A fascinating winter trip to the North-West of Russia and the celebration of the New Year beyond the Arctic Circle.
We offer you a stylish celebration of the New Year! We invite you to feel the atmosphere of the holiday and the magic of winter in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Petrozavodsk, Murmansk and Vologda and to celebrate New Year beyond the Arctic Circle on the banks of the Barents Sea under the spray of champagne and loud laughter. Truly an unusual and colorful journey, like the elusive Northern Lights!
Welcome in Moscow and Russian winter! Upon your arrival, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. You can choose to enjoy your down time at your hotel room or make a stroll in the hotel neighborhood to feel the festive mood of the city. This evening you will enjoy dinner on your own.
After a delightful breakfast, depart for a scenic drive through main streets and see major attractions of Russian capital. After a lunch break the guided walking tour takes you inside the former residence of the Russian Tsars. See the famous Tsar Cannon, the 16th century Tsar Bell, and Cathedral Square, home to three of Moscow’s most elaborate cathedrals. When the daylights are dimmed, take memorable pictures on the Red Square of Russian winter and Moscow New Year decorations, which rated as the most beautiful in the world. Enjoy your dinner at a local restaurant and drive back to the hotel.
In the morning, leave the city center for a visit to Kolomenskoe with its marvelous wooden palace that once served as a summer residence of Grand Dukes of Moscow and the Russian Tsars. Get to know rich Architectural Heritage created by the best Russian artisans. This beautiful palace comprises a large number of buildings connected throughout by passageways. Discover Russian winter with outdoor activities and traditional ceremony of tea drinking with Russian pancakes. In the afternoon spend some time walking along the Arbat Street to feel the vibe of the city and festive atmosphere. You might want to drop in at some souvenir shops to look for some smaller presents to mark your wonderful time in Russian winter. In the evening after dinner in a restaurant, you are welcome onboard «Imperial Russia» Train!
St. Petersburg, often referred as Northern capital of Russia, is crowded with numerous historical monuments, marvelous palaces and beautiful bridges. After breakfast, visit the native place of the city, Peter-Paul-Fortress and pay tribute to the Romanov royal family in the Peter-Paul-Cathedral. St. Isaac’s Cathedral, one of the biggest dome buildings in the world, is not just an architectural masterpiece; it comprises innovative and unique engineering ideas of the 19th century. After lunch you drive towards Tsarskoe Selo where you visit Catherine’s Palace with the world famous Amber Room. Later this day stroll along colorful boulevards; enjoy the city Christmas market or just sit down to rest in one of the numerous cafes. After dinner accompanied by gypsy songs & guitar drive through the illuminated St. Petersburg.
Board your train to continue your journey to the Arctic Circle!
Today you arrive in Petrozavodsk, capital city of Republic of Karelia. The native Karels and Veps preserved their unique culture and traditions. Therefore, we will take you to the Village of Kinerma to learn the history of the ancient Karelian settlement of 16th Century. A Local Family will host you and invite for a traditional tea with Karelian Pies. Drive back to Provincial town of Petrozavodsk, the most Soviet one on our journey, and enjoy the concert of the local folk group “Kantele”. Tonight dinner is offered onboard «Imperial Russia» Train.
Today your train crosses the Arctic Circle. As «Imperial Russia» Train pulls through the Kola Peninsula enjoy your morning at leisure, follow the changing scenery with beautiful landscapes of the Khibiny Mountains. Shortly before lunch, you arrive in Murmansk, the most Northern point of our journey. For the next two days you will be lodging in a city hotel. This town started as a tiny settlement and Arctic trading post. Thanks to the influence of the Gulf Stream, the port is ice-free all year round. Depart for the city tour with such major attractions as nuclear icebreaker Lenin, World War II memorials. Later this noon enjoy your down time at your hotel room or make a discovery walk of the hotel vicinity. Join us for a festive dinner with a colorful show program in the beautifully decorated hotel restaurant to celebrate the New Year!
On the first day of the New Year allow yourself to sleep in and enjoy the late breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Later this morning drive for the village of Lovozero, the center of the cultural life of the Saami, the native people of the Kola Peninsula. Meet the Saami Santa Claus who invites you for lunch and explains you about the lifestyle of Saami, life in tundra, Reindeer herding and hunting. Walk around the village or on the frozen lake to capture the winter landscapes of Arctic winter or ride a reindeer sledding! Around dinner time arrive in Murmansk & enjoy a relaxing evening.
After breakfast at the hotel, board «Imperial Russia» Train and start travelling towards Vologda. Today enjoy your stay onboard to reflect on cities you have already visited. Enjoy the relaxing day in anticipation of the next stop and picturesque winter scenery. You might want to attend one of the interesting lectures or entertaining program.
In the morning arrive in Vologda, the city with significant historical and cultural heritage. This city is the same age as Russian capital and is rich in historical sights. The Kremlin Square is located right in the center of the city, and Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible used to walk around this place. Emperor Peter the Great used to visit Vologda frequently. Among Artisans, this city is well known for its delicate and exquisite laces. Stroll along the Kremlin grounds and listen to the history of this city, spot some of the remaining wooden houses with carved window frames that are very much like the laces. Try your hands in a workshop to paint gingerbread and take it as a memory of Vologda. In evening you are back onboard «Imperial Russia» Train to celebrate the farewell dinner.
In the morning you arrive in Moscow.
Your Tour begins on day 1 with Airport transfer to your Hotel.
Your Tour ends on Day 10 after arriving in Moscow. Please ask us for any extension options.
The Imperial Russia Train has different category of rooms in different train cars :
This type of car contains 5 compartments. There are two berths in every compartment: a Sofa that transforms into a semi-double bed 120 cm wide, and the upper berth of width of 90 cm, a chair and a folding table. All compartments are equipped with individual water closet with a shower booth and a washbowl. An individual air conditioner for heating and cooling the cabin is also in place.
This type of car contains 6 compartments. There are two berths in every compartment: a sofa that transforms into a semi-double bed 120 cm wide, and the upper berth of width of 90 cm, a chair and a folding table. All compartments are equipped with a private en-suite bathroom with a washbasin, toilet and wet shower. An individual air conditioner for heating and cooling the cabin is also in place.
First Plus Class Car
Consists of 8 passenger compartments, 2 berths in each. Berths: one upper, one lower one. All compartments are equipped with a table with an armchair. Between compartments, there are four rooms with washbowls and shower cans. In compartment 9 there is a room for storing luggage. Two water closets: in the beginning and in the end of the car.The air conditioning system is general. Most cars are equipped with LCD TV sets.
First Class Car
Consists of 8 passenger compartments, 2 lower berths in each and are equipped with a table and LCD TV set. In compartment 9 there is a shower booth with a washbowl. Two water closets: in the beginning and the end of the car. The air conditioning system is general.
A Variety of Luxurious Dining Cars are also available for your convenience and leisure:
Dining cars, usual for long-distance Trains, are equipped with a dining room, kitchen, audio/video broadcasting, inter-car communications system and air conditioning. Interiors of dining cars are made from environmentally friendly and fire-resistant materials. Please note there shall be several modifications of dining cars in different styles to be used for the tours.
A unique car with a music saloon, divided into two functional areas: an area with comfortable armchairs and a restaurant area with a dance floor, equipped with the piano. The bar car is ideal for cocktail parties, theme parties, holiday events. Please note there shall be several modifications of bar cars in different styles to be used for the tours.
Please note there shall be several modifications of sleeping and dining cars in different styles to be used for the tours.
Bar. A Bar Car is included in the Train formation, which is open all day and through the evening & until the last passenger retires. Smoking is not permitted in the Bar area. All Drinks are for extra charge. No Bar Car is available on the route from Ulan-Bator to Beijing on the trains to/from Beijing.
Cameras. We recommend that you take with you any spare camera batteries that you may require for your trip.
Credit cards & Travellers Cheques. Travellers cheques are almost impossible to use outside of Moscow and the large Hotels, we advise against bringing them. It is therefore necessary to bring sufficient cash to cover all likely souvenir purchases and additional personal items on the tour. ATM machines dispensing Russian Rubles now exist in nearly all the cities along our route.
Currency. Only Russian Rubles are accepted onboard.
Doctor. There will be a Doctor onboard the train throughout the journey. If you need any regular medication, you must bring sufficient to last the duration of the trip. You should also bring a copy of your Prescription. Russian Medical services are very efficient for Foreigners – but this should in no way be considered an alternative to full Medical Insurance cover. The Railways have their own Hospitals along the route and your Tour Manager will assist if necessary.
Dress Attire. On and off the Train, the dress code is casual. In the evening, we suggest smart casual. There may be an opportunity for a swim in Lake Baikal, so please include some Swimwear in your luggage.
Please avoid wearing short clothes during the visits to Churches and Mosques, even if the weather is warm. If not, you will not be allowed to visit inside some Churches. When visiting a Mosque, you need to take off your Shoes, but can keep your Socks on. Please remember to bring appropriate Headgear. Women are required to cover their Hair with a Headscarf or Shawl in Russia’s Orthodox Churches. Men must not wear short trousers inside the Church.
Electricity. Sockets in Hotels and on the Train use a standard European 2-pin style adapter, 220 V in hotels. Each Train car has 110 V (dc) and 220 V (ac) sockets suitable for recharging video batteries and shaving.
Food & Drink. All Food is included (except for dinner on the arrival day) and three meals per day will be provided. A generous allowance of Wine, Beer or Soft Drinks is available in the Bar Car for extra charge. Tea, Coffee, and Mineral Water are available from your Carriage Attendant throughout the tour free of charge. Unfortunately for security reasons we no longer accept credit card payments on board the train, so any expenses should be settled in cash, either as you go or at the end of the tour.
Gratuities. Tipping is at your discretion.
Hotels. The final information about Hotels will be sent closer to Train departure.
Insurance. Please remember to bring with you, either the original or a copy of your Travel Insurance Policy, stating clearly the Company, Policy Number and 24 hour Medical Emergency Telephone Number. It is very important that we have all Insurance and Emergency contact details prior to departure, so please make sure you complete and return the information request forms as soon as possible.
Internet. We do not have Wi-Fi capability on the Train.
Laundry. This Service is chargeable per item, available on the Train, and operates from Car attendants.
Water and shower onboard:
Drinking water. We do not recommend to drink tap water on the Train. Small bottle of water is daily available in your cabin, during meals and tours. Extra bottled water can be provided by your Car Attendant any time upon request.
Shower. As it is not running water onboard and the quantity is limited, please be wise having a shower on the Train for your and other Travelers convenience. Water in First Class Plus and First Class showers needs some time to heat before it can be used by the next customer.
Luggage. Please keep luggage to a minimum, as there is limited storage space inside the cabin for luggage storage & oversized luggage maybe difficult to stow. We strongly recommend using the soft type of suitcase, as it is easier to fit in the cabin. Soft-topped luggage is easier to store. Clients can have assistance to store their luggage.
Passports and visas. A Full Passport with at least 6 months validity remaining on entry into Russia is required for the tour. We strongly recommend taking spare passport photographs and a photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport with you. Keep your passport with you at all times. Keep your duplicate copies separately, preferably in your luggage.
Security. Each car has two Car Attendants, one of whom is always on duty. We recommend that you do not leave the Bathroom window open during the stops.
Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the Train except the last sleeping car’s end vestibule and on platforms during station stops. Smoking is also not permitted on Buses during the city tours, Airport transfers and during group meals at restaurants.
Tour Program. Our tours are specifically designed for the adventure traveler who wishes to combine the thrill of travelling through the many countries featured in our brochures with the comfort and safety afforded by our “Hotel on Wheels”. We provide a varied and sometime intensive tour program. There are some days when you will have an early start, occasionally before 8 am.
Tour Timings. We receive the final Train timings from Russian Railways only 10 days prior to the tour. The program may be altered depending on the final arrival/departure times of our Train.
Vaccinations. No Vaccinations are listed as official requirements for Western Tourists visiting Russia. Recommended vaccinations for Russia and Siberia include Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis A, Typhoid and low dose Diphtheria. However, Health requirements are constantly changing and you should consult your professional medical adviser or Travel Clinic well before you depart.
Weather. During May in Siberia, you can expect Temperatures outside to be +5°C to +20°C. In Lake Baikal area, with its own Microclimate, Temperatures in the evening can be lower than usual, so we recommend you to have some warm clothes in your luggage.
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