This is the perfect vacation in Northern Europe and Russia. Your trip starts in Copenhagen, Denmark with a guided sightseeing tour and a visit to Tivoli Gardens (open mid-April to mid-September), Copenhagen’s colorful amusement park. From Copenhagen, travel via Stockholm to Helsinki, where you have a sightseeing tour including City Hall and Parliament House, the Presidential Palace, the monumental railroad station, Lutheran Cathedral, the Sibelius Monument, and more. First-class two-berth cabins with private facilities make your Baltic Sea crossing comfortable.
A full day at leisure in Helsinki offers the possibility to join an optional excursion to Tallinn, capital of Estonia. On to St. Petersburg, Russia, where, among other spectacular features, a visit to the Hermitage Museum and magnificent Catherine Palace (if closed: Pavlovsk Palace) is included.
Next is Moscow, capital of Russia. Stay here for three nights. A guided sightseeing tour includes visits to the Kremlin, Red Square, and the Armory Museum. The stop in Smolensk gives you insight into characteristic Russian city life before continuing to Minsk, the capital of Belarus. Your tour ends in Warsaw, Poland’s capital, where a Local Guide gives you a guided sightseeing tour of the city. Enjoy a farewell dinner at a local Warsaw restaurant, a perfect way to end your Russia and Northern Europe vacation.
Day 1 (Mon.) Board your overnight transatlantic flight.
Day 2 -- Arrival in Copenhagen Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark , Denmark (Tue.) Time to rest or to start exploring Denmark’s capital. At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel. (D)
Day 3 -- Copenhagen (Wed.) Sightseeing with a Local Guide includes the Church of Our Savior and the Stock Exchange. Visit the lavish ROYAL RECEPTION ROOMS in Christiansborg Palace and take pictures of Amalienborg Palace and of the wistful LITTLE MERMAID. Your Tour Director will have suggestions how to spend your afternoon. Tonight, visit TIVOLI GARDENS Stroll through the lush Tivoli Gardens , the city’s colorful amusement park (mid-April through mid-Sept.). (B)
Day 4 -- Copenhagen–Stockholm, Sweden Beautiful view of the Swedish countryside (Thu.) From Elsinore beneath Hamlet’s Kronborg Castle, take a FERRY to Helsingborg and drive through the Swedish Lake District past industrial towns like Linköping, Saab headquarters, on your way to Stockholm. (B)
Day 5 -- Overnight Cruise to Helsinki, Finland (Fri.) Stockholm is settled on 14 islands between Lake Mälar and the Baltic. Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the Royal Palace, Riddarholm Church, and the blue and gold chambers in the CITY HALL, where the annual Nobel Prize banquet is held. In the late afternoon, board your ship for the overnight BALTIC SEA CRUISE to Finland. (B,D)
Day 6 -- Helsinki (Sat.) After breakfast on board, sightseeing with a Local Guide features City Hall and Parliament House, the Presidential Palace, the monumental railroad station, the great LUTHERAN CATHEDRAL, the strikingly modern TEMPPELIAUKIO ROCK CHURCH, the Olympic Stadium, and the SIBELIUS MONUMENT. Then, browse for souvenirs in Helsinki’s local arts and crafts OPEN AIR MARKET. (B)
Day 7 -- At Leisure in Helsinki (Sun.) A full day at leisure offers the opportunity to join an optional excursion to Tallinn Tallinn is the capital of the smallest of the Baltic countries , capital of Estonia, known as one of the pearls of the Baltic countries. (B)
Day 8 -- Helsinki–St. Petersburg, Russia (Mon.) A pleasant drive along the coast to the Russian border. After completing frontier formalities, cross the Karelian Isthmus on the way to St. Petersburg. (B,D)
Day 9 -- St. Petersburg (Tue.) Enjoy your guided sightseeing tour of this fascinating city. Founded by Peter the Great, construction began in 1703, and the city eventually spread over 100 islands linked by 700 bridges. It suffered severe damage during World War II, when a cruel 900-day siege claimed more than a million victims. Start with the Winter Palace complex. Formerly the residence of the czars, it now houses the world-famous HERMITAGE MUSEUM with celebrated works by Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, and the major French impressionists. Next, drive along elegant Nevsky Prospect, and admire ST. ISAAC’S CATHEDRAL. (B)
Day 10 -- St. Petersburg (Wed.) Travel to Pushkin, home of Russia’s last czar, and visit magnificent CATHERINE PALACE (if closed, visit PAVLOVSK PALACE instead). Balance of the day is at leisure, and exciting optional activities are available. (B)
Day 11 -- St. Petersburg–Novgorod (Thu.) Today, drive to Novgorod. Orientation features the restored Kremlin and venerable churches dating as far back as the 11th century. (B,L,D)
Day 12 -- Novgorod–Tver–Moscow Visit the Moscow Kremlin and the Moskva River (Fri.) Through the Valdai Hills to Tver on the Volga, the “Mother River” of Russia, where you will have lunch. Then, via Tchaikovsky’s Klin on to Moscow. (B,L)
Day 13 -- Moscow (Sat.) Follow your Local Guide to RED SQUARE, the center of this 860-year-old city. At its core is the Lenin Mausoleum and St. Basil’s Cathedral. Inside the KREMLIN, a city-within-a-city, admire the medieval towers, cathedrals, and palaces. At the ARMORY MUSEUM see treasures such as Ivan the Terrible’s throne. Of course you will also see the Bolshoi Theater. (B)
Day 14 -- At Leisure in Moscow (Sun.) A full day at leisure to further explore this fascinating city. Your Tour Director will have suggestions how to spend your day. (B)
Day 15 -- Moscow–Smolensk (Mon.) Travel via Borodino, site of the cruel battle between Napoleon’s Grand Armée and the Russian Army in 1812, to Smolensk. Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the impressive town walls, the 17th-century USPENSKY CATHEDRAL, and the monument to General Kutuzov, the brilliant strategist who conquered Napoleon’s military genius. (B,L,D)
Day 16 -- Smolensk–Minsk, Belarus (Tue.) Via Katyn Forest and the White Russian plains to Minsk, the Belorussian capital. After lunch, enjoy sightseeing with a Local Guide in historic Minsk. Post-war architects were given carte-blanche to reconstruct a showcase city: Minsk was almost totally destroyed during World War II. (B,L,D)
Day 17 -- Minsk–Brest–Warsaw The historic centre of Warsaw , Poland (Wed.) Have lunch in Brest, best known for the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, on your way to Warsaw, Poland’s beautiful capital. (B,L)
Day 18 -- Warsaw (Thu.) Your Local Guide takes you to the medieval STARE MIASTO (Old Town), the 14th-century CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN, the Palace of Culture and Science, the Marszalkowska residential development, and a picture stop at the Ghetto Monument. In the HISTORICAL MUSEUM, watch a moving film showing the city before and after wartime destruction. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate the success of your vacation. (B,D)
Day 19 (Fri.) -- Your homebound flight arrives the same day. (B)