Ulaanbaatar | Gobi Desert | Ulan Ude | Lake Baikal | Irkutsk | Novosibirsk | Yekaterinburg | Kazan | Moscow
An in-depth Trans-Siberian Railway experience between Siberia and Mongolia filled with unique historical and cultural perspective, this fifteen-day expedition begins in Ulaanbaatar and the Gobi Desert and continues on to the Trans-Siberian Railway aboard the famed Tsar’s Gold. Find yourself in Novosibirsk, the heart of Siberia, along the shore of the oldest lake in the world, Lake Baikal, and the magnificent diversity of the Gobi Desert’s incredible ecosystems.
Day 1 Ulaanbaatar
In the morning you arrive in Ulaanbaatar and visit the Zaisan Memorial, built by the former Soviet Union to commemorate fallen soldiers of World War II. Climb the 300 steps and reward yourself with a beautifully panoramic view of the capital of Mongolia and the Tuul River.
Day 2-3 Gobi | Yol Valley | Tugrugiin Shiree | Bulgan Sum
Fly south to the Gobi and discover the diverse ecosystems it has to offer including the verdant Yol Valley, carved from an ancient river. Over the next day, explore Tugrugiin Shiree, site of the famed ‘Fighting Dinosaurs’ fossil, and Bulgan – home to one of the Gobi’s only farms.
Day 4-5 Moltsog Els | Flaming Cliffs | Family Visit | Ulaanbaatar
Drive to Moltsog Els, one of the only areas of the Gobi covered in sand dunes, before visiting a family and continuing on to the Flaming Cliffs. Discovered by Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews in 1923 during the Central Asiatic Expeditions, the Flaming Cliffs glow a legendary and brilliant orange hue in the fading sun. Enjoy a stay at the Three Camel Lodge, our luxury eco-lodge in the heart of the Gobi, before returning to Ulaanbaatar to visit the Bogd Khan Winter Palace museum.
Day 6 Ulaanbaatar | Board the Tsar’s Gold, Trans-Siberian Railway
Wake in Ulaanbaatar and visit Gandan Monastery, the seat of Buddhist activity in the region, along with the newly-remodeled National History Museum’s Stone and Bronze Age artifacts. Afterward, 976 Art Gallery provides you with a glimpse into the modern day world of the nomad: this contemporary art gallery is a regular attraction for a hip crowd of intellectuals who support and promote growing Mongolian artists. After dinner board the Tsar’s Gold train and depart for Ulan Ude.
Day 7-9 Ulan Ude | Lake Baikal | Irkutsk
Pass through the valley of Selenga, the largest river in Mongolia, and join the main route of the Trans-Siberian Railroad in Ulan Ude. The next day enjoy a full day of activity in and around Lake Baikal, exploring the wonderful atmosphere of the lake and its picturesque town. Enjoy a short boat ride on the lake, and then move on to Irkutsk the following day. A tour of the city includes the lively market hall, drama theatre, and a newly-erected statue of the Tsar as well as an open-air museum displaying Siberian life in the old days.
Day 10-11 Onboard the Tsar’s Gold, Trans-Siberian Railway | Novosibirsk
After breakfast travel through the landscapes of Eastern Siberia’s mountains, crystal-clear rivers and verdant slopes. Enjoy lectures, a social get-together with caviar and vodka, and lively conversation with your fellow passengers. The following day pull into the Novosibirsk station, Siberia’s largest city, and take a tour of the city on the mighty Ob River.
Day 12-13 Yekaterinburg | Kazan
The capital of the Ural Mountains and the border between Asia and Europe, Yekaterinburg, is the site of a varied and somewhat tragic history. The city tour includes the center, restored in 2009, and the newly-erected Cathedral-on-the-blood built in memorial of the last Tsar of Russia Nicholas II and his family. The next day arrive in Kazan, the old Tatar capital on the banks of the Volga, and take a guided tour of the Kremlin to learn about the bloody relations of the Tatars, Cossacks, and Russians.
Day 14 Tour of Moscow
Before noon arrive in Moscow, one of the richest and most dynamic cities in the world, and end your journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway. After your arrival and check-in to a first-class hotel, take a guided tour of one of the oldest Kremlin in the world and its glorious cathedrals. After dinner, take a special tour of the city’s lights and sights, including the Red Square. The following day take a guided tour of the reconstructed Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Lomonossov University and St. Basil’s Cathedral before departing for home.