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19 Day – Old East Europe and Russia

Experience Baroque splendour and marvel at Scandinavian design with our 19 day tour and discover how the capitals of the north have been shaped by conflict, spanning the Thirty Years’ War to the end of the Cold War.

In Berlin you visit Ku’ Damm shopping centre, Museum Island, Humboldt University and see the Opera House, Reichstag building and Brandenberg Gate before travelling through Tiergarten.

See Rosenborg Castle, Amalienborg Palace and Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid on the harbour in Copenhagen and visit the famous Tivoli Gardens.

Explore Stockholm’s City Hall beautifully covered in millions of gilded mosaic tiles and the Blue Hall, which is the venue for the Nobel Prize banquets.

Visit Sweden and Stockholm then board your ship for an overnight voyage to Finland and explore Helsinki, famous for top design, fashion and modern Church in the Rock.

Cross the Russian border to the bustling city of St. Petersburg and visit the Hermitage Museum, see the Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood and Nevsky Prospect then walk inside the walls of the Kremlin Fortress in Moscow.

Stop at Minsk, rebuilt after the war in utmost Soviet style and pass Lenin standing in front of the government headquarters in Victory Square.

You will also see on your journey the red-brick Gothic Trakai Castle in Vilnius and Chopin Memorial in Warsaw.

 

 




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Prices

  • £3,580.00 From per person

Enquire about this tour

Tour Highlights

  • Moscow: With a Local Expert, walk inside the walls of the Kremlin Fortress, see the iconic St. Basil's Cathedral and explore the opulent Metro stations, described as underground art museums
  • Minsk: Gain an understanding of Minsk's Soviet past as you are led through the city with your Local Expert. See the wide avenues and gargantuan concrete buildings
  • Minsk: Pass Lenin, standing in front of the government headquarters. In Victory Square, see the obelisk honouring the heroes of World War II and the Church of St. Simon and Helena
  • Vilnius: Explore the Old Town and see the Jesuit University, the Gates of Dawn and the former Soviet KGB headquarters, as you are led by your Local Expert
  • Warsaw: Your Local Expert will show you the Old Town, Palace of Culture and visit the Chopin Memorial in the Łazienki Park before paying your respects at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes
  • Berlin: Travel along the Unter den Linden to see Humboldt University, the Opera House and Museum Island. Pass Brandenberg Gate and view the Reichstag building before travelling through Tiergarten
  • Copenhagen: With a Local Expert, witness the regal interior of Christiansborg Palace, with its stunning tapestries, furnishings and décor
  • Copenhagen: See the cathedral, university, Rosenborg Castle, the Renaissance Stock Exchange, Amalienborg Palace and Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid on the harbour
  • St. Petersburg: Explore the spectacular Hermitage Museum with a Local Expert, one of the world’s great repositories of European art and housed in the stunning former Winter Palace of the Tsars
  • Stockholm: Led by your Local Expert, venture to Gamla Stan, the medieval heart of the city to see the cathedral and the Royal Palace
Berlin
77°
partly cloudy
22% humidity
wind: 11mph E
H 76 • L 55
76°
Wed
76°
Thu
79°
Fri
79°
Sat
78°
Sun
Weather from Yahoo!

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 - Your Journey Begins

Board your overnight flight (Please ask about our great deals).

Day 2 - Welcome to Berlin

On arrival at Berlin’s Tegel Airport, your transfer will leave for your hotel at 10:30 or 12:30.

With the afternoon free, perhaps walk along the bustling Ku’ Damm, shopping centre of West Berlin, which during 40 years of division, became the shop window of the West.

At 18:00, join your travel director and travel companions at a local restaurant for your welcome dinner.

Hotel:    Steigenberger Hotel Berlin

Meals:   Dinner with Wine

 

Day 3 - The Spirit of Berlin

(Relaxed Start) In the morning, sightseeing with a Local Expert takes you along the Unter den Linden past the Humboldt University and Opera House.

Stop a while on Museum Island before passing Brandenberg Gate, a symbol of the reunification. See Norman Foster’s glass dome which crowns the Reichstag building before embarking on a journey through the Tiergarten.

Spend the afternoon exploring at your leisure or relaxing at your hotel.

Hotel:    Steigenberger Hotel Berlin

Meals:   Buffet Breakfast

 

Day 4 - Across the sea to Copenhagen

Depart Berlin and continue through northern Germany to Rostock for the sea crossing to Denmark. A peaceful journey through Danish countryside brings you to the capital, Copenhagen.

In the evening, delight in the enchanting atmosphere of the famous Tivoli Gardens.

Hotel:    Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, Copenhagen

Meals:   Buffet Breakfast

Day 5 - Copenhagen

With a Local Expert, begin your sightseeing with a visit the Christiansborg Palace, seat of the Danish Government, to marvel at the opulent interior. Journey past Copenhagen Cathedral and the university to see Rosenborg Castle, the Renaissance Stock Exchange and Amalienborg Palace, home of the royal family.

Visit the waterfront to admire Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid gazing across the harbour.

The rest of the day is at leisure.

Hotel:    Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, Copenhagen

Meals:   Buffet Breakfast

Day 6 - Stockholm, City of Islands

Enjoy a view of Kronborg Castle, reputedly the Elsinore home of Hamlet, during the short ferry crossing to Sweden.

Your journey then continues through fertile farmlands, dotted with neat farmhouses and barns.

Travel along the shores of peaceful Lake Vättern to Stockholm, beautifully situated on an island studded bay.

Hotel:   Hilton Stockholm Slussen

Meals:   Buffet Breakfast

Day 7 - Stockholm and Baltic Cruise

(Relaxed Start) With a Local Expert, visit the imposing City Hall with its impressive Gyllene salen, the Golden Hall, covered with 18 million gilded mosaic tiles and the Blå hallen, the Blue Hall, is the venue for the Nobel Prize banquets. Cross the harbour to Gamla Stan, the medieval heart of the city to see the cathedral and the Royal Palace.

In the afternoon, board your cruise ship for the overnight voyage to Finland. Enjoy dinner on board and then take in the breathtakingly beautiful sea views from the comfort of your high-class, sea-view cabin, while the northern sun hangs over the horizon, showing almost no sign of setting in mid-summer.

Hotel:    Cruising

Meals:   Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

 

 

Day 8 - Fashionable Helsinki

(Relaxed Start) Disembark your Baltic cruise and explore Helsinki, the trendsetting city of top fashion and design, alongside a Local Expert. Marvel at the stunning architecture of the modern Church in the Rock, which has been cut right into a boulder in the centre of Helsinki.

Continue to the Sibelius Monument and Finlandia Hall in the new quarter.

Hotel:    Original Sokos Hotel Albert, Helsinki

Meals:   Buffet Breakfast

 

Day 9 - St. Petersburg

From Helsinki, you will travel through rural lands and villages, following the coast of the Gulf of Finland.

Cross into Russia near Vyborg and continue through stretches of beautiful forests to reach St. Petersburg.

Hotel:   Courtyard St. Petersburg Vasilievsky

Meals:   Buffet Breakfast, Lunch

 

 

Day 10 - The Gardens of Petrodvorets

Join a Local Expert to see the Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood and the bustling main street of the city, Nevsky Prospect. Cruise by hydrofoil along the Baltic shore to Peter the Great’s summer residence of Petrodvorets, which for over 200 years was used for official ceremonies, lavish feasts and formal receptions.

Alight to explore the grand gardens and see cascading fountains.

Hotel:    Courtyard St. Petersburg Vasilievsky

Meals:   Buffet Breakfast

Day 11 - High Speed Train to Moscow

(Relaxed Start) Visit the opulent Winter Palace with your Local Expert. This is the former home of the Tsars, but now houses the Hermitage Museum. Witness a treasure trove of magnificent works of art, ranging from Egyptian carvings to Impressionist masterpieces.

Board your high-speed Sapsan train and relax in modern luxury and comfort as you swoop to Moscow in just a few hours.

Hotel:    Crowne Plaza Moscow World Trade Centre

Meals:   Buffet Breakfast

 

Day 12 - Moscow

(Relaxed Start) Join your Local Expert in Red Square, lined by Moscow’s landmark buildings, for an insightful tour. At one end rises the onion-shaped domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral while in front of the Kremlin stands Lenin’s Mausoleum. Enter the Kremlin to visit one of its cathedrals.

Explore the Metro stations, rich in marble, mosaics, sculptures and chandeliers, often referred to as underground art museums.

With the afternoon at your leisure, why not visit the Kremlin Museum to gaze at the treasury of the Tsars? In the evening, don’t miss the chance to absorb the atmosphere and admire the magic of the Red Square and the Kremlin at night.

Hotel:    Crowne Plaza Moscow World Trade Centre

Meals:   Buffet Breakfast

 

Day 13 - Moscow at Leisure

(Relaxed Start) Enjoy a relaxed start and a full day set aside to explore Moscow at your own pace. Perhaps visit the Borodino Panorama Exhibition or enjoy an Optional Experience in Zagorsk, the renowned centre of ancient Russian art and architecture?

Hotel:    Crowne Plaza Moscow World Trade Centre

Meals:   Buffet Breakfast

 

Day 14 - Minsk, The Supreme Soviet City

Depart Moscow and pass near Borodino as you follow the route taken by Napoleon’s retreating army in 1812. Stop in Smolensk for an included lunch, then enter Belarus and continue to the capital, Minsk, rebuilt after the war in utmost Soviet style.

Hotel:    Renaissance Minsk Hotel

Meals:   Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Wine

 

Day 15 - Minsk Sightseeing and Vilnius

(Relaxed Start) Your Local Expert will take you along wide avenues, passing gargantuan concrete buildings, a legacy of Minsk’s Soviet past. Lenin still stands in front of the Government headquarters! See the obelisk in Victory Square honouring the heroes of World War II and the Church of St. Simon and Helena.

Continue to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

In the evening, choose from a variety of hand-selected local restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening.

Hotel:    Radisson Blu Hotel Lietuva, Vilnius

Meals:   Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

 

Day 16 - The Island Castle of Trakai

Sightseeing in the morning starts at the Baroque church of St. Peter and St. Paul. See the neoclassical cathedral before joining your Local Expert for a leisurely walk through the Old Town. See the Jesuit University, the Gates of Dawn and the former Soviet KGB headquarters, a dark reminder of more recent events.

Visit the splendid Trakai Castle, built on a fortified island at the beginning of the 15th century and now faithfully restored in all its glory.

Hotel:    Radisson Blu Lietuva Hotel, Vilnius

Meals:   Buffet Breakfast

 

Day 17 - Rejuvenated Warsaw

Pass lakeside Augustow during a scenic journey through Masuria, a region blessed with a plethora of lakes and forests. Your destination will be the Polish capital, faithfully rebuilt after the devastation of World War II.

Hotel:    Sofitel Warsaw Victoria

Meals:   Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

 

Day 18 - Exploring Warsaw

(Relaxed Start) Join a Local Expert for an exploration of the city. Pass the tiered Palace of Culture and stroll through Łazienki Park to the Chopin Memorial. Take a moment to reflect at the Ghetto Heroes Monument before walking to the Market Square in the Old Town.

In the evening, join your newfound friends and Travel Director for a Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant and enjoy a fine selection of local dishes and wine.

Hotel:   Sofitel Warsaw Victoria

Meals:  Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

 

Day 19 - Depart Warsaw

Your transfers will arrive at Warsaw Airport at 07:30 and 10:00.

Meals:   Buffet Breakfast

Berlin
77°
partly cloudy
22% humidity
wind: 11mph E
H 76 • L 55
76°
Wed
76°
Thu
79°
Fri
79°
Sat
78°
Sun
Weather from Yahoo!

Important Information

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight’s luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and on-board washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert’s fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included – you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency.
  • We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an insight Flourish, which is a local speciality representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times.
  • If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with us, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Departure Information

  • Departs Tuesday and returns Saturday throughout the year.

Optional Experiences

  • Most trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing.
  • There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime!
  • These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trips.
  • Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers.
  • The Optionals listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Potsdam and Sanssouci Excursion

Drive to Potsdam for a guided tour of the beautiful Cecilienhof Palace where the Potsdam Declaration was signed in 1945. Then it’s on to another UNESCO World Heritage site; the magnificent grounds of Sanssouci Palace to stroll amid the famous terraced gardens of Frederick the Great.

North Zealand Castle Tour

Drive along the scenic coastal road of the Danish Riviera to the castles of North Zealand. See Fredensborg, the summer residence of the Royal Family, then visit Fredriksborg, the largest Renaissance palace in Scandinavia. IT’s now a museum, so the tour through the beautiful rooms is an encounter with the kings and queens who shaped the country’s history. En-route, pass through picturesque villages of half-timbered houses and thatched roofs.

Traditional Danish Dinner

Home to some of the world’s best restaurants, Copenhagen is currently experiencing a culinary renaissance. Make the most of the long summer evenings and join us for dinner Danish style in the heart of Copenhagen. Two glasses of wine, beer or soft drinks are included with your meal.

Russian Dinner in Helsinki

As the capital city in a former Grand Duchy of the Russian Tsarist empire, Helsinki has always been famous for its Russian restaurants – even amongst the Russians. Tonight we enjoy an evening of authentic, pre-revolution Russian cuisine in an atmosphere of times gone by.

Imperial Splendour

Walk within the walls of the Kremlin to visit the treasure chest of the Imperial Russian family in the Armory. With your guide, you’ll witness the staggering collection of Tsarist artefacts, be it bedazzling crown jewels, jewel-studded thrones or the world-famous Fabergé Eggs!

Moscow By Night

As the sun goes down Moscow takes on a completely different complexion. A local expert shows you the major monuments of this bustling city by night. Admire the evening magic of the famous Red Square once the day time crowds have dispersed – the floodlit towers of the Kremlin, twinkling Gum Department Store and magical domes of St Basil’s Cathedral bathed in romantic light.

Russian Mosaic

The complex history of Russia is fixed in the soul of the people and this experience focuses on historical events that have shaped the nation. Drive out to the Victory Park Complex – an emotional tribute to those who fell on the battlefronts of a war. Continue with a visit to the Borodino Panorama Exhibition which brings to life the Battle of Borodino, one of the most important events in Russia’s history and immortalized in Tolstoy’s epic, ‘War and Peace’. Finally at the Novodevichy cemetery, see memorials to such greats as Khrushchev, Chekhov, Mayakovsky, Prokofiev and Eisenstein(On occasions when Borodino is closed we will visit the Memorial Park complex instead).

Excursion to Sergiyev Posad

A wonderful excursion takes you to Sergiyev Posad (known as Zagorsk in the Soviet era), renowned centre 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 Troitse Sergiyevo Lavra, one of the most beautiful of all monasteries. Afterwards, enjoy time to browse for locally made Russian handicrafts, wooden toys and Matryoshka dolls at the local market.

Russian Folklore Show

Come and hear the balalaikas ringing out! A spectacular evening of traditional music, song and dance! This fun-filled show will have you clapping along to the rollicking Cossack dancers and girls in brightly coloured costumes as they sing their sweet harmonies.

Neva River Cruise

Due to its many islands, canals and bridges, St. Petersburg is known as ‘the Venice of the North’ and the best place to view it is from the water. Soak up the romantic atmosphere with a cruise along the River Neva. Sip champagne as the Winter Palace and the Peter and Paul Fortress drifts by – it’s a photographer’s dream and a wonderful introduction to the former imperial capital!

Catherine Palace

The little town of Tsarskoe Selo, now called Pushkin, houses Russia’s most beautiful palace. Even from the outside, its awesome grandeur overwhelms the senses. Walking through the ‘Golden Enfilade’ of state rooms is like stepping into another world. Feel the presence of Catherine the Great reflected in the sumptuous gilded stucco, mirrors, and amber. The restored Amber Room is a truly unique monument with your local expert providing the historical context.

Peter and Paul Fortress

Join a local expert for a visit to the island stronghold where St. Petersburg’s foundation stone was laid in 1703. Built as a defence against Swedish attack, the fortress served as a political prison for the Tsars’ opponents, including Peter’s own rebellious son, Alexei. A fascinating walk through Russian history takes you from the riverside walkway, still lined with cannon, inside the bastions to the ornate church, housing the imperial tombs of the Romanov rulers. A must-see during your visit to St. Petersburg!

Russian Ballet Performance

With its flawless, graceful movements, heartfelt music and spectacle, Russian ballet can conjure up a range of powerful emotions. While in St. Petersburg, there may be the opportunity to attend a ballet performance. This optional experience is subject to the availability of tickets and performance. Pending on availability and the venue, the price may vary from €80-€110.

Yusopov Palace

Don’t miss this chance to visit the former residence of the Yusupov family and scene of Rasputin’s murder. Hear the fascinating story of the Siberian monk and his influence on the Imperial Family as you are led through the beautifully restored interiors to the room where his murder took place!

Swedish Summer Dinner

This evening, we dine “Swedish Style.” Savour a succulent three-course meal with beer, wine and soft drinks. Soak up the atmosphere of the traditional surroundings while enjoying its history and design.

Vasa Galleon

When the Vasa was launched in 1628, it was arguably the world’s most powerful warship. Bristling with 64 cannon and carrying some 300 men, it was built to strike the fear of God into the enemy. Unfortunately, it sank on its maiden voyage. Raised from Stockholm harbour in 1961, this grand galleon remains almost wholly preserved, along with 700 wooden sculptures and ornaments. Your visit will provide a unique insight into early shipbuilding techniques and everyday life on board a 17c naval vessel.

KGB Museum Visit

The former KGB headquarters are a grim reminder of the regime of terror that existed under Soviet occupation. A local expert takes you through the emphatically named Museum of Genocide Victims which recounts the Soviet years of political oppression and the partisan fight for independence. In the basement, reflect while in the cells used for the torture and imprisonment of dissidents right up until the late 1980’s.

Lithuaniun Dinner and Entertainment

Take your seats for a fun-filled evening of traditional entertainment and hearty Lithuanian cuisine. Expect delicious dishes prepared according to age-old recipes, an authentic atmosphere and colourful folklore entertainment featuring traditional dancers, musicians and songs.

Wilanów Palace

To the Polish people, Wilanów is more than just a palace – it’s a national treasure, the embodiment of an era from which much has been lost. Join a local expert for a guided visit to the ‘Polish Versailles’. Walk within the baroque royal residence to admire the stunning collection of furniture, portraits and china which forms part of the National Museum.

Chopin Concert

The spirit of Warsaw and the music of Chopin go hand in hand. In a concert venue located in the centre of Warsaw, enjoy an exclusive private recital of his music performed by a celebrated Polish pianist. Champagne is served during the intermission.



FAQ’s

What meals are included?

Breakfast is included on all overnight tours.  Lunches are not included, unless otherwise stated.  Evening meals are included when stated on the tour itinerary.  On tours of seven days or more, generally fifty percent of dinners are included.  Please check the itinerary page for exact details.

Where does the trip depart from?

Each UK trip will have a dedicated pick up point in central London.  Shorter duration trips will normally depart from Victoria Coach Station, with longer duration trips leaving from the London Reception Centre, near to Waterloo train station.  Departure points will be confirmed before booking a tour.

Can I get picked up from my hotel?

Pick up from hotels is not possible.  You will need to make your own way to the departure point.  However some tours do have a designated hotel departure, which you can stay in prior to the trip.  Please ask at time of booking for departure points and we can direct you to local hotels.

Are entrance fees included?

Entrance fees are included where specified on the itinerary.

Can I pay in dollars?

All tours are quoted and charged in pounds sterling, but you can pay using your local card and currency.  We will debit the card in pounds sterling and your bank will use their exchange rate at that time to deduct the amount in your local currency.

What time does the trip leave and return?

Departure times will vary depending on the itinerary.  European tours departing from London will usually leave between 05.00am and 07.00am.  Multi day UK tours will leave between 06.00am and 07:30am.  Day trips will depart between 07.00am and 09.00am.  European and worldwide tours that start in an overseas city will have a welcome reception on day one of the tour which is usually around 18.00pm.

Return times vary depending on the itinerary.  All the full day coach tours should be finished by no later than 19.00pm, traffic permitting.  The train tours return between 20.00pm and 22.00pm.  Longer duration trips will return between 16.00pm and 19.00pm.  All times will be confirmed at time of booking.

Is this a definite/guaranteed departure?

A definite departure is guaranteed to operate for that given departure date.  A trip that is not yet designated a definite departure is not yet guaranteed to operate based on current booking numbers.  If a trip and departure date you are interested in is not yet definite, do not let this discourage you from booking.  The more paid passengers received, the odds of the trip operating increase.  In the slim case that the operator withdraw a trip you are booked on due to a lack of numbers, you are entitled to a full refund of any funds already paid towards the tour, or if flexible with your time, we can move you onto another departure.

Who travels on these tours, who else is booked?

Whilst we can not confirm exactly who else is booked on a tour, we can guarantee you will be travelling with fellow liked minded travelers who share a passion for travel, fun, adventure and discovery.  All tours will be run by English speaking guides and age ranges will vary.  The beauty of taking a guided holiday is you’ll have the opportunity to meet and travel with people from all over the globe.

Are transfers included from the airport?

In general, if you are joining or departing your guided holiday on the first or last day, return transfers between the airport and hotel are included (excludes itineraries starting and/or ending in London).  You’ll find specific information on the itinerary’s page.

What optional excursions can I do and can I book them now?

Optional experiences are available on some tours.  These are activities that are not automatically included, but offered during your trip to enhance your travel experience.  These are all bookable whilst on the tour via your tour guide/travel director.  These are payable by cash or card.



Our Most Popular Essentials



There are so many and we cater for everyone so it may be a case of a leisurely out of London trip to Stonehenge or you may want the buzz and excitement of a theatre tour of London – all the glitz and glamour is there. Out of London, we offer all sorts of adventures: Roman Baths, Shakespeare country, the Royal Pavilion, Brighton – you name it. Same with London – we don’t just do the round London tours – we can take you to Kew Gardens or we can take you on an expedition on the roof of the O2 Dome to the platform at the top offering spectacular views.

So we offer Out of London, Around London, Theatre and Hotels and then there are the spectacular Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day tours – what a way to celebrate the fun season.