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Explore the rare Baltic gems of Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Belarus along the seaway from Helsinki to St. Petersburg for fascinating insights into the heritage of the Tsars and days spent seeing the magnificent sights of Moscow. You’ll also wander through the ancient capitals of Riga, Vilnius and Minsk and the beautifully preserved streets of Talinn’s Haseatic Quarter.
Welcome to Helsinki, the capital of Finland. Relax after check-in. Tonight, meet your Travel Director and fellow companions for a Welcome Reception and evening orientation drive. (WR)
Follow the coast along the Gulf of Finland and cross the border into Russia. Travel through the forests of Karelia to St. Petersburg. Later consider seeing a Russian folklore show. (SB)
Your Local Specialist shows you the city’s sights including the Tsar’s Winter Palace, Nevsky Prospekt, St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the Statue of Peter the Great. Visit the Peter and Paul Fortress. Later today see one of the world’s largest and most valuable art collections inside the magnificent Heritage Museum – a highlight of any trip to Russia. (BB)
Today enjoy free time to see more sights and shop for Russian souvenirs. Alternatively your Travel Director will suggest joining an Optional Experience to see more of this great country. (BB)
Take a train across part of the vast Russian landscape towards the capital city. Dine tonight at your hotel. (BB, D)
Your sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist includes all the main sights such as St. Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square. The highlight will be a visit inside the magnificent Kremlin. (BB)
Today there is plenty of time to explore on your own, relax or shop for souvenirs. You might also like to join an Optional Experience to the Tsar’s Treasury Chamber or St. Sergius Monastery and its fascinating handicraft market. (BB)
Follow in the footsteps of Napoleon’s retreating army of 1812, passing near Borodino and stopping for a Regional Meal lunch in the Smolensk region. Cross the border into Belarus and continue to Minsk. Tonight dine on traditional cuisine at your hotel. (BB, RM, D)
View the sights with a Local Specialist including Hero City Memorial during your sightseeing tour. Enjoy the rest of your day exploring the city. Why not visit the Saint Elizabeth Convent to see their stained glass and religious icon workshop? Tonight enjoy a Be My Guest dinner in a country home surrounded by state farms close to Minsk where you hear folk songs and taste local delicacies. (BB, BG)
Drive west and cross the border into Lithuania, arriving later in the capital Vilnius. Your Local Specialist shows you the sights during your walking tour, including the Bishop’s Palace and the University. Explore the Baroque Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, featuring exceptional sculptural decoration. Walk to the Gates of Dawn, the Carmelite Church of St. Theresa, the former Jewish Ghetto, the Cathedral and the new Royal Palace excavations. Finish at the Church of St. Anna and the site of the synagogue destroyed during World War II. (BB)
Leave Vilnius after lunch and visit the Hill of Crosses at Siauliai. Later arrive in the ancient city of Riga, Latvia’s capital, made famous by the stories of Baron von Münchhausen. Dine tonight at your hotel. (BB, D)
Riga is a beautiful historic city on the Baltic coast. The extensive Old Town contains narrow medieval streets, Gothic and Baroque Churches, 19th century municipal buildings and Hanseatic warehouses. Your Local Specialist takes you on a sightseeing and walking tour to show you the main highlights. Spend free time afterwards exploring on your own and shopping for souvenirs in the Old Town. (BB)
Follow the Gulf of Riga north into Estonia, and travel via Parnu a popular beach resort to Tallinn. Admire the sights of Tallinn with your Local Specialist. Explore the beautifully preserved streets of the old Hanseatic Quarter and 15th century Luhike Jalg Gate and visit Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. This evening join your companions for a Regional Meal of typical specialities at a local restaurant. (BB, RM)
This morning board a ferry and cross the sea to Helsinki in Finland. Meet your Local Specialist and admire Finlandia Hall, the Senate and Market Squares and café-lined Esplanade during your sightseeing tour. Join your travelling companions for a special Farewell Dinner this evening. (BB, FD)
Say goodbye to newfound friends at the end of your memorable and exciting trip. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply. (SB)
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