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New! The Baltics & Helsinki (2017)
Limited to 24 guests
Days: 11 | From: $4,695
Days 1-2: ARRIVE VILNIUS, LITHUANIA
Land in Lithuania’s capital city of Vilnius and transfer to your hotel. Tonight, join fellow guests for a welcome dinner. The next day, discover the city’s gems with a tour through its Old Town — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — the palatial Baroque Peter and Paul’s Church and the Gates of the Dawn, Vilnius’ only surviving city gate. Called the “Jerusalem of Lithuania” for its strong Jewish influence, explore Vilnius’ tragic past when you pay an important visit to Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum, largely the creation of local Holocaust survivors. Later, visit the Amber Museum-Gallery to learn about the harvesting and processing of “Baltic Gold.” Enjoy an afternoon at leisure.
Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel | Meals: D (Day 1); B (Day 2)
Days 3-5: RIGA, LATVIA / Stunning Cosmopolitan City
Today, journey overland to Riga, making notable stops along the way. Visit the Hill of Crosses, a moving Lithuanian pilgrimage site; explore Bauska’s ancient castle complex; enjoy a theatrical tour of Rundāle Palace; and pay a meaningful visit to the Salaspils memorial. Arrive in Riga, where you check in to your newly opened design hotel in Riga’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gather for dinner at a local restaurant. The next day, embark on a captivating tour of the Old Town, sprawling Riga Central Market and the incredible Art Nouveau District, a testament to the city’s boom at the height of this flamboyant movement. Learn more about it on a visit to the Riga Art Nouveau Museum. Later, enjoy a Musical Connection with an exclusive backstage tour of the esteemed Latvian National Opera House. The rest of your evening is at leisure to explore this rich capital city. On your last day, go beyond the city as day-tripping Latvians do to enchanting Sigulda National Park. See the Gauja valley, and explore the ruins of Sigulda Castle and other medieval fortresses with a local guide.
Pullman Riga Old Town | Meals: B D (Day 3); B (Day 4); B L (Day 5)
Days 6-8: TALLINN, ESTONIA / Medieval & Modern
Drive to Tallinn, Estonia, stopping en route in Tartu. Enjoy a guided tour of this timeless provincial capital, stopping for a local lunch. Check in to your hotel in Tallin and, later, gather for dinner. The next day offers a deep dive into this fascinating city. Tour its two-tiered Old Town, see Toompea Castle and Tall Herman’s Tower, visit Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, and stand before the storybook medieval walls of Tallinn. Relax on a private cruise, enjoying lunch while sailing through Tallinn harbor. Continue your tour of Tallinn the next day when you visit the lavish Kadriorg Palace, designed for Peter the Great by Italian architect Niccolo Michetti; also see Kadriorg Park and the Song Festival Grounds. Venture to Kumu, the city’s hypermodern art museum housing the largest repository of Estonian art. Later, enjoy an Artisan Connection with a master class at the gallery of Estonian sculptor Tauno Kangro. Share the day's highlights over dinner at a local restaurant.
My City Hotel | Meals: B L D (Day 6); B L (Day 7); B D (Day 8)
Days 9-11: HELSINKI, FINLAND / Legendary Coastal Queen
Cruise in Business Class on a fast ferry bound for Finland. Upon arrival in Helsinki, embark on a tour of this cutting-edge Scandinavian capital wrapped in coastlines. Ride a ferry to the inhabited sea fortress of Suomenlinna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Check in to your historic hotel in the heart of the city and enjoy a night at leisure. Finnish traditions beckon you the next day. Visit the stately Haikko Manor, where a refreshing Nordic walk is followed by a restorative visit to the sauna. Continue to the medieval city of Porvoo, now buzzing with craft shops and colorful buildings. Tour this ancient trading post with your local guide. Return to Helsinki for a festive farewell dinner. On the last day, board your flight home.
Hotel Kämp | Meals: B L (Day 9); B D (Day 10); B (Day 11)
Connections Boutique Group Journeys 2017
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