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The Frosty Flyer

The Frosty Flyer

From {{totalPrice}} EUR Extra expenses at the destination None
Flight tickets are not included. Our travel advisors will gladly help you find the cheapest flights. The price above is based on 2 adults traveling together.
What's included?
From {{totalPrice}} EUR
Flight tickets are not included. Our travel advisors will gladly help you find the cheapest flights. The price above is based on 2 adults traveling together.
What's included?
Duration
19
Starts in
St. Petersburg
Ends in
Beijing
Group size
15 people maximum. Big enough to form a posse, small enough to give you space.
An epic winter adventure that’s not for the fainthearted! Leave the North Pole to Santa and get yourself to Siberia for a winter adventure you’ll never forget.
Enjoy adrenaline fuelled activities amid glistening landscapes. Warm up in a Russian sauna and try your hand at cooking dumplings in a cosy ger camp. And best of all, see the iconic sights sans tourists, like the Great Wall dusted in freshly fallen snow.
Itinerary

The Frosty Flyer

Days 1-2: St. Petersburg

A spectacular start to your winter journey. Wander by charming canals and beautiful bridges. Visit the spectacular Hermitage Museum. Treat yourself to a traditional Russian hot chocolate at the opulent Yeliseev’s Food Hall. Tonight, you take the overnight train to Moscow.

Day 3: Moscow

See the candy coloured domes of St Basil’s sugar-coated under a dusting of snow – it’ll make you feel like you’ve wandered into the scene of a movie. Ask your Honcho about when the markets are on; you can find them in Gorky Park, Red Square, and Sokolniki over the festive period.

Days 4-7: Trans Siberian Railway

After a final morning in Moscow get cosy on board as you meet fellow travellers. Hop off at stations along the way to sample food from Babushkas; check how long the train is stopping first, you don’t want to be standing on an icy platform in a blizzard waving goodbye to your group.

Days 8-9: Lake Baikal

Settle into your shore-side home at Lake Baikal and take a stroll over its frozen surface as you soak up the beauty of this icy delight. The crystalline ice-sheet is filled with interesting patterns of bubbles and waves as if the water froze in time. Perhaps try dog-sledding or snowmobiling before getting blood back into your extremities in a traditional banya (a steamy sauna with an optional birch branch bashing).

Day 10: Irkutsk

The cultural capital of Siberia, Irkutsk began life as a winter outpost for tea and fur traders. It expanded during Russia’s revolutions as opposing elites and intellectuals were exiled here. During this time, a signature style of architecture decorated the city in wooden latticework. Today, Irkutsk is a bustling university town so take a wander and enjoy your final day in Russia.

Day 11: Trans Mongolian Railway

Catch a glimpse of your first yak in Mongolia and witness the incredible landscapes from your train window.

Day 12: Ulaanbaatar

Arrive in Mongolia’s capital. A skyline of Soviet blocks, Buddhist temples and ger suburbs ringed by empty grasslands for hundreds of miles in every direction. Check out the markets and stock up on slippers made from felt, they are sure to keep your toes toasty during your stay.

Days 13-15: Terelj National Park

Warm up round the fire in a traditional ger camp under a blanket of stars. Go tobogganing in the snow or horse riding through the wilderness, before returning to Ulaanbaatar. Surely this is the best time for a snowball fight amongst your group? You’ll soon warm up in your ger, kept warm by a pot-bellied stove.

Day 16: Trans Mongolian Railway

Look out for Bactrian camels and yaks, their winter coats visible against the snowy steppe. Keep your eyes peeled for nomadic settlements, smoke rising from each tent as families stay warm inside. Soon we’ll be crossing the third border and immersing ourselves in a new culture.

Days 17-19: Beijing

Congratulations, you’ve just completed your adventure over the icy tundra. Let’s celebrate in Beijing. Check out the Forbidden City, sink your teeth into Chinese culture with a visit to Tiananmen Square and discover the ancient hutong neighbourhoods, first established during the Yuan Dynasty when Kublai Khan had his capital here. Warm up over a steamy bowl bursting with exotic spices in one of the many colourful markets or neon-lit laneways. For a final treat venture out to the Great Wall and marvel at all you have seen.

Note: Upon your arrival in Beijing, please meet your Honcho outside the first ticket-checking point, not on the train platform.

Inclusions

All train tickets
Visa support & destination information
Shared accommodation (7 hostel nights, 2 nights at ger camp, 2 nights at a Siberian guesthouse, 7 nights on the train (4-berth). Please note that private facilities are not guaranteed.)
Honchos throughout your journey, however, with no pre-arranged sightseeing, you have complete freedom to roam. Stay with your group or explore on your own.
All departure and arrival transfers en-route *

* Arrival transfer on Day 1 and departure transfer at the end of your itinerary are not included.
Summary

What’s included?

Extra expenses at the destination
None

Activities

Your honcho can organise snowy winter activities like ice skating, snowboarding, skiing and snowmobiling. Skijoring might sound crazy, maybe it is, or maybe it will be the highlight of your trip. It’s simple - just snap on a couple of skis, harness yourself to a few speedy dogs and yell out 'Davai' (Russian for "go"). Then hold on for your life as you carve across snowy Siberian fields at speeds very few have ever experienced. Sure beats a day at the office!

Accommodation

On the Train
Sleeping compartments are usually four-share with two upper and two lower bunks - depending on the group size you could be sharing with fellow Vodkatrainers or other travellers along the way. You’ll find clean bedding, reading lights, a big window, a small table and enough room for a rucksack or two, perfect for when you need a moment’s rest. All carriages have boiling water, attendants and washrooms, but no showers - that’s a luxury to look forward to once you disembark.

Off the Train
Other accommodation may include ger camps in Mongolia and yurts along the Silk Road. These are traditional nomadic homes that are sure to become one of your journey highlights. They tend to be multi-share and mixed-sex so grab your new besties and enjoy the nomadic vibes together. Hostels, hotels and guesthouses we stay at are clean, close to transport and provide legendary hospitality. We’ll do our best to pair couples, but it can’t be guaranteed so sometimes you’ll be sharing with fellow Vodkatrainers of the same sex. Please also note that we cannot guarantee private facilities.

Local transport

The public scheduled trains and buses are basic but comfortable and offer a window into real life. Most locals won’t be going the same distance as you, so you’ll meet a marvellous mix along the way. Don't be afraid to say hello!

Meals

In keeping with the budget-friendly policy and adding flexibility to your trip, there are no meals included in your Vodkatrain journey. Your options while on the rails include a restaurant car *, buying food from the "Babushkas" (grandmothers) on the platforms (just make sure you check the hygiene situation before handing over the cash) and self-catering. In general just follow the simple travellers' food rule - peel it, cook it or wash it, and you should be good.

* The train from Ulaanbaatar to Irkutsk (and vice versa) and many of the trains in Central Asia do not have restaurant cars. There are also few opportunities to buy food on the platforms and you will need to buy enough food for the journey before you board.

Please be aware

Honchos - Local Legends
Honchos know the city better than anyone because they live there. They can show you the iconic sights and then take you behind the scenes for a real taste of local life. They’re under 35, speak excellent English and love their job because they get to meet people from all over the world. You might be comfortable dropping an "una cerveza por favour" in Spain, but do you know how to ask for directions in Russian or find the right bus in Uzbekistan? Your Honcho will not only help you with the logistics of travelling in a distant land but let you feel the pulse of a city through local gems not yet listed in the guidebooks.

- Honchos are included at every stop on your journey.
- They’ll meet you at each stop and help you get your bearings. Need to find an ATM, no worries. Want to try a local beer. Easy.
- They’ll take you to where you want to go and places you haven’t even heard of.
- They will not take you to endless souvenir shops or their cousin’s restaurant - unless you want that.
- There’s no pressure to hang with a Honcho if you’d rather do your own thing.
- They’re available in each city from 09:00 to 21:00, but can often be coerced to stay out late for a drink or two.
- When it comes time to leave, and you’re nursing a post-vodka hangover, they’ll make sure you get on the right train at the right time for stress-free travel.

The Frosty Flyer

Price from {{totalPrice}} EUR
Flight tickets are not included. Our travel advisors will gladly help you find the cheapest flights. The price above is based on 2 adults traveling together.
What's included?