There’s big, and then there’s Russia! Its vastness contains the world’s longest train journey, Europe’s longest river cruises and a patchwork quilt of customs, cultures, languages, and geography. The eternal enigma of Russia also combines a culture that inspired the western world and is now in recovery from communism to rejoin it!
As well as a visual adventure encompassing faultless ballet, fine arts, literature and architecture of Rococco grandeur, in St Petersburg you’ll find museums dedicated to Pushkin, chess and vodka! Moscow’s minarets, Kremlin and Red Square are almost eclipsed by the bizarre splendour of the Metro and a KGB History Tour. Don’t forget you need a visa to visit Russia – we’ll help you with the (considerable) paperwork!
Ever since the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania reclaimed their independence from Russia in 1991, curious travellers have been discovering the Nordic heritage of Tallin (Estonia) and Riga (Latvia) and the Polish past of Vilnius (Lithuania).
Cruising the Baltics
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are incredibly interesting countries with fascinating history. Let us just take the 20th century for instance; the Russian Revolution, 2 World Wars, Soviet occupation, Glasnost, Perestroika and finally independence in the 1990’s. Add to this the wonderful architecture and medieval history and you have a ‘not too be missed’ area of Europe’ which like Scandinavia, requires no visas if travelling on a NZ passport.
There are many options for cruising in this area from 3 to 20 or more nights, ships vary from expedition cruises with not much more than a hundred passengers to the big cruise liners with three thousand or more passengers.
There are many itinerary options which may also include Berlin and then head as far south as Amsterdam, Bruges and even the UK
One thing you must do is find an itinerary that includes the metaphorical jewel in the crown; St.Petersburg, a ‘must do’ as you are so close and with sights such as The Hermitage, Peterhof, Katherine’s Palace and the Church of the Holy Blood, a truly incredible destination, with the added bonus of no visa requirements if you visit as part of a cruise.