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TS-W-M-08 Winter Classic Eastbound

MOSCOW ► EKATERINBURG ► IRKUTSK ► ULAANBAATAR ► BEIJING

17 nights from UK £ 2,705 per person

*Price based on 2 people travelling in a shared 4 berth second class cabin. Upgrade to your own cabin from UK £ 540 per person. These prices are based on 2019 rates and are here to give guidance. Final quotes vary by date, exchange rates and are subject to availability.
Please note this is a private tour - not a group tour.

The classic Trans-Mongolian winter trips from Moscow to Beijing. Starting in MOSCOW the trip visits EKATERINBURG for dogsledding and IRKUTSK to see the frozen LAKE BAIKAL with a range of options to make the most of winter there subject to dates.

Continue to ULAANBAATAR to stay in a cosy ger on the frozen Steppe before finishing in BEIJING. Discover why a winter trip is one of the Trans-Siberian’s best kept secrets!

trip guidebook 2019
This trip includes our exclusive 200+ page guidebook personalised to your trip - an invaluable resource!
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Route Map & Destinations Visited

TS-W-M-08 tour map

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival 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 Included: None today.

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 Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 3 - Depart Moscow

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 Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 4 - Arrive 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 Included: None today – however the train does have a dining car.

Day 5 - 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 before returning to Ekaterinburg.

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!

Note: Dogsledding available from the 15th November to 1st March excluding the period of the 31st December to 10th January.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast & Picnic Lunch.

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 Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 7 - On Board 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 Included: None today – however the train does have a dining car.

Day 8 - On Board 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 Included: None today – however the train does have a dining car.

Day 9 - Arrive Irkutsk & Lake 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!

On arrival check straight into the guesthouse as we have booked early check-in for you as well as breakfast. 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 Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 10 - Lake Baikal

Free Day in Listvyanka to Explore the Village & Surroundings Further

Today is free or we can arrange day trips snowmobiling or dogsledding or, if the lake is frozen enough, you may want to venture out onto the surface by foot or by hiring a bike. Just ask us for details as wha tis available will depend 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!

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 11 - Lake Baikal & Irkutsk

Return to Irkutsk With a City Tour and Free Time to Relax at Your Hotel

After breakfast drive the 1 hour back to Irkutsk arriving late morning at your hotel. Once settled in you will have 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.

Return to your hotel with free time for the rest of the day.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 12 - Depart Irkutsk

Journey Along the Shore Lake Baikal Into Buryatia & Mongolia

Early morning transfer to the station to catch your onward train. 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. Eventually you arrive at the Russia-Mongolia border at Naushki passing through the border formalities before continuing into the grasslands of Mongolia.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 13 - Arrive Ulaanbaatar

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar & Overnight in a Cosy Ger on the Frozen Steppe

Early morning arrival in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia and a truly unique destination that is for many a real highlight of the trip. Outside of the chaotic capital of Ulaanbaatar this is a land of endless grassland, deserts, pristine lakes and nomads whose way of life has changed little over the years offering a truly rewarding travel experiences.

Transfer to Elstei Ger camp located 35 km outside of the city in the open steppe stopping on the way at the 40 meter high Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue that sees that most famous of Mongols survey the grasslands. Elstei offers comfortable, spacious and cosy ger accommodation. Click here to learn more about ger camps in Mongolia.

A range of options are available including visits to local nomads to learn about their way of life and hiking the snow covered grasslands. Note that horse riding is not available in the winter months. Of course, you can simply relax in your ger which is kept toasty warm by its own burner.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at the Ger Camp.

Day 14 - Ulaanbaatar

Relaxing at Elstei Before Returning to Ulaanbaatar for a City Tour

A full morning free at Elstei before returning to Ulaanbaatar after lunch. Mongolia’s capital is home to around a third of the entire population and has experienced a major boom in the last 10 years, largely driven mainly by the mining industry. However, there is much of cultural interest here and the city tour includes Gandan Lama Monastery, the impressive Sukhbaatar square and the impressive views and Soviet monuments of Zaisan Hill. Free time for the rest of the day, perhaps to delve into the city’s surprisingly vibrant eating and drinking scene.

Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch at the Ger Camp.

Day 15 - Depart Ulaanbaatar

Continue by Train Through the Gobi Towards the Chinese Border

Early morning transfer to the station to catch the train on to Beijing. The day is firstly spent in the steppe but that gradually gives way to the stoney Gobi desert – keep an eye out for camels! Evening arrival at the Mongolia-China border at Zamyn-Ude. The Mongolian exit formalities are completed on the train before a much longer stop is on the Chinese side where the train is taken to the sheds where the carriages are raised up (with you still in them!) and the new bogies of the narrower Chinese gauge fitted. A unique experience but do remember that the toilets are locked throughout!

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Day 16 - Arrive Beijing

Arrival Beijing & Private Tour to Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City & Jingshan Park

Wake up in China’s Inner Mongolian grasslands before a series of tunnels and impressive views lead you through the mountains that shield Beijing. Late morning arrival in China’s capital. Beijing has it all – history, imperial majesty, modern masterpieces, delicious cuisine, and a vibrant local culture. Your guide will meet you at the station exit.

This afternoon your have a private tour to the vast Tiananmen Square, the largest city square in the world and home to the Mao Mausoleum and Monument to the People’s Heroes. To the north of the square is the equally vast 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 the ancient small garden by the north gate. Directly north of the Forbidden city is Jingshan park where we will climb the beautifully landscaped “Coal Hill” for one of Beijing’s best, weather permitting, views over the Forbidden City.

Continue on to your hotel to check-in with the rest of the day free.

Meals Included: None today – however the train does have a dining car.

Day 17 - 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 Included: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

Day 18 - Depart Beijing

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 Included: Hotel Breakfast.

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Hand-picked Accommodation for this Trip

The hotels & accommodation used for this trip are from our hand picked selection and all are excellent for their class. We also offer upgraded hotels in most locations. If you would like to explore additional hotel options please the button below and let us know of any changes you wish to make.

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Trains Used for this Trip

Details of the trains used on this trip are below. All trains are subject to change without notice and are for guidance only. Please download the trip dossier to see the train times.

Inclusions & Exclusions For This Trip

What is included?

Train tickets in second class – ask us about upgrades.

All accommodation as specified above.

All private transfers and any other transportation as described.

All meals as specified in the itinerary.

All tours as specified in the itinerary including relevant 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, personalised to your trip

 

What is not included?

International Airfare to / from the start / finish of your trip – we can book these flights on request

The Russian, Mongolian and Chinese visas – we can advise and partner with VisaCentral

Travel insurance to cover any medical treatment – we recommend ABTASure (UK residents only)

Discretionary gratuities to drivers and guides

Possible Start Dates

The calendars below show the possible start dates for this trip in red for the stopovers described in the itinerary. Other dates may also be possible using different trains or longer or shorter stops. Ask us if you need to tailor this tour.

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