WINTER EXPLORER EASTBOUND

MOSCOW ● EKATERINBURG ● IRKUTSK & LAKE BAIKAL ● HARBIN ● BEIJING

TOUR OVERVIEW

DURATION, PRICE, TOUR TYPE & DEPARTURES

16 nights from UK £ 3,015 / US $ 4,070 per person*

*Price based on 2 people travelling in a shared 4 berth second class cabin. Upgrade to your own cabin from UK £ 640 / US$ 865 per person. These prices are based on 2021 rates and are here to give guidance. Final quotes vary by date, exchange rates and are subject to availability.

PRIVATE TOUR - NOT A GROUP TOUR - CAN BE TAILORED 

SEASON - January & February WITH WEEKLY DEPARTURES

TOUR CODE : TS-W-M-06

DOWNLOAD THE TRIP DOSSIER

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TSWM06 dossier

MAP & DESTINATIONS

THE STOPS VISITED ON THIS TOUR

🇷🇺 MOSCOW - 2 nights

Russia’s vast and iconic capital and the start of this railway adventure.

🇷🇺 EKATERINBURG - 2 nights

Historic city where Europe meets Asia & the Romanovs met their end.

🇷🇺 IRKUTSK & BAIKAL - 2 nights

Forward looking Siberian city and gateway to Lake Baikal.

🇨🇳 HARBIN - 1 night

Home to the world’s largest snow and ice festival and a staggering sight.

🇨🇳 BEIJING - 2 nights

China’s Capital is an eclectic mix of Imperial splendour & 21st Century Asia.

ON THE TRAINS - total 7 nights

We use the most comfortable and reliable trains possible for each leg.

TSWM06 map

OUR EXCLUSIVE TRIP GUIDEBOOK

This trip includes our exclusive 200+ page guidebook personalised to your trip with sections about the trains, destinations, timetables and emergency contacts and allowing you to be fully prepared for your trip of a lifetime - an invaluable resource!
trip-guidebook

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

DAILY DESCRIPTIONS OF ACTIVITIES, MEALS & OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATION

ST PETERSBURG ?

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DAY 1 - MOSCOW

YOUR TRANS-SIBERIAN ADVENTURE STARTS IN RUSSIA’S CAPITAL OF MOSCOW

Welcome to Moscow, Russia’s capital and its largest city with more than 12 million people. It is the political and economic centre of this vast country and has many of Russia’s most famous sights, not least Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedral. With over 800 years of history there is also a wealth of architecture, museums and monuments to a colourful past. Transfer by private car with an English speaking driver to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to start exploring this stunning city.

MEALS: None Today.

OVERNIGHT: Peter 1 Hotel  ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

DAY 2 - MOSCOW

A FASCINATING 3 HOUR TOUR BY CAR OF CENTRAL MOSCOW WITH A FREE AFTERNOON

The perfect introductory tour of central Moscow designed to orientate and open up its hidden treasures. Your guide will take you along the main streets and less visited back roads to see the diversity of architectural styles from the austere and restrained Russian style to richly decorated Moscow Baroque, elegant Empire, fascinating Art Nouveau and even Pseudo-Chinese and Moorish. Hear stories and legends not found in the guidebooks as well as passing the most important sites in the city including the Bolshoi Theatre, Tverskaya street, GUM Department store, Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedral.

The rest of the day is free to further explore Moscow. The exclusive Trip Guidebook we send you before your trip is full of ideas and useful information to ensure you get the most out of your time in this iconic city.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: Peter 1 Hotel  ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 3 - on the train

FREE TIME TO EXPLORE MOSCOW BEFORE AN AFTERNOON DEPARTURE TO EKATERINBURG

Free time to explore Moscow before your departure on the Trans-Mongolian train. The city has much to offer whatever the weather from the famous museums such as Pushkin Fine Arts and Tretyakov Art Gallery to more outdoor areas including the Park of the Fallen Idols and Novodevitchy Convent. Of course, if the weather is not so good Moscow is one of the few cities where a day spent on the metro is a tourist attraction with many beautiful stations to visit and all for the price of a single ticket! For relaxing we recommend the bars, galleries and cafes of the Red October district or the fabulous Gorky Park.

Transfer to the station for a late afternoon departure from Moscow’s Kazanskaya station. Settle into your compartment as the suburbs of Moscow are replaced by forest and countryside.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

DAY 4 - EKATERINBURG

FULL DAY ON THE TRAIN BEFORE AN EVENING ARRIVAL IN EKATERINBURG

With luck the gentle rhythm of the train led a good night’s sleep! A full day on the train through a region of farms, small towns and villages interspersed with birch forests. Towards the end of the day you cross the Europe-Asia continental border arriving in Ekaterinburg a short time afterwards. Ekaterinburg is a more representative experience of a Russian city than, say, Moscow and has a rich and fascinating history. It is surrounded by beautiful, rolling countryside dotted with traditional Siberian villages. Transfer from Ekaterinburg’s handsome station to your hotel to overnight.

MEALS: None today - however the train does have a dining car.

OVERNIGHT: Chekhov Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 4 - EKATERINBURG

LEARN TO DRIVE A DOG SLEDGE THROUGH THE WINTER FOREST & RUSSIAN BANYA

After a good breakfast you will be picked up at your hotel by our expert in dog sledging and driven to an area to the west of the city. Here you meet the real Siberian 'Khaski" dogs who will be pulling your traditional sledge for 7 km through the beautiful ice encrusted winter forest. Full instruction will be given and whilst sledging there is a back up vehicle. Picnic lunch in the forest.

The perfect way to relax after the exertion and cold of sledging is with 2 hours in the steam bath known as a “Banya”, one of the great Russian traditions. Your guide will instruct you in the etiquette and method of using the facilities including the tradition of being beaten with birch branches!

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast & Picnic Lunch.

OVERNIGHT: Chekhov Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 6 - EKATERINBURG

CITY TOUR, VISIT THE ROMANOVS SECRET GRAVE, STAND ASTRIDE THE EUROPE-ASIA BORDER & VISIT THE MUSEUM OF ARMS

This morning your guide will take you on a 3 hour tour by car of the city’s highlights. Stop at the central square and see statues of Ekaterinburg’s founders and leaders and learn local stories, legends (and a few jokes!) related to them. Continue to the 1905 Revolution square before the most compelling story will be told at the beautiful Church of Spilled Blood located at the Romanovs’ Death Site and Chapel of St Elizabeth. We also see views of the city from the Hill of Ascension and visit the powerful Afghanistan memorial at the Square of the Red Army.

After lunch (own arrangement) drive 15 km north-west to a monastery dedicated to the Romanov’s family located on the spot where the Bolsheviks tried to hide the corpses of the Tsar and his family in a secret grave. Continue on to the continental border of Europe and Asia 20 km west of the city. On the way we make a short stop at the Memorial of Victims of the GULAGs. The Main Obelisk “Between Europe & Asia” allows you to straddle the continental divide and you also get a Certificate with a glass of sparkling wine!

Drive on 30 minutes (20 km) to Russia’s biggest private collection of armaments at the Museum of Arms in V. Pyshma. Here you will see Soviet and Russian tanks, cannons, aircrafts, helicopters and an array of other vehicles. Evening transfer to the station for your onward train. From this point on you have entered Siberia!

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

DAY 7 - on the train

YOUR FIRST DAY IN SIBERIA & THE VASTNESS OF CENTRAL RUSSIA

The scenery today is flat, often swampy or forested and with few large settlements. The major city is Omsk but there are also a few other large stops. This is a day for relaxing, socializing and getting into a good book!

MEALS: None today - however the train does have a dining car.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 8 - on the train

BEAUTIFUL SIBERIAN LANDSCAPES AFTER KRASNOYARSK

The last full day on the train in this section of the trip passing prosperous Krasnoyarsk after which the scenery is particularly pleasant consisting of gently rolling hills and dense forests of larch, pine and, of course, birch trees. There are many rivers and ponds and if it hasn’t happened before now you will start to comprehend just how vast and untouched this part of Russia is as the sun sets on the endless taiga of Siberia.

MEALS: None today - however the train does have a dining car.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

DAY 9 - IRKUTSK & BAIKAL

ARRIVAL IN IRKUTSK TRANSFERRING TO LISTVYANKA VILLAGE ON THE SHORES OF BAIKAL

Early arrival in Irkutsk, regarded as the modern day cultural capital of Siberia, famed for its traditional wooden architecture, complimented by a vibrant cafe and restaurant culture.

Transfer from the station the 1 hour drive following the route of the Angara River down to the village of Listvyanka located close to where the river meets beautiful Lake Baikal. The lake is among the deepest in the world at 1,642 meters and has exceptionally clear water - or perhaps ice when you are here!

After breakfast your guide will take you on a 4 hour walking tour of the village. You will see the beautiful church and visit the Limnological Museum to learn about the Lake itself and its unique flora and fauna. We will also take chairlift up to a view point for some of the best lake vistas.

Return to the guesthouse with the rest of the day free.

MEALS: Breakfast at the Guesthouse.

OVERNIGHT: Usadba Demidova Guesthouse  ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 10 - IRKUTSK & BAIKAL

FREE TIME IN LISTVYANKA BEFORE RETURNING TO IRKUTSK FOR A CITY TOUR

A free morning in Listvyanka to further explore the village and the surrounding area. It may also be possible to arrange dogsledding or snowmobiling depending on your dates. The village also has a banya (Russian sauna) you can arrange to visit and which we heartily recommend as the quintessential Siberian experience!

In the afternoon drive the 1 hour back to Irkutsk for a 2 hour walking tour of the city centre including the park and War Memorial, some of the beautiful churches along the Angara river, the main city centre streets and the statue of Alexander III - the Tzar responsible for the Trans-Siberian railway.

MEALS: Breakfast at the Guesthouse.

OVERNIGHT: Boutique Marussia Hotel ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

DAY 11 - on the train

DEPART IRKUTSK JOURNEYING ALONG THE SHORE LAKE BAIKAL INTO BURYATIA

Early transfer to the station for the train on to Beijing. Today is usually the scenic highlight of the journey - a day of lake, forest and mountain views. After Irkutsk the train rumbles around the Southern shore of the stunning Lake Baikal often passing within a matter of meters of the lake and providing endlessly changing vistas. You will also notice a change in the people with many more Asian faces as you enter Buryatia which has strong cultural ties to Mongolia. This is a remote and pretty section of the trip with a hint of an old Asian culture ever present. At Ulan Ude the line branches with this train following the Trans-Manchurian route eastwards.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 12 - on the train

A STRETCH OF REMOTE AND WILD SCENERY & REACH THE CHINA BORDER

Continue through an increasingly remote landscape before reaching the Russia-China border at Zabaikalsk late in the day. The stops on each side are long but particularly so on the Russian side as the trains bogies need to be changed to fit China’s narrower gauge. It is about a 10 minute ride on to the Chinese border post at Manzhouli where immigration and customs for China are completed with the train eventually departing in the evening for your first night on the move in China.

MEALS: None today - however the train does have a dining car.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

DAY 13 - harbin

VISIT BOTH THE SNOW SCULPTURE EXHIBITION & BEAUTIFULLY LIT EVENING ICE FESTIVAL

Late morning arrival in Harbin with a transfer to your hotel. Deep in Manchuria, Harbin has strong connections with Russia and this can be seen in the old architecture of the city centre. These days Russia's biggest influence is in the internationally renown Snow and Ice Festival where the art of ice and snow sculpture is taken to ever increasing extremes and is one of China's most visual spectaculars.

Wrap up warm to start a half day tour to the Sun Island Snow Sculpture Art Exposition. Here you will see huge sculptures made entirely from snow. Early dinner before an evening visit to the spectacularly lit Ice and Snow World, the centre piece of the festival. This time the sculptures are made entirely of ice blocks and are on a vast scale. Return to the hotel to overnight.

MEALS: Restaurant Lunch & Dinner.

OVERNIGHT: Modern Hotel ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 14 - on the train

FREE TIME TO EXPLORE THE ICE RELATED ACTIVITIES ALONG THE FROZEN RIVERSIDE

Today is a free day and we recommend visiting the ice sculptures on the banks of the Songhua river and to watch and perhaps participate in the huge variety of ice related activities the locals enjoy throughout the long winter. Also a visit to the smaller but more intricate ice sculptures in Stalin Park is well worth it and gives a taste of what the original ice festival was all about. Evening transfer to the station for an overnight train onto Beijing. Note that check-out time is 12 noon and late check-out has not been included. If you would like to add this in please ask us.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

DAY 15 - beijing

TEMPLE OF HEAVEN, TIANANMEN SQUARE, THE FORBIDDEN CITY & SUMMER PALACE

Very early morning arrival in China’s capital. Beijing has it all - history, imperial majesty, modern masterpieces, delicious cuisine, and a vibrant local culture. Transfer to your hotel by private car and English speaking guide.

Today you will see the main highlights of Beijing. We start with the Temple of Heaven considered by many to be the most beautiful building in China. Onto the vast Tiananmen Square, home to the Mao Mausoleum (it may be possible to visit if open) and Monument to the People’s Heroes before walking to the huge palace complex of the Forbidden City. We’ll walk up the middle axis from South to North taking in the splendour of the most important central buildings before finishing in a small and ancient garden by the north gate.

The last stop today is at the Summer Palace to the west of Beijing. It is dominated by Kunming lake and is as popular escape from the city for today’s Beijingers as it was for the Imperial court over the centuries. Return to your hotel with the rest of the day free.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

OVERNIGHT: Jade Garden Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 16 - beijing

THE GREAT WALL AT STUNNING MUTIANYU & ONE OF BEIJING’S MARKETS OR ICE SKATING ON HO HAI LAKE

Today we will be showing you one of China’s most famous sights - the Great Wall. We visit the dramatic and less crowded Mutianyu section 70 km from Beijing set amongst spectacular mountain scenery. Dating back to the 6th Century and largely rebuilt in the 16th century during the Ming Dynasty, it is one of the best preserved sections of the wall largely due to the high standard of construction.

Also today, if you wish, we can take you to one of Beijing’s many markets. Favourites are the Silk Market, Pearl Market and Panjiayuan antique market. If souvenir shopping isn’t for you other options are the Hutong street of Nanluoguxiang, the 798 Dashanzhi contemporary art area or a quick look at the impressive 2008 Olympic Stadium. Alternatively you can see and perhaps participate in the ice skating on Ho Hai Lake. You can discuss which is right for you with us in advance or your guide on the day.

Return to your hotel with the rest of the evening free or just ask us for suggestions of shows or cultural activities.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

OVERNIGHT: Jade Garden Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

DAY 17 - end of tour

DEPART CHINA WITH A WEALTH OF MEMORIES OF YOUR TRIP

Free time for any final sightseeing or last minute shopping for souvenirs if time. Your local guide will have arranged a time to meet you in the hotel lobby for a transfer to the airport in good time for your flight out of China. We sincerely hope that you have had a fantastic Trans-Siberian experience!

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

Thank you so very much. We had the best time!
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INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS

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Train tickets in second class – ask us about upgrades.
All accommodation as specified above.
All private transfers and transport as described.
All meals as specified in the itinerary.
All tours as specified including entrance fees.
24 hour emergency assistance
Visa Paperwork you need in order to obtain the visas.
Financial Peace of Mind as your trip is protected.
Our exclusive 200+ page trip guidebook.
International Airfare to / from the start / finish of your trip – we can book these flights on request.
The Russian and Chinese visas – we can advise and partner with VisaCentral.
Travel insurance to cover any medical treatment – we canadvise on options.
Discretionary gratuities to drivers and guides.

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