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Russia on sale

Rumor has it Russia is on sale! Head east this fall, with air & hotel packages starting from just $1,029.
Istock International / Istock International
/ Source: Sherman's Travel

Book by: September 8, 2005
Travel by: Various through November 2005

The Deal
Long gone are the days when was associated with the red scare. Now it's a red-hot European destination! In fact, it's such a hotspot that most of us can't afford the sky-high prices of peak summer season. But here's a little secret: fall is the ideal time to visit, if you want a good-value vacation and don't mind a little chill in the air. We suggest bypassing Western Europe and heading East this year for a sampling of Russian delights, like Moscow, St. Petersburg , and even a Volga cruise. The deals we've found include air and hotel, and more.

See the essence of Russia on an eight-day escorted tour for $1,649
If you want to see Russia at its best and most beautiful this fall, we found a steal of a deal for you. Gate1Travel offers an escorted eight-day tour to Russia at a terrific price of $1649, valid for an October 10 departure (three September flings are available too, but for $100 extra). In addition to airfare from New York (or your departure city of choice at low additional cost), the low price of $1649 covers first-class accommodation for six nights; guided sightseeing tours; daily breakfast and six dinners; plus a cultural performance in Moscow thrown in. With this itinerary, you’re not only saving a whole lot, but you’re also seeing three fabulous Russian cities – Moscow, Novgorod, and St. Petersburg – in one fell swoop. The package also includes informative commentary on the country’s fascinating history, from the long-gone era of the Imperial Czars to post-communist Russia today. Accommodation throughout is at first-class hotels, each with a convenient location and a wide range of superior trappings. We think it’s the perfect introduction to this unique destination, at a very unique price. Case in point: GeneralTours has an eight-day escorted Moscow and St. Petersburg package that costs $1999 during the same period. So, book with Gate1Travel for $350 less, visit the ancient Slavic sights of Novgorod, and say spasiba!

Four-night city breaks to St. Petersburg or Moscow from only $1,029
We also found some deals for those who want a quickie sampling of urban Russia. If you’re Moscow-inclined, you’ll have to wait until November to get real value with this excellent Picasso Tours special: a four-night package for $1179 (marked down from the peak $1569 summer price), with airfare from New York, overnights at three-star hotels; daily breakfast; an intro city tour; and a guided visit to the Kremlin. Or, if you're into St. Petersburg, GeneralTours offers the best price for September jaunts. Their Classic St. Petersburg package costs $1029, including a four-night stay at a superior hotel; airfare from New York; daily breakfast; and a guided city tour.

Cruise the scenic Volga this September for $2,349 - with air included
To get behind the scenes and off-the-beaten path, we recommend a scenic sailing along the waterways of Russia. In fact, you can cruise down the legendary Volga at a heavy discount this September. GeneralTours is offering a 12-day cruise and tour combo for just $2349, including the otherwise ultra-pricey airfare from New York. This marvelous voyage departs from Moscow on September 16, aboard the classy MS Mayakovski, and disembarks in St. Petersburg on September 27. The itinerary includes guided tours of both cities, as well as many picturesque spots en route, such as the stunning Kizhi Island and the charming town of Uglich. You’ll even be treated to a concert by the Yaroslavl a cappella choir! Onboard meals and entertainment are covered, too, as is a village barbecue picnic with wine. If the price still seems high, here’s a reason to book this deal immediately: the second-cheapest Russian cruise we found was a ten-night sailing offered by RiverCruiseTours.com, at a price of $2099 – and that's without airfare!

The Dollars
See details above, and add air taxes and fees to the quoted prices.

The Catch
You’ll have to pay extra for all those shots of vodka!

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