Russia is a mysterious country and many have tried to understand it but even Lev Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote about the Russian restless soul, torn between Oriental traditions and Western civilization. To understand Russia, one should get on a train and cross it from East to West.
For this purpose the Trans-Siberian Railway is a perfect adventure — the most famous railway in the World — the path to the heart of Russia.
Thousands of kilometers from the shores of the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean, you will hear the beating of the iron heart, what it is silent about, what it is inspired by. Just trust in the road and the country will reveal its unexpected sides.
You will see Russia in all its historical greatness, in the mixture of cultures and fortunes, in the architectural splendor and extravagance, diverse and united, unifying different people and religions.
This is Russia: to solve its mystery one has to cross it from the East to the West
Arrive in Vladivostok today, where 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 discovery walk of the hotel vicinity. This evening you will enjoy dinner on your own.
Vladivostok was founded in 1860 with mission to defend the south-eastern border of Russia. This city is nowadays the home base of the Pacific Russian military fleet. A free access was given to visitors only in 1992. We invite you to explore this city with dramatic past and great future. Enjoy the bay view from a boat or from the top of one of the hills on which the city lies, walk the streets with ocean breeze, check out the historic sites and capture the refreshing spirit of the natural surroundings.
Train stops today in the city of Khabarovsk. We will take you to the most important sites and museums of this city. After a lunch break, we invite you to take a boat ride along the Amur River that forms a natural boarder of Russia & China. Enjoy the views of the city and entertainment onboard the boat. Later in the noon, take part in the workshop to create your own Russian souvenir – paint your own matreshka, the famous nestling doll, to take as one of the numerous memories from this journey.
The train continues the journey and passes through branching to the Trans-Manchurian Railway near Chita and will arrive in Buryatia very soon.
Today enjoy one more leisure day onboard. We invite you to listen to one of the interesting lectures and participate in our entertainment program.
«Imperial Russia» Train will stop today in Ulan-Ude, the capital of Buryatia. A special spiritual experience is a visit to an active datsan that is today on your program during the city tour. Be a guest to the locals who will welcome you in a traditional yurt. Here you learn how to cook traditional “pozy”, play dice, wear traditional costume, and assemble yurt. Another perspective on the Buryats’ culture is a colorful and spectacular folklore program that you will enjoy here. Later in the evening board «Imperial Russia» Train to continue your voyage.
Standing on the shores of Lake Baikal, you can’t help being awestruck with admiration by the wonder created by nature itself. It is the deepest Lake in the world that contains the fifth part of the Earth’s fresh water. After breakfast, board a motor ship to sail on the waters of the Baikal to the village of Listvyanka. Here you will visit the unique museum dedicated to the flora and fauna of the Lake. Not to be missed is the observation point at the Cherssky Stone with a stunning view on the Lake and the Angara river. After a visit to a local market, the journey continues along the original route of the Trans-Siberian Railway for several hours directly along the shore of Lake Baikal. Your train will stop at a particular spot for you to enjoy the majestic lake and a barbeque dinner.
Our train arrives today in Irkutsk, one of the largest cities in Siberia. This city has preserved quite a few of historical buildings and monuments. During the city tour you will see picturesque wooden houses, visit the Decembrists’ House that will unfold the story of failed uprising of Russian aristocracy who were exiled to this town. After lunch do not miss the opportunity to visit an open-air museum located in the picturesque place of the river bank of Angara. This unique museum will tell you about the daily life of the people in this region in the past. Spend some free time strolling through Irkutskaya Sloboda before you will board your train in the evening.
Your «Imperial Russia» Train pulls through Siberia. Today enjoy your stay on board to reflect on cities you have already visited. You may want to spend your time having a drink at the bar with your fellow travelers, or you might stay in your cabin and follow the changing scenery. Wooden houses, birch forests and if lucky enough some sun rays over mountain landscapes will greet you. Onboard staff will invite you for a talk on Trans-Siberian Railway. Enjoy the relaxing day in anticipation of the next stop!
We arrive in Novosibirsk, the very heart of Siberia, & start our tour of city in the vicinity of the railway station with the visit to the local railway museum dedicated to the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. After lunch break the city tour will take us the embankment of the Ob river, main squares and streets of the most Soviet city on our itinerary. The local Opera House stands out among local sites, will impress you with its monumental architecture, and is known as the biggest theater building in this country. Board your train & enjoy your dinner tonight onboard!
Today we arrive in Yekaterinburg & start our discovery of this city that is closely connected with the family of the last Russian Emperor. During the tour, you will visit the memorial Church on the Blood to commemorate the tragic events taken place in this city. After lunch in downtown, we continue our visit. An absolutely must see is a memorial that marks the borderline between Europe & Asia. You will have an opportunity to be in both continents at the same time & keep the memory of it taking pictures. In the evening, we board «Imperial Russia» Train. Tonight enjoy your dinner onboard!
Upon arrival in Kazan, once the capital of the Tatar Khanate you will depart for city tour to explore the Old Kazan. Today, in the White Kremlin of Kazan, a new mosque rises in the immediate vicinity of a Christian cathedral. Enjoy the spectacular folklore program that will give you an insight into the Tatar national epic. We invite you to taste local cuisine while lunch & follow cooking demo revealing the secrets of Tatar cuisine. Later this afternoon you board your train & continue your trip. Tonight enjoy your dinner onboard!
«Imperial Russia» Train traveled over 9000 km along this famous railway to rich Russian capital, the city of Moscow. Enjoy the panoramic tour of Moscow that give you an idea of capital’s dimensions. Explore the Red Square, the very heart of Moscow, with picturesque St. Basil’s Cathedral or enjoy the ride in Moscow subway with the stations that are more likely to be underground palaces. You will be impressed by the spectacular Cathedral of Christ the Savior or stunning view of Moscow standing on the Lenin Hills with your back towards Moscow University. After lunch in the city, continue to the Kremlin, one of the best-known monuments in Russia and in the world. The guided tour takes you inside the former residence of the Russian Tsars. Enjoy some time in down town strolling along the ancient Arbat Street with its numerous cafes, souvenir shops. Today you will lodge in one of the hotels of Moscow.
After breakfast, take an advantage of some free time before your transfer to the airport from where you start your travel home.
Your Tour begins on day 1 with Airport transfer to your Hotel.
Your Tour ends on Day 14 after Breakfast at the Hotel. Please ask us for any extension options.
Excursions & guides:
Services not included:
Payment and cancellation conditions:
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.
Palace Tours is the official representative in the US for :
Advantage of dealing with Palace Tours
12000 Biscayne Blvd. Suite #107, Miami FL 33181
Toll Free (US & Canada): 800-724-5120