Baltic Tour 10 Days

Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius: Discover Jewish Heritage in the Baltic States

Our Jewish Heritage Baltic tour is all about the beauty of the Baltic States and the life of the Jewish people. An exciting exploration of the Baltic States with their rich Jewish Heritage, our tour follows the history of the Jewish people, and visiting the memories that were left behind. This tour enables us to experience the impact of Jewish life throughout the centuries in the Baltics, while also enjoying an adventure in the purest jewels of the Baltics.

ITINERARY

We’ll see the Old Town, one of the best-preserved in Northern Europe: will walk from the Toompea hill viewpoints down to the City Hall Square, on the way visiting charming cobble streets and colorful houses of Medieval epoque.
In the afternoon, we’ll visit Pirita, a suburb of Tallinn, best known as the location of the sailing competition of the 1980 Olympics. On the way back to the city, we’ll stop at the beautiful “Rusalka” monument, visit the Kadriorg Park and Palace erected in the early 18th century and will see the Song Festival Grounds.
Overnight: Tallinn.

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Our tour in the city center will include the territory of the Old Town with its four main squares, Riga Canal and Esplanade Park, Statue of Freedom, National Library, etc.
Overnight: Riga.

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The first Jewish secular school was founded in the 19th century in this neighborhood. In this same area, Nazi authorities established the Riga Ghetto. Next, we’ll walk on Maskavas street, see the building of Jewish Hospital “Bikur Holim,” established in 1924. After a short drive, we’ll reach the eastern border of the Jewish settlement  – the Old Jewish Cemetery, which was devastated during WWII. Today, there stands a memorial and park where local people stroll around. We’ll continue to the Bikierniki forest Holocaust Memorial, where the Nazis and their local collaborators murdered thousands of Jews from Latvia, Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. The last Holocaust related site will be Rumbula – the mascara place of Riga Jewish community.
Return to Riga and visit Art Nouveau area of the city with its’ impressive Art Nouveau style buildings, that made Riga one of the most beautiful cities of Europe.
Overnight: Riga.

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Once the site of an uprising, the hill has over the years become a symbol of Lithuanians’ resistance against foreign rule of the 19th and 20th centuries. We’ll take some time to explore the site  before continuing to Lithuanian City Siauliai, where will will make a stop in front of Chaim Frenkel Villa, who was one the richest businessmen in Russian Empire, and most probably the richest Jewish businessman in Lithuania. In the afternoon we will stop at Kedainai. We will learn about the Oldest Jewish Community settled at the 15-th century in this area and see the traces of former Jewish life here (central market and the synagogues). We will end the long day of the tour in the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius.
Overnight: Vilnius.

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On the Jewish part of the tour we will visit Choral Synagogue, built in 1903 in Moorish-Romanesque style, Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum and the Tolerance Centre. During the walk into the old city, we stop at the building of the famous ORT school, and the house of the famous Tarbut Gimnazia (grammar school). Nowadays, the building houses the Jewish Community Centre.
We’ll continue walking through the Large Ghetto of Vilna where we will explore the story of resistance and struggle against the Nazis. We’ll finish our walking tour next to the Ghetto Theatre, once the center of spiritual resistance.
Evening services followed by Shabbat dinner.
Overnight: Vilnius.

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Here once stood the house of the Vilna Gaon; just next to it was the Great Synagogue of Vilna and the “Shulhof,” with its numerous prayer houses. Will speak about the famous Strashun library.
Overnight: Vilnius.

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We will walk through the Old Town of Kaunas, with its narrow streets and cobbled squares, cozy cafes and art galleries, along A. Mapu street – named after the author of the first Hebrew novel of the 19th century, pass by L. Zamenhof street – a famous doctor and inventor of the Esperanto language. Then we’ll drive to Slobodka, a district of Kaunas which was a Jewish neighborhood from 1500 to WWII. We’ll see the original building of the famous Slobodka Yeshiva and discuss its place in history. We’ll visit also the only functioning Synagogue in Kaunas – “Ohel Yaacov,” built in 1871.
Our next stop will be the museum at Sugihara House, the former home and place of work for Japanese consul Chiune Sugihara and his family. We will listen to the story of the Japanese diplomat and his Dutch counterpart Jan Zwartendijk’s efforts to save several thousand Jews from the impending Holocaust with their so-called Visas for Life.
We’ll end our visit to Kaunas, paying the last tribute to the Holocaust victims at Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum and the Memorial – the place where Nazis and their local collaborators murdered over 50 thousand people, most of them Jewish.
Overnight: Vilnius.

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Then we will go to the Trakai Castle on Galve Lake.
Trakai – the land of lakes and forests, the ancient capital and residence of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, with its 14th-century insular castle. Today, it houses a fascinating Trakai History Museum with a special exhibition on Karaites, an ethnic minority who traveled to the region from Crimea more than 600 years ago. We will visit the Karaite Jews museum in the town, where about 80 families of this unique community still live.
Overnight: Vilnius.

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PRICES & DATES

DEAPARTURE
RETURN
DAYS
PRICE *
SINGLE ROOM **
FLIGHTS
NOTES
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* Price per person in USD double or twin room

** Supplement Price for single room

NEED TO KNOW

Price Includes:

Round trip air fare from New York as per itinerary.
First Class hotels.
Kosher Meals daily. (For details see General Conditions).
Transportation by air conditioned coaches.
Sightseeing, transfers and entrance fees as per Itinerary.
Experienced English speaking Tour Escort.
* Price of tour is subject to change due to change in air fare

Price Excludes:

Airport and security tax.
Travel Insurance (For details see General Conditions).
Personal expenses.
Gratuities to local service providers and Tour Escort.
Optional tours.
Individual transfers.
Any item not mentioned under “included in price”.

Important to Know:

There may be changes in the itinerary due to changes in internal flight times and other objective reasons.
In the event of a change, cancellation or malfunction related to flights, sailing or other method of transportation, the airline or transporting company alone shall be responsible.

Kashrut on Tours

Only strictly kosher food is provided to our travelers on all our tours. On some of our tours we are able to provide glatt meals. Kashrut is of utmost importance to us and we take special measures to ensure that everything served is kosher.

The meals:

Breakfast is prepared using our utensils. We use local fresh fruits and vegetables, and we use milk products when they are permitted. We use kosher cereals, and bread. We usually serve hard boiled eggs and sometimes scrambled eggs or omelets. At breakfast, we prepare our lunches so that people have their choice as to what they eat for lunch. We bring food from Israel to supplement what is served in the hotel such as cheeses, peanut butter, tuna, etc.
For dinners, we serve either fish or meat (usually chicken) as our main course. In areas where meat is not available nor readily acquired, we will have fish. When possible, we acquire the meat locally from Chabad or other reliable kosher source, and in some cases we fly the meat in from Israel. We try to provide as many meat meals as possible. The main course at dinner is preceded by soup and salad and accompanied by freshly prepared vegetables. Dessert typically consists of fresh fruits.
We do not guarantee Pat Israel and Chalav Israel for all destinations.
In many destinations we have our own dishes and silverware. Where we don’t, we provide disposables at the meals. When we cook in hotel kitchens, we use our own knives, cutting boards, pots and pans, cooking implements and disposable metal trays. All food preparation is done on covered surfaces under the strict supervision of our trained staff/guides who function as our mashgichim.
We make great efforts to assure that our travelers will experience local foods first-hand, while maintaining stringent observance of Kashrut laws on all occasions.
On most of our tours, you will be accompanied by two of our staff members- one a guide for the tour who is knowledgeable about the places you are visiting and will accompany you throughout the day and the second, a person who will deal with the logistics of the tour and provide kashrut supervision in the kitchen.

Hotels:

It is our aim to provide the finest hotel possible in each area we visit. We require our hotels to allow us to work in the kitchen and to supervise the cooking and there are many hotels that are not willing to cooperate. They simply have no desire for us to be “meddling” in their cooking process nor are they happy about our bringing our equipment into their kitchens. We work very hard to find the best hotel in the area that will meet our requirements. Because we are not ready to compromise on kashrut, we may not always be able to use a five star hotel.

Deposit, Cancellation Fees & Policy:

A $500 USD Deposit per person must be received at the time of booking in order to confirm your reservation. Payment in full is due 60 days before departure. A minimum number of participants are required to operate tour dates. If a minimum number has not been reached prior to tour departure and the tour is cancelled you will receive a FULL refund.
• 60 days before departure bookings are refundable less a $100 administration fee
• 30-59 working days prior to departure: 25% of total per passenger
• 15-29 working days prior to departure: 50% of total per passenger
• Less than 14 working days prior to departure: 100% of total – no refund

We strongly recommend purchasing Travel Insurance.

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