Tour 701. Beijing - Mongolia - Siberia - Moscow.
I escorted my first tour from Beijing to Moscow in 1979 and have done this journey (usually from Hong Kong to London) 15 times since. From 1979 to 2014 all journeys used the local trains. My first tour with Tsars Gold private train was in 2015 and now there is no going back. The improvement in service and meals is immense! The train used from the Mongolia border to Moscow is chartered by a German tour operator and operated with German efficiency. It is a Russian train with Russian crew and German train managers. Each language group has its own train manager and while english speakers are in the minority the fluent english speaking German nationality train manager for us was highly efficient and pleasant. Excellent city excursions are included en route with separate coaches for each language group. There are 3 restaurant cars on the train with excellent meals and service (keeping in mind the limitations of meal preparation aboard trains!!). Catch up on the local language and history at seminars on board and mix with a very international community.
Seven categories of accommodation, from 4 berth standard cabins to luxury Bolshoi Platinum suites with private shower and toilet enable people to travel at an affordable rate with the same standard of service on board and on excursions, albeit a different restaurant for the higher grades. 9 nights are included on the train and 6 nights at hotels en route giving the chance for laundry and more room!
I am happy to discuss the realities of the tour with you.
These tours connect to and from our Best of China and China highlights tours and with extensions to St Petersburg and the fabulous Viking Cruises "Waterways of the Tsars" cruise between St Petersburg and Moscow.
I will be escorting the Beijing to Moscow departure commencing Beijing 09 June subject to a minimum of 10 travelling.
Stephen Greenfield Connoisseur Holidays - email firstname.lastname@example.org
Day 1. ARRIVE BEIJING Arrive Beijing. You will be met and transferred to your accommodation at the Capital Hotel or similar. The rest of the day is free to explore at your leisure. No meals included today.
Day 2. BEIJING (BD) Free time this moring and meet your tour manager. This afternoon tour Beijing. Visit Tian an Men Square and the Temple of Heaven and see some of the futuristic architecture with an optional (extra expense) rickshaw ride through the Hutongs.
Day 3. BEIJING - Great Wall (BLD) A highlight of your tour will be a visit to the amazing Great Wall today. Walk on the wall and see minor part of the 6,000 km long wall that stretcches across the mountains. Also visit the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Ming Tombs. This evening enjoy a peking dinner dinner.
Day 4. BEIJING DEPART (BLD) This morning explore the awe-inspiring halls and mysterious temples of the amazing Forbidden City (Imperial Palace) closed to the public for centuries. Late afternoon transfer to the rail station to join your chartered Chinese train. Settle in to your cabin and depart.
Day 5. EN ROUTE (BLD) Arrive at the Chinese border city of Erlian around midday and explore the local market before transferring to the Tsars Gold private train in Mongolia on the wider Russian tracks. Sit back and enjoy the seemingly endless vistas of the legendary Gobi desert. Maybe you will see a nomadic Mongolian with his Yurt on the back of a - Ute!
Day 6. ULAN BATOR (BLD) Arrive Ulan Bator, capital of Mongolia, this morning. Leave your main baggage on board and enjoy a city tour including Chojin Lama Temple main square, and city areas. This evening an optional (extra expense - approx $15 USD) cultural performance of Mongolian folk arts is available. Experience the unique throat singing, horse headed fiddle playing, and other activities. Overnight at a city hotel such as the Ramada.
Optional overnight in a traditiona Yurt camp instead of hotel among the majestic landscape - extra cost approxinately USD $50
Day 7. ULAN BATOR DEPART (BLD) This morning visit the active Gandan monastery before driving out into the spectacular countryside to the Mongolian Alps, some 90 minutes from Ulan Bator. Enjoy a picnic lunch at a Yurt camp and watch a Mongolian horse riding and archery demonstration and traditional wrestling match. return to Ulan Bator and reboard your train departing late afternoon. Dinner on board.
Day 8. ULAN UDE (BLD) Travel through the last of the Mongolian steppes into the Siberian forest travelling part way through the valley of Mongolia's largest river, the Selenga. Cross into Russia and we stop in Ulan Ude for a guided tour of the city before reboarding the train.
Day 9. LAKE BAIKAL (BLD) This morning travel along he shores of Lake Baikal, the largest reservoir of fresh water in the world, on the original route of the Trans Siberian train and no longer used by regular trains. Stop beside the lake for photo stops and to explore the beautiful scenery. The train stops beside the lake for the night with a picnic style barbecue on the beach and the opportunity to swim and visit a picturesque Baikal village.
Day 10. IRKUTSK (BLD) We arrive in Irkutsk, in Tsarist times capital of Eastern Siberia, this morning. Leave your main baggage on board and enjoy a night at a hotel. This afternoon tour the city including the amazing Russian Orthodox churches, River, Okhlopkov Drama Theatre and Market Hall. Visit the open air museum of wooden buildings and usually a visit is made to a local family as well. Plenty of free time to explore on your own as well. Dinner at the hotel
Day 11. CROSSING SIBERIA (BLD) Return to your train after breakfast and pass through the diverse landscapes of Eastern Siberia. Enjoy the discussions on board and the opportunity to learn some Russian language with Vodka tasting and local snacks including caviar
Day 12. NOVOSIBIRSK (BLD) Around noon the train arrives in Novosibirsk, largest city in Siberia. You are greeted with bread and salt in the traditional Russian manner. Our city tour includes the Ob River, market, and opera House.
Day 13. YEKATERINBURG (BLD) This afternoon we arrive in Yekaterinburg, capital of the Ural Federal District. The city is infamous as the place where the Russian Tsar Nicholas 2 and his family were murdered in 1918. Our city tour includes the Cathedral of of the Saviour on the spilled blood, and the city centre, restored in 2009. back on board we cross from Asia into Europe sjhortly after leaving Yekaterinburg.
Day 14. KAZAN (BLD) After breakfast reach Kazan, the Tatar capital on the banks of the Volga River. See the Tatar mosques and the most famous Russian Orthodox cathedral. A major highlight will be a tour of Kazan's Kremlin to learn the turbulent history of the relationship between.the Tatars, Cossacks, and the Russians. Lunch at a city restaurant before returning to your train for your last night on board.
Day 15. MOSCOW ARRIVE (BLD) Around noon arrive in the Russian Capital of Moscow. Say good bye to your train crew and transfer to a first class hotel such as the Intercontinental Tversakaya or Radisson Ukraina. This afternoon tour the city including the Kremlin grounds with its magnificent cathedral. Usually several of the magnificent interiors can be viewed. After dinner enjoy a 'City of Lights' tour including a stop in Red Square and a ride on the underground to view two of Moscows beautiful metro stations.
Day 16. MOSCOW DEPART (B) This mornings tour includes the reconstructed Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Lomonossov University, Novodevichy Monastery, and Red Square with its colourful St Basil's Cathedral, as well as the former KGB headquarters. The tour finishes late morning with transfer to the airport. Lunch is not included today.
You are welcome to stay longer in Moscow and explore at your leisure. take a side trip to the old ring cities of Vladimir and Suzdal, extension to St Petersburg or complete your journey with a fabulous 12 night cruise from Moscow to St Petersburg or vv.