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'There is no better way to travel than with St James Rail. The journeys are incredibly well researched and meticulously planned by the founder and tour leaders'

Peter and Joan (Mosman)

PO Box N400

Grosvenor Place

NSW 1220

AUSTRALIA

ABN  76 150 053 384

Tel: +61 2 9326 9660

Mobile +61 418 585 838

Email:sjr@digitor.com.au

© 2014 by St James Rail. All rights reserved.

ACROSS RUSSIA BY RAIL

HELSINKI – ST PETERSBURG – MOSCOW - IRKUTSK – LAKE BAIKAL / LISTVYANKA – VLADIVOSTOK –

THE ‘ROSSIYA’ ALONG THE TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILWAY

Join us on a 16 day tour from Helsinki to Vladivostok by rail – experience the high speed “Allegro” and “Sapsan” trains from Helsinki to St Petersburg and Moscow, then the famed “Rossiya” along the Trans-Siberian rail line to Vladivostok. Enjoy sightseeing in St Petersburg, Moscow, Irkutsk, Lake Baikal, Listvyanka and Vladivostok. An epic 9,260 kilometre rail journey, with six nights in first class two berth compartments.  Travel with local Russian guidance and expertise, both in the cities and aboard the “Rossiya,” experiencing Russia with local knowledge and understanding - a personalised insight into Russia – its people, culture, heritage and scenery.

 

Date :  Monday 14 to Tuesday 29 September 2015

Highlights include:

*  Travel in our private 'Viceroy' train around the     island
*  Explore Colombo and visit historic Mt Lavinia
*  Visit the historic harbour city of Galle, its fort,        and stay 2 nights at the waterfront Jetwing Blue Hotel.

*  Explore the beauty and culture of Kandy, its

  

Day 1

Mon 14 Sep

Helsinki to St Petersburg

Arrive in Helsinki this morning or the prior evening to commence the tour. Join those who will be continuing their travel
with us from our Scandinavian tour. We depart Helsinki mid afternoon on the Allegro Express train from Helsinki to St
Petersburg aboard the electric tilting pendolino train, in First Class. The 3½ hrs journey includes a snack or light meal,
and tea or coffee. On arrival we transfer to our hotel. Overnight St Petersburg. (Day1-S)

 

Day 2

Tue 15 Sep

St Petersburg

A full day exploring St Petersburg. Drive along the "Great Perspective," known as the Nevsky Prospect, lined with
marble palaces of Russian royalty and aristocracy. Pass fashionable boutiques and art salons set in the style of the
18th century, trading rows and arcades, and impressive classical and Renaissance cathedrals. At the city's Rostral
Columns we’ll view the five buildings of the State Hermitage Museum, and see the Admiralty and St Isaac's Cathedral.
We visit the third largest square in the world - the Palace Square with the Winter Palace and the Alexander Column.
Admire the splendid architectural masterpieces of the Fine Arts Square with the Russian Museum, the magnificent
Church of the Resurrection (Saviour on Spilled Blood), the Field of Mars, the Alexanderinsky Drama Theatre, Smolny
Cathedral, the Senate and Synod classical buildings, the Bronze Horseman and more. Overnight St Petersburg. (Day2- B/D)

Day 3

Wed 16 Sep

 St Petersburg

Today we visit the Peter and Paul Fortress, the oldest structure in Saint-Petersburg, erected for fortification purposes,
but used as a political prison. The Peter and Paul Cathedral is a unique example of Russian 18th-century architecture.
It served as a burial-place for Russian emperors for almost two centuries. The last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, and his
family were buried in the cathedral's small St Catherine Chapel in 1998. If any proof is needed for the extravagance of
Russia's Imperial rulers, then it can be found in the fact that, in less than two centuries, the Romanov Tsars established
not one but two suburban estates - at Tsarskoe Selo and Pushkin - that, in terms of grandeur and excess, outstrip even
Versailles. What is more, at Tsarskoe Selo, the 18th century saw the construction of two vast and truly exceptional
palaces, both surrounded by extensive landscaped gardens with diverse and fascinating decorative architecture.
Catherine Palace, completed in 1756, is nearly one kilometre in circumference, with elaborately decorated blue-andwhite
facades featuring gilded atlantes, caryatids and pilasters. Overnight St Petersburg. (Day3 - B)

Day 4

Thu 17 Sep

St Petersburg to Moscow

A morning departure from St Petersburg on the Sapsan High Speed train to Moscow. We leave our luggage at our
hotel and then head out for an afternoon exploring Moscow. Red Square remains, as it has been for centuries, the
heart and soul of Russia. Few places in the world bear the weight of history to the extent that Moscow's central square
does. From the 16th Century St Basil's Cathedral - one of the most famous pieces of architecture in the world - to the
constructivist pyramid of Lenin's Mausoleum, Red Square is rich in symbols of Russia's turbulent and intriguing past.
Enjoy dinner together with our Russian speaking guide and then overnight Moscow. (Day4 - B/D)

Day 5

Fri 18 Sep

Moscow

A full day exploring Moscow. As a potent symbol of two mighty imperial cultures - that of medieval Muscovy and that of
the Soviet Union - the Kremlin is at once fascinating and foreboding, a mixture of lavish opulence and austere secrecy,
and its eclectic mix of architecture reflects these paradoxes and seismic cultural shifts. We’ll explore around both the
Red Square and the Kremlin. Although Moscow is a vast city, the historic centre is surprisingly compact – we’ll see
many of the most important and interesting sights on foot, as well as visiting some of the Orthodox highlights of the city,
and no visit to Moscow would be complete without experiencing their artistically fine subway. Overnight Moscow. (Day5 - B)

Day 6

Sat 19 Sep

the Trans-Siberian train ‘Rossiya’ to Irkutsk

Late morning we check out of the hotel and transfer to Moscow’s Yaroslavski Station for an early afternoon departure
of the ‘Rossiya.’ Russia’s premium Trans-Siberian train from Moscow to Vladivostok, covering 9,260 km across this
vast landscape, in six days. The first trains from Moscow to Vladivostok began running in 1903, when the journey took
16 days ! We’ll provide full details of what to expect – we have reserved sleeping accommodation on board in first class
2-berth compartments called spalny wagon - sleeping compartments with two lower berths, and toilets and washrooms
at the end of the corridor. Each cabin has room for luggage under the lower berths and above the door to the corridor,
and all compartments have power sockets for laptops and mobiles. The train also has a restaurant car for meals, and
dinner tonight is enjoyed aboard. Overnight aboard the Trans-Siberian. (Day6 - B/D)

Day 7

Sun 20 Sep

aboard the ‘Rossiya’

In the late 19th century, Japan, Britain and America all managed to gain footholds on the Chinese coast as bases for
their trade with China and the Orient. Russia too needed to secure her foothold on the east as well as securing the
vast expanses of Siberia, so in 1891 Tsar Alexander III approved a plan for a trans-continental line linking Moscow and
St Petersburg with Vladivostok on the Pacific coast, as this was the only year-round ice-free port on Russian territory.
A railway had been built as far as Ekaterinberg as early as 1878, and this was steadily extended eastwards. Omsk
was reached in 1894, Irkutsk and Lake Baikal in 1898. The Trans-Siberian Railway finally reached Vladivostok in
1901, but for several years passengers had to cross Lake Baikal by ice-breaking ferry to connect with a second train on
the other side - only in 1904 was the line around Lake Baikal completed and the whole journey from Moscow to
Vladivostok possible on a single train. Until 1916, the eastern end of the journey involved cutting across China, over
part of what is now the Trans-Manchurian route – this is why the Trans-Manchurian line initially heads towards
Vladivostok. The Russians secured the right to build and maintain this route across China thanks to a treaty signed
after they made a generous loan to China to help them pay off their debts to Japan. From 1916, the complete journey
could be made from Moscow to Vladivostok within Russia, taking the route followed by today's 'Rossiya' and skirting
the Chinese border to the north via Khabarovsk. Today, the Trans-Siberian Railway is a key part of the massive
Russian railway system. It is not a tourist line - it is a real, working railway, carrying a huge amount of freight and
passenger traffic. It is double-track and electrified all the way from Moscow to Vladivostok, and on some parts of the
line freight trains rumble past every few minutes. It is not the only line in Russia - on the contrary, if you saw a map of
Russian railways you would be hard-pressed to decide which of the many routes Trans-Siberian trains actually take for
the first few thousand miles east of Moscow. Meals today are enjoyed in the restaurant car aboard. Overnight aboard
the Trans-Siberian. (Day17 -  B/L/D)

Day 8

Mon 21 Sep

aboard the ‘Rossiya’

We travel through Omsk and Novosibirsk, then through the night past Krasnoyarsk. Enjoy meeting the local people,
brief encounters at our station stops where you can try local food, and the vast expanse of mighty Siberia. Meals today
are enjoyed in the restaurant car aboard. Overnight aboard the Trans-Siberian. (Day8 - B/L/D)

Day 9

Tue 22 Sep

Irkustk and to Lystvyanka

Breakfast and lunch today are enjoyed in the restaurant car aboard. In the early evening we arrive at Irkutsk. We
transfer by coach the 70km to the edge of Lake Baikal, to the small village of Lystvyanka, situated on the shore of
Baikal in Listvenichny Bay - the place where the Angara River, the only outlet, flows out of Lake Baikal. Our
accommodation is a lovely local hotel with good Russian hospitality. Overnight Lystvyanka. (Day9 - B/L/D)

Day 10

Wed 23 Sep

Lystvyanka and Lake Baikal

After breakfast we plan to experience some of the Circumbaikal Railway - the old part of the Trans-siberian railroad.
The railroad clings to the edge of Lake Baikal, and how much we can enjoy depends on the train schedule at the time.
We also explore the town of Lystvyanka, then transfer back to Irkutsk for our evening dinner and accommodation. We
are hoping to make this transfer by fast ferry. Overnight Lystvyanka (Day10 - B)

Day 11

Thu 24 Sep

Irkutsk and then aboard the ‘Rossiya’ to Vladivostok

After breakfast we transfer to Irkutsk to explore the town. We visit Kirov Square, where the Saviot Church, the
Epiphany Cathedral and the Catholic Church are situated. We’ll walk along the embankment of the River Angara,
enabling us to see the White House and the monument of Alexander the Third. In the early evening we reboard the
Rossiya for our three nights to Vladivostok. Overnight aboard the Trans-Siberian. (B/D)

Day 12

Fri 25 Sep

aboard the ‘Rossiya’

Through Ulan Ude and Khabarovsk, with meals enjoyed in the restaurant car. Overnight aboard the Trans-Siberian. (Day12 - B/L/D)

Day 13

Sat 26 Sep

aboard the ‘Rossiya’

We continue across Siberia, with stops in small communities and to stretch our legs,with meals enjoyed in the
restaurant car. Overnight aboard the Trans-Siberian.. (B/L/D)

Day 14

Sun 27 Sep

arrive Vladivostok

In the early evening we arrive in Vladivostok at the end of our 9,260km journey. The Russian city of Vladivostok is a
unique cornerstone in the Asian-Pacific Region - Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul are just a few hours away by plane, and
Russia’s borders with China and North Korea lie just to the west. Without a doubt, Vladivostok is a blossoming cultural
and economic hub in the region. We transfer to our hotel. Overnight Vladivostok. (Day14 - B/L/D)

Day 14

Sun 27 Sep

From Singapore to Australia

Transfer to Singapore Changi Airport for a daylight flight back to Australia. Arrive Australia late afternoon.

*Meals included are shown as Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Dinner (D), Supper (S).

FARES

 $6,950  (per person on a twin share basis,

                plus airfares / travel to / from Australia)

 

 $2,950   Single occupancy supplement for single hotel rooms and

                sole use of a two berth cabin on the Trans Siberian

 

 $1,250  Single occupancy supplement for single hotel rooms but

               sharing on the Trans Siberian

BOOKING AND ENQUIRY

*Bookings are confirmed on receipt of the booking form and your deposit. The booking form is attached to each tour brochure or can be downloaded above. After receipt of the booking form and deposit, we will send a confirmation letter to you.

For boooking, any further details or information,

use the "BOOKING AND ENQUIRY" buttoms above  or  call us on

(02) 9326 9660

0418 585 838

or  email at