22 Nights: Wednesday 15 June - Thursday 7 July 2022
Discover a corner of Europe that's off the beaten track for most tourists - the historic and cultural gems of the
Baltic coast, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. These small countries are quite distinct in culture, history and
language. They do, though, share a lot of common history - rule by German barons, domination by Poland and Sweden, before being conquered by Russia. The 20th century saw almost continuous chaos and repression -
Russian control, then independence, then Soviet annexation, occupation by Nazi Germany, and back to Soviet control again, and after more than 50 years independence again when the Soviet Union collapsed. That
complex history makes for a fascinating mix of people, food, languages, architecture and culture. Each of the capitals - Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn - has many medieval wonders, and signs of their varied recent past as well as modern features. These cities each have their Old Town, but you won't get sick of historic buildings and cobbled streets as they're all unique in their own way.
St Petersburg was where Peter the Great built his new capital, to orient Russia to the west and graft modern
European ideas onto traditional Russian culture. It boasts spectacular expressions of imperial grandeur, and your three days here will be a cultural feast that includes the Hermitage, Peterhof, Catherine the Great's palace and the resting place of the murdered Romanov family. In your free time you can explore the canals, shop on Nevsky Prospekt or take in an orchestral or ballet performance. Then it's time to relax on the comfortable Volga Dream, a compact cruise ship that is your base for six nights as you travel by river, lake and canal to the nation's capital. On this inland voyage you can sample village life, see fabulous churches, watch the vast forests slide by and get close up to engineering marvels of canals and locks. On board there is a varied programme of talks, concerts, classes and other activities, as well as fine food and drink.
The tour concludes with several days in Russia's modern capital, Moscow. There's plenty of wealth on display in this new but old city. You'll see some of the highlights, such as the Kremlin and Red Square, galleries and
museums, and explore by foot and on the city's spectacular metro system. This tour encompasses famous cities, much less well-known capitals of the three Baltic states, a cruise through Russia's interior, and delving into rich art, culture and history. A feature of this cruise is that you stay in centrally located hotels in St Petersburg and Moscow rather than on the boat. This allows you to make the most of your time in the cities.
Please contact Calder & Lawson Tours if you are interested in a single occupancy place.
GROUP SIZE Minimum 10, maximum 18