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Highlights of the Baltics & Scandinavia

4.5 stars(8 reviews)

Stay in seven countries on one escorted rail tour

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
19 days From £4,295 per person

2021 Tour code: BEG21

About the tour

Discover the contrasting cultures of the fascinating Baltic region, from colourful Scandinavia to the splendour of Russia, via the historic countries of Latvia and Estonia. Explore glorious palaces and UNESCO World Heritage sites on this unique Baltic Explorer rail holiday.


What’s included


Days 1-2 - Denmark

After meeting at our Departure Office at London St Pancras, we depart on the Eurostar to Brussels. We change trains and travel to Bremen* for the night via Cologne.

On Day 2 we take the high-speed ICE (Standard Class) to Hamburg and Copenhagen, the Danish capital, home to the world's oldest monarchy.

*Please note - For departure BEG2101 you wil stay at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bremen 

  • Day 1 - Eurostar meal, Dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Discovering Copenhagen

This morning, we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Copenhagen. We see the Amalienborg Palace, a large octagonal structure surrounded by 4 identical Rococo palaces, one of which is home to the reigning monarch, Queen Margrethe II. We also visit the famous statue of the Little Mermaid and take a cruise through the colourful canal area of Nyhavn. For lunch today, we try a typical Danish delicacy, smorrebrod. These tasty open sandwiches are made using traditional rye bread, and come with a variety of fillings including fish, beef, and egg.

  • Breakfast
Days 4-5 - By train to Stockholm

This morning, we join the high-speed service to Sweden's beautiful capital, travelling over the scenic Øresund Bridge along the way. On arrival in Stockholm, we make the short walk to our hotel for 2 nights, the Scandic Continental.

On Day 5 we tour the city by coach, visiting sights such as the Royal Palace, the cathedral, City Hall, Djurgarden, and the Old Town. Your afternoon is free to explore.

  • Day 4 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 5 - Breakfast
Days 6-8 - Discovering Riga

This evening, we join the ferry for our overnight sailing to Riga. Enjoy fabulous views as we navigate the Stockholm archipelago.

The ferry docks in Riga shortly after breakfast on Day 7, and we transfer to our hotel. The rest of the day is spent admiring the city's main attractions; travelling back to the year 1201, we enjoy a pleasant walking tour that brings to life Riga's 900 year-old history. Entrance to the city's cathedral is included, and we explore the winding streets of Old Riga before a tasting of the area's unique 'black balsam', a traditional liquor brewed with local botanicals. Dinner this evening is served at Rozengrals Restaurant, a medieval style banqueting hall whose menu boasts modern takes on some old fashioned, Eastern European fare.

Day 8 is at leisure in Riga.

  • Day 7 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 8 - Breakfast
Days 9-10 - Exploring Tallinn

Today we travel by coach along the Gulf of Riga to the Estonian capital, Tallinn. At the heart of this historic city is the hill of Toompea, a maze of cobbled streets and alleyways filled with medieval houses. On arrival we enjoy a guided tour of the city, which includes the Dome Church, the Town Hall Square, and views of Toompea Castle - Estonia's seat of power. We enjoy dinner tonight at Peppersack Restaurant, a historic experience in the heart of Tallinn's Old Town.

Day 10 is free to explore Tallinn. Perhaps make a visit to the House of the Brotherhood of Blackheads, the only preserved Renaissance building in Tallinn. Another option is the unusually named 'Keik in de Kok', which means 'Peek into the kitchen'. This historic tower got its name because of its height, which allowed those inside to see through the windows of the surrounding buildings.

  • Day 9 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 10 - Breakfast
Days 11-12 - To Helsinki

This morning we depart for Helsinki by ferry, arriving in the early afternoon. We embark on a guided coach tour on arrival that includes the Rock Church, Senate Square, the Lutheran Cathedral of Helsinki, the University and Library of Helsinki, the Sibelius Monument, the Olympic stadium, and the new Opera House. This afternoon, we have a vintage tram ride through the city, seeing the sights from a different vantage point in restored carriages.

Day 12 is free to explore Helsinki. Finland's capital lies on an archipelago surrounded by smaller islands, many of which are connected by regular ferry services.

  • Day 11 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 12 - Breakfast
Days 13-15 - St Petersburg, the Hermitage, and Peterhof Palace

Today we travel by train (Standard Class) to St Petersburg*, visiting the Hermitage Museum, which celebrates St Petersburg's art and culture, on arrival.

On Day 14, we take a tour that includes St Isaac's Cathedral, with its gold dome, the lavish Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, and grand Nevsky Prospect. We continue to Peterhof Palace, renowned for its beautiful grounds filled with spectacular fountains and waterways.

Day 15's excursion includes a private tour of the Fabergé Museum, as well as a tour and tasting at the city's Vodka Museum.

*Please note: due to border restrictions, you will need to transport your own luggage for this rail journey.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Days 16-17 - Helsinki or London

You fly† back from St Petersburg to London today if you chose our fly option. Otherwise, we leave St Petersburg by train (Standard Class), travelling on the Allegro service to Helsinki. We transfer to the port for the overnight ferry to Travemünde, a Baltic resort.

After dinner on board, we arrive in Lubeck on the evening of Day 17.

†Please note: your luggage will travel on the ferry with you, rather than it travelling via our luggage service.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Days 18-19 Travemünde to Cologne and London

This morning we transfer by coach to Hamburg, where we board the train bound for Cologne. We spend the night here, enjoying a final, farewell dinner together.

On Day 19, we travel by rail to Brussels to join the Eurostar to London.

  • Breakfast, Dinner

Additional information

Please note

We are happy to offer a fly home version of this tour which runs at 16 days in length. On Day 16 (after breakfast) you will be transferred to the airport in St Petersburg for your flight back to London.

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Visa requirements
Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Maritim Hotel, Bremen

Maritim Hotel, Bremen

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Scandic Copenhagen

Scandic Copenhagen, Copenhagen

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Scandic Grand Marina

Scandic Grand Marina, Helsinki

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Radisson Blu Senator Hotel, Lubeck

Radisson Blu Senator Hotel, Lubeck

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Islande Hotel, Riga

Islande Hotel, Riga

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Garden Street Hotel, St Petersburg

Garden Street Hotel, St Petersburg

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Scandic Continental Hotel

Scandic Continental Hotel, Stockholm

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Nordic Forum C Hotel

Nordic Forum C Hotel, Tallinn

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Enhance your holiday


Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
Extending your European holiday in Brussels
London Hotels
UK rail connections


4.5 stars4.5 / 5 · 8 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Mrs J Wilson

5 stars

Submitted 04 Oct 2018

Tour manager was excellent. All the other people on the tour were very friendly and this made the tour extremely enjoyable.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr B Arnold

5 stars

Submitted 16 Aug 2018

Very well organised, an interesting and varied itinerary with useful down time for personal use, and the services of an excellent tour manager.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs C Palmer

4 stars

Submitted 12 Aug 2018

No of travellers on the tour was far too many for one tour manager to control, given that many were well over 70yrs. On one occasion the train doors closed as the group was disembarking, leaving 5 still on board! I also was not happy with the meal arrangements in hotels. Too many, barely adequate buffets, both in quality and quantity. The quality of Tour Guides varied from excellent to mediocre.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs P Thompson

5 stars

Submitted 09 Aug 2018

Superb tour manager, great local guides and a full but interesting Itinerary in many beautiful cities. We have wanted to make this tour for a few years and we were not at all disappointed! The ferries were an interesting aspect of a Great Rail Journey and the journey from Helsinki to Travemünde was wonderful, flat sea lovely weather, stunning sunsets, comfy cabin, great food and friendly helpful staff. Those guests who flew home missed an absolutely relaxing treat!

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs P Binns

4 stars

Submitted 14 Jun 2018

There were a lot of problems on the tour, none of them Great Rail's fault, such as cancelled trains, late coach pick-ups for various reasons; we managed to make all our connections but it was quite stressful.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs S Kamath

4 stars

Submitted 23 Oct 2017

The group tour was well organized. Some of the prepaid meals could have been better.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Show all 8 reviews
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Highlights of the Baltics & Scandinavia

Stay in seven countries on one escorted rail tour


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