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15 Day Best of Finland Russia and The Baltic States

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15 Day Best of Finland Russia and The Baltic States

On top of the must-see Russian cities and dramatic scenery, this trip reveals a rarer side of Europe, in its more unusual and unvisited countries of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus. It's Insider moments like... hearing Antolij play the accordion and sing rousing Russian and Belarusian songs, as you taste his homemade vodka and local dishes at his farm in Minsk.

Our adventure map

Day by day

First day Arrive in Helsinki

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.

 Hotel:    Holiday Inn City Centre / Cumulis Hyvinkaa

Second day Travel from Helsinki to St. Petersburg 

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.

Hotel:     Holiday Inn Vorota

Third and Fourth Days in St. Petersburg Sightseeing and Free Time

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. Your time in St. Petersburg also includes a visit to the Hermitage Museum to see one of the world's largest and most valuable art collections. There is plenty of free time to see more sights and shop for Russian souvenirs.

Fifth Day Travel on a High Speed Train from to Moscow 

Take a train across part of the vast Russian landscape towards the capital city.

 Hotel:     Radisson Blu Belorusskaya

Sixth and Seventh Day enjoy Moscow Sightseeing and Free Time

You have two days to explore the delights of Moscow! On the first day, your sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist includes St. Basil's Cathedral and Red Square plus a visit to the magnificent Kremlin. There is plenty of time to explore on your own, relax and shop for souvenirs. You might also like to join an optional experience to the Tsar's Treasury Chamber, or the St. Sergius Monastery and handicraft market.

Eighth Day go from Moscow to Minsk 

Follow in the footsteps of Napoleon's retreating army of 1812, passing near Borodino and stopping for lunch in the Smolensk region. Cross the border into Belarus and continue to Minsk. Tonight, dine on traditional cuisine at your hotel.

Hotel:     Renaissance

Ninth Day take some free Time and Sightseeing in Minsk

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 Church of Saints Simon and Helena, known locally as the Red Church? Tonight enjoy a Be My Guest dinner on a farm close to Minsk where you hear folk songs and taste local delicacies.

Tenth Day Travel to Vilnius for Sightseeing and Free Time

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. Dine tonight at your hotel.

Hotel:     Radisson Blu Lietuva

Eleventh Day leave Vilnius to Siauliai then Riga 

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.

 Hotel:    Radisson Blu Latvija

Twelfth Day enjoy Riga Sightseeing and Free Time

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 including a visit to Riga Cathedral. Spend free time afterwards exploring on your own and shopping for souvenirs in the old town.

Thirteenth Day its Tallinn Sightseeing and Free Time

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 the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. This evening, join your companions for a Regional Meal of typical specialities at a local restaurant.

 Hotel:    Radisson Blu Olumpia

Fourteenth Day from Tallinn to Helsinki for Sightseeing and Free Time

Enjoy a leisurely morning in this charming and atmospheric city. Later board the ferry and cross the sea to Helsinki in Finland. Meet your Local Specialist and admire Finlandia Hall, the Senate and Market Squares and broad boulevards during your sightseeing tour. Join your travelling companions for a special Farewell Dinner this evening.

Hotel:    Scandic Grand Marina

Fifteenth Day Depart Helsinki

Say goodbye to newfound friends at the end of your memorable and exciting trip. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.

Whats included

Sightseeing Highlights

City tour of St. Petersburg, Moscow, Minsk, Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn and Helsinki

Orientation of Minsk

View Red Square in Moscow, Nevsky Prospekt and St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg and the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki

Visit the St. Peter and Paul Fortress and Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Kremlin in Moscow, the Hill of Crosses in Siauliai, Riga Cathedral and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn

Dining

14 breakfasts (including 2 full Scandinavian and 12 hot buffets). 7 dinners (including Welcome Reception, Be My Guest, Regional Meal, 3 three course dinners and Farewell Dinner). 1 lunch.

Optional Extras

St Petersburg

Soak up the atmosphere, romance and lights of this former imperial capital, known as the Venice of the North. You'll cruise through the canals and along River Neva, sipping champagne as you discover the city that has inspired generations of artists.

At the palace of Pushin you'll admire marvels like the fairy-tale Amber Room, miraculously restored after Nazi occupation. You'll also discover the famous town of Petrodvorets, a Russian recreation of Versailles. Famed for its palaces and fountain cascades, you'll have time to relax and enjoy the elegant baroque gardens on our visit.

A chance to attend one of the best Russian folklore programs in St. Petersburg. You'll enjoy Cossack dances, songs, instruments and costumes from around Russia, and sample Russian champagne and vodka during the intermission. An unforgettable experience.

A haunting visit takes you through the opulent splendour of the home of pre-Revolutionary Russia's foremost noble family, the Yusupovs, and reveals the cellars where they murdered the infamous Rasputin. We'll also visit the Peter and Paul Cathedral, where you'll see the canonised Nicholas and relics of his wife and children.

Experience the beauty of St Isaacs Cathedral and explore the colourful centrepiece of the city - the Church of the Saviour 'on the spilled blood'. Built where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated, you’ll see the recently restored multi-coloured domes and mosaics based on St Basil's in Moscow, which evoke a feeling of Old Russia.

There may be an opportunity to attend a ballet performance in the historic atmosphere of a Tsarist era theatre. Subject to availability of tickets and performance. Price will vary, depending on the venue and the Ballet Company.

Moscow

Included in Western art critics 'Ten Places That You Want to See before You Die', Moscow Metro is the most grandiose architectural monument of the Soviet era. Tonight you'll discover some of the most remarkable stations, decorated with stained glass, mosaics and chandeliers, and finish in Red Square, to take in its fairy-tale evening atmosphere.

A chance to enjoy the world famous Russian State Circus, with full transportation provided. Tickets are subject to availability.

Join us as we experience Russian history at the incredible Borodino Panorama, which depicts the moment the most decisive events occurred in the war between Russia and Napoleon’s Grand Army - 12.30pm, 7 September 1812. Accompanied by special sound-effects, it will take you inside history. We’ll follow with a walk through Novodevichy Park, where you’ll see memorials to Checkhov and Raisa Gorbachova.

Join us as we experience Russian history at the incredible Borodino Panorama, which depicts the moment the most decisive events occurred in the war between Russia and Napoleon's Grand Army - 12.30pm, 7 September 1812. Accompanied by special sound-effects, it will take you inside history. We'll follow with a walk through Novodevichy Park, where you'll see memorials to Checkhov and Raisa Gorbachova.

Discover Zagorsk, the Russian Vatican - centre of Orthodox faith and pilgrimage site. You'll see Troitse-Sergiieyeva Lavra, a working monastery where the Orthodox faith was tolerated by the Communist state and kept alive during the years of atheism. You'll also have time to browse Russian handicrafts and Matryoshka dolls at the local market.

Minsk

A rare opportunity to visit a working convent, where the sisters provide spiritual and social help to the sick and suffering. You’ll see the workshops where stained glass, mosaics and icons are created, and have the opportunity to shop for souvenirs and health products produced on the convent's own farm.

Vilnius

We’ll explore the old Lithuanian capital of Trakai with its beautiful lakeside castle, painstakingly restored to reveal the former grandeur and history of the Grand Duchy. You’ll also see the old wooden cottages built by the Karaites, a sect originating in Baghdad, and have time to shop for crafts in Trakai.

Savour a traditional Lithuanian lunch of local specialities with us, as we enjoy a Folklore show in beautiful surroundings.

Riga

One of the showpieces of Latvia's cultural heritage, the ethnographic open air museum is situated in a pine forest on the banks of the Jugla Lake. You’ll explore some of the 90 traditional buildings rebuilt here, including farmhouses, windmills and fishermen's houses, before a delicious traditional dinner.

 Where you stay

All hotels included in your tour package are hand-picked, of an outstanding standard and far better value than if booked individually. Our valued travel partners who organise these tours also own the Red Carnation Hotel Group and where possible Red Carnation Hotels are used and please see our link for further details.

Travel Highlights

  • Ferry across the Gulf of Finland
  • High speed train between St. Petersburg and Moscow
  • Rail service is reserved in standard class
  • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Hand-picked 4 or 5 star accommodation
  • Hand-picked Insider Experiences
  • Optional Experiences and free time
  • Complimentary keepsake photo
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • VIP entry to many sights

Guarantees, Bonds and Awards

  • This tour is run by our outstanding travel partners who are multi-award winning Globe Best Tour operator in the world 2013, 2014 and 2015.
  • Tours are fully bonded, protected and guaranteed and you pay the operator directly when booking.
  • ABTA, IATA and ATOL protected
  • Part of the Trade Right Foundation

Best prices, more information and booking

Great Discounts are available – please speak with our expert who can arrange extra unique discounts.

Only £100 per person deposit required (except for last minute bookings).

By booking through us you will receive additional customer service and extra discounts.

Please ask our expert about last minute special offers available throughout the year.

If this is not quite what you are looking for, please mail us we have many great alternatives.

You can call our expert on 0207 620 8963 – UK time 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (this number is specifically for this or similar multi-day tours of Britain, Europe or World-Wide) or out of those hours please leave a voice-mail for a call back.

Alternatively email us at info@21stcenturytravel.co.uk and request a call back or if you prefer mail, we can send you more details from there.