EAST ITINERARY: Russia-Mongolia-China 2020

16 days

Grand Trans-Siberian Express

Moscow – Yekaterinburg – Novosibirsk – Krasnoyarsk – Irkutsk – Baikal Lake – Ulan-Ude – Ulaanbaatar – Beijing

ACCOMMODATION

On board the train in selected accommodation

FULL BOARD IN TRAIN

Dinners and meals on board the train

TRIPS AND VISITS

Visits and Trips included

Itinerary

Experience the legendary Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian railways aboard a private charter train. Forget the trouble of packing and unpacking your luggage every day. Your cabin will be your “house on wheels” during the entire rail cruise. The Grand Express train offers a selection of 4 categories of accommodation from Economy to Gold, as well as a restaurant, a bar and a conference area. Every day, stops for land trips are included in the most interesting places along the route. In selected cities like Yekaterinburg in the Urals, Irkutsk near Lake Baikal and Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, nights are included in 4 * and 5 * hotels of international level. That gives you more time to discover those places and enjoy a relaxing journey. The voyage can be booked to the east, starting in Moscow, or to the west, starting in Beijing. Nights in 4 * hotels in Moscow or Beijing are included in the price.

Grand Trans-Siberian Express

Day 1: Arrival in Moscow

Arrival to Moscow. You will be received at the Moscow airport and accompanied to your hotel. Accommodation in a 5 * hotel in Moscow.

Day 2: Moscow

The full-day excursion program will let you meet the magnificent Red Square, the Kremlin and other tourist attractions in Moscow. The capital of Russia has become a vibrant and lively city, comparable to Paris or Rome. In the afternoon, change to the railway station, where your special Trans-Siberian Grand Express train will be waiting for you and begin the first stage of the 8000 km cruise to Beijing. Welcome dinner and settlement on board the Grand Trans-Siberian Express.

Day 3: Full day train route

Today, you will enjoy a full day tour in the Grand Trans-Siberian Express. Your private train will pass through forests, lakes, small towns and the Urals. It is day to relax, looking at the landscape and listening to lectures about Russia and its people. In the afternoon, you will arrive to Yekaterinburg, the capital of the Urals. Hotel accommodation in Yekaterinburg: 5 * hotel for passengers travelling in Silver and Gold cabins, 4 * hotel for passengers travelling in Standard cabins.

Day 4: Yekaterinburg

Yekaterinburg is known as "capital of the Urals". The city was founded in 1723 by Tsar Peter the First as a metallurgical factory. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was one of the most important financial, industrial and cultural centres in Russia. Yekaterinburg is a geographical border determined by scientists between Europe and Asia. In the morning, a trip will show you the centre of the city and you will visit a place of remarkable importance for Russian history: the “Cathedral of the Spilled Blood” that was built in the place where Tsar Nicholas II and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. In the afternoon, a trip in the Urals will take you to Ganina Yama (“Ganya Trench”), which is considered by the Russians as a sacred place. A set of small wooden chapels, built in the 90s, honors the memory of the last family of the Tsar of the Romanov dynasty, who were buried in the Ganya pit of an old mine. Accommodation on board the Grand Trans-Siberian Express.

Day 5: Novosibirsk

Another day to relax and listen to lectures on the train, today the Grand Trans-Siberian Express will get across the plains of Western Siberia and arrive, in the afternoon, at Novosibirsk. With its million and a half inhabitants it is the third largest city in Russia and the largest in Siberia, it is unanimously considered the centre of Siberia. It was founded in 1893, as the future place where the bridge of the Trans-Siberian railway would cross the Siberian river Ob. Hotel accommodation in Novosibirsk: 5 * hotel for passengers travelling in Silver and Gold cabins, 4 * hotel, for passengers travelling in Standard cabins.

Day 6: Novosibirsk

In the morning, a trip will show you some notable Orthodox churches that have survived the Soviet era. You will also have an panoramic view of the largest Russian Opera House, located in the centre of the city, in Lenin Square. In the afternoon, another excursion will take you out of the city to see the Taiga, the "true Siberian forest". About 30 kilometers outside the city you will have the opportunity to visit the most extensive open-air railway museum in Russia, a collection of more than 60 steam, diesel and electric locomotives, as well as some historic passenger wagons - a perfect revelation of the development of trans-Siberian rail trains. During the cruise on the Obi River, you will enjoy the breathtaking view over the city and the railway bridge that crosses the river. Accommodation on board the Grand Trans-Siberian Express.

Day 7: Krasnoyarsk

Krasnoyarsk, like Yekaterinburg and Ulan-Ude, used to be a "closed city" during the Soviet period; closed for foreigners and for the majority of Soviet inhabitants at that time. It is located on the banks of the Yenisei river, which constitutes the most important river system that flows into the Arctic Ocean. The trip of the day allows to know several viewpoints, as well as the main commercial street. Surprisingly, one of the local mayor of the city decided to decorate it with palm trees in the summer time and all this in the middle of Siberia! Accommodation on board the Grand Trans-Siberian Express.

Day 8: Irkutsk

Irkutsk is famous for its trade traditional economical activity with Mongolia and China and it also called "Paris of Siberia", thanks to its colourful life during the times of the Tsar. You will visit the ancient city with its extensive wooden house neighbourhoods. After that, you are invited to enjoy the culminating cultural point of the trip: a private classical concert in a historic palace. Accommodation in a 4* hotel in Irkutsk.

Day 9: Baikal Lake

Today one of the highlights of the trip in the Trans-Siberian Grand Express will impress you. Baikal Lake is the largest freshwater reserve in the world. It extends 26 miles from west to east and more than 370 miles from north to south. With a depth of up to 1,620 metres, it is the deepest lake in the world.

In the morning, an hour by bus will take you from your hotel to Baikal Lake. During a walk through the village of Listvyanka, you will see the church of St. Nicholas, a beautiful wooden Orthodox church rebuilt in the 1990s. During the opulent Siberian lunch, you can taste the famous ómul fish, native to Baikal Lake. In the afternoon, a boat will take you, by a short cruise on the lake, to the village of Port Baikal, where your private train will be waiting for you.

Today, your private train will run at a low speed along the picturesque Circumbaikalian railway line between Sludyanka and Port Baikal, that for many years have barely ran some local and tourist trains.

A stop will be organized to take photographs in a small village, where passengers can get off the train, immerse their feet in the clear and cold waters of Baikal Lake and also visit the typical wooden houses of the local inhabitants. A picnic on the shore of Baikal Lake is also part of the program. Accommodation on board the Grand Trans-Siberian Express.

Day 10: Ulan-Ude

Ulan-Ude is the capital of the so-called “Autonomous Republic of Buryatia” of the Russian Federation. Buryats are an ethnic group close to the Mongols, their land constitutes an impressive mix of cultures and is a meeting place between east and west. Like Irkutsk, the city still has large areas with typical Siberian wooden houses. Your trip will take you to one of the oldest villages in Russia, the "Old Believers", who continue to live as their ancestors centuries ago. During the visit, you will have an unforgettable lunch at a local house / building.

Leaving Ulan-Ude, the Grand Trans-Siberian Express changes the main trans-Siberian railway line to the Trans-Mongolian line to Ulaan Baatar. At night, the train will arrive at Naushki's Russian and Sukhebaatar Mongolian border stations. Russian and Mongolian immigration formalities will take place on the train. Passengers may be in their cabins and will not get off the train. Accommodation on board the Grand Trans-Siberian Express.

Day 11: Ulaanbaatar

In the morning, the Grand Trans-Siberian Express will arrive at Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. During the trip programmed for today, you can visit: the famous Ghandan Monastery, the central square of Sukhebaatar, the Bogd Kan Museum that was used in summer and sometimes also in winter as the palace of the Kan, as well as the Zaisan monument, which is located in a viewpoint that rises above the city. From there, you can enjoy an excellent view over Ulaanbaatar, that is surrounded by vast area of yurts. The cultural music and dance show will display you the folk music and culture of Mongolia. For dinner, you will enjoy the experience of tasting the typical "Hot Pot" ("Mongolian cauldron"), where each diner chooses their own ingredients and condiments for the composition of their meal! Hotel accommodation in Ulaanbaatar: 5* hotel for passengers travelling in Silver and Gold cabins, 4* hotel for passengers travelling in Standard cabins.

Day 12: Ulaanbaatar

Today, you will enjoy an unforgettable trip to the Terelj National Park, famous all over the world for its nature. Passengers will be impressed by the stone formation called "turtle" and a wonderful mountainous landscape. Within the territory of the Park, you will have the opportunity to meet a family of nomads inside their yurt. The show "Naadam", organized especially for participants in the Trans-Siberian Grand Express, shows three disciplines of the Mongolian national festival of "Naadam": wrestling, archery and horse racing. Accommodation in a hotel in Ulaanbaatar: 5 * hotel for passengers travelling in Silver and Gold cabins, and 4* hotel for passengers travelling in Standard cabins.

Days 13 & 14. IN DAYS 13 AND 14 YOU CAN CHOOSE BETWEEN TWO DIFFERENT OPTIONS

2-hour flight between Ulaanbaatar and Beijing, which allows more time to enjoy other trips in both cities.

Luggage allowed: 1 bag of 20 kg per person. Hand luggage: 1 small suitcase of 5 kg maximum per person. Each extra kg has a cost of 8 euros, and must be paid at the time of check-in.

Day 13: Ulaanbaatar – Beijing

Another day to discover the capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar! Today, you will visit the historical museum that explains the long history of the Mongols from the time of Genghis Khan until today. In the afternoon, you can visit a cashmere factory to see how cashmere clothing is designed and produced. At night, a 2-hour flight takes you from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing, the capital of China, at 8:10 p.m. Accommodation in a 5* hotel in Beijing.

Day 14: Beijing

In the morning, you will visit the Temple of Heaven and in the afternoon, the Imperial Palace (“Forbidden City”) and the huge Tian An Men square. In the evening, you will have dinner in one of the oldest and most typical Chinese restaurants made by the famous Beijing Lacquered Duck. Accommodation in a 5 * hotel in Beijing.

Travel by regular Chinese train between Ulaanbaatar and Beijing, in sleeping cars. Only Standard Economy and Standard Plus wagons are available in this option. The train crosses the Gobi desert during the day, with no stops on it, and is provided with air conditioning.

Day 13: Ulaanbaatar

In the morning, you will leave Ulaanbaatar for a 30-hour trip aboard sleeping cars on a regular train from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing. In the afternoon, the train arrives at the grasslands of the Gobi Desert, which is not a desert of sand but a desert of stones. In that part of Mongolia, temperatures can reach 35-40°C during the summer. At night, the train will arrive at the Mongolian-Chinese border, to Erlian, where the Russian railway system ("wide gauge" 1520 mm wide) meets the Chinese railway system ("standard gauge" 1435 mm wide ) and where the gauge is changed. Attention: Even in the train option, there are no stops for walks in the Gobi Desert. Accommodation on board the regular Chinese train.

Day 14: Beijing

After lunch time, you will arrive in Beijing. In the afternoon, you will visit the Imperial Palace (“Forbidden City”) and the huge Tian An Men square. In the evening, you will have dinner in one of the oldest and most typical Chinese restaurants and you will taste the famous Beijing Lacquered Duck. Accommodation in a 5* hotel in Beijing.

Day 15: Beijing

Today you will visit the Great Wall of China, that is often called the "8th wonder of the world." The wall extends itself for 6000 km from East to West. On the way back, you will visit the Summer Palace with its parks and the Olympic Park, where there will be a stop to take photos of the Olympic Stadium, that is called “Bird's Nest”. Accommodation in a 5* hotel in Beijing.

Day 16: Beijing and departure

The airport transfers will be organized by our crew to take your return flight.


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Departures and rates

Departure dates 2020

May 16; (1A)
June 6; (2A)
June 27; (3A)
July 18; (4A)
August 8; (5A)
August 29; (6A)

Rates per person season 2020

Moscow - Beijing (16 days, 15 nights). All prices are in EUROS, per person. Option n° 1: Those who are looking for more comfort and more opportunities for trips (flight)

Category People per cabins Price per person Train & Hotel single supplement
Standard Economy Cabins* 4 4.980 € Not available
Standard Economy Cabins* 3 5.990 € Not available
Standard Plus Cabins (double accommodation) 2 7.190 € 3.070 €
Deluxe Silver Cabins (double accommodation) 2 11.307 € 6.320 €
Deluxe Gold Cabins (double accommodation) 2 13.570 € 7.420 €
Supplement peak season 1 for departures 4A and 5A: 240€
Supplement peak season 2 for departures 3A and 6A: 160€
Atention: For those who wish to travel by train from Moscow to Beijing, please request our option "all by train". Flights from / to Moscow and Beijing (consult).
Flights from / to Moscow and Beijing (consult).

Note: Rates shown are per person in double accommodation. In all cases, rates must be confirmed when making the reservation, as they may suffer some variation. We recommend hiring assistance and cancellation insurance. Limited places.

Included

Services included in the Standard, Silver and Gold voyage price (Moscow – Beijing):

Additional services included in Silver and Gold voyage price:

Other included services:

Not included services:

Notes and conditions

A 50% deposit is required at the time of inscription. The railway company keeps the right to make changes in the route of the trains and their fares, without prior notice, as well as cancellation of departure if there is no minimum number of reserved cabins.

Important notes:

Food

Local specialties from Russia, Mongolia and China, that change every day:

Trips

Payment conditions:

Deposit amounts:
Standard Economy & Standard Plus Category: EUR 750 per person with the reservation.
Silver & Gold Category: EUR 1,500 per person with the reservation.
Balance (final payment remaining amount): 60 days before departure.

Cancellation conditions:

Up to 91 days before the journey Deposit
90-61 days before the journey 25%
60-31 days before the journey 50%
30-15 days before the journey 75%
14-01 days before the journey 90%
Not show 100%

Reservations

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