25 days
Duration
Europe
Destination
Level 2 - Moderate
Activity

Vladivostok to Krasnoyarsk by Rail in 22 days.

Join Odyssey Traveller as we embark on the greatest train journey in the world, the Trans-Siberian Railway, moving westward from Vladivostok, where in 1891 tsar-to-be Nicholas first laid the stone that would be the foundation of the railway, to the old town of Krasnoyarsk in the heart of Siberia.

This 22-day tour is designed for the mature or senior traveller interested in history and culture, whether travelling alone or with company. Group size is typically between four to 12 travellers, fully escorted by an Odyssey Program Leader and local guides. On this tour, you will be able to traverse varied landscapes, watching the view change from the temperate rainforests of the Far East to the pine and fir trees of the taiga.

This tour spends multiple nights in:

  • Vladivostok, which means "lord of the east", Russia's naval port city in the Far Eastern coast
  • Khabarovsk, sitting on the bank of the Amur River, the second largest city in the Russian Far East after Vladivostok
  • Irkutsk, situated in the rolling hills and the subarctic forests of eastern Siberia
  • Abakan, the capital city of the Republic of Khakassia and dubbed the Siberian "Archaeological Mecca"
  • Krasnoyarsklocated more than 4,000 kilometres from Moscow, one of the oldest Siberian towns

For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right-hand side of this page.

Odyssey Traveller Tours by Railway

Odyssey Traveller regularly offers tours designed for the mature or senior traveller to enjoy in a small group holiday and learning environment. We also publish articles to provide more information to our loyal and prospective participants.

If you want to learn more about the Trans-Siberian Railway and the train journey, click through to read the following articles prepared by Odyssey Traveller:

  1. Trans-Siberian Railway overview, which includes tips on booking your ticket and preparing for the long train ride
  2. History of the Trans-Siberian Railway
  3. Trans-Siberian Landscapes and Wildlife

You may also want to check out our other tours also travelling on the Trans-Siberian Railway, one travelling from Mongolia to Russia and the other traversing the rails from Helsinki to Irkutsk.

For a different pace and cultural experience, you may want to explore:

Other articles of possible interest is this two-part post filled with travelling tips for seniors, an article on the many nifty gizmos and gadgets you can bring on your trips, and an important article about practising responsible travel.


PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

1
Learn more about Russian history as you travel westward on the Trans-Siberian Railway from the train journey’s eastern terminus, Vladivostok.
2
See the Bolshoy Salbysky Burial Mound, an ancient religious and astronomical monument.
3
Experience life in the preserved village of Taltsy at the Taltsy Architectural and Ethnographic Museum.
4
Visit Lake Baikal, one of the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake, and home to numerous endemic species.
5
See the giant granite rock formations in the oldest national nature reserve in Russia, Stolby Nature Sanctuary.

Overview: We make our own way to our hotel in Vladivostok, the administrative centre of the Primorsky Krai, which is bounded by the Ussuri river and dominated by the Sikhote-Alin Mountains. The Sikhote-Alin Range is a 1,200-km (750-mile) mountain complex fronting the Sea of Japan, which should offer breathtaking views.

Vladivostok was founded in 1860 as a Russian military outpost. Its name (“lord of the East”) reflects the Russian Empire’s expansionist dreams. In March 1891, tsar Alexander III officially announced the building of a Trans-Siberian Railway. His son and heir apparent Nicholas (later tsar Nicholas II) laid the first stone at Vladivostok, and the railway crept westward to connect European Russia with Far Eastern Siberia.

It served as the naval base of the Soviet Pacific Fleet and during Soviet rule was closed to foreigners. Whilst it was a Soviet closed city, those on the Trans-Siberian Railway catching a ship to Japan had to disembark in Khabarovsk, nearly 650 kilometres to the north.

Today we will take a morning tour of the city by visiting several monuments–Arsenev Regional Museum, Hermitage Vladivostok, Vladivostok Fortress Museum, and Primorsky Picture Gallery. We will take a short ride on the cable cars of the Vladivostok Funicular which goes up the slope of Orlinaya (Eagle) Hill, offering a scenic view of Golden Horn Bay, which is connected to the Sea of Japan.

We then have the afternoon free to spend at our leisure. In the evening, we meet together again for dinner and orientation concerning the rest of the tour.

Accommodation: Hotel Versailles or similar

Overview: We will venture further away from the city centre and visit the Zayra (“Dawn”) Centre for Contemporary Art. The centre was opened in 2013 in an old Soviet garment factory and serves as an artistic space for the city. It holds modern art exhibitions, film screenings, and lectures, and has a beautiful reading room and a small coffee shop.

In the afternoon we will enjoy a relaxing cruise to view the bridges of Vladivostok: the first spanning Golden Horn Bay, the second spanning the Eastern Bosphorus strait to Russky Island (the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world, built in preparation for the 2012 APEC Summit hosted by Russia), and the third across Amur Bay.

The late afternoon will be free for us to spend at our leisure.

Accommodation: Hotel Versailles or similar

Overview: Today marks our first train journey on the Tran-Siberian Railway, heading west from the train’s eastern terminus, Vladivostok, towards Khabarovsk. This journey will take about 15 hours, so use this time to settle in. The Trans-Siberian trains moves at a leisurely speed of at most 90 km/h, giving passengers a time to relax, chat with fellow travellers, and sip hot tea courtesy of the samovar.

Khabarovsk is capital of Khabarovsk Krai and sits on the right bank of the Amur River. As the Russian Empire expanded to the east, it eventually encroached on Chinese territory, which was halted by the Treaty of Nerchinsk, signed in 1689 between Russia and the Manchu Chinese Empire. Under the Treaty of Nerchinsk, Khabarovsk, named after 17th-century Russian explorer Yerofey Khabarov, was neutral territory. In 1858, Khabarovsk was founded as a military post by Eastern Siberia’s governor-general, Count Nikolai Muravyov (later Muravyov-Amursky) in an effort to take the Amur back from the Manchus and develop Siberia. The Trans-Siberian Railway arrived here from Vladivostok in 1897, which further spurred the city’s development.

We head to our hotel upon arrival.

Accommodation: Hotel Parus or similar

Overview: Today is a free day for us to rest after the long train journey.

Accommodation: Hotel Parus or similar

Overview: We will learn more about Khabarovsk’s history by strolling down Muravyov-Amursky Street (named after Khabarovsk’s  founder) which is flanked by historic buildings and monuments, and a visit to the city’s oldest museum, the Regional Lore Museum.

We will have the afternoon free to spend at our leisure.

Accommodation: Hotel Parus or similar

Overview: Today we will immerse ourselves in the culture of the Nanai, an indigenous people of the Far East who have traditionally lived along the Amur and Ussuri Rivers and whose economy was based on fishing. We will visit the Nanai Cultural Museum and view petroglyphs dating back to the 13th century BC. We will learn more about the Nanai’s traditional meals, view the process of drying fish skin to use in their clothing, and if time permits, attend a Nanai folk concert.

Accommodation: Hotel Parus or similar

Overview: We will once again board a train and travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway to Irkutsk. This will be our longest journey on the train–around two days and 17 hours.

At this point we are moving closer to the heart of Siberian Russia, and we will see the landscape change from the temperate rainforests of the Far East (similar to the forests of Southeast Asia) to the taiga, the forests of the cold subarctic.

Irkutsk is often called the “de facto capital” of Eastern Siberia. Irkutsk became a place of exile for intellectuals, artists, and nobles who revolted against Tsar Nicholas I in the early 19th century–at one point there were two exiles per local residing in the city–turning Irkutsk into a scholarly and artistic hub. Their influence is still very palpable in the city’s architecture and aesthetics.

Upon arrival we shall head to our hotel and rest.

Accommodation: Hotel Yevropa or similar

Overview: After more than two days on the train, we will enjoy a much-deserved free day in this new city.

Accommodation: Hotel Parus or similar

Overview: Today we will go on a city tour and learn more about Irkutsk’s history through its architecture and museums. We will hear about the Novemberists, the October Revolution, the Red and White Armies of Russia, and the Bolsheviks who came to power after the fall of the tsarist regime.

We will visit the Taltsy Architectural and Ethnographic Museum, which used to be the site of a real village called “Taltsy”. When the Ust-Ilimskaya hydroelectric power station was constructed, a part of Taltsy came in danger of being flooded. The Russian government decided to evacuate the people out of town and preserve the village–complete with water mills, houses, and a school–as a museum. (Depending on time, the trip to Taltsy might be combined with the trip to Lake Baikal–see Day 14.)

Accommodation: Hotel Yevropa or similar

Overview: Today we will go on a trip to Lake Baikal, the largest, deepest, and oldest freshwater lake in the world. It contains nearly a quarter of the world’s fresh surface water, more water than all of the Great Lakes of North America combined. It has a depth of 1.6 kilometres (around a mile) and is considered the world’s oldest lake at 25 to 30 million years old. Lake Baikal is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, 80% of them endemic to the area, which means these species are found nowhere else. The Circumbaikal Railway train chugs along around the perimeter, offering a scenic and leisurely ride around the lake. If time permits, we will take a boat trip on the lake itself.

Accommodation: Hotel Yevropa or similar

Overview: Today we will hop aboard the Trans-Siberian Railway and travel by train for 20 hours westward to Krasnoyarsk. Our view from the train will be filled with the pine and fir trees of the taiga.

Krasnoyarsk, located more than 4,000 kilometres from Moscow, is one of the oldest Siberian towns. It was founded by Russian traders and Cossack explorers in 1628, nearly a quarter of a century after a Cossack expedition led by Yermak Timofeyevich captured Isker, capital of the khanate of Sibir (from which Siberia derives its name), beginning Russia’s expansion into the region.

Accommodation: Novotel or similar

Overview: We head out as a group for a short city tour. Here we take in the important sites in the city, including Mira Square (Peace Square), the oldest square in historic Krasnoyarsk. The city’s historical gateway, the Arch of Triumph, stands here in the place of a tower of Krasnoyarsk Prison, which burned down in 1773. Mira Square offers a view of the Yenisey River. We ascend to Karaulnaya Hill, a good vantage point to see the whole of the city. We will also visit a monument to its founder, Andrey Dubensky, and the Praskovya Pyatnitskaya Chapel.

Accommodation: Novotel or similar

Overview: Today we will get ready for a 410-km drive to Abakan, the capital city of the Republic of Khakassia in Central Russia. The drive will take around five hours.

The indigenous Khakass people (who speak the Turkic language of the same name) make up only about 10 percent of the total population of the republic (the rest are Russians) and were originally nomadic herders.

Dubbed Siberia’s “Archaeological Mecca”, the region has witnessed human activity for 30,000 years and is rich in archaeological sites. We will learn more about the region’s history as we visit these sites including the Bolshoy Salbysky Burial Mound, a religious and astronomical monument dating back to the 5th-4th centuries BC; the Khakass National Museum of Local Lore, which holds a vast Paleolithic collection; the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral containing icons of Siberian saints; and the city’s river port overlooking the great Yenisey River.

Accommodation: Hotel Asia or similar

Overview: We return to Krasnoyarsk and visit the Krasnoyarsk Hydroelectric Power Station dam, the first power station built on the Yenisey. The dam is located 30 kilometres upstream and we will drive through beautiful countryside and stop on a lookout place that offers a gorgeous view of the river and the Siberian forests.

We will then head to the Stolby Nature Sanctuary. Founded in 1925 by locals, Stolby (“pillars”) derives its name from the unusual shapes of its rock formations mostly of sedimentary and volcanic origin. These rocks date back to the Cambrian Period, making them more than 600 million years old.  A small portion of the huge nature reserve (“Central Stolby”, around 4% of the reserve’s total land area) is open to the public, while the rest (“Wild Stolby”) is not recommended to tourists. The nature reserve is surrounded by taiga (name given to the forests of the cold, subarctic region), so the flora is predominantly made of coniferous trees such as pine and silver fir.

Accommodation: Novotel or similar

Overview: Our tour and our services conclude after breakfast.

Trans-Siberian Landscapes and Wildlife
Trans-Siberian Landscapes and Wildlife
Trans-Siberian Railway
Trans-Siberian Railway
Russia rail tours
Russia tours
Russia tours
Rail tours
Russia rail tours
Trans-Siberian Landscapes and Wildlife
Trans-Siberian Railway Landscapes and Wildlife

Tour Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.