Welcome to the world of the former Soviet Union and present day Russia. Travel through Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia before exploring the fabulous and historic cities of St Petersburg and Moscow. Featuring 5 nights in St Petersburg.
– All airfares & taxes (Flying Singapore Airlines and Scandinavian Airlines)
– One night stopover in Singapore on the way to Europe
– Hotel day room in Singapore on the way home
– Accommodation in 3-star, 4-star and 5-star hotels
– 19 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 10 dinners
– Visa for Russia
– Touring by air-conditioned coach
– Train from St Petersburg to Moscow
– Group tipping
– Services of English-speaking Tour Directors
– Assistance of your Tour Leader, Helen Tait
– Land Only price on application
– Extending your stay – before or after Tour Dates
– Deposit: $750 per person
– Group Size: 20 travellers (max)
We sink into our seats on our Singapore Airlines jet. With New Zealand behind us – we’re on our way to Europe! But first, an overnight stop in Singapore.
A free day to sightsee or shop in this lively city, before we transfer to the airport this evening. Our hotel rooms will be available throughout the day.
On arrival in Copenhagen this morning we clear customs and immigration and are taken to our hotel. There will be opportunity to explore the local area in the daylight and try and adjust those body clocks to European time.
This morning we explore Copenhagen on a guided tour, viewing the Tivoli Gardens, the NY Carlsberg Glyptotek art museum, the magnificent Gefion Fountain and Kongens Nytorv. We stop at The Little Mermaid statue, a cultural city icon based on the beloved fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen. Then we travel to Copenhagen Airport for our flight to Vilnius. On arrival we transfer to our hotel. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.
Vilnius is a city of great beauty and this morning we enjoy a sightseeing tour. In Old Vilnius we visit Peter and Paul Church and the Church of St Anne, Gediminas’ Tower in the Upper Town and Vilnius Castle. This afternoon we visit the KGB Museum which is also known as the Museum of Genocide Victims. This chronicles the history of Lithuanians resistance to Soviet occupation. Late afternoon we have free time to explore Vilnius.
Today we have an excursion to Trakai, the only island castle in all of Eastern Europe. Trakai Island Castle is an incredible architectural example of Gothic style. When we return to Vilnius the late afternoon is at leisure. This evening we have a folklore dinner at a local restaurant.
Today we travel to Riga in Latvia, and on the way we visit the awe-inspiring Hill of Crosses. After entering Latvia we have lunch at Rundale Palace, one of the finest palaces in the Baltic region. Following lunch we have a guided tour of the Palace and Gardens and then continue to Riga.
Riga is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the Baltic States. During our sightseeing tour we see Riga Castle, the magnificent Dome Cathedral, St. Jacobs Cathedral, St. Peter’s Church, the Parliament building, Liberty Monument and the district of Art Nouveau houses. Late this afternoon we have an excursion to Jurmala, an attractive stretch of beaches, pine forests and small towns alongside the Gulf of Riga.
This morning we travel to and visit the Ethnographic Open Air Museum. Occupying 213 acres of woodland on the shores of Lake Jugla, this site includes over 118 homesteads, churches, windmills and other structures from across Latvia. After we return to the city centre we have the rest of the day at leisure.
This morning we depart for Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. On the way we have lunch and some free time in Parnu. Parnu has historic buildings, pastel -coloured wooden houses and elegant late 19th-century villas set along leafy streets.
We start the day at charming Kadriorg Park, walking around its beautiful gardens. Then we have a walking tour of the brilliantly restored Upper and Lower Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We visit orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and Toompea Castle, and see the 14th century gothic Town Hall.
It will be an exciting day today as we cross the border into Russia, the world’s largest country. We travel to St Petersburg and this evening dinner is at our hotel.
St Petersburg is often described as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Its miles of canals, laced together with graceful bridges set amidst 18th century buildings, have earned it the name, “Venice of the North”. This morning we visit the Peter and Paul Fortress and the Cathedral of St Peter and Paul, the burial place for czars from Peter the Great through to Nicholas II. We explore Palace Square, where the Hermitage is located, visit the Bronze Horseman and St Isaac’s Cathedral; then we will visit the Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood. It was built on the spot where Czar Alexander II was killed and was commissioned in the style of St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow by his son and successor, Alexander III.
This morning we visit the Hermitage Museum. The Hermitage houses the largest museum collection in the world. You can stay on at the Hermitage or have some time at leisure. We end the day with a first class canal boat cruise (with champagne and canapés).
Today we visit the impressive Catherine’s Palace and gardens at Pushkin. After a late lunch at a local restaurant, we visit the Monument to the Defenders of Leningrad on our way back into St Petersburg.
Today we visit Peterhof. Peter the Great built this majestic palace which is surrounded with extensive parks and gardens intended to rival Versailles, complete with an array of gilded statues, magnificent palaces and gravity-fed fountains. We return to St Petersburg for a guided walk along Nevsky Prospekt, the city’s premier street, with its diverse architectural styles, many churches, and some great shopping and cafes! The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Dinner this evening is at a local restaurant (with unlimited vodka and wine).
After free time this morning we transfer to the railway station to catch an early afternoon train for Moscow. We arrive in Russia’s capital in the early evening and are driven to our hotel, where we have dinner.
Today our tour includes some of the highlights of Moscow. We start with a visit inside the Church of Christ the Saviour. Then we visit Novodevichy Convent; the convent of choice for noble women forced to take the veil. Strangely enough, the main attraction of the convent is its cemetery and its fanciful headstones. We stop at the Sparrow Hills for a panoramic city view, and also look out over Victory Park, commemorating WWII. At some stage during the day we have a tour of a few of Moscow’s Metro stations. The stations in the city centre are showpieces of Socialist art, furnished with statutes, frescoes and mosaics, and with marbled, gilded, and bronzed walls and ceilings. Once back in the city centre we will take a stroll down fashionable Arbat Street. We have an early dinner at our hotel before we set out to the Russian National Dance Show “Kostroma”.
Today we visit the Moscow Kremlin and the Armoury Museum; and walk in famous Red Square and see St Basil’s Cathedral. The Kremlin remains the centre of Moscow and Russian politics. Inside the fortress walls are palaces, cathedrals and government buildings and the Armoury Museum. The Armoury now houses Russia’s national treasures, such as religious icons, Faberge eggs and Catherine the Great’s ball gowns and shoes. We have some free time this afternoon. This evening we have our Farewell Dinner at a first class local restaurant.
Late morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to Singapore.
Hotel day rooms await us in Singapore after our morning arrival and before our departure for New Zealand this evening.
Home to New Zealand with special memories of our time in magnificent Russia and the Baltic States.
Mandy is one well-travelled person, having visited all 7 continents!
She is interested in the arts and has an unquenchable fascination with ancient history and cultures. You’ll benefit from Mandy’s extensive travel experience, and especially enjoy her infectious laughter.
Fantastic, Mandy went out of her way every day to check up on everyone, was very inclusive and informative. An excellent leader, strong and direct.
Mandy is an exceptional tour leader. A lovely caring personality. Always fun.”