2011 tour dates: May 12 - May 27, June 2 - June 17, June 16 - July 1, June 30 - July 15, Aug 4 - Aug 19, Sept 8 - Sept 23
Day 1: Moscow
Welcome to Moscow, the historic capital of Russia and its largest and most vibr /ant city!
You will arrive around noon and your driver will be waiting for you at the exit gate of the airport. After hotel check in, you can relax in your room, grab a bite in the hotel's restaurant, or explore the surrounding city. We recommend that you rest as you have an eventful program planned for tomorrow.
Day 2: Moscow
Your guide will meet you at the hotel lobby. Today you will go on one of the most interesting tours in the world as you explore Moscow's famous Red Square and go inside the St. Basil Cathedral, built by Ivan the Terrible in the 15th century. We will take you inside the Kremlin on a thorough tour of Russian history.
Day 3: Depart Moscow
This is your final day in Moscow. You will visit the stunning Tretyakov Picture Gallery and tonight board the train to start your journey across Eurasia. There are many fantastic places that await you as the train carries you East, towards the Ural Mountains.
Day 4: The Ural Mountains
Today your train will cross the Ural Mountains, the great divide between Europe and Asia. The Urals have been the backbone of Russia's industrial production for over 300 years.
Day 5: Entering Siberia
Having left the Urals behind, your train will cross the Great Eurasian Plateau towards Siberia. Siberia is distant, but not desolate. You will stop in Novosibirsk, the capital of Siberia, an important scientific center that has attracted the attention of such large companies as Microsoft.
Day 6: Altai Mountains
Altai is the gorgeous mountain range in the southern part of Siberia. It features br /eathtaking landscapes, rich wildlife, and untouched nature.
Day 7: Irkutsk
Welcome to Irkutsk! You will feast on a hot br /eakfast at a delicious local eatery before your "round up" tour of the city by car. You will see Irkutsk's beautiful Russian Orthodox churches, the Polish Cathedral (the only Siberian Gothic-style building), wooden houses decorated with "wooden laces" (hand-made carvings) as well as modern constructions of the 20th century and the Decembr /ists' House. You will return to Listvyanka village on Lake Baikal and finish your day with a barbecue at the Chalet.
Day 8: First Day on Baikal, Listvyanka Village
Visit the local Museum of Wooden Architecture with its unique structures donated from all over Russia, historic houses, and buildings of indigenous people. You will have lunch at a local Siberian restaurant (Sibirskaya Zaimka) to try traditional Siberian food and visit its private zoo of native animals. Once you transfer back to Listvyanka village you have the option of partaking in a pre-booked sauna before your evening meal at the Chalet.
Day 9: Second Day on Lake Baikal
You have two options today.
Visit a Buryat settlement 70 km from Irkutsk on the remote Siberian plain, including a tour of the local lore museum, a greeting ceremony, traditional art and music, and the opportunity to be “cleansed” by the local Shaman. Finish at a Yurt to sample local teas and a traditional meal.
Take a full-day trip around Lake Baikal by way of the famous Circum Baikal Railroad. The tour stops at the most picturesque places en route to harness the br /eathtaking views of this unique bit of nature. You will stop at the marble mining city of Sludyanka.
Both options return you to Irkutsk.
Day 10: Depart Irkutsk & Enter Mongolia
Today you will leave Irkutsk and pass the awesome raw nature of Lake Baikal before entering the mountains that border Mongolia. Leaving the last Russian major city of Ulan-Ude, you wil cross into Mongolia at midnight.
Day 11: Arrival in Ulan-Bator, Gorkhi Terelj National Park
Transfer from the railway station to a hotel to shower, freshen up, and have a hot br /eakfast. The Gorkhi Terelj National Park awaits you before lunch at a local Ger camp. Take a stroll through the surrounding hills to Turtle rock and a Meditation Center and return to the Ger camp for an evening meal and overnight stay.
Day 12: Visiting the Nomads
After br /eakfast enjoy free time to explore the local area. In the afternoon you will visit a local herdsman’s family to experience the daily life of nomadic people before transferring to Ulan-Bator.
Day 13: Ulan-Bator City Tour
Spend today getting to know Ulan-Bator. Explore the Gandan Monastery and the incredible national history museum. Feast in the local restaurants and shop at the art, antique, and cashmere shops before visiting Zaisan Hill for a panoramic city view. End your day with a performance of Mongolian folk music and a traditional meal.
Day 14: Ulan-Bator Free Day
A free day to explore Ulan-Bator on your own, relax, or take an optional tour. In the evening join one of the parties at the many night clubs, bars, and restaurants.
Day 15: Departure from Ulan-Bator, the Gobi Desert
Check out and transfer to the train station. You will cross the arid Gobi Desert, change train bogies at the border, and glide on into China.
Day 16: Arrival in Beijing
Duration: 16 days
Dates for 2011:
May 12 - May 27, June 2 - June 17, June 16 - July 1, June 30 - July 15, Aug 4 - Aug 19, Sept 8 - Sept 23
Price per person:
1st Class: $5159
2nd Class: $4407
Single Supplement: $898
Included in the price:
- Train tickets
- Accommodation at quality hotels in Moscow, Irkutsk, and Ulan-Bator
Moscow: Hotel Aerostar 4 stars, Irkutsk: Hotel Victoria 4 stars, UB: Hotel Gomez 3 stars
- Accommodation in Mongolian Ger Camp (Nomadic Style Tourist Resort) and chalet Baikal on Lake Baikal (Listvyanka village)
- Airport transfers and all other transportation
- Professional guides and tours at each destination
- Museum entry fees
- Russian, Chinese, and Mongolian visas
- br /eakfasts and Lunches according to the itinerary
Not included: Airfares (ask your travel specialist about special airfare offers)
*Please note: Specific travel arrangements and train departure times depend on the schedules of Russian, Mongolian, and Chinese Railways and may be subject to change. Our travel specialist will review your program and issue a final booking confirmation 30 days prior to departure.