Day 01: Arrive Moscow, RUSSIA
Welcome to Moscow – a capital to the world. We are warmly received and transferred to our hotel. Balance of the day is free to relax. Enjoy your dinner at the hotel restaurant.
Overnight: Marriott Grand Hotel, Moscow (3 nights) (D)
Day 02: Moscow
Moscow, one of the largest cities in the world, is the symbolic heart and soul of the country. Sightseeing begins at the Red Square, dominated by St. Basil's Cathedral and by the massive red walls of the Kremlin*. Visit the Armory Museum, proceed to see the Moscow University and the popular Arbat shopping district. Continue with a drive along the wide boulevards and then stroll through GUM, Russia’s largest department store. Rest of the day is at leisure. (B)
Day 03: Moscow
Today we travel 75 km North of Moscow, to a small town of Sergiev Posad, former Zagorsk – founded in the 14th century and renowned as a center of ancient Russian art and architecture. For centuries it served as a place of pilgrimage and the religious capital of Russia. Within the old walled city admire the fairy-tale golden and blue domes of the Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra, one of the most beautiful of all monasteries. After lunch, return to Moscow, the rest of the day at leisure. This evening take an optional tour of Moscow by night and Subway, to see the metro stations which Stalin called “Palaces for the People." (B, L)
Day 04: Moscow/St. Petersburg (Train)
Time at leisure in Moscow, before transfer to railway station for a four-hour, high speed Sapsan train ride to St. Petersburg. Upon arrival at the St. Petersburg train station, transfer to your hotel. Dinner at hotel.
Overnight: Holiday Inn Moskovskye Vorota or Crowne Plaza Ligovsky Hotel or Radisson Royal Hotel, St. Petersburg (3 nights) (B, D)
Day 05: St. Petersburg
When Peter the Great founded St. Petersburg in 1703, he hired Europe’s best architects, craftsmen and artists to build and decorate it. Spread over 100 islands linked by over 600 bridges, it is often referred to as the “Venice of the North”. Today the main sites to be visited on the tour are Palace Square with the Winter Palace, Senate Square with the monument to Russian Emperor Peter the Great, the founder of the city, St. Isaac’s Square with St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Smolny Cathedral, Cruiser Aurora, Field of Mars, and Nevsky Prospect. Visit the Peter and Paul Fortress, built in 1703 to protect the city from enemy attacks and was the first construction of St. Petersburg. The Peter and Paul Cathedral, which towers in the center of the fortress served as the burial place for Russian Emperors. Your evening is free or join an optional Russian Folklore evening or Evening Canal Cruise. (B)
Day 06: St. Petersburg
This morning you’ll visit the world-famous Hermitage museum, housing more than four million works of art. It was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and ranks among one of the largest and oldest museums in the world. Admire world-famous masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Rafael, Titian, Rembrandt, El Greco, Velasquez, Rubens, Van Dyck, Goya, and French Impressionists. The largest building of the Hermitage is the Winter Palace and former residence of Russian Emperors. Spend the rest of the day at leisure exploring the city on your own or perhaps you may choose to take an optional tour. (B, D)
Day 07: St Petersburg/Tallinn (Drive) (ESTONIA)
Journey to Estonia, where our first stop is at Narva. Continue to Tallinn, capital of Estonia and situated on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland.
Overnight: Meriton Grand Hotel or Sokos Viru Hotel, Tallin (1 night) (B, D)
Day 08: Tallin/Riga (Drive) (LATVIA)
On a walking tour of the Upper and Lower Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, we visit the Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Next, we visit Toompea Castle and see the 14th century gothic Town Hall. This afternoon we are off to Riga, capital of Latvia.
Overnight: Radisson BLU, Riga (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 09: Riga
During our sightseeing tour we see Riga Castle, the magnificent Dome Cathedral, St. Jacobs Cathedral, St. Peter’s Church, the Parliament building, Liberty Monument and the district of Art Nouveau houses. Afternoon is free. (B)
Day 10: Riga/Vilnius (Drive) (LITHUANIA)
Morning we take a leisurely drive to Vilnius, capital of Lithuania. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Overnight: Hotel Radisson BLU Royal Astorija, Vilnius (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 11: Vilnius
The city of Vilnius is located at the confluence of the Neris and Velnele Rivers. In Old Vilnius we visit Peter and Paul Church and St. Anna’s Church. View Vilnius University, dating back to 1570, the Gediminas' Tower in the Upper Town and Vilnius Castle. Afternoon is free. Optional excursion to Trakai. (B)
Day 12: Vilnius/Warsaw (Drive) (POLAND)
A full day’s drive seeing beautiful landscape and after crossing the border into Poland, we arrive at the capital city, Warsaw, late afternoon.
Overnight: Radisson BLU Centrum or Radisson BLU Sobieski or Mercure Centrum Hotel, Warsaw (2 nights) (B, L, D)
Day 13: Warsaw
This 700 year old capital of Poland is a symbol of nationhood and the will to survive against great odds. A sightseeing tour here includes a drive along the famous Royal Route from magnificent Castle Square to Lazienki Park and Palace, summer residence of the last king of Poland. Pass by the Palace of Science and Culture (known as a “wedding cake”), the Saxon Gardens, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto and the Barbican. Continue with the walking tour of the Old Town, Old Market Square and St. John’s Cathedral. Time free to rest or stroll through the city or attend late afternoon Chopin concert. (B)
Day 14: Warsaw/Krakow (Drive)
Journey to Czestochowa, known for the blackened picture of St. mary in the Yasna Gora Monastery, popularly called the “Black Madonna”. This afternoon tour the haunting Aushchwitz-Birkenau, the notorious World War II concentration camp. It is now on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. End the day in Krakow.
Overnight: Hotel Novotel Centrum or Andels Hotel or Qubus Hotel or DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Krakow (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 15: Krakow
Our exploration of Krakow starts with a visit to the Wawel Hill, viewing the Royal Castle and the Royal Cathedral. Enjoy a walking tour of the Old Town where we visit the Main Market Square, Renaissance Cloth Hall and St. Mary's Church. (B)
Day 16: Krakov/Prague (Drive) (CZECH REPUBLIC)
After an interesting and scenic drive through the Polish countryside, we cross the borders to Slovakia and then to the Czech Republic. Then, on to Zlata Praha (Golden Prague) with its Baroque churches, promenades, parks and ancient city walls.
Overnight: Hotel Angelo, Prague (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 17: Prague
Built on the seven hills more than 1000 years ago and situated on both banks of the Vltava River, Prague is one of the most attractive cities in Europe. Your city tour starts with a panoramic drive to the famous Wenceslas Square, the Strahov Stadium and the Castle Square. On a walking tour, visit the Royal Castle of Hradcany, St. Vitus Cathedral, Royal Palace and Loretto Church. Cross the Charles Bridge and walk through the old quarter of Prague to view the Jewish Ghetto, Town Hall and the world famous Astronomical Clock. The balance of the day is free. (B)
Day 18: Prague/Vienna (Drive) (AUSTRIA)
Today's destination is Vienna, the "City of Waltz", and one of Europe's loveliest cities.
Overnight: Hotel Hilton Stadtpark, Vienna (2 nights) (B)
Day 19: Vienna
Our morning tour includes visit of the Hofburg Palace, once the seat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and we view the Belvedere Palace, Prater amusement park, the UN buildings, St. Stephen's Cathedral and other vivid reminders of the city's imperial history. Afternoon is at leisure. Farwell dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)
Day 20: Depart Vienna
After an interesting journey through Russia, the Baltics and Eastern Europe we bid farewell as we are transferred to the airport for our departure flight. (B)