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Scandinavia & The Baltics Tour
TOURCODE: BS3
Duration: 21 Days Countries Visited: 1 Activity Level: 2 Tour Style: Cultural
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Scandinavia & The Baltics Tour

Highlights of the Baltics & Scandinavia
21 Days
TOURCODE: BS3

Vilnius walking tour; Hill of Crosses: compelling memorial; Cosmopolitan Riga; Tallinn: one of Europe's best preserved old towns; Helsinki: 'Daughter of the Baltic'; Stately Stockholm; Norway-in-a-Nutshell: scenic rail journey

Tour Overview
Tour Overview
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Countries Visited: 1 Activity Level: 2 Tour Style: Cultural

 


 

Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices

 

 

Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to below Prices & Dates table.

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Optional Single Supplement: $1277 USD (number of singles limited).



$500 USD DEPOSIT REQUIRED per person
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Full Itinerary
Full Itinerary

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Day 1 Arrive in Vilnius
Arrival in Vilnius, capital of Lithuania.

In 1994 the Old Town of Vilnius was included on UNESCO's World Heritage list. With its diverse architecture and colourful history, Vilnius is a cosmopolitan place, though with just 543,000 inhabitants, it has an almost village-like atmosphere, making it an easy place to get to know.

Overnight in Vilnius.

Included Meal(s): Dinner



Day 2 Vilnius & Trakai
This morning we have a walking tour of Vilnius.

Sweden, Poland, France and Russia have all ruled Vilnius in the past, and today we will witness the influences that this has had on this beautiful city. The Old Town is one of the largest in Europe, with nearly 1,500 historic buildings of note built over several centuries creating a splendid blend of many different architectural styles.

Our walking tour will take us to Cathedral Square in the heart of the city. Inside the cathedral we see the famous chapel of Saint Kazimieras, considered an architectural gem. Rising in the distance behind Cathedral Square is the Gedimino Tower, once part of the 14th century defense system. We will also see the baroque Peter and Paul Church, originally built in the 14th century. The Gates of Dawn, on the eastern side of the Old Town, were one of the original nine gates into the city. The original Gothic defensive wall was once over 2 km (1.5 miles) long. From this remaining gate we will walk down through the streets of the old town. Nearby is the Jewish Quarter, with its cobblestone lanes and hidden courtyards.

While in Vilnius we'll also visit the KGB Museum (the Museum of Genocide Victims). For Lithuanians, the KGB Museum symbolises the 50-year-long Soviet occupation. During World War II it was the site of Gestapo headquarters and later of the KGB. The museum building is as intact as it was in 1991, when the KGB left the premises. You will see KGB rooms authentically furnished and secret KGB spying equipment.

After a full morning and a break for lunch, we we'll travel to Trakai, a former capital of Lithuania. The town, situated on the shores of several lakes, has two prominent castles built to fend off German knights in the 14th century. Trakai is famous for its population of Kara-Kalpak people. Brought to Trakai from the Crimean Peninsula by the Grand Duke Vytautas in the late 14th century, the Kara-Kalpak still hold their Jewish religious services in the yellow Kinessa, built in 1812. Our tour here includes a visit to the Trakai Historical Museum, housed within the main rooms of Trakai's island castle.

Overnight in Vilnius.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 3 Vilnius - Siauliai, Lithuania - Rundale Palace, Lativia - Riga
Today we trave to the Hill of Crosses, located just north of the small industrial city of Siauliai. Siauliai is the Lithuanian national pilgrimage center, and a city of famous cultural traditions and legends. On a small hill stand thousands of crosses that represent Christian devotion and act as a compelling resistance memorial to the German and Soviet occupation. Today newlyweds often come here after their wedding ceremony to ask for God's blessing.

We then proceed to the border and continue on to Riga stopping at Rundale Palace in time for lunch. We then visit the palace, an architectural pearl created by architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, designer of the Winter Palace in St Petersburg. Construction of the palace was completed only in 1768 and now it is a magnificent sample of baroque style with elements of classicism, with crystal chandeliers, rich stucco moulding, silk wallpaper, collection of paintings, and frescoes by Italian artists. This is the place where leaders of the state, wishing to receive high guests with really regal honours, hosted the royal couple from Denmark when they visited in Latvia.

We continue to Riga.

Overnight in Riga.

Overnight in Riga.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 4 Riga: City Tour
Today we will enjoy a walking tour of the Old Town of Riga, getting us to some of the top sights and giving us a real feel for the city.

Over the last decade Riga has been going through a restoration phase, revitalizing many of its faded art nouveau buildings into pristine gems. While these buildings can be found throughout the central downtown area, the best place to see them is in a neighbourhood of streets centered around Alberta Street. Riga literally has hundreds of buildings in this flamboyant style as it experienced a period of unprecedented wealth at the beginning of the 20th century when art nouveau was all the rage in Europe.

While exploring this part of the city we will visit the Art Nouveau Museum, which is a completely restored art nouveau apartment. Our walk will include a stop at the mighty Freedom Monument, dedicated to those who fought for Latvia’s independence. We will pass by the Latvian National Opera House as well as the Powder Tower. Kalku Street is the main 'semi-pedestrian' thoroughfare, and it slices straight through Old Town leading us to Livu Square, created after the destruction caused by World War II. Today this is one of the Old Town’s most bright and cheerful corners. Bastion Hill Park runs along the northeastern edge of the city. Once the old city’s fortifications, Bastion Hill was replaced with this romantic park full of gardens, canals, and ornate bridges. The park makes a great transition space between downtown Riga and the historic center.

Working our way through the backstreets of the Old Town we come to a fixture of Riga’s skyline, St. Peter’s Church. The tallest church in the city, this large Gothic church dates back to 1209, although little of the original church is actually left. Another of Riga’s enchanting city squares is the Dome Square which sits out below the impressive Riga Cathedral. Throughout the city of Riga there are a lot of exceptionally well-preserved buildings, but the Three Brothers are quite unique in that they are the oldest residential buildings in the city. These three adjoining buildings date from between the 15th to 17th centuries and are home to local craftsmen. We will pass by Riga Castle, which today houses the offices of the Latvian president.

One of the last remaining segments of the city’s defenses is the Swedish Gate, a small gateway through what looks like a row of traditional residences. We will stop at the Town Hall Square to see the iconic House of the Blackheads where we admire the stunning design of its facade. Built for members of a merchant guild known as the Blackheads in the 14th Century, this is one of Riga’s most picturesque landmarks.

This afternoon is yours free to explore.

Overnight in Riga.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 5 Riga: City Touring
Today we will get to some of the landmarks which lie outside the city’s Old Town, including a drive through modern Riga.

We will start with a visit to the massive Central Market. This visit will help to give you a sense of what local life is like in today's Riga. This bustling indoor & outdoor market focuses on several large 1920s pavilions and the area around them. Here we discover plenty of local Latvian goods, from meats and fish to loads of other locally grown produce.

We continue with a panoramic drive around Riga that will take in some of the most famous sights. Our route along the embankment of the River Daugava provides us with wonderful views of the city, and we will drive through the modern part of the city where we see the University Building, the Academy of Arts and the central train station. Along Riga’s riverfront we will come to the Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum which details the city’s history of the Holocaust. Set inside an outdoor courtyard, this museum details what happened to the local Jewish population during the city’s Nazi occupation. The exhibits here focus on individuals' stories and photographs.

Built during Latvia’s period under Soviet rule, the towering figure of the Latvian Academy of Sciences is hard to miss. Here we will take the elevator up to its observation deck for great views of Riga with the church tower visible amongst the skyline.

You will have some free time this afternoon before our evening meal.

Overnight in Riga.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 6 Riga, Latvia - Tallinn, Estonia
This morning we depart Riga for Tallinn, making a lunch stop in Parnu, "the Summer Capital of Estonia." From the middle of the 19th century, Parnu developed as a resort town with its good beaches and relatively good weather. During the Soviet era, Parnu's guesthouses, inns and hotels were converted to sanatoria. We continue to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.

Historically, Tallinn has been attacked, sacked, razed and pillaged on numerous occasions. Although extensively bombed by Soviet air forces during the latter stages of World War II, much of the medieval Old Town still retains its charm. The Tallinn Old Town became a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1997.

Overnight in Tallinn.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 7 Tallinn: City Tour
Today we have a guided WALKING tour of this important Baltic Sea harbour city. We begin with a visit to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, built in the nineteenth century. The cathedral dominates the Lossi Plats, and is an imposing testament to the Russian imperialist influence. We also visit the Dominican Monastery, which played an important role in bringing Christianity to Estonia. We have the opportunity to visit the Toompea Castle site, a 13th century castle where the current parliament of Estonia holds its sessions. In the immediate area we will also visit the Toomkirik Lutheran cathedral, founded in 1233, with its impressive carved tombs inside.

This afternoon you will have some free time to stroll through the picturesque Old Town with its jumble of medieval buildings, turrets and walls. The market in town is also very colourful and lively.

Fans of modern architecture and/or libraries may enjoy a visit to the Oodi Helsinki Library, which occupies a hugely significant site in central Helsinki: facing the steps of the Finnish parliament building. The upper surface of the canopy structure has been used to create a large public terrace, from which one can look directly over the square to the steps and main entrance of parliament. The terrace doubles the amount of public outdoor space provided for library visitors and creates a new destination where people can meet and observe the city below.

For passengers ending their journey in Helsinki (ie not continuing to St Petersburg or our Nordic tour), we will be enjoying a farewell dinner.

Overnight in Tallinn.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 8 Tallinn, Estonia - Helsinki, Finland: City Walking Tour
Today we take a fast ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki (HAVE YOUR PASSPORTS HANDY!).

Helsinki is situated at the arrowhead of a peninsula, surrounded by an archipelago of 315 islands, perfectly placed between its two great trading cousins, Stockholm and Moscow. From a European perspective, Helsinki is relatively young (450 years), yet it is Finland's sixth-oldest town. The Swedes, who extended their empire into Finland in 1155, founded the city of 'Helsingfors' (the name still used by the Swedes) in 1550 when King Gustav Vasa needed a site for a strategic, competitively placed trading port. It languished as a coastal backwater until Imperialist Russia invaded in 1809.

On arrival we'll have a walking tour of Helsinki.*

* PLEASE NOTE: Your activities in Helsinki today will vary depending on what tour option you have chosen. Those travellers who are ending their trip here or continuing to St Petersburg tomorrow will enjoy a leisurely walking tour of Helsinki today. Travellers who are continuing on our Nordic Explorer itinerary will have their Helsinki touring tomorrow and an afternoon at leisure today (you are welcome to join today but some sightseeing will be repeated tomorrow).

Due to the leisurely nature of our afternoon and the possibility of an early departure for some travellers tomorrow, we do not include dinner this evening. Your Tour Leader will help you plan your afternoon/evening.

Overnight in Helsinki.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast



Day 9 Helsinki: City Tour
Affectionately known as the 'Daughter of the Baltic', Helsinki is sited at the arrowhead of a peninsula, surrounded by an archipelago of 315 islands, perfectly placed between its two great trading cousins, Stockholm and Moscow. In a European perspective, Helsinki is relatively young (450 years), yet it is Finland's sixth-oldest town. The Swedes, who extended their empire into Finland in 1155, founded the city of 'Helsingfors' (the name still used by the Swedes) in 1550 when King Gustav Vasa needed a site for a strategic, competitively placed trading port. It languished as a coastal backwater until Imperialist Russia invaded in 1809.

Today we will enjoy a comprehensive walking tour taking in the most important and interesting parts of Helsinki, such as the historical centre and the diplomatic quarters, the Presidential Palace, City Hall, the Parliament building, Finlandia Hall and the Opera House. We stop at Senate Square, and, if possible, Temppeliaukio Church. During the afternoon you can explore the busy market place or the many souvenir shops close to the harbour.

Overnight in Helsinki.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 10 Free time in Helsinki / Ferry to Sweden
Today you will have a free day to explore Helsinki. Helsinki is small and intimate; lively but not bustling. Its size makes it easy to walk around and cafes, markets, and the nearby islands are just a few of its summer delights.

This evening we will board our overnight ferry to Stockholm. Our overnight ferries feature modern facilities, restaurants, duty-free shopping, and cozy cabins with low beds (ie not bunks) and en-suite washroom.

Overnight ferry.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 11 Stockholm: City Tour
After our morning arrival we check into our hotel before commencing with our walking tour of the Old City. With its location on the east coast of Sweden at the mouth of Lake Malaren, by the Stockholm archipelago, it is widely renowned for its beauty. Three islands make up the oldest part of Stockholm -- Riddarholmen, Staden and Helgeandsholmen -- the whole history-riddled mass a cluster of seventeenth- and eighteen-century Renaissance buildings backed by narrow medieval alleys. 
 
It takes only a matter of seconds to cross the bridge onto Riddarholm, where the Riddarholmskyrkan Church is located. Originally a Franciscan monastery, for over six centuries the church has been the burial place of Swedish royalty. 
 
Our walk around the island will take us to the back of the church for stunning views of Stadshuset, the City Hall and Lake Malaren. Nearby is the island Langholmen where in the winter people skate and even take their dogs for walks on the ice, as the water freezes solid right up to the bridges and beyond.
 
We will continue to the City Hall, where we will view both the controversial Blue Hall and the Golden Chamber with its 18 million mosaic tiles, known to the entire world from the annual traditional Nobel Prize banquets.

Overnight in Stockholm.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 12 Stockholm: Boat Tour & Vasa Ship Museum
This morning we enjoy a sightseeing tour by boat (50 minutes) on which we discover the history of Stockholm. The tour starts at the City Hall and takes us around the second largest island in the city, Kungsholmen. We also pass the historical islands of Långholmen and Reimersholme. Travelling through narrow canals, past leafy shorelines, and many interesting buildings, you will learn all about the history of this beautiful city and its development from early industrial to modern times.

After our cruise we'll visit the Vasa Ship Museum. The Vasa warship left the pier by the Old Town in 1628 for her maiden voyage, but sank right in the harbour of Stockholm after just a few minutes of sailing. In 1961, after 333 years at the bottom of the sea the ship was salvaged, and the museum was established.

The balance of your day is free day in Stockholm. Stockholm is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful national capitals in the world. The Old Town is particularly spectacular, and walking around the city's waterways and parks is a glorious way to spend your afternoon.

Overnight in Stockholm.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 13 Stockholm, Sweden - Copenhagen, Denmark
Today we fly to Copenhagen.

Upon arrival we'll visit the Carlsberg Glyptotek Art Museum. This is one of Copenhagen's most important museums, thanks to its exquisite antiquities, Gauguins and Rodins. Surrounding its lush indoor garden, a series of nooks and chambers houses works by Degas and other Impressionists, plus an extensive assemblage of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and French sculpture, not to mention the best collection of Etruscan art outside Italy and Europe's finest collection of Roman portraits. After a brief orientation, you will be free to explore on your own.

Overnight in Copenhagen.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 14 Copenhagen: City Tour
Today we kick off our Copenhagen touring with a one-hour historical canal boat tour, which provides an excellent introduction to our day. The trip includes a visit to the statue of the Little Mermaid on the Angelina promenade. The 1913 statue commemorates Hans Christian Anderson's lovelorn creation, and is the subject of hundreds of travel posters. Donated to the city by Carl Jacobsen, the son of the founder of Carlsberg Breweries, the innocent waif has also been the subject of some cruel practical jokes, including decapitation and the loss of an arm, but she is currently in one piece.
  
After lunch we start our walking tour of Copenhagen, first to Rosenborg Castle, the home of the builder-king Christian the Fourth. We pass through some beautiful gardens en route and see a statue of Hans Christian Anderson. At Rosenborg Castle there are three floors to visit, as well as a basement vault where the Danish Crown Jewels are kept.
 
NOTE: The order of Copenhagen sightseeing may depending on weather and other logistical considerations.
 
Overnight in Copenhagen.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 15 Copenhagen: City Tour - Overnight Ferry
Today we continue our tour of historic Copenhagen and visit Christianborg Castle. Surrounded by canals on three sides, the massive granite castle is where the queen officially received guests. Even though the first two castles on the site were burned, Christiansborg remains an impressive Baroque compound, even by European standards.

If time permits prior to our ferry, you may choose to visit the National Museum, with its permanent collections pertaining to Danish history as well as several very good ethnological rooms.

This evening we board our evening ferry for the overnight journey to Oslo. Our route takes us along the coast of Denmark and the body of water that separates the North Sea from the Baltic and into Norwegian waters. Our cabins are small but comfortable with ensuite facilities. These vessels are large and well appointed with amenities that include restaurants, shops, maybe even a cinema and swimming pool.
 
Overnight ferry.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 16 Arrival in Oslo: City Walking Tour
In the early morning we will enter the Oslo Fjord and the last 1.5 hours before arrival should be enjoyed on deck with cameras ready to go. The scenery is enchanting, with the old fortress at Droebak and the scattered islands full of summer homes enjoyed by the Norwegians. The ship will dock right down town and a bus/guide will be waiting to commence our sightseeing program.*

Upon disembarkation, our guide will conduct a walking tour of Oslo’s centre. Our tour includes a visit to the Opera House, where our the guide can point out the Munch Museum, which you can visit on your own this afternoon. We visit the Akershus Fortress for some nice views of Oslo, and the City Hall primarily to view the paintings inside. From City Hall the guide will also point out the National Museum -- 'the best new art gallery in Scandinavia' -- and definitely a place where you could spend the better part of your free time after the formal guided part of today's program.

The balance of the day is yours to spend at leisure, visiting the museums mentioned above and possibly strolling down the main street of Carl Johan, enjoying the activity in a city that comes alive during the summer months.

* Please note that our Oslo hotel rooms may NOT be ready for us this early in the day. Your large baggage will be securely stored; you might want to prepare your daypack ahead of time.

Overnight in Oslo.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 17 Oslo: Area Sightseeing
Today we'll visit one of Oslo's most celebrated and popular cultural targets, the Vigelandsparken, an open-air sculpture park which, along with the Vigeland Museum, commemorates a modern Norwegian sculptor of world renown, Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943).

Next is the Viking Ship Museum (please note that this museum has been intermittently closed for renovations and may not be available at the time of our tour), housing the three ships found buried along the Oslo Fjord, all of them nearly 1,200 years old, followed by a visit to the Norwegian Folk Museum, where a collection of city homes, farm buildings, one of the famous Stave Churches give you a overview of Norway, its culture, and history.

We also visit the Fram and Kon-Tiki museums, the latter of which houses the balsa raft used by Thor Heyerdal and his international crew in 1962. They sailed from Peru to Polynesia to confirm his theory that the first Polynesians originally came from Peru. The Fram Museum Museum tells the story of Norwegian polar exploration.

We return to the city and the Norwegian Folk Museum, where a collection of city homes, farm buildings, one of the famous Stave Churches give you a overview of Norway, its culture, and history.

Overnight in Oslo.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 18 Oslo - Flamsbana Railway - Gudvangen - Stalheim
An early departure takes us to Oslo's train station where we will catch a +/- 08:00 departure to Flam via Myrdal where we connect to the Famous Flamsbana, the Flam Railway, one of the world's most spectacular rail journeys.

In 1923 work was started on the separate railway line from Myrdal down sheer cliffs to Flam. Since the tunnels were done by hand, the first of the track wasn't put down until autumn 1936. By 1940 the line was opened and run first by steam engines. Electric engines took over in 1944. It takes about an hour to cover 20 km (12 miles) of track on the Flamsbana train. Eighteen of the 20 tunnels were chiseled out by hand which took one month of hard labour for each meter excavated. To avoid risk from avalanches, the railway criss-crosses the river and the bottom of the valley three times. Then, instead of building bridges, the river was routed through a tunnel under the railway line. Nowhere else in the world do adhesion rail cars on normal tracks have a steeper journey. Almost 80% of the railway line has a gradient of 5.5% (1:18).

At the bottom, we will enjoy the scenic landscape of the Flam Valley and admire the lovely Aurlandfjord, an offshoot of the Sognefjord, the longest in the world.

We will enjoy a break for lunch in Flam and then board a leisurely 2-hour cruise along the narrowest arm of Sognefjord and Aurland fjords. Here we are surrounded by the dramatic West Coast fjord landscape of steep snow-capped mountains (up to 1800 m /6,000 ft) and tumbling waterfalls, sheltered hamlets, and high mountain farms. After this journey we will catch a bus at Gudvangen and continue on to Stalheim, located at the very heart of Western Norway's beautiful fjord region.

Overnight in Stalheim.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 19 Stalheim - Bergen
Before departing Stalheim we'll visit the Stalheim Folkemuseum, which features exhibits of traditional crafts and rustic objects as well as 30 log buildings laid out as a traditional farm.

Departing Stalheim, we travel by windy mountain road to the train station at Voss. From Voss we journey by rail once again via the famous Bergen/Oslo railway line arriving in Bergen followed by a bus transfer to our hotel.

Bergen is widely regarded as one of the more beautiful cities of Norway, and is an ancient city that looms large in Viking sagas. Until the 14th century, it was the seat of the medieval kingdom of Norway. Later the Hanseatic merchants established a major trading post here, holding sway until the 18th century, when the locals reclaimed their trading rights. Bergen has survived many disasters, including several fires and the explosion of a Nazi ship during World War II. It is a town with important traditions in shipping, banking, and insurance, and its modern industries are expanding rapidly. The oldest part of town overlooks the busy harbour; along the harbour's edge are myriad shops, boutiques and the famous open-air fish market.

On arrival we travel to the suburbs of Bergen by coach to Troldhaugen, beloved local composer Edward Grieg's home, before returning to town for dinner and overnight.

Overnight in Bergen.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 20 Bergen: City Tour
Our tour starts in the center of town at Torget, also called Fisketorget or the fish market, where fishermen and farmers deal their goods. Next we walk over to Bryggen, the wharf on the northeast side of Bergen's harbour. The gabled wood warehouses lining the docks mark the site of the city's original settlement. We take time to walk the narrow passageways between buildings; shops and galleries are hidden among the wooden facades.

Our walk continues down the wharf, past the historic buildings to the end of the Holmen promontory and to Bergenhus festning (Bergenhus Fort), which dates from the 13th century; the nearby Rosenkrantztarnet is a 16th century tower residence. Bergen's oldest cathedral is located behind the fort, the 12th century church called Mariakirken. Walking around the back of the church down four blocks to Floybanen, the funicular that runs up and down Floyen, one of the city's most popular hiking mountains -- the view is like no other. At the base of the funicular is an area of crooked streets and hodgepodge architecture where you'll find most of Bergen's antiques shops.

A midday stop at the Fish Market where you can enjoy fresh caught prawns right of the fishing boats, sit down on the quay and enjoy them like the locals do -- peel and load them onto fresh bread, add a bit of lemon and locally made mayonnaise.

Overnight in Bergen.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 21 Depart
Today we depart from Bergen.

BON VOYAGE!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

 


 

Trip Info
Trip Info

 

Inclusions
Breakfast and dinner (hotels & local restaurants) daily. All transport, accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers and for early arriving / late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.


Exclusions
International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuities, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international air taxes (if applicable), excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs and shopping.


Seasonality and Weather
This tour is offered in late spring and mid-summer when temperatures are warm and comfortable, though some summer days can get quite humid, depending on elevation and proximity to water. The region receives precipitation quite even throughout the year, so one must be prepared for a wide variety of conditions. Essentially, weather-wise, this is the best time frame in which to visit; it is also advantageous with very long daylight hours at these latitudes.


Transport and Travel Conditions
Land transport throughout by private air-conditioned motor coach, 24-36 seats depending on ultimate group size (see 'group size'). Though we will have a couple of full bus days there are plenty of stops of interest. Hydrofoil crossing to Finland. Overnight ferry crossings with twin berths and private bath facilities.

Past passengers have commented on the considerable amount of walking on this itinerary. Though we do not rate this tour "strenuous", it is a busy program with numerous city/town walking tours featuring uneven surfaces, inclines and/or stairs. You must be able to spend several hours on your feet per day, walking at a leisurely pace. There may not be porters available in all locations. We also make use of public transit in some cities in order to maximize sightseeing where vehicles are impractical (most people quite enjoy this insight into daily life).

For information on our overnight ferries, see "Accommodation."

If you are unsure of your suitability for this trip, please contact one of our destination specialists.

Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.


Accommodation
Well-located, air- conditioned, mid-range hotels (3-star) throughout. Some are smaller properties (3-4 story) that may not have elevators. All hotels have en suite bath, though most have shower only. Porter service is rarely available; you MUST be independent with your luggage. Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins.

Our overnight ferries feature cozy cabins with low beds (ie not bunks) and en-suite washroom.


Staff and Support
Tour Leader throughout, driver, local step-on guides in various locales.


Group Size
Maximum 18 plus Tour Leader

 


 

Map & Hotels
Map & Hotels

*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Hotel Congress
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Vilnius
Country: Lithuania
The hotel Congress, situated in the very centre of Vilnius, is the ideal place for business travellers and tourists. As one of the oldest hotels of Vilnius, it was constructed ... the banks of the Neris river, next to the legendary Bridge Zaliasis ("Green Bridge") dating back to the 16th century. The hotel is contiguous to the Old Town which can be admired through the bedrooms windows.



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Hotel Vecriga
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Riga
Country: Latvia
With only 14 rooms, this hotel is suitable for our smaller groups. In the very centre of Old City is located one of the coziest Riga hotels – Vecriga (in ... Old Riga). Construction of the building began in the 15th century. Every room has a mini bar, telephone, TV.
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Reval Central
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Tallinn
Country: Estonia
All Hotel Central's guestrooms offer multi-channel and pay TV, free WiFi Internet and blackout curtains. Each room has a minibar, hairdryer and direct-dial telephone. Modern decor with the comforts of ... />
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Sokos Hotel Vakuna
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Helsinki
Country: Finland
Set in the city center, this stylish, contemporary hotel is a 2-minute walk from Helsinki Central train station and 3 km from Linnanmäki amusement park. Bright rooms offer free Wi-Fi, ... TVs, minibars, and tea and coffeemakers.
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Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Stockholm
Country: Sweden
One of the leading hotel choices in Sweden’s capital, the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, Stockholm provides an ideal location in the heart of the city. The hotel, just beside the ... Central Station, is a smart choice for travelers. Along with thoughtful amenities, many of the rooms provide scenic views of the bay area and city hall.
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Radisson SAS Nydalen
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Oslo
Country: Norway
The Radisson SAS Hotel in Nydalen is close to the Oslo city centre and international airport. These fresh and new styled rooms are fully equipped to the highest standards. All ... include minibar, TV, trousers press, electronic safe and high speed Internet.

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Grand Terminus Hotel
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Bergen
Country: Norway
Classical-style Hotel with homey atmosphere; located across from train station; near air terminal/bus depot. There are 116 rooms in this 7-story hotel, all equipped with the most up-to-date amenities. Included ... all rooms are hair dryer, clock radio, tv, trouser press, a/c, non-smoking rooms, in-house movies, mini bar.

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Frequently Asked Questions
ASK A QUESTION
FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
ASK A QUESTION
01. What is the maximum number of participants on a trip?
Most of our tours carry a maximum of 18 participants; some tours (ie hiking tours) top out at 16. In the event that we do not achieve our minimum complement by our 60-day deadline, we may offer group members the option of paying a "small-group surcharge" as an alternative to cancellation. If all group members agree, we will confirm the trip at existing numbers; this surcharge is refundable in the event that we ultimately achieve our regular minimum. If the small group surcharge is not accepted, we will offer a refund of your deposit or a different trip of your choice.
02. Can I extend my tour either at the beginning or end? What about stopovers?
Yes, you can extend your tour either at the beginning or the end and we can book accommodation in our tour hotel. Stopovers are often permitted, depending on air routing. Stopovers usually carry a "stopover" fee levied by the airline.
03. How do I make a reservation? How and when do I pay?
The easiest way to make a reservation is to contact us by telephone. You can also book online through our website. A non-refundable deposit is payable at the time of booking; if a reservation is made within 60 days, full payment is required. Some trips require a larger deposit. If international airline bookings require a non-refundable payment in order to secure space or the lowest available fare, we will require an increase in deposit equal to the cost of the ticket(s). Early enrolment is always encouraged as group size is limited and some trips require greater preparation time. Once we have received your deposit, we will confirm your space and send you a confirmation package containing your trip itinerary, any visa/travel permit related documents, invoice, clothing and equipment recommendations, general information on your destination(s), and forms for you to complete, sign and return to us. Your air e-tickets (if applicable), final hotel list, final trip itinerary, and instructions on how to join your tour, will be sent approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure.
04. What about cancellations, refunds, and transfers?
Should you need to cancel your trip, you must notify us in writing, by letter, e-mail, or by fax immediately. Deposits are non-refundable, though if you cancel more than 90 days prior to tour departure date, the deposit is transferable to any other tour taken within 12 months of the original tour start date, minus a per person transfer fee (some tours have a 100% nonrefundable/ nontransferable deposit; you will be informed of this at the time of booking). Less than 90 days prior to departure, all monies paid are 100% non-refundable, nontransferable. Name changes are not permitted. Insurable risks may be covered under trip cancellation insurance policies, if purchased. We will not grant partial refunds for any unused trip arrangements—voluntarily missed meals, sightseeing, transport, etc—after the trip has commenced, or any refunds to trip members who do not complete any portion of the itinerary for whatever reason. All air tickets are non-refundable and valid only for the flight(s) indicated. We may cancel departures if forced to do so by circumstances such as war, civil or political unrest or what is commonly referred to as force majeure. In these instances we will refund all passengers in full if cancellation takes place more than 60 days prior to tour start date. If cancellation occurs within the 60 day period, we will offer to postpone your trip to another departure of the same tour code within 12 months of the original tour start date; or, if circumstances do not permit, an alternative will be offered at that time. We will not be responsible for costs associated with re-issuance or extension of visas, airline change fees, or for any compensation. We strongly recommend that all travellers purchase trip cancellation insurance, either through Adventures Abroad or elsewhere, as this may provide coverage under such circumstances. If we cancel your tour due to insufficient enrolment, we will endeavour to find an alternative tour for you. If this is not acceptable, all monies paid will be refunded in full and will constitute full settlement. We will not be responsible for any expenses incurred, such as visas, vaccinations, independently purchase airfare, or any compensation. Notice of cancellation due to insufficient enrolment in any program will be given approximately 60 days prior to departure.
05. I am a single who prefers my own room. What is a single supplement?
All of our tours have a single supplement for those who want to be guaranteed their own room at each location. This supplement is a reflection of the fact that most hotels around the world do not discount the regular twin-share rate for a room by 50% for only one person occupying a room. Most hotels will give a break on the price, but usually in the range of 25-30% of the twin-share rate. This difference, multiplied by each night, amounts to the single supplement. The conventional amount can also vary from country to country and some destinations are more expensive than others for single occupancy. In order to be "single friendly," the supplements we apply are not a profit centre for us and we do our best to keep them as reasonable as possible. On most tours we limit the number of singles available, not to be punitive, but rather because many hotels allow for only a limited number of singles; some smaller hotels at remote locations also have a limited number of single rooms available. Please note that most single rooms around the world are smaller than twin-share rooms and will likely have only one bed.
06. Do you have a shared accommodation program?
Yes! If you are single traveller and are willing to share, we will do our best to pair you with a same-gender roommate. On most of our tours, if we fail to pair you, we will absorb the single supplement fee and you will default to a single room at no extra charge. At some destinations, however, where single rooms are not significantly discounted, or not at all, we may apply a "mandatory" single in the event that we cannot find you a share partner. This is usually 50% of the usual supplement, but can be as much as 100%. If applicable, this proviso will be noted on each tour page on this website, on your invoice, and in our tour date/price book (available for download under "Resources").

 

What People are Saying
Rhonda M.
Pembroke Pines, FL - US
I really enjoyed driving through the countryside in the Baltic region. The Hill of Crosses was more moving than expected. The Flam train, fjord cruise & staying at the hotel in Stalheim with the magnificent views. Though the city tours were very good. We enjoyed the tour, the inclusion of meals and tips is a definite plus.
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