Multi-Day Tour | Independent, Locally Hosted, Private

Essential Finland (8 days)

Exeter International

Helsinki, Finland To Helsinki, Finland

Valid for Departures Now Through: 31 Dec 2018

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Helsinki, Finland
None None

Arrival into Helsinki, where you will be met by your private driver just outside baggage claim and transferred to your hotel.


Originally founded by the Swedish king as a commercial rival to Tallinn (on the other side of the Baltic Sea), Helsinki has grown into a beautiful and cosmopolitan capital of more than 500,000 inhabitants.  The city retains a small-town feel; there are no high-rise buildings and the market square is still surrounded by 19th-century architecture. Its green parks and waterways, fresh sea winds with seagulls flying over the busy market square, and many open-air cafes make it a perfect summer destination.


Enjoy your afternoon at leisure.

Day 2
Helsinki, Finland
Hotel Kamp Breakfast

This morning your guide will meet you for a city overview tour. Your guide will show you Senate Square which was established when Helsinki became the capitol of Finland in 1812.  The square represents the political, religious and scientific aspects of the city as it is flanked by the Lutheran church, the Government palace and the University of Helsinki.


You will also see the amazing underground stone church Tempelliaukkio. Built in 1969, the 80 foot ceiling is covered with copper stripping which creates fantastic acoustics.


Continue onto the Sibelius Monument built in memory of Finland’s national composer Jean Sibelius. The monument is constructed of hundreds of hollow steel pipes. The pipes are united in a wave like pattern to represent the waves of music.


Your guide will also show you the embassy district which features historical homes and villas set in rolling green hills.  The drive will then lead to the beach area where many locals frequent for a relaxing afternoon.  Beautiful views unto the neighboring islands can be seen here.


We recommend you take your time at the famous fish market known as the Kauppatori for a glimpse of local life.  In summer, you can watch people selling salmon and potatoes from their boats, snack on a bag of fresh strawberries or cherries, or buy a warm fur hat or wooden toy.  


From Market Square, you may want to catch one of the sightseeing cruises around the islands of Helsinki (cruise lasts about 1 or 1 1⁄2 hours.)  You can enjoy the beauty of sunlight sparkling on the water as you cruise through the archipelago. (Please note, this sightseeing cruise is not pre-paid and is an optional excursion.  Please advise your guide if you wish to make arrangements.)


Children Interest: Or, you may want to take a paddle wheeler or waterbus to the Helsinki Zoo.  Helsinki's zoo is one of the northernmost zoos in the world located on Korkeasaari Island.  Established in 1889, the zoo has animals from Finland and around the world housed in large natural enclosures. Renowned for its success in breeding snow leopards, the zoo also specializes in snowy owls and bearded golden vultures.


From Market Square you can also take the ferry to Suomenlinna; The greatest sea fortress of the Swedish empire.  Located on a tight cluster of islands just south of Helsinki, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The fortress was founded in 1748 to protect the empire against Russian attack. It later fell to the Russians and remained under their control until Finland gained independence in 1917.  Here the interesting museums will take you back to the military and maritime history of the fortress, complete with old bunkers, cannons and model ships.  


Another option is to spend the remainder of your day at the Seurasaari open-air Museum, where you will step back in time to 18th and 19th century rural Finland.  This is a great way to get a glimpse of the traditional way of life in the Finnish countryside, while staying in the heart of the capital city. The museum, situated on a lovely green island accessed from the mainland via a footbridge, consists of a collection of cottages, farmsteads, parsonages, rural churches, manor houses and other old buildings, all preserved and relocated from their original sites around the provinces of Finland.  


Day 3
Helsinki, Finland
Hotel Kamp Breakfast

This morning, your guide will meet you at 10:00 AM to take you to the Presidential Palace. It was originally designed as the home of a wealthy merchant, before being converted to the Tsar’s Helsinki residence by C.L. Engel. Today it is the official residence of the President of Helsinki. Note: Available on Wednesday and Saturday only. The Office of the President of the Republic of Finland reserves the right to cancel bookings already confirmed without warning for official or other reasons.


Continue to the Sea Fortress of Suomenlinna, which gives you an overview of several centuries of Finnish history under Swedish and Russian rule and then as an independent state. The tour also includes a visit to one of the museums on the island. Suomenlinna, which celebrated its 250th anniversary in 1998, is on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites.


This afternoon, your guide will take you just a little outside Helsinki to Hvitträsk. Hvitträsk is an outstanding example of Jugendstil, the German and Scandinavian variant of Art Nouveau. It was built of logs and natural stone in 1903 to serve as the studio of the architects Saarinen, Gesellius and Lindgren and the home of Eliel Saarinen. It stands in a forest setting on a hill overlooking a beautiful lake.


Return to Helsinki and evening at your leisure.

Day 4
Helsinki, Finland
Hotel Kamp Breakfast

This morning, your guide will meet you at 10:00 AM to take you to Porvoo, on the outskirts of Helsinki.


Historical Porvoo is a charming little town with well-preserved wooden houses. The tour includes the medieval cathedral, Town Hall Square, the home museum of Finnish national poet J. L. Runeberg, delightful little shops and craftspersons' workshops.  


Lunch in the old town or at the Haikko Manor, which is a delightful combination of history, splendours and nostalgia in a beautiful rural setting. (Cost of lunch is not included).


Return to Helsinki and afternoon at your leisure.

Day 5
Helsinki, Finland
Hotel Kamp Breakfast

This morning your guide will take you to Riihimäki, which is famous for its blown glass craftsmen. Finnish glass design and art glass are known all over the world. The basic exhibition covers the history and development of glass design. A fine collection of pieces designed by such masters as Alvar Aalto, Tapio Wirkkala and Timo Sarpaneva.  


After the guided tour at the museum, a chance to see one of a present-day master at work in his studio. Time for shopping. Lunch in a local restaurant. (Cost of lunch is not included).


Return to Helsinki and afternoon at your leisure.

Day 6
Helsinki, Finland
Hotel Kamp Breakfast

This morning, your guide will take you to the design district which is a great place to learn about Finnish design. The district features over two hundred design based businesses including shops galleries, restaurants and hotels. Here you will also find the Design Museum, the Museum of Finnish Architecture and Design Forum Finland.


The Amos Anderson Art Museum in Helsinki city centre is one of the largest private art collections in Finland. The museum is housed in Amon Andersen’s former home. Anderson was a generous patron of the arts and culture in HelsinkiThe Amos Anderson Art Museum specializes in 20th century Finnish art. In its acquisitions it focuses on contemporary art. Some of the works from earlier periods, such as those exhibited in the chapel, were originally part of Amos Anderson's own private collection.


Day 7
Helsinki, Finland
Hotel Kamp Breakfast

This morning, your guide will take you to visit Kiasma, one of the most unique and extensive museum projects to be created.


Kiasma is an ensemble in continuous movement where performances and projects live, overlap and intertwine at different speeds. Collections and large-scale exhibitions are showcased for a longer period of time while the shorter life-spans of smaller exhibitions and theatre pieces attest to a more rapid cycle.  


This afternoon, we recommend a visit to the Ateneum, a collaboration of artists and craftsmen, that was conceived by Professor Carl Gustaf Estlander. While initially met with hesitation from both artists and craftsmen alike, but has since come together and flourished successfully in a uniquely creative synthesis.

Day 8
Helsinki, Finland
None Breakfast

This morning, you will be privately transferred to the airport for your onward flight home.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

Experiences have not been selected at this time

Description

A sample itinerary for FIT touring of Helsinki and its surrounding areas.

About Us

For 25 years, Exeter International has established itself as the leading deluxe specialist operator to Central and Eastern Europe, Russia & Central Asia. We use our intimate regional knowledge and expertise to create unique, often limited access travel experiences. Our multi-national, multi-lingual specialists craft authentic insider experiences, created with imagination. When you book with Exeter International you can expect the top guides in each city pre-reserved weeks in advance, matched to your preferences. Our specialists have also been recognized by the Conde Nast and Travel & Leisure top agent list since their inception.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Advisor for more information.

Terms & Conditions

Visas & Passports  –

Russia requires visas of United States citizens and Exeter International will arrange for the invitation required for a visa upon

booking. Each traveler will be responsible for one passport photo, a completed visa form, one photo copy of the information pages of his/her passport, the invitation, and the visa processing fee. If the traveler would like, Exeter International will obtain all visas at additional cost. Each traveler is responsible for his/her own passport, which must be valid for six (6) months after the completion of the participant’s tour. Exeter International is not responsible for the refusal of a visa to any traveler by any consulate. In the event of visa refusal, any and all expenses/cancellation fees shall be borne by the traveler.


Payment Policies - Deposit Requirements

Small Group Tours - Deposits ($500) per person, for group tours are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis and are non-refundable and nontransferable. We will hold your reservation for one week after you book your tour without a deposit. Some special programs (cruises and trains) may have different deposit policies.


Independent Programs -

 A 10% or $250 per person (whichever is greater) non-refundable deposit is required to confirm an independent travel program. No Services are confirmed prior to deposit being received.


Payment Policies – Final Payment

Final payment is due 60 days prior to the commencement of travel. If final payment is not received 60 days prior to departure, your reservation will automatically be canceled. Some special programs (cruises and trains) may have different final payment policies.


Prices and Services – All taxes are included in program prices.


Payments –

Payments must be made in Tampa, FL to Exeter International at least eight weeks prior to departure and are accepted by check, cash or credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card for credit card payment. Please note that payment for any services a traveler wishes to add once travel commences must be made in United States Dollars to the Exeter International local representative. We cannot accept personal checks or travelers checks overseas.


Hotels –

The tour cost assumes double occupancy in all hotels. Single supplements will be calculated based on exact dates of travel. We reserve the right to substitute hotels of equal or superior quality.


Transfers & Vehicles –

Exeter International will supply its travelers with personal transportation to and from all train stations, airports and ports, as described in the tour description. Baggage assistance is included for one piece of luggage per person, but tour participants should be prepared to handle their own bags at certain times during the tour. Please read carefully the Exeter International Travel Tips publication. We cannot guarantee air-conditioned vehicles in some cities. Touring and transfers will be by regular 4 passenger cars unless you have specifically ordered a

luxury car for your tour.


Scheduling –

Please note that due to circumstances beyond the control of Exeter International, the tour may not be deliverable exactly as described (i.e. theater scheduling, hotel occupancy, etc.), BUT Exeter International will substitute scheduled or advertised events, hotels, and restaurants with alternatives of equal or greater value and quality. All hotels, restaurant and airline space is subject to their management’s approval. Exeter International will make every effort to guarantee this package as is, but conditions will sometimes mandate minor changes to the program. Reservations are nontransferable.


Expedited Services


Expedited Bookings –

All bookings confirmed less than six weeks before departure will require expedited procedures. The cost for expedited

bookings is $250 per booking.


Expedited Documents –

If final travel documents are required more  than four (4) weeks in advance of the departure date, a $50 expedited documents fee applies to the booking. If overnight delivery of documents is required at any time, a fee of $35 will be applied to the booking.


Itinerary Changes –

Once a group or individual travel itinerary has been confirmed, an amendment fee of $100 per revision will be charged. The traveler will also be responsible for any additional expenses that may be incurred due to a voluntary itinerary change.


Cancellation Policies –

Up to 8 weeks prior to departure: Deposit is nonrefundable 8 weeks to 14 days prior to departure: 50% cancellation fee 13 days or less prior to departure: 100% cancellation fee Reservations made at Russian and non-Western hotels are nonrefundable within 30 days of departure. Travelers are liable for airline and hotel cancellation fees as stated in their agreements. For all cruise and train bookings, please refer to the cancellation policies outlined in the specific Terms & Conditions for that program. All cancellations must be received in writing. If Exeter International must cancel your trip, you will be fully refunded.


Guaranteed Departures and Small Groups -

All Exeter International tours are guaranteed departures unless specifically noted with a minimum group size in the tour description. In small groups (less than 8 guests), the guides will act as the tour mangers in each of the cities. For all groups larger than 8 guests a tour manger will meet the group upon arrival in the first city of the tour and travel with this group throughout the duration of the tour. Certain events and meals may be changed slightly for small groups, as described in the brochure.


No Smoking –

 For the enjoyment of all passengers, smoking is not allowed on Exeter International buses and cars or while the group is together on tour or at meals.


Insurance –

Exeter International highly recommends that you purchase travel insurance for your trip. This may be purchased directly through Exeter International or through your travel agent.


What is included –

Your tour includes everything that is specifically stated in the tour description. Breakfast (usually buffet) is usually provided daily; lunch and dinner will be provided only as stated in the tour description. Meals always include tea and coffee. Alcoholic beverages and mineral water are not included in meals, unless specifically noted. Visa fees are not included in tour prices.


Exeter International’s Responsibility –

Exeter International reserves the right, but is not obligated, to not accept or retain as a tour passenger any member whose

condition or physical needs or conduct impede the operation of the tour or affect the rights, welfare, or enjoyment of the tour’s other participants. A refund of the unused portion of the tours is the limit of Exeter International’s liability if such a person is asked to leave the tour.

Exeter International acts only on behalf of hotels, restaurants, train lines, boat lines, its owners, operators or contractors (all herein called contractors) providing services in connection with Exeter International’s tours. In the absence of negligence on Exeter International’s part, Exeter International is not responsible for personal injury or property damage or loss arising out of the act or negligence of any direct air carrier, hotel or other person rendering any of the services or accommodations offered herein. The traveler agrees to the foregoing, and also agrees that Exeter International will not be or become liable or responsible for any loss, default, or injury of any person, company, or other legal entity engaged to supply the same. Exeter International accepts no responsibility for losses or expenses due to delays or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strikes, hotel overbooking, social and labor unrest, terrorist activities, war, quarantine, or any other causes, actions or omissions, or conditions over which it has no control.


Additional Terms – Venue for all claims or disputes shall be exclusively in Hillsborough County, Florida, whose Courts, using Florida Law, shall have exclusive jurisdiction. Damage claims against Exeter International shall be limited to the value of the particular item in dispute and not for any incidental, consequential, or special damages. Exeter International assumes responsibility for representations it makes, but not for those made by others and including, but not limited to, any employee of Exeter International or independent travel agent. Payment for reservations on any Exeter International tour shall constitute consent to all the provisions in the General Information and Conditions published herein and is binding on all tour and travel participants.


All tour prices include the cost of planning and operations and are based on the tariffs, fuel costs and exchange rates in effect November 1, 2009 and are subject to change without notice at any time prior to payment in full of tour services.


Exeter International, Inc. is a Florida corporation, licensed, registered and bonded in the State of Florida for the sale of travel products and services.



The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.
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Reviews and Recommendations for Exeter International

95%

of 23
guests
recommend


Virtuoso Verified Traveler

All reviews are from confirmed guests sharing exclusive insights

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Highly recomended

By: KandeeB


Reviewed on: 06 Jun 2013

Exeter International was staffed with first class personnel from the drivers to the EXTRAORDINARY guides through out the trip. The vehicles used to transport us were luxurious. The hotels were commensurate with the level of quality expected by the cost and located in the most advantageous sites. Totally organized and stress free experience.
Travel Advisor:  Brigitte Feinberg
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Great high-end travel company

By: Not provided


Reviewed on: 23 Aug 2013

Does superb job for demanding high-end travel Customized travel with excellent guides and programs. You pay but you get what you pay for.
Travel Advisor:  Leah Bergner
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Highly recommend

By: Jean


Reviewed on: 01 Oct 2013

Exeter was very well organised with very good guides and drivers. Our requests were responded to with professional speed. Some of our hotels could have been better. But we understand that they were the best available. We would have no hesitation using this agency again and recommending them to others.
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Yale
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Pampered Travel

By: KandeeB


Reviewed on: 07 Nov 2013

Exeter provides luxury travel with all the hassles and worries removed. The quality of their drivers and guides is first rate. From the minute you arrive until your final departure you are in excellent hands. The itinerary is well thought out and provides many special visitations not offered to other tourists. I have heartily recommended Exeter to several people without any reservation.
Travel Advisor:  Brigitte Feinberg

Recommended

By: Jean


Reviewed on: 13 Jun 2014

We have used Exeter on a prior trip and were equally happy with them this time. We did have a Russian Visa situation which could have been serious, but was resolved quickly.The guide spoke very good English and was knowledgable in history and art along with the local architecture. The driver was also very safe in a chaotic traffic system.
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Yale

highly recommend

By: BB


Reviewed on: 22 Jun 2014

Travel Advisor:  Rochelle Lieberman

Highly recommended

By: Mkt123


Reviewed on: 11 Jul 2014

We were connected with local English speaking guides and drivers that gave us an inside view of each country we traveled to. The experience was priceless.
Travel Advisor:  Martha Rhodes

Oustanding Guides

By: J & W


Reviewed on: 15 Oct 2014

All of the services provided by Exeter were truly outstanding. The hotel accommodations were excellent. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and well organized. The drivers were prompt and courteous. The suggestions for restaurants and additional things to do and see were very good. The printed booklet of helpful hints and language support was a nice bit of support for travelers who are visiting countries for the first time.
Travel Advisor:  Sara Krutsinger

Across the Russian Far East

By: Judee 544


Reviewed on: 30 Aug 2015

Everything was perfectly planned and resulted in a wonderfully exciting trip with all of our interests and needs taken into account. going on such an adventurous and challenging trip, so far away when one is no longer young could have been quite difficult, but instead was nothing but a fabulous experience. Wonderful guides and wonderful experiences on the Trans-Siberian Express and the cities of the Russian Far East, and a lovely hotel at the end in Moscow.
Travel Advisor:  Vivian Rubenstein

Excellent Russian Trip

By: Roger


Reviewed on: 09 Aug 2016

Exeter provided all of our guides and support for a 9 day family trip to Russia - very well informed, personable guides and smooth transportation. We were a bit hesitant to go to Russia but highly recommend - the trip of a lifetime !
Travel Advisor:  Tony Huffman
Not Recommended

Germany

By: TheGrapevine


Reviewed on: 14 Feb 2017

Take out trip insurance - not going to bash - but you get the idea.....
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1st Class

By: Carlos Gavidia


Reviewed on: 08 Mar 2017

From the beginning to the end this organization really surprised me! From getting our travel visas for Moscow to every detail of the tour pick up transfers and tours through the city were perfectly executed
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Yale

Uzbekistan

By: Podge84@aol.com


Reviewed on: 14 May 2017

Exeter was excellent with tour logistics and great guide. Seamless trip.
Travel Advisor:  Britt Gerber

Great planning and service

By: WWII And Cold War History


Reviewed on: 25 Jun 2017

Exeter planned an excellent two week trip for me and my three teenagers. We went to Poland, Germany and Amsterdam. We focused on WWII and Cold War history. The plan was thoughtful and well paced. When I had questions Exeter staff responded promptly. A very good experience.
Travel Advisor:  Josh Friedman

St. Petersburg Tour

By: B Snead


Reviewed on: 18 Jul 2017

Our driver and guide could not have been better. Polite and accommodating for the three days we were in St. Petersburg. We saw a lot of attractions, got some behind the scenes tours and were able to access some sights prior to the general public. I would use Exeter again without hesitation!
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

Guide

By: Hodges


Reviewed on: 17 Jul 2017

Exceeded all expectation. Super cost effective to compared to Oceania.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

Germany & Russia

By: Oz


Reviewed on: 19 Jul 2017

I strongley reccomend Exeter for shore excursions. Their staff and vehicles were first class, and the value was tremendous. We never felt uncomfortable or worried about being back to the ship on time. True professionals.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

Great tour

By: mt


Reviewed on: 25 Aug 2017

Knowledgable, efficient and friendly tour operators!

Baltic Cruise

By: Roger


Reviewed on: 17 Sep 2017

Fantastic tour service. Their guides and drivers were outstanding. Guides all had an excellent knowledge of the city and the history. We are very pleased that Ralph recommended Exeter. When comparing notes with others that had used the tours supplied by the ship, we learned that we had seen and accomplished much more than they had. Our guides were able to make special arrangements that others could not. Will always use Exeter when it is available
Travel Advisor:  Ralph Iantosca

Great tour

By: Ann


Reviewed on: 26 Sep 2017

Everything was wonderful. Very nice guide and well informed about the places we visited.

Exeter International

By: Goodwitch


Reviewed on: 02 Oct 2017

All guides were great and expedited airport service was fantastic
Travel Advisor:  Joanne Smith

St Petersburg

By: Swan


Reviewed on: 06 Nov 2017

Absolutely fabulous
Travel Advisor:  Sherrie Coffey

Custom Guided Tour

By: JJ


Reviewed on: 18 Dec 2017

The tour guides and drivers were outstanding plus. They were very personable, always early, and their local knowledge was excellent. All of them were eager to please and all adapted to the changing crowd situation caused by weather, national holiday, or political meeting.
Travel Advisor:  Eleanor Hardy