Day 1:Depart K.Lumpur and Arrive Ulaanbaatar
Arrival in Ulaanbaatar. You will be met at Ulaanbaatar airport and transferred to your hotel.
Today an unforgettable excursion will take you to the Terelj National Park which is famous for its nature. A stone formation called the “turtle” and the beautiful mountainous scenery will fascinate you. In the park area you will have the chance to meet a herder family inside their yurt. A Naadam show specially arranged for the participants of the Grand Trans-Siberian Express demonstrates 3 disciplines of the Mongolian National Naadam festival: Wrestling, Archery and Horseracing. In the evening you experience a traditional Mongolian Hot Pot dinner.
During a sightseeing tour you will visit the famous Ghandan Monastery, the central Sukhabaatar Square, the Bogd Khan Palace which used to be formerly the winter and sometimes also the summer palace of the Khans’, as well as the Zaisan monument at a viewpoint high above the city. From there you will have an excellent view of the city which is surrounded by large areas of nomadic yurt settlements. In the afternoon you board your private train which will be your home for the trans-continental journey to Moscow.
Day 4:Ulan Ude
In the evening the train reaches the Mongolian border station Sukhbaatar and Russian border station Naushki. The Mongolian & Russian immigration formalities will take place in the train. You may stay in your compartment and don’t have to leave the train. In the afternoon the Grand Trans-Siberian Express arrives at Ulan Ude, the capital of the so-called “Buryat Autonomous Republic” of the Russian Federation. Buryats are an ethnic group close to Mongolians with an amazing mix of culture. Ulan Ude is a meeting place between East and West. Like Irkutsk, the city still has large areas with typical Siberian wooden houses. Your sightseeing excursion goes to one of the villages of Orthodox “Old Believers” still practising their live like people did centuries ago. You will be hosted for a typical Russian homemade lunch. In Ulan Ude the Grand Trans- Siberian Express switches from the Trans Mongolian Mainline to the traditional Trans-Siberian mainline to Moscow.
Day 5:Lake Baikal
Today one of the top highlights of the tour with the Grand Trans-Siberian Express will amaze you for the rest of the day. Lake Baikal holds the biggest fresh water reserves in the world. It stretches up to 26 miles from east to west and more than 370 miles from north to south. Lake Baikal is the deepest lake of the world, reaching 1.620 meters at its deepest part. The mountain ranges around Lake Baikal and the deep blue water of the lake, you will never forget. In the morning the private train is running at low speed along the scenic Circum Baikal Railway line between Port Baikal and Sludyanka, which for many years is used only by a few local trains and tourist. A photo stop will be arranged at a small village where you can get off the train, put your feet into the clear and cold water of Lake Baikal and also visit the typical wooden houses of local people. A Baikal barbecue is also a part of the program. In the afternoon a boat takes you on a short cruise from Port Baikal to the small village of Listvyanka. A walk through the village shows you to St Nicholas church, a typical orthodox wooden build church beautifully renovated in the 1990’s. In the evening a one hour bus drive takes you from Lake Baikal to your hotel in Irkutsk city.
Irkutsk is famous for its trade with Mongolia and China and used to be called “Paris of Siberia” because of its colourful life style during the time of the Tsars. You visit the old town with its large quarters still consisting of wooden houses only, before invited to the cultural highlight of the tour, a private classical concert in a palace of historical background.
Krasnoyarsk, like Yekaterinburg and Ulan-Ude used to be a “closed city” during Soviet times – closed to foreigners and also to most Soviet citizens at that time. It is located along the Yenissei River which is the greatest river system flowing to the Arctic Ocean. A sightseeing tour shows you several view points and the main shopping street which is fascinating as the local mayor decided to decorate it with palm trees in summer time – in the middle of Siberia! A great view on the city and huge railway bridge crossing the river on a boat cruise is arranged.
In the morning a city sightseeing tour shows you some remarkable orthodox churches which have survived the Soviet period, and you see the famous Opera House which is the largest of Russia, situated in the centre of the city at Lenin Square. In the afternoon, an excursion takes you out of the city into the Taiga, the “real Siberian forest”. About 30 km out of the city you have the opportunity of visiting the largest open air railway museum of Russia, a collection of more than 60 showpieces of steam, diesel and electric locomotives as well as several historical passenger cars – a perfect insight into the development of the trains on the Trans-Siberian Railway.
Today the train arrives in Yekaterinburg, “Capital of the Ural Mountains”. The city was founded in 1723 by Czar Peter I as the center of metallurgical industry. By the 20th century it had become one of the largest and the most important financial, industrial and cultural centers of Russia. Yekaterinburg is located at the geographical border defined by scientists between Europe and Asia. On your sightseeing tour you visit a place of remarkable importance for Russian history: the “Cathedral on the Blood” which was built at the place where Czar Nicholas II and his family were executed By the Bolsheviks in 1918. An excursion into the Ural forests takes you to Ganina Yama, which today is considered by Russians as a “Holy Place”. It is an assemble of small wooden chapels which were erected in the 1990’s to honor the last Czar’s family of the Romanov dynasty who were then buried in Ganina Yama.
Day 10:Full day on the train
Today you leave Yekaterinburg in the morning and enjoy a typical day on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Your private train passes through the Ural Mountains and an endless scenery of forests, lakes and small settlements. A day to relax, watch the landscape and listen to lectures about the country and its people.
Accommodation on board the Grand Trans-Siberian Express.
Today the almost 6300 km long journey from Mongolia to Moscow terminates. In the afternoon you visit the Red Square and the Kremlin grounds.
A full day sightseeing tour shows you all the many highlights of Moscow, the Bolshoi Theatre, the GUM department store, the Red Square, Moscow River, the Sparrow Hills, Novodevitchy Monastry. You will forget old stories about Moscow being grey and dark. It has become a vibrant city, comparable to Paris or Rome and full of life.
Day 13:Moscow Departure
Your tour ends with breakfast this morning. Airport transfers are provided to connect with your flight back home.
- 6 nights accommodation on board the train
- 6 nights accommodation on land. Irkutsk, Yekaterinburg x 1 night each, Ulaanbaatar, Moscow x 2 nights
- Full board meals
- Sightseeing & Transfers with English speaking guides
- Daily shower facilities on board train (for categories Deluxe Silver and Deluxe Gold)
- Shower facilities in hotel day rooms in Ulan-Ude, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk (for categories Standard Economy and Standard Plus)
- Return airport transfer
- International air ticket
- Gratuity. Recommeded US$180 per person
- Travel insurance