THE BEST OF RUSSIA, BALTIC STATES & POLAND
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MAY 24 - JUNE 07, 2018 (15 Days);
A 15-Day Baltic Pilgrimage to St. Petersburg (Russia), Moscow (Russia), Pskov (Russia), Jelgava, Riga (Latvia), Vilnius (Lithuania), Warsaw (Poland), Malbork (Poland) and more!
May 24 - DEPART USA; FLIGHTS TO WARSAW POLAND
May 25 - WARSAW - Arrivals
Transfer to the hotel by coach with Tour Manager; Gather for Holy Mass
Free time until dinner; 3-course welcome dinner at the hotel, including one drink per person.
May 26 - WARSAW
Breakfast at the hotel. Full day Warsaw city tour by coach with Tour Manager and local guide. Gather for Holy Mass a local Church; After the Mass, we get an orientation tour of the city, visiting Old Town with its local galleries as well as the Royal Way beginning at Castle Square and the excavations of the fortifications that once surrounded Warsaw, as well as the 14th century Gothic Bridge. Located on the left bank of the Wisla River, the historical quarter of the city has been restored to its pre-war condition. We visit the church dedicated to St. Stanislaus and also visit the convent where Blessed Faustina first joined the religious order. Next we visit the historical churches of St. John’s Cathedral, the Holy Cross Church and Popieluszko. Continuing along the Royal Route to see the famous statues, aristocratic residences and Lazienki Park with its famous Chopin monument. Our day ends with a visit to the Royal Castle. Dinner and overnight in Warsaw.
May 27 - WARSAW/ MALBORK/GREAT MASURIAN LAKES/OLSZTYN
Breakfast at the hotel; Travel to Olsztyn via Malbork by coach with Tour Manager
We arrive at Malbork, a Gothic castle of enormous proportions -the largest in Poland-and the site from which the Teutonic Knights ruled in the 14th and 15th centuries. Continue on to Olztyn where we pass the Land of the Great Masurian Lakes that dates back to the ice age. We enter the Polish border of the Augustow Forest of mainly spruce and pine, full of wildlife and lakes. Overnight in Olsztyn.
May 28 - OLSZTYN/ VILNIUS (LITHUANIA)
Breakfast at the hotel; Depart Olsztyn and Travel to Vilnius by coach with Tour Manager; We continue on to Vilnius; Visit the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy, where the original painting of the Divine Mercy is enshrined and the Holy Trinity Church. Visit the convent where St. Faustina lived and wrote her diary. Prayers and personal devotions at the shrine. Dinner and overnight in Vilnius.
May 29 - VILNIUS (LITHUANIA) - DIVINE MERCY CITY
Breakfast at the hotel; Attend Mass at the Shrine of Divine Mercy; Tour of Vilnius; 6-hour Vilnius city tour with Tour Manager and local guide. Vilnius was the center of the Lithuanian fight for independence from the Soviet Union. Its long history as a center of faith and freedom is seen in the presence of a church spire at every turn. Today we see the major sites including the Adam Mickiewicz Monument, the Dawn Gate and New Gate, and also the city’s two castles. We visit the Icon of the Virgin in the Chapel of the Gates of Dawn, which is revered especially by Polish Catholics (a replica is in St. Peter’s in Rome), and the cathedral outside where many anti-Soviet gatherings took place. Dinner and overnight in Vilnius;
May 30 - VILNIUS, LITHUANIA/ SIAULIAI /RIGA (LATVIA)
Breakfast at the hotel; Travel to Siauliai and Riga; Along the way we visit the Hill of Crosses near the city of Siauliai. Covered with literally thousands of crosses of every size and sort, this is a traditional pilgrimage site not to be missed. We visit to the lovely Jurmala beaches, once a favorite Soviet get-away spot. Then we set out through the lush, fertile Zemgale region of Latvia. Dinner & overnight in Riga.
May 31 - RIGA (LATVIA)
Breakfast at the hotel. Full day Riga city tour by coach with Tour Manager and local guide; Today we visit Riga. The skyline of the Old City is dominated by the steeples of three very different and beautiful churches: The Dome Cathedral, St. Peter’s and St. Jacob’s, which is the seat of the Catholic archbishopric. (Riga is distinguished by being the site of the only Catholic seminary to remain open in the days of the Soviet Union.) We also see the National Theatre where Latvia’s independence was declared on November 18, 1918, and Freedom Monument. In the afternoon on the shores of nearby Lake Jugla we see the Open-Air Ethnographic Museum that includes rural Latvian farmhouses, windmills, churches, and fishermen’s huts. Dinner is at Reutem’s House with a traditional folk performance. Dinner & overnight in Riga.
JUNE 01 - RIGA (LATVIA)/ JELGAVA/ PSKOV
Breakfast at the hotel; We depart Riga early this morning by motor coach crossing briefly through Estonia en route to celebrate mass in Jelgava Cathedral. Of all the cities in the Baltics, Riga is the busiest and most urbane. In the afternoon travel to Pskov by coach with Tour Manager; Dinner & overnight in Pskov.
June 02 - PSKOV /ST. PETERSBURG
Breakfast at the hotel. Orientation Pskov city tour with Tour Manager and local guide.
This morning we have a city tour of Pskov, a unique walled city with a rich history. Its Dovmontov Gorod was built on the foundations of nine churches built between the 12th and 15th centuries, now in ruins. In fact, even today Pskov has more churches than restaurants and hotels combined. We see the gold-domed Troisky Sobor, founded in the 10th century, as well as Transfiguration Cathedral and the recently re-opened Assumption Church. If time permits we will visit the Pechory Monastery, still home to 60 Orthodox monks. Then travel to St. Petersburg by coach with Tour Manager; Dinner & overnight in St. Petersburg.
June 03 - ST. PETERSBURG
Morning tour of enchanting St. Petersburg begins at stunning Nevsky Prospekt, the main avenue of the city, planned by Peter the Great; Tour of Alexander Nevsky Abbey, a monastery, and a 19th-century Necropolis; Continue to view the Palace Square, Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac's Cathedral with its huge golden dome and the magnificent Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, a superb example of Russian architecture. This afternoon visit the world-famous Hermitage Museum, which houses the largest collection of priceless masterpieces by Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Rembrandt and many others. Your evening will enjoy an Evening Canal Cruise. Dinner and overnight in Saint Petersburg.
OPTIONAL: You can attend an optional performance of a traditional Russian ballet Most likely it will be “Swan Lake”, “Nutcracker”, “Giselle” or any other ballet performance depending on availability by some of Russia's most prominent dancers. The ballet is an art form that has been popular in the country since the 18th century and is considered one of the most sophisticated and elegant dancing. The cost of the ballet performance is $125 USD per person, duration is 1.5 - 3.0 hrs. and usually starts at 7pm or 8pm, depending on the show.
June 04 - ST. PETERSBURG/TRAIN TO MOSCOW
Today we will have a half day excursion to Pavlovsk, a royal summer estate. The land was originally used as royal hunting grounds. The site was given by Catherine the Great to her son Paul I in 1777. After Paul's accession to the throne in 1796, it was used as an official imperial residence. Pavlovsk Palace is considered one of the country's most picturesque estates and is home to an impressive collection of 19th century paintings. Later we will visit Tsarskoe Selo (formerly known as Pushkin). Explore the luxurious palace, an architectural masterpiece, and the surrounding gardens, dotted with architectural follies, and centered on the magnificent blue, white and gold Catherine Palace. Visit the reconstructed Amber Room, with its walls covered with dazzling panels of amber, gold leaf and mirrors.
By 4 PM, transfer to railway station for our four hours high-speed Sapsan train ride to Moscow. Arrive at Moscow, Russia’s fascinating capital; Upon arrival at the train station, transfer to your hotel. Dinner at hotel and overnight in Moscow.
June 05 - MOSCOW
WALKING TOUR - Your sightseeing walking city tour of Moscow, fabled capital of Russia, begins at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, St. Basil’s Cathedral and the former headquarters of the KGB. Explore storied Red Square, and visit GUM, a large department store that could easily be confused with a palace. Guided tours of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the 16th century Novodevichy (or New Maiden) convent, proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a superb architectural monument that is one of Russia's best-known cloisters, visit St. Basil’s Cathedral and many more historical sites. After lunch in the city, continue to the Kremlin, one of the best-known monuments in Russia and in the world. The guided walking tour takes you inside the former residence of the Russian Czars. See the famous Czar Cannon, the 16th century Czar Bell, and Cathedral Square, home to three of Moscow's most elaborate cathedrals: The Cathedral of Assumption, the Cathedral of Annunciation, and the Cathedral of the Archangel; Ending the tour at the popular Arbat shopping district, time to shop or enjoy time on your own. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight.
OPTIONAL: Tonight, after dinner take a night tour of Moscow by Subway that travels to lively Tverskaya Street, with its bustling shops, cafes and restaurants and to Victory Park and the observation platform at Sparrow Hills to see a panoramic view of the whole city at night; OR see the metro stations which Stalin called “Palaces for the People.”
June 06 - MOSCOW
Today we travel north of Moscow, to a small town of Sergiev Posad, former Zagorsk – founded in the 14th century and renowned as a center of ancient Russian art and architecture. For centuries it served as a place of pilgrimage and the religious capital of Russia. Within the old walled city admire the fairy-tale golden and blue domes of the Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra, one of the most beautiful of all monasteries. After lunch at a popular restaurant, return to Moscow, the rest of the day at leisure. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner in a nice restaurant.
June 07 - MOSCOW/RETURN TO USA
Breakfast at the hotel; Coach transfer to the airport with Tour Manager
COST OF PACKAGE: $2,999 + Air (min. 15 pax)
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: $585
13 nights’ hotel accommodations in 4*/superior class hotel on half board basis
Meal Breakfast & Dinner; Lunch on your own
Professional English Speaking tour escort/guide for the whole tour
Entrance fees included as per itinerary
Porterage at hotels of 1 large suitcase per person
All transfer & tours with Deluxe fully equipped motor-coach with A/C
Package Does Not Include:
International flight tickets
Gratuities for tour guides, driver, hotel/room staff
1 Day extension on June 8th
Love offering for priest
Any other services not mentioned above
Any Pre-Tour or Post-Tour
Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg
Interior of Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg
St. Basil's Church, Moscow
What is the difference between Moscow & St. Petersburg? Moscow is the heart, and Saint Petersburg is the head” -This Russian saying was popularized in the time of Peter the Great and references Moscow’s place as the central upholder of Russian traditions while Saint Petersburg looks west into the social and scientific developments of the future. Is it still applicable today? – You decide.
SHRINE OF DIVINE MERCY IN VILNIUS, LITHUANIA
Dear to every Vilnian is the image of the Holy Mother of Mercy in the Chapel of the Gates of Dawn, a site of pilgrimage and Marian devotion since the 17th century. In the 1930s, Vilnius became home to the now-famous image of Merciful Jesus, popularly known as the Image of Divine Mercy, painted in 1934 by Eugene Kazimierowski according to the visions of Sister Faustina. Fittingly, the first place that the image of Merciful Jesus was publicly venerated was at His Merciful Mother’s Chapel, the Gates of Dawn. In April of 1935, for three days leading up to the first Sunday after Easter, the image Read More ...