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The Russian Baltic Express

3,470

*This experience runs every Sunday starting 19 May, 2019   – (Prices may vary according to departure dates)
*Accommodation might vary between hostels, hotels and ferries (Check below for further info)

23 days exploring the best of Russia and Scandinavia

Visiting 8 countries: Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland

 

Join us on a scandalously fun adventure tour in Russia and Scandinavia as we take in the best travel experiences Northeast Europe has to offer. Be seduced by the beat of Berlin and the irresistible charms of Copenhagen and Stockholm; get amidst the vibrant energy of a Baltic night out, and of course sample the best of mother Russia’s fascinating culture. Awash with history, rich in culture and laced with sensuous scenery, this trip guarantees travel excitement.

BEFORE YOU BOOK

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Description

Day 1: Berlin, Germany

With more museums than rainy days and some of the best DJs on the continent, the only thing you’ll miss out on in Berlin is sleep – but there’s plenty of time for that later. Get your bearings on a driving tour, then get to know your new trip pals over dinner.

Day 2: Berlin

Epic nightlife + major historical sights = Berlin. Join the optional Third Reich walking tour for in-depth local insight into what the city was like under Nazi rule during World War II. Also: Kreuzberg is a hit for lunch and you can’t go wrong with a picnic at the historic Tempelhof airport turned public park. Tonight. hit the hotspots on an optional tour.

Day 3: Berlin to Copenhagen, Denmark

On to Copenhagen to find out why this city keeps popping up among the top five most liveable cities in the world. FYI: the UN calls Copenhagen the happiest city on earth.

Day 4: Copenhagen

Free day – yay! Home of more Nordic coolness than you can poke a hipster’s beard at, Copenhagen is sure to impress. If you think you’ve eaten it all, nuh-uh! Not even close. Uncover the food market gems scattered across the city and satisfy your inner gastronome. Try the food markets on Paper Island for a luxe ‘warehouse vibe’ experience.

Day 5: Copenhagen to Stockholm, Sweden

You know it for the IKEA hotdogs and meatballs (plus ridiculously good-looking people), but Sweden’s capital also punches way above its weight in design, fashion and some multicultural vibes you wouldn’t expect this close to the Arctic Circle.

Day 6: Stockholm

Curiosity is in the driver’s seat. We’ve cleared your schedule to wander the city to your heart’s content. Stroll through one of the city’s many museums or enjoy the greenery of Djurgården islet, letting the hop-on/hop-off boat cruise you around the fourteen islands that comprise the city.

Day 7: Stockholm

The day is yours to meander through the medieval Gamla Stan or visit the City Hall. Watch the changing of the guards at the Royal Palace and drink copious amounts of quality coffee because Swedes treat caffeine the way they do their style: very seriously. Tonight, we jump on the overnight ferry to Tallinn, Estonia.

Day 8: Tallinn

Wake up, it’s Tallinn time. See the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral or check out the KGB museum for a history lesson on the antics of the former security agency for the Soviet Union. Pro tip: Old Town is where you’ll get the best kind of Estonian #throwback vibes.

Day 9: Tallinn to St. Petersburg, Russia

Cross the border to Russia for a tour of the country’s former capital. Later, scoff some blini and caviar (yes, caviar) – and wash it down with a shot of vodka, if you wish. When in Russia…

Day 10: St. Petersburg

Enter Russia: a land of 11 time zones and an epic history. Luckily, we have a local guide to start us off on the right foot. Anything called the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood has got to be worth a look (and it really is). You’ll see it on today’s driving tour (plus oh-so-many bucket list items).

Day 11: St. Petersburg

Dig into breakfast with your pinkies raised. You’re going on a guided tour of the Hermitage Museum that spans six palatial buildings, including the epic Winter Palace. Ah-maze! You won’t want to miss this. Next: (window) shopping, chowing and grooving your way down Nevsky Prospect, the capital’s main street.

Day 12: St. Petersburg to Novgorod

Through the Russian countryside to the World Heritage-listed city Novgorod. Try: Medovukha, the Russian version of mead.

Day 13: Novgorod to Moscow

Roll into Moscow today, where the city is alive in rain, hail or shine. Believe it or not, Moscow sparkles so be prepared for an incredible few days ahead. As you move through the city, spot the tangible reminders of Russia’s involvement in modern history.

Day 14: Moscow

March through the greats on today’s tour, including the Moscow University, Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedral (aka the capital’s technicolor sandcastle). Explore the Kremlin with our local guide before setting off to roam the streets. Tonight: get fancy with an optional evening at the Russian ballet. Binoculars at the ready and clink that champagne.

Day 15: Moscow

Down we go for a guided tour of the not-so-mundane Moscow Metro. If you are picturing the Piccadilly or Central Line in London, think again. Not even close. We’re talking chandelier-lined stations, each one more decadent than the last. Next: visit Lenin’s tomb. Keep the history lesson going with an optional guided Kremlin Armory tour. The Russian capital’s been known to set the stage for nights to remember. Home of vodka, remember?

Day 16: Moscow to Velikiye Luki

Overnight stay in Velikie Luki, also known as ‘Small Stalingrad’.

Day 17: Velikiye Luki to Riga, Latvia

Cross the border into Latvia. Riga’s up next, another World Heritage star in an already studded Baltic line-up. Late medieval sights and lots of art nouveau await on today’s guided walking tour. Key highlights: Power Tower, Freedom Monument and Riga Cathedral. Oh, and the impressive House of Blackheads building – but more on that later. Tonight’s recommendation? Get quaint in the Old Town district.

Day 18: Riga

Today = a free day, so take your chance to explore Latvia’s capital, known for its wooden buildings, medieval Old Town and art nouveau architecture. Set on the Baltic Sea at the mouth of the River Daugava, Riga offers a wide range of water activities, from canal boat tours to swimming at the beach. Tonight, hit up the town’s cellar bars.

Day 19: Riga to Vilnius, Lithuania

Set your sights on the capital of Lithuania. Home to Europe’s largest baroque old town and the world’s only statue of Frank Zappa (we know – the connection escapes us, too). The walking tour covers the Town Hall, Gediminas Tower and Vilnius Cathedral. Pro tip: keep an eye out for the Gate of Dawn and St Anne’s Church. Tonight: let your feet take you to a local spot for dinner.

Day 20: Vilnius to Warsaw, Poland

On today’s driving tour, you’ll find that modern day Warsaw is a far cry from its war-torn past. Street art, picturesque lakes and epic street food are just the beginning.

Day 21: Warsaw

Today, Warsaw is all yours. Enjoy free time to continue the exploration or eat your way through Poland’s notorious baked goods.

Day 22: Warsaw to Berlin, Germany

Return to the scene of the crime, we’re heading back to Berlin. See the scattered remnants of the Berlin Wall that physically separated the city for over 25 years. Tonight: reminisce over a group dinner.

Day 23: Berlin

Sad farewells as we defect after breakfast. Swap numbers and plan that next adventure together.

Additional information

Country

Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden

Duration

3 Weeks +

Travel Style

IN DEPTH: CULTURAL & HISTORICAL

Highlights

  • Metro & Kremlin tours in Moscow
  • Welcome & farewell dinners in Berlin
  • Guided tour of Warsaw
  • Driving tour of Stockholm
  • Russian guide with the trip for 8 days through Russia
  • Entrance to the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg

Accommodation

Hostel Plus trips host our most eclectic types of accommodation. While modern hostels make up the majority of your overnighters you could also stay in hotels (free upgrade – yeah!) or bungalows.

The number of people to a room on Hostel Plus trips will vary. For hostels you will have multi-share rooms and usually share with between 3 and 5 others (although in some circumstances you will share with more than 5) while in hotels there will be twin or triple-shares (and the odd quad-room). Bungalows can be up to 4 people to a room.

Please note: When staying on a Hostel Plus trip, multi-share accommodation is single-sex.

Meals

Breakfasts are included every day (except on the first morning). Included meals will be a combination of those prepared by On-Site Chefs, local restaurants and places in which we stay.

If you have any dietary requirements we will make every effort to cater to your specific needs as long as you advise us when you book. However, please be aware that although we will do everything in our power to arrange it, we cannot guarantee that every restaurant we use will be able to cater to all dietary needs, particularly in Eastern Europe. We also cannot cater for tastes or dislikes, as most of our included evening meals feature a set menu.

Accompanying you on this trip (as far as Tallinn) will be a trained Chef who is responsible for providing any included meals. The coach will be equipped with all the utensils required for the Chef to cook dishes fresh at every destination, whether breakfast, lunch or a two-course dinner. Occasionally, some of the included meals may be in local restaurants or accommodations.

inclusions

  • 22 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 10 dinners
  • 9 nights in hostels, 12 nights in hotels & 1 night in a cabin on an overnight ferry
  • Modern air conditioned coach with free Wi-Fi
  • Guided tours of all major cities

Additional Info

Group Size
Maximum 46

Transport
Modern air-conditioned coach with free Wi-Fi, including powerpoints for charging electronics.

Start/Finish Times
Start time:
Meet at 5pm in Berlin

Finish time:
Approximately 9am in Berlin

Age Restriction
Please note that this experience has a maximum age limit of 40

Optional Activities

On all trips we have arranged extra activities that we think will enhance your travel experience, but you have a choice as to whether or not you will participate. These are not included in the cost of your trip. They are usually organised on a group participation basis and should be taken into consideration when budgeting your spending money.

None of the Optional Activities on your trip are operated by us, nor do they form part of your contract with us for your trip. Should you participate in any Optional Activities your contract will be with the local supplier and their conditions will apply.

Please note: while we make every effort to keep these prices as accurate and up-to-date as possible, they are subject to change and in rare circumstances the actual price may vary slightly to what is published here.

Germany – Berlin

Third Reich walking tour €12

Berlin Alternative Tour & Nightlife Tour €20

Sweden – Stockholm

Town Hall – SEK 100 (students 80)

Town Hall Tower SEK 50

Vasa Museum SEK 130 (students 100)

Russia – Moscow

Ballet from €70

Guided tour of the Armoury €22

Passenger Safety

One of the best parts of travelling is experiencing the nightlife and entertainment each city has to offer. However, amidst the fun and excitement, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and personal safety as well. Before you hit the road with us, it’s important to be aware of the following:

When you’re on a night out, remember to avoid walking alone, particularly through deserted areas like beaches and back streets. Always stick together, take a taxi where possible, and keep a note of your accommodation details so you can find your way back to your fellow Travellers if you become separated.

In some countries, alcoholic measures can be considerably larger than what you may be used to. Try to keep track of what you’re drinking, and if you see one of your trip mates looking a little worse for wear, take them back to your accommodation. Be cautious when accepting drinks from strangers and never leave your drink unattended.

It’s also important to be aware that what you might consider harmless flirting may be interpreted differently in some countries. Be yourself and have fun, but don’t be naïve, and be mindful of the signals you are sending out so that you don’t find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.

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