Baltic & Russian Explorer

Vinius, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki, St Petersburg & Moscow
16 days
May - Sep
Itinerary
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This tour has it all - an exploration of the Baltic capitals and highlights, as well as the treasures of St Petersburg and Moscow.  All the fabulous excursions in the itinerary are included in the tour price. 

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DAY 1 ARRIVAL VILNIUS
Arrival in Vilnius, transfer from airport to Hotel Radissson Blu Lietuva or similar; check-in and welcome meeting. Lithuanian’s capital city is built at the confluence of the Neris and Vilnia rivers and surrounded by picturesque wooden hills. The city has an enormous architectural diversity with many churches and towers, fortifications, secluded medieval courtyards and narrow and curved streets. It is a city with a rich history, a place where Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical styles stand side by side and complement each other. Vilnius has managed to retain its unique character as a northerly cultural meeting point at the crossroads of the Roman and Byzantine and the European and Eurasian worlds.

DAY 2  VILNIUS: MEDIEVAL OLD TOWN, TRAKAI CASTLE
Vilnius is known for having more than 1200 medieval buildings and 48 churches. Morning sightseeing 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. Anne’s Church, Old University and the Gates of Dawn.
Afternoon excursion to Trakai. This medieval capital of Lithuania, is home to the well preserved Trakai Castle, beautifully located on an island in Lake Galve.  In the evening, enjoy an optional folklore dinner at Restaurant Belmontas.

DAY 3 VILNIUS-RIGA: HILL OF CROSSES, RUNDALE PALACE
Heading for Riga, the first stop is the Hills of Crosses, one of the most holy sites of Catholic Lithuania. After crossing into Latvia we soon reach the magnificent Rundale Palace, the former summer residence of the Duke of Courland.
Follow a guided tour of the palace we travel through the rolling hills of Southern Latvia to reach Riga late afternoon; check-in at Hotel Radisson Blu Latvija or similar. 

Riga, known as “The capital of Art Nouveau”, is a delight for the traveller. Everything is close and compact - next to the medieval Old Town you will find the New Town built in the 19th century after the city fortifications were taken down with green parks and broad boulevard and the Art Nouveau districts.- no other city in Europe can boost such fine examples of Art Nouveau and buildings which occupy more than one third of downtown Riga. You'll fall in love with the cobbled narrow streets and wherever you turn you'll find a wealth of historic buildings such the Dome Cathedral with it's world famous organ, St. Peters Church built back in 1209 with first clock in the city or Guild Square with the Large and the Small Guild that represent a former glory of Riga as a Hanseatic City. 

DAY 4 RIGA: GAUJA NATIONAL PARK, SIGULDA, CASTLES & ETHNOGRAPHICAL MUSEUM
On this mornings tour see the stunning scenery of Gauja National Park and the town of Sigulda. Hear about the medieval Latvian legend, the Rose of Turaida and also see the ruins of the Episcopal Castle and of the Castle of the Knights of the Sword, before returning to Riga.
Afternoon visit to the Ethnographical Open Air Museum - a spacious exposition of 18th Century country life. This evening, enjoy an organ recital at the historic Dome Cathedral.

DAY 5  RIGA: OLD TOWN WALKING TOUR, JURMALA SEA RESORT
Riga, founded in 1201 by the German bishop Albert, boasts a real kaleidoscope of architectural styles. The walking tour of the Old Town includes Riga Castle, the Dome Cathedral, St. Peter’s Church, the Swedish Gate, the Three Brothers, the Large and Small Guilds and the Freedom Monument.
The afternoon excursion is to Jurmala. This vibrant, Latvian, seaside resort, is famous for its wooden architecture and sandy beaches.  Tonight offers an optional Latvian dinner at the stylish Restaurant Forest.

DAY 6 RIGA-TALLINN: PARNU SUMMER RESORT, LAND OF FORESTS 
The tour continues along the coastal highway to the Estonian summer resort of Parnu. We do a short tour of the resort before we continue  through the North Estonian land of forests and arrive in Tallinn early afternoon; check-in at Hotel Radisson Blu Olympia or similar.

DAY 7 TALLINN: OLD TOWN, KADRIOG PARK AND KUMU ART MUSEUM
Tallinn is a charming blend of medieval tranquillity and modern urban life. The Old Town is busy in the summer with its many shops, galleries, souvenir markets, outdoor cafés and restaurants. Our sightseeing tour takes us around the old medieval city walls and into the Old Town where we see Toompea Castle, the Dome Church, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the medieval Old Town Hall and Great Guild Hall. 
The afternoon excursion visits Kadriorg Park, as well as KUMU - the award winning Estonian Art Museum, with its collection of classic and contemporary fine art. Evening, optional medieval dinner at Restaurant Peppersack.

DAY 8 TALLINN-HELSINKI: FERRY THROUGH THE ARCHIPELAGO
This morning we visit Lahemaa National park to see Palmse Manor, a memorial to the Von Plahlen family, Sagadi Manor, and the Vodka Museum. Then we head back to Tallinn to take the ferry  through the Finnish archipelago, to arrive in Helsinki. Transfer and check-in at Hotel Glo Art or similar.

DAY 9 HELSINKI: CITY SIGHTSEEING & SEURASAARI MUSEUM
Helsinki is truly located at the crossroads of Western and Eastern culture and this is reflected everywhere. The sightseeing tour takes us around the harbours, and the Senate Square with the Lutheran Cathedral, up central Mannerheim Street to the Parliament Building, Finlandia Hall and the Sibelius Monument, before arriving at 
the famous Church-in the-Rock. Afternoon excursion to Seurasaari Open-Air Museum; an oasis in the midst of the city with cottages, farmsteads and manors from all around Finland.

DAY 10 HELSINKI-ST. PETERSBURG VIA VYBORG CASTLE
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 at Hotel Sakos Vasilievsky or similar.

DAY 11 ST. PETERSBURG: CITY TOUR, CATHERINE'S PALACE & FOLKLORE SHOW
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, the 'Venice of the North'. During the morning sightseeing tour we see many of the city's splendours - the Peter-Paul Fortress, Winter Palace, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Church of the Bleeding Savior, Nevsky Convent and much more. In the afternoon we travel to Pushkin also known as Zarskoye Selo, for a guided tour of the impressive Catherine’s Palace and Amber Room, which vanished during World War II and was restored for St. Petersburg’s tri-centennial celebrations. In the evening, enjoy a visit to Nikolaevsky Palace with an exciting Russian folklore show, incluidng Russian drinks and snacks.

DAY 12 ST. PETERSBURG: PETERHOF PALACE & HERMITAGE MUSEUM
This morning we visit Peterhof, an uncontested masterpiece of the time of Peter the Great, with an impressive Grand Palace, Grand Cascade and Water Avenue, and wonderful parks.  In the afternoon, we visit the  treasure filled, world-famous Hermitage Art Museum.  Tonight, enjoy an optional Russian dinner at Restaurant Russian Kitsch.

DAY 13 ST. PETERSBURG-MOSCOW: CANAL CRUISE & FAST TRAIN TO MOSCOW
Early morning, guided canal cruise along the meandering waterways.
Around noon we go to the Moscow Railway Station and board the Sapsan high-speed train bound for Moscow. The train ride takes us through endless Russian landscapes along the River Volga. In the late afternoon we arrive in Moscow; check-in at Hotel Park Inn Sadu or similar.

DAY 14  MOSCOW: KREMLIN, CATHEDRALS, METRO & RIVER CRUISE
Moscow, the Mother of Russia, is a genuine Russian city with the Kremlin and its onion domed cathedrals. The dramatic changes over the last decade have made the city one of the most dynamic metropolis in the world. Morning sightseeing includes all the highlights of this vast city - Red Square with the Kremlin, Theatre Square with the Bolshoi Theatre, Sparrow Hills with Moscow University and the Kremlin grounds including one of the cathedrals. In the afternoon we take a guided visit to the famous Moscow Metro including the stations along the Ring Line, followed by a guided stroll along famous Arbat Street.  This evening's tour is 'Moscow by Night'  and includes an unforgettable river cruise with the White Flotilla.

DAY 15  MOSCOW: SERGIEV POSAD & RUSSIAN CIRCUS
Today a full day excursion to Sergiev Posad, where we visit the Trinity Lavra of St Sergius, the most important Russian monastery and the spiritual heart of the country.This year the monastery celebrates the 700th anniverary of St Sergius.  The evening offers a fun visit to the Old Russian Circus.

DAY 16  MOSCOW FAREWELL
Transfer from hotel to the airport.

Departures 2017: 21 and 28 May; 04, 11, 18 and 25 June; 02, 09, 16*, 23* and 30* July; 06*, 13*, 20 and 27 August; 03 and 10 September

*These departures will be affected by the closure of Vilnius International Airport from 14 July- 18 August 2017. During this period flights will instead arrive at and depart from alternative airports and supplements for transfer to/from your hotel in Vilnius will apply.

Includes: 15 overnights at centrally located 4-5 star hotels, including buffet breakfast; Welcome meeting with champagne-cocktail or juice; Personalised welcome package; Entry to the Old University (Vilnius), Rundale Palace, medieval Great Guild Hall i(Tallinn), Church-in-the Rock (Helsinki),  Peter-Paul-Fortress (St. Petersburg) and Moscow Kremlin;  3-hour excursion to Trakai, including a visit to Trakai Castle;  4 hr excursion to Gauja National Park, ; Organ concert at the Dome Cathedral; 4-hour excursion to Peterhof, including a visit to the Grand Palace; Visit the folklore show at the Nikolaevsky Palace; 4-hour excursion to Zarskoye Selo and visit to Catherine’s Palace; 3-hour visit to the Hermitage Art Museum; Sapsan high-speed train St. Petersburg-Moscow (one way, 2nd class);  4-hour excursion to Jurmala; 3-hour excursion to Kadriorg Park and KUMU; 6 hour excursion to Lahemaa National park; 3-hour excursion to Seurasaari Open-Air Museum Ferry Tallinn-Helsinki(one way);  3 hour excursion to Moscow Metro & Arbat Street; full day excursion to Sergiev Posad,  3-hour excursion and cruise on the Moscow RiverVisit to the Old Russian Circus Service of an English-speaking tour escort;  Service of 1st class motor coaches or minivans throughout the itinerary;  Portage at hotels and railway stations;  Service and VAT; Arrival transfer Vilnius Airport to hotel (Day 1 only) and departure transfer hotel to Moscow Airport (Day 16 only) except during period 14 July - 18 August 2017 when supplementary charges for transfers will apply.

EXCLUDES: Folklore dinner at Restaurant Belmontas;  Latvian dinner at Restaurant Forest; Medieval dinner at Restaurant Peppersack Russian dinner at Restaurant Russian Kitsch; Half board at hotels (15 x 3 course dinners with coffee/tea); Russian Visa.

                                               Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated

Price per person FROM:
Double AUD$ 4215.00
Single AUD$ 5442.00

Includes: 15 overnights at centrally located 4-5 star hotels, including buffet breakfast; Welcome meeting with champagne-cocktail or juice; Personalised welcome package; Entry to the Old University (Vilnius), Rundale Palace, medieval Great Guild Hall i(Tallinn), Church-in-the Rock (Helsinki),  Peter-Paul-Fortress (St. Petersburg) and Moscow Kremlin;  3-hour excursion to Trakai, including a visit to Trakai Castle;  4 hr excursion to Gauja National Park, ; Organ concert at the Dome Cathedral; 4-hour excursion to Peterhof, including a visit to the Grand Palace; Visit the folklore show at the Nikolaevsky Palace; 4-hour excursion to Zarskoye Selo and visit to Catherine’s Palace; 3-hour visit to the Hermitage Art Museum; Sapsan high-speed train St. Petersburg-Moscow (one way, 2nd class);  4-hour excursion to Jurmala; 3-hour excursion to Kadriorg Park and KUMU; 6 hour excursion to Lahemaa National park; 3-hour excursion to Seurasaari Open-Air Museum Ferry Tallinn-Helsinki(one way);  3 hour excursion to Moscow Metro & Arbat Street; full day excursion to Sergiev Posad,  3-hour excursion and cruise on the Moscow RiverVisit to the Old Russian Circus Service of an English-speaking tour escort;  Service of 1st class motor coaches or minivans throughout the itinerary;  Portage at hotels and railway stations;  Service and VAT; Arrival transfer Vilnius Airport to hotel (Day 1 only) and departure transfer hotel to Moscow Airport (Day 16 only) except during period 14 July - 18 August 2017 when supplementary charges for transfers will apply.

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