Best of Finland Russia and the Baltic States 2014

  • Duration: 16 Days
  • Rating: Read Reviews
  • Brochure: Europe & Britain 2014
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  • Style: Regional
  • Description: 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 Antoly singing rousing Russian and Belarusian songs, as he plays his accordion and you drink his homemade vodka. Eating with him in the front room of his house, looking out at his lake, his tales of his life in Minsk are dished up with his daughter's roast pork or chicken, 'Shchi' cabbage soup and 'Draniki' potato cakes – washed down with local beer and champagne. As Antoly and his wife show you around their farm, you can almost picture partisans fighting in the nearby forests in the last war.
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Trip Itinerary

  • Day 1

    DEPART USA

    Overnight flight to Helsinki.

  • Day 2

    ARRIVE 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.


    Meal(s): (Welcome Reception)

    Hotel: Holiday Inn City Centre

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 3

    HELSINKI – ST. PETERSBURG (3 NIGHTS)

    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.


    Meal(s): (Scandinavian Breakfast)

    Hotel: Holiday Inn Vorota

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 4 to Day 5

    ST. PETERSBURG SIGHTSEEING AND FREE TIME

    Your Local Expert 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.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 6

    ST. PETERSBURG – HIGH SPEED TRAIN – MOSCOW (3 NIGHTS)

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


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

    Hotel: Radisson Blu Belorusskaya

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 7 to Day 8

    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 Expert 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.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 9

    MOSCOW – MINSK (2 NIGHTS)

    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, where you view the sights including Hero City Memorial during your orientation. Tonight, dine on traditional cuisine at your hotel.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    Hotel: Victoria

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 10

    MINSK SIGHTSEEING AND FREE TIME

    A full day to explore the Belarusian capital city. Why not visit the Church of Saints Simon & Helena, known locally as the Red Church, or stroll through the impressive botanical gardens with over 9000 different species. Tonight enjoy a Be My Guest dinner on a farm close to Minsk where you hear folk songs and taste local delicacies.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Be My Guest Dining)

  • Day 11

    MINSK – VILNIUS SIGHTSEEING AND FREE TIME

    Drive west and cross the border into Lithuania, arriving later in the capital, Vilnius. Your Local Expert 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 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.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)

    Hotel: Radisson Blu Lietuva

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 12

    VILNIUS – SIAULIAI – RIGA (2 NIGHTS)

    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.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)

    Hotel: Radisson Blu Latvija

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 13

    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 Expert 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. This evening, join your companions for a Regional Meal of typical specialities at a local restaurant.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Regional Meal)

  • Day 14

    RIGA – 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 Expert. Explore the beautifully preserved streets of the old Hanseatic Quarter and 15th century Luhike Jalq Gate. Visit the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Old Town hall.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

    Hotel: Radisson Blu Olumpia

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 15

    TALLINN – HELSINKI 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 Expert 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.


    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Farewell Dinner)

    Hotel: Scandic Grand Marina

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 16

    HELSINKI - USA

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


    Meal(s): (Scandinavian Breakfast)

What's Included

Insider Experiences

  • Be My Guest at a traditional farm, close to Minsk.
  • Local Expert in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn and Helsinki.
  • Hidden Treasure Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure experience, unique to your itinerary, courtesy of your expert Travel Director.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tours of St. Petersburg, Moscow, Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn and Helsinki.
  • Orientation of Minsk.
  • Visit the St. Peter and Paul Fortress and Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Kremlin in Moscow, the Hill of Crosses in Siauliai and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn.
  • View Red Square in Moscow, Nevsky Prospekt and St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg and the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki.

Dining

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

Travel Highlights

  • Travel by luxury air-conditioned coach with reclining seats and an on-board restroom.
  • First Class hotel accommodation featuring twin rooms and private facilities.
  • The services of a professional Travel Director throughout your journey.
  • All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes included.
  • Audio Headsets provided throughout your trip to enhance your included sightseeing experiences.
  • A travel wallet with your documentation.
  • Ferry across the Gulf of Finland.
  • High speed train between St. Petersburg and Moscow.
  • Rail service is reserved in standard class.
  • Porterage is included at train stations.
  • Complimentary keepsake photo.

Airport Transfers

  • For full details on transfers, please click here.
Disclaimer
  • These prices are LAND-ONLY and are correct at the time of the website going live, however prices are subject to confirmation at the time
    of booking.
  • All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however prices and itineraries are subject to change, please confirm all details and final cost at time of booking.
  • For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Conditions page. Conditions can be found in the footer under Information.
  • Early Payment Discounts are not available on all Trafalgar trips and some trips may be excluded.  Book early to avoid disappointment as the number of seats available at discount prices are limited.  The Early Payment Discount icon will be indicated on the Pricing and Availability page of the selected trips where this Early Payment Discount is applicable. 
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  • Hotels are subject to change.
Notes
  • * For single travellers purchasing the twin-share option, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 
  • ^Twin-share option not available for trips to South America., Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey.

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