Russia, the world’s largest country, spread across two Continents and nine time zones, is a nation of infinite distances and deep contradictions. Russia gave us the proud poetry of Pushkin, the rigid morality of Tolstoy, the breathtaking ballet of Baryshnikov; yet it also gave us Stalin's ruthless purges and gulags. In crafting our Excursionist experiences for Russia, we have sought to strike a balance between past and present, to capture the vibrancy and sophistication of its “European” cities, but also to introduce you to the icons, traditions, and customs of regions thousands of miles away from the Kremlin. You’ll ride a helicopter across the Arctic Circle, fish in the Volga river delta, and trek for snow leopards in the thick forests of Altai. You’ll discover that Russia is in fact neither Asia nor Europe: Russia, in all its depth and grandeur, is Russia.