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Russian Winter Fairytale
Tsar's Gold (Zarengold) Trans-Siberian Express
13 days, 12 nights from 3770 £
Bucket list rail journey from Moscow to Ulan Bator
Riding the Trans-Siberian Railroad is an amazing adventure any time of the year. But winter brings out the true soul of the Russian taiga. See the crisp sunshine upon a frozen Lake Baikal. Take a traditional troika sleigh ride through a frosty landscape. Enjoy the warm hospitality of a nomad camp amidst a landscape of pristine wilderness. Explore Russia and Mongolia during the colder season from your snug, Trans-Siberian train. Hop aboard for a snowy voyage that is captivating, convenient and secure. It’s the winter experience of a lifetime!
*Majestic Moscow on a panorama city tour
*A ride in a genuine horse-drawn troika sleigh
*Stunning views across Lake Baikal
*Irkutsk, East Siberia's capital, with its classic winter bazaar
*Snowmobile ride through the taiga
*The Cathedral on the Blood, the new symbol of Ekaterinburg
*Entertaining and varied on-board programme
*A magical journey – and a truly memorable experience!
*Vodka tasting with classic Russian snacks
*Relax in a Russian banja sauna
- Introduction to Your Journey
- Your Itinerary
- Departures and Prices
- What's Included
- Booking conditions
MOSCOW • Yekaterinburg • Siberia • Krasnoyarsk • Lake Baikal • Irkutsk • Ulan Bator
MOSCOW TO ULAN BATOR
|DAY 1, MOSCOW|
Welcome to Moscow, one of the most vivid, dynamic and richly-historic cities on Earth. After dinner, experience the opulence and color of Moscow at night on a guided walk that includes the almost dream-like Red Square with its stunning illuminations. Relax after your urban adventure in your central and comfortable hotel.
Overnight: Hotel Azimut Olympiski (or similar). Meals included: dinner (D)
|DAY 2, MOSCOW BY DAY|
Explore Europe's most dynamic city on a panorama city tour with its contrast of traditional onion-shaped golden domes decorating small churches and cathedrals and the power centres of the new mega-rich companies such as Gazprom. Afterwards, relax over lunch in a restaurant themed on Russian history before joining your special carriage to depart from the impressive backdrop of one of Moscow's major stations. On board, enjoy a delicious welcome dinner.
|DAY 3, SUZDAL|
After breakfast you drive by bus to the impressive cities Vladimir and Suzdal, which are one of the most impressive cities on the Golden Ring. In the afternoon, take in the landscape of rolling steppes in old Russia's heartlands and cross the impressive bridges over the rivers Volga and Kama before starting the climb to the Ural Mountains – usually a magical snowy landscape at this time of year. Enjoy insights into Russian life with entertaining on-board talks on the Cossacks and winter life in Siberia, as well as a film on Russia's last tsar.
|DAY 4, YEKATERINBURG|
Stop in Yekaterinburg, the historical capital of the Ural region. Yekaterinburg has gone down in history as the place where Tsar Nicolas II, the last tsar of Russia, was murdered with his family in 1918. A short city tour includes the attractive city centre, restored in 2009, as well as the commemorative Cathedral on the Blood, built in 2003 on the site of the tsar's execution. Back on board, your train continues across the rolling steppes of western Siberia.
|DAY 5, SIBERIA|
Your train, by now a home from home, continues across Siberia. Relax and enjoy the magical winter views of snowy birch and larch woods in the sunshine! A vodka tasting with classic Russian snacks in the restaurant car explores some of the less familiar aspects of Russian customs associated with food and drink.
|DAY 6, KRASNOYARSK|
Morning arrival in Krasnoyarsk — according to writer Anton Chekhov, the most beautiful city in Siberia. The short city tour focuses on an overview of Krasnoyarsk's captivating history. The mix of old and new streets vividly illustrates how the city has grown and changed down the years. Enjoy a view of Peace Square, the city's oldest square, and the stunning vistas across the Yenisei River. Naturally, there is also a stop at the beautiful Paraskeva Pyatnitsa Chapel, the symbol of Krasnoyarsk. Back on board your train continues on to Irkutsk.
|DAY 7, LAKE BAIKAL|
The train pulls into Irkutsk station. Leaving your main luggage safely on board, a transfer takes you to your hotel at the Baikal village of Listvyanka. After time to settle in, a visit to the local open-air museum offers a vivid insight into the history of the region, and traditional life and lifestyles in old Siberia. The traditional lifestyle theme continues in the evening with a chance to visit a banja, the original Russian sauna.
|DAY 8, LAKE BAIKAL|
What could be more romantic than a horse-drawn troika sleigh ride — the next highlight on your programme! From February, this is followed by an exhilarating motorised sledge ride on the frozen Lake Baikal. Afterwards, it is onwards and upwards by cable car (if already in operation) to a special vantage point with stunning views out across Lake Baikal. This vantage point is also renowned for its cold temperatures – so this may be the place to experience the lowest temperatures you have ever known! Subsequently, a visit to a local family includes a tasty traditional Russian meal. The final stop around the lake is the Baikal Museum, which showcases this area's special ecosystem and the lake itself, the world's largest fresh water reservoir.
|DAY 9, IRKUTSK|
Today is spent exploring the remarkable natural phenomenon of Lake Baikal, the largest reservoir of freshwater in the world. Your train travels several hours directly alongside Lake Baikal, on the old route of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Take a walk on the frozen Lake Baikal and enjoy a relaxing day on board.
|DAY 10, ULAN UDE|
The journey continues through the snow covered Selenga Valley and the wild solitude of eastern Siberia’s mountainous steppes. You take a tour of Ulan Ude during an intermediate stop there. Border formalities at the Russian-Mongolian border are an easy matter carried out on board.
|DAY 11, ULAN BATOR|
Over breakfast, watch the taiga mountain landscape of northern Mongolia slide by with its scattered nomad settlements. As your train pulls into the Mongolian capital city of Ulan Bator in the morning, porters are already waiting to help with your luggage. Your mid-class hotel is conveniently located in the centre of the city. This first night in Ulan Bator also offers the chance to stay in a (preheated) nomad felt tent in unspoilt — and probably very frosty! — surroundings (advance booking required). Sleeping in a traditional felt tent under the stars in the majestic quiet of nature – a truly unique experience! The afternoon is dedicated to a visit to the National Museum of Mongolia. Those taking hotel accommodation can enjoy an evening programme of Mongolian folklore with throat singing, music performed on the traditional bowed string instrument, the morin khuur, national costumes, myths and dance. The nomad felt tent option includes traditional Mongolian tales around an open fire.
|DAY 12, ULAN BATOR|
Today's programme offers such impressive sights as the Buddhist Gandan monastery and the quirky architectural masterpiece of Choijin Lama Temple. The temple architecture is unique worldwide for its dramatic depictions of the torments of hell for those leaving the path of righteousness. The afternoon excursion visits a family of cattle breeders just outside the city.
|DAY 13, FAREWELL MONGOLIA|
Enjoy a final breakfast with your fellow winter travelers before transferring to the airport for your flight home. What a magical journey through snow and ice it’s been! (B)
(B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner
Extension to Beijing
While Ulan Bator marks the journey's end for some guests, we offer the option to continue on to Beijing. Your scheduled Chinese train leaves Ulan Bator for Beijing in the morning. The journey to China's capital city takes around 35 hours in total, and crosses the vast Gobi desert. An experienced guide is on hand to assist, for example, with arranging meals on the train.
Overnight on board. (BLD)
DAY 14, ARRIVAL IN BEIJING
The train pulls into Beijing in the afternoon. After settling into your centrally located first-class hotel, there is still enough time to get a first impression of this fascinating city.
Overnight: Capital Hotel (or similar). (BD)
DAY 15, THE FORBIDDEN CITY, TEMPLE OF HEAVEN AND PEKING DUCK
Start the day with an extensive guided tour of the legendary Forbidden City. Afterwards, join the city tour for such sights as the magnificent Temple of Heaven. On the last evening, enjoy a delicious speciality dinner in one of Beijing's top Peking Duck restaurants.
Overnight: Capital Hotel (or similar). (BD)
DAY 16, RETURN FLIGHT
Breakfast in the hotel is followed by a transfer to the airport and the flight home. (B)
The Tsar's Gold (Zarengold) Express
The private Tsar's Gold (Zarengold) train is designed to provide you with a comfortable experience as you embark on the adventure of a lifetime and offers a range of cabins to suit every budget.
Enjoy dining in the charming restaurant carriages where you are able to try the freshest local cuisine and relax with fellow passengers. Also, take the time to get involved in several lectures on board the train where you can learn about the history, people and cultures of the countries you travel through.
Choose from 6 different cabin types
- STANDARD COMPARTMENT (CATEGORY I)
- CLASSIC COMPARTMENT (CATEGORY II)
- SUPERIOR COMPARTMENT (CATEGORY II)
- NOSTALGIC COMFORT COMPARTMENT (CATEGORY III)
- BOLSHOI COMPARTMENT (CATEGORY IV)
- BOLSHOI PLATINUM COMPARTMENT (CATEGORY V)
In the STANDARD CATEGORY (I), there are nine compartments per car, each for four guests. On both sides, left and right, there are two berths, one upon the other and each of them sized 27.55 inches x 74.80 inches (70×190cm). In the middle, below the window, you will find a table. Combined toilet/lavatory compartments are located at each end of the car.
In the CLASSIC CATEGORY (II), there are 9 compartments per car. A compartment is shared by two guests. Berths are sized app. 27.5 inches x 75 inches (70 × 190 cm) and arranged facing each other. There is also a table under the window. Combined toilet/lavatory compartments are located at each end of this category’s cars. In every second car there is a shower compartment.
Compartment height: 100.4 inches (255 cm) Compartment depth: 74.8 inches (190 cm)
Compartment width: 71.6 inches (182 cm)
Bed length: 73.6 inches (187 cm)
Bed width: 26.8 inches (68 cm)
Space between the beds: 16.5 inches (42 cm)
Luggage case under beds: height 14.2 inches (36 cm); width 18.5 inches (47 cm); depth 25.6 inches (65 cm)
Luggage case above door: height 12.2 inches (31 cm); width 58.7 inches (149 cm); depth 21.7 inches (55 cm)
The newly refurbished Category II Superior now presents interiors in a nostalgic look. The compartments have two lower beds, one on each side of the compartment and measuring 67 cm x 187 cm / 26.5 × 73.6 in. The nine compartments in a wagon share two combination wash and toilet facilities located at its ends. Depending on the train configuration, a shower facility is shared by guests from two to four sleeping cars. (The sanitary facilities were also modernised as part of the refurbishment, with the wagons now outfitted with the practical vacuum toilets, which are preferable both for the user and the environment.
This category of compartment offers the opportunity to truly travel in the style of the red tsars. You travel in a nostalgic ambience that would even make past Soviet leaders feel at home – but with all of the 21st century’s modern amenities.
Each of these of these rolling hotel rooms offers not only two comfortable beds (ca. 80 × 185 cm / 31.5 × 72.8 in.) placed one above the other, but also an armchair from which to enjoy the passing landscape. Each of two neighbouring compartments shares a semi-private lavatory with wash basin and simple shower located between them. Combination wash and toilet facilities are located at both ends of the wagons.
This category of compartment, with its illustrious name, offers 5.57 m² (almost 60 sq. ft.) of space. It has two beds, with the upper measuring 80 × 176 / 31.5 × 69.3 in. and the lower 110 × 187 cm / 43.3 × 73.6 in. This compartment also offers comfortable seating, a generous-sized table, and a small clothes closet. The Bolshoi category has its own lavatory equipped with a toilet, wash basin, and integrated shower with a full shower curtain. This configuration of wagon has only six compartments.
The Bolshoi Platinum compartment provides 7.15 m² (almost 77 sq. ft.) of space, even more than the Bolshoi compartment. The lower bed measures 120 × 184 cm / ca. 47.2 × 72.4 in., the upper 82 × 174 cm / ca. 32.3 × 68.5 in. Each compartment has a spacious clothes closet and its own lavatory outfitted with a separate shower cabin. This category of wagon offering the highest level of comfort available on the Trans-Siberian Railway contains only five compartments and offers space for a maximum of just 10 guests.
Russian Winter Fairytale by Tsar's Gold Trans-Siberian Express 2018/2019 is available on enquiry basis - please get in touch with our Destination Managers to secure your holiday with an Early Booking Discount.
Minimum number of passengers for an English-speaking guide: 6 guests
All Tours Include:
*Travel in a special carriage with 8 nights in the category booked
*1 night in a first-class hotel in Moscow, 1 night in a hotel in Listvyanka, 2 nights in Ulan Bator in a good mid-range centrally located hotel
*Experienced tour manager from Moscow to Ulan Bator throughout
*Doctor on board
*All meals as specified in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
*All transfers in the area of your destination
*Excursions and sightseeing with local English-speaking guides (minimum group of at least 6)
*Vodka tasting with classic Russian snacks
*Motorised or dog sledge ride across the frozen Lake Baikal
*During the train journey, fascinating on-board talks ranging from "Life in the Siberian winter" and "The Cossacks conquer Siberia" to "From fur traders to energy suppliers"
*Visa fees payable directly to the visa centre or consulate