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 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
- Red Square
- 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
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
Transfer to airport
Departure to Irkutsk on an overnight flight
March 13, 2019
Arrive in Irkutsk in the morning
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
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.
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
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
Depart to Moscow on overnight train
March 24, 2019
Depart for home
$3500 USDPrice 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.
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.