Few places encapsulate the contrast between the classical elegance of the old world and the dynamic modernism of the new world like Russia’s twin metropolises of Moscow and St Petersburg. Bucket-loads of history and culture, ultra-chic venues, and the latest technology combine to offer up some truly unique experiences. With offices in both cities, Abercrombie & Kent Russia DMC, an inVOYAGE 2019 partner, reveals some of its top suggestions…
Known as the Venice of the North for its resplendent network of waterways, St Petersburg and its cultured appearance are best appreciated initially from the city’s canals. Welcome yourselves on board with some cocktails as you embark on a private boat tour of the local highlights with a twist – members of none other than the Russian Army Choir are the musical accompaniment to your journey!
Round off the day with a final stop at the illustrious Faberge Museum, opened exclusively for you. Not only are you able to admire its stunning treasures in all their glory, you are also treated to a private performance from the Mariinsky Theatre’s own ballerinas.
A number of local treasures can also be explored by way of the Legends of the Revolution quest. Part scavenger hunt, part history lesson, the quest sets you a series of tasks to complete before progressing to the next stage (and when the only way to get to the keys you need is by hammering through a block of ice, you can forget about any shortcuts!). Your journey takes in cultural gems, such as the Yusupov Palace (former home of Rasputin’s murderer), the century-old imperial cruiser Aurora, and the star-shaped Peter & Paul Fortress, where the cannons still fire.
St Petersburg is undoubtedly a city with experiences to make you work up an appetite, so it’s just as well that it has some of the coolest modern bars, with unique designs and comfort and the capacity to host gala dinners. The new Buddha-Bar is one such example and brings a variety of East Asian flavours to the table, masterfully laced with French elegance, in a colourful and relaxed oriental atmosphere.
While the restaurants of St Petersburg can transport you across the planet, some of Moscow’s experiences really are out of this world. The nearby Star City complex has trained cosmonauts since the 1960s and is home to the world’s largest centrifuge and a hydro-lab that provides a practice opportunity for spacemen looking to simulate weightlessness.
Here you can meet a cosmonaut for yourself and get going on a specially-designed team-building programme. Tuck in to some delicious (!) space grub and try out a full-sized spacesuit for a unique kind of photoshoot where you take home a memento of your very own lunar landing.
The capital also has its own quest that will reveal some of the city highlights. From Russia with Love is another adventure full of tasks that lead you to discover some of the most beautiful metro stations in the world, ride a Soviet military truck and meet Lenin, Stalin and Putin (lookalikes of course – the real ones are otherwise engaged), with ‘secret agents’ guiding you along the way.
To find that fascinating combination of old and new, come and meet A&K Russia at inVOYAGE 2019 on 6-9 October in Monaco.