Head to the Arctic next summer--by steam! Our private, steam-hauled Trans-Siberian Express will take adventurous passengers from St. Petersburg to Moscow before heading north to the Arctic Circle, where the daylight is unending this time of year. Cross over the Urals and into Asia, stopping for a visit to the port city of Salekhard. Tour Archangel, a pleasant town on the White Sea, and Kizhi Island on Lake Ladoga. Join us for this 16-day journey on our "hotel on wheels" pulled by Europe's largest steam locomotive, PC36 4-84 design of 1954.
Day 1: Afternoon flight arrivals, transfer to hotel for three nights. Welcome dinner. Overnight St. Petersburg Hotel. Meals included: (D).
Day 2: Morning City Tour, lunch at the Podvorye Restaurant in Pavlovsk. Afternoon visit to Catherine's Summer Palace in Pushkin, including a visit to the Amber Room. Evening return to St. Petersburg by special train hauled by Ov class steam locomotive 324 running in its 100th year. Dinner in Saint Petersburg. Overnight St. Petersburg Hotel. Meals included: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: By hydrofoil to Peterhof, Peter the Great's "Versailles" on the Gulf of Finland, to spend time in the spectacular water gardens and Palace grounds. Return to St. Petersburg by hydrofoil. Dinner in the City. Overnight St. Petersburg Hotel. Meals included: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Morning departure of the Trans-Siberian Express to Moscow hauled by Europe's largest steam locomotive, the P36 4-84 design of 1954. Evening arrival. While the locomotive is being serviced we will visit Red Square before returning to the train for a midnight departure along the Trans-Siberian Railway. Meals included: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Breakfast time we arrive in Yaroslavl, a Golden Ring city on the banks of the Volga River dating back to 1010. Once a prosperous mercantile trading city, we will visit the embankment along which many of the affluent traders once lived. We will also visit the 12th-century Monastery of the Transfiguration. From Yarolsavl we diverge from the Trans-Siberian Railway and head north to Vologda, a pleasant city on the Vologda River. We will visit the beautifully restored Kremlin and the adjacent Saint Sophia's Cathedral and Belltower. Meals included: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: During the night we will have turned North east onto the line to Vorkuta. This line was built as part of Stalin's grand plan to open up Northern Siberia. The line was a monstrous waste of resources and lives, and the project was cancelled upon Stalin's death in 1953, by which time the line had reached Vorkuta and Labytnangi. Today it lives on as one of the world's longest branch lines. This afternoon we have a side trip on the branch line from Mikun to Syktyvkar. Meals included: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: A relaxing day on the train as we continue to steam northeast towards the Arctic Circle, where we arrive just before midnight. Being midsummer it will still be light, and the sun will not set for the next few days. Meals included: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: We arrive in Vorkuta and spend the day in this area infamous for its Stalin-era Gulags and mines. Meals included: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: During the night we will run over the Urals and down to Labytnangi, in Asia and on the Ob River-some 7.5 miles wide at this point as it slowly flows north to the Arctic. We will take a ferry across the Ob to Salekhard which is a vibrant and obviously prosperous port. Its owes its wealth to the oilfields further north. Afternoon departure over the Urals, pausing at the Europe/Asia monument among the snow-covered peaks at the summit. Meals included: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Relax today as we retrace our steps and steam southwest back over the Arctic Circle. Meals included: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: We continue southwest over the Arctic Circle, with a full day to enjoy the amenities of the train. Meals included: (B), (L), (D).
Day 12: We spend the morning touring Archangel, a pleasant town on the White Sea, and in the afternoon continue along the branch line to Kapogory. Meals included: (B), (L), (D).
Day 13: A day on the train as we retrace our steps and head from the White Sea to Lake Onega. Meals included: (B), (L), (D).
Day 14: We spend the morning in Petrozavodsk, a pleasant resort on Lake Ladoga. Travel over to Kizhi Island, where we visit the 22-domed Church of the Transfiguration-an imposing sight as our hydrofoil powers across the Lake. Meals included: (B), (L), (D).
Day 15: Today we return to the St. Petersburg-Moscow main line, and our Express Steam locomotive will eat up the miles as we speed towards the end of our 4,725 mile (7,600 km) journey at Moscow. Afternoon city tour and overnight at the Ukraina Hotel on the banks of the Moskva River opposite the White House. Farewell dinner this evening. Meals included: (B), (L), (D).
Day 16: Morning visit to the Kremlin. Airport transfers will be available for evening flights. Meals included: (B).
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