Arrival. Transfer to the Ship. City Tour
Today you’ll arrive at Krasnoyarsk Airport where you’ll be met by the representative that will escort you to the ship. Onboard, after check in procedures are completed, a welcome cocktail and caviar reception will be hosted and afterwards lunch will be served. Late afternoon, you’ll depart for your first included sightseeing tour. Get to know Krasnoyarsk as you stroll its historic centre, passing its ancient merchant houses, bridges, fountains and one of the longest streets in the world. We’ll take you to Karaul Mountain, from where you can enjoy a panoramic view over the city and also to Surikov’s Estate, which is a fine example of 19th century Russian architecture and lifestyle. Return to the ship for dinner after which there’s an optional tour of Krasnoyarsk by night for those who wish to see a little more of this fascinating city.
Bobrovy Log Fan Park. Visit to the Hydroelectric Plant
After breakfast this morning we kick off today’s sightseeing programme with a visit to a precious metals factory (optional). If you’ve never held a kilo of gold or platinum in your hand before, and let’s face it, most of us haven’t, now’s your chance. Also on today’s agenda is a photo opportunity at the Tsar-Fish monument and a visit to Krasnoyarsk Hydroelectric Station. Later, you’ll ascend by cable car to the top of Bobrovy Fan Park. The views from the top are very attractive and there are also a number of walking trails through the Stolby Nature Reserve, one of Russia’s most visited reserves. The scenery is volcanic: a number of tall, narrow pillars dated to over 450 million years old litter the area. Lunch and dinner will be back on board but there’ll be the option to attend a concert performance in the city this evening if you so choose.
Interactive Programme – Siberian Cossacks
The time has come to set sail and we’ve set our sights on Galanino. First, we’ll pass through the Kazachinsky rapids, so you might want to be out on deck between 12.24 and 13.01pm as that’s when we are scheduled to reach them. After lunch we disembark to receive a traditional Cossack welcome in a typical home. It’s your first time to experience legendary Siberian hospitality, with a lavish spread that includes pickles, pies, liqueurs, tea from the samovar, honey and freshly baked cakes. Several masterclasses have been laid on, working with birch bark, basket weaving and embroidery. Listen to old Cossack songs putting you in the mood to immerse yourself in the region’s culture and rich heritage.
City Tour. Visit to the Regional Museum
Very early this morning we dock in Yeniseisk. Wake to breakfast and an included city tour of this delightful place. The history of this city dates back 400 years and its UNESCO-listed centre is well preserved, its narrow streets still home to merchant houses and monasteries that have been there for centuries. Visits today include the Yenisei regional museum and the Museum-Estate Photo-Izba, which together will help you understand the history and traditional lifestyle of the region. You can tour the Wood Plane Museum; with its 1500 carpentry tools, it features in the Guinness Book of Records. Learn about stage coaches and perhaps organise a ride before returning to the ship for lunch. This evening in the onboard cinema there’s a showing of the movie Happy People, which gives you an insight into those who live in the taiga.
Nickulino - Vorogovo
Old Believers Village & a Siberian Fair
There are still a few places on our planet where people choose to eschew modern technology and lead a disconnected life. Nickulino village is one of them – a tiny place which doesn’t appear on Google maps and where there are no TVs, phones, internet or computers. Its home to a group called the Old Believers. They’ve only recently welcomed outsiders so please be mindful of this and respect their beliefs by not taking photographs. As a thank you, you’ll have the privilege of learning about their religion and traditions, including the chance to see how they extract cedar oil from cones and how to make pine nut oil. After a stroll around their craft stalls it’s back on the Zodiac small boats to return to the ship for lunch. This afternoon, we make a second stop, at Vorogovo. Here, you’ll spend a couple of hours this afternoon at a Siberian fair, with music, dance, local food and a bit of souvenir shopping.
Bakhta – Verkhneimbatsk
Tour in Traditional Wooden Boats. Visit to the Ethnic Park
Once again, we’ll need the Zodiac small boats to get us ashore, this time to meet the people we saw star in the film Happy People. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to ask the actors questions about their roles and the wider topic of life in the taiga. Then it’s hands on, as you sail an authentic tarred wooden boat typical of this part of Siberia, go fishing, taste a scrumptious fish soup and forage for berries in the forest. Don’t worry if you don’t manage to find enough food, as lunch is served back on board.
We continue the cruise as far as Verkhneimbatsk where the Zodiacs help us reach the first Russian settlement founded by the Mangazeya Cossacks in 1607. There’s an ethnic complex which includes a Ket camp, spring with healing water and a museum of Cossack and Pomor life. The itinerary also includes a music performance by a local ensemble and a tea party where you can try the local food.
Walking Tour. Museum of Regional Studies
This afternoon, during a visit to the Museum of Regional Studies of Turukhansk Region, we’ll learn about what it’s like to live here. The climate of central Siberia is far more extreme than in maritime Europe. The norm here is that summer temperatures regularly top 35°C and winter temperatures plummet to a exceptionally cold -60°C. Could you handle such variations? The railway hasn’t reached this part of Siberia, so access for residents is by air, road or – like us – river. It’s a beautiful part of Russia, surrounded by nature: in fact, the Turukhansk coat of arms incorporates a silver Arctic fox. After a walking tour, you’ll hop back on the ship in time for dinner.
Yermakovo - Igarka
Gulag Museum. Visit to the Museum of Permafrost
During the first of our visits, we explore Yermakovo and the chilling history of the gulags. Under Stalin’s rule, political prisoners were exiled to Siberia to camps known as gulags, where they were used for forced labour, enduring unbelievably awful conditions. You’ll hike through the forest to see the remains of the country’s northernmost railway, which claimed the lives of an estimated 300,000 people and Museum Building 503 which explains more about “Dead Road” and the horrors of the gulag.
Later, we arrive in Igarka, home of the Museum of Permafrost. Visitors to this interesting museum descend a set of steps which takes them to a subterranean world which is eternally frozen. Learn about the 50000 year old Ice Mountain and then return to the more comfortable climate found onboard the ship where you’ll have dinner.
Visit to Fishermen and Reindeer Herders Houses
On the programme today is a visit to a typical fishing village. You’ll meet its residents on the shore and be entertained in their chum, similar to a yurt. There’ll be an open fire, and also the chance to see their herd of around a thousand reindeer. Learn about their nomadic lifestyle, try a spot of fishing and sample some of the food they eat. Grab a selfie with one of their silky reindeer and return to the ship.
Visit to the Ethno-cultural Complex. Putorana Plateau by Helicopter
We expect to dock in Dudinka at 2.30am, when we’ll need to complete passport and visa formalities with the border guards. As a closed city, you will have special permits to enter Dudinka, but you’re still in Russia. From Dudinka, so long as the weather isn’t inclement, we’ll board helicopters for today’s sightseeing at Putorana, which translates from Evenki as “lakes with steep banks”. The Putorana Plateau is vast, covering an area the size of Great Britain, and the second largest basalt plateau on the planet. Exploring the Putorana Nature Reserve is a privilege few travellers have the opportunity to enjoy. You’ll tour the Taimyr Mow ethno-cultural centre, learning about the traditions, food, culture and customs of those who live here. There’s also a local history museum to get acquainted with and an exhibition of folk art to peruse.
Tour Dates & Prices
Dudinka - Norilsk
Musical Concert. Transfer to the Airport
It’s time to bid farewell to Russia today as our cruise comes to an end. After a music performance onboard and one final lunch, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight and onward connections home.