Days 1-2: Beijing
Arrive Beijing a city that never sleeps! Immerse yourself in this bustling metropolis, wander through Tiananmen Square, the remarkable Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City or head to the Hutong area to see a vanishing world.
Join your Tour Leader and fellow travellers on Day 1 at 5:00pm for your Welcome Meeting as detailed on your joining instructions.
The following day we venture beyond the city to the impressive Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, originally built by the Northern Qi Dynasty over 1,400 years ago!
Day 3: All aboard the Trans Mongolian Railway
Board our early morning train that will carry us across the vast expanse of the Great Gobi Desert towards the endless grasslands of Mongolia, and onto its capital Ulaanbaatar.
Day 4: Ulaanbaatar
Explore the capital Ulaanbaatar and take some time to visit the Zaisan Memorial to admire the panoramic views or gain an insight into countries past at the National History Museum.
Day 5: Terelj National Park and ger camp
After mingling with monks at one of the country's largest and most significant monasteries, Gandan Khiid, we travel out across the grasslands to Terelj National Park. Here, we spend the night in a Mongolian ger - a traditional felt and wood frame house used by nomadic herdsmen for centuries, set amongst spectacular rock formations and wild rolling hills. Among nomadic families and their grazing livestock we can explore nearby valleys or just relax and enjoy the area.
Day 6: Return to Ulaanbaatar and Trans Mongolian Railway
Return to Ulaanbaatar to meet your onward train and continue your journey into Russia.
We settle into life on board, enjoying the time to get acquainted with Russian travellers on the train as we cross the Irtysh and Ob rivers and head out over the vast Siberian silver and green taiga. The train skirts the shores of Lake Baikal which despite being the world's largest freshwater lake, freezes in winter with ice over two metres thick!
Days 7-8: Arrive Irkutsk and continue to Yekaterinburg
Mid-afternoon arrival into Irkutsk. If time allows we will venture beyond the railway station for a brief city Tour of Irkutsk. Almost in the centre of Asia, Irkutsk is home to beautiful 18th century churches, brightly painted shutters, log houses decorated with intricate wooden lacework, as well as a captivating story of high society exile. Modern administrative blocks and soaring bridges reach out across the Angara River in this beautiful town known as the 'Paris of Siberia'.
Returning to the station late afternoon, we board our onward train that will carry us across the Ural Mountains and into Yekaterinburg.
Days 9-10: Arrive Yekaterinburg
Yekaterinburg, the city founded by Peter the Great in 1723, is situated outside Siberia and some 40 kilometres on the Asian side of the Ural Mountains. By the 20th century Yekaterinburg became one of Russia's largest and most important financial, industrial and cultural centres.
The city is infamous as the brutal murder site of the Romanov family, which brought tsarist rule to an end, and ushered in the Communist era in 1918.
Day 11: Yekaterinburg and to Kazan
We re-board the train and continue to Kazan arriving later that evening. The penultimate stop on this epic journey is the picturesque and historic city that is the capital of Tatarstan.
Day 12: Kazan and to Moscow
Kazan is an impressive city where the domes of Orthodox churches and the minarets of the Islamic mosques vie for attention in the skyline. Whilst on today's city tour we visit Kazan's UNESCO World Heritage Listed Kremlin. You cannot help but admire the marvellous towers, glistening domes and ornate minarets encased within the Kremlin that is still today the very heart of the city.
Later this evening an overnight train will whisk us off to Russia's capital Moscow.
Day 13: Moscow
You'll soon see that Moscow has shed is Soviet veil to become a vibrant and dynamic city. The Christ the Saviour Cathedral, built after the collapse of the Soviet Union, now dominates Moscow's skyline and is sure to take your breath away. Beneath the city lies the palatial metro rail system draped in chandeliers, mosaics and baroque bas-reliefs. Nearby, you'll find the cobblestone streets and discover Red Square surrounded by the State History Museum, as well as the iconic swirled cupolas of St. Basils Cathedral, now a museum.
We go behind the red-brick walls of the Kremlin where you can visit the Armoury Chamber to admire its astounding treasures including a magnificent collection of Faberge eggs.
Day 14: Moscow and to St. Petersburg
This evening we board our final train to the imperial city of St. Petersburg home of Tsar's and Tsarina's.
Days 15-16: St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg with its beautiful canals, manicured parks, and graceful 18th century architecture is a fitting city to end our Tsars and Tsarinas adventure. On our city tour we discover the world's largest collection of paintings housed within the gilded halls of the Hermitage Museum, where works by Botticelli and Rembrandt to Van Gogh to Picasso are hung.
The following day the time has come to farewell your new friends as our epic journey across this vast continent comes to an end.