Mongolia, once the center of Genghis Khan’s enormous empire, is a country of beautiful landscapes and nomadic people. On this fascinating exploration of Mongolia and Siberia, begin in Ulaanbaatar at the colorful Naadam Festival, to see spectacular demonstrations of performing arts and the traditional sports of archery, wrestling, and horseback riding. Next, board the Golden Eagle luxury train to cross vast green steppes dotted with grazing livestock and white nomadic gers (yurts). Visit immense Lake Baikal, see a village where residents still practice Russian Orthodox Christianity as they did in the 17th century; and discover the border where Asian and Russian cultures converge. Finish in Moscow with a private viewing of the treasures of the tsars and a tour of the opulent stations of the Moscow Metro, known as “the people’s palaces.”
- Pricing from
- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
- Departure Dates
Jul 9, 2022 - Jul 22, 2022
Shangri-La Hotel Ulaanbaatar
In the city center of Mongolia’s capital, the Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar, is located a mere stroll away from the famous Government House and Sükhbaatar Square. Interior design combines indigenous and contemporary style. Enjoy fine dining and cocktails at the hotel’s lounge and three restaurants. Other amenities include a pool, spa, and free Wi-Fi.
The Four Seasons Hotel Moscow
The Four Seasons Hotel Moscow is a modern luxury hotel whose façade replicates the 1930s-era Hotel Moskva. Located in the heart of Central Moscow’s historic district, this five-star hotel boasts views of the Kremlin, Red Square, the colorful domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral, and the State Duma. Enjoy signature restaurants and a chic destination spa within this
The Golden Eagle Luxury Train
The lavish, intimate Golden Eagle is the only private train of its kind operating in this region. Cabins feature state-of-the-art amenities and en-suite facilities. Enjoy the views with fellow passengers from the Bar Lounge Car, and partake in sumptuous meals with carefully selected wines at the onboard restaurant.
July 9 DEPARTURE
Depart on an overnight flight to Ulaanbaatar.
July 10 ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA
Upon arrival at Ulaanbaatar Airport, you will be met for a private transfer to the well-located Shangri-La Hotel for a three-night stay. Mingle with fellow travelers this evening and enjoy a welcome dinner.
July 11 NAADAM FESTIVAL, ULAANBAATAR
Experience the spectacular Naadam Festival. Once a religious ceremony as well as a showcase for warriors, the festival now formally commemorates Mongolian independence. Today observe the elaborate opening ceremony, featuring local dancers, athletes, horse riders, and musicians. Later, travel outside the city to see the fascinating national horse race, in which all riders are children between five and twelve, while enjoying prime seating in the finish line stand.
July 12 NAADAM FESTIVAL
On the second day of the festival, attend the archery, wrestling, and ankle-bone shooting events. Enjoy a festive dinner tonight.
July 13 ULAANBAATAR / GOLDEN EAGLE
Begin a tour of the city at Gandan Monastery, one of the most important monasteries in Mongolia, with a community of over 500 Buddhist monks. Next, visit the central monument to Genghis Khan at Sükhbaatar Square, the National Museum, and the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan Museum. Conclude in Gorkhi-Terelj National Park to admire the beautiful scenery of wild Mongolia, visit a traditional ger (yurt), meet a nomadic family, and have an opportunity to try horseback riding. Later, enjoy a performance of traditional Mongolian throat singing and contortionists before boarding the Golden Eagle.
July 14 ULAN-UDE, SIBERIA
Ulan-Ude, the capital of the Buryat Republic, has a population of extraordinary ethnic and cultural diversity, including Russians, Buryats, Ukrainians, and Tatars. Explore the city and visit the Old Believers Village, where residents still practice 17th-century Russian Orthodox Christianity. At the village, enjoy a performance featuring local traditions and folk singing.
July 15 LAKE BAIKAL
Ride aboard the Golden Eagle as it winds through tunnels and hugs massive cliffs, revealing a vista of snow-capped peaks. Stop at Lake Baikal, a site of stunning beauty and grandeur. Also known as “the Pearl of Siberia,” this lake holds 20 percent of the world’s fresh water and is the deepest in the world. It is also home to a unique breed of freshwater seal and over 50 species of fish. You may choose to swim in the bracing waters of Baikal before traveling by boat to Listvyanka, a small settlement nestled at the base of the surrounding hills. Visit the Lake Baikal Museum and Aquarium to learn about the diverse flora and fauna of the lake. End the day with a delicious twilight feast, including freshly smoked omul fish, along the lake’s shore.
July 16 IRKUTSK, RUSSIA
In Irkutsk, marvel at the most iconic sites and museums of this fascinating city, including its characteristic wooden architecture featuring intricately carved, lace-like decorations. Also visit the Volkonsky House Museum, dedicated to the memory of the aristocrats who were exiled to this remote outpost after the failed Decembrist uprising of 1825. In the evening, enjoy a champagne reception and private concert.
Enjoy a day to unwind and reflect on our many experiences so far. Attend a lecture, participate in a Russian language class, and enjoy the ever-changing landscapes outside your train window.
July 18 NOVOSIBIRSK
A modern “Soviet” city in the heart of Russia, Novosibirsk holds a rich culture in which the arts and sciences predominate. Our visit takes us to Lenin Square for a tour of the imposing Opera House. An architectural marvel that is one of the largest opera houses in the world, it contains two permanent ballet and opera companies.
July 19 YEKATERINBURG
In Yekaterinburg, see where European and Asian civilizations come together at their border in the Ural Mountains. During a city tour, visit the solemn site where Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. Now a church dedicated to their memory, this site offers a powerful insight into the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. Later, drive to the obelisk that marks the border to drink a glass of champagne with one foot in Europe and the other in Asia.
July 20 KAZAN
Situated on the Volga River, the picturesque and historic city of Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan. One of the highlights of our city tour is the Kremlin Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within the walls of this ancient citadel, discover a stunning mosque and picture perfect onion-domed cathedral. As Kazan is the birthplace of Feodor Chaliapin (1873–1938), one of Russia’s most famous opera singers, delight in a private concert of his music.
July 21 MOSCOW
Arrive in Moscow, and check in at the Four Seasons for a one-night stay. Tour the Kremlin, the spiritual, historical, and political heart of Moscow. Enjoy a private viewing of the treasures of the tsars in the Armoury Chamber. Visit Red Square, the iconic symbol of Russia’s former military and political might, to view its eclectic mix of fascinating architecture. Marvel at the ornate onion-domed spires of St. Basil’s Cathedral, and admire a department store constructed in tsarist times. Lunch is at Café Pushkin, a legendary Moscow restaurant serving traditional Russian cuisine. Explore the opulent and unique stations of the Moscow Metro — showpieces of socialist art furnished with statues, frescoes, and mosaics. Gather for a farewell
July 22 MOSCOW / RETURN
Depart the hotel after breakfast this morning for flights home.
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