About the Trans-Siberian Travel Company
Headseast Ltd are a UK based, independent, family owned tour operator with a focus primarily on Russia, Mongolia and China through our trading names and websites “The Trans-Siberian Travel Company” (TSTC) and “The China Travel Company” (TCTC).
Our specialist travel consultants bring you many years of experience in organising high quality private and tailor made tours and have, between us, visited all destinations we offer across Russia, Mongolia and China.
Our pride in offering this trip of a lifetime
We take pride in our high level of customer service and our satisfaction comes in knowing we have provided our clients with the “Trip of a lifetime” holiday the Trans-Siberian so fully deserves to be.
Your trip with us is fully insured through our ATOL license against our unlikely financial failure and are members of ABTA – The Association of British Travel Agents – adhering to the high standards this respected membership requires.
This extraordinary overland journey is one of the world’s great rail trips offering a superbly varied travel experience through up to three fascinating and starkly different countries the routes cover.
We very much look forward to building you your perfect Trans-Siberian experience.
“Have only just arrived home but started to tell everyone all about it, really enjoyed every minute. I think you have a great thing going and I am so pleased we chose your company to travel with, some of the other people we met were a bit confused from time to time and we flashed our guide book around quite a bit, particularly on the train with the times and stop names, this helped everyone, not just us!” – Shirley Bouffier
► We arrange exclusive, private trips along the Trans-Siberian that operate to a high standard to ensure the best possible experience of this fantastic journey.
► We are impartial and independent and are careful to make sure we offer each client a trip suitable to their expectations and requirements.
► We believe in a consistent and personalized service and do all we can to make sure the person you initially talk to will be your personal consultant there to guide you through the booking process from start to finish.
► Your trip with us is 100% financially protected with all money you pay to us fully insured thus meeting the UK tour operators legal requirements.
► We want you to be well informed before settling on your tour with us so we share a considerable level of information with you both through our website and in the trip planning process to help you make an informed choice. Pre-departure we send you our exclusive 150+ page Trip Guidebook which is customized to your itinerary and full of practical information.
► All our trips are fully customizable within the constraints of the train timetables and we find it highly rewarding to work on a bespoke, tailor made basis, designing a trip to match your specific requirements and the best possible Trans-Siberian experience.
► We work closely with our dedicated local partners we have chosen to work with along the various Trans-Siberian routes and have trusted, long term relationships with them. This allows you to benefit both from our overall knowledge as well as their local expertise.
► We have been to all the destinations we offer – often many times – to ensure the services we offer maintain the high standards we know are required for the smooth running of your trip.
We understand that for many the Trans-Siberian really is a trip of a lifetime – the sort of trip that is often planned or considered for many years before the opportunity arises to make this extraordinary journey.
“The personalised care and prompt response to any questions were impressive. Thank you so much for the amazing experience we’ve just had.” – Graham Griggs
We also know that despite Trans-Siberian travel planning being half the fun it can be quite daunting when dealing with so many variables in countries as diverse as Russia, Mongolia and China. We want you to get the most out of your tour with us and know your time available needs to be used wisely.
Hand-picked accommodation and the best trains
In order to achieve this and to give you a smooth running tour we specialize in private travel arrangements offering good standard, hand-picked accommodation, the best trains available to fit your dates and experienced local guides keen to share their passion for the destinations they call home.
We took our first Trans-Siberian rail trip in 1997 with countless subsequent journeys to both the main stops as well as many more off the beaten track destinations and take a pride in showing each of our clients why we think this trip really is deserving of the often used “trip of a lifetime” tag.
We sincerely hope that you will join us on our continuing Trans-Siberian adventure!
Book with confidence
The Trans-Siberian can be an expensive trip and it is essential to know that all monies paid to any tour operator you use are safe, secure and fully refundable in the event that operator should cease trading.
In accordance with “The UK Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992” all clients booking with Headseast Ltd – trading as “The Trans-Siberian Travel Company” – are fully protected for both the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements in the unlikely event of our insolvency.
If the trip you are booking with includes flights they must, by UK law, be protected byATOL scheme operated by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 10287 – please click here to verify.
Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate
If your holiday does NOT include any flights booked by us all money you pay us for your trip is still fully insured by the industry specialists at International Passenger Protection (IPP). As with the ATOL scheme, in the unlikely event of our insolvency you would receive a full refund on monies paid to us.
We are also proud members of ABTA – The Association of British Travel Agents – and provide the high professional standards, value and quality that ABTA members adhere to. ABTA also monitors us to make sure all holidays we sell are financially protected. Our ABTA membership number is Y1699 – please click here to verify.
Frequently Asked Questions
We are here to answer any and all questions you have about your trip to Latin America. We want our clients to be as informed as possible about their trip so that you book a trip right for you and get the most out of it. Below are some common questions but please do not hesitate to contact us with any more you might have!
How far in advance do I need to book?
Year on year Latin America is becoming increasingly popular. We are now finding that hotels are filling up further in advance than ever before. Most of the hotels we choose to work with are the smaller, boutique hotels which tend to have fewer rooms. This means it is important to book early to avoid disappointment. If you are doing the Inca Trail you will need a permit which are limited to 500 a day (these are not required if you are just visiting Machu Picchu). The permits for the Inca Trail sell out very quickly so arrangements need to be made well in advance. Generally for the best availability we recommend booking any trip with us between 6 months to a year in advance.
Do I need a visa?
For UK nationals no visas are required for any of the destinations we offer. UK nationals will be granted entry as tourists and will be allowed to stay for up to 3 months (6 months for Peru). You will need to fill out a landing card on the aeroplane and keep it with you for when you depart. You may also be asked to show your airline tickets as proof of return or onward travel. For US nationals there are no visas required for stays of no longer than 90 days in Costa Rica, Ecuador & Galapagos, Peru, Chile and Argentina. US nationals do, however, require a tourist visa to visit Brazil which must be obtained in advance from the Brazilian embassy. For other all other passport holders please check entry requirements with the consulate.
Is it safe to book with you?
In a word, Yes! We are members of ABTA and ATOL bonded so any payments made to us are fully protected in the unlikely event of our financial failure. Our ABTA membership number is Y1699 and our ATOL license number is 10287. We are also full members of LATA, the authoritative professional body for the Latin America travel industry in the UK.
Do you have financial protection?
Yes! We are ATOL Bonded so any payments made to us are fully protected in the unlikely event of our insolvency. We also have ABTA and LATA membership for your peace of mind. Our ABTA membership number is Y1699, our ATOL license number is 10287 and our LATA membership number is
Is Latin America safe?
Yes! Over the last ten years crime has dramatically fallen all over Latin America and none of our clients have ever experienced any problems. There is no reason why you should not feel as safe if not safer than if travelling in your home country. This applies to men or women traveling alone and exercising reasonable common sense.
What happens once we make a booking?
On taking a booking we will start to make all the arrangements for your trip. This usually takes about 48 hours due to the time difference with Latin America. Once we have confirmed your itinerary, we will ask you for a deposit which is usually 20% of the total booking cost (depending on the itinerary) with the final balance payment due 60 days before your departure date. Then, one month before your trip starts we will send you our fully published and comprehensive Trip Guidebook tailored to your specific trip with us.
Will my phone work?
Your mobile phone will only work in Central and South America if it is a quad band phone. Quad band refers to a mobile phone that is compatible with the four mobile phone frequencies used throughout the globe. Most modern smart phones are quad band. To check if your mobile is quad band just ask your provider.
How much money will I need to take with me?
When booking with us the bulk of your costs are already included as we take care to make sure you are not stung with any hidden costs on arrival. So you will only be spending on day to day expenses such as additional meals, drinks, souvenirs and any entrance fees or additional activities on free days. Once you book with us we will send you our comprehensive Trip Guidebook which has a section on money and currency for the destination or destinations you will be visiting. This will also include an indicative cost for everyday items and a guide on how to budget for the trip.
Do you cater for vegetarians?
Yes! Although most countries in Latin America have very meat and fish heavy diets all the hotels and lodges you will be visiting will cater for vegetarians and other dietary requirements. In the bigger cities you will also be able to find a variety of restaurants including vegetarian. Just let us know in advance and we will make sure you are catered for.
Why should we book a trip with you?
As a small, family run and independent business we take great pride in what we do and our attention to detail. Unlike other companies, we only offer the destinations we know and focus on providing you the best possible travel experience. Your payments to us are 100% financially protected and we also provide you with 24 hour emergency contact numbers so you are looked after throughout your trip. For more reasons please see the ‘why us?’ tab above.
What vaccinations do I need?
With all destinations we recommend that you confirm with your doctor that all primary courses and boosters are up to date as recommended for life in Britain. A yellow fever certificate is not required for entry to Argentina, Brazil, Chile or Peru, but there are some areas of those countries where there is a risk of yellow fever and a vaccination is recommended. Please consult with your doctor as to whether you need the yellow fever vaccination for your particular itinerary. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is only required on entry for Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands if you are arriving from a country that has a risk of yellow fever. Malaria is classed as low to no risk in Argentina, Chile, Galapagos Islands and Costa Rica and antimalarials are not usually advised. Most of Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil is also low to no risk except in the Amazon jungle regions where antimalarials are usually advised. We recommend you make an appointment with your doctor 6-8 weeks before your departure who will be able to assess your particular health risks according to your medical history and recommend antimalarial medicine if necessary. For more detailed information you can also consult the NHS Fit For Travel website.
Is there anything else I should be asking?
Almost certainly! We fully expect you will have many more questions and we are here to answer them so please do not hesitate to contact us – that is what we are here for!