EXPO CRUISES AND TOURS
Duration: September 5, 2019 - September 22, 2019

A string of steel over 9,000 kilometres long connects Moscow with the furthest reaches of the Asian continent.  Embark on a journey along the world’s longest railway – The Trans-Siberian. It passes from the undulating hills of the western Russia through the Ural Mountains which separate Europe from Asia into the vast boreal forests of Siberia. This once-in-a-lifetime journey passes through seven time zones and recalls the history of the building of a vast nation.

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Day 1     Depart CANADA
Day 2    Moscow, RUSSIA                   Hotel Overnight

Day 3    Moscow, RUSSIA                   Hotel Overnight
Day 4    Moscow, RUSSIA                   Board the Train
Day 5    Kazan, RUSSIA                      Train Journey
Day 6    Yekaterinburg, RUSSIA          Train Journey
Day 7    Novosibirsk, RUSSIA              Train Journey
Day 8    Crossing the Siberia               Train Journey
Day 9    Irkutsk, RUSSIA                      Train Journey
Day 10  Lake Baikal, RUSSIA              Train Journey  
Day 11   Ulan Ude, MONGOLIA          Train Journey
Day 12  Ulan Bator, MONGOLIA         Train Journey
Day 13  Ulan Bator, MONGOLIA         Train Journey
Day 14  Crossing the Gobi Desert       Train Journey
Day 15  Beijing, CHINA                       Hotel Overnight
Day 16  Beijing, CHINA                       Hotel Overnight
Day 17  Beijing, CHINA                       Hotel Overnight
Day 18  Depart for CANADA

 

Day 1 – Thursday / September 5, 2019                                   CANADA – RUSSIA
Board your overnight flight to Moscow, Russia to begin your adventure.

Day 2 – Friday / September 6                                                     MOSCOW, RUSSIA
Welcome to Moscow, the capital of Russia, and the world’s northernmost metropolis. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your local assistant, who will transfer you to your hotel.  Today is a day for you to spend at your leisure; relax, explore the area around the hotel, and adjust to your new surroundings.  Enjoy a welcome dinner with the group at a local restaurant.  Accommodation: HOTEL TBA (2 nights).  (D)

Day 3 – Saturday / September 7                                               MOSCOW, RUSSIA
Explore Moscow with a full-day city sightseeing tour that features some of the most remarkable and notable sights of this lively, bustling city.  In the morning, the tour focuses on the rich history of Moscow, with visits to such significant sites such as Vorobyovy Gory, or Sparrow Hills, affording you an incredible panorama of the city; Poklonnaya Hill, a place of great importance in the city’s military history; and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the world’s tallest Orthodox Christian church. You will then proceed to the Red Square – walk along this famous area with stops at the stunning Saint Basil’s Cathedral, and the GUM department store formerly the Soviet State Department Store.  After a busy morning, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.  In the afternoon, the tour shifts to an in-depth exploration of the Moscow transit system. You’ll discover the “underground palace” which is the Moscow Metro; learn fascinating facts about its history, and visit some of its beautiful, luxurious stations.   After a full day, enjoy dinner at the hotel, accompanied with a presentation from guides of your train.   (B/L/D)

Day 4 – Sunday / September 8                                                   MOSCOW – BOARD THE TSAR’S GOLD
Enjoy an informative tour of Moscow in the morning, including visits to the imposing Kremlin grounds and Cathedral Square, with magnificent cathedrals dating back to tsarist times. In the evening, you’ll be greeted aboard your private train, where a relaxed get-together in the dining car gives you the chance to meet your fellow travellers and learn more details about the train.   (B/L/D)

Day 5 – Monday / September 9                                                 KAZAN, RUSSIA
Wake up in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan. Take a tour of the Kazan Kremlin, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, with its panoramic view over the Volga River, Europe’s longest river. On this tour, you’ll learn about the tumultuous history between the Tatars, the Cossacks, and the Russians. Your train resumes its journey eastwards in the evening.   (B/L/D)

Day 6 – Tuesday / September 10                                              YEKATERINBURG, RUSSIA
Arrive in Yekaterinburg, the historical capital of the Urals, perhaps best-known for being the site of the 1918 brutal execution of Tsar Nicholas and the Romanov family, following the February Revolution.  During a brief tour here, you will see the Church of All Saints, built in commemoration of this tragic event, and explore the attractive city centre.  Back on board, you continue your train journey through the vast steppes of western Siberia.   (B/L/D)

Day 7 – Wednesday / September 11                                       NOVOSIBIRSK, RUSSIA
Welcome to Novosibirsk, the third-most populous city in Russia, and the heart of Siberia; here, you are greeted with bread and salt, in the traditional Russian fashion of welcome. During a short city tour, you will experience the most Soviet of all cities during your entire journey and take in awe-inspiring sights such as the enormous monument to the builders of the Trans-Siberian line, and the mighty Ob River.  (B/L/D)

Day 8 – Thursday / September 12                                            ABOARD THE TSAR’S GOLD
Aboard the train, you cross the wide Yenisei River and roll on through Siberia. The train’s chefs once again demonstrate their skills as they serve you Russian specialties in a feast fit for a tsar.  A vodka tasting, accompanied by Russian snacks and clever toasts, offers you a relaxing opportunity to combine pleasure and local hospitality. Take in spectacular views as your train passes by villages and through birch forests set against a background of impressive, soaring mountains.   (B/L/D)

Day 9 – Friday / September 13                                                   IRKUTSK, RUSSIA
Today your train reaches Irkutsk, which was the capital of Eastern Siberia in tsarist times. Sights on this tour include picturesque Siberian wooden houses, and a memorial to Tsar Alexander III (the initiator of the Tran-Siberian Railway). After lunch, you take an excursion to an informative, open-air museum that examines life and work in Siberia through the ages. Enjoy a night off the train with accommodation in the city of Irkutsk.  (B/L/D)

Day 10 – Saturday / September 14                                           LAKE BAIKAL, RUSSIA
Experience picturesque Listvyanka, a Siberian village on the shores of Lake Baikal, the largest reservoir of non-frozen freshwater in the world. A bus takes you from Irkutsk to the village; here, a boat brings you across the lake’s deep waters to Port Baikal, where your private train is waiting. Travel alongside Lake Baikal, on the original route of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Your train halts for several hours at a particularly scenic spot for you to truly enjoy this natural wonder. Dinner is served as a picnic on the shores of Lake Baikal, weather permitting.   (B/L/D)

Day 11 – Sunday / September 15                                              LAKE BAIKAL – ULAN UDE – MONGOLIA
Savour the breathtaking sights on this leg of your journey, as you continue along the banks of the seemingly endless Lake Baikal, through the splendid Selenga Valley, and into the wild solitude of eastern Siberia’s steppes. At our stop in Ulan-Ude, explore this interesting city, closed to foreigners until 1991. Border formalities at the Russian-Mongolian border are a simple matter carried out on the train.   (B/L/D)

Day 12 – Monday / September 16                                            ULAN BATOR, MONGOLIA
Wake up early to appreciate the spectacular scenery that is central Mongolia, with its mountain landscapes dotted with colourful yurt camps and inhabited by solitary riders on horseback, before arriving to its capital, Ulan Bator. Highlights of this city tour include the impressive Gandan Buddhist monastery and the peculiar Choijin Lama Temple. Celebrate Mongolian culture with a tour that hosts a performance of traditional Mongolian folk arts, including throat singing, fiddle playing, and dancing. Spend the night in Ulan Bator or make the most out of your Mongolian adventure by opting into alternative yurt lodging in the gorgeous landscape of the Mongolian Alps.   (B/L/D)

Day 13 – Thursday / September 17                                          ULAN BATOR, MONGOLIA
Go off the beaten path with a visit to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, located just east of Ulan Bator.  Observe nomadic herdsmen’s settlements consisting of traditional tents, herds of horses, and scraggly yaks. In these stunning surroundings, a small Mongolian horse-riding demonstration is put on especially for you, followed by a picnic lunch. In the evening, continue your train trip towards China.  (B/L/D)

Day 14 – Friday / September 18                                                 CROSSING THE GOBI DESERT
Transfer to your chartered Chinese train at the Mongolian-Chinese border, where a lengthy train trip eventually brings you to Beijing, China’s capital. Take the time to relax and prepare yourself for the sights of vibrant Beijing.    (B/L/D)

Day 15 – Saturday / September 19                                           BEIJING, CHINA
Beijing greets you in the morning with all its colourful hustle and bustle.  After an accompanied transfer to your hotel, spend the rest of the day as you like –  perhaps in exploration, or in relaxation before your city tour the next day.   Accommodation: CAPITAL HOTEL BEIJING (3 nights) or similar.  (B/L/D) 

Day 16 – Sunday / September 20                                              BEIJING, CHINATake in the stunning sights – and take incredible photos – of Beijing on our day tour of this magnificent city. Visit the Temple of Heaven and its beautiful park; experience Tiananmen Square and feel the weight of its historical significance; and gaze at some of the city’s contemporary architectural achievements, such as the Bird’s Nest (the 2008 Olympic stadium), and several futuristic skyscrapers. Enter the Forbidden City, the former imperial palace, and be awed by its numerous temples and halls.  (B/L/D)

Day 17 – Monday / September 21                                            BEIJING, CHINA
Spend your last day in Beijing at one of the world’s wonders, the Great Wall of China. This historic wall extends for more than 6000 kilometres throughout the Chinese countryside, and you’ll have the chance to walk upon it. On the way, visit the Ming Tombs, the burial site of 13 Ming Dynasty emperors, with its striking and beautiful spirit way. Say goodbye to China with a farewell dinner featuring the world-renowned delicacy, Peking Duck.   (B/L/D) 

Day 18 – Tuesday / September 22                                            BEIJING, CHINA
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Canada, bringing back photos and memories of a trip of a lifetime. 

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Double Occupancy Fares:                                                                        SINGLE Occupancy Fares:
CLASSIC – Category II                   $12,495                                               CLASSIC – Category II                    $15,750
SUPERIOR – Category II               $12,995                                                SUPERIOR – Category II                $16,495
SUPERIOR PLUS – Category II+  $13,495                                                SUPERIOR PLUS – Category II+    $16,995
NOSTALGIC COMFORT III            $15,750                                                NOSTALGIC COMFORT III             $21,495
BOLSHOI – Category IV                $19,495                                                BOLSHOI – Category IV                  $27,750
BOLSHOI PLATINUM V                 $21,995                                                BOLSHOI PLATINUM V                   $31,750

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ALL PRICES ARE IN CANADIAN DOLLARS PER PERSON – DEPOSITS AND PAYMENTS
First Deposit: $2,500 per person at the time of booking.

Second Deposit:  $2,500 per person, due at 180 days prior to departure.
Final Payment:  balance due on 121 days prior to departure.
CANCELLATION CHARGES ON LAND/TRAIN ARRANGEMENTS
From time of booking to 181 days prior to departure: $2,500 per person.

180 – 121 days prior to departure:  $5,000 per person.
120 days or less prior to departure:  100% of tour cost.
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TRAIN PROGRAM INCLUSIONS
• Roundtrip international airfare and air taxes for flights from Toronto – Moscow and return Beijing – Toronto. • All gratuities for train conductor and crew, and for local guides and drivers for included land and train excursions • Chinese Visa fee to obtain visa prior to departure • Russian and Mongolian Visa fee to obtain visa prior to departure • Journey with guaranteed lodging in the booked category aboard the Tsar’s Gold between Moscow and Erlian • Accommodation in a 2 or 4-bed compartment in a chartered Chinese train between Erlian and Beijing • Tour director with pertinent knowledge of the travelled route throughout the journey • Experienced local tour guides • All transfers / bus trips according to itinerary • All excursions and sightseeing according  to itinerary including all entry fees  (except optional tours) • Meals onboard include water and tea/coffee • Porter service at all railway stations • Vodka tasting with traditional Russian snacks • Informational talks on the Trans-Siberian Railway, regional geography, culture, and history of the countries along the route • A physician on board the train  (Moscow – Chinese border) • Shower facilities on board • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Moscow  with breakfast and porterage • 1 night hotel accommodation in Irkutsk  with breakfast and porterage • 1 night hotel accommodation in Ulan Bator  with breakfast and porterage • 3 nights hotel accommodation in Beijing with breakfast and porterage.
SPECIALS FOR BOLSHOI GUESTS • Your choice of two meals for lunch and dinner on board • 1 bottle of water per person per day in the compartment • 1 alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink included with on board meals.