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It's known as oiling the wheels - and nobody does it better than A&K. Absolutely nobody. Guy Richards would agree. As he landed in Moscow, anticipation mingled with dread at the prospect of the lengthy entry formalities. He needn't have worried. Stepping off the plane, he was greeted by our representative and escorted past long queues before enjoying a VIP fast track through customs and passport control. While other passengers waited in a chaotic arrivals hall, Guy was half way to his hotel in our chauffeured limo.
That start sets the tone. We understand exactly how to make your Abercrombie & Kent Russian holiday, or short break to Moscow and St Petersburg, run as smoothly as possible. Two of our five European offices are based there with staff on call round-the-clock, superb local guides - their fluent English is matched by a desire to share wide-ranging knowledge - and top notch contacts to arrange exclusive experiences. Given the country's wonderful architecture, history and culture, it can add a new dimension to your visit, from private tours of the Hermitage's off-limits departments, to expert vodka and caviar tasting.
Travel to Russia with A&K and we'll show you Moscow's iconic highlights from Red Square with St Basil's Cathedral and Lenin's tomb, to the Kremlin - don't miss the Armoury Palace's 190-carat Orlov diamond - and eye-popping opulence of Tretyakovsky Street. Head northwest to St Petersburg for canals, palaces (Peter the Great's summer pad rivals Versailles) and awe-inspiring cathedrals. Recent renovation has spawned sumptuous hotels, a new Hermitage contemporary art wing and modernist Marinksy Theatre with amazing rooftop amphitheatre.
Outside the two blockbuster cites, we can ensure comfortable visits to Black Sea resorts, Siberia's vast frozen tundra and the Kamchatka Peninsula's UNESCO listed volcanoes, where you're closer to America than Moscow. Alternatively take a Volga cruise for a very different Russia of serene historic villages, Uglich's 12th century wood houses and the black-domed Goritsky Monastery.
It's vast, sprawling, diverse, but our guides make it manageable and intimate. You've written to tell us about Mila. During the Cold War, her commentary was scripted. Now she revels in the freedom of speech, providing insights into her fast changing country. She's utterly compelling.
Best time to be there
May to October is the best time to enjoy the summer days. Russian winters can be extremely cold, but if well protected against the elements, is a romantic time to visit.
St Petersburg (British Airways) or Moscow (British Airways and easyJet)
3.5 to 4 hours
GMT +3 hours
Yes, obtainable in advance
Tamara really was exceptionally knowledgeable and had a very good attitude.
- GT, Cumbria