Tour of Russia and the Baltic Countries
June 27 - July 12, 2008
before the 2008 Atlantis Copenhagen to Stockholm Cruise
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The Tour of Russia and the Baltic Countries starts in Helsinki, Finland on June 28, 2008. If you fly from the USA on June 27, 2008 you'll arrive in Helsinki on June 28, 2008, the day your first hotel night begins. The tour finishes in Helsinki on July 12, 2008 - on time to fly to Copenhagen to join the 2008 Atlantis Copenhagen to Stockholm Cruise.
You do not have to be a passenger on the 2008 Atlantis Copenhagen to Stockholm Cruise to take this tour.
The 2008 Atlantis Copenhagen to Stockholm Cruise leaves from Copenhagen on July 12, 2008 and ends in Stockholm on July 19, 2008. See the cruise information by clicking here
COST OF THE TOUR
The land price of the Tour of Russia and the Baltic Countries is $3,260 per person double occupancy. Airfare is extra and depends on your departure city.
The single supplement price is $1,200 extra if one person occupies a whole room by himself on this tour. There is a room share program available for single passengers to be matched with a roommate so they do not have to pay the single supplement cost.
Tour of Russia and the Baltic Countries - Map
Tour of Russia and the Baltic Countries - Itinerary
June 27 - Depart to Helsinki, Finland
Overnight flight to Helsinki.
June 28 - Arrive Helsinki
On arrival at Helsinki Airport you are met and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon after check-in there's time to relax and unwind. This evening, we will enjoy a Welcome dinner and drink with our Tour Director and fellow travelling companions. (Welcome Dinner) Hotel: Scandic Grand Marina
June 29 - Helsinki – St. Petersburg (3 nights)
This morning it's an early departure for our journey into Russia, passing the timber centre of Kotka. Then the forests of Karelia lead to the former city of Tsars, St. Petersburg. This evening we will enjoy complimentary champagne with dinner, after maybe visit a theatre for a Russian folklore show. (Scandinavian Breakfast / Dinner) Hotel: Pribaltiskaya (3 nights)
June 30 - July 1 - St. Petersburg sightseeing & at leisure
Featured on our sightseeing tour this morning are the Tsar's Winter Palace, Nevsky Prospekt, St. Isaac's Cathedral, the statue of Peter the Great and a visit of the Peter and Paul fortress. During our time in St. Petersburg we will also enjoy an included visit to the Hermitage Museum to visit one of the world's largest and most valuable art collections. (Buffet Breakfast / Buffet Breakfast)
July 2 - St. Petersburg – Novgorod
This morning our drive takes us across the vast Russian plains to ancient Novgorod. On our arrival an orientation tour shows us the 'Kremlin' fort and grounds, Millennium Monument and the St. Sophia Cathedral. Dinner is at our hotel tonight. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner) Hotel: Beresta Palace
July 3 - Novgorod – Tver – Moscow (3 nights)
After breakfast, we will delight in a full day's scenic drive through picturesque villages to Tver. On our arrival we'll enjoy an included lunch. Then our journey takes us on to Klin, once home of Tchaikovsky, before arriving in Moscow for the first night of our three-night stay. Tonight maybe enjoy an evening at the exciting Moscow State Circus! (Buffet Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner) Hotel: Holiday Inn Sokolniki (3 nights)
July 4 - 5 - Moscow sightseeing & at leisure
On our first morning our sightseeing tour features such highlights as St. Basil's domed Cathedral, Red Square and a visit to the Kremlin. Then during your time at leisure in Moscow perhaps take an optional excursion to visit the Tsar's Treasury Chamber or maybe visit St. Sergius Monastery and handicraft market. We will take a trip on the palatial Moscow metro to Red Square where we will enjoy a walking tour of this atmospheric city at night. (Buffet Breakfast / Buffet Breakfast)
July 6 - Moscow – Smolensk – Minsk
Today we follow in the steps of Napoleon's retreating army in 1812, passing Borodino and making a stop at Smolensk for an included lunch. Then we're off to the border between Russia and the Independent State of Belarus en route to Minsk. Here an orientation shows us the Hero's Hill Memorial as well as other highlights of this city. Tonight, we enjoy a dinner of traditional cuisine at our hotel. (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner) Hotel: Planeta
July 7 - Minsk – Vilnius
This morning via Osm'any we head toward the border with Lithuania, then on to the capital, Vilnius. Our guided walking tour takes in views of the Bishop’s Palace (now the Presidential Palace) and the University. We also visit the Baroque churches of St Peter and Paul which have exceptional sculptural decoration. Then we walk to the Gates of Dawn, the Carmelite church of St Theresa, the former Jewish Ghetto, the Cathedral and new Royal Palace excavations. We will also see the Church of St Anna and the site of the Synagogue destroyed by Hitler in the last war. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner) Hotel: Reval Latvija
July 8 - Vilnius – Siauliai – Riga (2 nights)
After breakfast we depart from Vilnius with our first stop being a visit to Siauliai and the 'Hill of Crosses' – symbol of resistance against Soviet occupation. Later, we arrive at the Latvian border and onto ancient Riga, Latvia's capital – made famous by the stories of Baron von Münchausen. Dinner is at our hotel tonight. (Buffet Breakfast/ Dinnner) Hotel: Islande (2 nights)
July 9 - Riga sightseeing & at leisure
We tour this city in the shadow of the 14th century castle of the Livonian knights, with a local guide. We visit St. John's Church and the Dom Cathedral dating back to the 13th century, and see the State Art Museum. Riga has long been one of the most thriving cities on the Baltic – within the extensive Old Town are narrow medieval streets, Gothic and Baroque Churches, 19th century municipal buildings and Hanseatic warehouses, which we will see on the walking section of our sightseeing tour as well as the Tris Braili where we may admire the medieval architecture. Later, there's free time for further exploration of the city before dinner at our hotel. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)
July 10 - Riga – Tallinn
Today's drive takes us along the Gulf of Riga and into Estonia. Then we travel via Parnu, a popular vacation resort of sandy beaches, as we head to the Estonian capital Tallinn for the night. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner) Hotel: Reval Park
July 11 - Tallinn sightseeing – Helsinki
Our morning sightseeing tour in this pretty town explores the beautifully preserved streets of the old Hanseatic Quarter with its ancient battlements and the 15th century Luhike Jalq Gate. We also visit the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the old Town Hall, before we board our ship for the sea-crossing to Helsinki in Finland. On our arrival this evening sightseeing reveals Finlandia Hall, the Senate and Market Squares, broad boulevards and domed Russian church. (Buffet Breakfast) Hotel: Scandic Grand Marina
July 12 - Helsinki – Copenhagen or USA
After breakfast this morning, bid farewell as we transfer you to the airport for your return flight to Copenhagen to board the 2008 Atlantis Copenhagen to Stockholm Cruise or flight home. (Scandinavian Breakfast)
Tour of Russia and the Baltic Countries - Discounts Available
$200 per person airfare discount if booked and paid for before December 15, 2007.
$100 per person discount if 3 people share a room.
5% early booking discount if booked and paid for by Novenber 20, 2007, or
2.5% early booking discount if booked and paid for by February 20, 2008 if tour is still available.
Additional 5% discount if you book an additional tour.
Additional 5% discount if you have a group of 5 people or more booked on the tour.
5% frequent traveler discount if you have booked a tour with me in the previous 2 years.
Tour of Russia and the Baltic Countries - What's Included
St. Petersburg: Sightseeing tour including the Nevsky Prospekt, St. Isaac's Cathedral and the Statue of St. Peter the Great, visit of the St. Peter and Paul fortress plus a highlight visit to the Hermitage Museum.
Novgorod: Orientation including the 'Kremlin' Fort.
Tver: See the Volga River.
Moscow: Sightseeing including St. Basil's Cathedral, Red Square and a visit to the Kremlin.
Minsk: Orientation tour including the Hero's Hill Monument.
Vilnius: Sightseeing tour includes the Gediminas Square and Tower. Visit the courtyards of the Jesuit University and more.
Siauliai: Visit the 'Hill of Crosses'.
Riga: Sightseeing tour including a visit to St. John's Church and Dom Cathedral. See the State Art Museum.
Tallinn: Sightseeing explores the old Hanseatic Quarter and Luhike Jalq Gate. Visit the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
Helsinki: Sightseeing including Finlandia Hall, the Senate and Market Squares and the Russian church.
Scenic drives through the Karelian Forests and traditional Russian villages between Novgorod and Moscow, across the plains of White Russia.
A welcome dinner and drink with your Tour Director in Helsinki
2 full Scandinavian breakfast in Helsinki and full breakfasts daily
12 Buffet breakfasts
2 lunches in Russia
8 three-course dinners
25 meals in total (see day-by-day itinerary)
First Class Travel Highlights
The services of a professional multi-lingual Tour Director.
A qualified local city guide in Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn.
Chauffeur driven luxury air-conditioned motorcoaches with reclining seats and washroom.
Ferry across the Gulf of Finland.
You'll stay in twin-bedded rooms with private facilities.
All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes included.
A stylish travel bag and wallet containing tour documents and helpful information.
Free airport transfer from Helsinki Airport to your hotel on the day of arrival June 27, 2008 are available at 10.00 AM, 2.00 PM, 4.00 PM & 5.30 PM.
Free airport transfer from your hotel on the day of departure July 12, 2008 are available at 7.00 AM & 12.30 PM.
Tour of Russia and the Baltic Countries - Optional Excursions
HEL4 - HELSINKI. Kazaka Dinner
Helsinki’s Russian restaurants are featured in every ‘Good Food Guide’ to the Baltic. Tonight we have seats reserved to enjoy the specialities of the house in an authentic setting. The atmosphere is warm and friendly and the cuisine is superb.52 (€)
LAT1 - RIGA. Open Air Museum at Bergi
One of the showpieces of Latvia’s cultural heritage is the ethnographic open air museum, situated in a pine forest on the banks of the Jugla Lake, some 90 authentic and traditional buildings – farmhouses, windmills, fishermen’s houses and churches have been rebuilt here, a typical local lunch is included. 46 (€)
LIT1 - TRAKAI. Trakai Castle and Town
This morning we visit the old Lithuanian capital of Trakai with its beautifully set lakeside castle. Our guided visit shows us Lithuania’s most famous and photographed castle which has been painstakingly restored to give an insight into the former grandeur and turbulent history of the Grand Duchy. The peninsular is dotted with old wooden cottages, many of them built by the Karaites, a sect originating in Baghdad. Later a chance to shop for local crafts in Trakai. 41 (€)
LIT2 - VILNIUS. Vilnius Folklore Lunch
Experience a traditional Lithuanian lunch of local specialities whilst enjoying a Folklore show in lovely surroundings. 55 (€)
RUS1 - ST. PETERSBURG. Evening Canal Cruise
Soak up the atmosphere, romance and lights of this unique and beautiful city known as ‘the Venice of the North’. An evening cruise through the canals and River Neva in the lingering twilight transforms the city into a magical place that has inspired generations of artists - a photographer’s dream. Sip champagne as the city drifts by! A wonderful introduction to the former imperial capital. 42 (€)
RUS13 - MOSCOW. Zagorsk
Our excursion takes us to Zagorsk, renowned as a centre of ancient Russian art and architecture. For centuries it served as the religious capital of Russia and place of pilgrimage for the faithful of the Russian Orthodox creed. Within the old walled city we see the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra, a working monastery where the Orthodox faith was tolerated by the State and kept alive even during the “years of atheism”. A chance to browse at some of the locally made Russian handicrafts, wooden toys and matryoshka dolls on sale at the local market. 45 (€)
RUS15 - ST. PETERSBURG. Twilight of the Romanovs
This unforgettable haunting visit takes us through the opulent splendour of the home of the pre-Revolutionary Russia’s foremost noble family the Yusupov’s. It was here in the cellar, on the night of December 16th, 1916, only 3 months prior to the fateful February Revolution, that Felix Yusupov and members of the Tsarist court conspired and murdered the infamous Rasputin, to finally put an end to his public scandals and influence over the Romanovs. Our tour is concluded with a visit to Peter and Paul’s Fortress, built by Peter the Great as one of the first and most important buildings in St. Petersburg and used as a prison before the revolution. At the heart of the Fortress lies the Cathedral, where many Tsars are buried. Recently restored it reveals the grandeur of the Russian Orthodox Church. 44 (€)
RUS16 - MOSCOW. War & Peace
There are events in every country’s history that remain fixed in the soul of a nation. Such were the events of Borodino, as immortalised by Tolstoy in his epic. First we visit the historic Borodino Panorama Exhibition which brings to life the decisive events of 1812 accompanied by special sound effects reproducing the battle sounds of the 19th century. We then go to the awe inspiring memorial complex inaugurated for the 50th anniversary of World War II, built not by chance on the very spot Napoleon vainly awaited the keys to Moscow. Finally, on to the famous Arbat, Montmartre of Moscow. Your chance to shop for matryoshkas and Russian souvenirs, or just relax and watch the street artists and life from a pavement café. 40 (€)
RUS17 - ST. PETERSBURG. Russian Folklore Evening
A chance to attend one of the best Russian Folklore programmes in St. Petersburg. The show includes Cossack dances, songs, instruments and costumes from around Russia, during the intermission Russian champagne and vodka are sampled, an unforgettable experience. 42 (€)
RUS18 - ST. PETERSBURG. Ballet
An opportunity to attend a performance of a Russian ballet at one of St. Petersburg’s traditional tsarist-time theatres. (Tickets subject to availability) 55.00 - 64.00 (Depending on Ballet Company)
RUS21 - MOSCOW. Treasures of the Kremlin
An opportunity to visit the interior of the Kremlin, not only Moscow’s historic and religious heart, but also Russia’s political inner sanctum. Within this stronghold we will see some of Russia’s most important Cathedrals, the world’s largest cannon and the emperor bell, before our reserved visit to the Armory Chamber – the treasure chamber of the Tsars. See the diamonds of Catherine the Great, her golden gowns, the imperial carriages studded with precious stones and gold, jewelled thrones and hundreds of spectacular, priceless items collected by the Romanov Dynasty. 55 (€)
RUS3 - ST. PETERSBURG. Petrodvorets (Peterhof)
The former summer residence of Tsar Peter the Great was his Russian recreation of Versailles. It is famed for its palaces, extensive gardens, terraces of gilded statues and fountain cascades on the Gulf of Finland. Relax and enjoy the elegant atmosphere of these baroque gardens and palaces on our visit. 42 (€)
RUS4 - ST. PETERSBURG. Pushkin or Pavlovsk
Whilst in St. Petersburg a trip to Tsarskoe Selo is a must for every visitor. The Romanovs spared no expense on their opulent summer retreats, now gems of Russian art, combining outstanding architecture, splendid parks and palaces. Miraculously restored from the ravages of Nazi occupation and destruction, work like the fairy-tale Aber Room can once again be seen. The choice of palace is subject to availability. 42 (€)
RUS7 - MOSCOW. Metro and Red Square by Night
Take a surprise journey through the underground Palaces of the famous Moscow Metro. Tonight we show you some of the most beautiful stations decorated with marble, stained glass, mosaics and chandeliers. 25 (€)
Please call me at (323) 650-5112 to book this tour before it fills up.
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