Classic Mammoth Trans-Siberian - Beijing to St. Petersburg
You’ll visit Moscow, Ekaterinburg and Irkutsk; Ulaanbaatar and Beijing with a fantastic selection of activities and outdoor pursuits to choose from along the way. Whether its local history, tradition and culture or exploring more remote locations, this tour perfectly highlights that the Trans-Siberian is as magical an experience off the train as it is aboard it. This trip offers the opportunity to start your journey in St. Petersburg, where you will see the contrast between the imperial splendour and the soviet simplicity that existed both then and now.
Itinerary Hide all details
On arrival in Beijing you make your own way to the hotel – any taxi driver will quickly find the address. The convenient location of the hotel positions you to get the most of this legendary Imperial city. The hotel is in the heart of the golden area of the capital, surrounded by major business centres, tourist attractions and only minutes away from the Wangfujing Street, Tiannamen Square and the Forbidden City.
Own transport to Beijing Central Station where you will board the Ulaanbaatar bound train.
Our driver will meet you at the end of the platform and will be holding a meeting-board with your name on. Then set off for Khustai National Park. (Around 100km West of Ulaanbaatar) . This is the perfect location to see the and also feel the beauty of Mongolia with its unique landscape of mountains , steppe, sand dunes and river wetlands. The national park is home to the “Takhis” the famous wild horse and 46 other species of mammals including deer, wild boar, white-tailed gazelle, grey wolf, Eurasian lynx to name but a few. Also if you are an ornithologist there are over 161 species of birds including Eagles and Cranes. Supper and overnight at the tourist Camp.
After breakfast head for Tsenkher Hot Springs. (around 2 hour drive) If you are feeling a little bruised or achy from your travels, bouncing over Mongolian roads, then an hour or two in the springs is just the ticket for you. Time to relax and enjoy your surroundings.
This morning an early start and drive to the lost capital of Genghis Khan at Karakorum (approximately 2 hours) and visit the magnificent Erdene Zuu Monastery, where you will see a distinct mixing of the styles of Mongolian and Tibetan Buddhism. Karakorum was once the heart of the Mongol Empire and today, you’ll still see remnants of the long standing walls that encircle the city. Also in the afternoon, visit the newly established Karakorum Museum. Overnight in Hotel.
Depart for Elsen Tasarkhai (which will include a break in your journey at the picturesque “Khugnu Khan Mountain” also known as Bayan Gobi) Camel riding is on offer here, Elsen Tasarhai literally means “an isolated torn-off piece of sand” and it is a small sequence of real desert in the midst of green steppes.
A SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT NOMAD STAYS: When we say “nomad stay” it means exactly that – you are sharing the lives of herdsmen who live on the Mongolian Steppe. There’s often no electricity, they don’t speak English, and there isn’t any plumbing!
Around 2pm you make the return trip to Ulaanbaatar. On arrival to Ulaanbaatar your city tour will include; Sukhbaatar Square and the National History Museum. Check into Hotel Nine 3★ Hotel. This evening why not visit Peace Avenue or pick-up some snack food for the train in one of the many supermarkets? (We suggest you take this opportunity today to purchase picnic provisions for the next leg of your journey, as often this train as no dining car.) There is a wide range of traditional and new style Mongolian eateries as well as European restaurants . Or maybe go to see a Folklore concert this evening?
Check out of the hotel at 9am,and your driver will take you to the enormous monument to Genghis Khan (aka Chinghiskhan.) It may not be quite traditional in style (since it’s made of stainless steel) but it’s an astounding edifice and a testament to Genghis’s place in Mongolian culture (astonishingly the Communists tried to write him out of official history text-books). Taking the elevator to top of this 10 metre high monument you visit the exhibition hall from where you will have an excellent panoramic view over the complex area and the scenery beyond. This afternoon we will transfer you to the station where you will board the Irkutsk bound train. When you make the border crossing there will be the usual halt for formalities
Arrival in Irkutsk, transfer to U Ozera 3★ Hotel situated in Listvyanka Village (70km) travelling by road through the forest. The Hotel is set just 50 metres from the shores of Lake Baikal.
Today there is a walking tour around Listvyanka Village. This will include a visit to the Limnological Museum (this is an exhibition about the Lake, its formation, wildlife etc. – it includes multimedia presentations, information about the creatures which live in the darkest depths, and also an aquarium with living aquatic species, including the unique freshwater Baikal seals) and also a small wooden village Russian Orthodox Church dating back to the C18th. You return to your hotel at the end of the walk, maybe experience real Siberian “banya”?
Choose one activity from the list, it’s all included in the trip price! You’ll need to inform us of your choice before commencing your journey, so that we can have the right staff on hand for when you arrive.
(A) Siberian trek
(B) Circum Baikal picnic
C) Taltsy wooden museum
(D) Port Baikal excursion
Transfer from Listvyanka Village back Irkutsk, free time to explore. Early evening transfer to the station, where you will board the Ekaterinburg bound train.
The dining car is the heart of social life on the train. It functions as bar, lounge, and take-out snack store, as well as a café serving reasonably-priced meals. It is a great place to meet fellow travellers and locals alike, sharing your experiences of your journey so far with a few drinks, which no doubt will include some Vodka – and maybe smoked salmon and caviar too!
Evening arrive in Ekaterinburg where our driver will meet you at the end of the platform, and will be holding a meeting-board with your name on. Transfer to the Chekhov 3★ Hotel, which is centrally located.
After breakfast there’s a walking tour around the well known and less obvious attractions of Ekaterinburg, with a local expert guide. You’ll visit the historical centre of the city, including the scene of the assassination of the Romanov Royal Family, on which a Cathedral now stands to mark the event. You’ll also see something of Ekaterinburg’s involvement in Russia’s military history. The last half-hour will be spent at The Museum of Gems. The tour ends in the downtown area (we make sure you know the way back!), where you are poised for multiple lunch choices and a free afternoon to explore independently.
Please make a choice of one of the day trip options, it is all include in the price.
(A) Romanov Graves & Europe Asia Border
(B) Siberian countryside and historic village
(C) Hiking in the Urals
(D) Walk in the Urals Forest
Walking and familiarisation tour with local expert this morning. Balance of day free to explore.
Arrival in Moscow. Your driver will meet you at the end of the platform and you will travel by private car to the Panorama 3★ Hotel. (We can obtain rates for superior hotels ask a member of the reservations team for details.) One of our local expert staff will meet you at the hotel around noon to take you on a three hour walking tour round the highlights – you’ll use public transport around the centre to avoid the traffic jams and get the hang of the system for when you come to use it independently. Our staffers are full of ideas for this walk but are flexible about other ideas if you have your own. Your walk ends in the city centre mid afternoon. The rest of the day’s your own.Your complimentary InfoPack is full of ideas for getting the most out of your free time.
This morning you can continue sightseeing the Lenin Mausoleum is only open in the mornings, and getting there early (it’s in Red Square) helps beat the queues. If you haven’t pre-booked any of our range of city excursions the rest of the day is your own to explore further. Some of our top suggestions (please check opening times/days before setting off) would include visiting the Moscow Kremlin, the Tretyakov Gallery, the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum, or a boat trip along the Mosvka River?
A full day to continue your sightseeing. Own transfer this evening to Leningradsky Station where you will board the St. Petersburg bound train.
Early morning arrival in St. Petersburg. Our driver will be there to meet you at the end of the platform, and will be holding a meeting-board with your name on. You’ll then be transferred to the Vesta 3★ Hotel. (We can obtain rates for superior hotels ask a member of the reservations team for details.) Around 10am your guide will meet you at the hotel and introduce you to the city’s highlights – a good basis for starting your own explorations. Although the public transport (used on today’s excursion) is similar to Moscow’s, there are a few quirks that your guide will show you. After lunchtime you’re on your own to explore further.
Free day for you to pack in the best of the rest! Perhaps you have pre-booked one of our city based excursions for today. Some of our top suggestions (please check opening times/days before setting off) The Hermitage Collection – Winter Palace. The canals and waterways of the “Northern Venice”. The Russian Museum of Fine Art. The Peter & Paul Fortress-and the Tombs of the Tsars inside the Fortress Cathedral. The Church on the Spilt Blood, nearby the Souvenir Bazaar.
You will need to check out of your room by 12 noon. Own transport to the airport or station on departure.
|Extra night from Beijing||$119||$60||$60|
|Extra night from Moscow midweek||$106||$60||$60|
|Extra night from Moscow weekend||$79||$53||$53|
|Extra night from St. Petersburg||$86||$46||$46|
|2-berth upgrades Beijing - Moscow||$947||$947||$947|
|2-berth upgrades Moscow - St. Petersburg||$99||$99||$99|
|Seasonal Supplement May-Sept||$79||$79||$79|
The journey you have chosen has some “extras” that are necessary and then “extras” that will enhance your trip. We cannot re-iterate too much that we pride ourselves on making the trip you have chosen the best it can be – so if we don’t mention something you want, ask us and we’ll try our best to make it happen! In return, we try to inform you about any great “extras” along the way, so that you have the chance to try them if you want! Visas are a necessary extra and needed for all the countries you travel through and the current costs and what is needed can be found under Visas.
Upgrading to 2- berth compartment
Upgrading to 2- berth compartment on the train is also an option, you will see under Prices. This service is becoming more popular every year and not helped by the train operators only confirming this request 30 days or less prior to your departure. We have however devised a workaround for this that’s proving very reliable. We request a 2-berth at the time of booking but if this comes back not possible we block out a 4-berth compartment for 2 person occupancy. The standard of these cabins remains the same, and you get the extra space and privacy one way or the other.
|Price package||Price per person|
1 person (full on)
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2 person (full on)
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3+ people (full on)
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Russian visa support (Russian visa invitation letter) is included.
Sights included in program
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Our flexible payment options allow you to pay 20% of a deposit first and the remaining 80% in 14 days prior to your tour date - payment can be done both online or over the phone. This gives you the peace of mind knowing your spaces are booked on the tours and that you do not miss out on making the most of your time in Russia.
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In our experience, exceptional travel experiences are almost always delivered by exceptional people. With that in mind, we utilize a comprehensive approach to select and employ the best tour guides only. Multilingual and well travelled, each possesses deep insight into the diverse attractions and cultural patterns throughout the region. With us guides undergo a rigorous selection process, achieving outstanding knowledge of local culture and language. Rest assured that the best tour guides only will be working on the tours to give you excellent opportunity to explore the best of the sights during both short and long-term stay in Russia.
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