Moscow • Salekhard • Muzhi • Berezovo • Oktyabrskoye • Khanty-Mansiysk • Lyamino • Surgut • Nizhnevartovsk • Narym • Kolpashevo • Tomsk • Berdsk • Novosibirsk

Join Bill Altaffer, one of the world’s most traveled people, on a cruise north to the Arctic Circle through the White Nights of summer on the mighty Ob River, an early north-south trade route in Western Russia. Bask in the Midnight Sun during the week of the summer solstice; by the time you reach the Arctic Circle, the sun won’t bother to set at all. Stop in little towns founded by indigenous peoples, fur traders, and gold miners, and visit sizable cities founded on more recent oil discoveries. Get to know the hardy people who call this northern region home.

18 Day Trip

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Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Walk the bricks of fabled Red Square
    Wander the brick-paved expanse of historic UNESCO-listed Red Square in the shadow of St. Basil’s fanciful onion domes....
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  • Take a tour of Tomsk
    Let your local guide introduce you to one of Siberia’s oldest cities, with a modern riverfront and neighborhoods of old wooden homes adorned with lacy wooden fretwork....
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  • Celebrate the summer solstice on the Ob River
    Celebrate the longest day of the year on the Ob River, some 300 miles south of the Arctic Circle and closing fast....
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  • Visit Salekhard, lying astride the Arctic Circle
    Tour the city of Salekhard in Russia's far north, where the sun doesn’t sink below the horizon for a month every summer. ...
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Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • 30 years of travel experience in Russia
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • Travel programs such as Princeton and Harvard Museum of Natural History have chosen MIR to guide them to Russia
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-4: Moscow, Salekhard

Arrive in Moscow and transfer to a four-star hotel. Enjoy three days in Russia’s capital, with a participants' choice of touring. Select from the classic sites of Red Square, the Kremlin and the Armory Museum, or sites that will be appealing to those who have been to Moscow before.

On Day 4, board an early morning flight to Salekhard, capital of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region. It is said that Salekhard is the only city in the world that lies astride the Arctic Circle, and the sun doesn’t sink below the horizon for a month here each summer. Visit Obdorskiy Burg (Master's Town), an open-air wooden architecture museum that recreates the first structures built here by the first Russian settlers. Afterwards, board the cruise ship MS Remix, departing south along the Ob River.

Highlights

  • Participants’ choice in Moscow
  • Salekhard, astride the Arctic Circle
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Days 5-6: Muzhi, Berezovo

The cruise makes its first stop in Muzhi, where villagers still make a living primarily from fishing, hunting, and deer breeding. Continue on to Berezovo, built on three hills. This was where Peter the Great’s powerful friend and associate, Alexander Menshikov, was exiled in 1727. Gold was discovered here in the mid 19th century, and convicts worked the mines until richer mines were discovered further east.

Highlights

  • Lower Ob River, famous for its bounty of fish
  • Sosvinskaya herring, a popular fish in the area

Days 7-8: Oktyabrskoye, Khanty-Mansiysk

In Oktyabrskoye, take the wooden stairs from the riverboat pier to the top of Kondinskiy Mountain to visit the 17th century Kondinskiy Monastery. Enter the Irtysh River, the main tributary of the Ob, and arrive in the Siberian oil boom city of Khanty-Mansiysk, surrounded by a nature reserve. Visit the Church of the Ascension, the Park of Glory, the Alley of Heroes, and the Museum of Geology, Oil and Gas.

Highlights

  • 17th century Kondinskiy Monastery
  • Fire-engine-red bridge, dubbed the “Red Dragon”

Days 9-11: Lyamino, Surgut, Nizhnevartovsk

Make a stop in the village of Lyamino, enjoying time to hike, swim, fish, or explore the village independently. Continuing south, spend time ashore in the city of Surgut, located near the point where the Ob meets the Irtysh, and with the largest river port on the Ob. Visit the Local Lore Museum and admire the lovely golden-domed Transfiguration Cathedral.

Nizhnevartovsk is the oil capital of Siberia. Go ashore for a guided tour, which includes a visit to Samotlor Lake, near which the first oil well was drilled.

Highlights

  • Local Lore Museum in Surgut
  • Samotlar Lake, covering a huge oil field
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Days 12-13: Green Camp, Narym

Spend the day relaxing, stretching your legs or fishing along the shore on a “green stop.” Continue to Narym, an old settlement that served as an exile camp under the Russian Empire. Numerous revolutionaries, among them Yakov Sverdlov and Joseph Stalin, spent time here in exile. Visit the local Museum of Political Exiles, formerly a Stalin museum, and the Regional History Museum.

Highlights

  • Fishing on the river
  • Walking in the Siberian taiga
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Days 14-15: Kolpashevo, Tomsk

In Kolpashevo, learn about the mass grave discovered in 1979 when a flood washed away the riverbank. Arrive in Tomsk, one of the oldest cities in Siberia, founded in 1604 on the Tom River by order of Czar Boris Godunov. Tour this 400-year-old city, including the Governor’s District on the waterfront.

Highlights

  • Riverbank where a mass grave from the 1930s was discovered
  • Navigating among forested islands
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Days 16-18: Green Camp, Berdsk, Novosibirsk, Moscow

Take one last opportunity for a "green stop" along the Tom River before entering the locks to the Novosibirsk Dam. Arriving at the ship's final destination, Berdsk, disembark and transfer to nearby Novosibirsk.

With a population of roughly 1.6 million, Novosibirsk is the largest city in Siberia, and its industrial and scientific center. Upon arrival in Novosibirsk, embark on a short overview tour of the city. Hop an evening flight back to Moscow and transfer to a city-center hotel for a one-night stay before your international flight the next morning.

Highlights

  • Passage through the Novosibirsk Dam locks
  • Largest opera house in Russia
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See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

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Tour Dates & Prices
Trip Length: 18 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person
based on double occupancy

  • -2 Travelers $7,550

2017 Dates

  • June 21-July 8 - Only one cabin left on this one-time-only tour!
  • $7,550
  • Max 2 Travelers
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Group Size

Limited to 18 travelers

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Shared accommodations in a well-located four star hotel in Moscow and aboard the river cruise ship MS Remix.
  • Meals as listed in itinerary.
  • Services of an experienced, English-speaking MIR Tour Manager (with a minimum of 6 passengers) with local guides at specific sites.
  • Arrival/departure transfers. MIR will arrange for all travelers to be met on arrival and seen off on departure whether we make your airfare arrangements or not, provided you arrive and depart on the tour start/end dates in the tour start/end cities.
  • Transportation throughout itinerary by private van or motorcoach (size of vehicle depends on group size), and by air.
  • Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary.
  • Special events, excursions and cultural performances per the itinerary.

Before Your Tour

  • Personalized pre-departure support from one of our knowledgeable Tour Specialists.
  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list and reading list.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application instruction kit (please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international and internal airfares are not included in the land tour cost).
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Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

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Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

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Visas

Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

MIR can arrange for an extended program in Russia, Ukraine or the Baltics before or after your tour. All of MIR’s destinations are open to you, and all can be attached to this program. Please contact MIR for more details about exciting options for extended travel.

Or, choose from one of our private travel suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

This trip is moderately active, and rated moderate to rigorous touring due to the daily walking involved and the overall shortcomings of the tourism infrastructure. To reap the full rewards of this adventure, travelers must be able to walk at least a mile a day, keeping up with fellow travelers.

A full list of details about the rigors of this tour are explained in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

Read our Travel Journals

MIR's Travel Journals offer first hand accounts of MIR's fascinating destinations.

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