Another World Adventures

Russia Expedition: Permafrost Railway & Ysyakh Festival

Duration: 15 days
View Dates

Siberia – the very word has become symbolic for all that is remote, rugged and mysterious.

This 15-day Expedition is your chance to discover a region that is as enigmatic to outsiders as it is vast.

Travel into Russia’s Far East on the historic Baikul-Amur Railway, then board the new Permafrost Railway to Yakutsk, a city built on frozen ground. Learn the secrets of life in the Sakha Republic and immerse yourself in the traditions of the Yakut people. Celebrate the beginning of summer in what is normally one of the coldest cities on earth, revelling in the sun and warmth with locals during the Ysyakh Festival. Admire the wild beauty of the landscapes and tenacity of the people who call rural Russia home.

Why you'll love this adventure

  • Travel into stunning, sparsely-populated Far East Russian Siberia via two incredible feats of railway engineering – the Permafrost Express and the historic Baikal-Amur Railway – in the short window of summer.
  • Explore Yakutsk, the largest city built on continuous permafrost, and wonder at the unique architecture and cultural practises born of the harsh environment.
  • Celebrate the arrival of summer during the Ysyakh Festival, where the locals perform traditional Yakut sports, dance into the night and feast on local delicacies like roasted horse meat.
  • Stay overnight in Ust-Buotama National Park and visit a bison nursery, hike through evergreen forest and see the towering limestone rock pillars that line the Lena River.
  • Learn about various Yakut traditions on a visit to a horse farm, during lunch with a family in a small village and in tiny regional museums.
Trip Duration
15 Days
Group Size
Min 4, Max 12
Private Departure
Culture, Expedition, Explorer, Rail adventure
Style of Travel
Guided Group, Private Departure, Solo Traveller




18 June 2021



2 July 2021

This trip can be tailor made for your perfect travel dates. Please make a booking enquiry for more information.


This trip includes an action packed itinerary! Please make an enquiry and we'll send you the full itinerary for each day including meals, activities, travel and accommodation.

Russia Expedition: Permafrost Railway & Ysyakh Festival

What's included

  • 10 breakfasts, 3 dinners and 4 lunches
  • Overnight sleeper train (5 nights), Hotel (7 nights), Guesthouse (2 nights)
  • Overnight sleeper train , Private vehicle , Metro , Plane
  • Vladivostok – S-56 Submarine
  • Komsomolsk-na-Amure – City tour
  • Tynda – Baikal-Amur Mainline Builders Monument
  • Neryungri – Tekhnopark
  • Nizhny Bestyakh – Yakut horse farm & Siberian village experience
  • Yakutsk – City tour
  • Yakutsk – Melnikov Permafrost Institute
  • Yakutsk – Treasury of the Sakha Republic
  • Yakutsk – Old Town walking tour
  • Yakutsk – Ysyakh Festival
  • Yakutsk – Ysyakh Festival
  • Ust’ Buotama NP – Wood Bison Nursery
  • Yakutsk – Buluus Glacier
  • Yakutsk – Kuruluur Waterfalls
  • Ust’ Buotama NP – Hiking
  • Ust’ Buotama NP – Lena Pillars

Trip notes


From £3300 land only (flight option package available from some countries on request)

Min age



Overnight sleeper train (5 nights), Hotel (7 nights), Guesthouse (2 nights)

Accommodation notes

According to Russian law, all foreign citizens must be registered with the immigration authorities within 7 business days of arrival into Russia. If you have made your own independent travel plans in Russia for more than 7 days outside of your trip dates with us, please ensure you are registered through your accommodation in order to avoid any issues at passport control when leaving the country.

Please note that in many cities in Russia, including Moscow, hot water is turned off for up to one month during summer for routine maintenance. During this time only cold water may be available at some accommodation.

Please note that at our homestays and guesthouses rooms may be multishare and open gender. When we stay at people’s homes, beds may be sofa beds or mattresses on the floor.

Please note that rooms with double beds are not always available at our accommodation in Russia and two single beds in a twin share room is the default. Wherever possible we will put couples in rooms with double beds if available.

Trains on this journey are simple but comfortable, with standards and age of the carriages varying from route to route. You’ll travel in 2nd class (“kupe”) on this trip. There’s a toilet/bathroom at the end of each carriage with a small sink and cold water, but no showers. An attendant is assigned to every carriage to look after your comfort and safety (although service standards can vary greatly!). Each compartment has four bunks with luggage storage space inside. Clean bedding is provided, although some travellers still prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. There’s hot water available for making instant meals, tea and coffee. Sometimes snacks and drinks are available for purchase on board and most trains also have a dining car, although often with a limited menu. Trains are generally heated but do not always offer air conditioning. The train can become very hot even in winter and the train attendants will often not allow the windows to be opened, so please pack clothing appropriate for the warmer conditions on these train journeys.


10 breakfasts, 3 dinners and 4 lunches

Food and dietary requirements

What is food in Russia really like? See our blog here for some must try foods:

Vegetarians in Russia certainly won’t go hungry as there are usually plenty of meat-free options on menus including salads, certain soups, and cooked dishes such as mushrooms, potatoes, cabbage, buckwheat, dumplings with vegetable fillings, savoury pancakes etc. Vegans will need to look for options without mayonnaise, sour cream and cheese which are common in Russian dishes. Moscow, St Petersburg and increasingly other towns have an ever growing number of excellent vegetarian and vegan eateries.

Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may wish to supplement inclusions with their own supplies from markets or supermarkets.

Who is this trip for?

Is this trip right for you

This trip is built around three journeys by train that are longer than 20 hours (with the longest being 38 hours). Please read the itinerary carefully for estimates and think carefully about your suitability for such travel.

While the crew will do their best to follow the itinerary, variations to train schedules may occur due to weather or under direction from local authorities. A sense of humour and flexibility will ensure you have a fascinating trip regardless and, if necessary, other travel arrangements will be made to reach the Ysyakh Festival.

Cities previously inaccessible by land, dense forest, tiny villages – this tour visits very remote locations. Please be prepared to forgo some modern conveniences in certain locations.

This Expedition involves learning about some confronting history, particularly in regard to gulags and forced labour under the Soviet Union.

This trip finishes in Yakutsk. You will need to book onward flights to Moscow, Vladivostok or St Petersburg at your own expense.

The Ysyakh Festival is on 27&28 Jun. So for those who book on WBSK200616, the order of destinations from Day 9 to Day 13 will be changed to as follow to match the date of the festival near Yakutsk: Day 9 -10 Ust-Buotama National Park; Day 11 – 13 Yakutsk & Ysyakh Festival. The order of activities will be switched accordingly but your experience in these destinations won’t be affected.

Additional notes


Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group – patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone’s travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don’t keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well – this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travellers join because they are travelling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people.

As a solo traveller, you will be paired up with another traveller of the same gender as per your passport information. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will on a single room basis.

If you’re not comfortable sharing a room with someone of the same gender, you also have the choice to pay for a single supplement (available on the majority of our trips).

If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly.

Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on an open gender, multi-share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information.


This operator has a policy in place for COVID-19 and their adventures. Please request full details so we can share the most up to date information with you. Thanks!

Tour operator

We love this operator for the freedom and flexibility they give travellers to get off the tourist trails and really experience local cultures. Their style of small group travel is perfect for solo travellers, couples or small groups of friends and their grassroots style of travel seeks to have a positive impact on the communities they visit.

They use local leaders, local accommodation & transport and support local community projects, ensuring sustainability is at the centre of everything they do.

In addition, they expect their staff and travellers to demonstrate the principles of responsible travel – respecting people, cultures and local environments; in the distribution of wealth; in good will and cross-cultural sharing; and in contributing to sustainable development.


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— Martin

Excellent thoughtful service.

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— Tina

One of a Kind Service!

From the very beginning of reaching out to AWA, they were super helpful, enthusiastic and informative.

— Matt

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