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 tour.
First and Standard Class rail travel throughout (Standard Premier Class on Eurostar journeys with a light meal and drinks)
16/14 nights' hotel accommodation (rail return/air return)
NEW Inclusive Luggage Transfer
Except where highlighted in itinerary 1x bag up to 25kg per hotel room (size and weight may vary)
1 night in an inside two berth cabin on Stockholm-Riga sailing
1 night in a two berth inside cabin on Helsinki-Travemünde sailing
Excursions & Entertainment
The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
Exclusive meeting point at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras
Food & Drinks
18/15 breakfasts (rail return/air return)
12/9 dinners (rail return/air return)
Flights and airport transfers
Flight from St Petersburg to London (air return only)
What’s not included
Cancellation & Travel Insurance is not included in the price of the tour but can be arranged
Days 1-2 - London to Denmark
After meeting at our dedicated Departure Office, we leave St
Pancras on the Eurostar to Brussels in Standard Premier Class. We
change trains and travel in First Class to Bremen for the night,
via Cologne. On Day 2 we travel by high-speed rail
(Standard Class) via Hamburg to Copenhagen, the Danish capital that
is home to the world's oldest monarchy. We spend two nights at the
Scandic Copenhagen Hotel.
Day 1 - Eurostar meal, Dinner
Day 2 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Discovering Copenhagen
This morning we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Copenhagen, passing
the Amalienborg Palace, a large octagonal structure, surrounded by
four 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 enjoy a cruise in the colourful canal area of
Days 4-5 - By train to Stockholm
This morning we join the high-speed service to Sweden's
beautiful capital, travelling over scenic Øresund Bridge along the
way. On arrival, we walk to our hotel for two nights, the Scandic
Continental. On Day 5 we take a city coach tour to visit sights
such as the Royal Palace, the cathedral and the Old Town. The
afternoon is free to explore Stockholm, a wonderful maritime
Day 4 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Breakfast
Day 6 - The Ferry to Riga
Today you are at leisure until the evening, when we join the
ferry for the overnight cruise to Riga. Enjoy the fabulous views as
we pass the Stockholm archipelago.
Days 7-8 - Discovering Riga
The ferry docks in Riga shortly after breakfast and we transfer
to our hotel, the Radisson Blu Daugava Hotel. Day
8 is then spent taking a guided tour the city's main
attractions; travelling back to the year 1201, we enjoy a pleasant
walking tour that takes us through Riga's 900 year-old history as
we explore the old winding streets of Old Riga and have a tasting
of the area's unique 'black balsam', a traditional liquor brewed
with local botanicals.
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; Tallinn's colourful Old Town is UNESCO-protected.
On arrival we enjoy a guided tour of the city, which includes the
Dome Church, the Town Hall Square and views of the Toompea Castle,
Estonia's seat of power. We then transfer to our hotel for two
nights, the Nordic Forum C Hotel.
Day 10 is free to explore Tallinn; in the Old
Town there are plenty of historic sites to visit, including 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 is believed to have acquired its name due to its
height, which allowed those in the tower to see through the windows
of the surrounding buildings. The tower houses a permanent
exhibition of Tallinn's military history and serves as an entrance
to the Bastion Tunnels, a network of hidden tunnels built in the
17th century during Swedish rule.
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 continue by coach on a tour of Helsinki,
including Senate Square and the elegant Lutheran Cathedral.
Following the tour, we transfer to the Scandic Park hotel for a
two-night stay. Day 12 is free for you to explore
Helsinki. Finland's capital lies on an archipelago surrounded by
many smaller islands, many of which are connected by regular ferry
Day 11 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12 - Breakfast
Day 13 - St Petersburg and The Hermitage Museum
Today we travel by train (Standard Class) to St Petersburg*,
arriving this afternoon in this, by far the most cosmopolitan of
Russia's cities. On arrival we visit the Hermitage, founded by
Catherine the Great in 1764, in the magnifi cent Royal Winter
Palace. We check in to our hotel for three nights where we enjoy a
Russian welcome ceremony.
*Please note: due to border restrictions, you will need to
transport your own luggage for this rail journey.
Days 14-15 - Peterhof Palace, Fabergé Museum & Vodka Museum
We enjoy a tour to discover the stunning architecture and
history of this fascinating city, during which we see the vast St
Isaac's Cathedral with its gold dome, the lavish Church of the
Saviour on Spilled Blood and the grand Nevsky Prospect We continue
to Peterhof Palace. This majestic complex is a UNESCO World
Heritage site, renowned for its beautiful grounds filled with
spectacular fountains and waterways.
Our excursion on Day 15 sees us take a
private tour of Saint Petersburg's Fabergé Museum, an opulent
building home to the world's largest collection of works by Carl
Fabergé, including nine of his famous Imperial eggs. We also visit
St Petersburg's impressive vodka museum, the only one of its kind
in the world! Synonymous as the drink of mother Russia, vodka has
long played a fascinating role in the lives of the people here -
from Tsars to peasants - and during your visit, you'll learn all
about Russia's history, culture and drinking traditions. There'll
even be some tastings for that extra touch of authenticity.
Days 16-17 - Helsinki or return home (rail/air)
You fly* back from St Petersburg to London today if you chose
our air option. Please note: you will need to take your
luggage back to th UK with you on your flight as opposed to it
travelling via our luggage transfer service.
Otherwise, we leave St Petersburg by train (Standard Class),
travelling on the Allegro service to Helsinki. On arrival, we
transfer to the port for the overnight ferry* to Travemünde, a
Baltic resort. As we depart Helsinki we enjoy a scenic view of the
Baltic, sailing past islands dotted around the coastline, before
continuing our 611 nautical mile journey through the Gulf of
Finland. After dinner on board the ferry, we arrive in Travemünde
in the evening of Day 17, and spend the night at
the Maritim Strandhotel Travemünde.
Please note: your luggage will travel on the ferry with you,
as opposed to via our luggage service.
Day 18 - Travemünde to Cologne
This morning we transfer by coach to the city of Hamburg, where
we board the train and travel to Cologne. We spend the night in
Cologne where we enjoy a farewell dinner as a group, the perfect
way to round off our holiday.
Day 19 - To Brussels and London
We leave Cologne and travel by rail to Brussels, where we join
the Eurostar to London.
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.
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.
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.
on the whole accommodation was excellent Scancia in
The holiday covered a wide range of experiences. The schedule allowed time for savouring the various locations. The hotels were generally located to give easy access to the main places of interest.
Mrs J Wilson
Tour manager was excellent. All the other people on the tour were very friendly and this made the tour extremely enjoyable.
Mr B Arnold
Very well organised, an interesting and varied itinerary with useful down time for personal use, and the services of an excellent tour manager.
Mrs C Palmer
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.
Mrs P Thompson
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!