Russia Rules the Roost
Russia, the largest country in the world, with 8 time zones, occupying space in both Europe and Asia, holds many record-breaking features. These include the biggest freshwater lake in the world – Lake Baikal with 20% of the world’s fresh water, the tallest peak of Europe – Mount Elbrus, the world’s highest active volcano – Kluchevskaya Sopka, reaching 4750m, the largest river in Europe – Volga, the most expansive forest area on the planet and the world’s longest railway – the Trans-Siberian Railway, covering 9288 km, amongst other awe-inspiring backdrops.
These are just dry facts and figures about the Russian landscape, but behind it stand people with soul, focus and talent. For example, the Russian chemist, Dmitri Mendeleev, created the Periodic Table of the Elements which is still used by every chemist in the world, Yuri Gagarin became the first man to travel into space in 1961, and, Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space in 1963, still stands as the only female in the world to make a three-day trip into space alone.
The list of inspiring natives could go on and on if we were to mention all the world famous writers, composers, scientists, artists and ballet dancers that call this country their home. There are countless reasons to choose Russia for a conference, business meeting or a team-building excursion, including the close proximity of Moscow and St. Petersburg from any European country with most flight times complete within 3 hours. Both destinations provide great infrastructure for MICE events – offering a winning combination of world famous, historical venues, unforgettable monuments and entertaining cultural activities – ensuring business meetings held in these locations are set for success.
“There are countless reasons to choose Russia for a conference, business meeting or a team-building excursion, including the close proximity of Moscow and St. Petersburg from any European country.”
Following the Russian saying ‘It is better to see once with your own eyes, than to hear about it for many times’, Galaktika DMC & PCO Company invites you to visit Russia, and will help organise memorable MICE projects in Moscow, St Petersburg and other cities.
Having successfully supported conferences and incentives for companies such as Shell, SAP, Bayer, Abbott and numerous others, Galaktika has the experience and knowledge to make your event a huge success. There are not many global destinations where it is possible to enjoy spring, summer, autumn and winter, but St. Petersburg, considered the cultural capital of Russia, is a great place to enjoy all four distinct seasons and to participate in different festivals and celebrations throughout the year. The most famous is White Nights; when nighttime is as light as day, and one can easily read a book without additional light from May through to July.
This is the period when the Stars of the White Nights Festival take place. Founded by Maestro Valery Gergiev, the director of Mariinsky Theater, this festival gathers outstanding artists to share their talent and perform classic masterpieces. In addition to classic theater performances on the Mariinsky’s, Michailovski’s or Alexandrinsky’s stage, there are numerous outdoor events around the city that fill the air with the spirit of the world’s best performers. Another traditional celebration in June is Scarlet Sails and it is one of brightest events of summer. The festival was first held in 2005 and has, since then, become a much-anticipated annual celebration.
Following a live open-air concert in the heart of the city – a beautiful parade of vessels sail along the banks of the Neva River to the sounds of classical music and fireworks – resulting in a feast for the eyes for the lucky spectators. The boat parade is led by the fairy-tale ship ‘The Secret,’ decked out with scarlet sails much like in Grin’s story.
The romantic history of this event is related to the fairy tale ‘Alye Parusa’ (The Scarlet Sails) by Russian writer Alexander Grin, where a young girl is told she would meet a prince, her true love, who was to arrive on a ship with scarlet sails. By the end of the story, a wealthy captain falls in love with Assol and knowing about the story; he docks his ship with scarlet sails and makes her dreams come true.
There are many other events that take place in the city from May – September, and one of the best ways to greet summer in St. Petersburg is to attend the grand, traditional opening and closing ceremonies of the fountains of Peterhof, comprising of more than 150 different fountains.
The opening takes place in mid-May when the entire collection of the Russian ‘Versailles’ goes live. Each fountain is turned on one by one accompanied by musical performances, fireworks and celebrations. There is also an official closing party held in September, so these are two great opportunities to enjoy the spectacular views of the Grand Cascade and the Grand Palace.
Around the same time, St. Petersburg hosts a very interesting, unique event, the ‘Festival of Smelt’. Smelt fish is the unofficial symbol of the city, which Peter the Great called ‘The Tsar’s Fish.’ The first such festival was held in 1708, and the tradition went dormant for many years, but was revived in 2003. Today, the Festival of Smelt attracts thousands of guests to feast on all kinds of dishes cooked with this legendary, yet simple fish, from soups to main courses to salads.
Additionally, a relatively new event in the city, the ‘Alley of Floating Umbrellas’ located on Salt Lane, encourages guests to enjoy the beautiful concerts and entertainment on offer and buy gifts from the city. The first sight that springs to mind regarding Russian bridges is St. Petersburg’s drawbridges across the Neva River, and the ‘Singing Bridges’ project has become one of the sensations of summer, when, at 1 am, the bridge opening is accompanied by classical music.
In spite of the late night hour, this activity is a guaranteed crowd pleaser and if you have the opportunity, it is well worth taking a midnight boat trip out to watch each bridge rise from the water. These are just some of the events taking place during the summer, but activities and festivals don’t just stop during the other seasons. There are many more interesting events scheduled from the White Days Art Festival to the Easter Art Festival and the Ice Sculptures Festival to the Light Show with its amazing laser projections, taking place throughout the year. Russia has witnessed a boom in its MICE activities in recent years and will play host to many new exciting events in 2018 including the FIFA World Cup and the Year of Ballet.
Two years later, in 2020, St. Petersburg will host EURO 2020 bringing with it more visitors, festivities and events. It is clear that throughout the whole year Russia offers interesting activities to meet different tastes and interests, and combined with the high cuisine on offer at the best restaurants, everyone leaves Russia feeling personally, professionally and culturally fulfilled. Galaktika, the only DMC in Russia headed by a certified CMM MPI member, is happy to invite businesspeople to enjoy all that St. Petersburg and Moscow has to offer.
For more infomation: www.galaktika-russia.com/