December 27, 2012, to January 3, 2013
Ring in 2013 in breathtaking fashion – as a guest at the elite Tsar’s Ball in the Great Hall of the Catherine Palace in Czarskoye Selo.
Relive Russian royal pageantry with fireworks and a gala six-course feast served by the same French caterer used by the tsars. Our visits to the legendary Hermitage include a private curator-guided tour of the exquisite Scythian Gold collection and the acclaimed “Hidden Treasures Revealed” exhibition. Enjoy performances at the Mariinsky Theater, listen to the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and kick off our stay with a champagne-and-caviar reception at our hotel, the deluxe Rocco Forte Hotel Astoria. Optional post-trip extension to Moscow.
Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Russian domestic and international politics is just one of Kathryn Stoner-Weiss' many areas of research.
- Kathryn Stoner-Weiss, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Kathryn Stoner-Weiss is a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute, Deputy Director at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, and Faculty Director of the Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies at Stanford University. Prior to coming to Stanford in 2004, she was on the faculty at Princeton University for nine years, jointly appointed to the Department of Politics and the Woodrow Wilson School for International and Public Affairs. She has held fellowships at Harvard University as well as the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. Her main research interests include comparative state building and effective governance; political economy of developing countries; Russian domestic and international politics; and Canadian politics.
- Recipient of Princeton’s Ralph O. Glendinning Preceptorship awarded to outstanding junior faculty
- Served as Visiting Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, and Assistant Professor of Political Science at McGill University
- BA, MA in Political Science, University of Toronto; PhD in Government, Harvard University
THURSDAY & FRIDAY, DECEMBER 27 & 28
DEPART U.S. / ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
Depart the U.S. on overnight flights to St. Petersburg, arriving on Friday. Check in to our historic hotel, located on St. Isaac’s Square, at the very center of St. Petersburg’s vibrant downtown. HOTEL ASTORIA
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 29
After breakfast, visit the State Russian Art Museum, housed in the former Mikhail Palace and displaying Russian art that ranges from medieval icons to works of early-20th century avant-garde artists. After lunch on our own, tour the massive and opulent St. Isaac’s Cathedral, built to celebrate Tsar Alexander’s victory over Napoleon. This evening, attend a musical performance at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Great Hall. Return to our hotel’s Caviar Bar for a lavish welcome reception with caviar, blinis, vodka and champagne. HOTEL ASTORIA (B)
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 30
This morning set out for our first visit to the vast and luxurious Hermitage Museum, which contains one of the world’s leading collections of priceless art. Today we concentrate on the rich art collections and lavishly decorated state rooms, accessed by the gilded Jordan Staircase. Relax over lunch at a favorite nearby restaurant. In the afternoon, enjoy a private tour of the Grand Menshikov Palace, built by Peter the Great for his friend, Alexander Menshikov, the first governor of St. Petersburg. Later, sip champagne as we are entertained by an ensemble from the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. This evening, attend a superb performance at Russia’s best-known performing arts center, the Mariinsky Theater, known as the Kirov during the Soviet era. HOTEL ASTORIA (B,L)
MONDAY, DECEMBER 31
ST. PETERSBURG / PUSHKIN
This morning we return to the Hermitage Museum for a curator-led tour of the fabulous Scythian Gold Collection and the “Hidden Treasures Revealed” exhibition of priceless late-19th- and early- 20th-century French paintings removed from Germany in 1945 and hidden in the Hermitage cellars for 50 years. Our afternoon is free to prepare for the extraordinary evening ahead. Don your finest attire, bundle up in a warm coat and board a coach, led by a VIP escort, for the ride to the quaint village of Pushkin, where Catherine’s Palace is located. As costumed attendants offer us vodka, champagne and hors d’oeuvres, we are led to the Great Hall, where tables are exquisitely set for our six-course gala dinner. After a midnight bell concert and fireworks, dance the rest of the night away or take one of the frequent shuttle coaches back to our hotel when ready to wrap up the evening. HOTEL ASTORIA (B,D)
TUESDAY, JANUARY 1
ST. PETERSBURG / PAVLOVSK
Enjoy a morning at leisure after the New Year’s festivities. Depart this afternoon for a drive into the countryside to the village of Pavlovsk for a traditional lunch along with a performance of folk dancing and music. Continue by horse-drawn troika (carriage) to Pavlovsk Palace, built by Catherine the Great for her son, Paul, when his heir, Alexander, was born. Almost completely destroyed during World War II, it has since been beautifully restored to its former splendor. Return to St. Petersburg in the late afternoon and enjoy an evening of independent dining and exploration. HOTEL ASTORIA (B,L)
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2
This morning visit the Yusupov Palace, an 18th-century architectural masterpiece and the home of the wealthy and powerful Yusupov family, close friends of the Tsar. The splendid rooms offer a glimpse into the life of the nobility on the eve of the Russian Revolution in the early 20th century. It was in the cellars of this palace that the long, laborious killing of the infamous “holy man,” Gregory Rasputin, began on the night of December 16, 1916, at the hands of friends of the Yusupov family, who feared Rasputin’s influence on the Tsarina Alexandra. This evening we enjoy a farewell cocktail reception and sumptuous dinner at the Russian Empire Restaurant, located in the historic Stroganov Palace. HOTEL ASTORIA (B,D)
THURSDAY, JANUARY 3
ST. PETERSBURG / U.S.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for return flights home. (B)
Moscow Post-Trip Extension
January 3 to 6, 2013
In the time of the Tsar it would have taken at least two days to travel from St. Petersburg to Moscow. Now, on the new high-speed Sapsan train, this picturesque journey lasts fewer than four hours. Travel to Russia’s dynamic capital in comfort and style to explore some of the city’s most iconic sites. Visit the Kremlin, including the Armory Museum which contains such treasures as coronation dress of Catherine the Great, the exquisite gold and turquoise throne given to Boris Gudunov by the Shah of Persia and a fantastic collection of Fabergé eggs. Tour stately Red Square including whimsical St. Basil’s Cathedral and Lenin’s Mausoleum. Explore the Russian icons and pre-revolutionary Russian art collection at the State Tretyakov Gallery Travel and travel aboard the Moscow Metro, whose stations are impressive works of art in and of themselves. Enjoy meals at renowned restaurants and stay at the elegant Ritz Carlton Hotel, which lies at the edge of Red Square, next to the Kremlin.
Thursday, January 3
ST. PETERSBURG / MOSCOW
After a leisurely morning in St. Petersburg, transfer to the train station for our ride to Moscow in the comfortable first class carriage of the new Sapsan high-speed train. Enjoy a hot lunch on board and observe the snowy scenery flash by. Upon arrival in Moscow, transfer to our hotel to check in. After dinner, tour Moscow’s impressive metro, which carries more than 9 million people daily and whose stations are uniquely decorated. RITZ CARLETON (B,L,D)
Friday, January 4
Begin today in the Kremlin, former royal residence and current home of Russia’s president. Visit the Kremlin Armory, one of Moscow’s oldest museums. Originally built as the royal arsenal in the 16th century, today the Armory is home to artifacts that once belonged to Russia’s imperial rulers including state regalia, exquisite ceremonial objects, elaborate carriages, and a sumptuous collection of jewelry, icons, decorative art and weapons. Visit the Cathedral of the Assumption, the oldest and most important church in the Kremlin where tsars and emperors were crowned. Bordering the Kremlin is iconic Red Square where we visit Saint Basil’s Cathedral, located at the geographic center of Moscow and instantly recognizable by its colorful domed towers. After lunch, enjoy a guided coach tour of the city. Pending the 2013 schedule, there may be the option to attend an opera or ballet performance in the Bolshoi Theatre. Dinner this evening is on your own. RITZ CARLETON (B,L)
Saturday, January 5
Return to Red Square to visit Lenin’s Mausoleum. The embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin has been on public display here since his death in 1924. Explore the Russian icons and pre-revolutionary Russian art collection at the State Tretyakov Gallery. Presented to the city of Moscow by Pavel Tretyakov in 1892, the Tretyakov was the first museum dedicated entirely for Russian works of art. After lunch, enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure to further explore Moscow independently. Gather for a farewell dinner at another of Moscow’s excellent restaurants this evening. (B,L,D)
Sunday, January 6
MOSCOW / U.S.
Transfer from our hotel to the airport for flights home to the U.S. (B)
$3,195 per person, double occupancy
$3,890 per person, single occupancy
All activities mentioned in the itinerary (other than the possible Bolshoi performance as performances for these dates are not yet confirmed), tips to guides, porters and hotel personnel; 3 nights of deluxe hotel accommodations; 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners; First class train tickets from St. Petersburg to Moscow on January 3; porterage at the train stations and at the hotels; expert guide and private, deluxe transportation in and around Moscow; gratuities to guides and drivers; transfer from Moscow to Sheremetyevo or Domodedovo airport (SVO or DME) on departure day.
WHAT TO EXPECT
We consider this program to be moderately strenuous and at times physically demanding. Daily activities may involve one to two miles of walking, mainly in museums, palaces and churches. In many instances, guided tours require climbing up and down several flights of stairs where steps may be steep, uneven and/or without handrails, and elevators may be limited or unavailable. Some sites do not allow motorcoaches to pull directly in front, thus requiring a short walk to reach the entrance. Expect cold weather and ground that is frozen and icy. Participants must be physically fit, active and in good health. We welcome travelers 15 years of age and older on this program.
Limited to 34 participants
$8,495 per person, double occupancy
$9,345 per person, single occupancy
*Association nonmembers add $200 per person
- 6 nights of deluxe hotel accommodations at the Hotel Astoria
- 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
- Welcome champagne and caviar reception and farewell cocktail reception
- Bottled water on excursions
- Gratuities to porters, guides and drivers for all group activities
- All tours and excursions as described in the itinerary
- Visa fees
- Transfers and baggage handling on program arrival and departure days
- Minimal medical, accident and evacuation insurance
- Educational program with lecture series and pre-departure materials, including recommended reading list, a selected book, map and travel information
- Services of our professional tour manager to assist you throughout the program
- International and U.S. domestic airfare
- Passport fees
- Immunization costs
- Meals and beverages other than those specified as included
- Independent and private transfers
- Trip-cancellation/interruption and baggage insurance
- Excess-baggage charges
- Personal items such as email, telephone and fax calls, laundry and gratuities for nongroup services
THE TSAR’S BALL
The highlight of this program is the Tsar’s Ball at Catherine’s Palace, held on the evening of December 31st. The night begins as we travel from our hotel through a snowy winterscape to Tsarskoye Selo, now known as Pushkin. Usher in the New Year with all the pageantry, majesty and imperial grandeur once reserved exclusively for the aristocracy of pre-Revolutionary Russia. Upon entering the palace, pass through room after exquisite room, each lit by myriad candles. As we arrive in the enormous, gilded Great Room, gaze at the ceiling painting, “The Triumph of Russia.” Savor a lavish six-course dinner catered by the same French catering company that served at the original balls. While dining in regal splendor, enjoy excerpts from ballets and operas performed by members of local opera and ballet houses. At midnight, welcome in the New Year with a bell concert and a fireworks display in the park outside the Great Hall and dance late into the night. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime New Year’s Eve celebration.
Terms and Conditions
We encourage membership in the Alumni Association as the program cost for nonmembers is $200 more than the members' price. Parents and their children under 21 may travel on one membership. For more information or to purchase a membership, visit www.stanfordalumni.org/membership or call (650) 725-0692.
Deposits, Payments and Cancellations
A $1,000 deposit is required to hold space. Deposits and any payments are fully refundable, less a $500-per-person cancellation fee, until 120 days prior to departure. After that date, refunds can be made only if the program is sold out and your place(s) can be resold, in which case a $1,000-per-person cancellation fee will apply.
Stanford Travel/Study provides all travelers who are U.S. or Canadian citizens with minimal medical, accident and evacuation coverage under our group-travel insurance policy. We strongly recommend that you subscribe to optional baggage and trip-cancellation insurance. A brochure offering such insurance will be mailed with your confirmation about one week after we receive your deposit. The product offered in this brochure includes special benefits if you postmark your insurance payment within a specified window: 15 days of the date listed on the confirmation letter for the Waiver of Pre-Existing Conditions and coverage for Financial Insolvency; 21 days for the Cancel for Any Reason benefit.
The Stanford Alumni Association, Stanford University and our operators act only as agents for the passenger with respect to transportation and ship arrangements and exercise every care possible in doing so. However, we can assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity in connection with the service of any automobile, motorcoach, launch or any other conveyance used in carrying out this program or for the acts or defaults of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in carrying out the arrangements of the program. We cannot accept any responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, quarantine, force majeure or other causes beyond our control. All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the passenger as tour rates provide arrangements only for the time stated. We reserve the right to make such alterations to this published itinerary as may be deemed necessary. The right is reserved to cancel any program prior to departure in which case the entire payment will be refunded without further obligation on our part. The right is also reserved to decline to accept or retain any person as a member of the program. No refund will be made for an unused portion of any tour unless arrangements are made in sufficient time to avoid penalties. Baggage is carried at the owner's risk entirely. It is understood that the ship's ticket, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the passenger and the cruise company. The airlines concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not on board their plane or conveyance. Neither the Alumni Association, Stanford University nor our operators accept liability for any carrier's cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket in connection with the tour. Program price is based on rates in effect at the time the brochure is printed and is subject to change without notice to reflect fluctuations in exchange rates, tariffs or fuel charges. As a condition of participation, all confirmed participants are required to sign a Release of Liability.
California Seller of Travel Program Registration #2048 523-50
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