Trans-Siberian Rail Journey: Beijing to Moscow

  • Epic 16-day journey on the luxury train Tsar's Gold
  • Explore Beijing, the Gobi, Lake Baikal, Moscow, and more

Expedition Details


Set out on an epic train journey that crosses one-third of the world, from imperial Beijing to the heart of Moscow along the famous Trans-Siberian Railway. Enjoy the comforts of a private train, and journey through the wilds of the Gobi to Lake Baikal’s remote shores. Track the footsteps of Genghis Khan deep into Russia, and examine marvelous architecture, from Beijing’s Olympic sites to the wooden cottages of Siberia.

Trip Highlights

    • Watch a horseback riding demonstration in the grasslands of Mongolia’s steppe.
    • Cruise on beautiful Lake Baikal and along the Volga River.
    • Enjoy traditional musical performances, including a private concert at the Decembrist Museum in Irkutsk.
    • Descend beneath the streets of Moscow to Stalin’s secret bunker, and take an in-depth tour of the Kremlin.

Itinerary - 16 Days

Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Beijing, China

Depart on an overnight flight to Beijing. Gather for a welcome dinner, and, if you wish, take a guided walking tour afterward to see Tiananmen Square at night.
The Regent Beijing (D)

Day 3 — Beijing/Inner Mongolia

Spend the day discovering Beijing’s historic and modern icons. Begin in Tiananmen Square, and continue to the Forbidden City, seat of the Ming and Qing emperors. Hop into a pedicab for a tour of the city’s ancient hutong neighborhoods, and later visit the stunning symbols of the 2008 Olympics: the Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube. This evening, begin the first leg of our journey to the Chinese/Mongolian border aboard a private train.
Private Train (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Erenhot/The Gobi Desert

Pull into Erenhot, a border town where the rail tracks change to the wider Soviet gauge. The Tsar’s Gold, our private train for the remainder of our journey, awaits us here. Stop in at the colorful town market before settling into your cabin. Take in the ever changing landscapes of the Gobi as the train heads toward Ulaanbaatar.
Tsar’s Gold (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Ulaanbaatar

Visit the National Museum of Mongolian History, trace the history of Genghis Khan, and explore the culture of the steppe nomad. Meander through the beautiful Gandan Monastery, which narrowly escaped total destruction during the Soviet era. This evening, enjoy a performance of Mongolian throat singing and traditional dance. Spend the night at our centrally located hotel.
Ulaanbaatar Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Ulaanbaatar

Today, venture into the legendary steppe. Visit the recently unveiled enormous equestrian statue of Genghis Khan, and gaze at the sweeping vistas from atop the statue. Watch a demonstration of Mongolian horseback riding before boarding the Tsar’s Gold for the journey to Russia tonight.
Tsar’s Gold (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Ulan Ude, Russia

The train rolls through the valley of the Selenge River, which flows into Lake Baikal. Stop in Ulan Ude, the capital of the Buryat Republic and once a major trading post between China and Irkutsk. See the original wooden Siberian houses of the merchant quarter, and watch a performance of Buryat music and dance.
Tsar’s Gold (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Lake Baikal

Arrive at beautiful Lake Baikal, called the “sacred sea” by locals and named a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The lake basin holds about 20 percent of the world’s unfrozen fresh water. Our train route hugs the rocky shores and passes through 33 tunnels. Take in spectacular views from the train and stop for a barbecue on the shore.
Tsar’s Gold (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Irkutsk

Today, explore Irkutsk, an important Siberian outpost established in 1652. In the early 19th century, many Russian artists, officers, and nobles were exiled here for their involvement in the Decembrist revolt. Visit the city’s historic sights, and enjoy a private concert and champagne reception. Then wander through a delightful collection of authentic Russian and Siberian cottages at the outdoor Museum of Wooden Architecture. End the day with a boat ride on Lake Baikal, dinner at a local restaurant, and an overnight stay at our hotel.
Baikal Business Center (B,L,D)

Days 10 & 11 — On Train/Novosibirsk

Embark the train again this morning and enjoy a day to relax on board, taking in stunning scenery as the vast Siberian taiga unfurls. If you wish, sample traditional Russian vodka during a tasting on board. The following day, stop in Novosibirsk, Siberia’s largest city, to see the opera house and Lenin Square.
Tsar's Gold (B,L,D daily)

Day 12 — Yekaterinburg

Arrive in Yekaterinburg, where Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. Visit the Romanov execution site, view the city’s ornately decorated wooden houses, and stop by a monument marking the border between Europe and Asia.
Tsar’s Gold (B,L,D)

Day 13 — Kazan

Spend the day in Kazan, perched on the banks of the Volga River. Tour the city’s kremlin, the Qol Sharif Mosque, and the Peter and Paul Cathedral. Set off on a short cruise on the Volga before our train departs on the final leg of our journey.
Tsar’s Gold (B,L,D)

Days 14 & 15 — Moscow

Disembark in Moscow and check into our hotel, just across from the Kremlin. Head out on a city tour, and, after dinner at a local restaurant, take a guided stroll through Red Square at night. Spend the following morning at the legendary Kremlin. Visit St. Basil’s Cathedral, and view court regalia from the Romanov dynasty at the Armory Museum. After lunch, descend into Stalin’s secret bunker, built deep under the city in the 1930s. Toast our adventure at a farewell dinner tonight.
Moscow Marriott Royal Aurora (B,L,D daily)

Day 16 — Moscow/U.S.

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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