The Czar’s Ball: A Luxurious New Year’s Celebration in St. Petersburg

The Czar’s Ball: A Luxurious New Year’s Celebration in St. Petersburg

The sumptuous Czar’s Ball, held in St. Petersburg, Russia’s lavish Catherine’s Palace on New Year’s Eve, faithfully recreates the imperial soirees of the 19th century, when no expense was spared to dazzle and entertain the favored nobility. Entering the extravagant palace, guests enter the pages of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Read More


Beginner’s Guide to World War II Sites in Western Russia

Beginner’s Guide to World War II Sites in Western Russia

The memory of World War II is still a big deal in Russia, and understandably so. Almost an entire generation of men was wiped out in what is known here as the Great Patriotic War. Estimates of casualties in Russia alone range from 7 million to 14 million, half of them civilians of all ages and genders. Everyone lost someone, and no one has forgotten. A sobering story of treachery, tragedy, heroism and survival, Russia’s memory of its World War II experience has been an important influence on its contemporary character. These are some of the most important of Western Russia’s WWII sites... Read More



Russian Cat Professionals: In the Home and at the Library

Russian Cat Professionals: In the Home and at the Library

Here on the MIR blog, we have been discussing cats in Russia, specifically in St. Petersburg. Previous entries have highlighted the hard-working “Hermitage Cats” who protect the world-famous museum from mice and other intruders, and the first cat cafe in Russia, the St. Petersburg “Cats' Republic” cafe, where visitors can commune with over two dozen cats for an hour at a time. Now our examination of cat culture in Russia takes us further afield, to Moscow, the Black Sea port city of Novorossiysk, and beyond to discover Russia's growing class of proletarian cats. Read More



From rags to riches in Russia: St. Petersburg’s “Hermitage Cats”

From rags to riches in Russia: St. Petersburg’s “Hermitage Cats”

People go to the Hermitage to admire the vast collection of art and artifacts from all over the world dating from prehistoric times all the way to the present day. But as they wander the halls of the stately Winter Palace on St. Petersburg's Neva River, most visitors don't know that a separate Hermitage collection exists in the basement – a collection of cats. Read More


Russia’s first cat café: Cats’ Republic in St. Petersburg

Russia’s first cat café: Cats’ Republic in St. Petersburg

Feline-obsessed visitors to St. Petersburg now have one more stop to add to their itinerary: Russia's first cat cafe. The cat cafe concept is spreading all over the world. With origins in crowded Asian cities like Taipei and Tokyo, the “cat rental” business idea has taken root in smaller urban centers like Boston and Budapest. Read More


Luxury Rail Journeys: New 2015 Brochure Hot Off The Presses

Luxury Rail Journeys: New 2015 Brochure Hot Off The Presses

Luxury rail journeys by private train combine nostalgic Old World rail travel with modern amenities, abundant food and wine, and onboard entertainment – all while easily and efficiently covering thousands of miles and transiting multiple time zones. Read More


Northern Lights in Luxury: Arctic Circle by Private Train

Northern Lights in Luxury: Arctic Circle by Private Train

Imagine indulging in caviar and champagne as you travel aboard a deluxe private train barreling through Russia toward the Arctic Circle for a rendezvous with Aurora Borealis. This romantic and festive evening is included in MIR’s new rail journey by private train, Arctic Explorer: Quest for the Northern Lights. Read More