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2020 Russia, Baltics and Poland

Join us on the trip of a lifetime & take in some of the most popular and spectacular sights of Poland, the Baltics and Russia on our ULTIMATE TRIP around central Europe and the former “Iron Curtain”!

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Tour Overview

Our 2020 “Russia, Baltics and Poland “ holiday takes in some of the most fascinating and popular sights in this part of the world! Visiting stunning Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Russia, we see iconic sites such as Red Square, the Kremlin and Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, the imposing palaces and beautiful canals of the “Venice of the North”, St Petersburg. With two, four-night stays in Russia (including Business-class “Sapsan” fast-train) we make sure there’s plenty of time to truly explore these fascinating Russian cities. We explore and discover the delights of emerging Belarus and the beautiful Baltic capitol cities of Vilnius, Riga and stunning Tallinn.

We spend five nights in lovely Poland with a three night stay in Krakow with it’s impressive old center and Cloth Market Square with visits to Wieliczka Salt mine and the sombre memorial of Auschwitz-Birkenau. We explore fascinating Warsaw including a private Chopin concert and learn of the former Jewish ghetto area, home to Oscar Schindler’s factory.

Plenty of included local highlight food, wine and cultural experiences combined with central, 4-star hotels that allow you to explore at leisure in your free-time rather than feeling too rushed.

Come join us in 2020 as we explore all the best parts of this fascinating part of Europe!

Highlights (22 days Krakow to Moscow)

  • Welcome Dinner and Drinks in Krakow
  • Krakow site-seeing tour w/local guide
  • Czestochowa “Black Madonna” visit
  • Wieliczka Salt Mine visit and highlight salt mine dinner
  • Polish Polka Party Highlight Dinner and show
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial with local guide
  • Warsaw site-seeing with local guide
  • Chopin Concert and highlight dinner in Warsaw
  • Wilanow Palace Visit Poland
  • Brest Fortress and city guided sightseeing visit Belarus
  • Neshvizh Castle visit Belarus with local guide Belarus
  • Khatyn Memorial visit with local guide Belarus
  • Vilnius site-seeing with local guide
  • Highlight local Lithuanian dinner
  • Riga site-seeing with local guide
  • Highlight local Latvian dinner
  • Tallinn site-seeing with local guide
  • Highlight local Estonian dinner
  • St Petersburg site-seeing with local guide incl. Peter and Paul Fortress
  • Hermitage Museum visit with local guide
  • Peterhof, Catherine’s Palace and Yusupov Palace visits with local guide
  • Highlight Russian folklore show including dinner
  • Mariinsky Theatre visit and  Kirov Ballet performance
  • Neva river and canal cruise with lunch in St Petersburg
  • Leningrad Siege Memorial
  • Moscow site-seeing tour including metro with local guide
  • Red Square, Kremlin and Kremlin Armoury visit with local guide
  • Borodino Panorama Museum and Memorial
  • Tagansky Bunker visit
  • Zagorsk Monastary visit
  • “Moscow by Night” with local guide
  • Highlight Final Russian Dinner

Other Inclusions

  • Business-class “Sapsan” fast-train from St Petersburg to Moscow
  • Drives through Polish, Belarussian, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian countrysides
  • Seaside villages of Klaipeda and Parnu in Lithuania and Estonia
  • Group photo (one per couple/single)
  • Hotel porterage
  • All tips to Tour Director, Tour Driver, hotels and Mini- Cruise

Tour Pace

Plenty of relaxing two, three and even four-night stopovers with enough free-time to explore at your own pace.

Plenty of city walking tours as well as visits to famed places like the Moscow Metro and grand Russian palaces.  These all require a good amount of fitness and good, strong, unrestricted walking ability.

QUICK FACTS

DURATION

22 Days

COUNTRIES

Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Russia

DEPARTURES

Monday 6th July, 2020 in Krakow, Poland *to be confirmed*

PRICING

22 Day Krakow to Moscow trip:   *AU$11,950 pp twin share

Single Supplement: *AU$2,350

  • Pricing and dates to be confirmed March 2019

AVAILABILITY

As at Nov 2019:  Places Available

TOUR MAP

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 / Mon 6th July 2020 / ARRIVE KRAKOW

Welcome to Poland! Meet your Travel Director for our Welcome Drink before our highlight Welcome Dinner. Later, enjoy getting to know your fellow guests over a fabulous Welcome Dinner.                                 (HD)

Hotel: 3 nights Krakowtba

Day 2 / Tues 7th July 2020 / KRAKOW SITESEEING

This morning we start with an introduction to Krakow with local guide. A walk around the Rynek Główny, Europe’s largest and most beautiful town square. We see the famous Cloth Hall, St. Mary’s Church and the many historic townhouses, palaces and churches. Be sure to listen out for the famed trumpeter’s call Later we ascend Wawel Hill to see the Renaissance castle before a visit the cathedral, the final resting place of the Kings of Poland and the former seat of Archbishop Karol Wojtyła, later known to the world as Pope John Paul II. Visiting the former Jewish Quarter we see Ghetto Square and the remains of the Ghetto Wall. Visit Oskar Schindler’s Factory Museum and gain a fascinating insight into his factory and the fate of its Jewish workforce in Nazi-occupied Poland. This evening we get a taste of local entertainment enjoying a Polish Polka Party with dinner and wine.     (BB, HD)

Day 3 / Wed 8th July 2020 / KRAKOW SITESEEING

This morning we travel to the city of Oświęcim, better known throughout the world by its German name, Auschwitz. With a Local Expert we visit this moving memorial and the museum of Auschwitz and also stop at Birkenau. Upon returning to Krakow the rest of the day is at leisure. Perhaps spend time browsing the shops for traditional folklore products or trying pierogi and local Zywiec beer. Later today after your free time we head south to discover the Wieliczka Salt Mine including a highlight dinner in the mine itself!                         (BB, HD)

Day 4 / Thurs 9th July 2020 / KRAKOW to WARSAW

Today we head northwest making a stop in fascinating Czestochowa for a visit to it’s pilgrimage church, home to the famed “Black Madonna”. Afterwards we stop in the pretty city of Lodz for an orientation and some free-time before arriving into the vibrant capitol of the country, exciting Warsaw.                                                 (BB, D)

Hotel: 2 nights Warsaw Sofitel Warsaw

Day 5 / Fri 10th July 2020/ WARSAW AT LEISURE

We start our day with a tour around the Polish capital with local expert guide and see how well the city was restored after almost complete obliteration during World War II. Pass the tiered Palace of Culture and stroll through Łazienki Park to the Chopin Memorial and visit the Ghetto Heroes Monument. We visit the delightful Old Town and it’s market before free time for lunch. Later on we journey out to visit Wilanow Palace, the residence of Polish King Sobieski. This afternoon we have a private recital of Chopin music by a celebrated Polish pianist before an evening at leisure to explore the tastes of Warsaw.   (BB)

Day 6 / Sat 11th July 2020 / WARSAW to BREST

A short drive through lovely Polish farmlands before we arrive at the Belarussian border. Upon arrival into Belarus we visit with local guide the city and Brest Fortress famed for the Defence against the Nazis in WWII and it’s imposing “Courage” Monument.                                           (BB, D)

Hotel: 1 night Bresttba

Day 7 / Sun 12th July 2020 / BREST to MINSK

Our first stop today is at Belarus’ most beautiful castle, Nisvizh for guided visit. Later, we arrive into the capital, Minsk, rebuilt after the war in typical imposing Soviet style. Upon arrival, a city tour with local guide along it’s grand avenues, passing typical Soviet style buildings a legacy of Minsk’s past. See the obelisk in Victory Square honoring the heroes of World War II and the Church of St. Simon and Helena and the Lenin Statue that still stands in front of the Government headquarters. This evening, a local Highlight Belarussian dinner.  (BB, HD)

Hotel: 1 night Minsktba

Day 8 / Mon 13th July 2020 / MINSK to VILNIUS

This morning we head north out of Minsk to visit the sombre and moving Khatyn Memorial. Afterwards a lunch-stop and then crossing into Lithuania.  Arriving into the capitol, we take a walking tour of pretty Vilnius with our local guide and stroll through the Old Town and see the Jesuit University, the Gates of Dawn and the former Soviet KGB headquarters. Baroque Church of St. Peter and St. Paul before moving on to see the neoclassical cathedral. Checking into our central hotel, a relaxed included dinner tonight.                           (BB, D)

Hotel: 2 nights Vilniustba

Day 9 / Tues 14th July 2020/ VILNIUS at LEISURE

A late start this morning before we travel to visit the fortified island castle of Trakai, originally built in the 13th century and now restored to all its glory. Time for lunch before we head back to the Old Town center and free time for souvenir hunting and further exploring. An evening at leisure to explore the many exciting and varied options for dinner.        (BB)

Day 10 / Wed 15th July 2020 / VILNIUS to RIGA

Heading westward we reach the Baltic Sea to visit the pretty seaside town of Klaipeda. After free-time for lunch we stop at the unusual Votive Hill of Crosses near Siauliai, the symbol of resistance against the Soviet occupation. We then continue to the Latvian capital of Riga, one of the most beautiful of the Baltic capitols and known for it’s mix of of Teutonic-inspired spires, lounges and some of the world’s most remarkable art nouveau architecture.                                          (BB)

Hotel: 2 nights Rigatba

Day 11 / Thurs 16th July 2020 / RIGA at LEISURE

This morning with local guide we explore Riga’s Old Town visiting the Domkirk and see the city walls, the House of the Three Brothers and the castle of the Livonian Knights. Plenty of free time to explore this remarkable city at your own pace. This evening a highlight dinner of local delicacies!                  (BB, HD)

Day 12 / Fri 17th July 2020 / RIGA to TALLINN

Departing the city we continue along the shores of the Gulf of Riga and across the Estonian border and visit the quaint seaside village of Parnu. Time for lunch before we arrive at Estonia’s beautiful capitol, Tallinn, considered by many to be the most beautiful medieval capitol in Europe.                                                               (BB)

Hotel: 2 nights Tallinn – My City Hotel

Day 13 / Sat 18th July 2020 / TALLINN

With our local guide, we take a driving tour of the outskirts of the city before a stroll through the cobbled streets of the Old Town which will make you feel like you’ve been transported to a time from centuries ago. We visit the market square with its Town Hall, quaint artisan shops and old German pharmacy. Enjoy free time to browse Tallinn’s shops, famous for fine amber and silver jewelry and further explore before a highlight dinner of local food and wine.                          (BB, HD)

Day 14 / Sun 19th July 2020 / TALLINN to ST PETERSBURG

Heading eastward, we cross the border and arrive into the “Venice of the North”, St Petersburg. Founded by Peter the Great in 1703 to be the new capital of the Russian Empire. The city rose from the desolate Neva marshes, under Peter the Great’s personal supervision in under 20 years.  Under siege for 900 days during WWII, the city has been lovingly restored and abounds in important monuments and beautiful buildings. Upon arrival we check into our hotel for an included dinner, followed by time to relax and settle in for our four night stay in this beautiful city on the Baltic.          (BB, D)

Hotel: 4 nights St Petersburg tba

Day 15 / Mon 20th July 2020 / ST PETERSBURG

Today we start with a city tour with local expert guide as we travel down St. Petersburg’s main avenue, Nevsky Prospekt, for views of the great Cathedral of Kazan and a visit to the onion domed Church of Our Saviour of the Spilled Blood. See the cruiser Aurora, whose crew signalled the outset of the Russian Revolution. We visit the Peter and Paul Fortress to view the tombs of the former Tsar’s of the Russian Empire. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore, shop or relax.   Dinner this evening is a truly Russian affair involving musicians, singers and dancers who thrill us with their superb performances. The show includes Cossack dancers, song, instruments and costumes from different parts of Russia plus traditional snacks like caviar, blinis, vodka and champanski and Russian music.    (BB, HD)

Day 16 / Tues 21st July 2020 / ST PETERSBURG

Catherine the Great used to lament that only “the mice and me” were able to admire her vast art collection. Thankfully, this is no longer true because today you visit the Hermitage, one of the world’s greatest museums. Located in the Winter Palace, wander through this fabulous collection of paintings and objects d’art, ranging from Egyptian carvings to Impressionist masterpieces. This afternoon you are free to do as you please! For lunch we take a delightful cruise on the Neva river and along the canals, the best way to see the city. After lunch we visit the opulent former residence of the Yusupov family and the scene of Rasputin’s murder. Tonight is at leisure to explore St Petersburg further or relax at the hotel.             (BB,HL)

Day 17 / Wed 22nd July 2020 / ST PETERSBURG

This morning will take you to Peter the Great’s summer residence which for over 200 years was used for official ceremonies, lavish feasts and formal receptions. There we explore the fabulous gardens and cascading fountains. Back in St Petersburg, the afternoon leaves plenty of time to shop if you wish. Tonight join us for an evening at a beautiful Russian Ballet and see a famous performance by the Kirov Russian ballet at the Marijinsky.                (BB)

Day 18 / Thurs 23rd July 2020 / ST PETERSBURG to MOSCOW

Departing our hotel but not quite done with St Petersburg yet, we drive out to Pushkin where we visit the spectacular “Catherine Palace” the summer residence of Catherine the Great. A highlight here is the recently restored beautiful “amber” room.  Later this afternoon we discover the unique adventure of train travel ‘Soviet style’ as we head for Moscow on their fast train “Sapsan”. Board our high-speed Sapsan train and relax in modern Business Class seating and comfort as we swoop to Moscow in just a few hours. (BB, D)

Hotel: 4 nights Moscow tba

Day 19 / Fri 24th July 2020 / MOSCOW

We start our exploration of the Russian capital with local specialist guide in iconic Red Square, lined by Moscow’s famous landmark buildings. At one end rises the crimson and ivy coloured onion-shaped domes of St Basil’s Cathedral, in front of the Kremlin stands Lenin’s Mausoleum, while on the opposite side of the square stands GUM, the grand old Soviet shopping arcade which now offers the most glamorous and fashionable goods from the West. We stroll inside the Kremlin Fortress to visit one of the cathedral before visiting the treasure chest of the Imperial Russian Family. Here we see their crown jewels, jewel-studded thrones and costumes as well as the famous Fabergé Egg collection. Free-time to shop for Russian and former Soviet souvenirs before we head have a guided tour of the famed Bolshoi Theatre. This evening is at leisure to explore the Russian capitol.                                                           (BB)

Day 20 / Sat 25th July 2020 / MOSCOW

A day “rubbing shoulders with the locals”! A visit to some of the famed Moscow Metro stations which Stalin called ‘palaces for the people’. With our local guide we see the stunning variety of themes depicted among the marble, mosaics, sculptures and chandeliers. We then take a trip out to Zagorsk – renowned as a centre of ancient Russian art and architecture. For centuries it has served as the religious capital of Russia and place of pilgrimage for the faithful of the Russian Orthodox creed. Within the old walled city we see the Troitse Sergiyevo Lavra, a working monastery, where the Orthodox faith was tolerated by the State and kept alive even during the ‘years of atheism’. Shop for locally made Russian handicrafts and Matryoshka dolls on sale at the local market. If possible we’ll even try to visit a local out in the nearby farmlands on their rural property!  Tonight we experience the grandeur of “Moscow by Night”!    (BB)

Day 21 / Sun 26th July 2020 / MOSCOW

A fascinating day as we first visit the impressive Borodino Panorama Exhibition which brings to life the Battle of Borodino, one of the most important events in Russia’s history and immortalized in Tolstoy’s epic, ‘War and Peace’. Then past the awe-inspiring Memorial Park to the fascinating Novodvichy Cemetery with memorials to famous Russian and Soviet leaders. Afterwards we visit the fascinating Tagansky Underground Cold War/Bunker Museum. The bunker was built from 1952 to 1956 as a communications headquarters for the country’s leadership and could also be used as a bomb shelter. This evening enjoy good food, good wine and great company at a Highlight Celebration Dinner in a Russian restaurant for our last evening together.        (BB, HD)

Day 22 / Mon 27th July 2020 / MOSCOW

Our exciting trip sadly comes to an end this morning. Bid each other farewell as you continue your onwards journey or stay longer to enjoy the capitol of Russia!

(BB)

DEPARTURES

6th July, 2020*

PRICING

From $11,950* per person twin share (22-day tour)

    Contact us for Single Supplement Pricing

*Dates and pricing to be confirmed by February 2019*

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