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EXPERIENCE THE TRANS SIBERIAN RAILWAY, MONGOLIA, THE SILK ROAD AND THE CAUCASUS AT GROUND LEVEL. TRAVEL WITH THE LOCALS, EXPLORE CITIES WITH YOUR LOCAL HONCHO, DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE AND DO AND PAY LOCAL PRICES ALONG THE WAY!

Vodkatrain brings together young, like-minded individuals with different backgrounds from all around the world to travel together through some of the most unique and interesting destinations on routes less travelled. You’ll be travelling with the locals wherever you go and will discover each new city with the help of your local Honcho. Vodkatrain is a great combination of independent backpacking and small group travel at affordable do-it-yourself prices. If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional tour groups with fixed schedules and regimented sightseeing, Vodkatrain gives you the chance to do your own thing or let your Honcho show you around the city they live in and love!

TRAVEL WITH THE EXPERTS

HONCHOS - YOUR INVALUABLE FRIENDS

The planning is where the fun starts! Our team of specialist Travel Advisors are here to help you decide where to go and what to do. All of them are well travelled and understand what makes our journeys exceptional. They’ll even help you with any tricky visa applications so that you can concentrate on the fun stuff!

Our Honchos are your friends in a distant city, they are your age, speak the local language and will show you around so you get the most out of your stay in their city! These guys know the best places to eat, the best places to see and the best places to party - all the things that aren’t in the guidebooks!

Behind the scenes we’ve invested the time working out train timetables, where to stop and how long to spend in each place so you don’t have to! We’ve also come up with visa advice, suggested budgets, ideas for how to pass the time on the trains, which books to read and some cultural dos and don’ts to help you get started.

After meeting your travel companions on day one, your Honcho will give you a rundown of what to expect and assist the group with anything you need — be it local transport directions, the translation of a chat up line, an impromptu city tour or advice on phoning home! As there are no set activities, you can choose to hang with the Honcho and the group or do your own thing!

On the road our support network of friendly local partners in each of our destinations, means we are literally there for you every step of your journey! On top of that, we have 24/7 support for you wherever you go, so you are never entirely alone! As for us, we’ve been doing this for more than a few years. Vodkatrain is the brainchild of Sundowners Overland, who have been sharing Asia Overland since the first minivans of long-haired hippies set off across this great continent 50 years ago! We understand the urge to explore new places, meet people whose experiences are so far removed from our own, carve out alternative routes (or visit long untrodden ones) and do something wonderfully different. Our experience is your peace of mind, and it’s worth its weight in gold!

LIKE-MINDED TRAVELLERS & PERSONAL ENCOUNTERS Vodkatrain journeys bring together travellers, Honchos and personal local encounters to offer cultural experiences that get right to the heart of why we love travel. We are 18-35 only and guarantee that you’ll be sharing your adventure with like-minded travellers from across the globe. These are not ‘escorted’ tours but it is group travel. This means you’ll have other travellers around to share experiences with and to provide a support network so you won’t have to tackle any hard bits alone! Many Vodkatrainers are on a gap year or career break or perhaps on a major world overland journey. It is not just the unique destinations you’ll visit that will stay with you, but the local and international friends you’ll make along the way.

When it’s time to move on your Honcho will take you to the right train station, find your platform (ever looked at a departures board entirely in Mandarin or Cyrillic?) and put you on the right train in the right direction. When you arrive at your next city, there will be a smiling Honcho waiting to transfer you to your accommodation and show you another amazing city.

FREEDOM & FLEXIBILITY Time waits for no one and we know you won’t either! We have scheduled departures in summer and winter, spring and autumn and to make it even easier many departures are guaranteed. With your train tickets, accommodation, transfers en route, visa support and Honchos sorted, you can save money by paying locally for everything you choose to do, eat and experience. You won’t find any pre-organised sightseeing tours so you can explore all those places you have read about, or that your Honcho suggests and pay the local price to get in.

IT’S GROUP TRAVEL AS INDIVIDUAL AS YOU! Vodkatrain is a travel revolution born out of the bureaucracy and challenges of travel through some of Asia’s most incredible and hardly visited destinations. It’s a style of travel that offers the benefits of group travel while allowing you to be as independent as you desire. Vodkatrainers are open minded travellers who have an appreciation for unique and unusual destinations; they are independent but interested in sharing their experiences with others of a similar age and mindset.

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KEY MOSCOW TO BEIJING / BEIJING TO MOSCOW 12/13 DAYS - 7,865KM The iconic Trans Siberian / Mongolian journey for those watching their Roubles.

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THE BUDGETING BOLSHEVIK

SILK ROAD TRANS SIBERIAN TRANS MONGOLIAN THE CAUCASUS FURTHER EXPERIENCES

THE GENGHIS KHAN

THE COSSACK MOSCOW TO BEIJING / BEIJING TO MOSCOW 23//24 DAYS - 7,865KM Stop in more places, soak up all the culture and spend more time while you’re there.

THE RUSKI HUSKI ST. PETERSBURG TO BEIJING / BEIJING TO ST. PETERSBURG 19 DAYS - 8,514KM Enjoy a winter Trans Siberian / Trans Mongolian experience, dog sleds and all.

THE MARCO POLO ISTANBUL TO BEIJING / BEIJING TO ISTANBUL 25 DAYS - 11,021KM Explore the fabled old Silk Road in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Marco Polo.

THE RAUCOUS CAUCASUS TBILISI TO YEREVAN 12 DAYS -1,590KM Traverse the Caucasus from Georgia to Armenia. A region rich in history, culture and jaw-dropping vistas!

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21 DAYS - 8,515KM The classic Trans Siberian / Mongolia journey, experience three countries and seven time zones.

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ST. PETERSBURG TO BEIJING / BEIJING TO ST. PETERSBURG

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THE VODKATRAIN

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14/15 DAYS - 7,865KM The classic Trans Siberian / Mongolian for those short on time.

St. Petersburg, Russia PAGE 30

MOSCOW TO BEIJING / BEIJING TO MOSCOW

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ARCTIC CIRCLE

Is PAGE 28

ALSO INSIDE

GET CONNECTED Instagram: www.instagram.com/vodkatrain Facebook: www.facebook.com/vodkatraintravel 03

6. LIFE ON THE ROAD 7. WHERE WE STAY 8. WHAT’S INCLUDED 9. HONCHOS 10. THE TRANS MONGOLIAN RAILWAY 26. EXPLORING THE SILK ROAD 32. FURTHER EXPERIENCES 34. STARTING YOUR JOURNEY 36. BOOKING CONDITIONS 37. FESTIVALS

Caucasus map

Gergeti Trinity Church 1 Gudauri

Akhaltsikhe

2 Telavi

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TBILISI

Sighnaghi

Vardzia

Mount Aragats

Lake Sevan

YEREVAN 3

Mount Ararat

Goris

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Murmansk Kazan, Russia

Rovaniemi

Suzdal, Russia

Arkhangelsk

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Kizhi

Petrozavodsk

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Tallinn

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Yaroslavl

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Suzdal

Nizhny Novgorod

Kazan

Vilnius Berlin Warsaw Kiev Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Caucasus See inset Istanbul

Ankara

h Tas

Ashgabat

ra kha and ark m a S

Mashhad

Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Istanbul, Turkey

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

Gergeti, Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia

Samarkand, Uzbekistan

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Tehran Isfahan

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Isfahan, Iran


Mongolian Ger Camp in winter

Lake Baikal, Russia

Terelj National Park, Mongolia

Meet the locals in Ulan Ude, Russia

ARCTIC CIRCLE

Irku

Lake Baikal

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Khovsgol Lake

Ula

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Terelj National Park

Kharkhorin a Alm

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Vladivostok Kyoto

Xian

Sakai Minato

Tokyo

Osaka

Chengdu

Shanghai K

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Guangzhou

Nanning

Hanoi

Chengdu, China

Kyoto, Japan

Ho Chi Minh City

JOURNEY EXPERIENCE

Xian, China

“Vodkatrain creates a way to see so many cities and countries, removes the intimidation of solo travel and replaces it with an awesome group trip.� Chloe Edwards

Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China

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JOURNEY EXPERIENCE “I would love to travel around the whole world without getting on a plane. I think it would be such a great adventure. When you’re on a train you get to see so much more and you get so many more exciting stories.” Lydia, Australia

GROUP SIZE No 60-seater buses and definitely no nametags. Want to avoid feeling lost in the crowd? So do we, so your group is limited to 15 like-minded travellers from around the world – big enough to form a posse, small enough to give you space. They come as singles, couples or buddies, and with the flexibility to choose your own daily routine, you have personal space or company as you see fit.

WITH 9 TIME ZONES IN RUSSIA THE RAILWAY TIMETABLES ARE WRITTEN IN CYRILLIC. DON’T FORGET TO TAKE ALONG A PHRASE BOOK TO TAKE THE HASSLE OUT OF WHAT COULD BE A COMPLICATED JOURNEY! YOUR HONCHO WILL GIVE YOU SOME TIPS AS WELL.

TRAINS… NOT THE ORIENT EXPRESS! Trains along the Trans Siberian and the Silk Road are a destination in themselves! Along with ideas, religions and an enormous variety of goods, these trains ferry families, traders, students, soldiers, business people, travellers, monks & acrobats… You name it, they’re on it and there is a good chance you’ll be sharing with them at some stage of the journey!

Let’s get something straight from the start: These are public trains, not chartered services. Overnight accommodation is in four-share sleeping compartments – two upper and two lower bunks. Depending on group size, you may be sharing with other group members, or with local travellers. Don’t be afraid to say hello! Compartments have bedding, reading lights, a big window, a small table, room for a rucksack or two and if you’re REALLY lucky – a vase with a plastic flower. Carriages have two washrooms (no showers), boiling water and a couple of friendly attendants. Each train has its own personality, and regulars, so check out the Journey Itinerary for specifics. PLEASE NOTE - on the Budgeting Bolshevik sleeping configurations and facilities will differ.

OTHER TRANSPORT AND TRANSFERS Not planes, automobiles and ox carts Add the odd yak, camel, horse and it doesn’t end there. Inspired with huge vaulted ceilings and palatial trappings, the Moscow Metro is just like the London Underground except with the human race in mind rather than the rat race.

You won’t get left behind... Station transfers are provided throughout your itinerary... Once you arrive at the station, a friendly Honcho will meet you to transfer you to your accommodation. When it is time to leave, they arrange the transfer from the guesthouse to the station, and don’t leave until everyone is comfortably on the train and ready for the next stage of the journey. Too easy! Download language apps and bring a pack of cards… trust us!

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Hang out in the dining carriage and meet extraordinary people!

What do train carriages look like? • Hello travel buddy! One of your group or one of the locals. Either way you’re sure to have fun getting to know each other. • Top and bottom bunks – they are pretty comfy and nice to sleep on. Clean linen is provided on each train. • Stock up on food and drink before boarding the train otherwise you will have to chase babushkas to get more… or they will chase you. • You can lift the bottom bunks to store your luggage. There is also plenty of room above the door.


JOURNEY EXPERIENCE “I had the best time, a truly once in a lifetime journey that Vodkatrian made so easy” Mike Neill

inside ! A ger

Each of the gers have beds and a pot-bell stove that the local family will keep burning when cold - very welcome on those winter mornings!

Inside your cosy Ger in Mongolia

YOUR ACCOMMODATION FOR EVERY NIGHT OF THE ITINERARY IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE. WE’VE CHOSEN THEM FOR THEIR CHARACTER AND WITH YOUR COSTS IN MIND. YOU’LL STAY IN A MIXTURE OF HOSTELS AND HOTELS ALONG THE WAY, ALL NICE AND CLOSE TO TRANSPORT AND CLEAN! SOMETIMES YOU WILL BE IN MULTI-SHARE BUT MOSTLY TWIN-SHARE, WITH A MIXTURE OF PRIVATE AND SHARED BATHROOM FACILITIES.

GERS

HOSTELS

Gers in Mongolia and Yurts along the Silk Road. They’re the same thing though, the homes of nomads. In Mongolia today still over half the population live in gers, either out on the steppe or nestled amongst the high rises in the city. A round wooden-framed felt tent covered in canvas, the basic framework is constructed of a collapsible lattice wall sections (khana), a low wooden door, two central support posts (bagana) a wheel shaped roof frame (toono) and between 80 to 100 poles (uni). Amazingly the nomads can take these down in just 30 minutes, pack them on their ox carts and head off across the steppe to fresh pastures. They’re also useful if you get lost - all doors face south so you don’t need to bring a compass!

One of the favourites is Godzillas in Moscow. It was the first independent hostel to open in Moscow and that’s no mean feat in Russia! Close to the action with two metro stations within 5 minutes walk, Godzillas is in a great spot to check out the city. It also provides an easy way to meet other travellers on other Vodkatrain journeys as Godzillas is the start and end point for many of our journeys. We know you’ll love the hang out areas, the beds are comfy and they even have free internet so you can start posting your Facebook updates from day one!

Staying in a traditional ger is a highlight of any trip in Mongolia. Venturing out to the grasslands you’ll feel just like a nomad. The ger camps have a small group of gers with some basic facilities (toilets and a restaurant).

who you'll meet When travelling on the trains you’re bound to bump into some interesting characters and they will be keen to hear your stories, join in picnics and probably share the odd shot of vodka as well. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself dancing in the dining car! Crucial to your train experience are your provodnitsas or carriage attendants who will ensure that your compartment is spick and span and that you don’t miss the train after a station stop. Make friends with them and offer them some chocolates and they might even charge your cameras for you. Along with the local Honchos, make sure you ask to go to meet Alice in Beijing. She runs a Tea House and is a firm favourite for our groups, she will quickly show you that there is more to tea than just reading the leaves!

GUESTHOUSES & HOTELS When you rest your head each night we have selected guesthouses and hotels which reflect the character of our unique destinations. Whilst in Lake Baikal you’ll stay in Tatyana’s Guesthouse, a Siberian wooden chalet where Tatyana will cook up some traditional Russian food when you get back from a day by the lake. Whether you are sipping tea in Iran, or kicking back and soaking in the old world charm of Bukhara, you will enjoy our exceptional mix of quirky, cultural, clean, comfortable and conveniently located accommodation.

REMEMBER In the hotels, hostels & guesthouses we will try and pair you if you are a couple but it can’t be guaranteed, so sometimes you will be sharing with fellow group members of the same sex. In the ger camp travellers usually have the choice of who they share with. Depending on group size you may be sharing with local travellers and members of the opposite sex on train sectors. There are no single supplement costs. Solo travellers pay the same as couples and share with other solo travellers (same sex) or receive their own room at no extra cost.

Tatyana’s Guesthouse, Lake Baikal.

Old City Hotel, Bukhara. 07


SEASONED VODKATRAINERS

WE’RE HERE TO ENSURE YOUR JOURNEY WITH US IS SMOOTH SAILING FROM START TO FINISH, SO WE OFFER A FEW INCLUSIONS WITH EACH JOURNEY TO MAKE YOUR LIFE A LITTLE EASIER! THIS MEANS YOU’LL HAVE MORE TIME TO FOCUS ON ALL THE FUN STUFF, LIKE WHAT TO SEE AND DO WHEN YOU’RE THERE! 1. THE ESSENTIALS... • • • • • •

Train Tickets Accommodation Station Transfers Honchos Visa Support Guaranteed Departures

2. VISA SUPPORT. IT’S VITAL! Visa applications are straight forward if you have the right documentation. Vodkatrain will provide all the necessary official documents to support your application. Not only will you benefit from our comprehensive visa guidelines and friendly helpful advice, we provide special documents called covering letters or invitation letters which are required to obtain Russian, Uzbek and Iranian visas for no extra charge.

The cost of a visa is paid to the relevant government consulate or embassy, not to Vodkatrain, and the price will vary according to your nationality, the Consulate or Embassy the application is made at, and the length of time you allow for the application process. There are sometimes strict rules governing where you are allowed to apply and when, therefore it may be convenient for you to use a visa processing service who will, for a fee, handle the applications on your behalf. With so many variables have a look on vodkatrain.com for more advice or ask your Travel Advisor for details.

3. GUARANTEED DEPARTURES

FEARLESS FOURSOME BONUS Found a group of travel buddies? Looking for something a bit extra? We’ll give each Fearless Foursome not only 5% off each but a choice of an extra treat in your start or end city. It might be a slap up meal or a trip to the acrobats, or maybe a visit to an underground bunker. You choose from a bunch of offered experiences which most suits your group at the time of booking and we’ll make it happen.

We know you want to lock in some good flight deals early so we’ve guaranteed a range of departure dates to help you plan your journey. Check out vodkatrain.com for more details.

JOURNEY EXPERIENCE “A truly amazing experience and some of the most unique countries i have ever travelled through i would highly recommend this trip and really love the concept vodkatrain offers” Kristy Ward 08

You’ve already ridden the rails in Russia and are back in search of yaks or camels? Or perhaps you’ve channelled your inner Genghis Khan in Mongolia and are now ready to explore his western kingdoms in the Silk Road countries of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan? We already know that you are going to want to return and explore some more so we’re giving you a 5% REWARD towards your next adventure.

“Russian Banyas (saunas) are a great way to relax and unwind and Suzdal is the place to do just that! Are you game enough to try a birch ‘massage’?” – Irina, Suzdal


YOUR LOCAL HONCHO IS YOUNG, FUN AND ENERGETIC. THEY’RE A FRIEND IN A DISTANT CITY READY TO SHARE THEIR LIFE WITH YOU FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS. A REGULAR TOUR OPERATOR MIGHT CALL THEM TOUR OR CITY GUIDES, BUT THEY’RE NOT, THEY’RE HONCHOS, AND SO MUCH MORE.

MEET YOUR

O H C N O H

MEET LEO

. Honchos are a real - a real learning curve ce en eri exp ling vel tra ve so much more “Brilliant first tour leader as they ha gle sin e on to n so ari advantage in comp gdom ce Spicer, United Kin inside knowledge.” Ali • Leo is your friend from another city, he will show you how to use local transport and introduce you to the best eats, bars, nightclubs, museums or whatever you’re into. • Leo knows his city like the back of his hand. Ask him what you want to see and he will make it happen. You will pay like a local of course! • Need a hand with mundane tasks like finding an ATM, money exchange, Laundromat or internet café? Leo will assist you and if there is somewhere he doesn’t know he has the language skills to find out. • He won’t babysit you or take you to his cousin’s restaurant, he’s there to point you in the right direction and make sure you get the most out of your time in his wonderful city. He’ll go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure you love his city as much as he does. • Most importantly Leo will make sure you are on the right train platform at the right time to continue your journey! Whilst you’d wing it in Barca where your “una cerveza por favor” will get you by – how’s your Mongolian getting on? The Vodkatrain is met by a friendly Honcho at every stop along the way. Honchos are your age, speak the local language and are experts when it comes to showing you their city. They’ll make sure you get off the train, get your bearings, find that raucous underground karaoke bar and then back on the train when your time has come. Being a local they love showing you around, not just to the touristy sites (which are important too!) but to the real heartbeat of the city, its people and those underground places which would normally takes weeks to find! They’re not libraries of local history, but can definitely show you where to find one. Your Honcho probably has some ideas about what you should see in their city – but there is no pressure to do any suggested activities; if you want to do your own thing they will help you with directions, a few local sayings or maybe scrawl a basic map on a napkin – then leave you to it… Honchos are usually local students who speak excellent English and love their job because they can meet people from around the world. And while it all might sound like carefree fun, Honchos undertake a training program with a more experienced Honcho who has seen or heard all of the stories and knows just what to do with a drunken sailor... Your Honchos are available from 9am until 9pm each day and some choose to stay out later for a drink. We cover all their expenses to ensure that they’ll only take you to the places they would want to go so there’s no funny business. 09


TRAVELLING FROM CHINA OR RUSSIA INTO MONGOLIA ALONG THE TRANS MONGOLIAN AND TRANS SIBERIAN RAILWAYS ARE WITHOUT A DOUBT SOME OF THE MOST EPIC OVERLAND JOURNEYS OF ALL TIME! IMMERSE YOURSELF WITHIN THE INCREDIBLE CULTURE AND CUSTOMS OF DESTINATIONS THAT HAVE CONTINUED TO INTRIGUE TRAVELLERS SINCE THE COMPLETION OF THE ORIGINAL RAILWAY BACK IN THE EARLY 1900’S!’

Mongolian Steppe

Life on board the train is a destination in itself! On any one of Vodkatrain’s Trans Mongolian Railway journeys you will cross three of the worlds largest countries, sixteen major rivers, two deserts, eight time zones and experience the many ever changing landscapes all from your train window.

CHINA

MONGOLIA

An imperial melting pot where fascinating culture, cuisine, history and architecture combine to create one of the most exciting and diverse countries to travel in the world.

We’re certain you’ll fall in love with the friendly people, impressive landscapes and unique vibe of the incredible land of Genghis Khan! Experience the cultural contrast from Ulaanbaatar’s bustling bar scene to the postcard perfect surrounds of Terelj National Park where you will be welcomed into the home and hearts of your hosts at our cozy Ger camp.

1. Whilst in Beijing stroll through the trendy alley ways of Beijing’s 798 Art District and discover contemporary galleries, cafes, unusual sculptures and vibrant street art. 2. Discover Beijing’s craft beer scene, check out Slow Boat brewery and Jinga Brewing to start with. 3. Skip the hotel breakfast, eat like a local and tuck into steaming baskets of baozi.

1. Who doesn’t want to see a 40 meter tall statue of Genghis Khan on horseback? The hard to miss and impressive statue of the founder of the Mongol Empire is positioned on the bank of the Tuul River. 2. Visit the Gandantegchinlen Monastery because; if you can nail the pronunciation, you’ve won at life and the Tibetan name literally translates to “Great Place of Complete Joy”

Explore the art scene in Beijing, China

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3. Mmmm, Suutei Tsai… This salty, milky Mongolian beverage is a common drink in Mongolia and if you’re lucky, it might just be served to you in your Ger.


RUSSIA This marvelous mammoth country geographically encompasses 10% of the world’s land mass giving you a real road less travelled experience! You’ll be charmed by the quaint villages and magical mountains surrounding Lake Baikal and swept up in the colorful culture and big personalities of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

1. Join in on the celebrations as the Russians of St. Petersburg gather on the Neva River on a warm summers evening and celebrate the opening of one of this wonderful cities 22 drawbridges.

Jump for joy in Red Square, Moscow

Enjoy a game of knuckle bones in your ger, Mongolia

2. Now that you’ve read the latest episode of ‘Superputin’ the comic, you’ll want to test out your latest ninja skills. Do so and take a rooftop tour in Moscow for a beautiful view of this colorful city. 3. Take a trek around part of the world’s deepest lake – Lake Baikal. This majestic lake is not only remarkable for its deep water, but it’s long list of mysterious fables including the Russian very own Loch Ness monster, ‘Lusud-Khan’.

Trek the Great Wall outside of Bejing, China

Dip your toes in Lake Baikal, Irkutsk

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THE BUDGETING BOLSHEVIK MOSCOW TO BEIJING / BEIJING TO MOSCOW 12/13 DAYS - 7,865KM THE BUDGETING BOLSHEVIK

ALL ABOARD THE BOLSHEVIK BARGAIN TRAIN! GET YOUR CULTURE AND COUNTRY FIX ON THIS FANTASTIC AND FUN TRANS MONGOLIAN RAIL JOURNEY. MARVEL IN THE MAGNIFICENT CITY SITES OF MOSCOW AND MINGLE WITH MODERN MONGOLIANS ALL WITHOUT BORROWING A BUCK!

Gandan Khiid Monastery, Ulaanbaatar

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Lake Baikal

Listvyanka 1

MOSCOW

Irkutsk

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Ulaanbaatar 1

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Terelj National Park

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1 Nights spent in gers, hostels or guesthouses

BEIJING

All aboard the Trans Mongolian Railway

Nights spent on the train Train travel

e lshevik cuts th o B g n ti e g d u The B gets niceties and g unnecessary ess: Deliverin in s u b to n w straight do rney. ongolian Jou M s n ra T ic p an e sing al and bypas c lo a e lik g n Travelli ey ans this journ e m s p a tr t s the touri nk and break the ba to g in o g ’t n is re room tly leaves mo n a rt o p im t s mo ith get to party w d u b e z o o b r in you vie! nds. Nazdoro your new frie 12

Grand Red Drum Tower, Beijing

JOURNEY EXPERIENCE “This was an excellent experience that i thoroughly recommend - amazing landscapes and scenery, interesting Russian people and the train itself all make it a very different trip.” Budgeting Bolshevik Traveller


To book this journey email us at 18to35@vodkatrain.com quoting journey code: BBMB or BBBM

vodkatrain.com

Moscow to Beijing

Beijing to Moscow

1. Arrive in Moscow – Meet your group, jump on the metro and start your journey in Red Square! 2. Moscow – Explore this great city before an afternoon departure to Irkutsk. 3. All aboard the Trans Siberian Railway – Settle into life on board. 4-5. Trans Siberian Railway – Spend time with the locals, share stories and watch the landscapes change out of the window. 6. Morning arrival in Irkutsk and to Lake Baikal – Go for a refreshing swim and try the lake’s famous, tasty fish! 7. Return to Irkutsk and board an evening train to Ulaanbaatar. 8. Trans Mongolian Railway – Catch a glimpse of your first yak in Mongolia and witness the incredible scenery from your train window. 9. Early morning arrival into Ulaanbaatar and head out to Terelj National Park and our ger camp. 10. Ger camp and return to Ulaanbaatar – Relax in the serenity of the wide open steppe and learn about the nomadic way of life. 11. Morning departure to Beijing – Cross the legendary Gobi Desert. 12. Midday arrival in Beijing and your journey ends.

1. Start your journey in Beijing and meet your fellow travellers. Time to visit the night markets before our departure tomorrow. 2. A morning departure on the Trans Mongolian Railway to Ulaanbaatar. 3. Afternoon arrival into Ulaanbaatar and an opportunity to explore the city. 4. Out to Terelj National Park and time to indulge in some dumplings and other nomadic treats. 5. Return to Ulaanbaatar and board the train to Irkutsk in Siberia. 6. A day to watch the world go by from the train, meet the locals and catch glimpses of local life. 7. Morning arrival in Irkutsk and transfer to Listvyanka, your shore side home at Lake Baikal. Don’t forget to try a banya and jump into the lake. 8. Relax by the lake before returning to Irkutsk to board your evening train to Moscow. 9-11. Enjoy the change of pace with time on the train watching the scenery change and take the opportunity to practice your language skills in the dining car. 12. An early morning arrival into Moscow. Head out to see the Kremlin, visit Gorky Park and ride the metro. 13. Your journey ends in Moscow. *Map shown corresponds to this journey direction.

From Moscow to Beijing 2017 CODE: BBMB Start

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From Beijing to Moscow 2017 CODE: BBBM Start

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PRICES

Tower of fragrance, Beijing

Terelj National Park

Ride through the countryside in Mongolia

GET ED CONNECT n ow the lowdifi w on

$1,995 $2,095 $1,595

CAD GBP EUR

$1,995 £1,135 €1,335

From Moscow to Beijing 2018 CODE: BBMB Start

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02 Feb 02 Mar 30 Mar 27 Apr 01 Jun

18 Jun 23 Jul 20 Aug 24 Sep 22 Oct

29 Jun 03 Aug 31 Aug 05 Oct 02 Nov

From Beijing to Moscow 2018 CODE: BBBM Start

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24 Feb 24 Mar 21 Apr 19 May 27 Jun

06 Jul 10 Aug 07 Sep 12 Oct 09 Nov

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PRICES There’s always a reason to party on the train

AUD NZD USD

AUD NZD USD

$1,995 $2,095 $1,595

CAD GBP EUR

$1,995 £1,135 €1,335

Enjoying the sights

BEFORE YOU GO

ON THE ROAD

The Bolsheviks would probably have spurned social media as an indulgent tool of the bourgeois; but not us! Check the “Meet Other Travellers” section of our Facebook page to connect with your new travel besties.

We try to ensure WiFi is available in most major stops but there will be times where you are net free for days at a time. Don’t fret though; this is a perfect time to find the best snapchat filter, read through old text messages or even have a human to human conversation… in real life!

13


THE GENGHIS KHAN MOSCOW TO BEIJING / BEIJING TO MOSCOW 14/15 DAYS - 7,865KM THE GENGHIS KHAN

GET SADDLED UP AND RIDE THE LANDS OF GENGHIS KHAN, DISCOVER MOSCOW’S UBER-COOL HANGOUTS AND HAVE YOUR SENSES BOMBARDED IN BEIJING. GET READY FOR AN EPIC JAM-PACKED AND VODKA INFUSED ADVENTURE ACROSS THE TRANS MONGOLIAN AND TRANS SIBERIAN RAILWAYS!

Quake in the presence of the mighty Genghis Khan

1

4

Lake Baikal

MOSCOW Irkutsk

2

Terelj 2 National Park

Ulaanbaatar 2 1

2 Nights spent in gers, hostels or guesthouses

Watch some wrestling practice in Ulaanbaatar

BEIJING

Nights spent on the train Train travel

14

on are a bit tight u o y e s u a c e Just b ave to ’t mean you h time it doesn lian Trans Mongo a n o t u o s is m in lve into history e D . re tu n e v Ad ce traditional n e ri e p x e , w o Mosc p y at a ger cam lit a it p s o h n lia Mongo the delicacies at c ti o x e y tr d n a ree arkets. Hit th m t h ig n g n iji Be o do all this in tw countries and e call that’s what w weeks - now ! an adventure

How many can you fit in one compartment?

JOURNEY EXPERIENCE “The 4 days in a row in the train were an unexpected highlight. Eating noodles, meeting local people, Drinking, playing games and looking at the changing landscapes... Just do it, and do it now!” Raissa Welten


To book this journey email us at 18to35@vodkatrain.com quoting journey code: GKMB or GKBM

vodkatrain.com

Moscow to Beijing

Beijing to Moscow

1. Arrive in Moscow - Meet your group and Honcho. 2. Moscow – Check out the Kremlin, pay a visit to Lenin or travel on the dazzling metro system. 3. Moscow and evening departure to Ulaanbaatar – All aboard the Trans Siberian Railway! 4-7. Trans Siberian Railway – Settle in to life on board, spend time with the locals, share stories and watch the landscapes change out the window. 8. Morning arrival in Ulaanbaatar – Get a great view of the town from the Zaisan Memorial or mingle with monks at the Gaandan Khiid Monastery. 9. Head out to Terelj National Park and our ger camp – Relax in the fresh air and sample some nomadic delicacies. 10. Ger camp – Climb Turtle Rock or play some pool with the locals in the wilderness. 11. Return to Ulaanbaatar for some final exploring in this fascinating city. 12. Morning departure for Beijing – Enjoy the final train journey and an impressive change of wheels at the border. 13. Midday arrival into Beijing - Explore the hutongs and night markets. 14. Finish in Beijing – Time to farewell your new friends.

1. Start your journey in Beijing – meet your new travel buddies and Honcho! 2. Beijing – Ride a bicycle around to get an idea of the scale of the city, or travel by metro to grasp the density of the population. 3. Morning departure for Ulaanbaatar – All aboard the Trans Mongolian Railway! 4. Afternoon arrival into Ulaanbaatar – Check out this quirky capital. 5. Head out to Terelj National Park and ger camp – Relax in the fresh air and sample some nomadic delicacies. 6. Terelj National Park – Climb Turtle Rock or play some pool with the locals in the wilderness. 7. Ger camp and return to Ulaanbaatar. 8. Ulaanbaatar - Get a great view of the town from the Zaisan Memorial or mingle with the monks at the Gaandan Khiid monastery before an evening departure for Irkutsk – Settle into life on board. 9. Trans Mongolian Railway - Cross the border into Russia and watch the landscape change as you enter Siberia. 10. Enjoy a day exploring Irkutsk, the capital of Siberia before an evening departure to continue your journey to Moscow. 11-13. Trans Siberian Railway – Spend time with the locals, exchange stories and share food in the dining car! 14. Early morning arrival into Moscow and start exploring. 15. Moscow – End your journey and farewell your new friends.

From Moscow to Beijing 2017 CODE: GKMB Start

End

Start

End

05 Mar 23 Apr 28 May 18 Jun 02 Jul

18 Mar 06 May 10 Jun 01 Jul 15 Jul

23 Jul 20 Aug 17 Sep 15 Oct

05 Aug 02 Sep 30 Sep 28 Oct

From Beijing to Moscow 2017 CODE: GKBM Start

End

Start

End

23 Mar 20 Apr 04 May 29 May 11 Jun

06 Apr 04 May 18 May 12 Jun 25 Jun

02 Jul 30 Jul 03 Sep 17 Sep

16 Jul 13 Aug 17 Sep 01 Oct

PRICES

AUD NZD USD

$2,580 $2,710 $2,065

CAD GBP EUR

$2,580 £1,470 €1,730

From Moscow to Beijing 2018 CODE: GKMB Start

End

Start

End

04 Mar 22 Apr 27 May 17 Jun 01 Jul

17 Mar 05 May 09 Jun 30 Jun 14 Jul

22 Jul 19 Aug 16 Sep 14 Oct

04 Aug 01 Sep 29 Sep 27 Oct

From Beijing to Moscow 2018 CODE: GKBM Start

End

Start

End

25 Mar 22 Apr 06 May 28 May 14 Jun

08 Apr 06 May 20 May 11 Jun 28 Jun

05 Jul 02 Aug 06 Sep 20 Sep

19 Jul 16 Aug 20 Sep 04 Oct

*Map shown corresponds to this journey direction.

PRICES

AUD NZD USD

$2,580 $2,710 $2,065

CAD GBP EUR

$2,580 £1,470 €1,730

Tuck into a Mongolian banquet

Hike around Lake Baikal, Irkutsk

GET ED CONNECT n ow the lowdifi w on

Marvel at the magnificent Great Wall of China

Tasty bites in Beijng

BEFORE YOU GO

ON THE ROAD

‘Remember, you have no companions but your shadow’ Genghis Khan wasn’t the most upbeat chap but hopefully your fellow travelers are! Check them out on our ‘Meet Other Travellers’ Facebook page.

You can’t conquer the Mongol Steppe and maintain a perfect 4G signal at the same time. We make our best effort to ensure all our hotels have WiFI, often free, so you can let mum know you’re still alive. Once you’re out in the wild though, even Zuckerberg can’t reach you.

15


THE VODKATRAIN ST. PETERSBURG TO BEIJING / BEIJING TO ST. PETERSBURG 21 DAYS - 8,515KM THE VODKATRAIN NO IT’S NOT ALL VODKA AND BABUSHKAS! THIS IS A LEGENDARY JOURNEY RIDING THE RAILS THROUGH FASCINATING CULTURES AND DIVERSE LANDSCAPES ALONG THE TRANS SIBERIAN AND TRANS MONGOLIAN RAILWAY VISITING INCREDIBLE CITIES ALONG THE WAY! The train waiting to depart Ulaanbaatar

1

ST. PETERSBURG 1

2

2

1

Moscow

3

Lake Baikal

Listvyanka 1

Kazan

Irkutsk

2

Terelj 2 National Park

Ulaanbaatar 1 1 Nights spent in gers, hostels or guesthouses

3 BEIJING

Head to Terelj National Park to experience nomadic life and catch some Zzz’s in a cosy ger - the traditional home of nomads!

Nights spent on the train Train travel

ns Mongolian ra T ic s s la c e This is th laces all the best p it is V y. e rn u Jo orth’ enice of the N ‘V ’s ia s s u R from ou’ll ing Beijing. Y y if tr c le e to h throug ongolia nomads in M stay with the aatar. quirky Ulaanb in y rt a p d n a er a ake Baikal aft L in ip d a y Enjo orb train and abs e th n o ts h ig few n cow or istory in Mos fascinating h at Wall. along the Gre g n lli o tr s ile h w 16

Marvel at the Church of the Spilt Blood, St. Petersburg

JOURNEY EXPERIENCE “I love Vodkatrain! I won’t be able to describe the train journey to anyone without them experiencing it. The ger camp was unforgettable.” Laura T


To book this journey email us at 18to35@vodkatrain.com quoting journey code: VTSB or VTBS

vodkatrain.com

St. Petersburg to Beijing

Beijing to St. Petersburg

1. Arrive in St. Petersburg. Meet your group and Honcho. 2. St. Petersburg – Visit the Grand Avenue of Nevsky Prospekt! 3. St. Petersburg and overnight train to Moscow. 4. Arrive in Moscow – Discover the colourful architecture of Red Square. 5. Moscow – Pack a picnic and spend some time in Gorky Park. 6. Final morning in Moscow and an afternoon departure to Irkutsk. 7-9. Trans Siberian Railway – Head down to the dining car to practice your Russian. 10. Morning arrival in Irkutsk and head out to Lake Baikal. 11. Lake Baikal – Soak in the scenery and enjoy a hike along its beautiful shores. 12. Head back to Irkutsk and depart for Ulaanbaatar in the evening. 13. Trans Mongolian Railway. 14. Early morning arrival into Ulaanbaatar – Welcome to the land of Genghis Khan! 15. Terelj National Park – Settle into life as a nomad (ger camp). 16. More time in the countryside – Explore the Aryabal Temple (ger camp). 17. A final morning in the Mongolian wilderness before returning to Ulaanbaatar. 18. Morning departure for Beijing – Back on the train through the Gobi Desert and your final border into China. 19. Midday arrival into Beijing - Check out the hutongs, markets or Tiananmen Square. 20. Beijing - Peking Duck anyone? 21. Finish in Beijing – Your epic journey is complete!

1. Start your journey in Beijing. Meet your Honcho and head out to the night markets. 2. Beijing – Peking Duck anyone? 3. Take a wander through the hutongs or ride a rickshaw. 4. Morning departure aboard the Trans Mongolian Railway. 5. Early afternoon arrival into Ulaanbaatar – Enjoy the nightlife in this quirky capital. 6. Head out to Terelj National Park (ger camp). 7. Settle into life as a nomad, try your hand at archery or go for a hike (ger camp). 8. Return to Ulaanbaatar and depart for Irkutsk in the evening. 9. Trans Mongolian Railway – head north to Siberia. 10. Morning arrival into Irkutsk and to Lake Baikal – Be brave enough to take a dip! 11. Lake Baikal – Pack a picnic and enjoy a hike along its beautiful shores before returning to Irkutsk and a late evening departure for Kazan. 12. All aboard the Trans Siberian Railway! 13. Trans Siberian Railway – Head down to the dining car and practice your Russian. 14. Arrive in Kazan in the afternoon, the capital of Tartarstan. 15. A full day to enjoy the sights of this fascinating city and to party the night away. 16. Kazan – a final day to explore before journeying to Moscow overnight. 17. Arrive Moscow – Spend some time in Gorky Park – a favourite amongst locals. 18. Explore the sights of Red Square and make some time to visit the Kremlin. 19. Moscow and overnight train to St. Petersburg. 20. St. Petersburg – Take in the sights and discover the local live music scene, your Honcho is sure to have some favourites. 21. St. Petersburg – Your journey ends. *Map shown corresponds to this journey direction.

From St. Petersburg to Beijing 2017 CODE: VTSB Start

End

Start

End

23 Jan 27 Mar 10 Apr 01 May 08 May 12 Jun 26 Jun 10 Jul

12 Feb 16 Apr 30 Apr 21 May 28 May 02 Jul 16 Jul 30 Jul

31 Jul 14 Aug 28 Aug 04 Sep 11 Sep 02 Oct 13 Nov 11 Dec

20 Aug 03 Sep 17 Sep 24 Sep 01 Oct 22 Oct 03 Dec 31 Dec

From Beijing to St. Petersburg 2017 CODE: VTBS Start

End

Start

End

08 Mar 29 Mar 26 Apr 10 May 04 Jun 24 Jun 08 Jul

28 Mar 18 Apr 16 May 30 May 24 Jun 14 Jul 28 Jul

23 Jul 12 Aug 27 Aug 16 Sep 30 Sep 14 Oct 04 Nov

12 Aug 01 Sep 16 Sep 06 Oct 20 Oct 03 Nov 24 Nov

PRICES

$3,950 $4,150 $3,160

CAD GBP EUR

$3,950 £2,250 €2,645

From St. Petersburg to Beijing 2018 CODE: VTSB Start

End

Start

End

22 Jan 26 Mar 09 Apr 30 Apr 07 May 11 Jun 25 Jun 09 Jul

11 Feb 15 Apr 29 Apr 20 May 27 May 01 Jul 15 Jul 29 Jul

30 Jul 13 Aug 27 Aug 03 Sep 10 Sep 01 Oct 12 Nov 10 Dec

19 Aug 02 Sep 16 Sep 23 Sep 30 Sep 21 Oct 02 Dec 30 Dec

From Beijing to St. Petersburg 2018 CODE: VTBS Start

End

Start

End

10 Mar 31 Mar 28 Apr 12 May 10 Jun 20 Jun 04 Jul

30 Mar 20 Apr 18 May 01 Jun 30 Jun 10 Jul 24 Jul

18 Jul 08 Aug 29 Aug 12 Sep 26 Sep 10 Oct 31 Oct

07 Aug 28 Aug 18 Sep 02 Oct 16 Oct 30 Oct 20 Nov

PRICES

Meet the friendly locals in Mongolia

AUD NZD USD

AUD NZD USD

$3,950 $4,150 $3,160

CAD GBP EUR

$3,950 £2,250 €2,645

Enjoy some Peking Duck in Beijing

Hang out with your Honcho in Beijing

GET ED CONNECT n ow the lowdifi w on

Don’t forget to stock up on some traditional souvenirs

BEFORE YOU GO

ON THE ROAD

Travel friends last a life time. Check out our “ Meet Other Travellers” Facebook page to share stories, make plans for your adventure and, most importantly figure out who is bringing the vodka!

There are more than 80 Million photos shared on Instagram every day. To make sure your #travelselfie makes it to your friends’ feeds we use accommodation with WiFi wherever possible. On the trains however it’s going to be pure, offline fun. Vodka anyone?

17


18


PREFER TO DO YOUR OWN THING? Then ‘Make Your Own Adventure’ and decide how long you want to stay in each city and when you want to go (If train timetables allow of course!). Plan your journey with your other half, your wolf pack, or even your mum. With Make Your Own Adventure (M.Y.O) there are no age restrictions so you can travel where you like, when you like, with who you like. Time to get the pen out and start ticking off your hot list! In each city we offer a bunch of different options including accommodation, transfers, trains and Honchos. You get to pick the fun stuff and we’ll deal with the bureaucratic visa support to make sure you have the right papers to get to where you need to be. Although you are doing your own thing, like our group journeys you will have 24/7 support just in case there is any funny business that you need a hand with! To get started with crafting your masterpiece, read through ‘How it works’ and check out the example on the next page, before viewing our Adventure Packs in the attached ‘Pull-Out Poster’.

19


St. Petersburg Suzdal Listvyanka Moscow

Lake Baikal

Kazan

Ulan Ude

Irkutsk

Ulaanbaatar Terelj National Park

Kharkhorin Bayangobi

Vladivostok

Hohhot Beijing

HOW IT WORKS 1. CHOOSE YOUR DESTINATIONS 2. CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE PACKS 3. CHOOSE YOUR TRANSFERS (IF YOU WANT THEM!) After reading this page, flip over to our crazy map and see what adventures await! Simply tick off your favourites and get in touch so we can match your crazy ideas with the local time tables, seasonality and other transport requirements. Contact details can be found on the back cover of this brochure. Your epic journey needs to be a minimum of 12 days (or it’s not really epic). Packs can include transfers, accommodation, Honchos, ferries, Further Experiences or train tickets. Need more options? Check out all of our Adventure Packs online at www.vodkatrain.com or call one of our brilliant Travel Advisors to talk through all the options.

CHECK OUT OUR EXAMPLE (RIGHT) TO SEE WHAT YOU COULD DREAM UP! Our example journey starts with 2 nights in St. Petersburg before travelling to Moscow overnight by train. Following 3 nights in the Capital another train transports you into Irkutsk for another couple of nights before venturing further east into Vladivostok. After that, jump on a ferry to Japan. Now that’s epic!!

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

We have even more options that you can add to the mix. Visit us online at www.vodkatrain.com or call one of our crafty Travel Advisors. 20

WHAT CAN I INCLUDE? Choose from any of the Adventure Packs and check against the key in each pack to see what’s included in your selection. Transfers Avoid stress on arrival to your exciting new city and include a transfer from the station to your hotel with no sneaky detours!

Train Tickets Ride the rails and really see the country you’re travelling through. Get from A-to-B with no fuss and let us arrange your train tickets.

Accommodation Chosen for character, convenience and comfort. Let us arrange where you rest your head in your new city.

Further Experiences Whether it’s staying in a nomadic Ger under the stars or wandering through a phenomenal National Park, these experiences are next level!

Honchos Your friends in a distant land. They are your age, know the local lingo and are experts when it comes to showing you the best of their city.

Ferry Board this impressive ship and journey from Vladivostok to Japan. With sleeper bunks, restaurants, a bar and karaoke you will be in your new destination in no time.

THE FABERGE FLYER

x2

GAGARIN EXPLORER

x1

TSARS & TSARINAS

x3

THE VALENTINA

x1

THE EXILED NOBLE

x2

THE MATRYOSHKA SPECIAL

x1

THE GREAT SHKOT

x2

THE RISING SUN

x1


VLADIVOSTO THE GREAT SHKOT

AUD $330 | NZD $350 | US

KAZAN

VLADI-ROCKER

AUD $295 | NZD $310 | US

TRAVELLING TATAR

x1

AUD $180 | NZD $190 | USD $145 | CAD $180 | GBP £100 | EUR €120

ST. PETERSBURG

HONCHO FOR A DAY

AUD $140 | NZD $150 | US

KREMLIN KRACKER

THE FABERGE FLYER

x2

AUD $255 | NZD $270 | USD $205 | CAD $255 | GBP £145 | EUR €170

x2

AUD $220 | NZD $230 | USD $175 | CAD $220 | GBP £125 | EUR €145

DEPARTURE TRANS AUD $35 | NZD $35 | USD

HONCHO FOR A DAY

THE FIREBIRD

x3

AUD $335 | NZD $355 | USD $270 | CAD $335 | GBP £190 | EUR €225

AUD $110 | NZD $115 | USD $90 | CAD $110 | GBP £65 | EUR €75

DEPARTURE TRANSFER

LENINGRAD LADA

x4

AUD $420 | NZD $440 | USD $335 | CAD $420 | GBP £240 | EUR €280

ANNA KARENINA AUD $225 | NZD $240 | USD $180 | CAD $225 | GBP £130 | EUR €150

THE RUSSIAN ARK AUD $250 | NZD $260 | USD $200 | CAD $250 | GBP £140 | EUR €165

ANNA PAVLOVA

AUD $75 | NZD $80 | USD $60 | CAD $75 | GBP £45 | EUR €50

THE SUZDAL SPRINTER

TA-TA TATARS

x2

TRANSFER TO MUROM & TRAIN TO KAZAN

TRAIN TO MUROM & TRANSFER TO SUZDAL

x3

AUD $300 NZD $315 USD $240 CAD $300 GBP £170 EUR €200

AUD $380 NZD $395 USD $300 CAD $380 GBP £215 EUR €255

x4

AUD $310 | NZD $325 | USD $250 | CAD $310 | GBP £175 | EUR €205

HONCHO FOR A DAY AUD $65 | NZD $65 | USD $50 | CAD $65 | GBP £35 | EUR €45

DEPARTURE TRANSFER AUD $30 | NZD $30 | USD $25 | CAD $30 | GBP £15 | EUR €20

THE BABA YAGA

THE BABUSHKA

MOSCOW TO KAZAN

KAZAN TO MOSCOW

AUD $290 NZD $305 USD $230 CAD $290 GBP £165 EUR €195

AUD $205 NZD $215 USD $160 CAD $205 GBP £115 EUR €135

x1

x1

x1

x1

x1

SUZDAL SUZDAL SLEEPOVER

x1

AUD $145 | NZD $150 | USD $115 | CAD $145 | GBP £80 | EUR €95

x1

BLINIS AND BANYAS

x2

AUD $220 | NZD $235 | USD $180 | CAD $220 | GBP £125 | EUR €150

HONCHO FOR A DAY AUD $80 | NZD $80 | USD $60 | CAD $80 | GBP £45 | EUR €50

VOSTOK LIMITED

GAGARIN EXPLORER

MOSCOW TO ST. PETERSBURG

ST. PETERSBURG TO MOSCOW

AUD $160 NZD $165 USD $125 CAD $160 GBP £90 EUR €105

AUD $160 NZD $170 USD $130 CAD $160 GBP £90 EUR €110

x1

x1

THE SUZDAL STEAMER

THE CAPITAL EXPRESS

MOSCOW TO VLADIMIR & TRANSFER TO SUZDAL

TRANSFER SUZDAL TO VLADIMIR & TRAIN TO MOSCOW

AUD $165 NZD $175 USD $135 CAD $165 GBP £95 EUR €110

AUD $145 NZD $150 USD $115 CAD $145 GBP £80 EUR €95

x1

x1

x1

x1

MATRYOSHKA SPECIAL

MOSCOW COSMONAUTS & CAVIAR

x2

AUD $305 | NZD $320 | USD $240 | CAD $305 | GBP £175 | EUR €205

TSARS & TSARINA’S

SIBERIAN SLEEPER

TOLSTOY DIRECT

IRKUTSK TO KAZAN

KAZAN TO IRKUTSK

AUD $890 NZD $940 USD $730 CAD $890 GBP £510 EUR €600

AUD $510 NZD $535 USD $410 CAD $510 GBP £290 EUR €340

x1

x3

AUD $405 | NZD $425 | USD $325 | CAD $405 | GBP £230 | EUR €275

ZHIVAGO ENCOUNTER

x4

AUD $510 | NZD $535 | USD $410 | CAD $510 | GBP £290 | EUR €345

REGAL ROMANOV

BALALAIKA BOP

STROGANOV SHIMMY

BAIKAL DELIGHT

AUD $825 NZD $865 USD $660 CAD $825 GBP £470 EUR €550

x4

AUD $490 | NZD $510 | USD $390 | CAD $490 | GBP £280 | EUR €325

x1

x1

IRKUTSK

MOSCOW TO IRKUTSK

x3

AUD $385 | NZD $405 | USD $305 | CAD $385 | GBP £220 | EUR €255

AUD $895 NZD $940 USD $715 CAD $895 GBP £510 EUR €600

THE VALENTINA

x2

AUD $280 | NZD $295 | USD $225 | CAD $280 | GBP £160 | EUR €185

IRKUTSK TO VLADIVOSTOK

AUD $155 | NZD $165 | USD $125 | CAD $155 | GBP £90 | EUR €105

THE EXILED NOBLE AUD $200 | NZD $210 | USD $160 | CAD $200 | GBP £115 | EUR €135

x1

HONCHO FOR A DAY

DACHA DASH

AUD $70 | NZD $75 | USD $55 | CAD $70 | GBP £40 | EUR €50

AUD $100 | NZD $105 | USD $80 | CAD $100 | GBP £60 | EUR €70

DEPARTURE TRANSFER

HONCHO FOR A DAY

AUD $25 | NZD $25 | USD $20 | CAD $25 | GBP £15 | EUR €15

x1 x2 x1

AUD $45 | NZD $50 | USD $40 | CAD $45 | GBP £25 | EUR €30

THE KREMLIN EXPRESS

DEPARTURE TRANSFER AUD $45 | NZD $45 | USD $35 | CAD $45 | GBP £25 | EUR €30

IRKUTSK TO MOSCOW AUD $975 NZD $1025 USD $780 CAD $975 GBP £555 EUR €650

TREZZINI ENCOUNTER

EMPIRE VOYAGER

MOSCOW TO ULAANBAATAR

ULAANBAATAR TO MOSCOW

AUD $905 NZD $950 USD $725 CAD $905 GBP £515 EUR €605

AUD $645 NZD $680 USD $520 CAD $645 GBP £370 EUR €435

x1

x1

LISTVYANKA SIBERIAN SEAL AUD $270 | NZD $285 | USD $215 | CAD $270 | GBP £155 | EUR €180

DEEPEST & OLDEST AUD $330 | NZD $345 | USD $265 | CAD $330 | GBP £190 | EUR €220

x1

x1 x2

NOTES: I’M GOING TO...

Arrival Transfe from train stat

ST. PETERSBURG SUZDAL MOSCOW

LISTVYANKA KAZAN IRKUTSK ULAANBAATAR

Lake Baikal

ULAN UDE TERELJ NATIONAL PARK HOHHOT BEIJING

VLADIVOSTOCK


HKA

D $940 D $895 R €600

TERELJ NATIONAL PARK MARMOT EXPRESS

VLADIVOSTOK

AUD $280 | NZD $290 | USD $220 | CAD $280 | GBP £160 | EUR €185

THE GREAT SHKOT AUD $330 | NZD $350 | USD $265 | CAD $330 | GBP £190 | EUR €220

VLADI-ROCKER AUD $295 | NZD $310 | USD $235 | CAD $295 | GBP £170 | EUR €200

STEPPE RIDER

THE RISING SUN

x2

AUD $360 | NZD $380 | USD $290 | CAD $360 | GBP £205 | EUR €240

VLADIVOSTOK TO SAKAIMINATO (JAPAN) AUD $910 NZD $955 USD $730 CAD $910 GBP £520 EUR €610

x2

HONCHO FOR A DAY AUD $140 | NZD $150 | USD $115 | CAD $140 | GBP £80 | EUR €95

x2

EXCURSION TO KHARKHORIN & ERDENE ZUU

x1

DEPARTURE TRANSFER

x1

GOLDEN GER

x1

AUD $360 | NZD $380 | USD $290 | CAD $360 | GBP £205 | EUR €240

AUD $35 | NZD $35 | USD $30 | CAD $35 | GBP £20 | EUR €25

EXCURSIONS TO BAYANGOBI & KHARKHORIN

ULAN UDE SINGING SHAMAN

x1

AUD $155 | NZD $165 | USD $125 | CAD $155 | GBP £90 | EUR €105

DEPARTURE TRANSFER

BAYANGOBI BASH

PRZEWALSKI PRINCE

AUD $1280 | NZD $1340 |

AUD $1635 | NZD $1715 |

USD $1020 | CAD $1280 |

USD $1305 | CAD $1635 |

GBP £730 | EUR €855

GBP £930 | EUR €1095

x1

x1

AUD $30 | NZD $30 | USD $25 | CAD $30 | GBP £15 | EUR €20

HONCHO FOR A DAY AUD $70 | NZD $75 | USD $55 | CAD $70 | GBP £40 | EUR €50

THE TRANS BAIKAL

THE RUSHING RUS

IRKUTSK TO ULAN UDE

ULAN UDE TO IRKUTSK

AUD $240 NZD $255 USD $190 CAD $240 GBP £135 EUR €160

AUD $240 NZD $255 USD $190 CAD $240 GBP £135 EUR €160

x1

RAIN SHADOW

U2 TRAIN

ULAANBAATAR TO ULAN UDE

ULAN UDE TO ULAANBAATAR

AUD $155 NZD $165 USD $125 CAD $155 GBP £90 EUR €105

AUD $405 NZD $425 USD $325 CAD $405 GBP £230 EUR €270

x1

x1

THE SABLE

x1

ULAANBAATAR

IRKUTSK TO ULAANBAATAR

SOYOMBO SLEEPOVER AUD $190 | NZD $200 | USD $155 | CAD $190 | GBP £110 | EUR €130

AUD $525 NZD $550 USD $420 CAD $525 GBP £300 EUR €350

EAGLE ROCK AUD $260 | NZD $275 | USD $210 | CAD $260 | GBP £150 | EUR €175

x1

YAK ATTACK AUD $330 | NZD $345 | USD $265 | CAD $330 | GBP £190 | EUR €220

YOU KHAN DO IT AUD $155 | NZD $160 | USD $120 | CAD $155 | GBP £85 | EUR €100

THE WRESTLER AUD $220 | NZD $235 | USD $180 | CAD $220 | GBP £125 | EUR €150

THE BAIKAL OVERLANDER

THE CAMEL RIDE AUD $290 | NZD $305 | USD $235 | CAD $290 | GBP £165 | EUR €195

ULAANBAATAR TO IRKUTSK

MARINE EXPRESS

HONCHO FOR A DAY

AUD $210 NZD $220 USD $165 CAD $210 GBP £120 EUR €140

VLADIVOSTOK TO IRKUTSK AUD $580 NZD $605 USD $460 CAD $580 GBP £330 EUR €385

AUD $85 | NZD $90 | USD $65 | CAD $85 | GBP £50 | EUR €55

DEPARTURE TRANSFER AUD $40 | NZD $40 | USD $30 | CAD $40 | GBP £20 | EUR €25

x1

x1 KARAOKE KING

THE LANTERN LIMITED

BEIJING TO ULAANBAATAR

ULAANBAATAR TO BEIJING

AUD $830 NZD $870 USD $665 CAD $830 GBP £475 EUR €555

AUD $340 NZD $355 USD $270 CAD $340 GBP £195 EUR €225

x1

x1

GRASSLAND EXPRESS

THE HORSEMAN

HOHHOT TO ULAANBAATAR

ULAANBAATAR TO HOHHOT

AUD $420 NZD $445 USD $340 CAD $420 GBP £240 EUR €285

AUD $420 NZD $445 USD $340 CAD $420 GBP £240 EUR €285

x1

x1

TOWERING TAO

BEIJING DUMPLING DYNASTY AUD $305 | NZD $325 | USD $245 | CAD $305 | GBP £175 | EUR €205

GOLDEN DRAGON AUD $410 | NZD $430 | USD $330 | CAD $410 | GBP £235 | EUR €275

THE LUCKY CAT AUD $515 | NZD $540 | USD $410 | CAD $515 | GBP £295 | EUR €345

x2 x3 x4

BEIJING TO HOHHOT AUD $205 NZD $220 USD $165 CAD $205 GBP £120 EUR €140

HOHHOT

x1

HOHHOT, SO HOT AUD $290 | NZD $305 | USD $230 | CAD $290 | GBP £165 | EUR €195

HUTONG HUSTLE AUD $395 | NZD $415 | USD $315 | CAD $395 | GBP £225 | EUR €265

x2

x1

HONCHO FOR A DAY AUD $100 | NZD $105 | USD $80 | CAD $100 | GBP £55 | EUR €65

MAGIC MING AUD $500 | NZD $525 | USD $400 | CAD $500 | GBP £285 | EUR €335

TEAPOTS AND TEMPLES AUD $605 | NZD $635 | USD $485 | CAD $605 | GBP £345 | EUR €405

x3

THE DRAGON BOAT

x4

HOHHOT TO BEIJING

HONCHO FOR A DAY AUD $100 | NZD $105 | USD $80 | CAD $100 | GBP £55 | EUR €65

DEPARTURE TRANSFER AUD $90 | NZD $95 | USD $70 | CAD $90 | GBP £50 | EUR €60

Arrival Transfer from train station

Honcho for a day

Nights Accommodation

DEPARTURE TRANSFER AUD $105 | NZD $110 | USD $85 | CAD $105 | GBP £60 | EUR €70

AUD $205 NZD $220 USD $165 CAD $205 GBP £120 EUR €140

x1

Further Experiences

Train (plus nights on-board)

Ferry

*Prices are per person, based on twin share.

x1 x2 x3 x1 x2 x3


THE COSSACK

MOSCOW TO BEIJING / BEIJING TO MOSCOW 23/24 DAYS - 7,865KM THE COSSACK

GET OFF THE BEATEN TRACK ON THIS EPIC JOURNEY. FROM THE ENDLESS MONGOLIAN STEPPE’S OF THE BAYANGOBI TO GLEAMING WHITE CHURCHES IN RUSSIA’S GOLDEN RING ALL VIA THE SPIRITUAL HOME OF RUSSIAN BUDDHISM, THIS JOURNEY HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!

Kazan Kremlin, the capital of Tartastan

Suzdal 1 1

2 MOSCOW

1 Kazan

3

Lake Baikal

Listvyanka 2 Irkutsk

1

1 Ulan ude 1

Kharkhorin 1

2 Ulaanbaatar

1 Bayangobi

2

1 Hohhot

Nights spent in gers, hostels or guesthouses Nights spent on the train Train travel

22

ip re in to this tr o m y n a d e k c If we pa seams! ursting at the b e b ld u o w it us oldest religio ’s ia s s u R f o s Site e in ! Deepest lak k c e h C ? s e ti Minori t orld’s longes W ! k c e h C ? d the worl st the Camp among ! k c e h C ll? a w saur f the first dino o e c la p g n ti res orld’s largest W ! k c e h C ? fossils ECK! in’s head? CH statue of Len few we threw in a n e th d n a , h O elcome. too. You’re w s ie b e e fr a tr ex

1

2

BEIJING Visit Genghis Khan’s ancient capital at Kharkhorin

Try your hand at making dumplings in Mongolia

JOURNEY EXPERIENCE “On my own I would never have experienced so many good things, met so many nice people and made such good friends. I would definitely do it again!” Mark Longworth


To book this journey email us at 18to35@vodkatrain.com quoting journey code: CKMB or CKBM

vodkatrain.com

Moscow to Beijing

Beijing to Moscow

1. Arrive in Moscow – Choose your own adventure, maybe the Kremlin, a visit to Lenin or travel on the dazzling metro system. 2. Moscow – Chill out in Gorky Park. 3. Transfer from Moscow to Suzdal. 4. Suzdal – Experience your first Russian Banya! 5. Transfer to Murom and evening departure for Kazan. 6. Morning arrival into Kazan – A mesmerising mix of cultures and religions in the capital of Tatarstan. Late evening departure for Irkutsk. 7-9. Trans Siberian Railway - Perfect your card skills with the locals! 10. Morning arrival into Irkutsk and head out to Lake Baikal. 11. Lake Baikal – Witness the magnificent views as you hike along its shores. 12. Lake Baikal and return to Irkutsk for the evening train to Ulan Ude. 13. Morning arrival into Ulan Ude – Russia’s home of Buddhism and the world’s biggest statue of Lenin’s head. What more could you want? 14. Morning departure on the Trans Mongolian Railway. 15. Arrival into Ulaanbaatar – Explore Mongolia’s quirky capital. 16. Out to the Gobi Desert – Enjoy your first night as a nomad (ger camp). 17. Onwards to Kharkhorin and Erdene Zuu, Genghis Khan’s capital set on the sweeping steppe will amaze (ger camp). 18. Kharkhorin - Learn to play the game of knuckle bones (ger camp). 19. Return to Ulaanbaatar. 20. Morning departure from Ulaanbaatar for Beijing. 21. Arrival into Beijing. 22. Beijing – Perhaps journey out to the Great Wall or chill out by Beihai Lake. 23. Beijing – Wander the hutongs and markets as your journey ends.

1. Beijing – Get to know your group over a feast of Peking Duck 2. Beijing – How about a trip to the acrobats? 3. Evening departure on the Trans Mongolian Railway. 4. Early morning arrival into Hohhot – Inner Mongolia awaits. 5. Evening departure to Ulaanbaatar. 6. Trans Mongolian Railway – Look out for camels and gers as you pass through the countryside. 7. Mid morning arrival into Ulaanbaatar 8. Transfer to the Gobi Desert and our ger camp at Bayangobi. 9. Discover life as a nomad at Genghis Khan’s capital of Kharkhorin (ger camp). 10. Kharkhorin and return to Ulaanbaatar. 11. Explore Ulaanbaatar and depart for Ulan Ude in the evening. 12. Evening arrival into Ulan Ude - Russia’s home of Buddhism. Don’t forget to take a photo with the world’s biggest statue of Lenin’s head! 13. Ulan Ude and evening departure for Irkutsk. 14. Early morning arrival into Irkutsk and to Lake Baikal. 15. Explore the natural beauty of the world’s largest freshwater lake. 16. Return to Irkutsk and depart for Kazan in the late evening. 17-18. Trans Siberian Railway – Watch the scenery change as you pass from Asia to Europe across the Urals. 19. Late afternoon arrival in Kazan – Home of the Tatars. 20. Evening departure for Murom. 21. Early morning arrival into Murom and transfer to Suzdal – Time for one final banya? 22. Transfer to Moscow. 23. Moscow – No trip is complete without a visit to Sparrow Hills to spot the Seven Sisters. 24. Moscow – Your journey concludes.

From Moscow to Beijing 2017 CODE: CKMB Start

End

Start

End

03 Jun 01 Jul

25 Jun 23 Jul

05 Aug 09 Sep

27 Aug 01 Oct

From Beijing to Moscow 2017 CODE: CKBM Start

End

Start

End

18 May 15 Jun

10 Jun 08 Jul

13 Jul 07 Sep

05 Aug 30 Sep

PRICES

AUD NZD USD

$4,945 $5,190 $3,955

CAD GBP EUR

$4,945 £2,820 €3,315

From Moscow to Beijing 2018 CODE: CKMB Start

End

Start

End

09 Jun 07 Jul

01 Jul 29 Jul

11 Aug 15 Sep

02 Sep 07 Oct

From Beijing to Moscow 2018 CODE: CKBM Start

End

Start

End

24 May 11 Jun

16 Jun 04 Jul

09 Jul 13 Sep

01 Aug 06 Oct

PRICES

AUD NZD USD

$4,945 $5,190 $3,955

CAD GBP EUR

$4,945 £2,820 €3,315

Stop off in quirky Ulan Ude

*Map shown corresponds to this journey direction.

Brave a banya in Siberia

Catch up on some fun facts on board the train

GET ED CONNECT n ow the lowdifi w on

Treat yourself to some new boots in Mongolia

BEFORE YOU GO

ON THE ROAD

Four nights on a train means too many card games, too much personal contact and a lot of instant noodles. Head over to our ‘Meet Other Travellers’ Facebook page to find out who snores and who cheats at scrabble.

On the Great Wall they used a series of fires, flags and wooden blocks to warn others of the impending arrival of Mongol hordes. We find the internet is just as handy these days which is why we make sure most of our hotels and hostels have it. BYO smoke signals in-case of emergencies.

23


THE RUSKI HUSKI ST. PETERSBURG TO BEIJING / BEIJING TO ST. PETERSBURG 19 DAYS - 8,514KM THE RUSKI HUSKI

GO FOR A “FULL ON” ADVENTURE ON THIS TRADITIONAL WINTER TRANS MONGOLIAN EXPERIENCE. THIS IS A BOOTS ‘N’ ALL TRIP FOR THE HARDIEST OF TRAVELLERS, JUMP ON THE BACK OF YOUR SLED AND GET MUSHING!

Wake up in a winter wonderland in Mongolia

1 ST. PETERSBURG 1

1

4

Listvyanka 3

Moscow

Irkutsk

Lake Baikal

2

Terelj 2 National Park

Ulaanbaatar 1 1 Nights spent in gers, hostels or guesthouses

2 BEIJING

Snowmobile mania!

Nights spent on the train Train travel

ats, rry Russian h fu ig b , w o n s Think , elow zero, oh b ll e w s re tu tempera too! some vodka ly b a b ro p d n a winter i is a special k s u H i k s u R The ance rs you the ch e ff o t a th ry itinera ve if you are bra g in d d le s g o to go d e included som o ls a e ’v e W enough! warm; s to keep you ie it v ti c a r te win oking Mongolian co t a d n a h r u o try y . ussian sauna R a e c n e ri e p and ex Mush! 24

Go dog sledding in Siberia surrounded by the most incredible scenery imaginable!

JOURNEY EXPERIENCE “The Honchos were amazingly well informed and made it feel less like being on a tour” Kaelene Morton “The train from Moscow to Irkutsk was so much fun and just what I was hoping for. A great opportunity to meet some locals!” Martyn Bone


To book this journey email us at 18to35@vodkatrain.com quoting journey code: RHSB or RHBS

vodkatrain.com

St. Petersburg to Beijing

Beijing to St. Petersburg

1. Arrive in St. Petersburg - Let the journey begin! 2. Explore the unimaginable treasure trove of sights St. Petersburg has to offer before boarding our overnight train to Moscow. 3. Hello Moscow! Visit Moscow’s iconic Red Square and see St. Basil’s Cathedral lit up like a fairy tale in the snow. 4. Visit Moscow’s infamous GUM department store, it is architecturally stunning! Early afternoon we board our train to Siberia. 5-7. All aboard the Trans Siberian Railway. Enjoy life on board with the locals and keep warm in your cosy compartment. 8. Early morning arrival into Irkutsk and a short onward journey to Lake Baikal – Fancy going for a hovercraft ride over the ice? 9. Lake Baikal - Do you want to say hello to the huskies? Your Honcho can help arrange some dog sledding. 10. Return to Irkutsk for an evening train to Ulaanbaatar. 11. Trans Mongolian Railway. Watch out for camels on the journey. 12. Early morning arrival into Ulaanbaatar – Explore Mongolia’s fascinating capital. 13. Terelj National Park – Hang out with some nomads and go tobogganing in the snow! (ger camp). 14. A magical morning awaits, why not enjoy a horse ride through the snow covered landscape? 15. Enjoy a final morning in the wilderness before returning to Ulaanbaatar. 16. Morning departure to Beijing on the Trans Mongolian Railway. 17. Arrive in Beijing in the early afternoon and start exploring. 18. Beijing – Get lost in hutongs and take in the smells, sights and sounds of traditional Beijing. 19. Beijing – Your journey concludes.

1. Arrive in Beijing – Meet your Honcho and fellow travellers and start exploring. 2. Beijing – See the Great Wall covered in snow, check out Tiananmen Square or visit the bustling night markets. 3. Morning departure to Ulaanbaatar on the Trans Mongolian Railway. 4. Early afternoon arrival in Ulaanbaatar. 5. Venture out to Terelj National Park (ger camp). 6. Terelj National Park – Jump on a toboggan and race your friends or just enjoy the views (ger camp). 7. Return to Ulaanbaatar for an evening departure to Irkutsk. 8. Trans Mongolian Railway – Make some new friends in the dining car. 9. Morning arrival in Irkutsk and head out to Lake Baikal. 10. Lake Baikal – Are you brave enough to walk on the ice? 11. Lake Baikal - Perhaps it’s time to try your hand at dog sledding? Your Honcho can help to arrange this activity. 12. Return to Irkutsk for an early evening departure to Moscow. 13-15. Trans Siberian Railway. Settle in and watch the frozen world go by. 16. Early morning arrival in Moscow – Perhaps some ice-skating in Red Square? 17. See Moscow’s palatial underground Metro before our overnight train to St. Petersburg. 18. Arrive into the imperial capital of St. Petersburg. 19. St. Petersburg – Your Ruski Huski journey concludes.

Are you as strong as Genghis Khan?

GET ED CONNECT n ow the lowdifi w on

*Map shown corresponds to this journey direction.

A wintery station stop

From St. Petersburg to Beijing 2017 CODE: RHSB Start

End

Start

End

04 Jan 18 Jan 01 Feb 15 Feb 01 Mar

22 Jan 05 Feb 19 Feb 05 Mar 19 Mar

15 Mar 22 Nov 06 Dec 27 Dec

02 Apr 10 Dec 24 Dec 14 Jan

From Beijing to St. Petersburg 2017 CODE: RHBS Start

End

Start

End

12 Jan 26 Jan 16 Feb 16 Mar

30 Jan 13 Feb 06 Mar 03 Apr

26 Nov 10 Dec 17 Dec

14 Dec 28 Dec 04 Jan

PRICES

AUD NZD USD

$3,440 $3,610 $2,750

CAD GBP EUR

$3,440 £1,960 €2,305

From St. Petersburg to Beijing 2018 CODE: RHSB Start

End

Start

End

03 Jan 17 Jan 31 Jan 14 Feb 28 Feb

21 Jan 04 Feb 18 Feb 04 Mar 18 Mar

14 Mar 21 Nov 05 Dec 26 Dec

01 Apr 09 Dec 23 Dec 13 Jan

From Beijing to St. Petersburg 2018 CODE: RHBS Start

End

Start

End

14 Jan 28 Jan 18 Feb 18 Mar

01 Feb 15 Feb 08 Mar 05 Apr

29 Nov 13 Dec 20 Dec

17 Dec 31 Dec 07 Jan

PRICES

AUD NZD USD

$3,440 $3,610 $2,750

CAD GBP EUR

$3,440 £1,960 €2,305

Don’t forget to bring your furry hat and sunnies!

BEFORE YOU GO

ON THE ROAD

Making new friends is one of the best parts of travel but these days it’s not official until it is Facebook official. Visit ‘ Meet Other Travellers’ on our Facebook page and get to know your fellow adventurers.

Did you know Huski’s were used to deliver mail right up to the early 1900’s. These days the internet seems to have sped things up a bit. We make sure all our properties have it, often for free, in most major cities. In case of outages please ask your Honcho for their carrier pigeon.

25


FROM ISTANBUL’S ROMAN RUINS TO SAMARKAND’S MAJESTIC MADRASSAS; THE SILK ROAD’S HISTORY IS TOLD IN ITS GRAND ARCHITECTURE AND INTIMIDATING TERRAIN. THROUGHOUT HISTORY TRADERS, TRAVELERS AND EMPERORS HAVE USED IT TO MOVE GOODS, ARMIES AND IDEAS. TODAY THE CARAVANS OF CAMELS HAVE BEEN REPLACED BY BUSES, PLANES & TRAINS BUT THIS REGIONS STORIED HISTORY IS STILL WAITING TO BE DISCOVERED BY THE ADVENTUROUS TRAVELLER.

Scarfs, just one of the wares to be discovered on the ancient Silk Road

From when the first Han traders set out in 207BC to today the Silk Road has been connecting cultures & people for over Two Thousand Years. It brought Christianity from Syria, Silk to Europe and noodles to China so yeah, it’s a pretty big deal!

TURKEY

IRAN

Boasting an epic history that has inspired blockbuster movies and with a history replete with colorful characters from sultans & Sheikhs to Roman Emperors, Turkey has many stories to tell! This ancient melting pot brings together different religions and cultures all in one harmonious mass of humanity. Add in some of the best cuisine this side of the Great Wall and it is no wonder Turkey has drawn in travellers for centuries.

Iran is a true travel gem, the shining jewel of the Middle East that is simply extraordinary. Apart from having its fair share of sublime architecture, enchanting mosques, ancient Persian relics and hospitable people what makes Iran unique is the atmospheric teahouses, bustling bazaars and ancient culture that intertwines with the sophisticated, modern day hustle and bustle of urban life. Iran

Turkey

26


TURKMENISTAN

KAZAKHSTAN

Oozing history and quirkiness, Turkmenistan and its people have overcome the oppression of authority to offer a legendary level of hospitality! Proud of their heritage, local women are draped in vibrant headscarves and traditional Turkmen tunics woven with intricate motifs and locals don high, sheepskin hats, a Telpek. Prior to independence the country’s capital city, Ashgabat was a fairly nondescript post-soviet city however recent years has seen it transformed into a gleaming white manicured metropolis!

Smack bang in the center of Eurasia, Kazakhstan is an adventure seekers delight. With a spectacular outdoor playground of mighty snow-capped mountains, glaciers, canyons, wide-open steppe and more Kazakhstan won’t remain a secret for long! Once the country’s capital, the cosmopolitan city of Almaty has a hefty Russian influence with a European vibe. Leafy boulevards are lined with chic cafes, glitzy fashion boutiques, fine restaurants, atmospheric clubs and illuminated fountains that dance through the night.

UZBEKISTAN

Kazakhstan

Uzbekistan’s glittering cities of Samarkand and Bukhara appear straight from the pages of an Arabian Nights fable with a spellbinding array of ancient gems. Reaping the riches of the Silk Road, Tamerlane set out to make Samarkand the richest city on earth and to see its jaw dropping architecture is to know he truly succeeded. Turkmenistan

Uzbekistan

27


THE MARCO POLO

ISTANBUL TO BEIJING / BEIJING TO ISTANBUL 25 DAYS - 11,021KM THE MARCO POLO

FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE GRANDFATHER OF WANDERLUST! TRAVERSE THE DESERTS AND MOUNTAINS OF THE ANCIENT SILK ROAD; DISCOVER THE JEWELS OF PERSIA, THE CARPETS OF UZBEKISTAN AND THE DUMPLINGS OF CHINA.

KAZAKHSTAN

The glittering domes of Samarkand

Ta s

ISTANBUL

2

2 Ankara

Ashgabat

1

Tehran 1

1 Mashhad

2

1

1

1

3

hk

en

Almaty t

1

1

2

1

Urumqi

2 Samarkand

1

BEIJING

1

Bukhara

Isfahan

Nights spent in gers, hostels or guesthouses

Drinking tea in Turkey

Nights spent on the train Train travel Road travel

s, and mountain s rt e s e d e rs e Trav ad d old Silk Ro le b fa e th g n explori er the ps of Alexand in the footste f course is Khan and o h g n e G t, a re G els of cover the jew is D . lo o P o Marc erai the caravans d n a ia rs e P t ancien nd ere tea, silk a h w n ta s e rk u of Old T r over a een traded fo b e v a h s e ic p s off the journey, well is th n o ia n n e mill beaten track. 28

Experiencing Iranian hospitality is bound to be a highlight of your Marco Polo journey.

JOURNEY EXPERIENCE I loved, loved, loved this tour! I was nervous about travelling through these countries as a solo female but each Honcho took great care of us and being part of a group made me feel safe. I don’t generally like guided tours but there was plenty ‘time off’ & we weren’t herded to the nearest tourist trap. I highly recommend travelling with Vodkatrain.” India Parrish


To book this journey email us at 18to35@vodkatrain.com quoting journey code: MPIB or MPBI

vodkatrain.com

Istanbul to Beijing

Beijing to Istanbul

1. Istanbul – Meet your new friends and perhaps relax in a hamam before your adventure begins. 2. Istanbul - Don’t miss Topkapi Palace the crown jewel of the Ottoman Empire! 3. Last minute wanderings before our bus to Tehran. (Should the train line reopen this sector will be by rail). 4. Arrive into Tehran late this evening. 5. Explore Iran’s modern capital. 6. Set off on your journey to Isfahan. 7. Isfahan – Discover the mosaic-clad jewel of ancient Persia. 8. Isfahan and afternoon departure for Mashhad. 9. Morning arrival in Mashhad – Don’t miss the spectacular shrine of Imam Reza. 10. Cross the Kopet Dag mountains into Turkmenistan and explore Ashgabat. 11. Ashgabat – Discover this city of white marble before an overnight train to Turkmenabat. 12. Arrive in Turkmenabat and transfer to Bukhara in Uzbekistan. 13. Bukhara – Relax by the leafy ponds and watch centuries of life unfold. 14. Morning drive to Samarkand – Witness the amazing Registan! 15. Samarkand – Home to breathtaking monuments and glittering minarets, all for you to explore. 16. Morning in Samarkand and afternoon in Tashkent. 17. Tashkent – Head to the Chorsu Bazaar before departing for Almaty by train. 18. Almaty – Welcome to Kazakhstan! 19. Almaty – Stroll the leafy streets of this cosmopolitan city. 20. Almaty and depart for Urumqi late in the evening. 21. Train to Urumqi – Pass through the fabled Dzungarian gate, an ancient Silk Road trade route. 22. Morning arrival in Urumqi - the city that lies furthest from the ocean in the world 23. Depart for Beijing. 24. Evening arrival into Beijing - Pick up some tasty morsels at the Dong Hua Men Night Market. 25. Your epic Silk Road journey concludes!

1. Arrive Beijing – Enjoy some Peking Duck with your Honcho and new travel buddies. 2. Morning departure for Urumqi. 3. Evening arrival in Urumqi – Home to China’s Uyghur people. 4. Urumqi - Explore the furthest city from the ocean in the world before a late evening departure for Almaty. 5. Train to Almaty – Watch the changing landscapes of the ancient Silk Road. 6. Arrive in Almaty – Welcome to Kazakhstan. Stroll the leafy streets of this cosmopolitan city before boarding the train to Shymkent on our way to Tashkent. 7. Arrive Shymkent, cross the Uzbek border and transfer to its capital - Tashkent. 8. Early morning train to Samarkand - Home to breathtaking monuments and glittering minarets. Witness the amazing Registan! 9. Golden Samarkand - Don’t forget to visit the astronomer Ulugh Beg’s observatory originally dating back to the 1420’s. 10. Morning in Samarkand and afternoon in Bukhara. 11. Bukhara – Relax under the mulberry trees drinking tea. 12. Bukhara – Marvel at the imposing Ark and impressive Kalyan minaret. 13. Depart Bukhara for Ashgabat. 14. Early morning arrival in Ashgabat – Discover this eccentric city of white marble. 15. Depart Ashgabat for Mashhad – Cross the Kopet Dag Mountains into Iran. 16. Mashhad and afternoon departure for Isfahan. 17. Morning arrival in Isfahan – Discover the mosaic-clad jewel of ancient Persia. 18. Isfahan – Wander the Grand Bazaar and pick yourself up a prized rug. 19. Last minute wanderings before our bus to Tehran. 20. Explore Tehran and depart for Ankara by bus at lunchtime. (Should the train line re-open this sector will be by rail). 21. Arrive late this evening into Ankara. 22. Explore Turkey’s capital and check out the views from the hilltop castle. 23. Morning train to Istanbul – a melting pot of cultures. 24. Istanbul – shop to your heart’s content in the bazaar! 25. Istanbul – Farewell your new friends and set off to discover more of this great country!

Camel riding in Bukhara

*Map shown corresponds to this journey direction.

GET ED CONNECT n ow the lowdifi w on

From Istanbul to Beijing 2017 CODE: MPIB Start

End

Start

End

15 May 21 Aug

08 Jun 14 Sep

11 Sep

05 Oct

From Beijing to Istanbul 2017 CODE: MPBI Start

End

Start

End

19 May 18 Aug

12 Jun 11 Sep

15 Sep

09 Oct

PRICES

AUD NZD USD

$5,130 $5,385 $4,105

CAD GBP EUR

$5,130 £2,925 €3,435

From Istanbul to Beijing 2018 CODE: MPIB Start

End

Start

End

14 May 20 Aug

07 Jun 13 Sep

10 Sep

04 Oct

From Beijing to Istanbul 2018 CODE: MPBI Start

End

Start

End

18 May 17 Aug

11 Jun 10 Sep

14 Sep

08 Oct

PRICES

AUD NZD USD

$5,130 $5,385 $4,105

CAD GBP EUR

$5,130 £2,925 €3,435

Incredible and intricate architecture, Iran

Your friendly Uzbek Honcho

BEFORE YOU GO

ON THE ROAD

Marco Polo made friends with Genghis Khan’s great grandson while travelling so who knows what legends you’re going to meet! Check them out from home in our ‘ Meet Other Travellers’ section on Facebook.

Despite our best efforts there may be times when you cannot get online for a number of days. When Marco Polo’s WiFi was down after returning from the Silk Road he wrote a 150 page book (without a laptop!) that re-defined European understanding of Central Asia. Let’s see how productive you can be.

29


THE RAUCOUS CAUCASUS TBILISI TO YEREVAN 12 DAYS - 1,590KM THE RAUCOUS CAUCASUS

FROM COBBLESTONE COVERED STREETS TO VAST VALLEYS AND VIEWS YOU CAN ONLY DREAM OF, THE CAUCASUS ARE TRULY OFF THE BEATEN TRACK. A LONG HISTORY OF WINE MAKING MIXED WITH A MORE THAN HEALTHY INTEREST IN WRESTLING, YOU CAN SEE WHY THIS JOURNEY REALLY IS ‘THE RAUCOUS CAUCASUS! Gergeti Trinity Church perched high in the mountains

Gergeti Trinity Church

Caspian Sea

1 Gudauri

Black Sea Akhaltsikhe

2 Telavi

2

1

TBILISI

Sighnaghi

Vardzia

Mount Aragats

Lake Sevan

Discover and enjoy the incredible food, wine and long tradition of hospitality throughout the region

YEREVAN 3

Nights spent in hostels or guesthouses Mount Ararat

Road travel

Goris

2

stian ’s oldest Chri As the world of the birthplace country and st Centuries mo th 0 2 e th f o e on casus tors, the Cau ta ic d s u o m infa ry’s far from histo n e e b r e v e n have m where capitalis e e s e m o C . s headline east communism, h it w d e h s la c overrides d modernity n a t s e w ts e me eled, all in a wine fu n io it d a tr t n ancie venture. hedonistic ad 30

16

Wander Tbilisi Old Town in Sololaki

JOURNEY EXPERIENCE As soon as I left Georgia I started planning my relocation to move there. Some of my best memories are from the time I spent there. From drinking home-made cha-cha with locals who only spoke Georgian, to the best scrub-down I’ve ever had at a Tbilisi bath-house, to hiking an hour to Gergeti Church for an amazing view of Mount Kazbegi covered in snow. Please take me back! Megan Larsen


To book this journey email us at 18to35@vodkatrain.com quoting journey code: RCTY

vodkatrain.com

Tbilisi To Yerevan 1. Arrive in Tbilisi Georgia and meet your fellow travellers. 2. Explore the old town, ride the cable car to Narikala fortress and get your first taste of the famous Georgian food and hospitality. 3. Travel the Georgian Military Highway deep into the Caucasus Mountains and walk to Gergeti Trinity Church (2170m). 4. Down from the mountains and into the valleys & vineyards of the Kakheti region. Take a chance to see and taste traditional Georgian wine. 5. Explore the Kakheti region and the beautiful hilltop town of Sighnaghi 6. Discover the ancient Silk Road cave town of Uplistsikhe, Stalin’s birthplace, the spa town of Borjomi and Rabati Fortress. 7. Step back in time as you explore the medieval cave monastery complex of Vardzia once home to 50,000 people. Then across the border to Armenia, and to Yerevan. 8. Enjoy this city of fine boulevards and cafes, or discover the remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Sites close by. 9. We journey south enjoying stunning views of Mt Ararat, ancient mountain top monasteries and mysterious stone formations. 10. Time to enjoy a walk in the hills or ride the world’s longest cable car (5.7km) to Tatev Monastery. 11. Return to Yerevan by way of the Selim Pass, Silk Road caravanserai and Lake Sevan. 12. Tour concludes Yerevan.

From Tbilisi to Yerevan 2017 CODE: RCTY Start

End

10 Jul 14 Aug 18 Sep

21 Jul 25 Aug 29 Sep

From Tbilisi to Yerevan 2018 CODE: RCTY Start

End

Start

End

21 May 16 Jul

01 Jun 27 Jul

13 Aug 17 Sep

24 Aug 28 Sep

PRICES Visit the Soviet-Georgian Friendship Memorial

AUD NZD USD

$1,920 $2,015 $1,535

CAD GBP EUR

$1,920 £1,095 €1,285

Dine in cosmopolitan Tbilisi

Movember Madness?

Taste the fruits of one of Georgia’s greatest inventions, wine

Wander the leafy streets of Yerevan

GET ED CONNECT n ow the lowdifi w on

The colours of the Caucasus

St Vakhtang Gorgasali, King of Georgia

BEFORE YOU GO

ON THE ROAD

If there is a better way than travel to make new friends we don’t want to hear it. Facebook seems to think it does a good job though so head over to the ‘Meet Other Travellers’ section and see for yourself.

The Caucasus are said to have spawned many of the world’s great ancient languages but thankfully they all understand “What’s your WiFi password?”. We can’t guarantee you will be facetiming from Mt Kazbegi but in the major cities we’ve got you covered.

31


DON’T LET YOUR JOURNEY END JUST YET.......

Hong Kong

With so much more to discover in our destinations and beyond, keep the adventure going for longer and further with some of our mix and match options through China, Russia and into Eastern Europe.

railpacks After conquering something as epic as the Trans Mongolian Railway you’re no doubt a seasoned rail pro. Running the rails is in your blood so why stop now? Whether you’re venturing on for another 3 days or 3 months a Eurail pass is going to get you where you need to be. With this pass in your hot little hands you can jump the queues and travel with ease to over 26 countries throughout Europe. There is no need to do anything boring like pre-plan your trip because a Eurail Global Pass will give you unlimited travel without having to

pre-book your tickets. Breakfast croissant in Paris? Bratwurst for lunch in Berlin? Evening beers in Budapest? You can do it all, then when you wake up hungover in Hannover just jump on your nearest train and do it all again! On the road you’re going to have to sort out your own bed and be your own Honcho but our expert team of Travel Advisors are here to help get you on your way. Pressed for time? We can also arrange one off, point to point tickets to make sure you are in the right place at the right place at the right time.

extend through europe

MUNICH

Railpacks Vodkatrain Journeys

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• London – Brussels – Cologne – Warsaw – Vilnius – St. Petersburg – Moscow • London – Brussels- Cologne – Copenhagen – Stockholm – Helsinki (ferry) – St. Petersburg • Moscow – St. Petersburg • Moscow – Kiev – Warsaw – Berlin • St. Petersburg – Vilnius – Warsaw – Berlin • St. Petersburg – Helsinki – Stockholm – Copenhagen – Cologne (or Berlin) • St. Petersburg – Helsinki • St. Petersburg – Moscow • St. Petersburg – Riga

ask us about more rail connections!


check out more of asia • Beijing – Shanghai • Beijing – Hong Kong • Beijing – Hanoi • Beijing – Xian – Shanghai • Shanghai – Xian – Beijing • Beijing – Xian – Shanghai – (ferry 8 berth) – Kobe/Osaka Beijing – Xian – Guangzhou (transfer) – Hong Kong • Beijing – Xian – Chengdu – Kunming – Nanning – Hanoi • Hanoi – Nanning – Kunming – Chengdu – Xian – Beijing • Hanoi – Hue – Hoi An (Danang – Nha Trang – Ho Chi Minh • Ho Chi Minh – Nha Trang – Hoi An (Danang) – Hue – Hanoi *Please contact Vodkatrain for prices and timetables

Railpacks Vodkatrain Journeys

FLIGHTS, VISAS, INSURANCE & AIRPORT TRANSFERS Need help with any of the above?

Rome

Vietnam

Our specialist Travel Advisors can help you arrange everything for you from the cheapest flights to correct visas, travel insurance and even airport transfers! We are here to make your life easier, so all you have to worry about is what to pack!

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IN 3 easy steps GOT ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT WHICH TRIP TO DO? NEED SOME RECOMMENDATIONS ON WHEN TO GO AND WHAT TO PACK? WANT TO CONNECT WITH YOUR FELLOW TRAVELLERS? DO YOU WANT TO LET YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY KNOW WHERE YOU ARE? OR JUST WANT TO MAKE THEM JEALOUS? WANT TO KEEP UP TO DATE WITH WHAT’S NEW AT VODKATRAIN? NOW WE’VE MADE IT EVEN EASIER FOR YOU TO KEEP INFORMED AND FOR US ALL TO KEEP IN TOUCH. WE LOVE TO HEAR WHAT YOU’VE DISCOVERED OUT THERE! HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO HELP YOU PLAN THE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE!

1 get inspired • Jump online and armchair travel! Go to www.vodkatrain.com and find out more about our journeys, the destinations we travel to and the rad stuff you can do in each place.

• Feeling

social?

Connect for some inspirational pics, montages, selfies, videos and feedback from the Vodkatrain community. • Tune into our social media sites Check out our images, comments, videos and feedback from our travellers and team members on the road. Scroll through our galleries, read our posts, watch our videos and get inspired!

facebook.com/vodkatraintraintravel instagram.com/vodkatrain vimeo.com/vodkatrain

• Get

your hands on your favourite travel guide Odyssey Guides, Lonely Planet and the Rough Guide books

are all-time favourites of ours, a one stop shop for loads of travel related advice and inspiration! • Subscribe

to our newsletter

Receive up-to-date news on our special deals, upcoming travel shows and learn more about the interesting places we travel! • Check out our Regional Inspiration guides For detailed information and inspiration on all of our exciting destinations. These guides include attractions to see in each city (including the best eats and drinks in town!) visa information, budget advice, and other helpful information.

• Ask us about our Journey Itineraries Ask us for a Journey Itinerary to compare our adventures and suss out the day itineraries. Did you know that Vodkatrain is a great way to travel to or from Europe?! Planning on some pre and post travel? Check out our Further Experiences on page 33 of this brochure. • Visas

- you’ll need ‘em!

Be aware that you will most likely require visas when travelling to our destinations so it is essential that you plan your journey in advance so that there is enough time to process them! Ask us for a Journey Itinerary for more information or speak to one of our Travel Advisors.


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your head and d the GoPro from pe ap str un are ve ha Once you odkatrain and sh stick, hashtag #v lfie se ur yo ay aw put res. your epic adventu rds to s, albums and wo Send your video katrain rain.com or #vod

18to35@vodkat

n i a r t a k # vod YOUR ADVENTURE AWAITS

KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER YOUR JOURNEY!

2 get in TOUCH

3 KEEP in TOUCH

• Call one of our specialist Travel Advisors There is no question too big or small for our team of specialist Travel Advisors who love to chat about your travel ideas. Whatever questions you have, they are there to answer! Chat to them about pre and post travel options and our range of Further Experiences. See the back of the brochure for a list of contact details, or jump online and use our Live Chat function.

• Siberian Selfies If you are an aspiring photographer or insta-ographer rock star, send us your pics! At Vodkatrain HQ we love seeing your inspiring snaps, getting jealous of your travels and giggling at your #cabinselfies

• Talk

to us about flights and insurance

Not only will our specialist Travel Advisors help you plan your ultimate Vodkatrain journey, they can also book your flights and insurance! • Visit

your local Travel Agent

They will offer you sound travel advice and help you to plan your ideal adventure. • Join our online community Like us on Facebook to engage with Vodkatrain HQ and the Vodkatrain community. Any last minute questions before you jump aboard? Message us and we’ll get back to you in a beat. • Want to make friends before you board the train?

Check out our ‘Meet Other Travellers’ app on Facebook where you can connect with everyone else on your trip. Start planning day trips, work out who’s bringing the phrase book and swap ideas for the rest of your travels.

• Travel writer in the making? If you’re keeping a blog or have any clever tricks up your sleeve that you would like to share on ours, get your people to contact our people (post to our wall or flick us an email)

• Final station stop, but the party isn’t over! Let us know what you thought of your journey on Facebook and be sure to tag us in your pics so you can share the fun! Or jump onto tourradar.com/vodkatrain and leave us a review.

• Don’t forget that Vodkatrain rewards seasoned travellers! Check out our website for journey dates of the next season and help other travellers online by sharing your experienced tips and tricks on our social media pages!


booking conditions 2017 It is important that you read the following booking conditions before you book as they relate to all Vodkatrain journeys in 2017. Vodkatrain group journeys are for 18-35’s only. Sundowners Travel Centre Pty. Limited (A.C.N 005 066 348) and Sundowners Travel (Europe) Limited (both referred to as “Vodkatrain” in these booking conditions), accept bookings subject to the following conditions:

1. BROCHURE VALIDITY & SURCHARGES Information contained in this brochure and on the Vodkatrain website is correct at the time of publication. Published prices are based on the prevailing exchange rates at that time (September 2016). Our prices may change due to exchange rates and other costs however, the prices were correct at the time of publishing. Vodkatrain reserves the right to adjust the prices listed due to currency fluctuations, government action or amendments to itineraries and train timetables beyond the control of Vodkatrain. For the most up to date information on pricing please see our website. 1a. Rail Ticket Price Surcharges Seasonal, currency exchange or fuel surcharges may be applied to some rail ticket prices by the national rail monopolies that control ticketing prices in many of the countries Vodkatrain travels through. Such price increases are outside our control and we reserve the right to pass on such surcharges. Any price surcharge required due to rail ticket price increases will be advised at least 60 days prior to the commencement your Vodkatrain travel arrangements and payment will be required by way of a local payment in the city in which you commence your Vodkatrain travel arrangements.

Vodkatrain will provide similar tour inclusions. Where such amendments are major (25% or more of the tour content is changed, or a price surcharge greater than 15% of the published tour cost is required) and this amendment is known before the tour commences, you will be offered the opportunity to transfer to an alternative tour, alter your departure date, or cancel with a full refund of any monies paid to Vodkatrain for the tour. Vodkatrain otherwise disclaims any liability to you for the costs of airfares, visas or any other expenses incurred by you as a result of any amendment or change to the tour itinerary. If, during the operation of the tour and for reasons beyond the control of Vodkatrain, it becomes advisable to change, amend or alter an itinerary, including the start or finish city of the tour, Vodkatrain may do so in its absolute discretion and any additional costs incurred in these changes will be the responsibility of the traveller.

7. CANCELLATION – BY TRAVELLER Once your booking has been confirmed, Vodkatrain will only accept cancellations in writing. In the event of cancellation the following charges will apply: i) Cancellations received 75 days or more prior to departure — Loss of deposit ii) Cancellations received between 35 days and 74 days prior to departure — 50% of the tour price.

2. MAKING A BOOKING

iii) Cancellations received less than 35 days prior to departure — 100% of total tour price.

Vodkatrain group journeys are for travellers not younger than 18 years and not older than 35 years. Vodkatrain Make Your Own journeys are for travellers not younger than 18 years old. To confirm your booking Vodkatrain requires a fully completed ‘Client Information Form’ (provided to Vodkatrain or submitted online via our website). A booking is accepted on the date when Vodkatrain has confirmed acceptance in writing and issued an invoice. It is at this point that a contract between Vodkatrain and the Client comes into existence.

Note: These cancellation fees apply to tour services only. Different cancellation charges will apply to airline tickets. Depending on the reason for your cancellation, some of these cancellation charges may be recoverable under your insurance policy. No refunds will be made should you choose to leave your tour early or choose not to utilise any of the included services.

Before your booking is confirmed and a contract comes into force, Vodkatrain reserves the right to decline any booking at their discretion. The contract, including all matters arising from it, is subject to Victorian Law (Australia) and the exclusive jurisdiction of the Victorian Courts. No employee of Vodkatrain other than a director has the authority to vary or omit any of these terms or promise any discount or refund. 2a. Deposits A deposit equivalent to 10% of the tour cost or a minimum of AUD $200, NZD $200, USD $200, CAD $200, GBP £100 or EUR €150 per person (of your chosen currency) whichever is the greater. 2b. Final Payment Final payment of the balance is due 75 days before the tour departure date and your booking may be cancelled if full payment is not received by the due date, in which case your deposit will be forfeited. If we receive your booking less than 75 days prior to the journey departure date, it must be paid in full at time of booking.

3. REFUND No refunds will be made for any tours, meals, accommodation, sightseeing, transfers, or any other services included in the tour cost, which you did not utilise, should you choose voluntarily to not use the service if you decide to leave the tour early or should Vodkatrain be unable to provide the service for reasons beyond its control. Any refund due for any service booked and paid for, but not provided, will be made by Vodkatrain after the completion of your Vodkatrain travel services.

4. PASSPORTS, VISAS AND VACCINATIONS You will require a valid passport and visas for your journey. It is solely your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of the necessary documentation to comply with the laws and regulations of the countries to be visited. It is your sole responsibility to obtain vaccinations and preventative medicines as may be required for the duration of the tour. Information about these matters is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of Vodkatrain.

5. INSURANCE

8. CANCELLATION – BY VODKATRAIN Vodkatrain reserves the right to cancel any tour (before tour commencement), including guaranteed departures, due to force majeure, health concerns, war, or threat of war, civil unrest, acts of terrorism, strikes, industrial disputes or any other reason outside the control of Vodkatrain that Vodkatrain in its absolute discretion may determine. In such circumstances a full refund of the tour price paid will be made and this will be the full extent of Vodkatrain’s liability. If a guaranteed departure is cancelled for reasons other than force majeure, a full refund of monies paid will be made. In addition Vodkatrain will offer to you a 25% reduction in the price of an alternative group tour. Vodkatrain otherwise disclaims any liability to you for the costs of airfares, visas or any other expenses incurred by you as a result of any tour cancellation.

9. PHOTOGRAPHS AND RECORDINGS When on tour, employees, agents and/or other travellers of Vodkatrain may from time to time take photographs or make recordings of you and tour activities that may identify you. Vodkatrain reserves the right to use any and all photographs and/or recordings made on tour for promotional reasons in printed materials, on the internet or other media. In using such images, Vodkatrain undertakes not to reveal your name, contact details or other personal information. You consent to the use of such images or recordings by Vodkatrain and you acknowledge that you will not be entitled to payment or other compensation for the giving of consent or for the use of such images or recordings. Vodkatrain may keep such images or recordings of you on record.

10. YOUR RESPONSIBILITY 10a. Reasonable Behaviour Travelling in a group may require some compromise to accommodate the different desires and abilities of group members. When joining a Small Group Journey you undertake to conduct yourself in a manner conducive to good group dynamics. If you act in a manner that threatens or disrupts the safety or enjoyment of others on the tour, the Honcho may in his or her absolute discretion require that you leave the tour. If you are required to leave a tour in such circumstances, no refund will be made for any unused services.

Travel insurance is not included in the tour cost. Vodkatrain will not be responsible or liable for any injury or damages suffered or incurred in any way arising from or occurring during your journey. Comprehensive travel insurance (including medical and repatriation cover) is compulsory for all Vodkatrain journeys and Vodkatrain reserves the right to require you to leave the tour in the event that you have not secured the appropriate cover. Comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended for Vodkatrain Make Your Own journeys.

10b. Your Health & Fitness It is your responsibility to ensure that you have a suitable level of fitness to undertake the journey of your choice and that you have received required vaccinations. Fitness guidelines are provided in the Journey Itineraries and Pre Departure Kit. You should also seek the advice of your doctor or travel health specialist regarding the specific health recommendations for travel to the countries and regions visited on your tour.

6. AMENDMENTS TO BOOKINGS

You must inform Vodkatrain of any medical condition that may prevent your full participation in the tour. Should Vodkatrain or your Honcho consider you medically unfit to join a tour or should your medical condition deteriorate during the tour, to an extent where you are no longer able to fully participate in the tour, you will be required to leave the tour. No refund will be made for any unused services in such an event.

If you wish to change your booking in any way, Vodkatrain will make every reasonable effort to accommodate changes and additional requests. However, the following fees will apply: •

If you wish to transfer your booking from one tour to another and there is at least 75 days until your departure the following transfer fees apply as per the currency of your booking: AUD $100, NZD $100, USD $100, CAD $100, GBP £50 or EUR €75 per person.

• If you wish to change your booking in any way less than 75 days from the departure date the cancellation fee detailed in Clause 7 will be payable. •

For any other changes made to your arrangements the following amendment fees apply as per the currency of your booking: AUD $50, NZD $50, USD $50, CAD $50, GBP £25 or EUR €30 per person. The only exception to this is pre or post tour accommodation and other services which may be added up to one calendar month before departure without charge. Within one calendar month, these can be added with payment of the amendment fee as shown above.

Vodkatrain reserves the right to amend any tour itinerary due to force majeure, changes in local conditions, or any other reason that Vodkatrain in its absolute discretion may determine. If an amendment to the tour itinerary is necessary,

Vodkatrain and their agents reserve the right to withhold or withdraw tour participation for anyone whose inappropriate behaviour or medical condition is likely to affect the smooth operation of the tour or adversely affect the safety or enjoyment of other travellers on the tour. Additionally, Vodkatrain reserves the right at any time to insist on a current medical certificate stating that you are fit to travel, and may refuse carriage if a satisfactory certificate is not supplied. Any decision to exclude a passenger for any reason will be made by Vodkatrain without any further recourse. When joining a Small Group Journey you accept the authority of the Honcho. 10c. Complaints Should you have a complaint about any aspect of the travel arrangements you must bring it to the attention of the Honcho or our local representative at the time. If the problem is not solved to your satisfaction you must forward your complaint in writing to Vodkatrain no later than 28 days after completion of the tour addressed to Level 1, 51 Queen Street, Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia;

ph +613 9672 5300 or 18to35@vodktrain.com (Attention: Liz Anderson). 10d. Health & Government Travel Advisories It is your sole responsibility to inform yourself of the prevailing travel advisories issued by the government of your country regarding the risks and associated precautions (including health) related to travel to the countries and regions visited on your tour. Health advice is available from travel health specialists and international bodies such as the World Health Organisation. Vodkatrain will not be responsible for advising you of such travel advisories or of any changes that occur to such travel advisories prior to departure of the tour.

11. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES When on tour, you may be offered the opportunity to engage in optional or non-itinerary activities. You acknowledge and agree that such activities may be inherently risky and Vodkatrain will not be responsible to you for any loss, damage, injury, accident that may occur as a result of your participation therein.

12. RESPONSIBILITY Vodkatrain acts as an agent in the arrangement of travel services. All vouchers and tickets are issued subject to the terms and conditions specified by the supplier of those travel services. By accepting the vouchers and tickets and utilising the services, you agree that except where the law provides that liability or responsibility may not be excluded, Vodkatrain shall not be liable or responsible in respect of either person or property for any loss, damage, injury, accident, delay, diversion, fault or irregularity however occasioned, sustained or suffered in the course of any journey, trip or tour in the carrying out of any arrangements or the use of any facilities booked by or through it and not withstanding that the booking is made with a foreign company, corporation or person. You understand, and accept, that when joining a Vodkatrain tour the level of services, in the countries or regions to be visited including but not limited to, medical facilities, accommodation, transportation and communication will be lower than those you would expect at home, or in more traditional holiday destinations. You acknowledge that this can increase your personal risk, and you accept this risk. Vodkatrain shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising out of a matter over which it has no control including, without limitation, war or threat of war, riots, civil unrest, terrorist activity, natural disaster, weather conditions, fire, flood, industrial disputes, government action or the reasonable apprehension of any of the foregoing.

13. DEEMED CONSENT By commencing your journey you are deemed to have agreed and consented to all terms in these Booking Conditions and in any other documents provided to you by Vodkatrain or any other person who may have booked the tour on your behalf. If you book on behalf of another party, you represent and warrant to Vodkatrain that you are duly authorised to provide the agreement and consent the other party and you agree to indemnify Vodkatrain for any breach of warranty in this regard.

14. YOUR FINANCIAL SECURITY (UK & EU CLIENTS ONLY) To ensure your tour booking is fully protected in accordance with EU regulations all monies received as payment for tours booked with Vodkatrain will be immediately deposited into a Client Trust Account and will remain there until the tour has been completed or the services which make up your tour are paid in full by Vodkatrain.

15. FULL PARTICIPATION LUGGAGE: On all journeys you will be required to carry your own luggage on or off the trains, through stations and between vehicles and hotels. Please only bring what you can carry. Do not bring oversize suitcases or bags. WALKING: To fully participate in our journeys it is expected that you should be able to complete the day’s activities as outlined by your Honcho. This will include walking for much of the sightseeing, and includes steps, stairs and uneven surfaces. MEALS: Due to the destinations and available facilities, specific personal dietary preferences will need to be managed by the individual traveller, and any extra expense paid locally by the traveller. Individual dietary preferences have not been taken into consideration in the planning and operation of these journeys. TOLERANCE AND CONSIDERATION: When joining our journeys you will be expected to accept the diverse personalities, physical abilities and travel expectations of other group members, and will be required to accommodate these differences, as well as any cultural sensitivities of the places visited, and conduct yourself in a manner conducive to good group dynamics. You acknowledge that you act on behalf of all travellers included on this booking and that you have informed them of their obligations under these conditions.

16. OTHER By paying your deposit you acknowledge and agree that you have read, understood and agree to all related ‘booking conditions’. You also confirm that you have advised Vodkatrain of any disability or condition which may prohibit your full participation. These conditions cannot be varied or altered or waived by any servant, agent or representative of Vodkatrain or any other person providing services on the tour. Any contract between you and Vodkatrain is deemed to have been made in the State of Victoria, Australia, shall be governed by the laws of the State of Victoria and any disputes shall be dealt with by a court with the appropriate jurisdiction in Victoria. These booking conditions do not affect any rights you have as a consumer under Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010(Cth). Sundowners Travel (Europe) Limited is incorporated in England & Wales with limited liability. Registered Office: c/o 90 Lincoln Road, Peterborough, PE1 2SP. Company Registration number: 05176448 Sundowners Travel Centre Pty Limited (A.C.N. 005 066 348) is a limited liability company registered in Australia with offices located at Level 1, 51 Queen Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000 and is the operator for the journeys contained in this brochure.


WANT TO MAKE YOUR JOURNEY THAT EXTRA BIT SPECIAL? TIME YOUR TRIP TO CATCH ONE OF THESE GREAT FESTIVALS. WHEREVER YOU ARE, THERE’S SURE TO BE A REASON TO CELEBRATE WITH THE LOCALS!

VICTORY DAY (May 9, Russia) The largest national holiday in Russia, Victory Day sees impressive military parades held in Moscow and St. Petersburg to celebrate the end of the Great Patriotic War (WWII).

NOWRUZ ‘PERSIAN NEW YEAR’ (March 20, Uzbekistan and other parts of Central Asia) Nowruz, meaning ‘The New Day’ is the name of the Iranian New Year and is celebrated widely throughout Central Asia. Celebrations in Tajikistan include the bizarre spectacle of Buzkashi, a variation of polo using a goat carcass!

STARS OF THE WHITE NIGHTS FESTIVAL (May 26 – Jul 24, St. Petersburg) With the sun only setting for a few hours each night at this time of year, this festival involves general merrymaking and staying out late, as well as a dance festival in Russia’s cultural capital, St. Petersburg. Festivities include spectacular fireworks, concerts, and a mock battle among pirates in boats on the Neva River.

FESTIVAL OF THE NORTH (Late March, Murmansk, Russia) Wonder at the most epic and icy sporting event, the ‘Polar Olympiad. Watch the elite from the north complete in biathlons, figure skating, reindeer-sled races, ice hockey, snow mobile contests and chilly underwater swimming. It is also one of the rare occasions traditional Saami peoples come to the city to show off their reindeers, singing dancing and unique culture.

NAADAM FESTIVAL (July 11-13, Mongolia) Want to see the Mongolians at their most competitive? Visit for the Naadam Festival and watch them tough it out in the three manly sports; they wrestle in (very) skimpy traditional outfits, demonstrate incredible displays of archery skill and race across the steppe on horseback at ferocious speeds. Nothing seems to have changed since Genghis Khan’s days!

RUSSIAN MUSIC FESTIVALS Don’t miss out on partying with the locals at Russia’s hottest music festivals. These events always sell out – so get in quick! With a range of International and local artists from different genres, food stalls, designer’s markets and more, ask one of our Travel Advisors about which of our journeys you can partner with one of these events.

OUR TOP 4 RUSSIAN MUSIC FESTIVALS: Park Live Festival Afisha Picnic

Rock on the Volga Festival Subbotnik Festival

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1. Check availability

5. Travel insurance

Visit the Vodkatrain website, contact us or get in touch with your travel agent to check the availability of your chosen departure date. The Vodkatrain website is where you will find the most up to date information on availability, guaranteed departures, detailed itineraries and journey dossiers. Remember you will need at least six weeks from when you book to arrange all of your visas and we recommend you do not confirm non-refundable/non-changeable air tickets until your journey is guaranteed.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all Vodkatrain journeys and for your personal benefit and peace of mind we strongly recommend it for all of your travels.

2. Booking conditions

7. Documents

Please carefully review our booking conditions found on the previous pages. Booking with Vodkatrain means that you have read and accept these conditions.

3. Booking & deposit Our specialist Travel Advisors will ensure that your booking is looked after all the way until you return from your journey. To secure your journey we need a deposit of 10% of your journey cost.

4. Traveller information

6. Final payment Final payment of the balance is due 75 days before your journey departure. If we receive your booking less than 75 days prior to your journey, it will need to be paid at the time of booking.

Once you have paid your deposit Vodkatrain will provide you with all of your relevant pre-departure information. Final documentation will be provided after receipt of full payment and around 45 days before your journey’s departure.

8. Start your journey Meet others travelling on the same departure through the ‘Meet Other Travellers’ section of our Facebook page and share the excitement and anticipation of your journey of a lifetime!

Before we can confirm your booking we need a fully completed Client Information Form for all of those travelling with us so that we can start to process your documentation. These details will be requested at the time of booking.

CLIENT ENQUIRIES & RESERVATIONS:

TRAVEL AGENT ENQUIRIES & RESERVATIONS:

Australia T: 1300 559 830

Australia T: 1300 780 043

New Zealand T: 0800 770 155

New Zealand T: 0800 174 073

UK T: 020 8877 7656

UK T: 020 8877 7650

Europe T: +44 20 8877 7656

Europe T: +44 20 8877 7650

Russia T: +7 (812) 310 32 18

Russia T: +7 (812) 310 32 18

Worldwide T: +61 3 9672 5382 E:18to35@vodkatrain.com

Worldwide T: +61 3 9672 5380 E: agentsales@vodkatrain.com

Head Office Level 1, 51 Queen Street Melbourne VIC 3000 T: +61 3 9672 5300

Member Number: TO1006

All journeys contained within are operated by Sundowners Travel Centre Pty Ltd, trading as Sundowners Overland. ABN 11 005 066 348

This brochure is 100% recyclable. If you no longer need it, and don’t want to pass it to a friend, please dispose of it responsibly. The cover of this brochure is printed on FSC stock.

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Vodkatrain 2017-18