Our rep Vera has recently returned from an inspiring Trans-Siberian adventure, during which she traveled together with a small group of travelers from the capital of Russia, Moscow, all the way to Vladivostok. In this post, we take you behind the scenes of our hit Trans-Siberian small group tour program. Vera filmed every step of the journey so you can get an insight of the highlights and unique experiences making up the program.
This small group Trans-Siberian itinerary from Moscow to Vladivostok is among the most popular programs available on the market and has proven to be a hit among those planning to set off on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to Russia. Let’s see why.
The real deal | Value of the package
The unique standout tour from one end of Russia to the other checks all the boxes and offers a worry-free experience thanks to its fully thought through pre-organized arrangements (such as train travel in 1st-class cabins in a private detachable train car) and an attractively affordable price when compared to similar packages.
With all the hard logistics taken care of far in advance, it becomes more than obvious why spots in the group go off like hot cakes and are in so much demand.
Just to paint a clearer picture, the program covering a 9000 km journey from start to finish includes 10 cities with guided sightseeing tours, inspiring activities like visiting the local Russian opera and ballet and a boat ride on the Lake Baikal, accommodation in 8 hotels, 15+ connections, counting in airport transfers for arrival and departure.
The Moscow portion of the program is made up of several days in the city center with guided explorations of iconic landmarks such as the Kremlin and Red Square. Next on the list is the beginning of a rail journey with 1 to 2-day stops in the large cities for sightseeing.
Our small group tour departures provide the opportunity of traveling in one same private train car for the rail part of the journey in 1st-class cabins, designed for 2 passengers per cabin.
Those traveling on the private car are able to leave their belongings in a safe lockable train car that’s detached in each city where they stay for a few days.
This is convenient as you don't need to carry your large luggage on and off trains so many times.
Topping it off, a real bonus is that the Russian visa application process with official visa invitations is handled for you as well.
Apart from that, the approach to timing is a key advantage as the small group tour program with the trip duration of 17-19 days provides a striking balance of included touring/activities and free time to explore on your own.
To get a closer look at the cities and places visited during such Trans-Siberian tours, read our Trans-Siberian: Destinations article describing a similar program from Moscow to Ulan Bator, with a large portion of the tour up to Lake Baikal being in many ways alike.
In-depth exploration like no other
A qualified English-speaking tour leader is there to accompany the group the whole way through, therefore it’s easy to stay organized and avoid any possible stressful situations.
What’s for the guides, only hand-picked professionals with education in the field show the small tourist group around. And the best part about the guides apart from their fluent English and knowledge is that they are always locals, thus know incredible facts and share interesting things about each destination.
Setting off on a Trans-Siberian adventure is a great way to see different regions of the largest country in the world.
Starting from sightseeing of the main must-sees in the capital, Moscow, travelers then get an insight of Nizhny Novgorod and it's outstanding historical Kremlin.
One of the adventurous activities en route is during the next stop in Perm where tourists go to Kungur to pass a 2-kilometer path exploring the breathtaking Kungur Ice Cave.
Afterward, on to Ekaterinburg, known for its connection to the last days of the life of the royal Romanov family, as well as being the place where Asia meets Europe.
The group then continues to Novosibirsk where apart from the landmarks travelers visit the Museum of Birch Bark.
During the next stop in Krasnoyarsk, following the city tour, travelers may attend a local Opera and Ballet Theater to get in touch with Russian culture and music.
The indisputable gem of the program is time spent at Lake Baikal, the deepest freshwater lake in the world. Here travelers learn about the creatures living in the lake while visiting the Limnological Museum and get to taste the delicious local omul fish.
A funicular ride to Chersky Peak by Listvyanka village opens picture-perfect views of Baikal and following that a cruise on a boat along the lake is another trip highlight as well.
Plus a visit to Taltsy open-air museum shows what a traditional Russian village looked like and introduces travelers to local crafts and architecture.
Of course, the acquaintance with Siberia wouldn’t be complete without time spent in the charming town Irkutsk, which is best recognized by its traditional Russia wooden “lace” buildings and the Znamensky Monastery.
Next is the unique region of Buryatia, located on the other side of Lake Baikal. The city of Ulan Ude is in proximity to both China and Mongolia and is a very multinational part of Russia that is like no other, and most locals are Buddhists. Tourists get to visit the one-of-a-kind Datsan and see the large statue of Lenin.
The next chunk of the rail journey includes two full days on board the train before arrival in the Far East Russian city Khabarovsk. Travelers visit the Amur cliff, which provides marvelous photo opportunities and great scenic views of Amur River, and then enjoy a boat ride.
The final chord of the Trans-Siberian journey is reaching the city of Vladivostok, one of the easternmost large towns in Russia. This remarkable city in Asian Russia is actually located closer to the USA borders than to Moscow. Vladivostok boasts many impressive military exhibits, of which travelers visit the S-56 submarine followed by going to the Eagle's Nest observation platform.
Summing up, a Trans-Siberian rail adventure crossing entire Russia is indeed one to remember your whole life. Yes, the journey may be intense, taking into consideration all the stops en route and city tours and activities included, yet with a well-planned out and organized itinerary, there's no place for worry, so all you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.