2017 Balzekas Museum Trips

Please note: 2018 tours to Lithuania will be announced as soon as the dates and tour details are finalized.  Please check back soon for updates.

In the meantime, please take a look at the 2017 tours below for an idea of the scope of travel typically included in Museum tour packages.  The tours give a great introduction to the cities and countryside of Lithuania and include some of the nation’s most significant historic and geographic features and landmarks. An opportunity to travel and to share this experience with members of the Balzekas Museum community provides a friendly and supportive way to discover Lithuania and often creates long-lasting bonds among tour group members.  Knowledgeable and experienced tour guides further enhance the tour experience. 

 

Trip # 1:  June 25 – July 5, 2017

To Lithuania

DATE

ITINERARY

Sunday
June 25

Chicago to Vilnius

Depart from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Vilnius, Lithuania

Monday
June 26

Old Vilnius

Vilnius

After arrival in Vilnius, you will be transported to your hotel. In the evening, there will be a Welcome Dinner at a traditional Lithuanian restaurant.
Dinner

Tuesday
June 27

Trakai Castle

Trakai, Kernavė, Vilnius

This morning you will visit Trakai, the medieval capital of Lithuania, with its restored castle in the middle of Lake Galve. After a regional lunch, you’ll visit Kernavė, an ancient site in the Neris valley, the government seat of King Mindaugas 750 years ago. One still can admire and climb the many mounds where, hundreds of years ago, great castles stood. Upon returning to Vilnius, you will make a stop at the TV Tower, the site of the January 13th massacre. Here, during a stand-off with the Soviet army, civilians keeping vigil to protect the tower and Lithuania’s newly redeclared independence were crushed by Soviet tanks. Meet with a local historian for a talk entitled “Lithuania’s Past and Present”.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Wednesday
June 28

Gediminas Castle

Vilnius

Today you will tour Vilnius with its beautiful churches. Stops include: Vilnius Wednesday Cathedral and its catacombs, Vilnius University, the Money Museum, and Vilnius Valdovų Rumai. The tour concludes with a visit to the KGB Museum, where so much suffering was endured by the people of Lithuania during the Soviet occupation. The rest of the evening is free.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Thursday
June 29

RotušėKaunas Town Hall
Rotušė
Kaunas Town Hall

Kaunas

This morning you will depart for Kaunas, Lithuania’s second largest city, with a stop in Rumšiškės, a 500-acre open-air ethnographic museum that brings Lithuania’s history and regional diversity to life. Upon arrival in Kaunas, you will tour the Old Town, the Cathedral Square, Rotušė (City Hall), as well as Kaunas castle and the Resurrection Basilica. After your hotel check-in, you will have enough time to enjoy Kaunas on your own.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Friday
June 30

2010_09_30_Palangoje1

Kėdainiai, Palanga

After breakfast, you will depart for the Baltic resort town of Palanga with a special stop in Kėdainiai, boasting a fully restored Old Town with its unique buildings. Afterwards, continue on to Palanga. After the hotel check-in, you will have enough time to enjoy the resort on your own. Tour participants who would like to visit their ancestral towns can arrange to be picked up by a driver and taken to the place of their choosing. In the evening, they will rejoin the tour group in Palanga for an overnight stay.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Saturday
July 1

Palanga

This morning you will tour Palanga. You will visit the Amber Museum, Hill of Birute, and the beautiful Botanical Garden. Lunch will be at the unique Lithuanian Restaurant Pas Juozapą. The rest of the afternoon and evening, you may enjoy the resort on your own.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Sunday
July 2

Kuršių mariosThe Curonian Spit
Kuršių marios
The Curonian Spit
Tiškevičiaus rūmaiTiškevičius Palace
Tiškevičiaus rūmai
Tiškevičius Palace

Neringa, Klaipėda, Nida, Palanga

Today you will visit the Curonian Spit, Neringa, a long, thin, curved sand-dune isthmus that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea coast. After a short stop in the port city of Klaipėda and a visit to Švyturys Brewery, you’ll be transported by ferry to Neringa. Your first stop will be the Witches Mountain in Juodkrante, where you will be able to admire many unique wooden sculptures and other artwork. You will continue to Nida, a quaint fishing village, where you will have an opportunity to shop for some beautiful amber jewelry and to visit the highest dune on the isthmus. Upon returning in the afternoon, you will dine in the enclosed winter garden of a grand estate, the Tiškevicius Mansion in Kretinga. The mansion was built in the 19th century by a nobleman, Mikalojus Zubovas, and purchased in 1874 by Juozapas Tiškevičius. After returning to Palanga, join in a time-honored tradition among resort-goers, a sunset stroll along the famous Palanga pier.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Monday
July 3

Hill of Crosses

Hill of Crosses, Šeduva

Today the tour will take you to one of the most revered places in Lithuania, the Hill of Crosses, where thousands of crosses where placed by people asking God for special favors or thanking Him for favors granted. After lunch, at the unique Šeduvos Malūnas restaurant, located within a restored windmill, continue on to Vilnius. Upon arrival in Vilnius, you will check in to the Artis Hotel. The rest of the day is free.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Tuesday
July 4

Vilnius

Today you will visit the American Embassy and celebrate July 4. Later in the day you can do some shopping, and there will be enough time to establish business contacts or to visit with your Lithuanian relatives. In the evening there will be a Farewell Dinner.
Breakfast / Dinner

Wednesday
July 5

Vilnius to Lithuania

After breakfast you will be transported to Vilnius Airport for your flight home.
Breakfast

Tour #1 Price

$2,995.00 per person
(Single Supplement: $575)
Does not include air fare

Reserve for Trip #1 today!
Call 773.582.6500

Please note that tour itineraries are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control, such as, but not limited to, inclement weather or airline scheduling changes.

 

Trip # 2: June 25 – July 5, 2017

To Lithuania & St. Petersburg, Russia

DATE

ITINERARY

Sunday
June 25

Chicago to Vilnius

Depart from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Vilnius, Lithuania

Monday
June 26

Old Vilnius

Vilnius

After arrival in Vilnius, you will be transported to your hotel. In the evening, there will be a Welcome Dinner at a traditional Lithuanian restaurant.
Dinner

Tuesday
June 27

Trakai Castle

Trakai, Kernavė, Vilnius

This morning you will visit Trakai, the medieval capital of Lithuania, with its restored castle in the middle of Lake Galve. After a regional lunch, you’ll visit Kernave, an ancient site in the Neris valley, the government seat of King Mindaugas 750 years ago. One still can admire and climb the many mounds where, hundreds of years ago, great castles stood. Upon returning to Vilnius, you will make a stop at the TV Tower, the site of the January 13th massacre. Here, during a stand-off with the Soviet army, civilians keeping vigil to protect the tower and Lithuania’s newly redeclared independence were crushed by Soviet tanks. Meet with a local historian for a talk entitled “Lithuania’s Past and Present”.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Wednesday
June 28

Gediminas Castle

Vilnius

Today you will tour Vilnius with its beautiful churches. Stops include: Vilnius Wednesday Cathedral and its catacombs, Vilnius University, the Money Museum, and Vilnius Valdovų Rūmai. The tour concludes with a visit to the KGB Museum, where so much suffering was endured by the people of Lithuania during the Soviet occupation. The rest of the evening is free.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Thursday
June 29

RotušėKaunas Town Hall
Rotušė
Kaunas Town Hall

Kaunas

This morning you will depart for Kaunas, Lithuania’s second largest city, with a stop in Rumšiškės, a 500-acre open-air ethnographic museum that brings Lithuania’s history and regional diversity to life. Upon arrival in Kaunas, you will tour the Old Town, the Cathedral Square, Rotušė (City Hall), as well as Kaunas castle and the Resurrection Basilica. After your hotel check-in, you will have enough time to enjoy Kaunas on your own.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Friday
June 30

2010_09_30_Palangoje1

Kėdainiai, Palanga

After breakfast, you will depart for the Baltic resort town of Palanga with a special stop in Kėdainiai, boasting a fully restored Old Town with its unique buildings. Afterwards, continue on to Palanga. After the hotel check-in, you will have enough time to enjoy the resort on your own. Tour participants who would like to visit their ancestral towns can arrange to be picked up by a driver and taken to the place of their choosing. In the evening, they will rejoin the tour group in Palanga for an overnight stay.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Saturday
July 1

Palanga

This morning you will tour Palanga. You will visit the Amber Museum, Hill of Birute, and the beautiful Botanical Garden. Lunch will be at the unique Lithuanian Restaurant Pas Juozapą. The rest of the afternoon and evening, you may enjoy the resort on your own.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Sunday
July 2

Kuršių mariosThe Curonian Spit
Kuršių marios
The Curonian Spit
Tiškevičiaus rūmaiTiškevičius Palace
Tiškevičiaus rūmai
Tiškevičius Palace

Neringa, Klaipėda, Nida, Palanga

Today you will visit the Curonian Spit, Neringa, a long, thin, curved sand-dune isthmus that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea coast. After a short stop in the port city of Klaipėda and a visit to Švyturys Brewery, you’ll be transported by ferry to Neringa. Your first stop will be the Witches Mountain in Juodkrante, where you will be able to admire many unique wooden sculptures and other artwork. You will continue to Nida, a quaint fishing village, where you will have an opportunity to shop for some beautiful amber jewelry and to visit the highest dune on the isthmus. Upon returning in the afternoon, you will dine in the enclosed winter garden of a grand estate, the Tiškevicius Mansion in Kretinga. The mansion was built in the 19th century by a nobleman, Mikalojus Zubovas, and purchased in 1874 by Juozapas Tiškevičius. After returning to Palanga, join in a time-honored tradition among resort-goers, a sunset stroll along the famous Palanga pier.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Monday
July 3

Hill of Crosses

Hill of Crosses, Riga, St. Petersburg

Today the tour will take you to one of the most revered places in Lithuania, the Hill of Crosses, where thousands of crosses where placed by people asking God for special favors or thanking Him for favors granted.After lunch, continue on to Riga, the capital of Latvia, for a flight to St Petersburg, Russia. Upon arrival in St Petersburg, transfer to the hotel for check in.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Tuesday
July 4

St. Petersburg

After breakfast, you will embark on a sightseeing tour of St. Petersburg, including its main architectural landmarks: the Palace Square and Alexander’s Column; St. Petersburg Square and the Bronze Horseman; the Senate and Synod buildings; St. Isaac’s Square featuring St. Isaac’s Cathedral; the monument to Nicholas I; Mariinsky Palace; the Spit (Strelka) of Basil Island with its Rostral Columns; and the imposing building of the former Stock-Exchange for a marvelous view of the Peter and Paul Fortress. You will break for lunch on your own. The afternoon tour will take you to the Hermitage, one of the greatest museums in the world. The Hermitage keeps about 3 million monuments of culture and art of the European and Oriental peoples, from high antiquity to the present. Among the Hermitage’s treasures are artworks by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, and Rubens, as well as a famous collection of impressionist and post-impressionist works of art.
Breakfast

Wednesday
July 5

Peterhoff

After breakfast you will tour Peterhoff. It is the most famous summer residence of Russian Emperors, located 25 km west on the Gulf of Finland. Started by Peter I as a wooden house, in 1723 the enlarged palace became official summer residence. The main attraction of the place is the Lower Park with Grand Cascade decorated with more than 150 fountains built in 1722 to rival gardens of Versailles. Lunch at the Podvorie restaurant Afternoon tour to Pushkin’s palaces and parks which were created under Empresses Elizabeth and Catherine the Great between 1744 and 1796. The palace is 300 metres long, with the golden domes of its chapel rising at its north end.
Breakfast / Lunch

Thursday
July 6

St. Petersburg

Morning tour to Yusupov’s Palace, the richest of non-imperial palaces of St. Petersburg. This palace was the home of the noble and powerful Yusupov family, relatives to the Russian Tsars. It was in this palace where the assassination of Rasputin, one of the most scandalous figures in Russian history, took place. The tour ends with a private boat ride along the Neva River. The remainder of the day is on your own.
Breakfast / Lunch

Friday
July 7

St. Petersburg to Chicago

After breakfast, you will be taken to the airport for your flight home.

Tour #2 Price

$4,270 per person
(Single Supplement: $985)
Does not include airfare or Russian VISA, which must be obtained prior to departure from the USA

Reserve for Trip #2 today!
Call 773.582.6500

Please note that tour itineraries are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control, such as, but not limited to, inclement weather or airline scheduling changes.

 

Trip # 3: September 2 – 12, 2017

To Lithuania

DATE

ITINERARY

Saturday
Sept. 2

Chicago to Vilnius

Depart USA for flight to Vilnius, Lithuania

Sunday
Sept. 3

Old Vilnius

Vilnius

After arrival in Vilnius, you will be transported to the Artis Hotel.
Welcome Dinner at a traditional Lithuanian restaurant, Stikliai Tavern
Dinner

Monday
Sept. 4

Trakai Castle

Vilnius

09:00 Today you will tour Vilnius with its beautiful churches and visit Vilnius University.
10:00 Tour of Vilnius Cathedral and its catacombs
13:00 Lunch at Medininkai restaurant
15:00 Visit the Money Museum. The rest of the evening is free.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Tuesday
Sept. 5

Gediminas Castle

Vilnius

09:00 This morning, you will visit Trakai, the medieval capital of Lithuania, with its restored castle in the middle of Galve Lake.
12:30 Lunch at Viva restaurant, Trakai
14:00 The tour continues on to Kernave, an ancient site in the Neris valley, the government seat of King Mindaugas 750 years ago. One still can admire and climb the many mounds where great castles stood hundreds of years ago.
15:00 Visit to the Kernavė Archeological Museum
Upon returning to Vilnius, you will make a stop at the TV Tower, the site of the 1991 January 13th massacre. Here, during a stand-off with the Soviet army, civilians keeping vigil to protect the tower and Lithuania’s newly redeclared independence were crushed by Soviet tanks.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Wednesday
Sept. 6

RotušėKaunas Town Hall
Rotušė
Kaunas Town Hall

Kaunas

08:30 This morning you will depart for Kaunas, after a stop at the KGB Museum.
09:00 Visit the KGB Museum where so much suffering was endured by the people of Lithuania during the Soviet occupation.
10:30 A stop in Rumšiškės, the unique open-air museum exhibiting farm structures from different regions of Lithuania that were typical during the XVII-XX centuries.
13:00 Lunch at the Museum Tavern
14:00 Resume touring the Rumšiškės Museum.
16:00 Before entering Kaunas, you will stop at Pažaislis Camaldolese Monastery. Now home to the Congregation of the Sisters of St Casimir, Pažaislis is the largest monastery complex in Lithuania and is arguably the most magnificent example of Italian Baroque architecture in northern Europe.
Upon arrival in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second largest city, you will tour the Old Town; the Cathedral Square; the city’s historic town hall, Rotušė; as well as Kaunas castle.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Thursday
Sept. 7

Kaunas

This morning, you will visit the Čiurlionis Museum, dedicated to the famous Lithuanian artist and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis. Afterwards, you will visit the infamous Devil’s Museum as well as the Kaunas City Museum.
13:00 Lunch at the Avilys restaurant
After lunch, you will tour Kaunas’s Resurrection Basilica and take in the panaramic views from its tower. The rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy Kaunas on your own.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Friday
Sept. 8

2010_09_30_Palangoje1

Kėdainiai, Palanga

09:00 After breakfast, you will depart for Palanga with a special stop at Kėdainiai, boasting a fully restored Old Town with its unique buildings.
10:00 Visit the Janina Monkutė-Marks Museum-Gallery
12:30 Lunch at Grėjaus Namas restaurant
Afterwards continue on to Palanga. After checking in at the Gabija Hotel, you will have plenty of time to enjoy the resort’s luxury amenities at your leisure.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Saturday
Sept. 9

Kuršių mariosThe Curonian Spit
Kuršių marios
The Curonian Spit
Tiškevičiaus rūmaiTiškevičius Palace
Tiškevičiaus rūmai
Tiškevičius Palace

Neringa, Nida, Kretinga, Palanga

Today you will visit the Curonian Spit, Neringa, where you will be transported by ferry across the Curonian lagoon. Your first stop will be the Witches Mountain in Juodkrante, where you will be able to admire the many unique wooden sculptures and other artwork. You will continue to Nida, a quaint fishing village, where you will be able to shop for some beautiful amber jewelry and visit the highest dune in Neringa.
19:00 Upon returning in the afternoon, you will dine in the enclosed winter garden of a grand estate, the Tiskevicius Mansion in Kretinga. The mansion was built in the 19th century by a nobleman, Mikalojus Zubovas, and purchased in 1874 by Juozapas Tiškevičius. After returning to Palanga, join in a time-honored tradition among resort-goers, a sunset stroll along the famous Palanga pier.
Breakfast / Dinner

Sunday
Sept. 10

Hill of Crosses

Hill of Crosses, Vilnius

Today the tour will take you to one of the most revered places in Lithuania, the Hill of Crosses, where thousands of crosses where placed by people asking God for special favors or thanking Him for favors granted.
13:00 Lunch at the unique Šeduvos Malūnas
After lunch, continue on to Vilnius. Upon arrival in Vilnius, you will check in to the Artis Hotel. The rest of the day is free.
Breakfast/ Lunch

Monday
Sept. 11

Vilnius

Today, enjoy Vilnius on your own leisure. Do some shopping, establish business contacts, or visit with your Lithuanian relatives.
18:00 A Farewell Dinner at the Leičiai restaurant
Breakfast / Dinner

Tuesday,
Sept. 12

Vilnius to Lithuania

After breakfast and check-out, transport to Vilnius airport for your flight home.
Breakfast

Tour #3 Price

$2,995.00 per person
(Single Supplement: $575)
Does not include air fare

Reserve for Trip #3 today!
Call 773.582.6500

Please note that tour itineraries are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control, such as, but not limited to, inclement weather or airline scheduling changes.