The Pros :
The best parts of our trip were the one-on-one personal encounters and experiences with local residents and local culture that Eddie from *** Agency arranged for us, such as home-hosted dinners, cooking and baking lessons, music and dance concerts and recitals, and private walking tour guides who brought unique and informed perspective and insights to our visits.
We also were very pleased with the hotels Eddie reserved for us. Nothing fancy, but each was clean, comfortable, very centrally-located, and included a very good breakfast. And we loved the local food and beers and, in some locales, local liqueurs.
I can't think of anything that we actually disliked. Not surprisingly, not every experience hit all our buttons. We were disappointed in a marzipan painting lesson in a popular candy factory in Tallinn; no real instruction, and we were just handed paintbrushes, food coloring, and some marzipan and told to paint. On the other hand, the visit was curated by a retired, 60-year employee of the factory who was a real character and had some wonderful stories to tell.
This 3-week, multi-destination trip through Warsaw and Krakow, the Baltic States, and Helsinki was a prelude to joining a Viking River Cruise from St. Peterburg to Moscow, in which Eddie and his agenc...This 3-week, multi-destination trip through Warsaw and Krakow, the Baltic States, and Helsinki was a prelude to joining a Viking River Cruise from St. Peterburg to Moscow, in which Eddie and his agency were not involved. We wanted to visit Poland and the Baltics because we'd never been there and were interested in learning more about them. The trip that Eddie planned for us did not disappoint. The personal experiences, tours, and other activities Eddie arranged helped us come away much better informed about the history, the culture, and, yes, even the politics, of the region, and we have a much better appreciation now for those countries.