Lake Baikal Cruise by Crucemundo

Discover Lake Baikal - the largest body of fresh water on Earth. During the cruise, you will see breathtaking Siberian lanscapes, visit misterious islands on Lake Baikal, learn more about people populatingthe area, their everyday life, and their beliefs.

ITINERARY & MAP

Day 1, Irkutsk

Upon arrival in Irkutsk you will be met by the cruise company representative and transferred to your hotel (early check-in is included). You will be given time to recover after a long journey, and in the afternoon you will be taken on a city-tour with a local guide. The tour will include all the major highlights, such as the Lower Embankment, the Square of Three Churches, Znamensky Monastery, historical part of the city and the so called 130-quarter. You will also have Museum of Decembrists’ tour with classical concert and champagne.

Irkutsk is the capital of eastern Siberia, that was founded in 1661 as a settlement for trading gold and furs. Nowadays it is known as one of the most picturesque stops along the Trans-Siberian Railway route with its world-known gem – Lake Baikal.

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: hotel Irkutsk 3*

Day 2, Ust-Orda

On this day, you will enjoy a full-day excursion to the Burjat village Ust-Orda (±70 km from Irkutsk) that offers a deep and interactive insight into the Burjat history, traditions, food and family life in Siberia. You will visit the local museum and ethno-park, with traditional welcome ceremony, folklore concert including fascinating throat singing, playing on the “khomus” (Jew’s harp, mouth harp), and traditional dances. You will also take a look at the traditional Burjat yurtas, learn about everyday life of Buryats, and take part in culinary master-class. You will then stop at the small Buddhist temple with possibility to meet the monks.

The Buryats are the largest indigenous group in Siberia who has lived here before the Russians and are closely related to Mongolians. As the largest ethnic minority group in Siberia, the Buryats are estimated to number 436 000, half of which populate the Lake Baikal area. The Buryats practice Tibetan Buddhism with a touch a paganism. Their language is similar to Mongolian and is a member of the Altaic family of languages.

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: hotel Irkutsk 3*

Day 3, Listvyanka

You will check-out from your hotel in Irkutsk and head to Listvyanka Village located on the shores of Lake Baikal. On the way, you are going to visit Taltsy - open-air museum of wooden architecture. On this day, you will have lunch in a Russian family.

Listvyanka is a village located on the shores of Lake Baikal in 70 km from Irkutsk. Ideal place to see true Siberian Nature, enjoy numerous hiking routes, try some authentic cuisine.

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: country hotel Krestovaja Pad’ (Listvyanka)

Day 4, All Aboard!

In the morning, you will check out from your hotel in Listvyanka to be taken on Baikal Museum tour.

Then it will be time to board the ship where you will meet the crew and have a safety briefing. 

In the afternoon, the ship will reach Kadilnaya Valley. If weather permits, we will go ashore by lifeboat (30-40 min) and walk to the beautiful edelweiss glades.

Free sauna is available onboard to relax after a busy day!

Kadilnaya Valley is located on the western shore of Lake Baikal, between Listvyanka and Bolshoy Goloustniy. Kadilnaya Pad can be reached only by water, but it's worth it. This place is famous for its sandy beaches, coniferous forests, green meadows, and caves. 

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: MS Imperia 3*

Day 5, Ogoy and Olkhon Islands

In the morning, the ship will reach Ogoy Island. If the weather permit, we will go ashore by a lifeboat (30-40 min) to have a walking tour of the island and visit the Stupa of Enlightenment.

In the afternoon, if the weather permits, we will go ashore by a lifeboat (30-40 min) on Olkhon Island (Khuzhir settlement) to meet a local Shaman and observe a ceremony at the famous Shaman Rock

Ogoy Island is quite big island in Maloe More (Small Sea) that is located next to Baikal Lake. The most interesting thing about this place is that it was never inhabited. Olkhon is the largest island in the area. The island is known as Sacral center of Baikal and well known with its ancient legends and tales.

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: MS Imperia 3*

Day 6, Zmeinaya Bay

On this day, we will reach Malie Ushkanyi Islands (Small Ushkanyi Islands) and you will be offered an optional tour to the seal rookery, which you can pay on the spot.

After lunch, the ship will reach Zmeinaya (Snake) Bay as we will go ashore by a lifeboat (30-40 min) if the weather permits. You will be given free time on the beach to enjoy bathing in hot springs.

Zmeinaya Bay is located in Chivyrkuyskiy Bay and is well-known for its healing hot springs (the water temperature is up to 45 C!). The waters of the Zmeinaya Spring contain fluorine and hydrogen sulphide (so they have a particular smell and taste). It is believed that these thermal waters are good for healing musculoskeletal disorders.

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: MS Imperia 3*

Day 7, Off-road UAZ ride

On this day, if the weather permits, we will go ashore on Olkhon Island (lifeboat, 30-40 min) to enjoy a jeep  tour! Soviet-style off-road UAZ vehicles are used for this journey. The following route is to be covered: Uzury – Sagan-Khushun Cape (the northeast point of Olkhon Island) - Cape Khoboy.

Khoboy Cape is the most northern point of Olkhon island. The name comes from an old Buryat word meaning "fang" because of its shape, a vertically oriented marble rock, appearing much like a fang

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: MS Imperia 3*

Day 8, Akademicheskaya Bay

This is your final sightseeing day aboard. You will visit Akademicheskaya Bay and have walking tour of the Babushka Bay, the famous Peschanaya Bay (Sandy Bay) and the Grand Belfry rock. The tour will last 1.5-2 hours, the distance is 1.5 km.

Another activity on this day is a walking tour to the Viewpoint Rock (2.5 hours) where you'll have chance to take some great photos (and bring back home these travel memories!)

In the evening you will be offered sauna with Baikal herbal tea.  

Peschanaya Bay - often called the "Siberian Riviera" - is probably the most picturesque place on Baikal. Here, the famous "stilted" trees grow, from under which water and wind have constantly washed and blown out the sandy soil.

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: MS Imperia 3*

Day 9, Disembarkation

On this day, you will say good-bye to the crew and the new friends you made during the trip. You will check-out after breakfast. Transfer to the airport is included. 

Meals: B

PRICES & DATES

Prices are per person.

The surcharge for single occupancy in a double cabin is 50% of the total amount for the cruise (upon request, the number of single cabins is limited!)

The price includes:

  • Accommodation (3 nights in hotels, 5 nights on the cruise ship)
  • Full board, three meals per day (from the breakfast on the arrival day to the breakfast on the departure day, served at the table with no choice)
  • Daily bottled water for all meals and for the excursions
  • Tea/coffee and “mors” (Russian drink from berries) for all the meals 
  • Farewell dinner with special menu and a glass of champagne 
  • Luggage service pier – ship – pier
  • Info-channel
  • Transfers (airport – hotel – guest house – pier – airport)  
  • Excursions according to the program
  • Russian Visa Invitation - the major document which is required to apply for visa at your local Russian Consulate.

The price does not include:

  • Russian Visas. For US, UK and Canadian citizens, our company offers Full Visa Support. This is where you send us your passport and other documentation and we obtain the Russian visa for you. 
  • Medical insurances
  • Port tax (15 eur for 5 nights’ cruise)
  • Extra bottled water
  • Soft and alcoholic drinks during lunch and dinner (only water and “mors” are included) 
  • Laundry and ironing 
  • Gratuities (5 eur per person per day will be included in the final bill onboard)
  • Personal spendings
  • Flights. If you travel via Moscow, we recommend booking the following flights:
    Moscow - Irkutsk 21:45-08.35 (Aeroflot) - flight departure date should be 1 day before the program starting date
    Irkutsk - Moscow 13:05 - 14:20 (Aeroflot) - flight departure date should be the same as the last day of the program

Payment policy:

20% prepayment (non-refundable deposit) is required at the moment of booking, the remaining balance is due 79 days before the cruise.

Cancellation fees:

  • up to 79 days before embarkation – 20% of cruise price (deposit)
  • 79-70 days before embarkation – 40% of cruise price
  • 69-60 days before embarkation – 60% of cruise price;
  • 59-40 days before embarkation – 80% of cruise price;
  • 40 days and less – 100% cancellation fee.

Other terms: 

  • Passenger name change less than 30 days before the cruise starting date is subject to a fee of 50 EUR per name
  • Cabin numbers are provided 7 days before the cruise or at a supplement of 50 EUR per person when booking
  • Children policy: 0–2 y.o. child may travel free of charge if accommodated with 2 adults in a cabin, 3–12 y.o. child may have a 10% discount if accommodated in a twin cabin with 1 adult

Ship

Ships

Imperia 3*

This 4-deck vessel was renovated in 2007. The ship features a restaurant with panoramic windows, a bar, a café on the open deck.  there is also sauna (free of charge) with a small swimming pool (2,5 m x 4 m x 1,5 m) with Baikal water.  All cabins have scenic windows (but the windows on Main deck do not open for safety reasons). Windows on Upper and Sun deck fully open. All cabins are equipped with comfortable furniture and small bathroom with shower on the floor. Bed size: 2 m x 70 cm. TV, internal phone, hair dryer are in each cabin. There are no refrigerators in the cabins, nor the air-conditioning.


STANDARD TWIN
Cabins № 302, 303, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 312, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211
The cabin has two separate single beds, WC (shower and toilet in one zone, washbasin), wardrobe, bedside table, bedside lamp, TV, telephone (internal ship calls), 220V socket, heater.

SUITE ON THE MAIN DECK 
Cabins № 201, 202
The cabin is divided into two zones - one double bed and a sitting area. Jacuzzi, toilet, washbasin, wardrobe, bedside tables, bedside lamp, TV, DVD, telephone (calls by ship), 220V socket, air conditioning, double sofa (not folded), armchair, coffee table, heater

SUITE ON THE MIDDLE DECK

Cabin № 301
It is divided into two zones - one double bed and a sitting area. Jacuzzi, toilet, washbasin, wardrobe, bedside tables, bedside lamp, TV, DVD, telephone (calls on the ship), 220V socket, air conditioning, double sofa (not laid out), armchair, coffee table, heater, mini-fridge, chairs

TESTIMONIALS

Stephen, UK

We have just returned home to the UK after our visit to Russia and the cruise on the MS Rostropovich. We had a superb time. The quality of the ship was superb and the service provided by all the staff was very friendly and professional. A very good introduction to Russia on our first visit to your country. I am emailing to thank you personally for the very efficient service provided by Express to Russia. From the initial enquiry, through the provision of additional information, to the conclusion of the booking you have always responded very promptly to my emails. This made the whole process much easier than it might otherwise have been and I would most certainly recommend your services to others. Thank-you and best wishes for the future.

Stephen, UK (August, 2018)
Barbara and Louis, USA

Louis and I want you to know that our vacation was just great. The Rostropovich was very nice boat. All the crew were pleasant and helpful, including our guide Antonne. The food was very good. All the transfers worked out perfectly. We certainly would recommend your company.

Barbara and Louis, USA (August, 2018)
Hugo , Ilona , Marie-Pierre and Jean-Marie, South Africa

We had the most wonderful cruise and really enjoyed Russia. The crew on board were fantastic, food was great and we had a professor on board discussing current affairs, amazing. Tours were amazing and informative. Transfers were on time, so all in all, thank you for arranging such an experience, much appreciated.

Hugo , Ilona , Marie-Pierre and Jean-Marie, South Africa (July, 2018)
Gordana, Serbia

Two days ago we have returned from our journey in Russia. It was absolutely a wonderful experience! We had enjoyed every minute of our trip. Beautiful country with so much to offer! Many thanks for the great assistance that you have provided to us with the booking of the cruise!

Gordana, Serbia (July, 2018)
Mike & Irma, South Africa

I want to provide to you some feedback about the boat trip which we undertook from 12 till 19 May 2018. 1. The transfers from the airport to the boat was fantastic. Your driver went out of his way to assist us till into the reception area of the correct boat. He was on time at the airport also. He was very friendly also. 2. The cruise: this was a memorable experience for us. We got much more than we expected. The Russian history lessons; the Russian language lessons; the Vodka tasting lecture – these were very informative 3. The crew on the ship went out of their way to make us comfortable and relaxed. They were always available and very friendly 4. The local tours and the guides were very well planned and executed. The Guides are so passionate about their tasks and made one feel ashamed of the way we were told by our government in the communism era how bad Russia was. 5. The transfer from the ship to the airport in Moscow was great. The driver was there on time and drove safely to the airport with us. Very friendly also. I will definitely recommend the tour and your company to all who ask me about the visit to Russia. Perhaps I will come visit Russia again in the future and spend more time in Moscow also. Thank you once again for assisting with arranging a most memorable vacation!

Mike & Irma, South Africa (May, 2018)
Olive, Australia

I enjoyed my holiday in Russia very much and I found your company to be extremely helpful and courteous, it was a joy to correspond with you, thank you for making my holiday plans easier.

Olive, Australia (September, 2017)
Svetislav, Slovenia

Staff of Express to Russia and especially ms, Galina are exceptional competent ladies: very communicative and prompt with answers; booking, invitation letters, transfer from the airport to pear and in Saint Petersburg to hotel (we extended staying there for five days on our own) etc. went smooth. Pleasure to do business with ms. Galina and Express to Russia!

Svetislav, Slovenia (August, 2017)
Helga and Al, USA

We are back from our beautiful, Russian Cruise Excursion. My wife Helga and I want to thank you for helping me/us to arrange this wonderful trip. The specific reason for this trip was to take once more an adventure trip of this kind as a gift to our self on our 50th wedding anniversary. The anniversary was on the 10th while we were in St. Petersburg were we celebrated at the Astoria hotel with a ballet in the evening at the Mariinsky Theater in Tsar Nicolas Box. Upon our arrival on ship, and thanks to you I felt like a Russian finding the bottle champagne in our cabin and enjoying it. I made a toast to you and want to express my sincere thanks. My wife and I would have liked to have met you while in St. Petersburg. I now would like to say, that we experienced some of the Russian Soul and would wish that the rest of the world would have such love for their country.

Helga and Al, USA (June, 2017)
Jennifer, Australia

It was a long held dream of mine to visit your beautiful country. Cruising between St Petersburg and Moscow was beyond my expectations , so far my best travel experience Thanks to Express to Russia for all their assistance in organising my trip

Jennifer, Australia (May, 2017)
Brian Asmus, USA

I LOVED THE CRUISE!!!!! It was amazing and I had the best time. The food/service/cabin were all great and the price was FANTASTIC!!!!! I have mentioned this to my sister and her husband and they are considering going next year. LOVED it. I don't have ONE complaint :). THANKS for an amazing experience.

Brian Asmus, USA (October, 2016)

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