Experience the unique charms of Ulan Bator, the dynamic capital of Mongolia. Then get a taste for the breadth of Russian life, from the solitude of Lake Baikal’s shores to the vibrant bustle of Moscow’s streets.
Day 1: Welcome to Ulan Bator
Day 2: Ulan Bator: A Lama Temple and the Buddhist Realms of Hell
Day 3: The Gandan Monastery and Mongolian Alps
Day 4: Ulan Ude
Day 5: Lake Baikal
Day 6: Irkutsk
Day 7: Trans-Siberia
Day 8: Novosibirsk
Day 9: Yekaterinburg
Day 10: Kazan
Day 11: Welcome to Moscow
Day 12: Tour of Moscow and Return Home
20-31 MAY 2020
17-28 JUN 2020
13-24 JUL 2020
05-16 AUG 2020
31 AUG-11 SEP 2020
23 SEP-04 OCT 2020
Arrival in Ulan Bator and transfer to your hotel. Overnight: Ramada Hotel (or similar)
Day 2 Ulan Bator: A Lama Temple and the Buddhist Realms of Hell
After breakfast you will meet the main group. During your city tour you see the impressive Gandan Buddhist Monastery and the odd Choijin Lama Temple, among other things. In the evening you have the unique change to attend a performance of traditional Mongolian folk arts, including throat singing, horse-headed fiddle playing, national costumes, and dances. Overnight: Ramada Hotel (or similar). (BLD) On request, we can organise alternative lodging in a local yurt in the beautiful landscape of the Mongolian Alps. This is a rare experience and a dream come true for nature lovers.
Day 3 The Gandan Monastery and Mongolian Alps
After breakfast you visit the Gandan Monastery, where it is possible to observe a Buddhist religious ceremony. Your bus then takes you to the Mongolian Alps, located some 90 minutes east of Ulan Bator, with their majestic scenery and bizarre rock formations. After a picnic lunch in a yurt camp, you watch a small Mongolian horse-riding demonstration and a traditional wrestling match. Overnight on board. (BLD)
Day 4 Ulan Ude
You take your leave of the Mongolian steppes today. You travel through the valley of Mongolia’s largest river, the Selenga. You are on the way to Ulan Ude, where your train reaches the main route of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Here you take an informative city tour. Overnight on board. (BLD)
Day 5 Lake Baikal
Today is spent exploring the remarkable natural phenomenon of Lake Baikal, the largest reservoir of freshwater in the world. In the morning your train travels directly alongside Lake Baikal, on the old route of the Trans-Siberian Railway. During two extended photo-stops, you have a chance to explore and record the scenic beauty of the lake and its setting. A short boat excursion from Port Baikal takes you out onto the lake. Take a swim in the lake, if you wish, and visit a picturesque Baikal village. Dinner is a Baikal-style picnic on the lakeshore with a view of the incredible natural surroundings (weather permitting). Overnight on board. (BLD)
Day 6 Irkutsk
In the morning, you arrive in Irkutsk, the capital of Eastern Siberia in tsarist times. Here you move into your hotel, which is centrally located. You can safely leave your large baggage on the private train. During your city tour you see the Okhlopkov Drama Theatre, the new memorial to Tsar Alexander III, and the photogenic market hall. Around noon you pay a worthwhile visit to an open-air museum with a focus on life and work in historical Siberia. Overnight: Hotel Irkutsk (or similar). (BLD)
Day 7 Trans-Siberia
After breakfast your train passes through the diverse landscapes of eastern Siberia. Talks on board inform you about the region and a vodka tasting with typical Russian snacks and red caviar is an opportunity to experience first-hand the Russian festive customs of hospitality and clever toasts. Overnight on board. (BLD)
Day 8 Novosibirsk
Around noon, your train arrives in Novosibirsk, the largest city in Siberia. You are greeted with bread and salt in the customary Russian manner and taken on a tour of this most Soviet of cities along your entire route, including the chance to see the mighty Ob River. Small City tour, with possibility to see the market and the opera house. Overnight on board. (BLD)
Day 9 Yekaterinburg
Your train stops in the afternoon in Yekaterinburg, the capital of the Ural Federal District. The city is known as the place where the Russian tsar Nicholas II and his family were murdered in 1918. During a tour you see the Cathedral of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood, which was built in 2003 to commemorate that tragic historic event, and the city centre attractively restored in 2009. Also, Yekaterinburg is the frontier between the European and the Asian continent, we visit the obelisque monument which serves as a reminder of this fact. Back on board, you enjoy views of the Urals landscape and indulge yourself in the dining car. Your private train is already rolling across the European continent. Overnight on board. (BLD)
Day 10 Kazan
After breakfast you reach Kazan, the Tartar capital on the banks of the Volga. On your city tour you see Tatar mosques and the most famous Russian Orthodox cathedral. You also take a tour of Kazan’s Kremlin, where you learn about the turbulent history of the relationship between the Tatars, the Cossacks, and the Russians. Afterwards you enjoy lunch in a city restaurant. Overnight on board. (BLD)
Day 11 Welcome to Moscow
Around noon, you arrive in the Russian capital of Moscow, now a thriving, prosperous city, and are accompanied to your 4-star hotel. At noon you visit the Kremlin grounds with its magnificent cathedral. Several of the building interiors can also be viewed. After dinner, discover the city’s magic during an hour-long “City of Lights” tour, including a stop at Red Square, and a ride on the underground to view two of Moscow’s particularly beautiful metro stations. Overnight: InterContinental Tverskaya (or similar). (BLD)
Day 12 Tour of Moscow and Flight Home
After an ample breakfast at your hotel, your tour of the city takes you to the reconstructed Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Lomonossov University, the New Maidens’ Convent (Novodevichy Monastery), and Red Square with its colourful St. Basil’s Cathedral, as well as to the notorious former KGB headquarters and the White House. This then marks the end of your memorable journey and the time has come to head to the airport. We accompany you to the airport and bid you bon voyage. (B) (B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner
- Rates include Journey with guaranteed lodging in the booked category aboard the privately chartered train from Ulan Bator to Moscow
- Two nights in mid-range hotels in Ulan Bator and one night in Irkutsk. One night in top-range hotels in Moscow
- Excellent service and a three-guide system: Head guide, group leader (max 26 guests per group) and local guides
- An on-board physician
- All excursions and sightseeing as per itinerary, including all entry fees
- All transfers and bus tours as per itinerary
- All meals as per itinerary: Fine dining in the dining car and local specialties
- Porter service at all railroad stations
- On-board shower facilities
- Informational booklet on region and train in each compartment
- Entertainment and culture: daily introductions to the country, people and customs
- Lake Baikal by train. A day dedicated entirely to enjoying the blissful Lake Baikal, the oldest and deepest freshwater lake in the world. Unbelievable vistas of outstanding natural beauty. A panoramic train route directly alongside the lake, with opportunities to swim, picnic, take boat trips and much more. A truly rejuvenating day.
- Up close among the authentic Siberian villages, country lanes and wooden houses. Straight out of a fairy-tale; as if you’re in a picture book. Dramatic skies and mountain tops add to the sensation of legend come to life.
- Outstanding natural beauty, with an overnight stay in a traditional yurt in the Mongolian Alps on request.
- The cities of Ulan Bator, Ulan-Ude, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, and Kazan.
- Open-air museums in Irkutsk.
- Moscow, one of the greatest cities on Earth. Russia’s proud capital, complete with tours of its world-famous icons and cathedrals, including the Kremlin and Red Square.