Escorted journey Moscow – Beijing on the Trans-Siberian railroad
Duration: 18 days / 17 nights
13.06.13 – 30.06.13
27.06.13 – 14.07.13
11.07.13 – 28.07.13
25.07.13 – 11.08.13
01.08.13 – 18.08.13
15.08.13 – 01.09.13
12.09.13 – 29.09.13
If none of these dates suits you, contact us for other options or you may check our individual trans-siberian travel.
Highlights: Private tour guide from start till end of your trip. Kremlin in Moscow, Bolshoi theatre, Trans-siberian experience, Lake Baikal, Mongolian Nomadic family visit, train ride through the Gobi desert and near the Great wall, Beijing main sightseeing.
|Program||Prices & Services||Booking & Enquiry|
In Mai of 1891, the construction of the World’s longest and most difficult to build railway was started after years of controversy amongst the Czars: the Trans-Siberian railroad. The link between Moscow and Vladivostok, some 6000 miles apart, was completed 14 years later employing a labour force of over 90000. Ever since the rail service linking Europe with the Far East was established at the turn of last century, foreign travellers and adventurers have been fascinated by this great journey and crossed Siberia to reach the Pacific or China. Across the Ural mountains to Siberia, through towns that were built along the rails into the Mongolian steps and Gobi desert, the Trans-Siberian journey offers a great opportunity to experience an unforgettable journey. The guided tour on the train (a regular working service, not some ‘tourist special’ train) and many visits to our friends at each stop guarantees this journey to be unique. We will meet local people and learn about their culture and way of life, yet be part of it. You may find yourself draining a bottle of vodka with a Russian soldier in exchange to a piece of chocolate, or discussing business and politics with Mongolian traders on the train. Meeting point on the train is the dining car where borscht and fish with lots of potatoes and cabbage is served. On each station where the train stops, local peasants and traders offer their products for sale.
We invite you to join our small group: First station is Moscow, where we enjoy the life a city transformed to capitalism before boarding the Trans-Siberian train and passing by the Ural. Our journey will bring you to Irkutsk, the capital of Siberia, where we will spend a few days on the world’s largest and cleanest lake Baikal. Then we will continue to Ulan Bator, where we will experience the Nomadic life and sleep in gers, and finally the train will take us to Beijing, the capital of the Chinese empire, where our journey ends.
After arriving in Moscow, we will meet our guide in Moscow and transfer to the Hotel Zolotoi Kolos, close to the city centre and have a night tour to the famous Moscow State University view. In the following four days, we will travel with the Moscow metro (some metro station themselves are worth a visit) to explore the city of Moscow: Kremlin, Red Square, Pushkin house, Tretjakov Gallery, Lenin Library, Arbat Street. An excursion either to the Kolomenskoye or to Sergiev Posad (formerly Zagorsk, 50 miles from Moscow), the capital of the Russian orthodox church with an impressive array of churches and a still working abbey will be organized. Upon request, we will reserve tickets for a Russian ballet performance, the opera or the circus. For the rest, we will just enjoy the city of Moscow, which has undergone an incredible transformation from a grey and dark city to a modern metropolitan capital with bars, illuminated streets and luxurious supermarkets everywhere.
Before leaving to Siberia, we will have time to visit the Arbat street and the large shopping mall (GUM) next to the Red Square and to make a few provisions. In the afternoon, we will leave Moscow and board the Trans-Siberian express train, one of the most luxurious regular trains on the Trans-Siberian route to Irkutsk. While we settle into our comfortable compartment and enjoy a cup of hot tea from the samovar, the first hours on the train take us past Vladimir, Nishni Novgorod, (previously called Gorki), and Perm, old Russian towns of which we will catch a glimps from the train station, where the train is stopping for a while.
On the Transsiberian train: Yekatarinburg, Tjumen, Omsk, Novosibirsk and endless forests. Food/beverage is provided by the dining car or the many dealers on the platforms.
On Board of the trans-siberian Railway Train.
On Board of the trans-siberian Railway Train.
Having crossed the Ural Mountains through forests, beside lakes and rushing rivers, swamps and remote villages of painted wooden houses, we will arrive at Irkutsk in the morning at 9am. Irkutsk is also called ‘Paris’ of Siberia for its pulsing street life and people’s elegant clothes. Still a major trade center for furs, Irkutsk enjoys today a certain economic wealth. Short but hot summers and very cold winters, however, make life here a real challenge. We will transfer to the hotel Irkutsk in the city center, check-in early and enjoy the rich buffet breakfast. In the afternoon, a walking tour through the city of Irkutsk is on the program.
We will depart for Listwjanka and Bolshie Koty, a small village on the shore of lake Baikal, which we will reach on a hydrofoil from the port of Irkutsk in about 90 min.
Lake Baikal is a unique biosphere, the World’s deepest, largest (in terms of volume) and presumably oldest (25 million years) lake containing more than 20% of all running fresh-water on this earth. The threat of pollution by unregulated economic exploitation has led to the creation of the largest protected area to keep the cleaness of its water and uniqueness of its inhabitat for future generations. Lake Baikal is home to a fresh water seal (the Nerpa), and an incredibly rich flora and fauna. An other specimen found nowhere else in the world is a transparent fish called Golomyanka that lives in the lake’s deepest waters. The lake is 400 miles long, 40 miles wide and about 1 mile deep. Unlike other deep lakes whose bottom waters are poisoned by hydrogen sulphide and other gases, Lake Baikal’s water is saturated with oxygen from its surface to the deepest point and therefore, living organisms can be found at all levels. We will enjoy a bath in the ‘Old Man’, as local people call the lake. Its water is amazingly transparent: Stones and fish can be seen to a depth of about 50 m and they seem so close that a first-time visitor may be tempted to reach out and pick one up. One of the secrets is that there are millions of microorganisms living in the lake whose main purpose is to clean the water of all pollutants. We will learn about the lake from one of its true experts and ‘native of the lake’, Prof. Maximov (called Max), the director of the local limnological institute (a water watch institute) near Listwyanka. Our home is a wooden house near the lake where local food will be prepared by our host. We will have time to hike along the lake, explore small valleys where relicts of old (as rumors go still secretely working) gold-mines can be found, and enjoy relaxing on the shore and swimming in the lake. Visit tour through the limnological museum. A Russian steam bath right on the shore of the lake invites to experience a typical Russian sauna.
Listwyanka and Boshie koty
In the afternoon, we will return to Irkutsk and visit the Architecture museum on the way back, where typically old churches, shaman houses and a fortress has been rebuilt in original style. In the evening, we board the Trans-Monoglian train to Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia. The landscape gradually changes from wide forests and rivers to a uniform steppe, where the great Khans have been riding their heroe horses.
On Board of the trans-mongolian Railway Train.
After arrival in Ulan Bator, the capital city of Mongolia, we will transfer to the hotel in the city center and enjoy the breakfast buffet. After check-in, we are exploring the historic city with our guide from Ulan Bator. We will visit the palace of Bogdo Khan, the Gandan abbey, and the natural history museum with the remains of the biggest dinosaurs ever found on earth in the Mongolian desert.
Our local guide will introduce us to the Nomadic way of life of still many mongolians today. On a jeep, we will travel to a Mountain Camp in a remote area, where we will sleep in gers and enjoy a hike on the hills by foot or on the back of a horse. On our way we will visit a Mongolian family living in gers at their Summer place, where we can taste mare’s milk and eat delicious kebabs.
We are returning to Ulan Bator to stay another night at the hotel and enjoy a Mongolian cultural performance in the evening.
Our train leaves at 9am again in the morning towards the Chinese border through the Gobi Desert. Erlyan, the border town is nothing more than a military post. Since the Chinese railway operates on Standard Gauge and Russia/Mongolia on a narrower Five Foot Gauge, the boogies of all wagons are changed while hydraulic lifts raise the carriages. After a night in the train, we will find ourselves climbing on narrow serpentine into the Chinese mountains. The Great Wall is visible from many locations and frequent stops of the train.
Arrival in Beijing. Beijing is the final destination of our railway journey, that has led us across two continents. With our local guide, we will visit the Forbidden City, the Tienanmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, and the Summer Palace of the Imperial family. Beijing is home to millions of small shops and street traders, the place to shop for souvenirs and bargains, and the last opportunity to taste the delicious Chinese food in all its variations. For those interested in the old-style culture, Opera, Theater or Comedy tickets are available from our local guide. In Peking, we will have ample time for our own exploration of the old and new town. We will stay at the hotel within walking distance to the Tienanmen Square and the main shopping centers.
City tour of Beijing.
Individual transfer and return flights back home or to wherever your journey takes you …
|Group size||4-5 travelers||6-8 travelers||9-10 travelers|
|2nd class (4-berth-Sleeper)||2759€||2649€||2399€|
Hotel Single sup. : 350€
Train 1cl. (2 berth bed cabin): 650€
Train 1cl. (2 berth bed cabin) single sup. : 1250€
- Train tickets (1st or 2nd class)
- Visa invitations and documentation to get the visa for Russia, Mongolia, and China
- All transfers
- Accommodation 3-4 star Hotels double rooms with shower/bath incl. breakfast
- Full board at lake Baikal and Terelj
- Local guides in Moscow, Irkutsk, Lake Baikal, Ulan Bator and Beijing
- Private Ziegler & Partner representative guide from Moscow to Beijing for group of minimum 8 pax.
- City tours in Moscow, Irkoutsk, Ulan Bator and Beijing
- All visits to sights and landmarks mentioned in the program including all entries to museums
- International flights: Depending your itinerary and departure city, we will be happy to assist you to find the best flight tickets to reach your destination and return
- Visas consular fee: visit the website of your local consulates for details
- Meals unless mentioned
- Personal expenses
Contact us for enquire concerning this program by using our enquire form.
After your application, we will send you a confirmation and further information. The number of applications is limited to 10 and places reserved on a first come, first served basis.
Preparation for your trans-siberian railway trip
A Trans-Siberian journey needs a lot of preparation, both physically and mentally. We are going to send you more details about what to pack and take with you. Backpacking is required, however, we will never need to walk more than a mile with all our luggage. Please check our list of what to take on your trans-siberian journey. Good general physical health and fitness is required. However, the most important part is to be prepared mentally and culturally for the many different people and cultures we are going to meet. For that reason, we suggest reading about Russia, Mongolia or China in advance. We have a collection of titles in our bookstore that we can highly recommend. A must for all Trans-Siberian travellers is the Trans-Siberian Handbook by Bryn Thomas, Athol Yates and Tatyana Pozar-Burgar.
The size of our group is limited to 10 persons. Participants must be physically fit and have a strong sense for team-work and communication. Travelling in Russia, Mongolia and China requires patience and a sense for adventure. We have encountered many anecdotal problems during the journeys in the past 15 years we have been organizing guided tours in Russia. Two example may serve to illustrate that the unexpectable happens in Russia/Mongolia/China everyday. In one case, the train compartment was loaded with Mongolian rugs that made any access to our beds impossible. Talking to the Mongolian traders who owned the rugs finally helped to clear our well deserved beds. In another instant, a participant who was refused entry to Mongolia at the Russian/Mongolian border because of an outdated and unrecognisable picture in the passport. Talking to the military officers at 4 a.m. at night for about one hour finally helped us to continue the journey. The group however had decided that none was going to be left behind and that we would all get out of the train at the border if needed, finally we managed to continue the trip without any problem. Even though the situation was bizarre and painful, these experiences make such a journey truly unforgettable and give a true approach of the culture. We send more than 150 peoples a year on our tours so far, from 17 years old students to senior managing directors and even a retired 71 year-old lady made it safely. So, why don’t you join us for this life-long experience?
Information about your guide
The journey will be guided from local guides in Moscow, Irktusk, Ulan Bator and Beijing (natives from the respective cities), they will explain you the details on culture, history, and the daily life of “their” cities. If the group size is minimum 8 peoples, a representative of our Ziegler & Partner Office will join the group throughout the journey from Moscow to Beijing in addition to the local guides. This is a unique opportunity to get to know Russia, Mongolia and China while travelling the Trans-siberian with a small group. We are looking forward to have you on board!
Here the representative guides of our past journeys:
- Marco Ziegler (1995, 1996)
- Nicolas Rouiller (1997)
- Petra Camathias (1998)
- Oleg Koulinitch (1999)
- Mischa Steiner, Oleg Koulinitch, and Renata Moussina (2000)
- Mischa Steiner, and Farid Valitov (2001)
- Colette Lasserre (2002)
- Marco Ziegler, Petra Camathias (2003)
- Cornelia Gann (2004)
- Mila Popova (2005-)
- Yves Cornuz (2009-)