Road Scholar : Home
The Baltic Sea Connection

Program Number: 3340RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/24/2014 - 9/7/2014; 5/21/2015 - 6/4/2015;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: Lithuania/Estonia/Latvia/Russia
Price starting at: $3,665.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 27; 13 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 9 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
   Novotel Vilnius Centre Hotel
  Vilnius, Lithuania 3 nights
   Avalon Hotel
  Riga, Latvia 3 nights
   Park Inn by Radisson Central Tallinn
  Tallinn, Estonia 3 nights
   Park Inn by Radisson Nevsky Hotel
  St. Petersburg, Russia 4 nights
 Novotel Vilnius Centre Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Novotel Vilnius Centre Hotel is part of the Accor Hotel chain and it is a medium size (159 rooms), 4-star hotel ideally located in the city center, next to the Old Town. The overall atmosphere of the hotel, its modern architecture, and simple but elegant interior reflect the spirit of modern Vilnius. It is located in the fashionable area of the city with many shops and restaurants and in close proximity to tourist and cultural sites. The hotel has 24-hour security and employs English-speaking staff.
  Contact info: Gedimino Ave. 16
Vilnius,  LT 01103 Lithuania
phone: (+370)5/266.6200
web: www.accorhotels.com
  Room amenities: Spacious, comfortable, tastefully-furnished guest rooms, with private bathrooms, satellite TV, and telephones. Rooms are air conditioned and have hairdryers. Internet service is available for a fee in standard rooms.
  Facility amenities: The hotel features a nice lobby, a fitness center, conference facilities offering Internet access, a lobby bar, and an excellent restaurant. It is fully air conditioned and offers various services.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Approximately $110 twin basis. 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 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: 13. Janvara St. 19
Riga,  LV-1050 Latvia
phone: +371 6716 9999
web: www.hotelavalon.eu
  Room amenities: All rooms are spacious, air conditioned and offer all the standard amenities, including private baths or showers, TV, telephone, minibars, safes, and hairdryers. There is free internet connection in each room.
  Facility amenities: The Avalon is fully air-conditioned, has a modern, tastefully designed lobby, conference facilities, a business center with internet access, a lobby bar 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 by Radisson Central Tallinn
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The Park Inn by Radisson Central Tallinn 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
Tallinn,  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, and all the standard amenities, including a hairdryer. Internet access is free, 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. It has good conference facilities and a small fitness area with a jacuzzi and sauna.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Park Inn by Radisson Nevsky Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Park Inn is a recently opened 3-4-star hotel (269 rooms) in the heart of St Petersburg. It is housed in an impressive modern building occupying an entire city block and facing the fashionable Nevsky Prospekt and a side street. The hotel offers all the modern amenities and is conveniently located in walking or short driving distance to many tourist attractions and theaters. It is also next to a Metro stop and the Moscow train station. 24-hour security and English-speaking staff.
  Contact info: 89 Nevsky Prospekt
St.Petersburg,  191036 Russia
phone: +7 812-406-7310
web: www.rezidorparkinn.com
  Room amenities: Newly furnished, comfortable rooms have individual climate control (including air conditioning), private showers (no bathtubs), telephones, and flat-screen TV. The rooms are tastefully furnished, although rather small, all have safes and hairdryers. Internet connection is free of charge in all guest rooms.
  Facility amenities: The Park Inn Hotel has a pleasant modern lobby, elevators, a nice restaurant, several bars, concierge service for theater tickets, a small fitness center, a well-equipped business center with Internet access, and conference facilities. The hotel offers various services including laundry, dry cleaning, room service, etc. Free Internet connection is available to guests in the hotel lobby.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: $350 twin (approx). 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. Please 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 into a different room with the group. Additional nights can also be booked independently via the Internet.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Day 2: 3.00 pm - Room check-in starts. 6.00 pm - Meet in lobby for Road Scholar registration. You will be staying at Novotel Vilnius Centre Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Day 15: 9:00 am - program officially ends. 12:00 noon -- room check-out. Drop off at airport. You will be staying at Park Inn by Radisson Nevsky 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: Available if traveling within Europe.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Vilnius
  Nearest highway: n/a
  Nearest airport:  Vilnius VNO
  Transportation to site: A group arrival transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air-inclusive program and arrive on the group date. Independent travelers are welcome to join pre-arranged group arrival transfers. Public transportation (bus) is not recommended. If you hire a taxi at the Vilnius Airport upon arrival, please go to a taxi stand outside the arrival hall and agree on the fare in advance with the driver (expected cost: equivalent of $30-40, payable in litas). In order to obtain litas, a currency exchange desk and ATMs that dispense litas are located in the airport arrival hall.
  From End of Program
  Location:  St. Petersburg
  Nearest airport:  LED Pulkovo Airport
  Transportation from site: A group departure transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air-inclusive program and depart on the group date. GROUP DEPARTURE TRANSFER SCHEDULES WILL BE ANNOUNCED AT THE LAST PROGRAM SITE 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE. Independent travelers are welcome to join pre-arranged group departure transfers.
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: In transit
(Sunday, August 24)
   
 Depart From: your home airport in the USA to Vilnius, Lithuania.

Day 2: Check-in, orientation meeting, and introductions.
(Monday, August 25)

Note: Upon arrival at the airport, look for an agent holding a Road Scholar sign. Note: This program is designated as "Active": please be prepared to carry/roll your luggage to/from the bus and upon arrival at hotels, also for walking up to 2 miles daily, including on cobblestone surfaces. This program is not suitable for participants requiring wheelchairs, walkers, or scooters. Note: travel time from the airport to the hotel is approx. 30-40 minutes.



   
 Arrive To: Arrival in Vilnius in the afternoon. Group transfer to hotel for all participants holding air tickets from Road Scholar. Independent travelers are welcome to join the pre-scheduled group transfer or make their way to hotel by 6 pm. The departure transfer schedule will announced in the 2nd Road Scholar mailing.
 Afternoon: 6.00 pm Road Scholar registration. Orientation meeting, group member introductions.
 Dinner: Welcome Dinner.
   
Accommodations: Novotel Vilnius Centre Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Political discussion and a city walk / Free afternoon / Evening show
(Tuesday, August 26)

Note: Expected walking is up to 2 miles on cobblestone surfaces, comfortable shoes are recommended.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning participate in a lecture by a university professor focusing on the Baltic States's geographical and political position and on Lithuania's integration into the European community. After the lecture, join a local expert for a city walk, focusing on the city of Vilnius its history and baroque architecture: walk through the University campus, see the rich interior of Peter and Paul Cathedral and the Church of St. Anna, admire the medieval Gates of Dawn and stop at the site of the ancient synagogue.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: The afternoon is free to explore on your own; suggestions will be provided of interesting sights to visit.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or in a local restaurant and a folkloric show.
   
Accommodations: Novotel Vilnius Centre Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Visit to Trakai Castle / evening cultural event
(Wednesday, August 27)

Note: Travel time to Trakai is about 1 hour each way, expected walking up to 1 mile, comfortable shoes are recommended.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning is dedicated to Lithuania's 1000-year old history. Drive for an excursion of the historic Trakai Castle. From a museum curator learn about the history of Lithuania and the historic events associated with Trakai Castle. For a short time in the middle ages, Trakai was the capital of Lithuania. From the castle you have a magnificent view of more than 30 glacier-made lakes. The 15th-century castle, constructed in 1406 under Grand Duke Vytautas, is strategically situated on three islands in the middle of Lake Galve. Trakai's pride is the Castle History Museum, which features many medieval objects and Lithuanian period furniture of the 18th-20th centuries.
 Lunch: Lunch in Trakai.
 Afternoon: Return to the city. The afternoon is free to explore on your own. Check with the Group Leader for suggestions or just wander about the city.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
 Evening: Cultural connection -- spend an evening with local residents.
   
Accommodations: Novotel Vilnius Centre Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Vilnius-Riga transfer
(Thursday, August 28)

Note: Travel by comfortable, air-conditioned motor coach (expected total travel time 5-6 hours, including a stopover). Rest stops are made.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: After breakfast, hotel check-out. Drive to Riga, Latvia, via the town of Pilsrundele, where we stop and participate in an excursion to the baroque palace of Rundele, the former summer residence of the Duke of Courland.
 Lunch: Lunch in restaurant 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 Avalon Hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
 Evening: Evening free to relax or join your Group Leader for an informal walk to enjoy the Old Town near your hotel.
   
Accommodations: Avalon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Political discussion / Museum of Latvian Occupation and a walking excursion in Old Town / Cultural event
(Friday, August 29)

Note: Extensive walking in Old Town on cobblestone surfaces.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: This morning attend a lecture: “Latvia today, the political and economic situation in Latvia, and its socio-demographic structure.” Then join a local expert for a city walk and learn about the 800-year history and architecture of Riga's Old Town (a UNESCO World Heritage site). See medieval buildings, Riga Castle, and enjoy organ music at the Dome Cathedral.
 Lunch: Group lunch in a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Visit the Museum of Latvian Occupation, featuring many items and documents related to Latvia's struggle for independence. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore on your own. Suggestions will be provided of interesting sights to visit.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
   
Accommodations: Avalon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Presentation on Latvian music / Excursion to Jurmala
(Saturday, August 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Today attend a presentation on Latvian national music. Learn about Latvian folkloric traditions and musical instruments. After the presentation, continue exploring the city by motor coach. Enjoy an expert-led drive through the Art Nouveau district famous for Jugenstil architecture. After the excursion, drive through the area of the former Jewish ghetto.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time in the city or at hotel. Attend a classical concert.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel after the concert.
   
Accommodations: Avalon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Riga-Paarnu-Tallinn, Estonia
(Sunday, August 31)

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



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel in Riga.
 Morning: Hotel check out. This morning spend time at a local market before driving to Tallinn, Estonia. On the way to Tallinn, enjoy the Estonian countryside, the picturesque Baltic coastline, numerous hills and lakes. Have a short stop in Paarnu, a seaside resort town.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own en route to Tallinn.
 Afternoon: Continue on to Tallinn with a late-afternoon arrival at the program hotel. Tallinn was founded in 1154 and, at over 850 years old, is the oldest of the three Baltic capital and the historical, cultural, and political center of Estonia.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn by Radisson Central Tallinn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Discussion on the politics and economy of modern Estonia / Walking excursion in Old Town
(Monday, September 1)

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



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Participate in a discussion on the Estonian economy and social and political issues in the aftermath of Estonia's entry into the EU. Following the discussion, begin an expert-led city walk to learn about the history of Estonia and the architecture of Old Tallinn. The Old Town is on the World Heritage list of UNESCO. It has all the features of a 15th-century trading town and the general look of a typical, prosperous Hanseatic town. We shall see the Toompea Castle, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Dome Church, and other interesting sites in the Upper Town.
 Lunch: Lunch in a local restaurant in Old Town.
 Afternoon: A city walk continues in the Lower Town of Tallinn. The medieval Old Town is a busy place with shops, galleries, souvenir markets, outdoor cafes and restaurants. We shall see the Old Town Hall, called Raekoja Plats,and the Tower, both dating back to the 15th century, pass by St. Nicholas Church and the Town Hall Square, and end up at Catherine's Arts and Crafts Center. ATTEND A CONCERT. The rest of the evening is free for independent explorations.

 Dinner: Dinner on your own in Old town.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn by Radisson Central Tallinn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Visit to Kadriorg-Piriita / Free afternoon and evening
(Tuesday, September 2)

Note: .Walking up to 2 miles on uneven terrain.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning we learn about Estonia's historic ties with Russia and visit the Kadriorg Palace -- a stunning baroque splendor with stuccoed ceilings and landscaped gardens all round. Now a branch of the Art Museum of Estonia, it houses a rich collection of paintings, graphics, sculptures and applied art. Then take a drive through the nearby seaside suburb of Piriita, a popular recreational area by the Baltic Sea and a favorite venue for mid-summer festivals and active holidays. Return to Old Town.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: The afternoon is free to explore Tallinn on your own. Suggestions of interesting sites and local museums to visit will be made on site.
 Dinner: Group dinner in Old Town.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn by Radisson Central Tallinn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Tallinn-St. Petersburg, Russia, motor coach transfer.
(Wednesday, September 3)

Note: Expected travel time is 6-7 hours. Facilities on board the motor coach.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Morning motor coach transfer to St. Petersburg, Russia, with a stopover in the town of Narva for customs and border-crossing formalities.
 Lunch: Packed lunch box / water
 Afternoon: Free time to rest upon arrival in St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia and a very important cultural and educational center. Founded by Peter the Great in 1703 to rival Venice, the city was built on a series of canals and over 100 islands connected gracefully by more than 350 bridges. For its stunning beauty and architectural splendor, it soon became known as the "Venice of the North". Afternoon is free.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant near hotel.
 Evening: Free evening.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn by Radisson Nevsky Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Lecture / City excursion / Evening performance
(Thursday, September 4)

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



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning participate in a discussion on "Russia Today", which will address Russian society, the political system and issues of religion and ethnicity (presented by a university professor). Q&A . Following the lecture begin exploring the city by motor coach to see major architectural and historic landmarks, including: the Peter and Paul Fortress and Cathedral, the birthplace of the city; golden-domed St. Isaac’s Cathedral; the Bronze Horseman statue, a tribute to Peter the Great, the founder of the city; finally, drive along fashionable Nevsky Prospekt, passing by numerous palaces, gardens, canals, and graceful bridges.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Return to the hotel to rest before dinner.
 Dinner: Early dinner at a city restaurant.
 Evening: Evening performance.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn by Radisson Nevsky Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: Visit Tsarskoye Selo [Pushkin] and Peterhof
(Friday, September 5)

Note: A full-day trip. Extensive walking (up to 2 miles), comfortable shoes are recommended. A late return is possible due to city traffic.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Today is dedicated to the Romanov Dynasty (of Russian tsars). En route to Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), hear a presentation on the Romanov family, who ruled Russia for over 300 years. Visit Catherine's Palace in Tsarskoye Selo and see an elaborate baroque palace built in 1752 by Tsarina Elizabeth to honor the memory of her mother Catherine I. Later it became a favorite retreat for Catherine II (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 stolen by the Nazis during WWII and later meticulously reconstructed by Russian artists.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Continue on to Peterhof, a favorite summer estate of Peter I (the Great). See (exterior only) the elaborate Grand Palace built to rival Versailles and now a museum, the Mon Plaisir Palace, a more humble villa, the Grand Cascade, and enjoy an expert-led walk in the spectacular Lower Park by the Gulf of Finland, featuring over 150 fountains (note: excursions to palaces and other museums on site are not part of the visit).
 Dinner: Dinner upon return.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn by Radisson Nevsky Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14: The Hermitage Museum / Free time / Farewell Dinner
(Saturday, September 6)

Note: Extensive walking (up to 2 miles), comfortable shoes are recommended.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning participate in an expert-led visit to the Hermitage Museum, one of the world's greatest art galleries. Enjoy the dazzling collection of Old Masters, French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, as well as numerous art treasures of all eras from all over the world.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own
 Afternoon: The afternoon is free at the Hermitage, or to explore the city on your own. Suggestions for interesting sights and museums will be made. Or you could perhaps join your local expert for an optional boat ride along rivers and canals to view the city from the water.
 Dinner: Enjoy a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn by Radisson Nevsky Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 15: Transfers to airport.
(Sunday, September 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Program ends, transfer to the airport for flights home. A group departure transfer is organized for everyone who purchased an air-inclusive program from Road Scholar. Independent travelers are welcome to join pre-scheduled group transfers.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Vilnius Amber
Interesting collection of amber for those who wish to learn more about amber, for which the Baltic Sea is famous. 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


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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


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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


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Coup de Grace


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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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