides Sergio (Moscow) and Anya (St Petersburg) were excellent and made the trip so interesting, shepherding us efficiently from one place to another always with a great sense of humour. They were keen to supply information on the attractions, the complex history of the country and answer any questions including those about living in Russia over the years. In a place where both spoken and written language are not easy to comprehend, they were truly indispensable.
Thank you for an excellent tour.
Review by Karen Meakin and Margaret Tyrell on 15 July 2014
Moscow and St Petersburg are both beautiful cities and we enjoyed exploring them. There were no problems and everything was very safe and easy. Fiona, our Tour Manager and guides Sergei and Natasha were excellent. Eating out was simple and no more expensive than London. Try the top floor of GUM for quick food and be sure to go to Red Square at night to see the illuminations. Our tour of the Moscow metro was ‘an experience’ - we survived!
In St Petersburg, the walks by the many canals and river Neva were a delight but we needed an extra hour at Peterhof to be able to do the wonderful grounds justice.
Thanks to all concerned for another excellent holiday.
Review by Richard & Eileen Hart on 31 July 2014
The skies above both Moscow and St Petersburg could not have been more blue or less cloud free. The hotels in both cities were both within walking distance of the main sights and we were so very fortunate to have Chris Brown as our tour manager. We had taken Barbara’s wheelchair as she cannot walk far nor when walking, can not walk fast and without an arm to hold. However we managed to to explore the lovely fountains and flower beds in the Alexander gardens below the Kremlin walls; to explore the leafy boulevards beyond Pushkin Square with its fountains and later to explore the canals and gardens of wonderful St Petersburg - our only problem in Moscow was the numerous underpasses with steps and steep ramps at every main road which help able bodied people to avoid the endless stream of traffic. In St Petersburg there is no such difficulty, as every road has its green pedestrian light ticking away 30 seconds between the two or three minutes when the stream of traffic is allowed to move on. Chris had observed how well we had managed on all the included tours - though Barbara had to forgo the wonderful Kremlin Armoury tour: its stairs and crowded treasure filled halls, coupled with the impossibility of taking her wheelchair inside, had put paid to that; but he insisted she would not be deprived of the highlight tour of the wonderful Metro system with its grandiose stations. Chris is built like a cross between Jack Reacher - the one of the novels, not the Tom Cruise version -and Robbie Coltrane as Haggrid. He just swept up our collapsible wheelchair under his massive right arm and thus I was free to hold Barbara just as tightly to my side as we descended the steep and deep escalators into the underground system. Crowded trains between sites were no bother once Chris took over on the busy platforms; and everybody in the party was ushered with ease through the wonderland of mosaics, chandeliers, pink and grey granite pillars, yellow stucco walls, white marble, and bronze statues. Riviera always plan interest- packed tours and the one to these two great Russian cities is fantastic. But this Riviera “Rep” was a one -off and he seemed to be able to extend his care and attention equally to everybody in the 44 strong party . A truly memorable holiday.
Review by Leslie& Barbara Ellison on 6 August 2014
My wife and I have just returned after a fantastic trip to Moscow and St.Petersburg. It was definitely one of the best trips we have ever had. Our guides, Serge in Moscow and Dimitri in St Petersburg were both excellent and very informative. We were brought to the top attractions in both places and given very good information regarding the history of each place. This is our second trip with Riviera, last year we did the West Coast of America, and we were very impressed both times.
Review by Michael Nally on 5 September 2014
After initial anxiety due to the complexity of applying for the Russian Visa’s, them arriving only 5 days before we travelled and the political situation in Ukraine, we thoroughly enjoyed this amazing trip to Moscow and St Petersburg. Our escort Adda guided us calmly through Passport Control at Moscow airport that would have taken hours without her (seriously), she then continued to be an efficient and friendly presence throughout our tour. We have huge respect for our guide in Moscow, Serge. So knowledgeable and honest about the city he has lived in all his life. Our guide Dimitri in St Petersburg was also a extremely well informed, and we enjoyed his company. We have returned from our visit with wonderful memories of two amazing cities, a fuller understanding of the culture and admiration of the Russian people we came into contact with. We can highly recommend this tour and it’s organisation.
Review by Sue Smith on 24 September 2014
An excellent holiday, especially as we had perfect weather, brilliant guides and well chosen city centre hotels. We could have used more free time AFTER the guided tours of the Hermitage and the Summer Palace because they were fantastic places. However a great holiday, well done to all of your staff involved.
Review by Win & John Allison on 17 October 2014
I have recently returned from a tour to Moscow and St. Petersburg. Although I felt some anxiety as the departure date drew near, the holiday turned out to be a wonderful experience. This was due, in no small measure, to the three tour guides looking after us.
Our tour manager was Bernie Jenneskens. He met us at the airport and from then on proved to be a real asset to your company and to ourselves. All arrangements worked out perfectly. He was with us all the time and the information he gave us about past and present Russia was comprehensive and balanced. His tasks were complicated. It is a credit to him that not one of the 36 people in the group was “mislaid” as we toured around in the busy Moscow Metro, and also that he managed to get us all safely aboard the high speed train to St. Petersburg in spite of an official’s best efforts to thwart his efforts. When we departed from the airport at St. Petersburg he shepherded us to the very last point possible! Our Moscow Guide was Alexander, a lovely man with a terrific sense of humour, and full of information. We were all very sorry to leave him in Moscow, but, Olga, who met us in St. Petersburg was every bit as efficient and interesting, leading us through the Hermitage and Peterhof Palace and displaying a prodigious degree of knowledge. She told us a little of her own experiences during Soviet times and, on the way to the airport, described conditions during the siege of Leningrad, which moved us all. Bernie, Alexander and Olga, I thank you all very much for all your efforts in making my 6 days in Russia so memorable
Review by Jennifer Harkes on 29 October 2014
A trip we thought about back in the 60’s as teenagers finally came to fruition and wow was it worth waiting for. The weather couldn’t have been better and as it fell on the VE 70th Anniversary celebrations made it all the more memorable. A very well organised tour with a great team of guides. Nothing was too much trouble for them. They new their history and made if fun as well as interesting and more so they shared their own personal memories with us which made it so real. The hotels were in great locations for easy access to wander safely to the main attractions. The amount of free time was just right. Moscow for me was just beautiful and not what I had expected and St Petersburg just amazing. Thanks to Bernie, Irana, Marsha (Moscow) and Snejana and Natash in St Petersburg for looking after us so well and seeing us safely on our homeward journey.
Review by Margaret Tinker on 13 May 2015
We have just had a stunning week in Russia. Two amazing cities, perfect weather and the bonus of being in the country for the VE day, May 9th celebrations. We saw both the rehearsals for Putin’s grand parade and pageant in Moscow and the moving ‘Immortal Regiment’ parade in St.Petersburg. Bernie, an excellent tour manager, and his knowledgeable team of Russian guides made sure we saw all of the marvellous buildings and the amazing collections in them. We were very well looked after throughout. We cannot fault the organisation of the tour, Bernie’s team made a full itinerary flow smoothly despite the major events taking place. Both the hotels were in really good central locations; the Moscow hotel was lovely. We saw a different Russia to the one reported in the Media - lively, vibrant and welcoming. It was well worth the chore of filling in the visa! And, finally, a great group of travelling companions.
Review by Veronica and Margaret on 18 May 2015
My daughter and I had the most enjoyable holiday, enhanced by our lovely guide Bernie. Nothing was a bother to him and his charming assistants. Russia was a wonderful country to see. Brilliant holiday
Review by Irene Boiston on 14 June 2015
Thank you for arranging this trip to Moscow and St Petersburg so well. My friend and I had a great time. Chris, the guide, was very good and the local guides were excellent. We preferred the hotel in Moscow to the one in St Petersburg but both were comfortable. The train ride on the Sapsan was a great experience. Many thanks