print this page
Lena River - the Queen of Siberia
ROUTE: YAKUTSK - TIKSI - YAKUTSK
This is a truly a one of a kind trip. Everything, from the grandiose natural wonders of the Lena Basin, untouched lifestyle of natives along the River, and unique food...to the opportunity to experience the Arctic first hand. During the cruise, you will be invited to take history, language, and handicraft lessons, visit the sights of the former Siberian GULAG, hike, trek, fish, swim, enjoy a bonfire, and taste the food of locals during land excursions. A series of lectures and seminars by experienced speakers will introduce you to the history of the scientific and pioneering achievements in the Yakutia-Sakha Republic. They will also share interesting facts about the natural resources, particularly the diamond deposits, as well as astonishing discoveries of Mammoth fossils, and the ecological situation of the Lena River. Daily concerts, games, cocktail parties, and reading sessions will keep your evenings busy.
DELUXE, JUNIOR AND QUAD CABINS CAN BE BOOKED FOR SINGLE (SOLO) TRAVEL FOR ADDITIONAL FEES. PLEASE INQUIRE A QUOTE.
About the Ship
The Route (schematic map)
Travelers Photo Reports
Both cruises are conducted by "Mikhail Svetlov" ship. The day-by-day Itinerary, educational program topics, entertainment events, and their sequence may differ from cruise to cruise. The cruise providers reserve the right to cancel the cruise if the number of passengers does not reach a minimal level. In the event of bad weather, thick fog, a storm, or any other unforeseen natural disaster, the ship crew reserves the right to change/modify the original Itinerary without notice. Travel Insurance is imperative.
Day 1: Yakutsk city (start). You are either already in Yakutsk city or arriving today. If you are arriving today, we will meet you at the airport and take you to the ship. Today's programs includes full course meals (breakfast, lunch and supper) and an afternoon city excursion, with stops at the Museum of Ethnography and Archeology. If time allows, we will also stop by the Mammoth Museum and Permafrost Research Institute. Closer to the evening, we will return back to the ship for our departure and supper. Shortly after, the crew will gather passengers for a short safety briefing and ship introductions. At 9PM or so, guest are invited to the bar for a musical program.
Day 2: Lenskiye Stolby (Lena Rocky Pillars). We hope the sun is up and shining. After sailing all night, our ship is just about to arrive to the famous Lena Rocky Pillars. This formation made of Kimberly limestone stretches for 80 km, with some pillars rising up to an incredible 200 meters. After breakfast, (around 10AM) you will be invited for a one hour lecture about the geology or genesis of the Lena Pillars. After the ship docks, the guides will take you on the shore for a land excursion. It starts with the Greeting Ceremony of the White Yakut Shaman followed by the National circle dance “Osooakhai”. After the ceremonial "dance and blessing" by the White Shaman, we will take a short trek on the Lena Pillars. We then return to the ship for lunch and the departure to our the next destination. Around 4PM, there will be a reception to get to know each other followed by supper. Enjoy the sunset and socializing on the deck. At 9PM, the captain’s reception begins: introduction to the crew and cruise management followed by a folk concert.
Day 3: Cruising Lena River. Enjoy sunrise and the river's picturesque landscape. After breakfast, stop by the conference hall for the lecture „History of Yakutia-Sakha Republic“ followed by a short introduction to the ship with tours of the Captain’s and Engine’s Rooms. After lunch, join the round table with the Captain for questions, stories, and suggestions. Later in the evening, you will be offered a Russian language lessons and handicraft workshop (embroidery, braiding, and wood crafting of the Yakut people). After supper, you can either watch a documentary movie, enjoy live music at the bar, or watch the sunset on the upper deck.
Day 4: Vilui River (Lena's tributary). The ship's crew calls this day a "Green Stop". The ship docks near the site where the Vilyui River confluences with Lena River. Relaxing, fishing, sunbathing, swimming, hiking in the forest, taking walks along the river, and barbequing is pretty much all you have to do this morning and early afternoon. Closer to lunch, we will return to the ship and soon depart to our next destination. Around 4PM, join the lecture "Flora and Fauna of Yakutia" or a Russian language class. Supper at 7PM is followed by live music at the bar.
Day 5: Zhigansk Town (entering the Polar Circle). Today we will arrive to Zhigansk town. This is our first settled place officially located within the Polar circle boundaries. The town was founded in 1632. The name of the town comes from the language of a local native group Tungus and means "resident of lowlands". Zhigansk population is small. It is mainly made of hunters, fishermen and reindeer farmers. After breakfast, our guides will invite you for a land excursion around the town, and a short visit to the local history museum. At the end of the tour, the guide will take you to a local diner to taste traditional meals prepared by local people. The tasting will be accompanied by a folk concert. Closer to 1PM, we will be back to the ship for lunch and the departure to our next destination. Free time. Sightseeing. Later in the afternoon, you are welcome to join a lecture about the Lena River followed by Russian Language Lessons. After supper, you can either watch the movie or stop by the bar for the "tea ceremony" and entertaining program.
Day 6: Kusur settlement (Polar Circle). Arriving to Koosoor, a small settlement of native hunters, reindeer farmers, and skilful crafters. After docking, you will be invited for a walking tour around the settlement. You will enjoy the hospitality of local residents, and peace and quiet. You will also have a chance to buy original handmade crafts and souvenirs here (embroidery, braiding, clothes made of deer skin, wood and mammoth tusk crafting items). Closer to noon, we will return to the ship for a lunch and the departure to our next destination. Later in the afternoon, join the lecture “Custom and Traditions of Native groups living in Siberia” followed by a music concert. After supper, at your service, there are video films, live music at the bar, and a reading club session: "Legends and Folk stories of Native people."
Day 7: Tiksi Town (Polar Circle). Today, in the afternoon, we will reach the Tiksi town in the Neelov Bay of the Laptev Sea. This is the most northern point of our travels. The Arctic rules the world here. The sun appears only for 2-3 months in the summer, but it stays in the sky day and night before it disappears for a long winter again. Before we arrive to Tiksi, you will be offered Russian Language lessons in the morning. After lunch and passport control, you will be invited for a land excursion around the town and surrounding tundra. We will also stop at the Regional Museum followed by the concert. Closer to the evening, we will return to the ship for a supper and our departure...this time south back to Yakutsk city. After supper, you will be offered a movie. The bar will host a dance party. Make sure you don't miss the Stolby (Pillar) Island. The ship will be passing the Island later in the evening.
Day 8: Cruising Lena's Delta (Polar Circle). Today, you will have a chance to observe the topography of the largest Arctic River delta in Eurasia (~ 32,000 sq. km). The Delta is a massive complex of thousands of smaller rivers, channels, and smaller islands (close to 1,500). Before it "erupts" into the Arctic Ocean, it cuts through mountains of solid rock, forming a series of canyons with granite walls rising up to 400 meters. The day will start with breakfast, followed by a lecture entitled "Diamonds of the Yakutia-Sakha" and a poetry workshop. Later in the evening, join the Russian Language Class. After supper, at your service, there will be a video film, live music at the bar, and reading club session: "Legends and Folk stories of Native people."
Day 9: Natara village (Polar Circle). After breakfast, join the lecture dedicated to the Shamanism in Siberia followed by a Russian Language Class. Around noon, our ship will arrive at Natara village. There is no phone, no electrical wires, and no factories around this village. In fact, the only residents here are the family of native fishermen. Time stopped here in 1920. The peace and quiet is charming. Experience the hospitality of a local family, and try their famous Demyanova ukha (fish soup) and feel the pulse of a simple life. If you like fishing, try your luck here. After a short walk around the village and a hike to the nearby Siberian Taiga forest, we will return to the ship to continue our journey. After supper, stop by the bar for an entertaining program and live music, enjoy a movie, or a late sunset on the Lena.
Day 10: Cruising Lena River (Circle). Hopefully, it is a beautiful sunny day. Enjoy the sunrise, exercise, or take a walk on the upper deck. Breakfast is,as usual, at 8AM, followed by a lecture about the Economy of Yakutia. Russian Language Class is next. After lunch, the chef invites guests for a cocktail tasting, followed by a concert of classical music. After supper, lenjoy live music at the bar and entertaining program.
Day 11: Agraphena Island (leaving Polar Circle ). Today, we will again cross the invisible border of the Polar circle. Agraphena Island is considered to be the border point. In the morning, feel free to join the lecture "Education and Science of Siberia". Around 10AM, the ship will dock at the Agraphena Island. The Island is named after a mysterious Russian Princess, who is believed to cause troubles for the local Yakut fishermen by sending bad spirits to the passing boats. For many years, and still today, every fisherman passing the Island leaves a gift here to keep the spirits happy. The guides will invite you for a short land excursion around the Island. By 1PM, we will return to the ship. After lunch, the boat crew will invite all passengers to celebrate the “Neptune” festival. This informal holiday is dedicated to the mythical God of all seas. The holiday is usually celebrated with lots of water activities (water guns, splashing water at each other, etc.). As a rule, somebody plays the role of the "God Neptune”, who directs the celebration by announcing plays, skits, folk singing, games, etc. Later in the evening, there will be a Russian language class. Supper is at 7PM followed by live music, a movie, and an entertaining program.
Day 12: Cruising Lena River (40 Islands). Today we will cruise all day non-stop. During the day, we will pass one of the widest portion of the Lena river at the confluences of Lena with its main tributaries, Vilui and Aldan rivers. One of the remarkable features of this area is a spot with 40 Islands or more. At times, it feels as if you are on the ocean. There are definitely some interesting and breathtaking panoramas you will never forget. During the day you will be offered Russian language lessons, a lecture about Yakutia's economic challenges, a movie, live music, and an entertaining program in the evening.
Day 13: Sottintsy village. The morning is filled with a Russian language class and a movie. After lunch, our ship will dock near the village Sottintsy. The guides will invite you for a land excursion around the village. During the tour, we will visit the local museum Druzhba dedicated to Russian explorers and the lifestyle of the first settlers. After we return to the ship, take your time to finalize billing, do some packing, etc. Later in the evening, you will be invited for a goodbye supper and captain’s cocktail reception followed by an entertaining program at the bar.
Day 14: Yakutsk city (end). Early in the morning we will arrive to Yakutsk City. After breakfast, the cruise crew will provide transfers to the airport or hotel in Yakutsk. If you need help with accommodations in Yakutsk or at your next destination, or flight or train tickets arrangements, please contact Sokol Tours for assistance.
Included:Arrival and Departure Transfers in Yakutsk city;
Bedding (changed 4 times during the tour) per person;
Meals, 3 times per day (same for all classes) per menu;
Doctor on the ship (first medical aid office);
Group land excursions w/bilingual guide per program;
Entertaining program per program;
River Port taxes and fees;
Entry permit for Tiksi town visitors;
Library, Sauna & Exercise basic facility;
Fishing gear rental;
Not included:Transportation to/from Yakutsk City;
Russian Visa (Invitation and Embassy fees);
Accommodations in Yakutks (if outside of cruise dates);
Meals, Snacks, Drinks that are not included in the Menu;
Bilingual Guide (for additional excursions, custom plans);
Special tour-related note:Make sure to bring with you: first aid items, prescription medicine, insect repellent, flashlight, swim suit, sunglasses, a good windbreaker, a sweater or light jacket, umbrella, a cap/hat, warm boots, ear plugs, binoculars, a mug, mittens, and athick coat;
Bring snacks: energy bars, hot chocolate, dry fruit, coffee, candies, etc. Be prepared for smaller meal portions and limited quantity;
Carry a bilingual dictionary with you at all times (Russian+);
If personal hygiene is an issue, bring your own sleeping bags and disposable bath mats;
Custom: Trans-Siberia-BAM RR (6 stops)
Guided: Russia-Mongolia-China RR (15 days)
Peoples of Kamchatka
Welcome to Vladivostok - Day Tour
Call our US office: