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Explore the ornate domed cathedrals, lavish palaces and centuries-old monuments of St. Petersburg and the capitals of the Baltic region, cities which boast a rich historical and cultural heritage.
Depart London on your scheduled flight to St Petersburg, where you'll be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.
Built from the ground up by Peter the Great, the city of St. Petersburg is considered Russia's cultural capital for its wealth of museums, theatres, cathedrals and monuments. Today's tour takes you from the ornate domes of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood to the iconic Bronze Horseman Statue, the symbol of the city. A tour of the Hermitage Museum, one of the most famous art galleries in the world, will guide you through the extensive collection of over 2.7 million works of art housed in the Winter Palace of Catherine the Great. Stroll through the heart of the city as you enjoy some time at leisure on Nevsky Prospekt, the bustling central avenue of St Petersburg, before returning to your hotel.
This morning, travel to the nearby town of Pushkin and visit the impressive Catherine Palace. Although named for Catherine I, the wife of Peter the Great, the palace owes its splendour to their daughter Elizabeth, who chose the palace as her chief summer residence when she became Empress and had it extensively modified, modelling it after the lavishly decorated palaces of Versailles and Vienna. Return to St. Petersburg to enjoy an afternoon at leisure.
Journey towards Tallinn, the coastal capital of Estonia. A coach ride will transport you to the city and its Old Town, considered one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe. Sample the culinary delights of Estonia with dinner at your hotel.
Located on the shores of the Baltic Sea, Tallinn combines pretty cobblestone streets, Gothic church steeples and medieval merchant houses with trendy, modern restaurants, galleries and bars. Tour the city by coach and on foot, visiting the well-preserved medieval relic of the Old Town, the imposing Gothic Town Hall and the stained-glass windows and dramatic domes of Nevsky Cathedral. Wander through the marbled hallways and landscaped gardens of Kadriorg Palace, considered one of the finest examples of Estonian historical architecture, on this day-long tour of the city's most beloved monuments.
After breakfast, board the coach for your journey to Riga, Latvia, the largest of the Baltic capitals. Stop en-route at Parnu, a lively seaside resort town, for lunch and a short tour before continuing on to Riga for dinner and a one-night stay.
A walking tour of Latvia's capital city, with its eclectic mix of Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture, takes you to some of the city's most renowned sights, including the famed Dome Cathedral, the largest place of worship in the Baltic region. After lunch, travel to the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, a city brimming with spectacular architecture, fascinating historic structures and tranquil green spaces.
Today's tour takes you through the cobbled alleyways of Vilnius to the best sights of the city, including the KGB Museum, the former headquarters of the Gestapo during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania. This afternoon, journey to the 14th-century island castle of Trakai, ringed by the waters of three lakes, and explore the rooms and picturesque grounds of this unique monument. Enjoy your evening at leisure in Vilnius.
Journey onwards to Warsaw, Poland, a city that faced near destruction during World War 2, but which today offers a fascinating mix of historic monuments, post-war memorials and modern-day attractions.
Drive along the Royal Route, the famed arterial road that winds past castles, palaces and memorials, at the start of today's city tour. Pay homage to composer Fryderyk Chopin with a visit to his commemorative monument at the Royal Lazienki Park. Learn more about Poland's grim wartime past at the former Jewish ghetto, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Monument to the Katyn Victims. Go behind the red brick walls of the Warsaw Castle to explore the golden columns, vast assembly halls and adorned ceilings of this former royal residence. Mark the end of your Baltic adventure with tonight's farewell dinner.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before your transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
To enter Russia you?ll need a visa before travel - make sure you apply for the correct type and duration of visa for your stay. During periods of high demand, you should apply for your visa well in advance. Russian diplomatic missions and the visa application centres in London and Edinburgh will collect biometric data (scanned fingerprints) from visa applicants above the age of 12. This applies to each Russian entry or transit visa application. It is mandatory to visit the Visa application centre in person to apply for Russian visa. Visa applications for UK residents are to be submitted at the Russia Visa Application Centre in London, Manchester or Edinburgh (UK). For further information see the
Russian Embassy website and the website of VFS Global who manage Russian visa applications on behalf of the Embassy. Tourist visa applications can take 10 working days to be processed and longer during busy periods. Please see https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/russia/entry-requirements for more information. We can help towards application via a Visa Support Letter (VSL). You will need to send us the all of the required passport information within the API form we have sent to you. Shortly after we will send you your signed VSL. Upon receiving an authorised VSL you will need to go to your nearest UK based Russian embassy to apply. Please note that only you can acquire a Russian entry Visa due to biometric data (scanned fingerprints) collection. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months after the expiry date of your visa.
Visa requirements are subject to change and obtaining a visa is the responsibility of the traveller and not Mercury Holidays. We recommend you check with your destinations? Tourist Board or Embassy prior to departure for the most up to date guidelines regarding these.
EU nationals do not require a visa for Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Further advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities and for general queries. We strongly advise you check your destinations? Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding passport validity.
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your flight is to Pulkovo International Airport in St Petersburg with British Airways (BA) departing from London Heathrow Terminal 5. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage plus one item of hand luggage providing the exterior dimensions (height length width) do not exceed 115cm and 10kg in weight. Weight restrictions will be finalised on your e-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Heathrow Airport advises that check-in should be three hours before your flight departure time. If you wish to arrange Airport car parking or accommodation at preferential rates, we recommend you book this in advance with Holiday Extras on 0871 360 2000, quoting HX313.
It is your responsibility to check any health & vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in sufficient time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, www.travelhealthpro.org.uk, www.hpa. org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and able mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot, and includes climbing stairs and getting on and off coaches.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 15. If in the unlikely event there are less than 15 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is an escorted tour, meaning you will have the services of an English-speaking guide during each excursion ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all use Euro. The currency in Russia is the Ruble and in Poland, the currency is the Zloty. It is advised to take a mixture of currencies. You will also have access to ATMs during your tour where you can withdraw money in local currency.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any dinners where these are not mentioned on your itinerary and personal purchases, such as souvenirs, extra drinks and snacks. We would recommend a minimum of £40 per person, per day for the duration of the tour. Tipping is common practice in America. It is customary to tip your guides and driver, please allow approx. $8-$11 (£5-7) per person per day. All tips will be collected by your tour director on the last day. Tipping at restaurants, hotel staff etc is discretionary.
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The order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions or for operational purposes. Your local guide will inform you of any schedule changes as they are informed of them. Some road construction and/or weather conditions may lengthen the driving times. Our intention is to adhere to the day-to-day itinerary as printed; however, the order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions.
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