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Helsinki and the Baltic States
Promenade
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Tour Dates September 13th - 28th, 2017 (16 days)
Included meals 14 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 14 dinners
Tour Host(s) Rev Murdo & Marie Marple
Pricing from $6,745 CAD
Join our exploration of the Baltics States in all their beauty. First, discover the natural wonderland that is Finland, with more trees than people and more islands than any other nation in the world. Unlock the rich history and culture of Estonia, enjoying its diverse architecture while we wander through the enchanting city of Tallinn. Take a moment to truly experience the vast landscapes of Latvia, a country best enjoyed slowly. Marvel in the breathtaking surroundings of Lithuania, from the striking white sand dunes along the Curonian Spit to the sky-high cityscapes in Vilnius, providing us with a more modern ambience at the end of our spectacular journey.
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Itinerary

Day 1 - Departure Day

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

The excitement builds as we meet our fellow travellers at the airport to board our flight and begin a journey filled with exciting and new experiences.

Day 2 - Arrive Helsinki

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Sibelius MonumentWelcome to Helsinki, Finland's capital city and hailed as the "Daughter of the Baltic". We will be met by our guide and driver and taken to our hotel in the city with a stop on the way at Sibelius Park. Here we see a steel monument to honour Finland's most famous composer, Jean Sibelius. The artistic piece was created in 1967 and made of 600 steel pipes - the organ-like cluster is said to represent the forest and designed to blend with its natural surroundings. Appropriately for a monument to a composer, the sculpture creates its own music - the hollow pipes echo with the movement of the wind.

Meals: Dinner

Day 3 - Helsinki Sightseeing

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Harbour 3A morning tour of Helsinki explores its graceful neoclassical buildings, striking modern architecture and spacious boulevards dotted with squares and parks. Many of these date from the period of Tsarist rule, which began in 1809 after political control of Finland passed from Sweden to Russia. We see Senate Square in traditional Finnish architecture, the beautiful and historically significant Helsinki Cathedral - an Evangelic Lutheran Church, the incredible Helsinki library across the street and Finlandia Hall used for concerts and events. We continue our tour with a visit to Temppeliaukio Church, or the Rock Church which was built entirely underground and whose modern design features a roof covered in copper. After a lovely lunch enjoy free time to explore independently. This compact city is easy to navigate, and a fun place to just sit and people watch.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 - Porvoo Sightseeing

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

Porvoo WaterfrontToday, we enjoy a picturesque drive through the countryside to Porvoo, the second-oldest town in Finland. Once an important trading post, the fabulous historic centre has 16th-century wooden houses, and a row of distinctive brick-red former warehouses lining the riverfront. On a walking tour we will see the beautiful 15th-century cathedral and be charmed by a variety of craft shops. Afterwards we return to Helsinki.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 - Helsinki - Tallinn

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

Tallinn Old Town SquareThis morning, we depart Helsinki by ferry and sail across the Gulf of Finland to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Founded in 1157 as a free city, it has been part of the Danish, Swedish and Russian empires. Very little building occurred during the Soviet occupation, leaving it one of the most intact medieval cities in northern Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS). This afternoon, discover enchanting Tallinn on a panoramic sightseeing tour. First we travel by coach and then take a walking tour through the Old Town, with its medieval Upper and Lower Towns. We will see Toompea Hill and the Parliament building, the Russian-Orthodox Church Alexander Nevsky, and St. Mary's Cathedral. Then we weave our way to the Lower Old Town where the local apothecary is the oldest working pharmacy in Europe with records dating to 1422. The rest of the day is free.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 - Lahemaa National Park

Monday, September 18th, 2017

Alexander Nevsky CathedralToday we drive out of Tallinn to the largest national park in Estonia. The beautiful Lahemaa National Park is home to an impressive 14 lakes, eight rivers and four waterfalls within its pristine coastal landscape. Visit the fully restored 18th century baroque Palmse Manor, and Sagadi Manor - the first manor in Estonia to be decorated in the ornate Rococo style. Nearby is the Forest Museum which is devoted to the forestry industry and the park’s flora and fauna. During our visit we will have lunch at a local tavern.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 - Kadriorg Palace

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Tallinn AerialAfter breakfast we take an excursion to the baroque Kadriorg Palace and Park, built in 1718 by Peter the Great of Russia for his wife Catherine, and the nearby Kumu Art Museum. See a variety of Estonian and foreign art, as well as the contrasting architecture of the 18th century palace and the very modern Kumu with its sharp angles and sleek façade. The 290-year-old park is considered by many to be the crown jewel of Tallinn. This evening’s dinner will be a stimulating experience as we partake in a medieval feast located in an ancient house in the heart of Tallinn’s Old Town.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8 - Tallinn - Pärnu - Riga

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Central ParnuThis morning we take our leave of Tallinn. On the way to Latvia, we will stop and visit Pärnu. Since the first spa opened in the 1830’s, this has been the most popular seaside resort of Estonia. We enjoy a tour and lunch before continuing to Latvia’s largest city, Riga (WHS) - set on the Baltic Sea at the mouth of the River Daugava. It is a cultural centre with museums, concert halls, renowned wooden buildings, a medieval Old Town and art nouveau architecture.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 - Riga Sightseeing

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Riga From AboveFounded in 1201 by the German Bishop Albert, Riga is the largest of the three Baltic capitals. On a panoramic tour the enchanting buildings and history of the Old Town create a fascinating and whimsical picture of the city's past. We see the Dome Cathedral, the Church of St. Peter, the old Guild Houses, the Swedish Gate, the architectural ensemble of Three Brothers, St. Jacob’s Church, the Parliament House, Old Riga Castle, and the Freedom Monument which is the symbol of Latvia's independence. At noon today we attend the 'concerto piccolo' at the Dome Cathedral - this short organ concert will be a musical delight. After lunch, we take a boat tour on the Daugava River and canal. The evening meal tonight is a traditional Latvian dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10 - Gauja National Park - Sigulda - Cesis

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Cesis CastleToday we embark on a day trip to Gauja National Park, a stunning area known as the “Switzerland of Latvia”. Its striking landscape features an ancient riverbank and sandstone caves with spectacular views. In the hilly town of Sigulda see the legendary Crusader Castle, and across the river visit Turaida Castle - a red-brick fortress with a tall cylindrical tower built in 1214. Next, we stop in the small ancient town of Cesis with winding streets lined with attractive wooden and stone buildings. Later, we return to Riga.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 - Jurmala - Open Air Museum

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

Jurmala BeachAfter breakfast we take a short drive to Jūrmala. The resort is sandwiched between the Gulf of Riga and the Lielupe River. The area is well-known for natural beauty, a mild climate, the sea, and curative mud and mineral waters. It’s striking white sandy beach is almost 26 kilometres long. This afternoon we stop at the Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum to see a variety of ethnic farm houses moved here from around the country.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12 - Riga - Siauliai - Klaipeda

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Hill of CrossesWe leave Riga and Latvia this morning and make our way to Lithuania. Before crossing the border, we visit the amazing Rundale Palace which is the former summer residence of the Duke of Courland. Near Siauliai, we stop to view the Hill of Crosses, a place of pilgrimage - standing upon a small hill are hundreds of thousands of crosses that represent Christian devotion and a memorial to Lithuanian national identity. Our final destination is Klaipeda, Lithuania’s third-largest city and former Prussian capital with its distinct German flavour. It’s also Lithuania’s only port of call for large cruise ships, and a vital sea link for cargo and passenger ferries.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13 - Curonian Spit Day Trip

Monday, September 25th, 2017

Curionian SpitThe Curonian Spit (WHS), is a thin stretch of curved sand-dunes, 98 kilometres in length that separates the Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea. Our unforgettable excursion introduces the wild nature of the area with its grand sand dunes, pine forests and golden beaches. We visit the town of Nida, the Fisherman’s House, the famous German writer Thomas Mann’s Museum, the Amber Gallery, the old ethnographic cemetery, and the Hill of Witches in Juodkrante. We return to Klaipeda and enjoy a Lithuanian dinner tonight.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14 - Klaipeda - Kaunas - Vilnius

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Central VilniusThis morning we continue our discovery of Lithuania heading southeast to our first stop at Kaunas. Here we see the historic churches in the town hall square, the curious House of Perkūnas - a former temple to the Lithuanian thunder god. Then after a short break for lunch, we continue on to our destination of Vilnius (WHS), Lithuania's capital city which is home to one of the largest surviving medieval quarters in Europe.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15 - Vilnius Sightseeing

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Trakai CastleAfter a restful night's sleep, we take the short trip to the village of Trakai, the former capital of Lithuania, and visit the beautifully built gothic-medieval castle located on a small island on Galve Lake. This afternoon we have a sightseeing tour of Vilnius beginning with a visit to the baroque Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, the neo-classical Cathedral, the gothic Church of St. Anne’s, and at the Gedeminas Hill and Tower admire the excellent views of Vilnius' Old Town. If time permits we may visit the former headquarters of the Soviet KGB which houses a museum depicting its grim history, or stop at the Amber Museum-Gallery with its two-storey ode to the unique Baltic Amber. Tonight we gather to toast the success of a marvellous trip.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16 - Return Home

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Today we are taken to the airport for our flight home, full of a greater appreciation of the people and places we have seen.

Meals: Breakfast

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Tour Information

Tour Map

Tour Map

Special Inclusions

  • Medieval Feast in Tallinn
  • Organ concert in Riga
  • Boat tour on the Daugava River
  • Traditional Latvian dinner in Riga
  • Lithuanian dinner and show

Prices per person (CAD)

Ottawa$6,745
London, ON$6,795
Calgary$6,995
Single supplement$925

Deposit

Deposit of $300 is fully refundable until June 5th, 2017

Early Booking Discount

Book now and receive an early booking discount of $300 until May 31st, 2017

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Included

  • Return economy class airfare
  • Current airline taxes, fuel surcharges and airport fees
  • Superior Tourist class and First class hotels
  • First class motorcoach
  • Meals as shown (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
  • Professional tour guide
  • Sightseeing tours including entrance fees
  • Luggage handling at hotels
  • Tipping for all included services
  • Any visas required
  • All foreign taxes
  • Rostad Tours travel gift
  • Comprehensive and personalized tour documentation

Not included

  • Meals not shown
  • Beverages
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Any airline luggage fees
  • Increases to surcharges, taxes or fees
  • Insurance
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