Day 1, Arrive in Helsinki, Monday (D)
Upon arrival in Helsinki, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is to relax or perhaps begin your own discovery. Tonight, your tour director is hosting a welcome dinner and will introduce you to your fellow travelers and to the fascinating tour that awaits you.
Day 2, in Helsinki, Tuesday (B)
Helsinki, the capital of Finland lies in the far south of the country, on a peninsula that is home to the busiest passenger port in the world. Our comprehensive sightseeing covers the most important and interesting areas such as the historical center, the Senate Square, the Cathedral, City Hall, the Presidential Palace, Finlandia Hall, and the Opera House. We stop at the Sibelius Monument and, whenever possible, at the Temppeliaukio church (known also as Rock church). Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Optional Tour: Excursion to Suomenlinna Island
Day 3, to Tallinn, Wednesday (B, D)
We board a ferry to Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, situated on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland.
Afterward, we transfer to our hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Optional Tour: Kadriorg Palace
Day 4, in Tallinn, Thursday (B)
On a walking tour of Tallinn’s Upper and Lower Old Town, we visit the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Next up is a visit to Toompea Castle and the 14th-century Gothic Town Hall there. After the tour, we taste some Schnapps in a medieval house. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 5, to Riga, Friday (B)
We travel by motor coach to Riga, the capital of Latvia. On the way, we make a stop in Pärnu, located on the coast of Pärnu Bay. The city is known for its 19th-century timber villas and sandy Pärnu Beach, with its shallow waters and promenade. There is free time to stroll along the beach, have a cup of coffee, or even a lunch break. We then continue to Riga where the afternoon is free to explore the city or take an optional tour.
Optional Tour: Food Market experience
Day 6, in Riga, Saturday (B)
On our tour, we see the 700-year-old Riga Castle on the banks of the Daugava River, the magnificent Dome Cathedral, the St. Jacobs Cathedral, the St. Peter’s Church, the Parliament building, Liberty Monument, and the eclectic Art Nouveau buildings. After the tour, we sample Black Balsam, a dark and astringent liqueur made of 24 herbs and based on a 250-year-old recipe. The rest of the day is free to explore more of Riga, shop, or savor some Latvian crêpes.
Day 7, to Vilnius, Sunday (B, L)
This morning, we set a course for Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. On the way, we stop at the baroque and rococo Rundale Palace Museum. Built in the 18th century and surrounded by a French garden, the palace is an architectural marvel and a triumph of art over nature. After a lunch break here, we continue our journey to Vilnius with a stop at the Hill of Crosses in Siauliai. It represents Lithuania’s unique national and religious identity. The balance of the day is at leisure to begin exploring the city with its interesting architecture.
Day 8, in Vilnius, Monday (B)
Vilnius is located on the confluence of the Neris and Velnele Rivers. In Old Vilnius, we visit the baroque St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church and the striking St. Anne’s Church. We also see Vilnius University, dating back to 1570, the famous Gediminas’ Tower, and Vilnius Castle. The afternoon is free to explore.
Optional Tour: Trakai Castle Tour
Day 9, to Warsaw, Tuesday (B, L, D)
Drive through the landscapes of Lithuania on your way to cross the border into Poland.
Then take in the Polish countryside, cities, and towns. Before you head the Warsaw we will enjoy a lunch break. Afternoon arrival to the capital of Poland and free to explore city on your own before ending this day with a dinner.
Day 10, in Warsaw, Wednesday (B)
The 700-year-old capital of Poland has been called the “Phoenix City” because it rose again after being destroyed during World War II. Your sightseeing tour here includes a drive along the famous Royal Route from superb Castle Square to Lazienki Park and Palace, the summer residence of the last king of Poland. Then see the Palace of Science and Culture (known as a “wedding cake”), the Saxon Gardens, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Barbican. Next, on a walking tour, see the Old Town, Old Market Square, and St. John’s Cathedral. The rest of the day is free to stroll through a park, shop, relax, or perhaps attend an optional concert in the late afternoon.
Option Tour: Attend Chopin Concert
Day 11, to Krakow, Thursday (B, D)
This morning, our journey continues to Czestochowa, famous for the blackened picture of St. Mary in the Yasna Gora Monastery, popularly called the “Black Madonna”. In the afternoon, we solemnly visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. This former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. After our visit, we continue to Krakow where we have dinner.
Day 12, in Krakow, Friday (B, D)
A sightseeing tour today starts with a visit to Wawel Hill, where you’ll view the Royal Castle and visit the Royal Cathedral. Then take a walking tour of the Old Town, and see the Main Market Square, Renaissance Cloth Hall, and St. Mary’s Church. The afternoon is free. You might want to go for a stroll, shop, or relax over some szarlotka. In the evening gather with your fellow travelers and tour director for farewell dinner.
Day 13, depart Krakow, Saturday (B)
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Krakow airport.