Road Scholar : Home
The Baltic Sea Connection

Program Number: 3340RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/24/2013 - 6/10/2013; 8/24/2014 - 9/7/2014; 5/21/2015 - 6/4/2015;
Duration: 17 nights
Location: Lithuania/Estonia/Latvia/Russia
Price starting at: $4,583.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 39; 16 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 15 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Tucked into a corner of the European continent, on the border with Russia, these Baltic nations sharing the Baltic sea coastline have emerged from the era of Communism with a face turned firmly toward the future. See how centuries of living in the shadows of more dominant nations have emphasized their unique characters as they embark on the 21st century. Trace their history, artistry and politics all the way to St. Petersburg.




Highlights

• A former Lithuanian government official discusses the status of the Baltic states in the European Union.
• Enjoy an evening with local Baltic residents and cultural events such as traditional music and dance performances, or a classical concert.
• Licensed experts and university staff highlight Medieval architecture of the Baltics and art treasures of the Hermitage and Summer palaces of Russian Tsars.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles daily, standing in museums; no wheelchair facilities.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Vilnius (Lithuania), 3 nights; coach to Riga (Latvia), 3 nights; coach to Tallinn (Estonia), 3 nights; coach to St. Petersburg (Russia), 4 nights; departure.



Overnight flight from U.S
1 night
Arrival Vilnius (Lithuania)
3 nights

An expert on regional politics highlights Lithiania's struggle for independence. Excursions in and around Vilnius focus on history and modern revival. Visit the 14th-century Trakai Castle, situated on an island in Lake Galve, enjoy a walk in the Old Town. Enjoy and evning with the locals.



Coach to Riga (Latvia)
3 nights

Learn about Riga’s 800-year-old-history and unique Dutch Renaissance architecture during a walk in Old Town, and explore the Art Nouveau architecture on Alberta Street. See Riga castle and the Dom Cathedral and catch a glimpse of the city’s cosmopolitan future in Riga’s bustling, modern residents. Attend a cultural event.



Coach to Tallinn (Estonia)
3 nights

Drive along the Baltic coast through Parnu, a seaside resort town on the way to Tallinn. During an expert-led walk explore Tallinn's Upper Town, including a visit to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Dome Church and Lower Town with numerous shops and St. Catherine's Arts and Crafts Center. Walk through the Kadriorg park and hear of the effects of Estonia's accession to the EU from a local expert.



Morning motorcoach transfer to St. Petersburg (Russia)
4 nights

Start exploring St. Petersburg with a visit to the Peter and Paul Fortress, the birthplace of the city and the burial place of the Romanov tsars. Focus on the Romanov dynasty in lectures and during field trips to Tsarskoye Selo and Peterhof, summer residences of the tsars, spend a full day at the world famous State Hermitage Museum, conceived by Catherine the Great in 1764. Attend a lecture on ""Russia Today," addressing modern life and politics. Enjoy an evening performance.




Accommodations
Vilnius: Four-star hotel on the bank of the Neris River. Riga: Four-star hotel blends modern design and medieval architecture. Tallinn: Three-star hotel short walking distance to the Old Town. St. Petersburg: Superior three-star hotel facing the fashionable Nevsky Prospekt.
Meals and Lodgings
   Radisson Blu Lietuva Hotel
  Vilnius, Lithuania 3 nights
   Avalon Hotel
  Riga, Latvia 3 nights
   Park Inn Central Hotel
  Tallinn, Estonia 2 nights
   Oktyabrskaya Hotel
  St. Petersburg, Russia 4 nights
   Marriott Tverskaya Hotel
  Moscow, Russia 4 nights
 Radisson Blu Lietuva Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Radisson Blu Lietuva hotel (3-4 star) is located on the bank of the Neris River, a short walk to the Old Town and close to major tourist and cultural sites. Built in 1980, it is a fully renovated conference-style hotel (291 rooms). The simple but elegant interiors reflect the spirit of modern Vilnius, and some guestrooms and bars have a stunning view of the river.
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: Konstitucijos Str. 20
Vilnius,  LT 09308 Lithuania
phone: (+370) 5-272 6272
web: www.radissonblu.com
  Room amenities: Standard rooms are not large in size but are tastefully furnished, air-conditioned, have a full bath or shower and standard amenities, including high speed Internet for a fee, TV, telephone, and hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel features a nice modern lobby with an ATM, a number of shops, a fitness center, a business center offering free Internet access, several bars, and two restaurants. It is fully air-conditioned, has 24-hour security, and employs English-speaking staff.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: to be reconfirmed Additional hotel nights can be requested by contacting Road Scholar Travel Services. RSTS will confirm the reservation and rate and you will pay the hotel directly by credit card or by cash for the additional nights. Do note that the reservation will be separate from the program reservation and it is likely that you will need to check out of the room and check back in to a different room with the group. Extra nights can also be reserved independently via the Internet.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Avalon Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Opened in June 2007, the newly built, award-winning, 4-star Avalon Hotel successfully blends modern design with the medieval traditions of the city's architecture. It is located in the city center and is adjacent to the Old Town of Riga.
  Contact info: 70 Kaleju St.
Riga,  LV-1050 Latvia
phone: +371 67169999
web: www.hotelavalon.eu
  Room amenities: All rooms are spacious, air conditioned, and offer all the standard amenities, including private baths or showers, satellite TV, telephone, minibars, safes, and hairdryers.
  Facility amenities: The Avalon is fully air-conditioned, has a modern, tastefully designed lobby, conference facilities, a business center with Internet access, several bars, a fitness center, and a nice restaurant. It offers a wide range of standard services, employs English-speaking staff and has 24-hour security.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Park Inn Central Hotel
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The Park Inn Central is a comfortable, newly renovated, modern hotel, managed by Radisson, and situated near Old Town and the city center, within walking distance to major city sites. The hotel staff speaks English, offers 24-hour front desk service, and 24-hour security.
  Contact info: 7C, Narva mnt
Tallinn EE
10117,   Estonia
phone: + 372 633 9800
web: www.parkinn.com/hotel-centraltallinn
  Room amenities: Standard guest rooms are comfortable, clean and spacious with twin beds. They are air-conditioned, have private showers, all the standard amenities, and a hair dryer. Internet access is available for a fee, and there is a direct-dial phone, cable TV, and a minibar. No safes in standard rooms.
  Facility amenities: The hotel has 245 spacious guestrooms with modern amenities,a nice modern lobby, elevators, ATMs, a good restaurant, lobby bar, and a stylish café. It provides standard hotel services, including 24-hour laundry and dry-cleaning service and free high-speed wireless Internet access in the hotel lobby. Internet access for a fee is also available in standard rooms. It has good conference facilities and a small fitness area with a jacuzzi and sauna.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Oktyabrskaya Hotel
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: A superior 3-star hotel in the heart of St.Petersburg in an impressive, partially renovated 19th-century building once known as the Grand Hotel. It is conveniently located in the heart of the city close to major museums and theaters. The hotel has 24-hour security and employs English-speaking staff.
  Contact info: 10 Ligovsky Prospekt
St. Petersburg,  10098 Russia
phone: +7 (812) 578-15-15
web: www.oktober-hotel.spb.ru
  Room amenities: Standard rooms are spacious and tastefully furnished, with private baths or showers. Some rooms have showers only. All have renovated bathrooms with basic amenities and a hair dryer. Room amenities also include telephone, remote control TVs, and clock radio. Note: Rooms are air conditioned, but no safes are provided.
  Facility amenities: The hotel has a spacious, partially renovated lobby, a restaurant, a pleasant lobby bar, ATMs, a small fitness center, beauty salon, souvenir shops, currency exchange desk, theater desk, well equipped business center and conference facilities with Internet access, and a number of bars and snack rooms. There is no WiFi connection in standard rooms, but complimentary computers are available in the hotel business area.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Marriott Tverskaya Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Moscow Marriott Tverskaya Hotel is housed in a beautiful, modern building in the city center; it is a rather small and comfortable hotel, recently renovated (204 rooms and suites). It is located within walking distance to Red Square, the Kremlin, and the Bolshoi Theatre (approximately 2 miles). Public transportation is easily available.
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: 34 1st Tverskaya-Yamskaya St.
Moscow,  125047 Russia
phone: +74952583000
web: www.marriott.com
  Room amenities: Guest rooms are spacious, have 1 or 2 double beds, a safe, are air conditioned, and bottled water is provided daily. There is a combination bathtub/shower with a private bathroom, a hair dryer and normal bathroom amenities. Electrical plug adaptors are available. There is a mini-refrigerator, cable television with all-news channels, AM/FM radio, and a direct-dial phone.
  Facility amenities: A spacious lobby, two nice restaurants, a lobby bar, high-speed wireless Internet connection, foreign exchange office, ATM machine in the lobby, small business center, concierge service, complimentary coffee in the lobby, room service, laundry service, a small fitness center and health club. Smoking is permitted only in designated rooms and areas of the hotel. The hotel employs English-speaking staff and offers 24-hour security.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: approx $380 twin; $350 single. Additional hotel nights can be requested by contacting Road Scholar Travel Services. RSTS will confirm the reservation and rate, and you pay the hotel directly by credit card or by cash for the additional nights. Room rates are subject to change and can only be confirmed at time of reservation.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Day 2: 3.00 pm - Room check-in starts. 6.00 pm - meet at hotel lobby for Road Scholar registration. You will be staying at Radisson Blu Lietuva Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Day 18: 10.00 am program ends. 12.00 noon - Room checkout You will be staying at Marriott Tverskaya Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
n/a
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Public transportation (trains and buses) to the hotel is not recommended.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Vilnius
  Nearest highway: n/a
  Nearest airport:  Vilnius VNO
  Transportation to site: Participants traveling independently are responsible for their own transportation arrangements to meet the group at the first site and to get to the airport on the last day of the program. Public transportation (bus or train) is not recommended. If you choose to hire a taxi at Vilnius Airport (VNO) upon arrival, please consider an official taxi stand in the arrival hall and reconfirm the taxi fare in advance (expected cost: equivalent of $25-35, payable in litas). A currency exchange desk is located in the arrival hall of the airport.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Moscow
  Nearest airport:  DME Domodedovo
  Transportation from site: Participants traveling independently are responsible for getting to the airport on the last day of the program. Public transportation is not recommended. Please reserve a taxi in advance from the hotel.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: US departure
(Friday, May 24)
   
 Depart From: Your home airport

Day 2: Orientation meeting
(Saturday, May 25)

Note: Transfers to program hotel.



   
 Arrive To: Arrival in Vilnius in the early afternoon. A transfer to the hotel is arranged for all travelers holding air tickets issued by Road Scholar. Independent travelers are welcome to join the group transfer as per the transfer schedule.
 Afternoon: Orientation meeting at the hotel.
 Dinner: Welcome Dinner.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Lietuva Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Trakai Castle / Museum of Rural Life in Rumsiskes / Cultural event
(Sunday, May 26)

Note: Expected walking up to 2 miles, comfortable shoes are a must



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Theme of the day: "Lithuania as a Baltic country with a 1000-year history". Drive to historic Trakai for an educational visit to the Trakai Castle and a presentation on Lithuanian history at the Museum of History. See the castle, built in1406 by Grand Duke Vytautas and beautifully nestled on an island in the middle of Lake Galve. The museum curator will talk about Lithuania's medieval history and the important events associated with Trakai, a one-time capital of Lithuania.
 Lunch: Lunch
 Afternoon: Continue on to the town of Rumsiskes (about 40 miles from Vilnius) for an educational visit to an open-air museum to learn about rural life, national crafts, local customs and traditions from a museum expert.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel or in a restaurant in the city
 Evening: Evening cultural event.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Lietuva Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: City walk and university library / Evening with locals
(Monday, May 27)

Note: Expected walking up to 2 miles, be prepared to walk up several flights of stairs in the library



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning we have an expert-led city excursion, focusing on the history and architectural highlights of Vilnius. We walk through the university campus and have an inside visit to the university library, dating from the Middle Ages.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: The city overview continues. Have an inside visit to see the rich interior of the Peter and Paul Cathedral and St. Anna's Church. Continue your walk through the Gates of Dawn and stop at the site of the ancient synagogue. See numerous baroque medieval buildings.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel restaurant.
 Evening: This evening we spend with local residents at their homes for a cultural connection.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Lietuva Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Political discussion / Vilnius-Riga transfer
(Tuesday, May 28)

Note: All transfers are done by comfortable, air-conditioned motorcoach with facilities on board. For groups under 25, a smaller motorcoach without facilities is used. Rest stops are made every 2 hours (expected total travel time is 5-6 hours).



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Attend a lecture on "Lithuania's integration into the European community" (presented by a government official). After the lecture drive to Riga, Latvia, via the town of Pilsrundele and participate in an organized excursion to the baroque palace of Rundele, the former summer estate of the Duke of Courland.
 Lunch: Lunch en route to Riga.
 Afternoon: Late afternoon arrival in Riga. Founded in 1201 by the German Bishop Albert, Riga is the largest of the three Baltic capitals; it boasts a kaleidoscope of architectural styles, a busy seaport, and a rich cultural life. Check in at the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
 Evening: Evening free to relax; or, have an independent walk to enjoy the Old Town near your hotel.
   
Accommodations: Avalon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Political discussion / Museum of Latvian Occupation / Walking excursion in Old Town / Cultural event
(Wednesday, May 29)

Note: Expected walking in Old Town up to 2 miles.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Lecture at hotel: “Latvian identity; political and economic situation, and Latvia's socio-demographic structure.” After the lecture begin an expert-led walking excursion to explore the 800-year old UNESCO-listed Old Town. See the medieval Riga Castle and Dome Cathedral. Enjoy an organ recital in the Dome Cathedral.
 Lunch: Lunch in town.
 Afternoon: Visit the Museum of Latvian Occupation, featuring many items and documents related to Latvia’s struggle for independence. Free time.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
 Evening: Attend a concert.
   
Accommodations: Avalon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Presentation on Latvian music / Excursion to Yurmala / Ghetto Museum
(Thursday, May 30)

Note: Be prepared to spend all day outside the hotel.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: A presentation on Latvian national music: learn about Latvian folklore traditions and musical instruments. After the lecture participate in an expert-led excursion in the district of the city regarded by specialists as the capital of Art Nouveau architecture, known as New Style ("Jugendstil" in German). Art Nouveau appeared in architecture and furniture in the 1890s, and nearly half of the buildings in the center of Riga were built in this striking, flamboyant style. Following the excursion drive to the resort town of Yurmala.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in Yurmala.
 Afternoon: Spend part of the afternoon in Yurmala, a seaside resort famous for its music festivals, concerts, art galleries, and health spas. Admire the stunning city skyline on the way back to Riga, an unforgettable sight! Upon return to Riga, drive through the area of the former Jewish ghetto, and visit the Ghetto Museum.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Avalon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Travel by motor coach: Riga-Paarnu, Estonia-Tallinn
(Friday, May 31)

Note: Expected travel time is about 4-5 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel in Riga.
 Morning: Spend part of the morning at a local market before driving to Tallinn, Estonia. Enjoy the beautiful Estonian countryside and the picturesque Baltic coastline, numerous hills and lakes on the way to Paarnu, a seaside resort town where a short stop is planned.
 Lunch: Lunch en route to Tallinn.
 Afternoon: Continue on to Tallinn with a late-afternoon arrival at the program hotel. Rest.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
 Evening: Walk to the opera house for a performance of the ballet "La Bayadere" (10-15 minute walk).
   
Accommodations: Park Inn Central Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Discussion on the politics and economy of modern Estonia / Walking excursion in Old Town / Cultural event
(Saturday, June 1)

Note: Extensive walking up/down hills, be prepared to walk on cobblestones and uneven terrain



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Discussion: "Estonia today: the Estonian economy, and social and political issues in the aftermath of Estonia's entry into the European Union''. Following the discussion, begin a city walk to learn about the history of Estonia and the architecture of Old Tallinn. Visit Toompea Castle, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Dome Church, and other sites in the Upper Town.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own in Old Town.
 Afternoon: A city walk led by an expert continues in the Lower Town of Tallinn. Spend time at Catherine's Arts and Crafts Center. Free time.
 Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant in the hotel or in Old Town (TBA). The evening is free to relax, or to take an independent walk in the Old Town to enjoy this charming blend of medieval tranquility and modern urban life.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn Central Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: Transfer from Tallinn to St. Petersburg, Russia / Arrival in St. Petersburg
(Sunday, June 2)

Note: Expected travel time is about 7 hours on an air-conditioned motorcoach with facilities on board.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Morning motorcoach transfer to St. Petersburg, Russia, with a stopover in Narva for customs and border-crossing formalities (expected travel time about 7 hours by air-conditioned motorcoach with facilities on board).
 Lunch: Boxed lunch en route to St. Petersburg.
 Afternoon: Late afternoon arrival in St. Petersburg. Hotel check-in. Rest.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Oktyabrskaya Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: City excursion / Evening performance
(Monday, June 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Theme of the Day: "The History and Architecture of St. Petersburg": architectural highlights led by an expert. Participate in an expert-led visit to the Peter and Paul Cathedral -- the birthplace of the city and the burial place of the Romanovs. See the Winter Palace, the Bronze Horseman statue, St. Isaac's Cathedral (exterior), St. Petersburg University, the Summer Garden, and many other historic sites and architectural treasures of this magnificent city.
 Lunch: Time for lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Drive through Nevsky Prospekt (the main boulevard), and enjoy the sights of numerous canals, palaces, and bridges.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel or city restaurant.
 Evening: Transfer to an evening performance.
   
Accommodations: Oktyabrskaya Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: Field trip to the Hermitage Museum / Free afternoon
(Tuesday, June 4)

Note: Extensive walking including up/down stairs, also standing in museum



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Full-day educational visit to the Hermitage Museum, one of the world's greatest art galleries. View the dazzling collection of Old Masters, French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, as well as numerous items of all eras, from all corners of the world (3 hours to be spent with a licensed expert).
 Lunch: Lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Enjoy the Hermitage collection independently, or spend this afternoon exploring the city on your own.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel or city restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Oktyabrskaya Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: Summer estates of the Tsars: Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) and Peterhof
(Wednesday, June 5)

Note: Expected walking (up to 2 miles), comfortable shoes are a must.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Theme of the Day: "The Romanov Dynasty (of Russian tsars)". En route to Tsarskoye Selo hear a presentation on the Romanovs, who ruled Russia for over 300 years. Catherine's Palace in Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) is an elaborate baroque and rococco palace built in 1752 for Tsarina Elizabeth to honor the memory of her mother, Catherine (not "the Great"). See the eighth wonder of the world -- the extraordinary Amber Room, decorated with six tons of solid amber carved and framed in gold leaf. The original room was lost or confiscated by the Nazis during World War II and meticulously reconstructed in 2003 by Russian specialists.
 Lunch: Lunch
 Afternoon: Continue on to Peterhof, a favorite summer estate of Peter I (the Great). Walk with an expert to admire the stunningly famous golden fountains, the palace grounds, and other constructions in the park. See (exterior only) the Grand Palace (known as the "Russian Versailles", now a museum), the Mon Plaisir Palace, Peter's more humble villa, the Grand Cascade, which is the centerpiece of the palace grounds, other pavilions, and the spectacular Lower Park itself, stretching along the Gulf of Finland and featuring over 150 fountains (note: excursions to palaces and other museums on site are not part of the visit).
 Dinner: Dinner upon return to the city
   
Accommodations: Oktyabrskaya Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Political discussion / St. Petersburg-Moscow transfer
(Thursday, June 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Lecture: "Russia Today: an overview of Russian society, the political system, and issues of religion and ethnicity in modern Russia" (presented by a university professor). Q&A session.
 Lunch: Lunch in a restaurant in the city.
 Afternoon: Free time before transferring to the train station. Travel to Moscow by hi-speed train late in the afternoon (travel time 3:45 hours). Note: seats on the train are similar to those on a motorcoach, with plenty of legroom but limited space for luggage; facilities are available on board.
 Dinner: Dinner snack and water are provided on the train.
 Evening: Arrival in Moscow. Transfer to the program hotel.
   
Accommodations: Marriott Tverskaya Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: City excursion / Evening performance
(Friday, June 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Begin your exploration of Moscow with an expert-led drive through the city. Learn about Moscow's heroic past and vibrant present reflected in the city's history and architectural treasures. Stops are made at Moscow University, the New Maiden (Novodevichy) Convent where famous Russians are buried (view the exterior only), the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Russia's White House, Gorky Park, and the legendary Bolshoi Theater.
 Lunch: Time for lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Participate in a political discussion (presented by a university professor). Q&A session.
 Dinner: Dinner.
 Evening: Evening performance.
   
Accommodations: Marriott Tverskaya Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 16: The Kremlin compound and Armory Chamber
(Saturday, June 8)

Note: Extensive walking -- up to 2 miles.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: An educational trip to the legendary Kremlin compound: this is a self-contained, walled city (fortress) with an armory, churches, and a palace, which for hundreds of years has been the symbol of the powerful Russian state. You will see the exterior of the Kremlin Palace, its cathedrals, and the legendary Tsar Cannon and Tsar Bell. Cathedrals in the Kremlin compound include the golden-domed Cathedral of the Annunciation and the majestic Cathedral of the Archangel, a harmonious melange of Italian Renaissance and traditional Russian architecture. The walk through the Kremlin grounds is led by a licensed expert.
 Lunch: Time for lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Continue on with a visit to the Armory Chamber, featuring a unique collection of arms and armaments used through the Middle Ages, as well as various Russian royal treasures, including famous Faberge eggs commissioned by the Romanov tsars. Later have free time in Red Square, where all rulers of Russia left traces of their reign; see the ancient Kremlin wall, the striking Kremlin Clock Tower, GUM department store, and take pictures of St. Basil's Cathedral -- a multi-colored architectural wonder of the 16th century commemorating Russia's victory over the Tatars at Kazan.
 Dinner: Dinner.
   
Accommodations: Marriott Tverskaya Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 17: Tretyakov Picture Gallery / Arbat Street / Farewell dinner
(Sunday, June 9)

Note: Be prepared for all day outside the hotel.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: This morning participate in an expert-led visit to the Tretyakov Picture Gallery, housing the world's finest and most extensive collection of Russian paintings of all periods. Learn about Byzantine-influenced medieval icons, paintings by the Peredvizhniki (a group of 19th-century Russian artists) and admire masterpieces by Surikov, Kramskoy, Repin, and other talents.
 Lunch: Time for lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Transfer to Arbat Street, famous for art galleries and arts and crafts displays from all corners of the multi-ethnic Russian state. Free time in the Arbat. If desired, consider a ride on the famous metro system to admire beautiful underground stations decorated with mosaics and bronze chandeliers.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner
   
Accommodations: Marriott Tverskaya Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 18: depart from Moscow
(Monday, June 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Program ends, transfers to airport for all participants holding air tickets from Road Scholar. Independent travelers are welcome to join the designated group transfer bus.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Vilnius Amber
Interesting collection of Amber for those who wish to learn more about Amber which the Baltic sea is famous for. Program staff will assist you with this visit if desired. Entrance fee is additional.
  Jewish
The museum is dedicated to Jewish history in Lithuania, featuring numerous documents and photographs related to various historic periods. Program staff will assist with this visit if desired. Entrance fee is additional.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Woman in Amber


Author: Agate Nesaule


Description: In this American Book Award-winning memoir, Nesaule recounts the horrors she witnessed and experienced as a young girl during World War II in Latvia. A gripping testimony of survival.



Among the Russians


Author: Colin Thubron


Description: The marvelous account of a 10,000-mile journey by car from St. Petersburg and the Baltic States south to Georgia and Armenia in 1981. A gifted writer and intrepid traveler, Thubron grapples with the complexities of Russian identity in this lyrical book.



Baltic Sea States Map


Author: Freytag & Berndt


Description: This detailed (1:800,000), double-sided map covers not just the Baltic States but the entire Baltic region from Copenhagen across to Gdansk, St. Petersburg, Oslo and Stockholm.



Baroque and Rococo Art


Author: Germain Bazin


Description: An excellent illustrated survey of Baroque and Rococo art and architecture, this volume in the acclaimed "World of Art" series is a good companion to the golden age of Middle Europe.



Bradt Guide Baltic Cities


Author: Neil Taylor


Description: This second, expanded edition includes Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Kaliningrad as well as Tartu, Liepaja, Kaunas and Klaipeda.



Cathedrals and Castles, The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages


Author: Alain Erlande-Brandenburg


Description: This pocket-size encyclopedia of the art, architecture and culture of the Middle Ages features hundreds of drawings, color illustrations and a brief chronology.



Coup de Grace


Author: Marguerite Yourcenar


Description: A novel set against the backdrop of the Latvian War of Independence in the aftermath of WWI.



Crusader Castles of the Teutonic Knights, The Stone Castles of Latvia and Estonia


Author: Stephen Turnbull


Description: A heavily illustrated history of the medieval crusader castles of the Livonian Order (1185-1560) of Teutonic Knights in present-day Estonia and Latvia. With contemporary photos.



Estonia and the Estonians


Author: Toivo U. Raun


Description: A scholarly, comprehensive history of Estonia from prehistory to the 1990s in the Hoover Institution's "Studies of Nationalities" series.



Eyewitness Guide Moscow


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: This outstanding guide covers Moscow's culture, history and attractions with maps, site plans and hundreds of color photographs.



Eyewitness Guide St. Petersburg


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: With excellent local maps and site plans, this outstanding visual guide introduces the culture, history and attractions of St. Petersburg.



Eyewitness Travel Guide Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: Take along this compact, profusely illustrated travel guide featuring bright color photography, dozens of maps and a region-by-region synopsis. With a 50-page section on where to stay and eat.



Land of the Firebird, The Beauty of Old Russia


Author: Suzanne Massie


Description: Massie traces both minuscule details and larger movements in pre-revolutionary Russian art, literature and daily life in this affectionate overview of 19th-century palaces, courts and culture.



Lonely Planet Baltic Phrasebook


Author: Paul Jokubaitis, Jana Teteris, Lisa Trei


Description: Learn the basics of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian with this handy guide.



Nicholas and Alexandra


Author: Robert Massie


Description: This entertaining and well-researched history traces the royal relationship and explores how a disease determined the destiny of rulers, the disintegration of the empire and the course of Russian history.



Set Sail for Murder


Author: Carolyn G. Hart


Description: Retired newspaper reporter Henrietta O' Dwyer Collins, Henrie O to her friends, joins her dear old friend Jimmy Lennox on a Baltic cruise in this seventh installment in the cozy series.



The Baltic


Author: Alan Palmer


Description: Palmer chronicles the Baltic region from the Viking era and Byzantine Empire through wars, uprisings and other political conflicts of the twentieth century, and on to modern times, where he finds a group of nations and peoples poised to emerge as some of Europe's most vital democracies. In addition to the prolific British historian's considerable learning, he provides some rather entertaining anecdotes.



The Baltic Revolution


Author: Anatol Lieven


Description: A Latvian correspondent for the London Times, Lieven weaves history, interviews and analysis into a vivid cultural portrait of post-Glasnost Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.



The Dogs of Riga


Author: Henning Mankell


Description: Swedish detective Kurt Wallander travels from Ystad to Latvia on the shadowy trail of a grisly murder in this second book, steeped in Baltic ambiance.



The Northern Crusades


Author: Eric Christiansen


Description: The wilder-than-fiction story of the conquest and conversion of the pagan tribes of the Baltic coasts by the crusading knights of the Teutonic Order from the 13th to the 15th centuries.





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