Siberian Journey "Proshkhanie Slavianki"
“Proshkhanie Slavianki”: a Siberian Journey on the Yenisei and the Trans-Siberian Railway
Where sky and water meet
The moment when the ship casts off at 7 am from Krasnoyarsk for the Arctic Circle to the sound of the “Proshchanie Slavianki” march is stirring, just like the whole of this awe-inspiring journey, which is why we have named this Siberian odyssey after the march.
Saying goodbye to Krasnoyarsk for a time, tears are quickly wiped away and the ship turns slowly into the center of the current. More than 1700 km of Siberian river lie ahead before we reach our destination of Igarka, situated at a latitude of 67° 33’ N and 167 km north of the Arctic Circle.
First, however, our journey begins in Novosibirsk with a trip on the Trans-Siberian Express, without a doubt another unique experience. On your return from the Arctic Circle you also have the opportunity to discover Lake Baikal with us.
Welcome to Siberia
The cruise onboard ship is in first class cabins, while on the train you can choose between first and second class. For rail travel, we also offer a reasonably priced option for 2 persons occupancy of a 4-berth second class compartment.
Highlights of the “Proshkhanie Slavianki” Siberian Tour
Russian welcome: caviar, bread and borscht
Novosibirsk & Heroes of the Revolution
Taiga – a remote town on the Trans-Siberian Railway
Tomsk – an artistic treasure trove of Russian wood architecture
Krasnoyarsk & Father Yenisei
Overnight stays in the Yenisei settlement of Igarka, plus shore time and visits to the settlements of Yartsevo and Bor
Over 1700 km by ship on the Yenisei
Safe, clean and well-maintained ship
Visit the ship’s bridge and meet the captain
Sail through the Kazachinsk Rapids
Meet and spend time with Siberian locals each day
Cross the Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle baptism
Igarka: Permafrost Museum with views 10 meters below the earth’s surface
Igarka: Gulag museum with documentary relics of Stalin’s Trans-Polar Mainline project
Visit remains of the original Trans-Polar Mainline project
Typical Yenisei villages of Bor and Yartsevo
Irkutsk – old architecture & the Decembrists
Lake Baikal – the “Pearl of Siberia” and a national park
Travel along the picturesque Circum-Baikal railroad beside Lake Baikal
Polovinnaya village at the 110 km mark on the Circum-Baikal – discover authentic Siberian life
Visit to a small shop – Olga’s Kiosk
Pass through the 780 meter Polovinits tunnel
Campfire on the Baikal lakeshore
Slyudyanka – a unique railroad station in white marble
The tour price includes an exclusive “Yenisei Package” provided to every participant before the start of the journey, containing items such as a current English-language Russian newspaper, a map of Russia and the Trans-Siberian Railway, an MP3 player loaded with Russian music, and information about the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Yenisei.
Moscow – Novosibirsk – Taiga – Tomsk – Krasnoyarsk – Yenisei by ship – Igarka and the Arctic Circle – Krasnoyarsk (– Irkutsk – Listvyanka/Lake Baikal – Port Baikal – Polovinnaya (110 km mark on Circum-Baikal) – Slyudyanka ) – Moscow
B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner, ON=overnight
Day 01 Welcome to Siberia
Scheduled flight with Lufthansa, Austrian, Aeroflot or another airline from various European airports to Novosibirsk via Moscow. You will arrive next morning to be met at the airport by an English-speaking tour guide. Transfer to a hotel near the rail station, baggage check-in at the hotel.
Day 02 Novosibirsk & Taiga (B,D)
After breakfast at the hotel, take a guided walk through Novosibirsk city center. You will see the state opera house and theater, which is recognized as a symbol of the city and known as the Siberian Bolshoi. Then wander through the Heroes of the Revolution Square. Spare time.
In the afternoon, you will travel more than three hours by train to the town of Taiga. The branch line to Tomsk begins here. ON hotel in Taiga.
Day 03 Taiga & Tomsk (B,L)
Early morning train journey to Tomsk lasting just under two hours. The wooden architecture in Tomsk is an outstanding cultural legacy and is one of the city’s main sights. On February 14, 1920 a resolution was passed to open a “museum of the old times and the Revolution” here. Artists, architects and lecturers at the university gathered together objects with artistic or historical value. The first exhibition was opened on March 18, 1922. You will visit this museum, now the Tomsk Museum of Regional Studies, as part of your guided city walk.
Return in the afternoon to Taiga and take a walk through the town. In the evening board the Trans-Siberian, arriving in Krasnoyarsk early next morning. ON train.
Day 04 Krasnoyarsk (B,D)
Transfer from the station to a centrally located, good quality mid-range hotel for breakfast. Sightseeing in Krasnoyarsk in the afternoon.
During your walk through the city you will see one of its landmarks, the small chapel that can be seen on a hill from many places in the city center. Built in 1845, this chapel offers an excellent vantage point with superb views over the city and the Yenisei valley. Other sights you will see include the opera theater, the cultural and historical Museum Center and the Krasnoyarsk Philharmonia. ON hotel.
ты неси меня река - song
Day 05 By ship: Krasnoyarsk – Yeniseisk (B,D)
Early morning transfer to the river port, where you move in to your booked cabin.
MS Valery Chkalov (or similar 588 Series ship)
These 3-deck river cruisers were built in the former GDR and are equipped with the latest nautical technology. They feature modern navigational equipment and can reach a speed of 26 km/h. Passengers have the use of two restaurants, a film and reading room, a kiosk, a medical unit staffed by a doctor, and a sun deck.
Your ship weighs anchor in Krasnoyarsk at 7 am with the march “Proshchanie Slavianki” playing loudly through the loudspeakers.
From the first day there is plenty to see and experience. The ship does not follow an exact timetable, but your guide has a GPS unit and will inform you in good time as particular points of interest are reached.
At about 08:30 am you will pass the village of Ermolaevo, lying picturesquely on the bank of the Yenisei. An hour later the mood changes as you pass the formerly closed town of Zheleznogorsk, which was kept a state secret for decades during the Soviet period.
Afterwards, in the restaurant, your guide will tell you more about the “closed” cities on the Yenisei.
After lunch we will pass Predivinsk and reach a latitude of 57 degrees north. The ship does not stop before Yeniseisk, however, since all the small towns and villages up to that point have good road links to Krasnoyarsk.
In the afternoon you will witness a real spectacle of nature as the captain maneuvers the ship through the Kazachinsk Rapids. Only large “Project 588” series passenger ships can negotiate these rapids. The level of the river drops by a full meter over a distance of just 4 km, with current speeds of up to over 20 km/h, while at the narrowest point of the rapids the Yenisei is only 350 meters wide.
After reaching the villages of Momotovo, Galanino and Kazachinskoe at about 8.30 pm we come to the mouth of the Angara, the Yenisei’s largest tributary.
Next, the town of Lesosibirsk appears on the bank, stretching almost 20 km along the Yenisei thanks to its rail terminal and large-scale goods handling operations.
Some 400 kilometers of the Yenisei are already behind us by the time we reach the oldest town on the river, Yeniseisk, just before midnight and the ship makes its first stop. ON ship.
Day 06 By ship: Yeniseisk – Yartsevo – Bor – Bakhta (B,D)
Early in the morning the ship reaches the mouth of the Bolshoi Pit and the village of Nazimovo.
Nazimovo has no mooring facilities, so motor launches by the shore await the arrival of the ship to enable passengers to board. While this is happening, and passengers and their baggage are deftly transferred onto or off the ship, the vessel continues to move forward slowly in order to remain in navigable water.
The 310 kilometer marker on the bank tells us that we have covered a further 310 km of the Yenisei from the mouth of the Angara.
In the late morning we reach Yartsevo. Here we leave the ship and have about 3 hours for a walking tour. The principal sight in Yartsevo is its poplar park, planted by former pupils of the local school before the Second World War.
While we are in Yartsevo, our mail ship continues its journey downstream. Meanwhile we board a fast “Kometa” hydrofoil from Yartsevo to Bor. Traveling at up to 60 km/h, this will overtake the ship and reach Bor some two hours ahead, giving us a little time to explore the village.
Shortly before arriving at Bor village we pass the mouth of the Podkamennaya Tunguska, one of Siberia’s most awe-inspiring rivers. Short by local standards, its length of “just” 1146 km to the village of Vanavara is only navigable for 25-30 days in June each year – a very brief time window for supplying the settlements along the river with fuel and other provisions for winter.
We pass through Bor’s sandy streets, where hunters and fishermen live alongside the scientists who work in the Central Siberian Nature Reserve.
At 8 pm our ship takes us further northward. Around midnight another spectacle awaits us as we stop mid-stream off Bakhta. Bakhta has no mooring facilities, so passengers use the ship’s lifeboats to embark and disembark. ON ship.
Day 07 By ship: Bakhta – Turukhansk (B,D)
Today we pass a number of taiga villages and it can be entertaining to watch the passengers boarding and disembarking our ship. Many of the villages have no moorings, so the passengers are brought to the ship on motor boats and use a small ladder to reach or leave the ship.
Nowadays Tunguska contains only two inhabited houses, yet it still appears on every map of Siberia. Early in the evening, having covered 1450 km by water, we reach Turukhansk, nicknamed the “land of black days and white nights”. ON ship.
Day 08 By ship: Turukhansk – Igarka (B,L)
Overnight you will cross the Arctic Circle (latitude 66° 33’ N), the edge of the land of the midnight sun.
Your guide will tell you the exact moment of the crossing with the aid of the GPS device. Those who are crossing the Arctic Circle will be “baptized” to mark the occasion. Afterwards we will toast with Russian shampanskoe.
Our last stop before reaching Igarka at about 10 am is Ermakovo.
Ermakovo was the main base for the construction of the Trans-Polar Mainline from Salekhard to Igarka between 1949 and 1953. This planned route of 1263 km was quickly termed the “Road of Death”. Its construction was kept secret and more than 100,000 prisoners, mostly political, were forced to work on the line in inhuman conditions.
By 1953, 65 kilometers of track had been laid southwest from Igarka. After the death of Stalin, however, the project was shelved. Today you can still see old railroad sleepers, twisted bridges and the remains of locomotives near Igarka.
Igarka is situated at 67° 33’ N, 167 km north of the Arctic Circle. Today it is a port town with a population of only around 2000 remaining inhabitants.. It lies 673 km upriver from the mouth of the Yenisei and can be reached by seagoing vessels following the Northeast Passage through the Arctic Ocean.
Transfer to the Zapolyarie Hotel, a clean and well-maintained hotel in the town center. Rooms have their own shower and WC.
In the afternoon, visit the only museum of its kind in the world: the Permafrost Museum. The building was formerly an underground scientific laboratory.
This museum vividly documents the flora and fauna of the Igarka region. You can also learn about techniques for building on permafrost, about Project 503, the story of the construction of Stalin’s Trans-Polar Mainline between Salekhard and Igarka, and about how the north of Russia was developed.
Following our museum visit there will be time for a tour of the town, during which we will see remains of the original railroad.
Dinner in a café in the town. ON hotel.
Day 09 Igarka & scheduled flight to Krasnoyarsk (B,D)
After breakfast we take the water taxi to the airport, situated on an island in the middle of the Yenisei.
Return flight to Krasnoyarsk, arriving early evening. Transfer to hotel or continue with Lake Baikal extension (6 days).
Day 10 Return (B)
Transfer to Krasnoyarsk airport for return flight via Moscow.
6-day Lake Baikal extension package P6 from day 9 including return flight from Irkutsk
Tour P6: from Krasnoyarsk/to Irkutsk 6 days from € 590.-
Itinerary for P6 Lake Baikal extension to Yenisei cruises
B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner, P=picnic, PL=packed lunch, ON=overnight
Day 09 Krasnoyarsk & Trans-Siberian Railway to Lake Baikal
After arriving at Krasnoyarsk airport, transfer to the rail station and travel on the Trans-Siberian Express (2nd class 4-bed compartments) through the Sayan Mountains to Slyudyanka on Lake Baikal, arriving the following evening. ON train. (2nd class compartments can also be booked for 2 or 3 person occupancy for a supplement.)
Day 10 Slyudyanka, Lake Baikal (B,D)
On arrival at Slyudyanka, transfer to the Baik-Khan Hotel on Lake Baikal. Rooms include bath, shower and WC. Evening campfire by the lake. ON hotel.
Day 11 Slyudyanka & Circum-Baikal railroad (B,D)
Take a trip on the original Circum-Baikal railroad from Slyudyanka to Polovinnaya, a typical small Siberian village on the Circum-Baikal line and beautifully situated directly on Lake Baikal. The journey there is a mini adventure in itself: the train supplies provisions to the villages and settlements by the lake and carries a small store on board.
Polovinnaya on Lake Baikal: 110 km mark on the Circum-Baikal railroad
Polovinnaya lies on the rail line between Slyudyanka and Port Baikal. Right next to the small station you will find a grocery store.
Relish the unique natural beauty of the Baikal landscape with its cliffs and lovely bays, and stay in a holiday village on the shore.
The Circum-Baikal railroad (in Russian, Кругобайкальская железная дорога, abbreviated to KBZD) is nowadays an 89 km long single-track line between Slyudyanka and Port Baikal along the side of the lake.
This line, known as the “golden buckle of the Trans-Siberian railroad’s steel belt”, is a marvel of Russian architecture and engineering. It is astonishing to see how the 424 structures along the 84 km stretch of track between Kultuk and Port Baikal have been adapted to the surrounding terrain.
On arrival, there is a 300 meter walk to your holiday village (baggage transported separately). This spot has the distinction of being the best accommodation along the Circum-Baikal. You can choose between a room in a cottage or in a holiday lodge. Dinner.
Day 12 Discover authentic Siberian life & walk by the Circum-Baikal railroad (B,D)
A free day. Spend some time on the shore of Lake Baikal or rent a boat.
We offer the following activities, which are included in the package price: guided walk through Polovinnaya, during which we visit Olga’s Kiosk and learn a lot about authentic Siberian life on Lake Baikal.
In the afternoon you may join a guided 8 km walk along the railroad route, returning on the “Matanya” train. ON holiday village.
Day 13 Slyudyanka & Irkutsk (PL,D)
Early in the morning, take the “Matanya” train to Slyudyanka. Here there is time to discover this small town on the Trans-Siberian mainline, where you will see a real jewel: the only rail station in the world built of pure white marble. The Slyudyanka-1 station was built in 1904 as a monument to the immense achievements of those who built the unique Circum-Baikal line.
Continue by train in the morning to Irkutsk, arriving at noon. Tour of the city including a walk through the large market halls. Irkutsk is often referred to as the Paris of Siberia on account of its culture and varied architecture. Particularly worthwhile sights include the Polish Cathedral with its Gothic architecture, the Bogoyavlensky Cathedral (Cathedral of the Epiphany) and the Spasskaya Church (Church of the Savior). Dinner in a café on the Angara. ON hotel.
Day 14 Return (B)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for return flight via Moscow.
Included in the package price for Tour NR-49:
Scheduled flights with Lufthansa, Austrian, Aeroflot or other airlines from various European cities to Novosibirsk via Moscow, plus Igarka – Krasnoyarsk – Moscow and return in economy class. We can check your preferred departure airport in advance on request.
All airport charges and taxes
Rail travel in 2nd class 4-bed compartments (travel in 1st class 2-bed compartments or in 2nd class 4-bed compartments with 2 person occupancy is available for a supplement)
Rail routes: Novosibirsk – Taiga – Tomsk – Taiga – Krasnoyarsk
Yenisei river cruise Krasnoyarsk – Igarka in booked cabin and seat for hydrofoil trip
On-board doctor and first aid
Shower facilities on board
All overnight stays in good quality mid-range hotels, rooms with bath, shower and WC
German-speaking tour guide at all times during the trip (except on Moscow – Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk – Moscow flights)
All meals as per itinerary
Baggage handling service throughout
All museum entrance fees and guides
Guide in Gulag Museum and to remains of Trans-Polar Mainline
Prices in Euro per person, Tour NR-49
2 bed cabin 1st class single occupancy of cabin/single room 3.990.-
2 bed cabin 1st class 1 bed in cabin/single room 3.390.-
2 bed cabin 1st class/double room 2.990.-
4 bed cabin 2nd class 1 bed in cabin/single room 2.790.-
4 bed cabin 2nd class for 4 persons/2x double rooms 2.490.-
4 bed cabin 2nd class 2 beds in cabin/double room 2.490.-
Supplement for rail travel in 2nd class compartment with 2 person occupancy 150.-
Supplement for rail travel in 1st class compartment with 2 person occupancy 190.-
2 bed cabin with own shower, toilet: prices on request
Included in the package price for Tour P6:
Return flight Irkutsk – Moscow replaces Krasnoyarsk – Moscow and is already included in the price of Tour NR-49.
Trans-Siberian rail travel 2nd class 4-bed compartment Krasnoyarsk – Slyudyanka (2nd class compartments can be booked for 3 person or 2 person occupancy for a supplement)
Circum-Baikal rail travel on the “Matanya”: Slyudyanka – Polovinnaya – Slyudyanka – Irkutsk
Overnight stays in lakeshore holiday village in single, double or triple room or in holiday lodge
Overnight stay in Baik-Khan Hotel, Slyudyanka
Overnight stay in mid-range hotel in Irkutsk
English-speaking tour guide services at all times
All meals as per itinerary
Baggage handling service throughout
Original Lake Baikal map
Guided walks along Lake Baikal
Walking tour of Polovinnaya
Prices in Euro per person, 6-day Lake Baikal Extension Tour P6
Single room 790.-
Double room 690.-
Double room in holiday lodge with shower/WC 790.-
3-bed room 590.-
3-bed room/holiday lodge for 3 persons with shower/WC 690.-
Supplement for rail travel Krasnoyarsk – Slyudyanka in 2nd class compartment with 2 person occupancy 140.-
Supplement for rail travel Krasnoyarsk – Slyudyanka in 2nd class compartment with 3 person occupancy 110.-
Services not included
Meals and drinks at mealtimes unless indicated, tips, personal spending, travel insurance, visa fees and other services not listed
restaurant car on the train
1st class rail compartment
2nd class rail compartment
travel dates (inclusive Lake Baikal 6-day extension P6)
05.06.17 – 14.06.17 ( 18.06.17)
24.06.17 – 03.07.17 ( 07.07.17)
01.07.17 – 10.07.17 ( 14.07.17)
14.07.17 – 23.07.17 ( 27.07.17)
31.07.17 – 09.08.17 ( 13.08.17)
05.08.17 – 14.08.17 ( 18.08.17)
17.08.17 – 27.08.17 ( 31.08.17)
30.08.17 – 08.09.17 ( 12.09.17); 11.09.17 – 20.09.17 ( 24.09.17)
MS Valery Chkalov, MS Matrosov
Passengers have the use of two restaurants, a cinema, a reading room, kiosk and café, a medical unit staffed by a doctor, and a sun deck.
Passengers may choose from:
1st class cabins, either single or twin bed
2nd class cabins with 4 beds, two upper and two lower bunks
3rd class cabins, containing 18, 26 or 8 beds
1st class cabins
Upper and middle deck
The first class cabins (single or twin occupancy) are located on the upper and middle deck and are fitted with one or two single beds (not bunks), a small cabinet, storage space for baggage, a folding table, washing facilities with hot and cold water, a radio and a window.
Toilets and showers are situated in the aisle between cabins and are only available to first class passengers.
2nd class cabins
Second class cabins contain 4 beds and are situated on the middle deck. They are fitted with two pairs of single bunks, a small cabinet, storage space for baggage, a folding table, washing facilities with hot and cold water, a radio and a window. Toilets and showers are situated in the aisle between the cabins.
Customers who book single rooms have single occupancy of a 1st class cabin during the river cruise.
Conditions of Entry/Participation
For this tour, you must have a passport which is valid for at least 6 months beyond the tour end date. A free double page is required for your Russian visa. Please note that you must have valid international health insurance in order to apply for a Russian visa. We will of course send you all the information and documentation necessary for the visa application, including the visa support invitation.
Health issues: No vaccinations or precautionary health measures are required for this tour.