Trans Siberian What we Offer
Budget for independents and backpackers - young and not so young!
Prices and train timetables are correct at the time of printing but are subject to change at any time. So, please keep in touch by email, phone, fax or snail mail (letter). Our Trans Siberian Railway programmes are designed to obtain the best value for money and the optimum use of time, and all result from our client’s feedback. In other words the published programmes represent a summary of the most frequently requested routes and stopovers over the last 20 years. Variations are possible, but what you see published is what most people end up doing when they balance their time with their financial budget.
DEPART EACH WEEK BUDGET INDEPENDENT
These TransSiberian railway programmes provide the basic requirements from which you can build your own plans. We offer 'Depart Any Week'. We also have ''Set Dates for Independents' allowing those who want to maximise meeting other travellers.
What we provide;
You can add, or take off days, make additional stops along the route. Naturally this would have to be quoted and any itinerary that adds more stops increases in cost. There is no ticket that is simply 'hop on hop off'. The system means that the more stops you make the overall final ticket cost (sum of all individual sectors) will be higher than a straight through no stops ticket.
For those who want just a bit more with their Trans Siberia programme, we can add on the following, or more, to any trip.
SET DATE DEPARTURES - Guided AT ALL STOPS
All Trans Siberian, Trans Mongolian, Trans Manchurian, BAM and Silk Route programmes can be met at each stop, fully escorted for all sightseeing, and then transferred back to the train for the onward journey. Our committed multi-lingual guides meet you at all stops on the train journey and are with you for the entire period. They escort you back to board the train for the next rail section. The only time you are without a guide is on board the train and that is the easiest part. This way you can have all the benefits of a group escorted programme, but at a lower price, depart when you want (any week), or on a set departure date (maximise other travellers), and be more time efficient. We have one programme (Option 20 East to West) showing this format, but any programme (either direction) can be customised to the same level.
Quote from a Bill Bryson interview - Yes Bill Bryson of 'best selling travel books fame'.
You've been a judge of the Wanderlust World Guide Awards for years – when you travel, do you take a guide?
"I have on occasion. I used to do quite a lot of articles for National Geographic magazine. They would send me to places like Spain or Germany and, as part of their budget, they would allow you to engage a translator or guide because you needed somebody speaking the local language proficiently. I have used them for that and you realise, when you do use a guide in circumstances like that, you get so much more out of it".
FULLY ESCORTED PRIVATE GROUPS
We can operate a fully escorted group programme for the Trans Siberian, or any of its various routes, where we have a guide who through their own experiences, have some unique qualities which allows them to add something different to the whole trip. These guides are with you the entire journey from the start to the end.
Should you have your own group we can organise it for you.
For those that want a larger private group departure on an exclusive train please continue reading the next paragraph -
PRIVATE TRANS SIBERIAN TRAIN SET DATE GROUPS
We have a select number of dates for a fully inclusive tour on a private train. These groups can cater from English, German, French, Spanish and Italian languages - different dates for each lanaguage.
PRIVATE ITINERARY PLANNING
Our personal experiences and ‘on site connections’ allows us to provide complete individual itineraries to suit personal wishes. Itineraries can range from a desire to trace historical family roots to an art, sport, military history or engineering enthusiast who wants to pursue their interest within Russia. Family trips are possible and easy to arrange. Many of our homestays, as well as hotels, can cater for families. Conditions for this service differ from our normal programmes - details available upon request.
These trips involve exploring an area for which we plan to operate more regular programmes in the future. These trips are not for anyone who cannot face; changes, delays, accommodation not quite living up to what was expected, or regular and functioning contact to home. They are for those with a flexible attitude, who realise the financial savings and security benefits of travelling with others and who enjoy the camaraderie of fellow travellers.
Please watch the web site for details of when and if we have such a trip operating.
We state our prices in EUR or US$ as all the local ground costs are charged in EUR or US$ from all the various suppliers along the routes. Some special set date group departures are shown in AU$.
At the time of printing, prices are correct. However, due to the nature of the economy of the countries involved in these programmes, changes do happen, often without warning.
Once you pay the balance, there will be no surcharges.
We are a registered Travel Agent - You can verify our registrations via the Australian Securities and Investment Commission website. In addition we are members of the ATAS - involving yearly audits of compliance.
VISA INVITATIONS Russia, and Central Asia
Upon payment for your arrangements, we provide you with the required invitations and additional paperwork to secure the relevant visa. We will make these as flexible as possible and valid for the country in which you apply for your visa. You should be aware that ‘invitations’ from certain outlets in Russia have and are being refused at some Russian consulates. For flexibility and peace of mind, our invitations are a must.
More Visa information including application forms and costs .. click here..
MOSCOW & ST PETERSBURG HOMESTAY
In both Moscow and St Petersburg our homestays are centrally located. Homestay represents good value for accommodation in Russia. You receive your own room (some can cater for up to four people although most are suitable for two) which is MUCH cleaner than any other comparative budget accommodation and you are not in a dorm. In addition, breakfast is included, and other meals can be ordered from the host. In Moscow and St Petersburg this can represent a huge saving when compared to having to buy your meals in restaurants. Probably the most important aspect is the fact that you experience everyday contemporary Russian life - isn’t that one of the main reasons we all travel? Using this style of accommodation puts more money into the hands of the ordinary person. And yes we can locate vegetarian hosts!
Homestays are only available for a minimum of three nights in the cities of Moscow and St Petersburg - the minimum which should really be allowed to accomplish the essential sightseeing. For shorter stays, hotels will have to be used. Other cities in Russia can have less than 3 nights for homestays. More information on homestay.
For those who do not want homestay and prefer hotel accommodation, and service, then we offer an upgrade facility. Our hotel selection has been chosen based on visits to the hotels by members of staff and feedback from clients. Some have a very obvious Russian character which only adds to the enjoyment of the whole experience of travelling across this large country. We keep to a select few who seem to remain constant in their upkeep and service levels. Our costings are based on particular hotels being available. Should they not be available there may be a change to costs.
We are working with a select number of hostels, mainly in Moscow and St Petersburg, but other cities may be availbale by the time you book. We have gone for hostels that have a record of being better than average and in a good location. More information on hostels.