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Best of Finland, Russia & the Baltic States

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Comfortable
Tallin Old Town
Tour Style: First Class
16 Days from $3,746 per person

Gain fascinating insights into the heritage of the Tsars and spend days seeing the magnificent sights of Moscow, celebrating the indomitable spirit of Mother Russia along the way. You'll also wander through the ancient Baltic capitals of Riga, Vilnius and Minsk and the beautifully preserved streets of Talinn's Haseatic Quarter.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. On arrival at Helsinki Airport transfers will operate at 10am, 2pm and 4pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel.
    Welcome to Helsinki, the ever-cool capital of Finland, before meeting your Travel Director and fellow travel companions for a Welcome Reception and evening orientation drive to see the city's iconic sights.

    hotel:Holiday Inn City Centre
  3. Follow the beautiful shoreline along the Gulf of Finland, crossing the border into Russia. We journey through the lush forests of Karela to the Imperial city of St. Petersburg – our home for the next three nights. You will have the opportunity to admire the 'Venice of the North' by night, taking to its waters and meandering through the city's canals by boat, or perhaps indulge in the delicious flavors of traditional stolle pie while you wander through the city's quaint cobblestone lanes.
    hotel:Holiday Inn Moskovskye Vorota
  4. Join a Local Specialist this morning to explore the city's iconic sights including the Tsar's Winter Palace, Nevsky Prospekt, St. Isaac's Cathedral and the Statue of Peter the Great, whose inspired vision for this city, saw it evolve into an elegant metropolis to rival even the most sophisticated of European capitals. Visit the Peter and Paul Fortress, built to protect the city against invading forces in the 18th century, and the spectacular Hermitage Museum to see one of the world's largest and most valuable art collections – the exquisite works of da Vinci, Rembrandt and Vermeer hang proudly on its magnificent Baroque and Rococo walls.
  5. Spend the day exploring the grand boulevards of St. Petersburg, admiring the ornate golden domes and colorful mosaics of cathedrals and churches. Consider joining an Optional Experience to visit Peter the Great's summer residence at Peterhof, then spend your evening at leisure.
  6. Board a high speed Sapsan train this morning across the vast Russian landscape to the capital city. Delve into the tumultuous and captivating history of an ancient city that oozes grandeur. This evening we dine at our hotel.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Azimut Olympic
  7. Join a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour of the imposing Red Square. See the fairy-tale spires of St. Basil's Cathedral before venturing within the red walls of the Kremlin for a memorable visit to the seat of Russian power.
  8. Soak up the kofe culture of Moscow, before taking to its streets to learn about its triumphs and defeats. Consider an Optional Experience to the Tsar's Treasury Chamber or St. Sergius Monastery and its fascinating handicraft market.
  9. Pass near the bloody battlefields of Borodino and stop for a Regional Meal lunch in the Smolensk region. We cross the border and journey to Minsk, where tonight we dine on traditional cuisine at our hotel.
    meal(s):BB, RM, D
    hotel:Hilton Double Tree
  10. This morning we join our Local Specialist to see the iconic sights of Minsk, including the Hero City Memorial built to commemorate the city's status as one of the Hero Cities of the former Soviet Union. Consider a visit to the Saint Elizabeth Convent during your free afternoon to see its beautiful stained glass and religious icon workshop. This evening join Anatolij and his family in their Belarus farmstead for a traditional Be My Guest dinner and enjoy rousing accordion choruses and, of course, a few shots.
    meal(s):BB, BG
  11. We journey west to Vilnius. Join a Local Specialist on a leisurely tour past the city's iconic sights. See the 16th century Bishop's Palace and the University, the oldest university in the Baltics. Explore the Baroque Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. Then, walk to the Gates of Dawn, the Carmelite Church of St. Theresa and former Jewish Ghetto, passing the Cathedral, new Royal Palace excavations and the site of the synagogue destroyed during World War II.
    hotel:Crowne Plaza
  12. Enjoy a leisurely morning in Vilnius, departing the city after lunch. Our first stop is the extraordinary Hill of Crosses at Siauliai, the site of thousands of crosses, each mysteriously claiming its place since the mid-19th century. We arrive in the ancient city of Riga later where we will spend the next two nights. This evening, we dine in our hotel before taking to the streets to explore the Latvian capital's inspiring Gothic spires.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Mercure Centre
  13. Meander through the winding medieval streets of Riga's UNESCO-listed Old Town – with one of the world's finest collections of art nouveau buildings and a fascinating Hanseatic trade history which we will have an opportunity to explore during a sightseeing and walking tour with a Local Specialist. Spend the rest of the day exploring the sights on your terms.
  14. We follow the Gulf of Riga north into Estonia, and travel via Parnu, a popular beach resort to the fairy-tale capital of Tallinn. Explore the beautifully preserved streets of Tallinn's old Hanseatic Quarter with a Local Specialist. See its 15th century Luhike Jalg Gate and visit Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, a symbol of Soviet power with its magnificent gold-plated dome. This evening join your companions for a Regional Meal celebrating delicious Estonian flavors at a local restaurant.
    meal(s):BB, RM
    hotel:Original Sokos Viru
  15. We board a ferry this morning, crossing the sea to Helsinki where we'll meet a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour past Finlandia Hall, the Senate and Market Squares, and café-lined Esplanade. This evening we join our travel companions for a special Farewell Dinner.
    meal(s):BB, FD
    hotel:Scandic Grand Marina
  16. We say a fond farewell to newfound friends at the end of a memorable trip. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Helsinki Airport at 7 am and 12 noon. Conditions apply.


30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

Add air to your reservation

Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

Important Visa Information

Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements. Visas cannot be issued upon entry to the country.
  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
21 Apr 18 6 May 18 checkmark $4,050$3,746pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
28 Apr 18 13 May 18 $4,050$3,746pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
5 May 18 20 May 18 checkmark $4,050pp Request Quote Book Now
12 May 18 27 May 18 checkmark $4,175$3,862pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
26 May 18 10 Jun 18 checkmark $4,175pp Request Quote Book Now
2 Jun 18 17 Jun 18 checkmark $4,175pp Call 1-877-622-9109
14 Jul 18 29 Jul 18 checkmark $4,050pp Call 1-877-622-9109
21 Jul 18 5 Aug 18 checkmark $4,050pp Call 1-877-622-9109
28 Jul 18 12 Aug 18 checkmark $4,050$3,746pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
4 Aug 18 19 Aug 18 checkmark $4,050pp Call 1-877-622-9109
11 Aug 18 26 Aug 18 $4,050$3,746pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
18 Aug 18 2 Sep 18 $4,050$3,746pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
25 Aug 18 9 Sep 18 checkmark $4,050pp Call 1-877-622-9109
1 Sep 18 16 Sep 18 $4,050$3,746pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
8 Sep 18 23 Sep 18 checkmark $4,050$3,746pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
15 Sep 18 30 Sep 18 checkmark $4,050$3,746pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
22 Sep 18 7 Oct 18 $4,050$3,746pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
29 Sep 18 14 Oct 18 $4,050$3,746pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $1,000 p.p.

Triple Room Discount: $200 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $146 per person.

Airport transfers: On arrival at Helsinki Airport transfers will operate at 10:00 am, 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Helsinki Airport at 7:00 am and 12:00 noon.

Important Visa Information: Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your travel specialist at the time of booking to assess your specific requirements. Visas cannot be issued at borders in Europe.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements. Visas cannot be issued upon entry to the country. 

  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips

Meal Summary

14 nights, 14 hot buffet breakfasts, 1 Regional Meal lunch, 7 dinners, On-trip transport, .

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • Anatolij and his family welcome you to their Belarus farmstead for a traditional dinner, rousing accordion choruses and, of course, a few shots of vodka

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Minsk, Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn and Helsinki

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

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


Sunday, September 17, 2017
Service rating : Overall ok, but need more dinners, optional trips included in package.
Vacation : Overall ok, but need more dinners and optional trips included in package.
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Finland, Russia & the Baltics must have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. Travelers visiting Russia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will also need an entry visa.  We will send you application forms to complete to obtain your visa prior to departure. Visa costs and entry requirements can change at any time. Please visit travel.state.gov to learn more. No visa is needed to visit Finland. 

  • The currency in Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is the Euro, in Russia is the Ruble, and in Belarus is the Belarusian Ruble. While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive, you’ll usually find better exchange rates in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • Russian food is rich and hearty, with a strong preference toward soups, herring, pickled vegetables, savory pancakes and rye breads. Try specialties such as beef stroganoff, borscht soup (beetroot soup) and pelmeni (meat dumplings). Russians love sweets and pride themselves on their desserts, especially the traditional ponchiki (hot sugared doughnuts). Vodka is popular and is often served straight or can be flavored with herbs and spices.

    Scandinavian cuisine is rich and hearty.  Try a traditional ‘smørgasbord’ with a selection of meat, fish, salads, hot dishes, puddings and cheeses. Sample dishes prepared with a variety of seafood including smoked salmon, cod, herring, sardines and mackerel. Popular meats include reindeer, lamb and fowl. Coffee and milk are very popular, along with lager. Aquavit is the local spirit, and is usually served chilled. Wines and other spirits are imported products and are very expensive.

  • Russia’s continental climate varies dramatically, with temperatures reaching the high 80s during summer heat waves and normally plummeting to single digits during winter months. We suggest bringing a variety of clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Tipping has become more common throughout Eastern Europe in recent years.  In Russia, it’s acceptable to leave 5-15 percent gratuity when dining out if a service fee has not already been added to your bill. It’s always a good idea to tip in cash and also important to note that some restaurants in Russia will not accept credit cards.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Optional Experiences are subject to change and seasonal availability. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip and pricing. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can only be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.


Saint Elizabeth Convent

A rare opportunity to visit a working convent, where the sisters provide spiritual and social help to to rehabilitate members of the local community. You’ll take a guided tour to 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.


Russian Panorama Experience

Learn more about Russia's military and contemporary history on this guided tour, led by your Local Specialist. We'll visit the Borodino Panorama, home to a large-scale, multi-sensory diorama. This moving work of art depicts the most decisive moment of the Battle of Borodino, which took place between Russia and Napoleon's Grand Army in 1812. We'll also walk through Novodevichy Memorial Park, the final resting place of Checkhov and Boris Yeltsin.

Sergiyev Posad - The Real Russia

68 km from Moscow, Sergiyev Posad (known as Zagorsk in the Soviet era) is the center of the Orthodox faith and Russia's most important pilgrimage site. You'll visit recently-renovated Troitse-Sergiieyeva Lavra, a working monastery, unique in the fact that it still operated during the atheist years of Communist rule. You'll also have time to browse the markets, where you might like to buy locally-crafted lacquer boxes or Matryoshka dolls.

Metro And Red Square By Night

Often cited as the most beautiful subway system in the world, Moscow's grandiose Metro stations are decorated with mosaics, stained glass and bronze statues. They're also one of the few remaining places featuring Communist iconography. We'll finish our guided visit with a walk through Red Square, where the evening illuminations should provide enviable photo opportunities.

Treasures Of The Tsars

You'll have a opportunity to skip the queues and take a guided tour of the Treasure Chamber of the Russian Tsars - one of the most important museums in Russia due to its unique collection. You’ll see priceless Faberge eggs and Catherine the Great's diamonds and many gowns. You’ll also discover the Imperial carriages, which are studded with precious stones and gold; coronation thrones; and other one-of-a-kind items from the Romanov Dynasty.

This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.


Bergi Open Air Museum Visit and Lunch

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.

St Petersburg

Venice Of The North Cruise And Champagne

Soak up the atmosphere, romance and lights of this former imperial capital, known as the "Venice of the North". Board a private boat to cruise through the canals and along the River Neva. You'll sip champagne as your Local Specialist provides commentary about the city that has inspired artists for generations.

Russian Folklore Evening

A chance to attend one of the best Russian folklore programs in St. Petersburg. You’ll enjoy a high-energy performance featuring Cossack dances, songs, instruments and costumes from around Russia. During intermission, sample local champagne and vodka. An unforgettable experience!

Imperial Splendours And Architectural Gems

Your Local Specialist will offer a guided tour of the interiors of two iconic churches. The Church of the Savior on the Spilt Blood, built to commemorate the assassination of Tsar Alexander II, has one of the country's most intricate displays of mosaic icons. Additionally, St Isaac's Cathedral is the 4th-largest cathedral in the world. Designed by a French architect, its immense interior is comprised of malachite and other precious materials.

Rasputin And The Romanovs

This two-part tour pays tribute to Russia's noble and royal families and provides an explanation for the collapse of the monarchy. You'll see the opulent interior of Yusupov Palace, one of the grandest noble residences in the country, and learn about the plot to murder the mystic Rasputin. Then, visit the tombs of Tsar Nicholas II and his family at Peter and Paul's Cathedral.

Evening At The Ballet

Adult Price: € 81

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.

This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.

Imperial Summer Residences. Pushkin And Petrodvorets

On this full-day tour, your Local Specialist will take you to the villages of Pushkin and Petrodvorets, where you will visit Catherine's Palace and Peterhof Gardens, respectively. Recently restored, Catherine's Palace is most famous for the fabled and wholly unique Amber Room. Located on the Baltic, Peterhof Gardens are modeled after those at Versailles. Following a guided tour, you'll have time to enjoy a stroll as you marvel at the gilded fountains.

This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.


Trakai Castle And Town

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

Vilnius Folklore Dinner

Savor a hearty Lithuanian dinner of local specialties with us in beautiful surroundings, as we are entertained by a Folklore show.

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