Trans-Siberian Train (Winter)

The Trans-Siberian Train also known as “The Vodka Train”.

Enjoy an unforgetable trip with the Trans-Sib-Train along one of the longest railways of the world, following the footprints of Alexander von Humboldt.

approx. 20-day trip from Moscow to Beijing on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Starting with 2 days in Moscow visiting Red Square, the Kremlin, GUM and a lot of other scenic and historic places in Moscow. First stop with the Trans-Siberian-Train will be in Kazan, with a beautiful Kremline of its own, and Yekaterinenburg, which has a few days of relaxation and winter wandering on Olkhon Island in Lake Baikal.

Enjoying the typical Russian sauna (Banya), ice-bathing (hole in the ice) or ice-fishing, plus a few days in Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, and it’s breathtaking surrounding countryside, as well as few days among the temples and markets in Beijing.

Alternate you can continue after Lake Baikal with a couple of days up to an week exciting skiing experience in the Ural mountains.

Train accommodations in 1st and 2nd class compartments plus accommodations in 4-5 star hotels (several times) breakfast included, in romantic and comfortable wooden cabins on Olikon Island (included breakfast, partly full board).

City tours, tour buses or vans, transfer costs.

Trip organization and translations: English/German/Russian

Price from EUR 4,500.

Group: Maximum of 8 people + trip organizer and translator.

Included Services:

  • Trans-Siberian Train in first and second class compartments (2- and 4-bed-compartment) in Russian standard wagons of the Trans-Siberian Railway
  • Accomodations in rooms with double-bed according to the tour description hotels, hostels and typical wooden huts.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner acording to the tour description
  • All transfers and excursions, entrance fees are not included
  • Tour Guide/Translator, English guided trip with a mother tongue Russian guide
  • Trip-price-Insurance (Sicherungsschein)

Not included:

  • Visa Service (additional fees, can be organized by SMS Frankfurt)
  • Consul fees
  • Flights
  • Health-Insurance, required
  • Personnel Incurance

Departure mid/end January from Frankfurt or alternate airport.

Optional we create your individual train trip along the Transsiberian Railroad even longer or shorter. Just send us your details and we create your tailormade Russian Train Adventure, one of the last Bucketlist Trips.

Your Request

Make a tour request here or call us +49-69-95 90 97 00!!!

History of the Trans-Siberian Railway
In the late 19th century, the development of Siberia was hampered by poor transport links within the region, as well as with the rest of the country. Aside from the Great Siberian Route, good roads suitable for wheeled transport were rare. For about five months of the year, rivers were the main means of transport. During the cold half of the year, cargo and passengers travelled by horse-drawn sledges over the winter roads, many of which were the same rivers, but ice-covered.

The first steamboat on the River Ob, Nikita Myasnikov’s Osnova, was launched in 1844. But early beginnings were difficult, and it was not until 1857 that steamboat shipping started developing on the Ob system in a serious way. Steamboats started operating on the Yenisei in 1863, on the Lena and Amur in the 1870s. While the comparative flatness of Western Siberia was at least fairly well served by the gigantic Ob–Irtysh–Tobol–Chulym river system, the mighty rivers of Eastern Siberia – the Yenisei, the upper course of the Angara River (the Angara below Bratsk was not easily navigable because of the rapids), and the Lena – were mostly navigable only in the north-south direction. An attempt to partially remedy the situation by building the Ob-Yenisei Canal was not particularly successful. Only a railway could be a real solution to the region’s transport problems.

The first railway projects in Siberia emerged after the completion of the Moscow-Saint Petersburg Railway in 1851. One of the first was the Irkutsk–Chita project, proposed by the American entrepreneur Perry Collins and supported by Transport Minister Constantine Possiet with a view toward connecting Moscow to the Amur River, and consequently, to the Pacific Ocean. Siberia’s governor, Nikolay Muravyov-Amursky, was anxious to advance the colonisation of the Russian Far East, but his plans could not materialise as long as the colonists had to import grain and other food from China and Korea. It was on Muravyov’s initiative that surveys for a railway in the Khabarovsk region were conducted.

Before 1880, the central government had virtually ignored these projects, because of the weakness of Siberian enterprises, a clumsy bureaucracy, and fear of financial risk. By 1880, there were a large number of rejected and upcoming applications for permission to construct railways to connect Siberia with the Pacific, but not Eastern Russia. This worried the government and made connecting Siberia with Central Russia a pressing concern. The design process lasted 10 years. Along with the route actually constructed, alternative projects were proposed:

Southern route: via Kazakhstan, Barnaul, Abakan and Mongolia.
Northern route: via Tyumen, Tobolsk, Tomsk, Yeniseysk and the modern Baikal Amur Mainline or even through Yakutsk.

The line was divided into seven sections, on all or most of which work proceeded simultaneously, using the labour of 62,000 men. The total cost was estimated at £35 million sterling; the first section (Chelyabinsk to the River Ob) was finished at a cost £900,000 less than the estimate. Railwaymen fought against suggestions to save funds, for example, by installing ferryboats instead of bridges over the rivers until traffic increased. The designers insisted and secured the decision to construct an uninterrupted railway.

Unlike the rejected private projects that intended to connect the existing cities demanding transport, the Trans-Siberian did not have such a priority. Thus, to save money and avoid clashes with land owners, it was decided to lay the railway outside the existing cities. Tomsk was the largest city, and the most unfortunate, because the swampy banks of the Ob River near it were considered inappropriate for a bridge. The railway was laid 70 km (43 mi) to the south (instead crossing the Ob at Novonikolaevsk, later renamed Novosibirsk); just a dead-end branch line connected with Tomsk, depriving the city of the prospective transit railway traffic and trade.