Announcing Our Capitals of the Baltics Tour!

 In Baltics, Featured, International Tours, Photo Tours

 

New Cultural Photo Tour to the Baltics

I’m extremely happy to announce that after a lot of hard work and planning, our newest tour, called Capitals of the Baltics, is ready to roll out!

I just returned from my second scouting trip to this wonderful region of the world and I simply can’t wait to share it with the lucky few people who will be joining me.  The Baltics is a treasure trove of culture and history, from old world Vilnius, to classic Riga, to medieval Tallinn (all of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites).

We’ve also organized an optional post-trip extension for those of you who’d like to visit Helsinki while you’re right in the area (it’s a short ferry ride from Tallinn, across the Gulf of Finland).

Please see below for many of the details, and be sure to contact us at [email protected] for all the necessary information you’ll need to make a decision to join us, including the complete Itinerary and Reservation Form.

All the best,

Ralph

President/CEO (Chief Experience Officer)

 

CAPITALS OF THE BALTICS

Vilnius, Lithuania   ~   Riga, Latvia   ~   Tallinn, Estonia

(all are UNESCO World Heritage sites)

Base Trip: May 27 – June 6, 2016

Optional Extension to Helsinki: June 6 – 8, 2016

 

Food ~ Photography ~ Culture ~ History ~ Architecture

Trip limited to 6 participants minimum and 11 participants maximum.

 

Trakai Island Castle with Clouds - Trakai, Lithuania by Ralph Velasco

The island castle of Trakai, in Trakai, Lithuania.

 

Learn Photography with a Small Group

Join travel photographer, author and international guide Ralph Velasco on a customized small group tour of the Capitals of the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.  The program will consist of 4 nights in Vilnius, 3 nights in Riga and 3 nights in Tallinn.

There will also be an optional post-trip extension available to Helsinki…details below.

 

Open to photographers and non-photographers alike,

so feel free to bring a spouse or other travel mate.

Hill-of-Crosses-Å iauliai-Lithuania-Copyright-2015-Ralph-Velasco

Just one of the thousands of crosses at the Hill of Crosses near Šiauliai, Lithuania.

 

Enjoy the Baltics with a Friendly Guide

  • In Lithuania we’ll explore the capital of Vilnius with our seasoned local guide (Vilnius boasts the largest Old Town in all of Eastern Europe).  We’ll also be transported out to the former capital of Lithuania, Trakai, where we’ll visit its stunning island castle, and be able to photograph it both from the shore, as well as from sailboats which will get us on the lake for unique perspectives.  On our last day in Lithuania we’ll stop at the breathtaking Hill of Crosses on our way to Riga.
  • Historic Riga, the capital of Latvia, is a charming and very walkable city, where we’ll get to know its many nooks and crannies.  Included will be an evening shoot of the Old Town from across the Daugava River, plus we’ll get up high in the church bell tower (there’s an elevator, so don’t worry!). We’ll also visit Riga’s extraordinary Central Market which is made up of 5 massive hangars that were formerly used to build and maintain German zeppelins.
  • Medieval Tallinn, Estonia’s fairy tale-like capital, offers a photo opportunity around every corner.  Tallinn is so unique and wonderful that we’ll actually have two walking tours with a local guide who will introduce us to its highlights and many of Tallinn’s backstreets and little known places.  On our last day we’ll enjoy a wonderful Farewell Lunch where we can say goodbye to new and old friends.
  • For those of you interested in more of this region, we’re organizing an optional post-trip extension to Helsinki, the nearby capital of Finland.  We’ll arrange your ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki, all transfers, 2 nights hotel accommodations at a centrally-located 4-star hotel with breakfast daily, the services of a local guide for a 2-hour walking tour, plus, a 3-hour visit to the Seuresaari Open Air Museum, including transportation. Your transfer to the Helsinki airport is included, as well.
Baltics Regional Map with Arrows

This map will give you a rough idea of our route.

PHOTOGRAPHY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Daily instruction with travel photographer Ralph Velasco, including group photo walks and locally-guided walking tours in each location where we’ll be put in front of some of this region’s most awe inspiring photo ops.
  • Facilities permitting, participants will have a chance to sit down as a group with Ralph during a mid-trip image review allowing him to gauge each participant’s progress and to provide valuable feedback.
  • Each participant will receive a copy of Ralph’s eBook “Ralph Velasco On Travel Photography: 101 Tips for Developing Your Photographic Eye & More” along with other invaluable travel and photography information meant to make your trip and photography as easy and successful as possible.
  • Before, during and after the trip each participant can spend time on the private Facebook group Ralph will set up in advance so that we can introduce ourselves, share links and research before the trip, as well as upload images to discuss and admire each others’ work.

 

Ralph Velasco Interview on Vilnius Tourism Website

Click image to see Ralph’s interview by the Vilnius Tourism Board in its entirety.

 

CLICK IMAGE ABOVE TO READ RALPH’S ENTIRE INTERVIEW

WITH THE VILNIUS TOURISM BOARD.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION

If you’d like more information and to register, please send a request to us at:

[email protected]

 

Lone Photographer in Square in Black and White - Vilnius, Lithuania by Ralph Velasco

Lone photographer in the Old Town square in Vilnius, Lithuania

WHEN

Base Trip: May 27 – June 6, 2016

Optional Extension to Helsinki: June 6 – 8, 2016

HOW MUCH

Base Trip: US$3,999 per person in double occupancy (please add US$499 for single supplement if you’d like your own room throughout the trip)

Optional Extension to Helsinki: US$899 in single or double occupancy.

 

Tilt shift image made from the top of St. Paul's Church in Riga, Latvia by Ralph Velasco

Tilt shift image made with iPhone from atop of St. Paul’s Church in Riga, Latvia.

 

BASE TRIP PRICE OF US$3,999 INCLUDES*

  • 10 nights accommodation in boutique hotels (Vilnius – 4 nights, Riga – 3 nights, Tallinn – 3 nights).
  • Most meals: breakfast daily, plus 6 lunches and 4 dinners, including Welcome Dinner in Vilnius and Farewell Lunch in Tallinn.
  • Transfers from Vilnius airport (VNO) to hotel, and from hotel to Tallinn airport (TLL), or ferry terminal for those joining the extension to Helsinki.
  • Private, air-conditioned transportation between Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn.
  • Orientation tours in each city with a local, English-speaking guide.
  • Tips for all guides, meals and drivers.
  • So much more…

EXTENSION PRICE OF US$899 INCLUDES*

  • Transfer from our hotel to the Tallinn ferry terminal.
  • One-way Tourist Class ferry ticket from Tallinn to Helsinki.
  • Two-nights accommodation at a centrally located 4-star hotel (in single or double occupancy).
  • Arrival and departure transfers in Helsinki with a private car.
  • Optional 2-hour guided tour for Helsinki city walking tour (requires 4 person minimum).
  • Optional 3-hour group visit to Seuresaari Open Air Museum (goes from 2:00 – 5:00 pm, requires 4 person minimum).

 

* All activities are subject to change but rest assured we’ll make every effort to provide a comparable alternative should changes to our schedule need to be made.

 

Trip limited to 6 participants minimum and 11 participants maximum.

Woman offering a taste in Ragaciems, Latvia by Ralph Velasco

Woman offering a taste of smoked fish in Ragaciems, Latvia.

Participants can look forward to a great mix of organized group activities, but at the same time plenty of freedom to explore and discover each location on their own, as well.

 

Architecture in Tallinn, Estonia by Ralph Velasco

Church in Tallinn, Estonia.

 

Airfare to and from Europe is additional and should be arranged on your own with our guidance.  You’ll fly into Vilnius (VNO) and out of Tallinn (TLL).

(Please don’t make non-refundable travel arrangements until you are given confirmation by us.)

 

Hands Holding Raspberries - L - Suderve, Lithuania by Ralph Velasco

Freshly picked raspberries in Suderve, Lithuania.

 

WHEN

Base Trip: May 27 – June 6, 2016

Optional Extension to Helsinki: June 6 – 8, 2016

HOW MUCH

Base Trip: US$3,999 per person in double occupancy (please add US$499 for single supplement if you’d like your own room throughout the trip).

Optional Extension to Helsinki: US$899 in single or double occupancy.

 

_______________________

FOR MORE INFORMATION

If you’d like more information and to register, please send a request to us at:

[email protected]

Farmer's House with Driveway in Black and White - Ragaciema, Latvia by Ralph Velasco

House in Ragaciems, Latvia.

 

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TESTIMONIALS FROM SOME OF RALPH’S

PREVIOUS TOUR PARTICIPANTS

 

“Thanks again for such an amazing trip…my photography interest and appetite has completely grown since the trip and I have come back so invigorated and inspired.  I’m excited to learn more and begin to take some higher quality pictures.”

~ Sarah Radka (Cuba 2015 June)

 

“Thanks for a great trip.  All went smoothly and I had a great time.  I return a better photographer for certain and have a new perspective on what I see.  You offer a great product – smart itineraries, hotels and food choices…I look forward to another trip.”

~ David Wild (Morocco 2014)

 

“The fun, adventure and friendship with you means everything to us, along with a great photo or two along the way!”

~ Brandon & Shea Mayberry (Morocco 2014)

 

“Ralph, Morocco truly is magical!  Thanks for a beautiful two weeks!” 

~ Leslie Talley (Morocco 2014)

 

“Our tour leader Ralph was one of the most knowledgeable trip leaders I have experienced over the past 40 years. He is a very experienced photographer and generously shared his knowledge, talents and experience with us.  I think I learned more composition skills and believe I am a better photographer.”

~ Larry Ehemann, (Central Europe 2014)

“I really liked the [small] size of the tour. It felt like traveling with friends from very early on, and continued to feel that way. That last hotel we stayed in, the one in Budapest, was such a treat! Those views were fabulous, and it ended the trip in style. Ralph is a good trip leader… He wasn’t hovering, but he did stop and give tips and I felt well-tended. The local guides were all outstanding!” 

~ Heather Hellier (Central Europe 2014)

“This was my third major tour with Ralph.  He has been consistent with providing tours of very great value.  Trips have been well-planned, purposeful and well-priced.  His passion for travel is evident in making sure the tour participants have great accommodations and experience a realistic sense and taste of the culture.”

~ Wendy Hill

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Join us!

 

ABOUT YOUR GUIDE

Bio Picture of Ralph Velasco in Los Rios, California by Jenny McMasters Photography

Ralph Velasco

Ralph Velasco is a U.S.-based travel photography instructor, author and international guide who has led tours to Egypt, Morocco, the AdriaticTurkeyCentral Europe, Iceland, Bhutan, Nepal, VietnamCambodia, SpainMexico’s Copper Canyon, and other locations.  He’s also organized and participated in over a dozen Humanitarian and People-to-People programs in Cuba.

Ralph is an award-winning travel photography blogger and President/CEO (Chief Experience Officer) of PhotoEnrichment Programs, Inc.  He’s also the creator of the My Shot Lists for Travel app for iPhone, an organizational and tracking tool designed to help travelers of all photography skill levels to bring home a more well-rounded set of images of any destination or subject (available free on iTunes).

All information is subject to change.

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