DESTINATION THE BALTIC STATES
Sample Itinerary: 10 Days | 8 nights
Day 1 – USA / VILNIUS
The journey to the Baltic States begins by boarding an international flight across the Atlantic from Dulles Airport to Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania. Meals and snacks will be served on the plane.
Day 2 – VILNIUS
Upon arrival into Vilnius Airport, your group will meet your English speaking tour manager and coach for a panoramic sightseeing tour on the way to your hotel. The city’s Old Town area is filled with medieval, gothic, renaissance, and baroque buildings, all centered on the neo-classical cathedral and town hall. Following the tour you will check in to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 – VILNIUS
After breakfast your choir will participate in a Sunday Mass at a local church. You will have lunch on your own and then will enjoy an afternoon of city sightseeing with a local guide. You will first see Vilnius Old Town and then see St. Anne’s Church. You will continue to see Gediminas tower, Cathedral Clock Tower, Gates of Dawn, and the Stebukla, a stone which is believed to perform wonders and miracles which is a very important part of Vilnius history. You will also visit the grounds of the Lithuanian Song Festival, held every four years. This six-day festival attracts thousands with its program of folk songs, dances, art, music and more. You will have dinner on your own and then overnight in Vilnius.
Day 4 – EXCURSION TO TRAKAI
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then meet your coach and local guide for a half-day tour to Trakai, a historic city and resort about 17 miles outside of Vilnius. While there you will see Trakai Island Castle, built in the 13th century by Grand Duke Kestutis. Enjoy some free time and lunch on your own at a local restaurant. In the evening your choir will have a joint concert in Vilnius. Dinner and overnight in Vilnius.
Day 5 – VILNIUS / RIGA
Today you will transfer to the seaport city of Riga, the largest city in the Baltic States. As you travel through the beautiful Lithuanian countryside you will visit the famous Hill of Crosses, with over 50,000 crosses built from different materials. While the reasoning behind leaving so many crosses here is uncertain, the hill signifies the peaceful endurance of Lithuanian Catholicism. You will continue on to Riga, Latvia, which enjoys a rich musical culture and hosts numerous music festivals. It is home to local and regional folklore vocal ensembles. You will have a concert this evening and dinner on your own. Overnight in Riga.
Day 6 – RIGA
Your group will enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then begin some sightseeing with local guides around Riga. You will soon realize why Riga is the world capital of Art Nouveau as you walk along Alberta Street admiring the architecture. Your guided tour concludes with a visit to the Art Nouveau Museum that will give you a glimpse into the furnishings of a 20th century Riga architect’s apartment. You will also get to visit the New National Library of Riga, the Riga Central Market, and the Mežaparks area that is home to the vast open air stage that every four years becomes a venue for the Song Festival, one of the major events in Riga’s cultural life. In the evening your choir will perform a concert (possibly a joint concert). Dinner is on your own and then overnight in Riga.
Day 7 – RIGA / TARTU
After breakfast, your group will meet your coach and guide to travel to Tartu, Estonia. Upon arrival you will have time to explore this university town, known as the home of the Estonian Song Festival. You might see the Old City, Town Hall Square, the Toy Museum and Tartu University’s Botanical Garden. Your choir will have a concert at the Assembly Hall (possibly with the University choir). Dinner and overnight in Tartu.
Day 8 – TARTU / TALLINN
Starting your day in Tartu, your group will transfer to Tallinn, the capital and largest city in Estonia. You will stop en route in Paide, located in the center of the country and known as “the Heart of Estonia.” You will visit the Paide Castle and the surrounding fortress. Enjoy some free time for lunch before continuing to Tallinn. Upon arrival in Tallinn, you will have dinner on your own and then overnight.
Day 9 – TALLINN
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then meet local guides for some sightseeing around Tallinn. You will visit Kadriorg, home to the Tallinn Song Festival grounds. In 1869 the Estonian Song Festival was established while the nation was still a province of the Russian Empire. This festival was considered responsible for fostering an Estonian national awakening. You will also see the Kadriorg Art Museum, located in the Baroque palace built by Peter the Great, and Kadriorg. Also, see the Russalka Memorial, a bronze monument created in 1902 to mark the anniversary of the sinking of the Russian warship Rusalka or “Mermaid” which sank en route to Finland in 1893. In the evening your choir will perform a concert. Dinner and overnight in Tallinn.
Day 10 – DEPARTURE TO USA
After breakfast you will go to the airport in Tallinn to begin your journey back to the USA. You will take with you lifelong memories of exploring and performing in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
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