Author Topic: Trip to Alexander Palace? [2005]  (Read 37051 times)

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Offline Elizabeth

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Trip to Alexander Palace? [2005]
« on: December 30, 2004, 10:44:51 AM »
Might be "jumping the gun" here, but does anyone know of any trips (that is, within the next year) to the AP?  Bob -- is there any possibility those of us on the boards can get something organized?   :D
« Last Edit: April 07, 2009, 07:18:02 AM by Sarushka »

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2004, 11:18:47 AM »
We have talked about doing a trip to Tsarskoe Selo and REALLY seeing things - the problem is the price - how many people could afford it - Exeter International does these things but a trip is not cheap.  I'd really like to get people's comments on this - we can do a trip if there is enough interest.

Last year we thought about doing a trip to Livadia but it was expensive...

Bob

Offline chintz22

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2004, 11:44:16 AM »
Let me say I would definitely go on a trip sponsored by AP and/or Bob--in fact, that's a big dream of mine!  

As a way to mitigate the cost factor could some advance notice be given so people could save up?  A payment plan?  Just thoughts.  

Best,

Sarah

Offline Elizabeth

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2004, 11:55:25 AM »
Oh, I'm sure the cost is VERY prohibitive, but if we had a year (or even two) advanced notice, than that might be an option.   :P

Also, there are a number of Orthodox Churches in the United States that regularly organize trips to Russia, esp. the Orthodox Church of America (www.oca.org).  Maybe something could be "incorporated" with one of them.   :D

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2004, 03:32:13 PM »
Many thanks Elizabeth for this great question! This is really a wonderful suggestion. There were trips by Gilbert's Royal Books i think in the past, which seemed to offer specialist Romanov tours, but i haven't heard of any being done now for a while. It would be a wonderful opportunity for people who share the same interest to get together at the Palace, especially as it would take in the details for the real enthusiasts.. It would be great also if there could be such a trip to the Crimea as well, because mostly i find that unless you take a specialist tour, you get frustratingly little time in such places to explore all the calls on your interest. In many Petersburg holidays, the trips have been combined by most travel companies with either other Baltic states, or there are only a few days in the city itself. I've always wondered how one can get to Tsarskoe Selo with this problem, but with this kind of proposed trip, im sure it would be an answer for so many people!  :D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by elisa_1872 »

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2004, 03:58:10 PM »
To be honest, a trip to Russia doesn't have to be that expensive, as long as no one is expecting anything too luxurious and plans well. The most expensive part is usually the hotel, but it is possible to get rates that are very reasonable, especially with group rates and if each room is shared by two or three people. The hotel rates are not any more than anywhere else, depending on where you end up staying. The food is relatively cheap as is transportation, and there is no need to hire a translator or guide if someone in the group speaks Russian and knows the city a little. The city is very easy to get around in, I think most members would know exactly where they want to go and what they want to see, it is just a matter of mapping it out. If someone does that in advance, it can be done very efficiently. I went to St Petersburg twice already from the States, and both times the trip cost me just about $2K, which included airfare, hotel, food, entrance to museums, tickets to see a couple of shows and even souvenirs. The first time I stayed about 10 days, three people shared a suite which cut down on the hotel some. The second time was about a week but it was part of a larger tour I took. Don't go by Exeter's prices, they are pretty exorbitant. You can do it for about 1/3 or 1/4 of their cost very easily. Both times I went during the high season, May and June, which is during the "white nights" - the best time to go there. We didn't stay in a fleabag hotel , it was a pretty decent place, comparable to a pretty good motel in the States. You just have to know what you are doing when booking everything   ;). Since I have done it a couple times now, I know some ins and outs.  ;D

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2004, 04:02:43 PM »
There are a couple of trips we could do -

One, would be to just go to Tsarskoe Selo, stay in one place and exhaust everything we want to see in 8 days.

Two, would be to go to Petersburg for a week and then to Moscow to Martha and Mary and spend 4 or five days there.

Three, we could go to Livadia for 8 days and really see the Crimean palaces.

Four, we could go to Moscow and Yekaterinburg.

Five we could go to Petersburg, Moscow, Tobolsk and Yekaterinburg - that's what be did a few years ago.

Any comments or suggestions?

Bob

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2004, 04:06:14 PM »
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...a flight from the States or Canada would make it more expensive, of course.


Depending on the airline, how far in advance you book, the time of year, and where in the States you are coming from, a r/t flight to St Petersburg from JFK in  NYC can cost anywhere from $450 to approximately $1,500. I think I paid about $800 in May and June (high season), but I booked about 4 months in advance. The visa costs another $150-180. The longer you plan the cheaper deals you can get.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2004, 04:08:16 PM »
Quote
There are a couple of trips we could do -

One, would be to just go to Tsarskoe Selo, stay in one place and exhaust everything we want to see in 8 days.

Two, would be to go to Petersburg for a week and then to Moscow to Martha and Mary and spend 4 or five days there.

Three, we could go to Livadia for 8 days and really see the Crimean palaces.

Four, we could go to Moscow and Yekaterinburg.

Five we could go to Petersburg, Moscow, Tobolsk and Yekaterinburg - that's what be did a few years ago.

Any comments or suggestions?

Bob


I would love to see both Tobolsk and Ekaterinberg (in the summer of course  ;)) and also the Crimea.  

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2004, 04:17:31 PM »
I went to Yekaterinburg in 1998 to see the remains with 12 other people.  It was amazing.  We started in Petersburg, went to Moscow saw garf, Martha and Mary) took the train from Moscow to Yekaterinburg (amazing long but interesting) and flew back on Lufthansa.

We could stay at the convent in Yekaterinburg (the same one that brought eggs and milk to the family).  The hotel there was very spartan and not cheap.

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2004, 04:33:19 PM »
We had people from Spain, Australia, the UK, on our last trip - that isn't a problem.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2004, 04:40:10 PM »
It can be done in the same way as group tours do it, such as Globus: everyone meets at the hotel in the city of destination. It is not very difficult to arrange at all. People who may be coming from the same country/area can plan to book on the same flight perhaps, others can just meet up later.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2004, 04:46:30 PM »
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Bob: I am glad to hear that! However, I think that people who would sign in for such a trip need to realize that they would have to book their own flights and might have to fly alone to the airport of destination. For some people that won't be a problem at all, but I suspect that some others may be reluctant to do that, especially if they don't speak Russian.  


I think that through most hotels you can arrange a cab to pick up the guests at the a/port for about 20USD, so it's no problem for those who don't speak the language. When I went on a group tour to Russia earlier this year, this is how it was done, and no one in the group really spoke Russian. The cab driver has a sign with your name, he knows where to take you, and once at the hotel, the front desk people speak English when you check in and then you meet up with the group. This is done all the time there, so it shouldn't really be an issue...

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2004, 04:59:59 PM »
Quick--I have paid for an airport transger...do I tip the driver ? If so, how much ?
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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2004, 05:07:27 PM »
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Quick--I have paid for an airport transger...do I tip the driver ? If so, how much ?


Hi Robert,

You should tip the driver, but since airport transfers for foreigners generally are at extremely inflated prices for Russia ( I would say about 3 to 4 times more than you would pay if you were a local and called a cab from the a/port, I would give him about $1-2. This is a very good sum by Russian standards.