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The Baltics, a 9-day tour of Lithuania, Latvia, & Estonia

Overview

OVERNIGHTS

  • Overnight Flight
  • 3 nights Vilnius
  • 2 nights Riga
  • 2 nights Tallinn

PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES

  • Vilnius:  concert
  • Trakai:  afternoon performance
  • Riga:  joint concert
  • Tallinn:  concert finale

DAY 1:  Overnight Flight

Begin your European tour of the Baltic Capitals, with your overnight flight.

DAY 2: Vilnius (D)

Arrive in the capital city of Lithuania.  Your tour manager escort will greet you in the airport’s arrival hall, and you can begin your exploration right away with a visit to one of the oldest quarters of the city, bohemian Užupis.  The current center of the arts, this ‘republic’ boasts its own constitution and national anthem.  Enjoy a walking tour with your escort and free time for lunch, before continuing on to your hotel for check-in.  This evening there is a welcome briefing, and then enjoy Lithuanian specialties at a local restaurant.

DAY 3:  Vilnius (B/D)

Breakfast is served at the hotel this morning, and each day of your tour.  A local guide joins you today for a sightseeing tour of Vilnius’ major sites, along with a walking tour through Old Town.  You’ll see Town Hall Square, Vilnius University, St. Peter and Paul’s Church, St. Stanislaw Cathedral’s bell tower and square, the Gates of Dawn; enjoy the views from Gediminas Castle Tower, along with their museum.  You will also visit the Soviet Bunker, for an enlightening introduction to life during Soviet rule.  This afternoon there is time for further exploration on your own, or with your escort.  This evening, present your first concert for the locals!  A rehearsal is scheduled at your venue, prior to your performance.  Afterward, enjoy dinner.

DAY 4:  Vilnius (B/D)

Today’s excursion brings you to Trakai, the former capital of the Grand Duchy and a monument to old Lithuania.  Visit the 14th century castle that dominates a small island within the Galve Lake.  There is free time for lunch, and you might try a traditional meat filled Karaites pastry, a favorite the Turkic people introduced centuries ago.  Here in this small town, there is the opportunity to perform an afternoon concert for the locals, perhaps in the Castle!  Return to Vilnius later today, and enjoy dinner together.  Dependent upon your travel dates, discover Lithuania’s musical roots by attending a musical festival.

DAY 5:  Riga (B/D)

Depart by coach this morning for Riga, the capital of Latvia.  Along the way, you’ll stop at the Hill of Crosses, a unique place featuring thousands of crosses; Continue to Rundale, for a visit of the 18th century Baroque palace.  Arrive in Riga, Latvia’s capital and the largest city in the Baltic States and join a local guide for a walking tour of the ancient Hanseatic Old Town founded in 1201.  See the Gold Dome Cathedral, Swedish Gate, Parliament House, Old Riga Castle, and the market halls of Riga.  Dinner is served at a local restaurant in the neighborhood. 

DAY 6:  Riga (B/D)

Join a local guide for further exploration of the city this morning.  The sites include the Riga’s boulevards, the Daugava River, Bastion Hill, the Latvian National Theatre, Freedom Monument, and the National Opera House.  You will also visit the Kaiserwald concentration camp memorial.  Admission to the top of St. Peter’s church is included, for views of the city skyline’s Art Nouveau and Soviet-era buildings; you’ll also visit Mentzendorff’s House, a fascinating historical museum featuring the medieval furnishings and atmosphere of this original merchant house.  This evening join a local ensemble for a joint concert in the city!  Afterward, celebrate your performance over dinner with your new friends.

DAY 7:  Tallinn (B/D)

Your journey continues today as you travel north for a visit to Pärnu, Estonia’s “Summer Capital”.  Located on an inlet of the Gulf of Riga, this little town has been known as a summer health resort since the first spa opened here in the 1830s.  Perhaps you’d like to schedule a mud bath?  Continue on to Tallinn, and meet with a local guide for sightseeing.  Your tour familiarizes you with the Old Town, with some of Europe’s best preserved medieval fortifications and more than 2kilometers of original city walls remaining.  Highlights include Toompea Castle, the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky, Freedom Square, and St. Catherine’s Passage, a collection of craft workshops where artisans use traditional methods in their creations.  Dinner.

DAY 8:  Tallinn (B/D)

Visit Kadriorg this morning; a special place for all Estonians is the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds.  It was here that the Singing Revolution took place in 1988; a massive demonstration against Soviet Rule that helped set Estonia on the road to independence!  The grounds host concerts and festivals throughout the year.  You’ll also visit the Kadriorg Art Museum, housed in the Baroque palace built by Peter the Great for his wife Catherine I in 1718, and an example of Tsarist extravagance.  This evening, prepare for your concert finale in the area with a pre-performance warm-up rehearsal at your venue.  Celebrate your successful performance tour over dinner at a local restaurant and share memories of your time, during your last night in the Baltics.

DAY 9:  Departure (B)

After a last breakfast, your escort will assist with transfer to the airport and check-in for your return flights to the United States.


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