Christmas Trans-SiberianTrans-Siberian Railway
Leaving from Beijing to St.Petersburg
Experience Christmas in Russia
This a popular trip we have customised a little so you can enjoy Christmas and New Year travelling on this epic adventure. The Trans-Manchurian routing with a side-trip at Lake Baikal, based out of Irkutsk. The Trans-Manchurian is the “original” rail routing from China, predating the Trans-Mongolian by a quarter of a century… and at 9001km (how did they find that spare single kilometre? Even the train itself is that long!) it is the longest international rai.l
Departing Beijing 21st December subject to yearly rail schedules, some variations may apply.
Visas required: Russia, China
Day 1 - Arrive in Beijing
On arrival in Beijing you’re free to make your own way to the hotel – any taxi driver will quickly find the address. The convenient location positions you to get the most of your own exploration of this legendary Imperial city, where the rich traditions of Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism meet with the opulence of the Chinese Emperors and the vibrant realism of contemporary China. Chinese hotels cope badly with the idea of foreigners who haven’t yet arrived so we’ll have your onward rail tickets delivered once you have checked in, although with user hints, directions to the station, and Chinese language directions that will help you catch a taxi successfully and smoothly. During your stay in Beijing you’ll certainly want to visit both the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. These are within walking distance of the Red Wall Hotel, and adjacent to each other, so this couldn’t be more convenient! (Please note your Trans-Siberian train tickets will be delivered to the hotel during your stay.)
Day 2 - Beijing
Your time is free until your train departs. Hotel reception can preorder you a taxi – it’s wise to allow one hour to get through Beijing’s traffic and a second hour to complete security (metal detectors are now in force and there can be queues to use them) and find your train and platform. And then you’re heading off, along the most famous railway in the world!
Day 3 - 4 - On Board
On board the Trans-Sib… heading across Manchuria, (this is a region of north east Asia) which historically has been inhabited by Jurchen people, otherwise known as the Manchu. This route lies east of Greater Mongolia in the north east of China, and is the historic rail route from Beijing to Moscow – as well as being the longest international rail route in the world.
Day 5 - Christmas Day at Lake Baikal
Merry Christmas! Early morning arrival in Irkutsk. Our driver will meet you at the end of the platform, holding a meeting-board marked with your name. Transfer to “U Ozeral” 3* Hotel. (The name translates as “At the Lake Hotel”, although it is not directly at the lake shore) situated in Listvyanka Village (70km) travelling by road through the forest. The facilities available at this hotel include; cafebar, Russian “banya” (sauna), safe at the reception. The nearest ATM-machine in the Baikal Hotel (Listvyanka remains a village, and doesn’t have the range of banking services you could expect in a city). The official check-in time is 12 noon, the hotel reception will advise you they will need your passport for visa registration formalities. However if your room is available this will – of course – be allocated to you on arrival. (If your room is not available you will be able to leave your luggage with the hotel reception). You will have a chance to have breakfast before setting off on your walking tour around Listvyanka Village. This will include a visit to the Limnological Museum (this is an exhibition about the Lake, its formation, wildlife etc – it includes multimedia presentations, information about the creatures which live in the darkest depths, and also an aquarium with living aquatic species, including the unique freshwater Baikal seals) and also a small wooden village Russian Orthodox Church dating back to the C18th. You return to your hotel at the end of the walk, with time to relax and enjoy your lakeside surroundings, maybe experience real Siberian “banya” (sauna). (small payment locally at the hotel).
Once we see how many people have booked this trip we can book a restaurant ahead for a celebration meal in the evening – if you would like to join other passengers to have the traditional Christmas day excesses! We will let you know about this and the cost nearer the time.
Day 6 - Lake Baikal Options
Choose one activity from the list, it’s all included in the trip price! You’ll need to inform us of your choice before commencing your journey, so that we can have the right staff on hand for when you arrive (please note the Siberian weather puts seasonal limits on some activities – details below). Want to extend your life? Local legend claims that you can get anything from five extra years of life (paddling up to your knees) up to twenty years if you manage to go swimming!
A. TALTSY WOODEN MUSEUM A three hour trip which includes a driver, and English speaking guide to the Taltsy open air wooden
museum on the shore of Lake Baikal. This picturesque area shows how life was and has been sympathetically restored as a tourist
attraction where you can ride Troikas and also buy authentic souvenirs. There is a tea house here also to refresh you after a busy morning sightseeing. (Year round)
B. SNOW MOBILE TRIP with a local guide through the forest, or even out over the deep frozen lake! Two hours (Dec–Apr)
C. DOG SLEDDING trip for a distance of 10km 1 dog sled for each client. (Dec-Mar)
D. DO YOUR OWN THING mosey around the village.
Balance of day free time to explore the village
at your own pace. Maybe try a local bar?
Day 7 - Irkutsk-Moscow
After breakfast transfer back to Irkutsk city. (Where you will have the option to leave your bags at our local office.) You will be given a map and some recommendations of interesting places to visit, free time to explore. Early evening transfer to the station where you will board the Moscow bound train.
Day 8-10 - On Board
On board…The Trans-Sib travelling towards Moscow. The dining car is the heart of social life on the train. It functions as bar, lounge, and take-out snack store, as well as a café serving reasonably priced meals. It is a great place to meet fellow travellers and locals alike, sharing your experiences of your journey so far with a few drinks, which no doubt will include some Vodka – and maybe smoked salmon and caviar too!
Day 11 - Arrival Moscow
“S Priezdom! Welcome to Moscow!” Very early morning arrival. Our driver will be there to meet you at the end of the platform, and will be hold a meeting-board with your name on. You’ll then be transferred to the Panorama 3★ Hotel. The facilities available at this hotel include a Restaurant, Lobby Bar, Lobby Wi-Fi access, Luggage Room, Safety deposit boxes
and an ATM machine. Your room will be allocated on arrival. At check-in, the hotel reception will advise you they will need your passport for visa registration. This process takes 1–2 hours. After breakfast one of our local expert staff will meet you at the hotel to take you on a three hour walking tour round the highlights – you’ll use public transport around the centre to avoid the traffic jams and get the hang of the system for when you come to use it independently. Our staffers are full of ideas for this walk but are flexible about other ideas if you have your own. Your walk ends in the city centre around lunchtime. Your complimentary InfoPack is full of ideas for getting the most out of your free time. New Years Eve in Moscow is a big celebration and you need to get to Red Square and secure your vantage point early(ish) because at midnight Mr.Medvedev will wish you all Happy New Year from vast screens put along the Kremlin Walls after which will be the traditional firework display. The Moscow metro operates untill 4.00am so you can easily get home after the celebrations.
Day 12 - Moscow- ||Happy New Year||
You’ll need to check out of your room by 12 noon today. New Years day in Russia is a public holiday, so there like eleswhere in the world services this day will be very limited. If you feel you would like to lay in and take care of a maybe a sore head ? You can book the room for an additional night as otherwise you will have to check out at 12.00 pm. Check with us if you would like to have a lazy day before you take yourself to the station for the late evening train.
Day 13 St.Petersburg
Early morning arrival in St. Petersburg. Our driver will be there to meet you at the end of the platform, and will hold a meeting-board with your name on. You’ll then be transferred to the hotel. Your guide will meet you at the hotel and introduce you to the city’s highlights – a good basis for starting your own explorations. Although the public transport (used on today’s excursion) is similar to Moscow’s, there are a few quirks that your guide will show you. After lunchtime you’re on your own to explore further.
Day 14 - St.Peterburg
Free day for you to pack in the best of the rest! Perhaps you have pre-booked one of our city based excursions for today. Some of our top suggestions (please check opening times/days before setting off) The Hermitage Collection – Winter Palace. The canals and waterways of the “Northern Venice”. The Russian Museum of Fine Art. The Peter & Paul Fortress-and the Tombs of the Tsars inside the Fortress Cathedral. The Church on the Spilt Blood, nearby the Souvenir Bazaar.
Day 15 - St.Petersburg
Check out of your room by 12 noon. Own transfer on departure.
Price Guide (per person)
|Christmas Trans-Siberian||1 person|
2 Berth Upgrade
Extra Night Beijing
Extra Night St.Petersburg
Included in the trip:-
TRAIN– 4-berth rail for complete journey (pre-assigned berths), option to upgrade to 2-berth
BEIJING– 1 night 4★ hotel
IRKUTSK– Siberian Village, all transportation, 2 nights 3★ hotel, Listvyanka Village, breakfast, excursion option
MOSCOW– transfer on arrival to your hotel, 1 nights 3★ hotel breakfast
ST.PETERSBURG – transfer on arrival to your hotel, 2 nights 3★ hotel, breakfast, 3 hour personalised walking tour with local expert
We have a range of airline tickets which fit in well with our trips. Run your flight requirements past us before confirming your flight arrangements.