Baltic States Tour, Lithuania, Lativa, Estonia & Russia, 18 days
Baltic States Tour
Ancient cities, picturesque squares, vast forests and deserted beaches. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania provide great diversity. We travel along the most beautiful cities of the Baltic States and visit beautiful nature. The former Soviet atmosphere has been replaced with a contemporary feel. Even the stately Russian cultureal cities St. Petersburg and Moscow are now hip and modern. Djoser, Inc. (the United States office) has been a Baltics tour operator for over 15 years so we bring vast experience.
University Short Term, Study Abroad, Faculty-Led Programs Faculty members - use this pretested itinerary as a template for your short-term program in the Baltic States . This trip can be extended or shortened. We can work with you to build an outstanding program for your private group. We can add in activities which bring your area of study to life. Our quote for customized study tours will include: International flight, land program with breakfasts, selected dinners, private coach transport, local, English-speaking guide, city tours, activities and selected entry fees, tips, comfortable lodgings similar to accommodations displayed in this website, faculty members free of charge, staying in single rooms. Contact us regarding your program needs and preferences for January Term, May Term and Summer programs in The Baltic States. Luke Neal firstname.lastname@example.org 877-356-7376.
- Vilnius - Trakai - Kaunas - Klaipeda - boat to Neringa, Nida
- Nida - Hill of Crosses - Riga
- Riga, Gaujas National Park - Boat Saaremaa
- Saaremaa- Tallinn
- Tallinn - St. Petersburg
- St. Petersburg
- St. Petersburg
- St. Petersburg - Night train to Moscow
- Arrival Moscow
Day by day
On the Road with Djoser
Djoser's active journeys offer an ideal balance of guidance and freedom. Our guide-assisted adventures cover the globe and feature wildlife, beautiful natural settings, historic sights and authentic cultural experiences. During Djoser travels, the daily schedule is not rigidly set.
The day-to-day descriptions describe the anticipated, or possible daily activities. Our travel days are obviously fixed, but each day the program may deviate depending on the preferences of the group, in consultation with the tour leader. The tour guide offers a program daily, with planned excursions. You are never obligated to participate. Those who desire more freedom may go out exploring or may dine on their own. Your tour leader can offer suggestions for safe explorations and fun restaurants. You will find that Djoser participants will take advantage of this flexibility. We believe a sense of discovery is an integral element of a great trip.
We offer the land program only. Below, you will find the day-to-day description days numbered to correspond with that of the Dutch participants (which includes their transit days from/to Amsterdam). This is so that when you are traveling and refer to this day-to-day description, all travelers will be “on the same page” or the same day number.
* NOTE TO FACULTY MEMBERS PLANNING A CUSTOM UNIVERSITY STUDY TOUR: If you are planning a study tour for a private group, use this description as your daily guideline. We can build in scheduled activities that highlight you area of study.
Day 1 Vilnius
Day 2 Vilnius
Day 3 Vilnius - Trakai - Kaunas - Klaipeda - boat to Neringa, Nida
Day 4 Nida
Day 5 Nida - Hill of Crosses - Riga
The Baltics tour begins in Lithuania. In Vilnius, since 1990 the capital of independent Lithuania, you can stroll in the old streets of the town, with its Baroque Polish character. The city stretches along both banks of the fast flowing Neris, nestled between hills covered with pine forests. The heart of the old town is next to Gedimino Hill. At the base of it is the white cathedral, which in 1990 symbolized the revival of national consciousness for the Catholic Lithuanians. On a walk through the winding streets and charming alleys you come along fresh, pastel-colored houses that give the city a pleasant atmosphere.
On the way to the coast we drive to Trakai, which is 18 miles southwest of Vilnius. In the village with its wooden houses is a magnificent moated castle from the 14th century, where in 1253 the first king of Lithuania was crowned. We drive to the university city of Kaunas, which in the twenties and thirties was still the nation's capital. In the center of the old town you can find houses from the 15th and 16th centuries. Then by ferry we reach Curonian Spit, a unique bird rich natural area with high white sand dunes, from which you will have a view of the water on both sides of the headland, only 3 miles wide. Here you can make beautiful walks or bike rides.
In the town of Nida, located on the banks of the Curonian Lagoon, was the residence of the German writer Thomas Mann, which is now on display. By head to the tip of the headland and cross back by ferry over to Klaipeda, formerly the playgrounf of German knights, Sweden, Nazi officers and Soviet troops. The port city, formerly known by its German name Memel, has an old center. The Baltic countries are known for their deposits of amber. The fossilized resin has imprisoned millions of years old insects. Amber is now found in lignite layers. You can find it for a good price in the market of. We drive further and make a stop along the road at the remarkable memorial to victims of all persecutions. Kryziu Kalnas is a low hill covered with all kinds of crosses that have been spontaneously erected there.
Day 6 Riga
Day 7 Riga
Day 8 Riga, Gaujas national park - boat Saaremaa
Riga, the Latvian capital has an old town, Vecriga, which is largely pedestrianized. The 800-year-old town originated as a trading settlement for German knights. The tower of St. Peter, would have been the world's tallest tower in the 17th century. From the tower you have a fantastic view of the city.
Among the numerous monuments and museums are "the three brothers' houses from the 15th and 16th centuries. At the Alberta iela you will find a wide range of houses in the Jugendstil or Art Noveau style. Numerous shops, cafes and theaters are testement of the renewed vitality after the Soviet domination. Just outside the city you can find on the banks of the Juglas another anthropological museum, which provides an overview of Latvian architecture, folklore and lifestyle in the region over the past centuries.
The nearby Jurmala, is actually an elongated chain of fishing village. It was traditionally known as a posh seaside resort and spa. Many villas testify to its rich past. From Riga, you can take a local train to go into the central village Majori.
In the Latvian forests are found many plant and animal species that are extinct elsewhere in Europe. The country is known as a bird paradise. We can experience this as we head to Saaremaa make an excursion to the national park Gaujas, known as the “Latvian Switzerland”. Here you can visit the romantic location Turaida Castle.
Day 9 Saaremaa
Day 10 Saaremaa - Tallinn
Day 11 Tallinn
Day 12 Tallinn - St. Petersburg
In Estonia we stay first on the idyllic island of Saaremaa, where we arrive by ferry from Virtsu. The capital, Kuressaare is a small quiet town with a castle of the Teutonic Order in the 13th century. Wooden houses give the town a rustic appearance. Cycling is a great way to relax and explore the flat island. The population here has retained its own traditions, songs and costume. There are heaths and meadows, wooden farmhouses and windmills. Along the way, it is possible to visit a group of 9 meteorite craters in Kaali.
The old Hanseatic city of Tallinn in the Gulf of Finland, flourished from the 13th to the 16th century when is was an important port in the eastern part of the Baltic Sea. The old center with its Gothic churches, inside the high walls, have been preserved virtually intact. Walking through the streets paved with cobblestones you can easily feel the atmosphere from that bygone time. Very special is the newly reopened alley the Katariina Kaik, where there are now all kinds of workshops within the medieval walls. The old town consists of an upper and lower section.
In the upper town on the same hill is the Toompea Castle, seat of the Estonian Parliament. From the original castle only three of the four towers survived; “long Herman”, adorned with the national flag is a clear landmark. Opposite the parliament is the Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral with its famous onion domes and mosaics. There has been much debate about the demolition of this symbol of tsarist imperialism.
The downtown, around the town hall square, is the lively part of the old town, with many shops and restaurants. Opposite the station, you can enjoy a drink in Wagon Lits Café, sitting on the uncomfortable benches of austere Soviet Trains. A little over a mile outside the old walled city is the Kadriorg Park, a summer palace of Peter the Great, now the residence of the Estonian president. A little further into the park you will find the half dome where thousands of choirs compete at a national festival.
The Estonians are known as excellent singers. West of the city you can find Rocca al Mare Open Air Museum, where many fine examples can be seen in the wooden architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries. On one of the days in Tallinn you can take the ferry to Helsinki. Here you will see how to the countries bordering the Baltic Sea are linked.
Day 13 St. Petersburg
Day 14 St. Petersburg
Day 15 St. Petersburg, night train to Moscow
Day 16 arrival Moscow
Day 17 Moscow
Day 18 Moscow (Land ends)
After two nights in Tallinn we drive by bus to St. Petersburg, which celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2003. Sankt Peterburg, Russia’s official name, was founded in 1703 on the initiative of Peter the Great, who needed a fortress against the Swedes. The homogeneous architecture of many urban palaces with their pastel shades make it one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, especially after the many restorations that have taken place.
The elegant mixture of Italian baroque and Russian styles reflected in many palaces. At the broad boulevard, Nevsky Prospekt are found great shops and cafes, where you can witness the chaotic metropolis. This part of the city is intersected with canals, which are bordered by splendid palaces where the old aristocracy lived.
On the Neva is the Winter Palace, former residence of the imperial family. Now in the outbuildings it houses one of the most interesting and important art collections in the world's largest museum in the world, the Hermitage. On the other side of the mighty Neva you see the Peter and Paul Fortress, in 1703 the cradle of the city. In the church the 18th and 19th century tsars have been buried since 1998. Nikolai II and his family are found in a separate chapel. In the tsarist period, the fort was also used as a prison.
The train takes us to Moscow, the capital and by far the largest city of Russia. Moscow is not only worth a visit for its many attractions, but it has also become a modern city with all related facilities. So you can now find fine shopping, great food at good restaurants and you can have a drink on a cozy terrace. A visit to the Red Square, the mausoleum of Lenin, is a must. The Kremlin is the old historic center, with its many cathedrals and palaces, is pleasing to the eye. Art and culture lovers can enjoy the many museums and art galleries. Afterwards you have the opportunity to relax in one of the many parks. After two nights in Moscow, our trip comes to and end.
Dates and prices
Departure dates 2018
|Land Begins||Land Ends||Price||Availability|
|May-27-18||$2,495||17 seats||book now >|
|Jun-17-18||$2,495||18 seats||book now >|
|Jun-24-18||$2,495||22 seats||book now >|
|Jul-01-18||$2,495||22 seats||book now >|
Conditions "Guaranteed leave"
Included in our Baltics tour package: land package (begins & ends at hotel), lodgings, tour leader (as a logistics coordinator, not a lecturer) speaks Dutch & English, city-to-city transport by private bus, excursions according to program.
Excluded in our Baltics tour package: international flights from/to United States, meals, and optional excursions, entrance fees if not specifically named as included, Russia tourist visa, exit taxes (if applicable), tips, personal expenses, travel insurance, airport transfers at arrival & departure.
|Single accommodations from||$410|
|Visa invitation letter||$35 (subject to change)|
|Estimated out-of-pocket, weekly||$300|
|Deposit due upon booking|
|* Deposit of 25% of total costs due upon departure|
|* Balance due 60 days prior to departure.|
Accommodations & Meals
Accommodations - During our Baltics tour we stay in hotels where rooms are always equipped with private shower and toilet. They are within walking distance of the inner cities, but you also have access to a local bus, tram or taxi.
Single room - Djoser is single friendly! If you are traveling solo, we will match you with a same-sex roommate. If we cannot match you, there will be no additional room charge. For a reasonable charge, you may request single accommodations, subject to availability. Just indicate this preference on your booking form. You will find pricing for single accommodations on "Dates & Prices" page.
Hotel extensions - It is always great to be well rested when you begin a journey such as this. If you would like to book an extension hotel night upon arrival in the city where the land program begins, let us know on your booking form. You will find the prices for extension nights listed in the "Dates & Prices" page.
Meals - Breakfasts during our Baltics tour are included in the cost of the trip; usually they consist of an ample buffet. You may determine yourself where you want to have lunch and dinner. In the larger cities you will have quite a few restaurants to choose from; in the smaller towns choices are more limited. The tour guide will always be able to recommend a nice restaurant with good food. Aside from restaurants with the usual European dishes, there are also some international restaurants. Dairy products and salads are readily available.
Flights & Transportation
Booking your international flight - We provide the land package and transportation within the program as described. We do not arrange international flights from or to the United States or Canada. The land program will begin approximately two hours after the arrival of the Netherlands (NL) participants who will be arrive from Amsterdam. The land program will end about 4 hours prior to their scheduled departure time, which allows for time to get to the airport. The proposed flights for the Dutch participants and the land beginning and end times are listed in this section. They are subject to change based on flight delays or changes. We will keep you posted of any flight changes that we are aware of prior to the trip. When scheduling your flights, keep the following times in mind.
Dutch participants' proposed flights: (subject to change)
NL participants arrive: Vilnius 2 PM
NL participants depart: Moscow 5 PM
Before you book your flight - To avoid flight change or cancellation costs get email confirmation from our office that the trip has enough participants to be a “GO”.
Verify the spelling of your name-within 24 hours - When you book your flights, double check your flight records to confirm that your name is spelled on your ticket exactly as it appears on your passport. Some companies (for example, ORBITZ) will only allow a 24 hour window to correct any errors without penalty. You may incur heavy fees for changes, forfeiture of your flight ticket, or even worse, you could be denied entry to a border upon arrival.
Send us a copy of your flight itinerary - We will forward to the tour leader so they will know when to expect you at the hotel and when you will be departing.
Keep in mind hotel extensions - If the Dutch travelers arrive early in the morning, we recommend that you arrange to fly in the day or night before so you will be meet the group. Some trips involve an immediate transfer from airport to the next town so make sure you will arrive before the others so you don’t miss the first meeting or transfer to the next location. We can arrange an extension hotel night for you. Prices for hotel extensions can be found in the "Dates & Prices" section
If the Dutch participants arrive in the late evening - Should they arrive very late in the evening, the group will have their first meeting in the morning in the hotel lobby. You can check in earlier and relax or explore on your own.
Airport transfer to/from hotel (not Included) - If you will be arriving and or departing on the same flight as the Dutch travelers let us know. Then you can join them on the bus for the group transfer at no additional charge. Notify us in advance so we can alert the tour leader. If you schedule your flight at the same time as theirs, or later, you can join them on the group transfer to the airport at no additional charge. Otherwise, you can take an authorized taxi to the first hotel on the list we have provided for you. Private airport transfers can be very costly . If your flight is delayed, they are difficult to reschedule or cancel. With a taxi, you are not charged for waiting time or cancellations.
Useful Links for booking your flights
Local transportation - During the tour we have our own buses. For each country we use a different bus. Along the way there is often much to see and we can stop to stretch our legs or to take a photo along the way.
The travel day from Tallinn to St. Petersburg is the longest travel day when we will cross the Russian border. We take the ferry from Nida to Saaremaa.
During the night train from St. Petersburg to Moscow we travel comfortably in a 4-person couchette.
A summary of all trip costs can be found on our "Dates & Prices" page. Prices may fluctuate throughout the year depending on currency exchange, gas costs, etc.
Included in price of our Baltics tour package if you are joining our international groups.
- Land package (begins & ends at hotel)
- Tour guide (speaks Dutch & English)
- Comfortable private bus with air conditioning
- Train ride St. Petersburg - Moscow-based four-persoons couchette
- Hotel Accommodation with breakfast
- Breakfast in Moscow after arriving by night train
- Ferry between Nida and Saaremaa
- Visit several UNESCO monuments, including Curonian spit
- Visit to the Hill of Crosses
- Visit to the water castle in Trakai
When you book a trip
- 25% of total costs due as deposit upon booking
- Payments by charge card or check are accepted
- Balance is due 60 days prior to departure date
While you are traveling
Lithuania, Estonia & Latvia
|ATM machines:||Widely available|
|Credit Cards||Accepted most places|
|Types of cash accepted:||Euros|
|ATM machines:||Widely available|
|Credit Cards||Accepted most places|
|Types of cash accepted:||Rubles|
Tipping - It is customary to tip for services rendered. The tour leader will organize a tip jar at the beginning of the trip, from which tips to drivers, guides, hotel staff are paid. Depending on the size of the group, each participant will be asked to contribute $40 to $50. This does not include a tip for your tour leader. Tipping the tour leader is appreciated and the amount up to your discretion.
** You will find a list of all trip costs in the "Dates & Prices" section, including your estimated out of pocket costs.
Freedom and choice are important elements of a Djoser trip. In addition to scheduled group activities, wherever possible, you may decide which attractions you wish to visit, and with whom. Unless otherwise indicated, entrance fees are not included in the price, so you have the freedom to make your own choices. One person may prefer to stroll through the market in search of bargains, while someone else may want to relax by the pool, go to a museum, or take a bike ride. Join the guide or break off with others in the group to explore on foot or with the local transport. Some attractions should not be missed, or they are not easily accessible, or are en route to our next overnight location and are therefore built into the program. In the "Dates & Prices" section you will find the estimated out-of-pocket, weekly expenses that have calculated in typical entry fees in addition to meals and other costs.
During our Baltics group tour, the following excursions are included in the program:
- Day 3; Water Castle Trakai, one of the most photographed castles in the Baltics
- Day 5; Visit to the Hill of Crosses in Lithuania. This hill belongs to everyone, and anyone is allowed to place crosses there. The result is a chaotic series of many different types of crosses
- Day 8: Visit to the Turaida castle in the Gaujas national park
- Day 9; tour with our bus on the island of Saaremaa
On the way of our Baltics group tour, our bus makes a stop where you will need to pay entry fees:
- Day 10; aaremaaone of the largest accessible meteorite crater impact sites in Europe S.
Other excursions are possible and can be locally offered by the tour guide, eg. You can go to the opera in Riga or St. Petersburg, or go biking on the island of Saaremaa, the largest island of Estonia.
When you book a trip we will provide you with more details about necessary documents. Passports should be current and valid for at least 6 months beyond your departure date. If a visa is required, you may need extra pages in your passport for your stamps. Check all visa requirements carefully and leave yourself plenty of time to send and receive documents before your trip.
Travel documents needed
Lithuania tourist visa needed - NO Consulate link
Estonia tourist visa needed -NO Consulate link
Latvia tourist visa needed - NO Consulate link
Russia tourist visa needed - YES Consulate link Online form
An invitation letter is required to submit with your RUSSIA visa application. We will procure this for you. The cost will be billed on your invoice. $35 subject to change.
Visa & Passport Expeditor – For an extra fee, you can hire an expediting service to process your visa application. They will look over your paperwork and they can offer a faster return of your visa or passport. We recommend TRAVISA.
Health Issues & Insurance
Health - Check for the Center for Disease Control – Travelers information for recommendations. Keep in mind that they may recommend an inoculation or medication such as malaria pills, which may be necessary for one specific part of a country but not another, or for a particular season. Shots are expensive. Make sure to get only what is needed. We recommend asking your doctor for a prescription to combat a more serious intestinal disorder.
When you book a trip we will provide you with information regarding the usual recommendations for the region we will visit. You will be responsible to check with your travel clinic or physician to review your plans and to find out the most up-to-date recommendations and needs for your particular situation. Plan to get your inoculations four to six weeks in advance of your trip. Some offices may need to preorder the medicines so call in advance. It is wise to pay careful attention to what you eat. Also, we recommend you bring medicines such as pain-killer and for remedy for intestinal disorders (such as IMMODIUM) Bring a small first aid kit. Tweezers, band-aids, antiseptic cream, insect repellant, salt rehydration tablets. The tour leader will have a first aid kit.
Climate and altitude changes can sometimes cause illness. Be sure to drink plenty of water. Bottled water is readily available. Excessive alcohol intake contributes to dehydration and makes you more vulnerable to illness. Make sure that you get plenty of rest and enough food and drink during the trip.
No vaccinations are recommended for this trip.
South Africa is a modern country with excellent medical amenities. The tap water is drinkable everywhere and restaurants are good and clean. However, it is still advisable to drink bottled water. It is wise to somewhat watch what you eat. We also recommend that you bring a small medical kit include aspirin and anti-intestinal disorders.
Insurance - For peace of mind, we recommend that you procure travel insurance. In the event of an illness or injury, an emergency evacuation can be incredibly expensive and you would want access to the best possible facility. Also, lost baggage or missed flights can mean added expenses. Even events at home may prevent you from taking a trip, such as a lost job or ailing family member. It is important to get travel insurance immediately after booking. Most companies have a brief window (within 10 days of booking) for coverage for a preexisting condition. You will be asked to provide us with travel insurance contact information before your departure.
You are free to choose your own provider. Over the years, we have recommended TRAVELEX. They offer a variety of plans and most importantly, they are responsive. Should you choose to go with TRAVELEX, you will contact them directly and the cost of your coverage will depend on the plan you choose. The cost will be based over the total cost of your trip and flights, and the amount is also subject to your age. Ask about the TRAVEL PLUS plan and the more economical TRAVEL LITE plan. * Arrange for insurance immediately after booking your trip so that you are covered for any pre-existing situation. TRAVELEX 1-800-228-9792
Djoser travelers are active, enthusiastic travelers of all ages. Join an international group with travelers from the Netherlands, Belgium and North America, who will be the minority group on these trips. Most of our trips range from a minimum of eight participants to a maximum of 20 or 22. You will find couple and singles on our trips. Feel free to call us if you wish to know the demographic make-up of a particular trips (number of singles and age range).
Minimum group size: 8
Maximum group size: 20
What to expect when traveling with an international group - Djoser, Inc. (the United States office) has been a Baltics tour operator for over 15 years. Djoser, B.V. (the Netherlands office) has been a Baltics tour operator for over 25 years. So together we bring vast experience. Most of our trips are arranged in cooperation with Djoser, B.V. in the Netherlands. Because they cater to the voracious travel appetites of the Dutch, we can offer a vast number of programs around the world with hard-to-find itineraries, with numerous departure dates.
On our Baltics group tour, you will travel with an international group, with most participants from Holland and Belgium. The international make-up of our groups is the attraction for many regular Djoser travelers and adds another cultural element to the trip. Typically, there are only one to five North Americans per group. You will find that almost all of your fellow travelers have an excellent command of English and most are very willing to socialize. It’s a great idea to extend an invitation to a few travel mates for coffee or a drink early in the trip. They will appreciate your effort and this is a great way to break the ice. It will be easier for them to test out their English skills in a quiet, one-on-one setting. Group members tend to warm up to one another in a day or two. As with every tour group, compatibility has most to do with individual personalities.
The Dutch are experienced and hearty travelers. We attract travelers of all ages and we enjoy the mix! You will find our participants welcome opportunities for independent explorations in addition to group activities. No matter their age, Djoser travelers expect, and are up to lots of walking, hiking, biking, or whatever comes our way. The Dutch and Belgian travelers will fly as a group from Amsterdam. You will meet the group and tour leader at the hotel where you will begin the land program with the group.
Tour Leaders & Support Staff
Our trips are guided by an experienced Dutch guide who speaks Dutch and English. He or she will be responsible for the organizational and technical aspects of the trip. He/she coordinates with the driver , hotels, and other vendors along the way. The tour leader has extensive travel experience and expertise as well as a comprehensive training.
Our experienced land representatives are situated in the destination country you will visit. We work closely with them and they function as the liaison between our office, the guide, drivers and hotels. They are also available in the case of an emergency and their number will be provided on your emergency contact list.
Climate & Geography
Our trips are organized with weather conditions in mind. On our website, we will provide you with a weather summary of the region: Check temperature and rainfall for specific cities on your trip, during your month of travel at worldweather.org
In North Europe prevails as in the Netherlands a temperate climate. The tours take place in the period from April to October.You should spring and autumn into account cool days and cold nights in the summer the temperature is usually pleasant. The daytime temperature then varies between 68 ° and 77° F.
Photos & video
Book Trip/Trip Inquiry
Are you ready to book a trip?
* Submit this form to begin your reservation process. Confirm that names exactly as they appear on a current passports. If names on your international, domestic flights or visas (if applicable) do not match your name as it appears on your passport, some countries will deny you entry.
TIP: Also verify your name on your flight records, within 24 hours after reserving to avoid change or cancellation penalties.
* Pay by personal check or credit card: Visa, Mastercard, American Express
* Call us with your charge card information. Your place will be reserved upon receipt of funds for required deposit.
* Refer to the Prices & Dates page for an overview of your total costs & deposit
* Download the Booking Form with Terms and Conditions
* Fax for with signatures for all participants 18 and over to 484-595-9140 . Or scan to us at email@example.com
* Or mail Djoser, Inc., 154 Woodgate Lane, Paoli, PA 19301 - Attn: Luke Neal