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Cruise Among Ice Floes

Destination: Lake Baikal
Easy - nothing more than normal walking while sight-seeing
Moderately Easy - 1-3 hours of physical activity daily
Moderate - 3-5 hours of physical activity daily
Challenging - 5-7 hours of challenging physical activity daily
Extreme - 7+ hours of challenging/extreme physical activity daily
Difficulty
Basic — most of nights in tents or rooms with shared WC, some nights in comfortable rooms.
Standard — most of nights in comfortable rooms, some nights in tents or rooms with shared WC.
Upgraded — all nights in comfortable rooms.
Comfort
Minimum age of the participant of this trip
8 Days
Highlights
  • Navigation in an atmosphere of Arctic landscapes
  • Opportunity to observe wild animals
  • Discovery of Lake Baikal during unique and short period when the ice field thaws
Tour Overview

In May, the Baikal starts to free itself from its ice cover presenting an affecting spectacle. On the shores of the lake the nature wakes up and the land is covered with a green carpet of fresh grass. First snowdrops, globe-flowers of bright orange colour, violet bellflowers, and white anemones can be seen everywhere. Wild animals enjoy the arrival of spring and appear on the shores to regale themselves with insects and plants. At the same time ice slabs float in the water creating a polar atmosphere on the Lake Baikal. It is not rare to see a freshwater seal would watch us from afar having stretched itself on a floating ice slab.

We invite you to go on an amazing journey to contemplate breathtaking scenery, walk off the beaten path in national parks and nature reserves, and bathe in hot springs.

This cruise has the character of an expedition where the itinerary is given for illustration purposes to mark the main lines of the journey and the sites you are going to visit. However, it is important to realize that our tour will proceed depending on weather conditions and ice state. It may occur that it won't be possible to get to some locations marked on the route map because at night it may freeze so much that the access to our destination is blocked with the ice the boat is not able to break. In this case that point of sightseeing program will surely be replaced with other not less exciting discoveries. Do not forget that the only judge aboard a vessel is the captain whose task of prime importance is to provide our safety.

Tour programme
  • Day 1
    Arrival to Irkutsk
    Irkutsk
  • Day 2
    Meeting with Baikal
    Irkutsk — Olkhon island
  • Day 3
    Northernmost point of Olkhon
    Olkhon island
  • Day 4
    Start of cruise
    Olkhon island — Pokoiniki cape
  • Day 5
    Crossing of Baikal
    Pokoiniki cape — Chivyrkuiskiy Bay
  • Day 6
    Ushkany Islands and Baikal seals
    Chivyrkuiskiy Bay — Ushkany Islands
  • Day 7
    Return to Irkutsk
    Ushkany Islands — Irkutsk
  • Day 8
    End of the program
    Irkutsk
  • 11:00
    Meeting of the participants in the airport and transfer to the hotel
  • 12:00
    Check-in in the hotel and rest
  • 13:00
    Lunch Not included
  • 19:00
    Dinner Not included
  • Overnight in the hotel
Photo of the day
Route
Irkutsk
Accommodation
Accommodation in the hotel Imperia
-
  • 08:00
    Breakfast in the hotel
  • 09:30
    Departure to the Olkhon island
  • 11:00
    En route excursion to the National Buryat museum of Ust-Orda
    Meeting with a shaman, discovery of shamanic practices.
  • 13:00
    Lunch in a Buryat cafe
    Serving the traditional cuisine: posy, chebureki, Buryat tea etc
  • 14:00
    Continuation of the way to Olkhon island
    After lunch, continuation of the way. Several times we will stop over at picturesque sites to make offerings to the spirits of the places. Arrival to the strait of Olkhonskiye Vorota ("Olkhon Gates"). Crossing of the strait by ferry. Drive to the village of Khuzhir, the capital of the island. On the way, discovery of the ruins of the Kurykan wall which barred formerly the access to the holy site. Arival to Khujir in the afternoon.
  • 19:00
    Dinner in the resort
  • Overnight at the resort
Photo of the day
Route
Irkutsk — Olkhon island
Accommodation
Accommodation at the resort Lada
-
  • 09:00
    Breakfast in the resort
  • 10:00
    Olkhon island excursion
    After breakfast excursion by 4X4 (UAZ) to Khoboy Cape, the northernmost point of Olkhon, sacred place of shamans. This trip will allow you to discover the beauty of the Maloye More (Small Sea) and its islets, also places of worship of shamans. Stroll to the cape.
  • 13:00
    Outdoor lunch
  • 14:00
    Walking around and come back
    Return to Khuzhir. Visit of the hamlet of Uzury on the east of the island. The road passes through steppes, beaches and taiga.
  • 19:00
    Dinner in the resort
  • Overnight at the resort
Photo of the day
Route
Olkhon island
Accommodation
Accommodation at the resort Lada
-
  • 09:00
    Breakfast in the resort
  • 10:00
    Sail to cape "Pokoiniki"
    After breakfast sail along the western coast to cape "Pokoiniki". If the weather conditions are good it’s possible to stop near Rytyi cape and Solontsovyi cape – the territory of Baikal-Lenskiy reserve. The mysterious cape "Rytyi" is located in the central part of the Baikal on western coast, opposite the widest place of the Baikal. There are no any settlements here, it couldn’t be reached by any highways, and there is no even track along the coast to this place. Local residents diligently avoid visiting cape "Rytyi", calling it as a damned place. Something inexplicable still happens at this cape. The source of such influence still remains mysterious for people.
  • 13:00
    Lunch on board
  • 14:00
    Continuation of the naviagation and arrival to the cape
    The cape "Pokoiniki" is located in the north part on western coast at the foot of the Baikal mountain ridge. On one of the first maps this cape was called "Pokoiniy". The fold, near it, has the same name. And then, this name had changed to "Pokoiniki", which means in English "dead people". Nowadays, old weather station "Solnechnaya" is located here. Time for rest on shore. *According to the weather conditions and ice quality the itinerary can be changed on the similar one.
  • 19:00
    Dinner on board
  • Overnight on board
Photo of the day
Route
Olkhon island — Pokoiniki cape
  • 09:00
    Breakfast
  • 10:00
    Departure to Chivyrkuiskiy Bay
    Long sail to Chivyrkuiskiy Bay. Crossing of Lake Baikal in its widest part. This great cruise will really allow us to sail in the geographical centre of the lake. We will sail for several hours before we reach Chivyrkuiskiy Bay.
  • 13:00
    Lunch on board
  • 14:00
    Visit of the Chivyrkuiskiy Bay
    During this day visiting the bay Zmeinaya. Zmeinaya (Snake) Bay is famous for curative baths with temperature from +41 to +45 degrees Celsius.
  • 19:00
    Dinner on board
  • Overnight on board
Photo of the day
Route
Pokoiniki cape — Chivyrkuiskiy Bay
  • 09:00
    Breakfast
  • 10:00
    Discovery of Ushkany Islands
    If we get chance, we will be able to observe freshwater seal !
  • 13:00
    Lunch on board
  • 14:00
    Return to Khuzhir and check-in in the resort
  • 19:00
    Dinner in the resort
  • Overnight in the resort
Photo of the day
Route
Chivyrkuiskiy Bay — Ushkany Islands
Accommodation
Accommodation at the resort Lada
-
  • 09:00
    Breakfast in the resort
  • 10:00
    Return to Irkutsk
    The road will passe through the taiga, steppes, bouryat villages.
  • 13:00
    Lunch Not included
  • 17:00
    Arrival to Irkutsk and check-in in the hotel
  • 19:00
    Dinner Not included
  • Overnight in the hotel
Photo of the day
Route
Ushkany Islands — Irkutsk
Accommodation
Accommodation in the hotel Imperia
-
  • 09:00
    Breakfast in the hotel
  • 11:00
    Check-out and end of the programme
Photo of the day
Route
Irkutsk
Detailed description
New departures available soon
Price includes
  • English-speaking guide services
  • Accommodation as per itinerary
  • Transport as per itinerary
  • Meals
  • Medical insurance
  • Excursions and visits as per itinerary
  • Reserves and national parks entrance permissions
  • Letter of invitation
Price does not include
  • Administrative registration
  • Personal expenses and tips
  • Visa fees and travel insurance
  • Banya
  • Airline tickets
For more info, please download the detailed description of the trip.
Note

Guaranteed departure for a group of 6 persons. The price includes breakfast on Day 2-8; lunch Day 2-6 and dinner on Day 2-6. Single supplement 8350 RUB / pers. (days 1-3, 6, 7) We can switch the category of rooms or accommodation according to your request (days 1-3, 6, 7). Please contact us before your departure. During our cruise we will sail a three-cabin boat (4 persons in each cabin), up to 11 tourists. Transfer to the airport on last day is 850 RUB / car of 3 passengers (from 7:00 to 22:00). The price of the tour includes travel health insurance for persons under 65 years.

Reviews
4.75
4.75
Total score
5.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
5.00
Quality of accommodation
5.00
Quality of transport / transfers
4.00
Quality of meals
0.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
0.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Yvonne
From 28 May 2016 to 4 June 2016
Destination: Lake Baikal
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
This guest did not leave a comment.
3.50
3.50
Total score
4.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
3.00
Quality of accommodation
4.00
Quality of transport / transfers
3.00
Quality of meals
5.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
2.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Paolo
From 28 May 2016 to 4 June 2016
Destination: Lake Baikal
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
"In the month of May Lake Baikal starts to free itself from its ice" This is the starting of the description of this trip in the Baikal Nature internet site. It comes together with the photo of a ship fending the ice. Why writing this if in May there is not an ice cube to put in the whisky glass? As we learned, in the past five years the ice disappeared IN APRIL. This has been a major
  Read more
BaikalNature's reply
Dear Paolo, thank you for all the remarks and commentaries that you are drawing our attention to. Concerning the topic of ice on the lake, in fact, this year we experienced abnormally warm temperatures that spurred ice melting. Every year there is a shift to the period when the ice cubes are still visible and the navigation is already open. That's why it becomes difficult to predict precisely what would be the exact dates for every year in particular. However, taking into consideration this year experience, we switched the dates of the following departure to earlier May, hoping to catch the required period. As for the presence of a big number of visitors on Olkhon island, truly, Olkhon island is a beautiful place that has much to offer to it's visitors - these are the reasons why this place has experienced a huge growth of it's popularity among the tourists - both local and foreign ones. We hope, however, that despite the big number of other travelers, you had a chance to discover the nature and beauty of the island and had some good time during your stay. We are as well grateful to receive your words of appreciation for the guide's work. Thank you for the high evaluation of the services. We would also like to thank you for having chosen our company and it would be a great pleasure for us to welcome you once again in our country. Please, rest assured that we always take into account the remarks of our tourists and do everything necessary to implement their recommendations and fulfill their requests.
No reviews anymore or no reviews at all for this tour. Below reviews for destination:
5.00
5.00
Total score
5.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
5.00
Quality of accommodation
5.00
Quality of transport / transfers
5.00
Quality of meals
5.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
5.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Michel
From 7 March 2017 to 17 March 2017
Destination: Lake Baikal
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
Tout était parfait, les transferts impeccables, Irina, Andrej, Janna et Anna furent des guides de qualité. Vous aviez parfaitement choisi les lieux de séjour et de repas La base Lada à Olkhone nous convenait parfaitement, nous avons eu l’occasion d’y rencontrer un charmant groupe féminin qui était aussi en villégiature pour quelques jours et qui comprenait une ancienne professeure de français…
  Read more
5.00
5.00
Total score
5.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
5.00
Quality of accommodation
5.00
Quality of transport / transfers
5.00
Quality of meals
5.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
5.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Catherine
From 2 March 2017 to 8 March 2017
Destination: Lake Baikal
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
Un séjour grandiose et inoubliable à tout point de vue. Dans la description, il faudrait peut-être quand même préciser que pour faire les 2 jours de marche sur le lac, il vaut mieux être entrainé à marcher vite en cas de mauvaise météo. Ceci a été le cas pour nous le dimanche, avant d'arriver au campement. Heureusement notre guide Andreï a été parfait et notre groupe était homogène pour avoir une
  Read more
4.50
4.50
Total score
5.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
5.00
Quality of accommodation
4.00
Quality of transport / transfers
4.00
Quality of meals
4.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
5.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Frédéric
From 5 March 2017 to 11 March 2017
Destination: Lake Baikal
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
Très belle découverte que ce voyage. Qualité des prestations : en préparation (merci Anna); à Oulan Oudé, excellente guide (Natacha) Une simple recommandation : le guide principal devrait faire un débriefing chaque jour pour le lendemain afin que chacun puisse s'organiser; cela semblait par moment improvisé au dernier moment. Enfin, nous avons fait le circuit à l'envers et le début est un peu
  Read more
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