Our Trips

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All of our trips have a pre-arranged schedule. However if you would like to customise your journey, please let us know how by either calling us on 020 8566 8846 or emailing us

“so, we're off, then? once again the trains, cafes, cutlets, and conversations?”

Anton Chekhov, THE SEAGULL, Act III


The trans-siberian railway

... is the longest rail trip in the world. The original Tsarist-era line was built from St Petersburg (which was the capital of Russia at the time) with end-points in either Vladivostok (9265km), or Beijing (via Manchuria – 9001km).  In the 1920’s a soviet-era project added a third routing – to Beijing via Mongolia(7865km). 


Graduate to joined-up travel

  • follow in the footsteps of travellers and explorers like Sven Hedin and Sir Aurel Stein – who used the Trans-Sib as a fast-track springboard into Asia for their legendary expeditions
  • get a grip on the vast distances between Europe and Asia – it's a big world out there, however the airlines might try to persuade you differently
  • graduate to joined-up travel – see how those “dots” link-up, and what lies in the big unvisited world between them?
  • leave a light footprint behind you when you travel
  • please feel free to stand-up and walk around during departure and arrival... to bring whatever liquids you like on board and in opaque bags... to use your walkman or send an sms whenever you feel like... and bring your manicure set on board and use it when you please. Turn the light on and off when you wish. No-one in a nylon uniform is going to come along and tell you what to do.

At 9001km, it's the world's longest lunch

... why manage with a take-away - when It's much easier to take the restaurant with you? The  Dining-Car follows you across Siberia, although the sectors across Mongolia and China have their own Dining-Cars shunted-in specially. Don't expect silver service, but yes – there really is smoked salmon and champagne (at credit-crunched prices) with landscape views out of the window no other restaurant in the world can offer. Rissoles and mash if you prefer? For a mix-and-match change, use major-city halts (20-30 mins each) to rustle-up a cabin picnic from the range of hot pies,yoghurts, fruit and beer from the hawkers who await major trains. And bring a towel. Why? Those in the know realise the train's shower-room (Russian main routes only) is in the adjacent wagon, and if you book a space before dinner the water-heater will have reached at least tepid by the time you're ready.


A room with a view – and another, and another

... every compartment enjoys stupendous views of virgin forests, the Siberian steppes or the deserts of Mongolia. The wide open spaces aren't so extensive inside, of course, but one everyone has stowed their luggage (lots of room under the lower berths, and still more in the amply generous overheads) it's not too cramped even in Second Class (four-berthed compartments – two upper and two lower).. far more room than in W European “couchettes”. First Class (two lower berths only) is more spacious and offers more privacy – but the rolling-stock is the same, just without the two upper berths, and the traditional benefit of being the nearest wagons to the Dining Car.


Why did they build the medieval castle so close to the airport?

... yes, we all know that old joke... but the wonders of Russia and Mongolia weren't deliberately sited along the Trans-Siberian line.  Very often you might need to go beyond where the buses run before the rich legacy of the destinations reveals itself – to find the remains of a soviet-era Gulag, or an untouched C19th fishing village, or the only proven encampment of Genghis Khan.. these things aren't at the side of the track, nor is anyone nearby offering to take you there. We take you where the good stuff is.


Follow the hordes – go to Mongolia.

... mass tourism has yet to reach most of the destinations along the Trans-Sib route – which has both good and bad sides to it. Good, obviously, is that hokum attractions, theme-parks, and all the hoopla of sausage-machine tourism isn't there. The other side is that until recently, infrastructure was a bit lacking – but now new and better hotels and eateries are springing-up not just in Moscow and St Petersburg, but across the Russian interior.  In rural Mongolia, though, infrastructure is still only rudimentary and the best options – as well as the most enjoyable – are to stay in Mongolian ger tents (yurts).. either in a lodge-style set-up (so you still get a warm shower and a porcelain loo, although they're in a purpose-built adjacent building).. or with local nomads, for those who want their reality unvarnished.



Although there’s a Trans-Siberian Railway, there isn’t actually a train called “the Trans-Siberian Express” (the Moscow-Vladivostok train has always been called “The Rossiya”). There are three historic routings you can follow – here’s our quick run-down.









  • the original routing
  • only one visa needed
  • few usable/affordable flights bring you back from Vladivostok
  • can’t get to Mongolia

Moscow-Beijing via Manchuria

  • the historic route to China
  • Beijing has wide flight coverage for onward tvl
  • misses Mongolia

Moscow-Beijing via Mongolia

  • chance to stop in Mongolia
  • Beijing has wide flight coverage for onward tvl
  • requires three visas

our own choice would be…

Overall the Moscow-Beijing via Mongolia routing would be our choice – because you are very unlikely to get the chance to visit Mongolia otherwise (no western airlines fly there) 


Trains, and stopping along the way

... in addition to the direct services serving the Moscow-Vladivostok, Moscow-Beijing (Trans-Manchurian) and Moscow-Beijing (Trans-Mongolian) routes, there are multiple additional trains (enormously too many to list here) which serve parts of these routes.  The reason you will need them is this: the Railways want to leverage maximum occupancy figures on their flagship routes, so holding a berth empty for five days so that you can hop on for the final leg from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing is not only discouraged – they refuse to do this. “Ah,” you say, “but maybe someone will only be going as far as Ulaanbaatar, and I can take that place when they get off?”  The answer is, unfortunately, “no again”, because they DO have a train which only goes from Moscow to Ulaanbaatar, and people only going to Ulaanbaatar are offered that – they are not even allowed to use “most of” a long-distance ride.  What this means in practice is that if you want to stop along the way you will cover the same route, but on a combination of different trains (operated to the same standard)  that permit the combination of stops you plan.  Something worth bearing in mind is that although you don’t need to wait a week until the next time a Moscow-Beijing train comes through, the “other trains” aren’t frequent enough to permit layovers of “just a few hours”.. it’s almost always 24+hrs until the next connection.  But most of the places you’d want to stop are worth at least that amount of time at minimum anyhow…


Our pre-calculated no-fail itineraries

... are set-up using our in-depth knowledge of all the routes and all the trains – with fifteen years experience and Russian-speaking expert staff based in Russia.  We don’t claim they cover every single possible combination, but the exceptions are usually missing for a reason (“nothing to see if you stop – and we’ve tried”, “only served by a very grim train” etc).  They’re not group trips (except for a small number of group trips we have set-up because people asked for them) and you aren’t combined with others – these itineraries show the different combinations of routes and stops that actually work.

Association of Independent Tour Operators  Travel Trust Association