Grand Russian Spectacular & Highlights of Scandinavia

16 days from £2,049 pp.


Helsinki, Finland

Visit: Helsinki, Finland, Finland

About the Tour

Enjoy a breath-taking holiday of Moscow and St. Petersburg, Berlin, Warsaw and a taste of the capitals of Scandinavia. We begin in Berlin, where you can take a guided tour of the city at night. From here we head into Poland, to the capital city of Warsaw. See the old town and the famous sights such as the Chopin Monument. We then cross the border into Belarus before heading into Russia, arriving in the historic capital city of Moscow, where you can visit the famous sights from the Red Square to St. Basil’s cathedral. Its then onto stunning St Petersburg, architecturally one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Continuing, we visit Scandinavia and have free time in the Finnish capital of Helsinki before sailing into Sweden’s Stockholm. We end the tour at the Danish capital of Copenhagen before heading home. This holiday is part of our GRAND EXPLORER range.

Tour Includes


  • 14 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • 3 lunches & 11 evening meals
  • Overnight ferry crossing from Helsinki to Stockholm in a two-berth cabin
  • Services of local guides in Russia
  • Convenient local joining points
  • Travel by Silver Service coach
Dates & Prices

Once you have booked your tour either online, or by telephone ( 01709 787 463 ), you have the flexibility of how you pay off the remainder of your balance. You can:

  • Use our balance payment facility online to make and track your card payments. You can pay as much as you want up until your final due date or pay it all, the choice is yours.
  • Send payments via online banking.
  • Send payments via cheque.
  • Call us and make a card payment, either a small amount or as lump sum until your final due date.

Our contact and online banking payment details will be on your confirmation invoice to remind you of your choices.

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Your Itinerary

    Local departure by coach or Door-to-Door service, then onward to Belgium for an overnight stay.

    Berlin

    Berlin

    After an early breakfast we leave the hotel and continue our journey across the border into Germany. We travel towards the former province of East Germany via Hannover, Braunschweig and Magdeburg, bypassing the old border checkpoints – a stark reminder of the past. We continue our journey east, crossing the River Elbe to the largest city in Germany, Berlin. After checking in to our overnight hotel we continue into the city centre for an optional Berlin by Night tour. During the “cold war” period the city was divided between east and west but is once again the flourishing capital of the unified Germany. Our guide will explain about the changes that have taken place since the unification of the city as well as pointing out and explaining the interesting stories behind many of the buildings. We see the sights of former West Berlin including the famous street of the Kurfurstendamm with its cafes, theatres, cinemas and art galleries and amongst others the newly refurbished Reichstag building, the home of the German Parliament. We pass by the Brandenburg Gate and continue into former East Berlin where we see the Cathedral, Humboldt University on the famous Unter den Linden Street.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    Today we continue our journey east across Germany, passing Frankfurt an der Oder as we head towards Poland. Once in Poland we continue east towards Poznan, the former Polish capital. The fortified town suffered an influx of Italian artists during the 15th century and left their mark in the form of a number of beautiful Renaissance buildings. As we pass through the Polish countryside we skirt the town of Kolo, a former favourite of the Polish Kings, Sochaczew and Zelazowa Wola, the birthplace of the composer Frederic Chopin. From here it is only a short drive to the Polish capital of Warsaw, where we are based for two nights.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Warsaw

    Warsaw

    We start the day by travelling into the centre of Warsaw. The city, divided in two by the River Vistula, became the capital of Poland in the late 16th century. Some buildings within the old town date from that time, although many, which were destroyed during the Second World War, have been restored. Enjoy an included sightseeing tour of the city, which will show you the old town, the market square, the Chopin monument and the Ghetto monument, which commemorates the notorious ‘Warsaw Ghetto’ created during the Nazi occupation. This afternoon there will be free time for you to explore the city on your own and perhaps purchase some souvenirs. We return to the hotel for our evening meal.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Brest

    Brest

    We depart our hotel early this morning as we continue our journey east through the beautiful Polish countryside and cross the border. We continue to Brest and then to Minsk, Belarus for an overnight stay.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Smolensk

    Smolensk

    To Smolensk and then to Moscow, Russia, for a two-night stay.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Moscow

    Moscow

    We enjoy a welcome break from travelling today as we spend the day at leisure in the historic Russian capital city of Moscow. We start the day with an included guided sightseeing tour to introduce you to the principal sights and attractions of the city, including Novodevichy Convent, Red Square, the Kremlin, and St Basil’s cathedral. This afternoon why not spend time absorbing the atmosphere on the famous Red Square, home to the colourful domed St Basil’s Cathedral. Visit the extraordinary GUM department store, or take a stroll along the stalls and shops of the lively Old Arbat street. Alternatively, why not join our optional visits to the Kremlin and the Armoury Museum. As the former residence of the Tsars, and today’s Russian political nerve-centre (the office of the President of Russia); the Moscow Kremlin is an unrivalled architectural ensemble of unique beauty, which as the cradle of Moscow took shape between the 12th and 20th centuries. Our local guide will provide an informative commentary, revealing the history and many of the stories behind the buildings and personalities that have shaped this spectacular complex. The Armoury, which is Russia’s original treasury, offers a glimpse into the richness of Russia and Russian history. It’s a museum of history and art, which boasts unique collections of the Russian, Western European and Eastern art and artifacts spanning the period from the 11th to the 20th centuries. Highlights include the Ancient Caps of Sovereignty of the Russian Tsars (Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, etc) and the ivory throne of Ivan the Terrible. The Armoury also boasts a large collection of Fabergé Eggs. This evening you will have the opportunity to join our optional tour on Moscow’s extraordinary metro system. Designed under the communist regime, the metro is strikingly beautiful; decorated with chandeliers, marble, granite and coloured glass, many of Russia’s national heroes are fantastically celebrated in the art of mosaic. The highlight of the tour though must be the stunning view of Moscow’s beautiful illuminated buildings, especially the splendid sight of St Basil’s Cathedral, giving you an impressionable and unique perspective of the Russian capital.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Tver

    Tver

    After breakfast we say goodbye to Moscow and head northwest, bypassing Klin, home of one of the world’s greatest composers, Tchaikovsky, who lived here from 1885 until his death in 1893. Concerts are held here every year on 7th May (his birthday) and on 6th November (the day of his death). We continue our journey via Bezhardovo, known as the ‘Moscow Sea’ due to the reservoir that was built during the Moscow-Volga canal’s construction, and today a favourite destination for Muscovites. Our journey takes us across the River Volga, which at 3690km (2306 miles) is the longest river in Europe, to Tver, formerly known as Kalinin. An important trading town, Tver was founded during the 12th century, and home to a so–called ‘on-way’ palace of Catherine the Great when she journeyed between the two capitals. We stop for included lunch near Tver, before continuing though forested countryside, skirting the Valday Hills, and finally arriving at our overnight hotel in Novgorod.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    We leave Novgorod and head north to St Petersburg, architecturally one of the most beautiful cities in the world, where we will spend the next three nights. During the afternoon an included visit to the remarkable State Hermitage Museum will be available. Located along the embankment of the River Neva in Palace Square, the Hermitage museum was once considered by many to be the sole reason for coming to St Petersburg and you can’t leave the city without a visit! Made up of six majestic buildings, including the Winter Palace, the Little and Large Hermitage buildings and the Hermitage Theatre, the museum holds one of the finest ensembles of art, tsarist jewels and treasures in the world. This evening join our optional St. Petersburg boat cruise. We cruise along the Neva River enabling you to see the Aurora Battleship, the Gulf of Finland and many other sights. The highlight of the evening is a traditional Russian show with dancing and singing. Included in the price of this spectacular excursion are Russian champagne, vodka, caviar and fresh fruit. This is a night not to be missed!

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    St. Petersburg

    St. Petersburg

    This morning we start with an included guided tour of St Petersburg to introduce us to the famous landmarks, history and culture of this outstanding city. We will see the magnificent Decembrist’s Square, distinguished by Falconet’s famed equestrian statue of Peter the Great, the founder of the city, the Winter Palace, inspired by the Palace of Versailles, St Issac’s Cathedral, an enormous structure that can accommodate 13,000 people, and the Peter and Paul Fortress, which became a notorious prison for revolutionaries. This afternoon is spent at leisure for you to explore St Petersburg and discover the many other sights, which constantly attract visitors to this beautiful and historic city or maybe join our optional excursion to see inside the Peter & Paul Fortress. Founded in 1703, the Peter and Paul Fortress protected the newly born city of St.Petersburg from the Swedes. It later was turned into a political prison in which many notables such as Dostoevsky, Gorky, Trotsky and Lenin's older brother Alexander were kept. The primary attraction within the fortress is the Peter and Paul Cathedral, begun by Peter as soon as the fortress had been constructed, though not completed until 1733, designed by the Italian architect Trezzini, the Peter and Paul's Cathedral is a burial place of all Russian emperors and empresses from Peter I to Nicholas II. In the evening why not come along to our optional Russian Folklore show. This is a spectacular show by genuine Russian folk dancers and singers set in a historic building in St. Petersburg. Champagne and hors d’oeuvres are included in the price of the admission for the show.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Hermitage Museum

    Hermitage Museum

    A second day in St Petersburg will allow you time to explore this captivating city independently. Alternatively, why not join our optional excursion to Yusupov Palace. On a quiet stretch of the Moika River stands a long yellow building, which was once the residence of the wealthy and respected Yusupov family and which saw one of the most dramatic episodes in Russia's history – the murder of Grigory Rasputin. In 1916 a group of the city's noble elite, including one of the Grand Dukes and led by the prominent anglophile Prince Felix Yusupov, conspired to kill the one man who they felt threatened the stability of an already war-torn Russian Empire. Our excellent guide will lead you through the beautiful original interiors of the palace; the full story of the murder of Rasputin will unfold before you.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Helsinki

    Helsinki

    We have an early start this morning as we leave St Petersburg, for the Finnish capital of Helsinki. As we drive north we pass the historical town of Vyborg. Famous for its 13th century Swedish castle built as a fortress against invading Russians, Vyborg was part of Russia from 1721 until 1811, when the town became under Finnish control until 1940. We continue our journey north, skirting the coastline of the Baltic Sea as we head towards Vaalimaa and the Russian/ Finnish border, again you should be prepared for a lengthy wait here. Once in Finland we continue west passing the harbour town of Kotka, which was founded by Czar Alexander II in 1878 and later Porvoo. Porvoo has had a turbulent history - founded in 1346, the town was torched by the Danes in 1508, and was the home of Johan Ludvig Runebery, Finland’s national poet. The last leg of our journey takes us into the ‘White City of the North’, Helsinki and, if time allows, we will pause for a short visit. Centred around the harbour and market square, Helsinki is a lively city full of vivid colours, exciting smells and beautiful buildings. We join the overnight ferry to Stockholm where our accommodation will be in two berth cabins. *Please pack an overnight bag for the ferry crossing.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    We disembark in Stockholm this morning after breakfast on board the ferry. Built on fourteen islands on the outflow of Lake Malaren the city is a wonderful combination of medieval lanes and alleyways with modern shopping malls and huge department stores. If time allows we will spend a short amount of free time in Stockholm. Our journey continues past Sodetalje, where a canal links Lake Malaren with the Baltic Sea, and through the wooded hills of Kolmarden, once notorious in Sweden for its bandits and highwaymen. We cross the Gota Canal, which was built in the early 19th century to link Gothenburg with the Baltic, and eventually reach Lake Vattern, the second largest lake in Sweden - 80 miles in length and occupying a rift valley. Driving south alongside the lake we pass through Granna and Jonkoping at the southern end of the lake. From here our journey takes us past Varnamo and Ljungby and into the port of Helsingborg. This port occupies a strategic point at the narrowest part of the Oresund, the busy strait that separates Sweden and Denmark. Here we board the ferry for the short crossing to Denmark and the port of Helsingor, one of the country’s oldest towns and the setting for Shakespeare’s play ‘Hamlet’ (the ferry time will be advised by the driver). Re-joining the coach we drive the short distance to the capital city of Copenhagen for our overnight stay.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Copenhagen

    Copenhagen

    After breakfast why not enjoy an optional sightseeing tour of Copenhagen. Denmark is the oldest Kingdom of the world, and as the capital, Copenhagen has many fascinating landmarks and beautiful architectural masterpieces, which are largely connected to the Danish throne and the royal family. Right in the centre of the city there are four Royal Palaces of which Amalienborg is the residence of Queen Margrethe ll. We will see the Tivoli Gardens; opened in 1843 on the site of the city’s old fortifications and the Rosenborg Palace, which today the former Royal residence is a museum containing the Danish crown jewels. We will also see ‘Den Lille Havfrue’ or ‘Little Mermaid’, sculptured by Edvard Eriksen, the statue is famous for being the inspiration for Hans Christian Andersen’s beautiful fairytale. We leave Copenhagen in the afternoon and travel towards Rodbyhavn/Puttgarden for a short ferry crossing. We continue into Germany for an overnight stay.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    We leave our hotel and commence our journey through Germany passing Bremen and Osnabruck, the birthplace of the novelist Erich Remarque, famous for the novel ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’. We continue into Belgium where we stay overnight. (Suitable refreshment stops will be made en route).

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    Return home.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    Your Excursions

    Included Excursions & Visits

    • Warsaw Sightseeing - Poland's rebuilt capital
    • Moscow Sightseeing - Iconic sights and centuries of culture and history
    • St. Petersburg Sightseeing - One of the world's greatest cities
    • Helsinki - Finland's capital and largest city
    • Copenhagen

    Optional Excursions & Visits

    • Berlin Evening Sightseeing - Guided city tour
    • The Kremlin - Former residence of the Tsars
    • Moscow by Night - See the sights
    • St. Petersburg Ballet - Visit one of the famed theatres
    • St. Petersburg boat cruise - Perfect way to see the city
    • Copenhagen Sightseeing - Fascinating landmarks and architectural jewels

    Notes



    Single Room Supplement from £529.00 (16 days).

    Certain excursions are included in the price of your holiday. If you choose not to go on an included excursion, for whatever reason, no refunds will be made.
    Yes, you will receive one with your Travel Documents, which are sent 7-10 days before departure.
    We believe that our holidays may not be suitable for children under 8 years old (except for Disneyland Paris bookings) however, we will consider individual requests on application. Customers aged 18 and under at the time of travel must be accompanied by an adult, parent or guardian aged over 18 years old.
    You can check weather averages at here.

    Accommodation

    You will spend one night at the 4-star Park Inn Alexander-Platz, in Berlin; two nights at the 4-star Novotel Warsaw Centrum, or similar, overnight at the 3-star Hotel Renaissance, Minsk; two nights at the 3-star Hotel Holiday Inn Sokolniki, or similar, in Moscow; overnight at the 3-star Park Inn Veliky Novgorod, or similar, three nights at the 3-star Park Inn Pribaltiskaya, or similar, in St. Petersburg; overnight on the cruise ferry to Stockholm in a two-berth cabin and one night at the 3-star Quality Airport Hotel Dan, or similar, on the outskirts of Copenhagen.

    Overnight stays in northern Germany and Belgium are in city-style hotels.

    Germany

    Park Inn Berlin - Alexanderplatz

    Park Inn Berlin - Alexanderplatz

    Park Inn Berlin - Alexanderplatz


    The Park Inn Berlin - Alexanderplatz is adjacent to the Alexanderplatz public square and its in the heart of the city near to famous landmarks like the TV Tower and Brandenburg Gate. The hotels facilities include three restaurant, bar, lounge, fitness centre including spa services (fee) and sauna, terrace, 24 hr reception and Wi-Fi/Internet access. All bedrooms feature flat screen T.V with Satellite, air conditioning, In-room safe, telephone, hairdryer, Wi-Fi/Internet access (payable) and en-suite bathroom.

    • English Speaking Staff
    • Bureau de Change
    • Guest Lounge
    • Bar
    • Restaurant
    • Lift
    • TV
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath and/or Shower
    • Telephone

    If you prefer, then you can join the tour at the hotel. To do this, we will require a copy of your passport for identification purposes and you must advise us at the time of booking.

    No reduction will be given if you should choose to do this.

    All hotel rooms benefit from private bathroom facilities.
    Some hotels have tea and coffee making facilities. Please check the tour pages for more information or call our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333.
    Most hotels have a lift, please call our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333 for more information.
    Some hotels have ground floor rooms. Please email for information on individual hotels or call our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333.
    Your hotels will supply towels in your room.

    We are unable to guarantee that the hotel will be able to meet your dietary requirements. We find that the majority of European countries do not generally cater for vegetarians and that the meal supplied may well be what everyone else is having minus the meat.

    We will of course endeavour to arrange for a vegetarian meal at the hotel. We do however suggest that you advise us of your dietary requests at the time of booking and recommend that you speak to the receptionist on arrival with regard to your request.

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    Travel Information

    Departure times given for each region are approximate. Please check your travel documents to confirm the actual timings.

    Front row seats can be reserved for £14pp (up to 6 days' duration), £22pp (7 & 8 days' duration) and £25pp (9 days' duration and over) on all European tours. This offer is only available for bookings of two or four persons on the front row and is subject to availability. In addition to this, seats on the second row can be reserved for £7pp (up to 6 days duration), £14pp (7 & 8 days duration) and £17pp (9 days duration and over). Guaranteed front/second row seats cannot be reserved on transfer journeys to/from the interchange. Children under 15 years cannot occupy a front row seat due to French Law. Central view seats are free.

    Please note: On some coaches the legroom on front seats may be slightly less than that available on other seats due to the presence of a modesty board in front.

    If your tour is cancelled for any reason and front/second row seats are not available on your new tour, you will be refunded the supplement. No other compensation will be payable.

    Alternatively, we can take seating requests on your booking. However, requests are not guaranteed. All seat numbers are confirmed on travel documents approximately 7-10 days prior to departure.

    We guarantee that all passengers on the same booking will be seated together on the main tour coach. Seats on the transfer coaches to and from the interchange are not allocated.
    Hot and cold drinks are served on your main tour coach. Prices are approximately £1 or €1.25 Euro per drink. Prices will be confirmed by your driver.

    Transfer coaches are routed approximately 2-3 weeks before departure. The route taken depends on where paassengers are booked to travel from on any particular date as to which route is taken. If you require further detailed information regarding the route to the port you can contact our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333 two weeks before you are due to travel.

    With regard to the route taken by the main tour coach, this is determined by the driver.

    All main tour coaches have on-board toilets. Transfer vehicles to and from the interchange may not have on-board toilets. When non-British coaches are used on transfers and tours (air holidays only) an on-board toilet may not be available. However, comfort stops will be made during long journeys.
    All coaches feature air-conditioning. Should the air-conditioning system break down for a period exceeding 12 hours, compensation will be awarded up to a maximum of £10 per fare-paying passenger per tour.
    All our coaches and transfer vehicles operate a 'no smoking on board policy'. The use of electronic cigarettes is strictly forbidden.
    In the interest of fellow guests, do not take hot food or ice cream on board.
    alcohol can only be taken on board our vehicles at the discretion of your driver.
    Depending on the location of your pickup point, you may be picked up by coach (not necessarily the on you are touring on), minibus, taxi, National Express or Megabus service. You may then be taken to another centralised pickup location or service station. We operate a passenger interchange at Stop 24 Services, where you will meet the tour coach you are holidaying on and then continue on with your outbound journey. Similarly, on the way home, you may also change transfer vehicles at another location, to take you to your final drop off point.
    Your allowance is one medium sized suitcase per person, which should weigh no more than 20kg when full. We may refuse to carry larger or heavier cases. Hand luggage should be stored in the overhead racks aboard the coach. Nothing should be stored under your seat.

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