A bucket list experience, the monumental Trans-Siberian railway weaves it ways through taiga forests, vast grasslands and sun-baked deserts, skirting the edges of shimmering lakes and raging rivers, passing through modern cities and villages seemingly forgotten by time. On this classic 15-day Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian railway journey, you’ll get the chance to see Russia in all its historical greatness – in the mixture of cultures and fortunes, in the extravagant and humble architecture, and in the diversity and unity between different people and religions. Choose to begin your journey in Moscow, the mighty capital of Russia, or take the westbound route from Beijing, China. Along the way, we’ll enjoy several fascinating stops including Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Lake Baikal and Ulaan-Baatar, Mongolia – each destination concealing its own secret treasures and unique cultural discoveries.
The Reindeer Herder’s Festival is a one-day holiday, celebrated annually in the Salekhard and Aksarka, the two major towns within the Yamal-Nenets region in the Russian Arctic. In 2019, the festival will take place on 23rd March (Saturday) in Salekhard and 6th April (Saturday) in Aksarka village. For the nomadic Nenets people, a festival day is a major event, which offers a chance to meet with friends and compete in contests of physical skill and a variety of other competitions. It has also become an event in which the Nenets are able to share with the world a fascinating slice of their unique culture, which has remained relatively unchanged through the centuries. On this tour you not only will witness the Reindeer Herders’ Festival in Yamal but also will stay with a Nenet family far from the city, giving you an amazing opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the nomadic way of life.
As the world gets smaller, there’s a desire to travel further – and there are few places as enchantingly far away as the Yamal Peninsula. This cultural tour transports you deep into Siberia’s isolated Arctic region. ‘Yamal’ means ‘edge of the world’ in the language of the indigenous Nenets. The Nenets of Yamal carve out a unique way of life, seemingly at the limits of human tolerance. Each spring, the Nenets migrate from winter pastures on the Russian mainland to the summer pastures in the Arctic Circle, a one-way journey of up to 1,000km. This is your chance to experience a small part of this epic journey alongside these extraordinarily resilient people. This is a remarkable extraordinary opportunity to get to know one of the world’s last true nomadic reindeer herders through their eyes.
The world’s greatest railway journey, the Trans-Siberian Railway runs like a steel ribbon across Russia, connecting Moscow to the East over the Urals, the forested mountain range separating Europe from Asia. Skirting alongside the shore of the world’s largest freshwater lake, the rail line then crosses the Mongolian border into a land of baking deserts, majestic steppe country and vast grasslands where columns of smoke still rise from the nomad camps of the last of the Mongol horsemen.
To travel along this route is by far the best way to experience the vastness and grandeur of Russia’s rarely visited interior. This private 15 day Trans-Siberian Railway tour spans the entire 9,288km length of the world’s longest rail line, with a total of 12 days aboard the luxurious Golden Eagle, beginning in Moscow and ending in the Russian port city of Vladivostok, close to the Chinese and North Korean borders.
Experience a train journey unlike any other. An adventure on rails to the top of the world, the lands above the Arctic Circle where the mythical Aurora Borealis performs her breathtaking celestial dance in the velvet black Polar night sky. This compelling 12-day Northern Lights Train Tour showcases the unique contrast between two of Russia’s most majestic cities and the isolated yet charming communities deep within the Russian and Norwegian Arctic Circle. Commencing in St. Petersburg, we visit some of the city’s most prominent historical and cultural sites, before embarking on this remarkable Arctic railway adventure in search of the elusive Aurora Borealis.
Dive into the Legend of Lake Baikal on this glorious summer excursion to the glittering Blue Pearl of Russia. Plummeting to 1,642m at its deepest point, Baikal is also the world’s most voluminous lake. Its mirror-clear waters are a reflection of Siberia’s wildness, its vastness and its beauty. Baikal is a place where shamans still speak to the spirit world, wildlife-rich virgin forests thrive and lake-living seals fish and frolic in freshwater. Surrounded by jagged mountains and taiga of pine, fir and cedar, Lake Baikal is a protected World Heritage site. Unsurprisingly, it is the most famous attraction in Siberia, but Baikal’s sheer size means there’s always an escape from the crowds.
Our Lake Baikal Ice Adventure tour takes place during late February and March. The beginning of spring in the Baikal region, at this time of year, the temperature climbs above zero, but the surface of the lake is still largely frozen, covered by solid winter ice so clear you can see rocks and other objects at the bottom of the lake as far as 40m below. During spring, Baikal receives few visitors compared to the summer high season, allowing you to feel an inspiring sense of isolation and communion with undisturbed nature during this handcrafted 6-day tour. Be amazed by the frozen beauty of the world’s oldest and deepest lake and experience real-life walking on water. We’ve included a few activities exclusive to the cooler months such as ice skating, ice rafting and ice golf to add a sprinkle of spills and thrills to this thoroughly enjoyable adventure.
After the winter-time freeze, Baikal becomes a balmy summer boating paradise – a vast expanse of calm water with shimmering azure bays and a shoreline hugged by dramatic mountains, pristine forests and quaint ethnic villages. This relaxing three-day Lake Baikal cruise will take you to some of the most picturesque beauty spots in and around Lake Baikal, travelling on board the modern cruise ship Sibiryak with just 11 other guests. In three days, you’ll be able to take in a truly memorable taste of Siberia’s unique culture and nature – including a scenic journey on the magnificent Circum-Baikal Railroad and a walking tour of the Baikal National Park.
The “Pole of Cold” is a place where the coldest temperatures on Earth have ever been recorded. In the northern hemisphere, the honour goes to a remote Siberian township known as Oymyakon, widely regarded as the coldest permanently inhabited place on the planet. Our Oymyakon tour is not just about experiencing one of the most unique cultural festivals on Earth. It’s about immersing yourself in a completely different reality, a place where people rely on time-tested traditions to live in a place that challenges the very limits of human endurance. READ MORE
Discover Yakutia – a faraway place that plays host to ethereal polar nights and the northern lights, permafrost tundra and vast expanses of taiga forest. About 40% of Yakutia lies above the Arctic Circle, and much of it remains wild, pristine and largely unspoiled by development. One of Siberia’s most ethnically diverse regions, Yakutia is home to the Turkic-speaking Yakuts, many of whom still practice shamanism and nomadic lifestyles. The region is blessed with spectacular wildlife and is renowned for producing some of the cleanest diamonds on Earth. If you are searching for a unique and genuine Russian winter experience, this is the place to be. READ MORE
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