ESCORTED - 16 GUARANTEED DEPARTURES
Vilnius | Riga | Tallinn | Helsinki | St. Petersburg
English Language Tours start in Vilnius on Sunday
Guaranteed Departures May 19 – Sep 8, 2019
This 5-country tour includes the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia as well as diverse Finland and western Russia, combining the historical and modern delights of guided walking tours with exhilarating optional excursions, and wrapping it all with the option to experience a taste of each country’s unique cuisine every night. You’ll have the opportunity to discover some truly fascinating locations including Latvia’s Rundale Palace, Jurmala Resort with its Art Nouveau villas and sandy beach, the outdoor cafés of Tallinn’s Old Town, St. Petersburg’s Peterhof Palace, and much more!
Day 01: Arrival Vilnius
Arrive in Vilnius and transfer on your own to your hotel for check-in, as well as a welcome meeting. Overnight in Vilnius, across the river from Old Town.
Hotel Radisson BLU Lietuva
NOTE: Optional transfer to your hotel is available; please see the end of this tour for more information.
Day 02: Vilnius
Vilnius is known for its more than 1,200 medieval buildings and 48 churches. This morning’s sightseeing tour includes a panoramic tour of the city and a walking tour of the Old Town with Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Tower, Peter and Paul Church, St. Anna’s Church, Old University and the Gates of Dawn.
After the tour we continue to Trakai, the medieval capital of Lithuania and we see the well preserved Trakai Castle, beautifully located on an island in Lake Galve.
In the evening enjoy an optional folklore dinner at Restaurant Belmontas.
Hotel Radisson BLU Lietuva
Day 03: Vilnius - Riga
Heading for Riga, the first stop is the Hill of Crosses, one of the most holy sites of Catholic Lithuania. After crossing into Latvia we reach the magnificent Rundale Palace, the former summer residence of the Duke of Courland. Following a guided tour of the palace we travel through the rolling hills of Southern Latvia to reach Riga in the late afternoon, checking into our hotel near the train station.
Hotel Mercure Riga
Day 04: Riga
Founded in 1201 by the German bishop Albert, Riga is the largest of the three Baltic capitals and boasts a true kaleidoscope of various architectural styles. The walking tour of the Old Town includes Riga Castle, Dome Cathedral, St. Peter’s Church, Swedish Gates, Three Brothers, Large and Small Guild House and the Freedom Monument.
The afternoon is reserved for an optional visit to Jurmala, the vibrant Latvian sea resort, famous for its wooden architecture and sandy beaches. The evening offers an optional organ concert at the Dome Cathedral.
Hotel Mercure Riga
Day 05: Riga
Now that we’ve gotten acquainted with the beauty of Riga, we’ll have the possibility of discovering medieval Latvia. The optional tour for this morning takes us to the stunning scenery of the Gauja National Park and the town of Sigulda. We listen to the medieval Latvian legend of the Rose of Turaida and see the ruins of the Episcopal Castle and of the Castle of the Knights of the Sword before we return to Riga.
The afternoon offers an optional visit to the Ethnographical Open Air Museum, a spacious exposition of 18th-century country life. In the evening you can enjoy an optional Latvian dinner at the stylish Restaurant Forest.
Hotel Mercure Riga
Day 06: Riga - Tallinn
The tour continues along the coastal highway to the Estonian summer resort of Pärnu. We do a short tour of the resort before we continue through the North Estonian land of forests and arrive in Tallinn early afternoon, checking in at your city-center hotel—only 20 minutes’ walk outside of Old Town Tallinn.
Hotel Radisson Blu Olympia
Day 07: Tallinn
Tallinn is a charming blend of medieval tranquility and modern urban life. The medieval Old Town is a busy place in the summer with its many shops, galleries, souvenir markets, outdoor cafés and restaurants. This morning’s sightseeing tour takes us around the old medieval city walls and into the Old Town where we see Toompea Castle, Dome Church, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, medieval Old Town Hall and Great Guild Hall.
In the afternoon an optional excursion is offered to Kadriorg Park and to visit KUMU, the award-winning new Estonian Art museum, with its collections of classic and contemporary fine art. The evening offers an optional medieval dinner at Restaurant Maikrahv.
Hotel Radisson Blu Olympia
Day 08: Tallinn - Helsinki
Today you’ll have an optional day excursion to Lahemaa National Park where we visit Palmse Manor, a memorial to the von Pahlen family, and Sagadi Manor. The tour ends with a visit to the charming 16th-century Vihula Manor and the Vodka Museum.
After lunch break, we head back to Tallinn to take the ferry to Helsinki and enjoy a refreshing tour through the Finnish archipelago before arriving in Helsinki. Upon arrival, we’ll be transferred to our hotel for check-in. Overnight in the city center.
Hotel Glo Art
Day 09: Helsinki
Helsinki is truly located at the crossroads of Western and Eastern culture and this is reflected everywhere in the green and lively Finnish capital. The sightseeing tour takes us around the harbors and the Senate Square with the Lutheran Cathedral, up central Mannerheim Street and by the Parliament Building, Finlandia Hall, the Sibelius Monument, and for a visit at the famous Church-in-the-Rock (Temppeliaukio).
In the afternoon you can join an optional excursion to Suomenlinna Fortress, a cultural treasure which began construction in the 18th century as a sea fortress. Located on an island, the fortress is a unique attraction for visitors. Overnight in the city center.
Hotel Glo Art
Day 10: Helsinki - St. Petersburg
Today we continue eastbound to St. Petersburg. Shortly after crossing the border into Russia we arrive in Vyborg, where we take time for a short sightseeing tour and a photo-stop at Vyborg Castle.
In the late afternoon we arrive in St. Petersburg and check-in to our city-center hotel a few minutes’ walk from the Menshikov Palace, part of the world-famous Hermitage Art Museum.
Hotel Sokos Vasilievsky
Day 11: St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is an amazing city! Its imperial palaces and museums enjoy worldwide fame, while the Neva River and the many canals have deservedly given the city the title of ‘Venice of the North’. During the morning sightseeing tour we get acquainted with all the splendors of the city: the Peter-Paul Fortress, the Winter Palace, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Church of the Bleeding Savior, the Nevsky Convent, and much more.
The afternoon offers an optional excursion to Zarskoye Selo, with the impressive Catherine’s Palace and the Amber Room, which vanished during World War II and was restored for St. Petersburg’s tri-centennial celebrations. In the evening enjoy an optional visit to the Nikolaevsky Palace with an exciting Russian folklore show and Russian champagne and snacks.
Overnight at your hotel.
Hotel Sokos Vasilievsky
Day 12: St. Petersburg
The morning is reserved for an optional visit to Peterhof, an uncontested masterpiece of the time of Peter the Great, with the impressive Grand Palace, Grand Cascade and Water Avenue and its wonderful parks.
In the afternoon, an optional visit to the world-famous Hermitage Art Museum is offered. In the evening you can enjoy your last Russian meal at an optional dinner at Restaurant Pryanosti & Radosti.
Hotel Sokos Vasilievsky
Day 13: Depart St. Petersburg
This morning after a final breakfast, optional transfer to the airport for your departure back home.
NOTE: Optional transfer to airport is available; please see the end of this tour for more information.
- Fully escorted 13-day coach tour with a bilingual English/German speaking tour escort
- 12 nights’ accommodation in centrally-located 4-star hotels including (12) breakfasts
- All listed sightseeing tours are conducted in a private coach and in English only (German speaking guests will have own coach for all city tours), all entrances included as outlined
- Welcome meeting with champagne-cocktail or juice
- Personalized welcome package
- Entrances to Old University in Vilnius, Rundale Palace, medieval Great Guild Hall in Tallinn, Church-in-the-Rock in Helsinki and Peter-and-Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg
- 1st-class motor coaches or 1st-class minivans throughout the itinerary
- Ferry ticket Tallinn-Helsinki OW (2nd class)
- Luggage service at hotels
NOTE: Prices do not include international airfare, extra beverages, extra items, travel insurance, or any services/items not listed in the program above. Hotel accommodations may change subject to space and/or availability.
Optional services available for pre-booking: Private car transfer (1-3 persons) from airport to Radisson BLU Lietuva $43; private minivan transfer (4-7 persons) from airport to Radisson BLU Lietuva $68. Private car transfer (1-3 persons) from Hotel Sokos Vasilievsky to airport $86; private minivan transfer (4-7 persons) from Hotel Sokos Vasilievsky to airport $111. Half board at all hotels (12 3-course dinners with coffee/tea): $457.
2019 STARTING PRICES | GUARANTEED DEPARTURES View Escorted Tour Specials
Departure Dates and Information
| =Available =Closed =On Request
Tour dates & availability per 11/2/2018. All departures are guaranteed and in USD. Departure is a land-only escorted tour. Tour space is not guaranteed until booked and confirmed. All tours are guided in English.
2019 Optional Tours Available for Pre-Booking
Vilnius - Excursion to Trakai and Trakai Castle
We invite you to visit the former capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with its beautiful lakeside setting and the insular red brick castle in Galve Lake. The castle museum of Trakai offers an exhibition on the Lithuanian Grand Dukes and prehistoric findings. It is easy to conjure up images of ladies in dress and knights in shining armor there. Located 27 km away from Vilnius, Trakai is a wonderful place to have a rest. It is a small and very quiet town—there is no heavy traffic. Trakai Castle enchants with its magic—having entered the main gates to the castle you will feel like you’ve turned back the clock to ancient times. You will admire a spectacular view of the Trakai area and hear interesting legends and stories from your guide about Trakai and its famous castle.
Details: 3 hours, 2PM, $49 per person.
Vilnius - Folklore Dinner at Restaurant Belmontas
The same architect who tastefully renovated and redesigned the President’s Palace, Ričardas Stulpinas, has worked with the Belmontas owners to create a perfectly located venue beneath the steep-sided banks of the picturesque, fast-flowing River Vilnia. The original mill on this spot was built in 1838. Part of it stood empty for several years because the owners’ repeated requests to open an inn were turned down by the government of Vilnius. In 1847 the owner’s wife, Joana Karinova, decided that enough was enough and she opened her own illegal smuklė (“tavern”), despite the protests of the police. The food selection, though weighted in favor of Lithuanian cuisine, has much to offer. You’ll be able to enjoy traditional Lithuanian food–herring with hot potatoes, “Pupkin’s pork steak” with hot sauce, and dessert—apple pie with ice cream. You can enjoy this dinner and picturesque place with a glass of wine or beer. Gero apetito!
Details: 8PM, $49 per person.
Riga - Excursion to Gauja National Park and Sigulda
For 90 km the Gauja River flows through an ancient river valley that is the heart of Gauja National Park. Nowhere else in Latvia will you find so many steep banks, ravines, streams, sandstone, and dolomite cliffs and caves as in the ancient Gauja River Valley and its tributaries. Like other national parks in the east regions of the Baltics, Gauja National Park includes natural territories relatively untouched by man, as well as historic rural landscapes and important ancient monuments. The park also offers walking trails, observation points, rest places, well established camping facilities, car parks, cafes, and various types of tourist cabins.
Details: 4 hours, 8:30 AM, $62 per person.
Riga - Excursion to Latvian Ethnological Open Air Museum
The collection of Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum features 18th-century rural life in Latvia and is made up of 140,000 items, traditional countryside buildings including farmsteads, churches, windmills, and a fishermen’s village, which give a good impression of varieties of the Latvian districts—Kurzeme, Zemgale, Latgale, and Vidzeme. It presents the tiny Latvia of the former times that hides unobtrusively behind the pine forest at Lake Jugla. Almost all the sections of the population and ethnic groups as well as their social and material culture are represented there. Like households of Livi fishermen and Russian old-orthodox, craftsmen workshops of woodworkers and forge, Latgale potters, Vidzeme weavers and potters.
Details: 3 hours, 2:30 PM, $49 per person.
Riga - Organ Concert at Dome Cathedral
The Dome Cathedral is a unique church of cathedral type with a monastery, and it’s also the oldest and grandest church in Latvia. The first stone was placed in 1211. The church owns one of the most valuable historic organs in Europe. You’ll experience a beautiful organ concert that will leave you breathless! You’ll also be able to visit Cross Gallery of the Riga Dome, a remarkable masterpiece of early Gothic in the Baltics. The 118-meter long, three-part gallery is spanned with 29 cruciform arches, and its arcade with limestone columns faces the yard.
Details: 7PM, $43 per person.
Riga - Excursion to Jurmala Sea Resort
Jurmala—the largest resort city in the Baltic countries —is well-known for its natural treasures: the mild climate, sea, healthy air, curative mud and mineral water. The attraction of Jurmala hides in its almost-33-km-long white sand beach, large pine forest, and the natural border of the city—the river Lielupe. In Jurmala, you’ll discover a combination of charming wooden houses built in the beginning of the last century and modern resort buildings. You’ll also be able to visit Jurmala City Museum. The Museum collection contains many pieces telling visitors about life in the health resort from the end of the 19th century until today, the largest swimwear collection in Latvia, old postcards of Jurmala, works of famous painters, pieces of underwater archaeology, as well as a gift shop.
Details: 4 hours, 2PM – 6PM, $49 per person.
Riga - Traditional Latvian Dinner at Restaurant Forest
There can be no denying that Latvia’s “green gold”, its timber and forest resources, has become the number one industry in Latvia and is continuing to grow. But the forests also play an important role in the folklore and contemporary culture of the country. The wide variety of wildlife in Latvia is a testament to the quality of environment. Clean waters, forests, and meadows form a safe haven for many species endangered elsewhere. For this dinner, we have created a meal that consists of local food, at the same time giving a modern approach to Latvian cuisine. We call it ‘new tendencies of Latvian cuisine’. You will be able to start with amuse-bouche and then try season vegetables cream soup, cod fillet with spinach praline, served with layered vegetables and lemongrass sauce, and for dessert one of the traditional Latvian specialties: carrot cake! As a supplement to dessert, you will have a chance to taste Latvian black balsam.
Details: 8PM, $49 per person.
Tallinn - Excursion to Kadriorg Palace Park and KUMU Art Museum
The Kadriorg Palace and Park is a resplendent summer residence, built by Tsar Peter I in the 18th century for his empress Catherine. Italian architect Niccolo Michetti was flown from Rome especially, to make sure that the Palace was the gleaming red Ferrari of stately homes - with plenty of baroque splendor, stucco ceilings and landscaped gardens all round. KUMU is a place for those who are interested in culture, the main building of the Art Museum of Estonia, serves both as Estonia's national gallery and as a center for contemporary art. The complex itself is a work of art: it was opened in 2006 after nearly a decade of planning and construction, and is considered a modern architectural masterpiece. Arches and sharp edges mark out the copper and limestone structure, which is built into the side of a limestone cliff. KUMU’s exhibition aim to appeal simultaneously to a diversity of audiences. Exhibitions display both classical and contemporary art and everything in between.
Details: 3 hours, 2PM – 5PM, $49 per person.
Medieval Dinner at Restaurant Maikrahv
Located in an interesting historical house dating to the 15th century in the heart of Tallinn’s Old Town Hall Square, Restaurant Maikrahv is a romantic venue with a unique medieval atmosphere and delicious food. Elegance and a varied international menu offer the opportunity to sample an authentic medieval feast with a modern twist: dine on traditional Estonian specialties consisting of roast beef, Baltic herring fillet, mulgi-style cabbage and more.
Details: 8PM, $49 per person.
Tallinn - Lahemaa National Park & Vihula Manor Excursion
Lahemaa National Park has been a protected park since the 1970s and offers a blend of unspoiled flora and fauna, untouched rivers and lakes, small quaint villages and coastal towns, sandy beaches and old manor houses. The trip goes to the ethnographical village in Altja, the harbor in Vergi and the coastal towns of Vosu and Kasmu. The highlight of the trip is the visit to the Palmse Manor, a memorial to the von Prahlen family. The tour ends with a visit to the charming 16th-century Vihula Manor and the Vodka Museum.
Details: 6 hours, 8AM, $86 per person.
Helsinki - Excursion to Suomenlinna Fortress
This breathtaking sea fortress was constructed to protect Helsinki in the mid-18th century, when Finland was still part of Sweden. The Suomenlinna Fortress tour is an ideal excursion for history buffs, and gives a unique seaside view of Helsinki’s magnificence.
Details: 3 hours, $74 per person.
St. Petersburg - Excursion to Zarskoye Selo (Pushkin, The Tsar’s Village)
Zarskoye Selo (“The Tsar’s Village” in Russian) also called Pushkin, was a summer residence of Russia’s tsars. It is a gorgeous town on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, with beautiful green parks and alleyways. Its different parks represent the distinct personalities of various Russian tsars. The ostentatious park of Catherine with its baroque style architecture comes in stark contrast to the simple park of Alexander. One of the most prominent palaces in Zarskoye Selo is Catherine’s Palace, also known as the Summer Palace, which was a gift from Peter the Great to his wife Catherine. It is home to a unique Amber Room, the walls of which were looted by Germans and later found by American troops and returned to Russia. This palace is also famous because it was completely pulled down six times and then rebuilt again as its new owners all had their own ideas about what it should look like.
Details: 4 hours, 2PM, $86 per person.
St. Petersburg - Excursion to Nikolaevsky Palace
The Nikolaevsky Palace constructed in 1853-1861 by famous architect Andrey Stakenshneider originally served as a residence of Emperor Nikolay I’s son, Grand Duke Nikola, then it was given over to the Women Institute named after Grand Duchess Xenia, and after the Revolution of 1917 turned into the Palace of Labor as there local trade unions were set. Today the classic building—preserving the memory of more than a century of the city’s history—has been carefully restored and is the regular venue for the bright folklore shows that are comprised of the best folk companies performance, which is held in the Concert Hall (the former ballroom) of the Nikolaevsky Palace and enjoy immense popularity both with locals and tourists.
Details: 3 hours, 8PM, $62 per person.
St. Petersburg - Peterhof Excursion
Peterhof is an immensely luxurious and beautifully preserved Imperial estate, founded in 1710 by Peter the Great on the shore of the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea). It combines several ornate palaces, a number of beautifully landscaped parks and a dazzling array of magnificent statues and fountains, lending it the epithet “The Russian Versailles”. The Grand Cascade flows spectacularly from beneath the palace towards the Baltic Sea and is one of the largest fountain ensembles in the world.
Details: 4 hours, 9AM, $93 per person.
St. Petersburg - Hermitage Art Museum Excursion
The State Hermitage occupies six magnificent buildings situated along the embankment of the River Neva, right in the heart of St. Petersburg. The leading role in this unique architectural ensemble is played by the Winter Palace, the residence of the Russian tsars that was built to the design of Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli in 1754-1762. This ensemble, formed in the 18th and 19th centuries, is extended by the eastern wing of the General Staff building, the Menshikov Palace and the recently constructed Repository.
Details: 3 hours, 3PM, $62 per person.
St. Petersburg - Russian Dinner at Restaurant Pryanosti & Radosti
Pryanosti & Radosti Restaurant opened its doors on the pedestrian walkway. It is located in building 13, next to Andrey Pervozvannyi Cathedral in the famous Duke Troekurov building–the man who, as the legend goes, fed Peter the Great himself. This is a very cozy and already extremely popular restaurant. It’s pretty and makes you feel at home at both floors of the restaurant. Comfort and warmth fill all its halls: in an under-the-roof mansard amid different color chairs and entwining green trees, in the fireplace hall where floor-to-ceiling racks are filled with wine bottles, and in the main hall–where fig trees sit in small pots and parrots occupy wall niches. Young ones with an interest in the gourmet can experience a huge ship built for them in the kid’s room, which will take them on a journey. We invite you to taste red caviar, served with warm blinis and traditional Russian beef-strogonov, served with mashed potatoes and stewed mushrooms. For dessert: honey cake with a shot of vodka!
Details: 8PM, $62 per person.