Sights and Soul Travels
, a women-only tour company has announced a new tour to St. Petersburg in Russia. During the visit, the group will see the famous sights and experience the cultural offerings of St. Petersburg, as well as engage with their Russian hosts and foster understanding of the new Russia.
In June 2008, during the Russian White Nights, sixteen American women will travel to St. Petersburg, Russia with a tour organized by Sights and Soul Travels. The selection of Vladimir Putin as Time Magazine's Person of the Year makes many people curious about the "new Russia" -- more affluent, adhering to its centuries-old traditions and more open to international visitors. The women travelers will experience the recent changes and the renewed Russian pride first-hand. During their visit, Sights and Soul travelers will not only see the city's main attractions: the Hermitage art collections, onion-domed cathedrals, Peter the Great's castles and Catherine the Great's palaces, but they will also engage with their Russian hosts, fostering friendships and getting to know Russian history and culture in person.
In the tradition of Sights and Soul Travels, the small group will be escorted by a tour leader who is native to the destination. Natasha Kennedy, now residing in Virginia, but born and educated in "Venice of the North", loves sharing her passion for St. Petersburg with American women. Sights and Soul Travels has arranged for several in-depth cultural immersion activities: ballet in Mariinsky Theatre (former Kirov), Russian folk-dancing, twilight cruise on the canals, caviar and vodka reception and a home-cooked dinner with Natasha's family in their apartment -- in the same building where Dostoevsky used to live.
"This is exactly the kind of authentic experience that savvy women travelers are looking for," says Yolanta Barnes, owner of Sights and Soul Travels. For the last four years, Barnes has been designing unique women-only tours to some of the most intriguing destinations in Europe. "While St. Petersburg in Russia has been a popular destination for many cruise groups, longer stays, allowing for an in-depth appreciation of the city are less common," adds Barnes. "We have noticed increased interest in travel to Eastern Europe and our in-depth tours to Hungary, Croatia, Poland or Prague have been very popular with travelers who are looking not only to see these destinations, but to connect with the locals and to experience the country in the company of experts," she says. Among the company's other offerings are tours to Portugal, Venice, Provence or Turkey, each following a similar format of cultural immersion combined with arts, gourmet dining and boutique accommodations.
The "White Nights in St. Petersburg" Tour will take place on June 6 to 14, 2008 and the number of travelers is limited to 16. The experience will include private tours of Hermitage, Tsarskoye Selo, Nevsky Monastery, Peterhof, as well as caviar and vodka reception, ballet performance, Russian folk dancing and dinner at a private home.
Sights and Soul Travels, LLC is a leading women-only tour operator, based in Maryland. The company has been designing unique travel experiences in Europe since 2004. Sights and Soul Travels offers women-only tours conducted in small groups and paired with personalized travel experiences. These travel experiences combine history, art and outdoor adventures with gourmet dining, wine tours and spa stays.