Overview

Flight - 1 night
Nagasaki - 2 nights
Kyoto - 2 nights
Hakone - 1 night
Tokyo - 2 nights
Vladivostok - 1 night
Train – 1 night
Khabarovsk - 1 night
Train – 3 nights
Irkutsk - 1 night
Train – 1 night
Novosibirsk - 1 night
Train - 3 nights
Moscow - 1 night

Spendology - Widgets

From the Tail of the Dragon 
to the Motherland 

Epic and world-famous, the ultimate railway adventure of our age

A momentous 22-day journey from Asia across the Pacific to Europe travelling on the Original Trans-Siberian Railway

Explore the contradiction that is Japan, travel on bullet trains that glide effortlessly to neon cities where geishas shuffle in tranquil gardens. Experience technological modernity whilst being immersed in centuries old traditions, in a land that can enthral even the most jaded of travellers. From the elegance of bullet trains we cross to Vladivostok for an incredible journey on the magnificent Original Trans-Siberian Railway. Recognising that the journey is sometimes just as important as the destination. For more than a century, this Trans-Siberian route has been connecting the Russian capital to the country’s far eastern Pacific corner, attracting adventurers and writers, appealing today not only to train buffs but to historians and those who want to travel the “original” route. Travel Russia’s 9289 km backbone, stopping in remote towns and lesser visited cities. Savour the diverse cultural influences of indigenous people. Explore Russia’s Buddhist centre in Ulan Ede and Irkutsk, gateway to Lake Baikal. Visit the Romanov’s last shelter in Yekaterinburg and explore rich and ancient Tartar culture in Kazan, finishing in the mighty metropolis of Moscow. As working trains are not designed for lavish travels, we have secured private carriages to adjoin the scheduled trains and interspersed the rail journey with overnights in first class hotels, providing comfortable accommodation whilst maintaining an authentic experience with a genuine sense of adventure.

Key Features

Chauffeur Driven Transfers*
Privately Chartered Carriages
Private Sightseeing Programme
Experienced Tour Manager 
Expert Local Guides
Onboard Historians
Group Size: 16 – 38
Price Guarantee

 

Day 1 Fly from London Heathrow to Nagasaki via Tokyo.

Day 2 Arrive at Nagasaki on the shores of a natural bay on the south coast of Kyushu. An island of the elements, comprising bubbling, sulphurous waters, heated by the volcanic lava that lies just below. Transfer to the New Nagasaki for a two night stay, enjoy a welcome dinner in a local restaurant. The culture, cosmopolitan atmosphere and the diversity of its architecture is a reflection of the city’s once prominent role held in foreign trade relations for many centuries. Boasting an accessible tram system and attractive vintage streetcars, Nagasaki is a joy to explore, or you may choose to take an evening cable car trip to the top of Mount Inasa-Yama for a spectacular panorama over the city. (D)

Day 3 Spend a full day exploring Nagasaki, filled with remnants of its cosmopolitan past. Visit Glover Garden, the setting for that much-loved opera ‘Madame Butterfly’, now an open air-museum. Named after the influential Scottish entrepreneur, Thomas Glover, who bought the railways to Nagasaki, located where Western merchants settled at the end of Japan’s era of seclusion in the second half of the 19th-century. Continue to Oura Catholic Church, built towards the end of the Edo Period in 1864 and considered the oldest standing Christian church in Japan. Explore Nagasaki Shinchi, Japan’s oldest Chinatown with free time for lunch. The neighbourhood is comprised of narrow lanes and a scattering of Chinese-style temples and buildings, a tranquil area for a pleasant stroll. Continue to Nagasaki Peace Park and museum that commemorate the atomic bombing of August 9, 1945. See Megane-Bashi (spectacles bridge), finishing the day at Dejima Wharf at sunset. Formerly an island, Dejima was constructed in 1636 to segregate Portuguese residents from the Japanese population and later was a Dutch trading station. (B) 

Day 4 Today take the Express train to Hakata, then on to Kyoto. Kyoto served as Japan’s capital and the emperor’s residence from 794 until 1868, its imperial legacy lives on in exquisite temples and gardens alongside contemporary art and a flourishing culinary scene. The streets are filled with centuries-old magic and tradition, Japanese culture continues to thrive with its distinct mix of ancient and modern. With 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, Kyoto has an abundance of quiet temples, gardens and colourful shrines, each a unique setting for wonder and contemplation. Arriving in the early afternoon we start our exploration by visiting Nijo Castle, residence of the first shogun of the Edo Period (1603-1867) later used as an imperial palace; arguably the best surviving example of castle palace architecture from Japan’s feudal era, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Continue to Gion, Kyoto’s most famous geisha district, lined with traditional wooden machiya merchant houses, now filled with shops, restaurants and teahouses where geishas entertain. Enjoy a stroll around the area before transferring to Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shijo for a two night stay. (B)

Day 5 Full day sightseeing tour of Kyoto, start at the important Shinto shrine of Fushimi Inari famed for its many thousand vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails into the wooded forest of sacred Mount Inari. Onto the charming traditional Fushimi sake brewing district along the willow-lined Horikawa River in southern Kyoto, visit the Gekkeikan Sake Museum. Continue to Nishiki Market a narrow, long street lined by shops and restaurants, known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen”, free time for lunch to explore the variety of culinary delights. So to Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion, an impressive structure built overlooking a large pond, a Zen Temple whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. Formally known as Rokuonji, the temple was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. Visit Ryoanji Temple, site of Japan’s most famous rock garden. Be immersed in the beguiling beauty of the apprentice geshias in a Maiko dinner. Return to the hotel. (B) 

Day 6 Take the bullet train from Kyoto to Mishima. Set in the mountainous countryside just to the South of Mt. Fuji, Hakone offers a curious mix of attractions. Part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and famous for hot springs, natural beauty and the view across Lake Ashinoko to Mount Fuji. Full day excursion visiting Hakone Open-Air Museum. A harmonic balance of nature and art with a mixture of indoor and outdoor exhibitions including works by Henry Moore, Miró, Maillol and Rodin, combining with views of the surrounding valley and mountains. Continue to Owakudani Valley, enjoy views of the active, sulfuric hot spring sources in the valley between Sounzan and Owakudani. Later take a boat cruise on Lake Ashinoko, formed in the caldera of Mount Hakone after the volcano’s last eruption 3000 years ago, to enjoy the best views of the lake in combination with Mount Fuji. Check-in to the Hakone hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 7 Take the hi-speed train to Tokyo, Japan’s capital. Stroll in the “low city”, Asakusa and Nakamise, where an atmosphere of the Tokyo of past decades pervades, free time for lunch, see the 7th-century Buddhist temple of Sensoji and the interactive Edo-Tokyo Museum in the Ryogoku district. Visit the Imperial Palace Plaza, an area surrounded by moats and massive stone walls in the centre of Tokyo and residence of Japan’s Imperial Family. From Kokyo Gaien you can view the Nijubashi, two bridges that form an entrance to the inner palace grounds. A two night stay at the Grand Prince New Takanawa. (B)

Day 8 Full day tour, visit Tokyo Tower, the world’s tallest, self-supported steel tower and a symbol of Japan’s post-war rebirth as a major economic power, visit Hamarikyu Garden, in central Tokyo alongside Tokyo Bay, featuring tidal seawater ponds and a teahouse on the island. The traditionally styled garden stands in stark contrast to the skyscrapers of the adjacent Shiodome district. Enjoy a Sushi-making lesson and attend a traditional tea ceremony, later stroll in Ginza, Tokyo’s shopping, dining and entertainment district. Return to your hotel. (B, L)

Day 9 Fly to Vladivostok, for years this city was closed to foreigners being the home base of the Russian Pacific Fleet. It has a fantastic location on the Amursky Gulf and is the start of the original Trans-Siberian express line, Vladivostok to Moscow, the preferred route for Trans-Siberian purists, running some 9,289 kms. Transfer to the Azimut hotel for dinner and overnight. (D) 

Day 10 Morning tour of Vladivostok, visit the Submarine Museum, enjoy the fantastic view over the city from the “Adlernest” hill. Lunch in the city is followed by a boat excursion around Russia’s largest Pacific port. In the evening the regular train is scheduled to depart and you will be welcomed to your private railway carriage. Overnight on board. (B, L, D) 

Day 11 Reach Khabarovsk, boasting a delightful riverside setting with lots of greenery, pleasant walkways and boulevards lined with tsarist buildings. Visit the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Mother of God, with soaring white-and-blue towers, on popular Komsomolskaya Square, the Regional Museum, as well as the bluff over the Amur River with its wide sandy beaches. Overnight at Parus Best Eastern. (B, L, D)

Days 12-13 Re-join the train to continue the journey westbound crossing Khabarovsk’s 2.6 km bridge over the Amur River. Travel the scenic route following the Ingoda and Shilka Rivers into a wild land of taiga forest and hills. Pass the former penal colony of Svobodny, the junction to the Baikal-Amur-Magistrale and the junction to the Trans-Manchurian Railway in Chita. (B, L, D)

Day 14 Arrival in Ulan Ude, capital of the Buryat Republic, the city’s ethnic and cultural diversity offers a unique insight into its heritage. Stemming from its proximity to Mongolia and tradition as a trading settlement between Russia, Mongolia and China, its Mongol-Buddhist culture lends it an exoticism. Famed for its Lenin head, the chief attractions are outside of the city, visit Ivolginsky Datsan, a beautiful monastery and centre of buddhism in Russia. Return to the train and continue the trip to Irkutsk. (B, L, D) 

Day 15 Afternoon arrival in Irkutsk, regarded as the modern day cultural capital of Siberia, famed for its traditional wooden architecture, complemented by a vibrant café culture. Drive to the remarkable natural phenomenon of Lake Baikal, the largest reservoir of freshwater in the world. Few natural sights can surpass the grandeur of Lake Baikal. A short boat excursion takes you out onto the lake, perhaps enjoy a swim, visit the picturesque village of Listwyanka and spend time immersed in Siberian culture at this remote village on the shores of Lake Baikal. Dinner is a Baikal-style picnic on the lakeshore with a view of the incredible natural surroundings. Return to Irkutsk for an overnight at the Courtyard Marriott. (B, L, D)

Day 16 Explore Irkutsk, the capital of Eastern Siberia in tsarist times, where many Russian nobles and artists were exiled. See beautiful churches along the Angara River, visit the Okhlopkov Drama Theatre, the main city centre and the statue of Alexander III – the Tzar responsible for the Trans-Siberian railway. Later visit the photogenic market hall before reboarding the train for its journey to Novosibirsk. (B, L, D)

Day 17 Travel through a landscape consisting of gently rolling hills and dense forests of larch, pine and birch trees. In the late afternoon the train arrives in Novosibirsk, the largest city in Siberia. Explore this most Soviet of cities filled with parks and tree-lined avenues, see the mighty Ob River and the fascinating open-air railway museum showcasing carriages of the Tsars, the collection includes steam, diesel and electric locomotives that were used on the railway in the West Siberian region. Overnight at the Marriott. (B, L, D) 

Day 18 Morning city tour visiting the colourful and exciting market and the spectacular Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, the largest musical theatre in Russia, a symbol and pride of the Siberian region. Continue the journey onward to Yekaterinburg. (B, L, D)

Day 19 The scenery is flat, often swampy or forested until you enter the Ural’s before arriving at Yekaterinburg, historic capital of this mineral rich region with a fascinating history. Surrounded by beautiful, rolling countryside and dotted with traditional Siberian villages. Best known as the site of the murder of Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his family in 1918. Visit Revolution Square to hear the most compelling story at the beautiful Church of Spilled Blood and the Chapel of St. Elizabeth, see views of the city from the Hill of Ascension. Yekaterinburg is also the frontier between the European and the Asian continent. Visit the obelisk monument “. Between Europe & Asia” where you can straddle the continental divide. Once back on board, enjoy views of the Urals landscape as the train rolls across the European continent. (B, L, D)

Day 20 After breakfast reach Kazan, translated as ‘cooking pot’ in Tatar, it is a melting pot of Asian and European culture. The city sits on the banks of the Volga, is about 150 years older than Moscow and the capital of the Tatarstan Republic, the land of the Volga Tatars, a Turkic people commonly associated with Chinggis (Genghis) Khan’s hordes. On your city tour discover Tatar mosques and the most magnificent Russian Orthodox cathedral. Take a tour of Kazan’s Kremlin, where you learn about the turbulent history of the relationship between the Tatars, the Cossacks, and the Russians. Afterwards enjoy lunch in a city restaurant before reboarding the train. (B, L, D) 

Day 21 Around noon, arrive in the Russian capital of Moscow, and check-in at your hotel, the InterContinental Tverskaya, for an overnight stay. In the afternoon visit the Kremlin grounds with its magnificent cathedral, where several of the building interiors can also be viewed. After dinner, discover the city’s magic during an hour-long “City of Lights” tour, including a stop at Red Square and a ride on the underground to view two of Moscow’s particularly beautiful metro stations. (B, L, D)

Day 22 The morning orientation tour of the city opens up many of Moscow’s hidden treasures, see the diversity of architectural styles from the austere and restrained Russian style to the richly decorated Moscow Baroque, elegant Empire, fascinating Art Nouveau and even Pseudo-Chinese and Moorish. Visit the reconstructed Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Lomonossov University, the New Maidens’ Convent (Novodevichy Monastery) and Red Square with its colourful St. Basil’s Cathedral, as well as to the notorious former KGB headquarters and the White House. Later transfer to the airport for the homeward flight to London. Alternatively you may choose a different way home and extend your stay to St. Petersburg for a further three nights. (B) 

  • Key 
  • B - Breakfast
  • L - Lunch
  • D - Dinner
 

Notes

Please pack an overnight bag for your journey to Tokyo on Day 12 as your main luggage will be transported by luggage van. Overnight bag also required for Days 14-15 Nikko & Aizu as your main luggage will remain at the hotel in Tokyo. 

When travelling by bullet train we will make arrangement to transfer your main baggage by luggage truck from Nagasaki to Kyoto and from Kyoto to Tokyo so you will require an overnight bag for your stay in Hakone.

Notes

Our Trans-Siberian Train is comprised of private carriages attached to scheduled trains with a private restaurant car. The rail journey is interspersed with hotel stays for which an overnight bag is required. Classic compartments are twin berth, with wash facilities and WCs at the end of each carriage and a shared shower compartment. 

2020

Thursdays 
per person in Classic Compartment twin/double room
British Airways from London Heathrow

Date Price
May 7 £10595
Great Journeys

A Jules Verne Limited Edition

Supplements per person

Single Supplement

Single supplement £2995

Flight Options

World Traveller Plus (to Tokyo) from £725
Club World from £3695
Business Class on Aeroflot from £1995

Cabin Upgrade

Superior Compartment £400 
Single supplement £300
Bolshoi Compartment £3055 
Single supplement £2255

Extension Options

Pre-tour Extension - South Korea
7 nights £1495
Single supplement £245

Post-tour Extension - St. Petersburg
3 nights £865
Single supplement £345

Price Includes
Air travel and taxes, VIP return transfers*, 7 nights exploring Japan, privately chartered Jules Verne carriages on the Original Trans-Siberian Railway, 5 nights’ hotel and 8 nights’ train travelling the route of the Trans-Siberian Railway, private sightseeing programme, meals as indicated, experienced tour manager, expert local guides and onboard historians. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.

Not Included 
Travel insurance, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.

Notes
*We are providing a VIP Chauffeur driven transfer for passengers that live within a 70 miles radius of the point of departure.  For those passengers that live outside of this 70 Mile radius we will provide the most competitive quotation for the additional mileage.

 

Booking Form

Please complete this form and a member of our sales department will contact you as soon as possible to confirm your booking and take payment. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm and Saturdays 10am to 2pm

From the Tail of the Dragon

Please enter all passenger details (names as per passport)

Please supply a first name Please supply a surname Please supply an email address Please supply an address Please supply a postcode
Please supply a first name Please supply a surname
Please supply a first name Please supply a surname
Please supply a first name Please supply a surname
Please supply a first name Please supply a surname
Please supply a first name Please supply a surname
Please supply a first name Please supply a surname
Please supply a first name Please supply a surname
Please supply a first name Please supply a surname
Please select a travel date
Please complete all mandatory fields.

Please consider Fitness to Travel, Disabilities and Mobility advice which we give for this tour and confirm that all members of your party are fit and able to take this tour. Please complete the ABTA checklist if you need to declare any disabilities or mobility issues.

  • Please accept the Terms and Conditions

To confirm your booking you will be asked to make a non-refundable deposit payment, or full payment if within 61 days of departure.

From time to time, we may send you details of Jules Verne products (including new brochures), services, and news that we believe will be of interest to you.