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Escorted Rail Tours to Irkutsk

Home to the exiled Decembrists

Irkutsk is one of largest and best-known cities in Siberia. It takes its name from the nearby Irkut River, which meets the mighty, 1,640-feet-wide (580 metres) Angara River close to the city. Surrounded by dense forest lands, Irkutsk was founded in 1661 as a fort to colonise lands stretching right through Siberia to Alaska. Though little is known about the place from that time, it gained notoriety in the early 19th century, when many Russian nobles, artists and officers were sent into exile in the city for taking part in the Decembrist revolt against Tsar Nicholas I.

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There are 4 holidays in this category
Showing 1 to 4 of 4 holidays
Trans-Siberian Express

Step on board the Golden Eagle and be transported back to the romantic age of travel as we wend our way across Russia, Mongolia and Siberia in unprecedented luxury. This rail adventure takes you on a journey of over 8,000 miles; a true odyssey to the other side of the world.

Departs from May 2017 to August 2017.
19 days from £10,795per personView tour details
Around the World in 51 Days

Beginning and ending in London, we travel just under 23,000 miles across the globe on this incredible worldwide adventure. Starting in the iconic 'Big Apple', we chart a course across the heartland of America, to the West Coast. From there, we cross the Pacific into Asia and immerse ourselves in the rich legacies of China, before boarding the iconic Tsar's Gold Train for the journey across Russia. For the final leg of the journey, we head into central Europe, south through the imperial cities to Venice, boarding the luxurious Simplon-Orient- Express for the journey home.

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Departs in August 2017.
51 days from £24,245per personView tour details
Premium Trans-Siberian Express in Winter

Witness the true splendour of Dr Zhivago landscapes from the warmth of your luxurious carriage, enjoying sleigh rides and choirs, saunas and yurts en-route to Vladivostok. Travel on the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express train for an unforgettable 8,000-mile winter adventure.

Departs in February 2017.
19 days from £10,495per personView tour details
The Trans-Siberian: Moscow to Beijing

Let the Tsar's Gold Train take you on an incredible adventure across almost half of the surface of the world from the ornate splendor of Moscow to the bustling beauty of modern Beijing, through remote Siberia, beautiful Mongolia and the vast landscapes of the Gobi Desert.

Departs from May 2017 to September 2017.
20 days from £7,295per personView tour details
Showing 1 to 4 of 4 holidays

More about Irkutsk

Decembrist culture
Being so far from most of Russia's major centres of commerce and communication, it was felt that Irkutsk was remote and removed enough for the rebels to be not only punished, but also to prevent them from managing a successful uprising. Many of the Decembrists thrived in exile, and chose to remain in Irkutsk even when Tsar Alexander II restored their rights and granted them amnesty in 1856.

From the arrival of the Decembrists onwards, Irkutsk became the major spot for social and intellectual life for these exiles. Much of the city's cultural heritage came from them, and today many of their wooden houses, adorned with hand-carved decorations survive - in stark contrast with apartment blocks that surround them. In 1970 the former home of key Decembrist Sergei Trubestkoy was restored and opened as a museum commemorating the movement, and their influence on Irkutsk.

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