The Journey starts in Moscow four days of day-hosting by FF Krasnogorsk. We will catch the last couple days of the Maslenitsa, or Russian Mardi Gras. Then we will arrive in Irkutsk (Siberia), where we can admire the Frozen Beauty of Lake Baikal. We will cross the lake by car and arrive in Ulan-Ude, for a three-day homestay with FF Ulan-Ude. Then it is back to Irkuts on Trans-Siberian train. From Irkuts, we will head to St. Petersburg, for four days with FF St. Petersburg. During this time we will visit the Hermitage and Faberge museum, Peter and Paul Fortress, and see the stunning Amber Room in the Catherine Palace of Tsarskoye Selo.

Home Hospitality

Home Hospitality provided by the Friendship Force clubs of Krasnogorsk, Ulan-Ude, and St.Petersburg.

Live With a Local

  • Enjoy day-hosting with FF Krasnogorsk and FF St. Petersburg
  • Spend four days of homestay with FF Ulan-Ude, and three days with the local people by Lake Baikal
  • Learn Russian and Buryat traditions, songs, and toasts
  • Celebrate the new year on the lunar calendar

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Red Square
  • Kremlin
  • Tretyakov Gallery
  • Island Olhon
  • Lake Baikal
  • Ivolginskiy datzan - the center of Buddhism in Russia
  • Odigitrievsky Cathedral - an Orthodox church
  • Isaak Cathedral
  • Hermitage museum
  • Faberge Museum
  • Tsarskoe Selo, Amber Room

Frozen Beauty in Lake Baikal, Moscow, and St. Petersburg, Russia

16 Days / 15 Nights Program and Itinerary:

March 9, 2019 – March 23, 2019
Coordinator: Oyuna Sengeeva, FFI

All Friendship Force Itineraries are subject to change.

March 9, 2019

Arrival in Moscow

Transfer from the airport to the city center (included in price)

Meet hosts from FF Krasnogorsk

Welcome party

March 10, 2019

Breakfast at the hotel

City Tour covering the main attractions in Moscow: Varvarka Street, St. Basil Cathedral, Red Square, Senate Palace, GUM, Kremlin, Alexander Garden, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Russian Mardi Gras – The Maslenitsa

March 11, 2019

Breakfast at the hotel

Tour around the territory of Kremlin, including visits to the Cathedrals (included in price) and to the Armory Museum (not included in price)

Tour in Moscow metro (subway)

Visit Tretiakov Art Gallery (included in price)

Farewell party hosted by FF Krasnogorsk

March 12, 2019

Zaryadye Park

Transfer to airport

Departure to Irkutsk on an overnight flight

March 13, 2019

Arrive in Irkutsk in the morning

City tour

Local museum

Stay one night at hotel

March 14, 2019

Start our tour to Lake Baikal

Transfer to Listvyanka

Visit to the museum of Lake Baikal


Ride of Lake Baikal on an air-cushion ship “Khivus”

Transfer to Olkhon Island

March 15, 2019

Travel to Ust-Barguzin. On the way, walk at the cape Khoboy and stop in the most picturesque places to admire the unique creatures of nature – “sokui”

See hummocks of various shapes and go into the grottos which are inaccessible in the summer. In the winter, though, they open their secrets for every curious traveler.

Arrival to Ust-Barguzin

Hotel accommodation

March 16, 2019

Departure to the Chivyrkuisky Bay, a guided tour of the Trans-Baikal National Park.

Visit to the grottos and caves in the bay, reception of hot baths in the bay Zmeevaya.

Dinner of Baikal cuisine in a fishing family.

Transfer to Ust-Barguzin, for accommodation at the hotel.

March 17, 2019


Transfer to Ulan-Ude

Lunch at a roadside café (not included)

Meet with host families

Free time and dinner with host families in Ulan-Ude, Buryatia

March 18, 2019

Meeting at the Theatre Square

Visit Ivolginskiy datzan – the center of Buddhism in Russia

Evening – Opera and Ballet House Ulan-Ude (not included)

March 19, 2019

Walking tour of downtown

Lunch national Buryat food

Odigitrievsky Cathedral – an Orthodox church, located in the heart of the city, on the banks of the Uda River where is flows into the Selenga.

Farewell Dinner

Overnight Trans-Siberian train to Irkutsk

Arrive to Irkutsk

Departure to St. Petersburg via plane

March 20, 2019

Arrive in St. Petersburg by plane

Transfer from airport to hotel

Meet with members and attend a welcome dinner with FF St. Petersburg club

March 21, 2019

City tour, Peter and Paul Fortress


Hermitage Museum

March 22, 2019

Isaak Cathedral and Faberge Museum

March 23, 2019

Tsarskoe selo, a town with the former residence of the imperial family

Catherine Palace and Amber Room

Farewell party

Depart to Moscow on overnight train

March 24, 2019

Depart for home


$3500 USD

Price Includes: Seven-night homestay, seven nights in a hotel, tour of Lake Baikal with professional guide, transport to and boat across Lake Baikal, domestic flights from Moscow- Irkuts (round trip), train from Ulan-Ude to Irkutsk, visa to Russia, all meal and entrance tickets to museum, which are included in program.


5Spaces Remaining


Know before you go

  • Journey number 15314
  • Apply HERE!
  • We are going to Siberia, so you need to have warm clothes and comfortable shoes for walking on snow in Siberia. However, it can be nice and warm in Moscow in March.
  • Expect it to be windy in St. Petersburg.
Interested in this Journey?

We would love to have you on this Journey with us.

Our Mission

Friendship Force International provides opportunities to explore new countries and cultures from the inside by bringing people together at the personal level. Through the signature program of home hospitality, local hosts welcome international visitors into their culture, sharing with them meals, conversation, and the best sights and experiences of their region.
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