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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 $2,950 per person

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.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. 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):WR
    hotel:Vacation Inn City Center
  3. 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):SB
    hotel:Radisson Sonya
  4. 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 Hermitage Museum - a highlight of any trip to Russia.

    meal(s):BB
  5. 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.
    meal(s):BB
  6. Take a train across part of the vast Russian landscape towards the capital city. Dine tonight at your hotel.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Radisson Blu Belorussakaya
  7. 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.
    meal(s):BB
  8. 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.
    meal(s):BB
  9. 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.
    meal(s):BB, RM, D
    hotel:Hilton Doubletree
  10. 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.
    meal(s):BB, BG
  11. 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.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Radisson Blu Lietuva
  12. 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):BB, D
    hotel:Radisson Blu Latvija
  13. 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.
    meal(s):BB
  14. 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 specialties at a local restaurant.
    meal(s):BB, RM
    hotel:Radisson Blu Olumpia
  15. 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 traveling companions for a special Farewell Dinner this evening.
    meal(s):BB, FD
    hotel:Scandic Grand Marina
  16. Say goodbye to newfound friends at the end of your memorable and exciting trip. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.
    meal(s):SB
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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.

  • 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 lunch, 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
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
27 May 17 11 Jun 17 checkmark $3,650pp Call 1-877-622-9109
10 Jun 17 25 Jun 17 checkmark $3,650pp Call 1-877-622-9109
24 Jun 17 9 Jul 17 checkmark $3,650pp Request Quote Book Now
1 Jul 17 16 Jul 17 checkmark $3,575pp Request Quote Book Now
8 Jul 17 23 Jul 17 checkmark $3,575pp Request Quote Book Now
15 Jul 17 30 Jul 17 checkmark $3,450pp Request Quote
22 Jul 17 6 Aug 17 checkmark $3,450pp Request Quote
29 Jul 17 13 Aug 17 checkmark $3,450$2,950pp Last Minute DealPromo Code: PPLMDE31 Call 1-877-622-9109 Book Now
5 Aug 17 20 Aug 17 checkmark $3,450pp Request Quote Book Now
26 Aug 17 10 Sep 17 checkmark $3,495pp Request Quote
9 Sep 17 24 Sep 17 checkmark $3,495pp Request Quote
16 Sep 17 1 Oct 17 checkmark $3,495pp Request Quote Book Now
23 Sep 17 8 Oct 17 checkmark $3,495pp 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 $870 p.p.

Triple Discount: $280 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $107 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.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

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.

  • 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 48 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.

Reviews

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

Minsk

Saint Elizabeth Convent

Adult Price: € 36

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.

Moscow

Russian Panorama Experience

Adult Price: € 43

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

Adult Price: € 50

68 km from Moscow, Sergiyev Posad (known as Zagorsk in the Soviet era) is the centre 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

Adult Price: € 30

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

Adult Price: € 49

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.

Riga

Bergi Open Air Museum Visit and Lunch

Adult Price: € 49

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

Adult Price: € 44

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

Adult Price: € 48

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

Adult Price: € 44

Your Local Specialist will offer a guided tour of the interiors of two iconic churches. The Church of the Saviour 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

Adult Price: € 49

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

Adult Price: € 84

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.

Vilnius

Trakai Castle And Town

Adult Price: € 43

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

Adult Price: € 60

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

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