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Classic Trans Siberian

Departing: Moscow, Russia - 14 days
Countries visited: Russia

Experience the complete Trans Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok. Travel across two continents, seven time zones and 9,288 kilometres of track. Discover remote Siberia and see Buryat culture first hand beside the shores of Lake Baikal - the world's largest freshwater lake.

  

 

Itinerary

This journey is one of our ‘Experience’ tours offering you an alternative to conventional touring. It includes local guides in each city but no appointed ‘Tour Leader’ and no Local Payment. The sightseeing program will also include a range of alternate activities and sights not found on other tours, and is designed to give you greater contact with local people and their daily lives while still allowing for time to visit other highlights in each city.

Days 1-2. Moscow - Our Journey Begins

Moscow will amaze you, its palaces and public buildings restored to their former glory. The echoing vastness of Red Square, the splendid twirled cupolas of St Basil's across the cobblestones, and the Kremlin itself - that fabled palace-fort of gilded domes where the exquisite collection of royal treasures is housed. We learn from the masters how to make the iconic Matryoshka dolls and visit a local Russian family for some tea tasting. In our spare time we have the opportunity to visit the underground metro with chandeliers, mosaics and baroque bas-relief and perhaps a river cruise or a magical evening at one of Moscow's great theatres or State Circus before boarding the train just after midnight.  

Days 3-5. Aboard the Trans Siberian Railway
We join the Trans Siberian Express and travel via Yekaterinburg, Omsk and Novosibirsk, booming over the steel bridges spanning Siberia's nerve system of 5,000 rivers. Over the Volga, and on the far side the Ural mountains, the flickering silvers and greens of the birch forests speed past. 

Days 6-9. Siberia and the Buryat Republic Firsthand 
On into the heart of Siberia to Irkutsk. We pause to take an excursion to the shores of Lake Baikal where we spend two nights at the typical Russian village of Listvyanka - a popular summer resort for locals. We soon find that the world's largest freshwater lake is too cold for swimming for most, so we content ourselves with walking along the shoreline, visiting local museums or tasting the local delicacies. We take a glimpse into the world of the local Buryats (who have much in common with the Mongolians farther south), and witness a Shaman experience with traditional music and dance. Before rejoining the Trans Siberian at Irkutsk, there is time to look around this interesting city which was once a Cossack-guarded outpost for fur and tea traders who made the long journey from Mongolia and China. Later, the exiles known as the Decembrists, who led a failed attempt to overthrow Tsar Nicholas I, were exiled here. As our train pulls out of Irkutsk, we settle back to gaze at Russia as it rushes past our windows.


Days 10-12. Aboard the Trans Siberian Railway
We settle into life on board once more, getting to know our travelling companions. Relax in the comfortable four-berth compartment that is home for the next three nights it takes to cross eastern Siberia to the once-secret Pacific port of Vladivostok. 

Day 13-14. Vladivostok - Journeys End
Once a top-secret naval base of the Soviet Union, Vladivostok was sealed off from the outside world. Now its doors are open for business and the city is booming as Russia's gateway to the Far East. For 100 years this has been the legendary eastern terminus of the Trans Siberian Railway, its historic railway station recently restored to its former grandeur. Discover the city and port at the end of this incredible journey; a brilliant and unforgettable experience along one of the world's greatest rail journeys.



 

Essentials

Group Size
15 maximum.

Accommodation
Hotels - 4 nights (twin share). Siberian Guesthouse - 2 nights (twin share) Trains - 7 nights
(4 berth).

Meals 
6 in total. Breakfast (6).

Travel by
Train: Comfortable 4 berth sleepers. There are 2 rail sectors on this journey - Moscow to Irkutsk (4 nights) - Irkutsk to Vladivostok (3 nights)

2 Berth Rail (Optional)
Available for a supplementary price only when two people book  and travel together. Available on all rail sectors.

Sightseeing
Scheduled Sightseeing is part of the itinerary and includes all transport, entrance fees and English speaking local guide.

Moscow: Matryoshka factory with master class, tea tasting with a Russian family.

Irkutsk (Siberia): Buryat Shaman Experience including cultural performance, Lake Baikal, City Exploring/Free time.

Vladivostok: Boat tour on Golden Horn Bay, Vladivostok Fortress Museum and Local History Museum.

Visas
Required for Russia. Sundowners Overland will provide all required invitation letters and full visa support including detailed visa guidelines.