Nord Rail - territory for adventure

Arctic Polar Travel summer & winter
On the way with the Yamal-Nenets – the last true nomads of the earth

11 days € 3.290.-                                                                                                        Tour NR-25
Peninsula Yamal Nord Rail – territory for adventure
You accompany a Nenets family with its reindeer, you live in a chum and you get an exclusive insight into the ancient traditional ways of life in the tundra and the life of nomads today.

In arctic northern Russia, industrialized resource extraction and climate change are presenting a double threat to the Nenets, an indigenous people native to Siberia. The Nenets depend heavily on their reindeer herds, using them for food, clothing, tools, transportation, and more as they migrate more than a thousand kilometers across the tundra every year. End of summer they migrate south to the slopes of the Ural Mountains, as there are forests that provide protection and wood, here the animals find food in the winter, then in the spring the nomads migrate back to the north to the Arctic Ocean.

During the winter, when temperatures can plummet to -40C, most Nenets graze their reindeer on moss and lichen pastures in the southern forests, or taiga. In the summer months, when the midnight sun turns night into day, they leave the larch and willow trees behind to migrate north. By the time they have crossed the frozen waters of the Ob River and reached the treeless tundra on the shores of the Kara Sea, they might have traveled up to 1,000 km.

You can experience an unique winter or summer trip along with the Yamal-Nenets: Over 6000 Nenets live on Yamal - the last true nomads on earth.
There are no travel dates during the Russian summer holidays 28.05. – 01.09., because at this time the school children live with their families and there is no place in the chum.
A chum - tents made of reindeer skins - has place for 6-8 people, you live with your family in a Nenets chum, you live in one half of the chum, separated by curtains. Toilets are situated away from the chums and separated into male and female areas. The tour price includes rental of a full set of Nenets reindeer fur clothing.

It is a journey in a simple life, please dont expect comfort. Special health conditions are not necessary. Meet lovely warm people and become a part of nomadic life, an experience in your life, that you do not want to be without.
Of course, every helping hand is welcome, you learn what is important for the survival, something that people do not know anymore in civilization.
You move with your family, no matter what the weather is, so you spend days with the men close to the reindeer and other days you learn about Nenets home living, you must not cook for yourself.
Nenets eating is mostly raw reindeer meat and fish but they also have some bread, onions and cans of condensed milk, they will be happy to cook reindeer meat for guests so you will not be obliged to eat it raw like they do.

A packing list you will get from us and numerous recommendations for your trip. A German-speaking guide will accompany you.
You live in a chum with oven, kitchen, simple washing facilities, curtains, table, benches, beds. You have "your" own half in the chum to sleep.
The Nenets migrate the end of the summer and winter, about two months for 400 km, 10-15 km daily, seldom they stay longer than 3 days in one place, because the animals must find food. Only just before your arrival in the North of Russia we know exactly where your Nenets families are, so we have planned a reserve day for delays, we may have.

AC=accommodation, B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner, P=Picnic/packed lunch
Please note: The daily routine at your Nenets family is determined by your hosts!
Minimum participants: 2, Maximum participants: 5

Day 01 Moscow (D)
Flight with Lufthansa, Austrian or another airline from many European airports to Moscow and meeting by an English-speaking guide at the airport. Transfer to a very good mid-range hotel in the center of the capital. Moscow is located on the 55th latitude, as well as Northern Ireland, Sylt, Bornholm and the northern tip of Lake Baikal, your journey will lead you to the far north, northern the 65th latitude. Time for leisurely pursuits, in the evening welcome-dinner "Russian style". AC hotel.

Day 02: Moscow Red Square & Panorama View & (B, L)
After breakfast, trip to the Moscow International Trade Centre "Moscow-City", from here you have in 250 meters height a breath taking panoramic view of Moscow. Moscow panorama view:

Then walk over the Red Square with St. Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin to the Alexander Garden with lunch. Early evening your Polar trip starts by train "Polyana Strela". Train travel in 2nd class 4 bed sleeping compartment (1st class 2 bed sleeping compartment or 2nd class compartments for 2 persons are bookable) AC train.

Day 03 Direction North (B,D)
And it goes on your journey north, always north, in the summertime the sun will no longer go down. At each station the travelers speak about some news and quickly some business will be done or food for the journey shopped. AC train

Day 04 Polar Circle & The Urals (B,D)
In the morning you will reach the railway station Chum, here starts the Transcontinental Arctic Circle Railroad. At noon you will cross the border Europe and Asia, the mountains are up to 2000 meters high, after 2280 km train ride you reach Labytnangi on the river Ob in the evening.

In the early 19th Century had been developed at this site of today's city nomadic camps of the Khants . "Lapyt Nangk" means "seven larches" and so also is the name of your hotel, located in the city center. AC hotel.

Day 05 Labytnangi – Salekhard & the Yamal Nenets (B,L)
Salekhard with 42,500 inhabitants is located on the banks of the river Ob. Constructed in 1595 as a Cossack fortress, the city bore the name Obdorsk - place on the Ob - until 1933. Salekhard means from the Nenets language "settlement at the Cape."
Your departure will be early in the morning, first you drive with a jeep about 80 km, depending on the season direction south or north. Our trips take place immediately before or after transportation of school children, so your nomadic families are not to far away. After the jeep ride you will be transported by a tank about 40-60 km.

Your arrival at your Nenets family is expected in the afternoon, you get your chum and you are hosted with traditional natural products. AC chum

Day 06 – 08 On the way with the Yamal Nenets (B,L,D)
The everyday life of nomads determined your daily routine. So you spend time in and around the chum and you follow the men to the herd of 3500 reindeer and you will at least once migrate by the reindeer herd trek: First of all, you follow an ancient ritual and move in a circle to follow symbolic the sun's.

Together with your nomad family and up to 40 slides you migrate through the tundra, the slides are pulled from a total of up to 400 reindeer, the total camp with all belongings has to be transported to the next rest area, 10-15 km can be done in one day until the new home is rebuilt. AC chum

Day 09 Salekhard (B,P,D)
You drive back with tank, jeep or bus to Salekhard. AC hotel

Day 10 reserve day (B,L)
The reserve day is because of possible delays and will probably take place in Salekhard: In this case, you have a program in Salekhard: You walk through the restored Cossack fortress and visit the museum of the peoples of the North. You see the Arctic Circle monument and the monument project 501, which commemorates the Stalin track. Lunch in a restaurant with a panoramic view of Salekhard. AC hotel

Day 11 return trip (B)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport Salekhard and return flight via Moscow.

Minimum participants: 2, Maximum participants: 6

travel dates 

05.11.16 - 15.11.16
19.11.16 - 29.11.16

08.03.17 - 18.03.17; 08.04.17 - 18.04.17
04.06.17 - 14.06.17; 19.08.17 - 29.08.17

19.09.17 - 29.09.17; 02.10.17 - 12.10.17

11.10.17 - 21.10.17; 20.10.17 - 30.10.17

The tour price includes: 

Flights with Lufthansa, Austrian, Aeroflot, Yamal or another airline from many European airports to Moscow and back from Salekhard via Moscow in economy class
All airport taxes
Train travel in 2nd class 4 bed sleeping compartment (1st class 2 bed sleeping compartment or 2nd class compartments for 2 persons are bookable)
Railway route: Moscow – Labytnangi
Transport to your Yamal-Nenets reindeer herding and back by jeep or tank.
4 nights in your chum inclusive full board and beverages
Overnight stays in good middle class hotels, rooms with shower or bath / toilet, meals: half board
All transfers
All city tours and excursions as described, according to the program including entrance fees
English-speaking guide from / to Moscow airport, partly additionally local guide
(not during flight Salekhard - Moscow)
All costs for special permits
Visa support / invitation for applying Russian visa
Complete set of Nenets reindeer skin clothes

Services not included
Meals and beverages at meals, except mentioned, tips, expenses of personal needs, personal travel insurance, visa fees

Prices in EUR / person
double room / 2 places in chum 3.290.- 
single room /  1 place in chum    3.490.-

extra costs:
train ride 2nd class / compartment for 2 persons 250.- (Moscow – Labytnangi)

Entry Requirements / participation in travel
For this trip, a passport is required, valid 6 months longer than the end of the trip.
For the Russian visa a free double page in the passport is needed. Please note: to apply Russian visa a travel insurance is needed. All information and documents for visa applications you receive from us, including invitation (visa support). All necessary permits for this trip will be obtained by Nord Rail.
Health notes: There are no vaccinations or prophylactic measures for this journey necessary.

general terms