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Ultimate Round The World

Ultimate Round The World

Ultimate Round The World

Ultimate Round The World

Ultimate Round The World

Ultimate Round The World

Ultimate Round The World 2020

51 DAYS

Aug - Sep 2020

FROM $79,999 PP

INCLUDES: Cruise | Train | Accommodation | Meals | Entertainment | Flights

Experience the ultimate bucket list adventure can embark on a lavish, no-expense spared journey of discovery in August 2020. With an utterly incredible adventure which criss-crosses continents, retraces historic routes and does it all in sublime luxury.

Lasting 51 days in total, visiting 7 countries on 3 continents, this worldwide adventure begins from any capital city in Australia and with flights back from the USA, with all flights, cruises, accommodation and most meals included.

A trip fit for royalty, the Ultimate Bucket List Round the World adventure is a project of a lifetime, designed by the expedition cruise and rail specialists. The $79,999 trip features two of the most sought-after ‘bucket list’ travel experiences; a journey aboard the iconic trans-Siberian railway from Vladivostok to Moscow and St Petersburg by private train plus a luxury expedition cruise through the legendary, north-west Arctic passage in the wake of the Franklin expedition.

The itinerary for this adventure also includes a three-day stopover in South Korea’s capital city Seoul, with a tour of the notorious demilitarised zone between the Koreas, a three-night St Petersburg add-on including tours of the Hermitage, Catherine and Alexander Palaces plus a three-day stopover in Paris including a tour of the Royal Palace of Versailles.

Guests will also enjoy a trip on the Coast Starlight from Seattle to Los Angeles and finish with a three-night stay at the legendary 5* Lowes Hotel in Santa Monica. Living up to its name, the Ultimate Bucket List is one of the most luxurious, adventurous and exclusive travel packages available on the planet.

For those looking to take on just part of their bucket list, the amazing North-West Passage cruise and Golden Eagle trans-Siberian trips can both be booked separately through Flower Travel.

Flights

  • All flights as set out in itinerary with Australia – Seoul – Vladivostok and San Francisco – Seoul – Australia in business class with Korean Airlines.
  • St Petersburg to Paris with Finnair (via Helsinki) in economy.
  • Paris to Kangerlussuaq and Nome to Seattle by private charter.

Seoul stopover

  • Arrival and departure airport transfers
  • Accommodation in a twin share / double basis
  • Local English speaking guide
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits
  • Transfers and touring in a private air conditioned vehicle and / or mini bus
  • Meals as described in the itinerary – 3 Breakfasts

Golden Eagle private trans-Siberian

  • Experienced Tour Managers
  • Arrival and Departure Transfers
  • Hotel and Onboard Accommodation in Gold Class cabin
  • Welcome and Farewell Dinners
  • Route Guide, Itinerary and Information Pack
  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Daily
  • Drinks with Meals and from the Bar Lounge Car
  • Onboard Service
  • Guided Off-Train Excursions
  • Freedom of Choice Touring
  • Personal Headsets
  • Onboard Doctor and Medical Facilities 24 Hour Service Attendant
  • Porterage

** Upgrade to Imperial Suite add US$15800 per person ** ** deduction if choosing to travel in a silver class cabin – US$3800 per person **  

St Petersburg

  • Business class Sapsan tickets Moscow/St Petersburg 1300-1700
  • Private car transfers in St Petersburg
  • 3 nights Twin/Double, 5* Kempinski Moika 22 Hotel, Deluxe Room with breakfast
  • Hermitage Museum visit, 4 hour walking tour with personal English speaking guide
  • Catherine Palace at Pushkin, 4 hour car tour with personal English speaking guide

Paris

  • Arrival and departure airport transfers
  • Accommodation in a twin share / double basis
  • Local english speaking guide
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits
  • Transfers and touring in a private air conditioned vehicle and / or mini bus
  • Meals as described in the itinerary – 3 Breakfasts

North-West Passage

  • Private Business class charter flight from Paris to Kangerlussuaq
  • Transfers in Kangerlussuaq and Nome
  • 22 night expedition including all meals and select onboard beverages
  • Prestige Deck 4 Balcony Stateroom
  • Experienced naturalists, lecturers and guides
  • Ponant Parka
  • Polar boot rental
  • All shore tours including zodiac outings
  • Private economy class charter flight from Nome to Seattle

** Upgrade to Prestige Deck 5 Balcony Stateroom add AUD$2511 per person **  

 

Seattle Seattle to Los Angeles

  • One night in Seattle with transfers
  • Amtrak Coast Starlight
  • This legendary train features Superliner Sleeping and Dining Car accommodations and spectacular views from our renowned Sightseer Lounge Car. Coach passengers enjoy big, comfortable seats, plenty of legroom, along with Just-for-You Express Meal Service, where coach passengers can select from a limited daily menu featuring specially priced, freshly prepared lunch and dinner selections with the convenience of at-seat delivery.
  • 3 nights accommodation at Lowes Santa Monica

Itinerary Synopsis – 5 August – 25 September 2020

05 August – fly Australia to Seoul
06 August – Seoul city tour
07 August – tour of demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea
08 August – Seoul to Vladivostok
09 August – depart Vladivostok on trans-Siberian railway
10 August – Khabarovsk
11 August – on board
12 August – on board
13 August – Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia
14 August – Ulan Ude, Buryat Republic
15 August – Lake Baikal, deepest lake in the world
16 August – Irkutsk, “Paris of Siberia”
17 August – on board
18 August – Novosibirsk
19 August – Yekaterinburg, where Asia and Europe meet.
20 August – Kazan, Tatarstan
21 August – Moscow and a private viewing of the Kremlin Armoury
22 August – St Petersburg
23 August – personal tour of the Hermitage Museum
24 August – Catherine Palace, St Petersburg
25 August – St Petersburg to Paris
26 August – private ½ day tour of Paris
27 August – Versailles Palace & Garden
28 August – Paris to Kangerlussuaq
29 August – Sisimiut, largest town in Greenland.
30 August – Ilulissat – UNESCO world heritage site
31 August – Tugtutoq, former inuit encampment
01 September – Kullorsuaq, Arctic Circle
02 September – Savissik, biggest iceberg graveyard in Greenland
03 September – Pond Inlet, Bafin Island
04 September – Beechey Island, Resolute Bay
05 September – Somerset Island and opportunity to hike Fury Beach canyon
06 September – Qariaraqyuk, abandoned village
07 September – Gjoa Haven, King William Island
08 September – at sea
09 September – Edinburgh Island
10 September – Holman Island, Victoria Island
11 September – Minto Inlet
12 September – Franklin Bay
13 September – at sea
14 September – Herschel Island
15 September – at sea
16 September – at sea
17 September – Inalik and Little Diomede, heart of the Bering Sea between Russia and Alaska.
18 September – at sea
19 September – Nome and onwards to Seattle
20 September – Coast Starlight train to Los Angeles along the Pacific coast
21 September – arrive in Los Angeles
22 September – at leisure in LA
23 September – at leisure in LA
24 September – fly LA to Australia

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DAY ONE

5 August Australia – Seoul

On arrival in Seoul you will be met by our airport representative and transferred by private air conditioned car to you hotel. Once check in procedures are complete, at a pre-arranged time with your guide, you will be collected from your hotel lobby to commence your afternoon sightseeing tour of Seoul. Your 1st visit this afternoon is to visit Myeong-dong, a popular shopping district of Seoul featuring mid-to-high priced retail stores and international brand outlets, including Lacoste, Bulgari and Louis Vuitton. Continuing on the shopping theme the next visit is to Namdaemun Market. The oldest and largest market in South Korea after dark it comes alive and is a must visit for those searching for a good value for money bargain. At the end of the night return to your hotel by private air conditioned vehicle.

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DAY TWO

6 August – Seoul

After enjoying breakfast at your hotel your guide will again meet you in the hotel lobby. Your first visit today is to the official residence of the South Korean head of state, the president. Better known as ‘ The Blue House ‘ and built in traditional Korean architecture, the entire complex is approx 62 acres in size. After touring the area the next visit for the day is to Gyeongbokgung Palace. Located in northern Seoul, the palace was 1st constructed in 1395 before fire ruined it and it was rebuilt in 1867. We will spend some time here so you can wander and learn about the palace after which time you will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch you visit the Korean Folk Village, located near South Korea’s largest amusement park, The Korean Folk Village endeavours to display numerous replicas of traditional houses of the different social classes (peasant, landowner, yang ban) from various regions. At the completion of the day return to your hotel by private air conditioned vehicle. (B)

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DAY THREE

7 August – DMZ

You will enjoy an early breakfast at your hotel this morning before you meet your guide for the transfer to the meeting point before embarking on a day tour to the Demililterized Zone (DMZ). Your 1st visit of the day is to the 3rd infiltration tunnel, originally found in 1978, the tunnel was built by the North and designed to surpass the South with an attack from the North. You will also have the opportunity to visit Dora Observatory where you will catch a glimpse of North Korea. Following the visit to the 3rd tunnel you will visit Dorasan Train station, the northern most station that can link the North & South when ready. Its then a short bus ride to Imjingak Pavilion & the Freedom Bridge. Late in the afternoon you will be transferred back to Seoul in an air conditioned vehicle. (B)

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DAY FOUR

8 August – Seoul to Vladivostok

Take your time this morning as you enjoy breakfast at your leisure, check out of your hotel and enjoy some free time before you meet your guide for the transfer to the airport for your onward flight to Russia. Arrive at Vladivostok Airport, where you are met and transferred to the four-star Hotel Hyundai. This evening you are invited to our Welcome Dinner. Specially selected international wines are included with dinner, as with all meals during the tour. Our hotel in Vladivostok, where we stay for one night, is the four-star Hotel Hyundai. (B)

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DAY FIVE

9 August Vladivostok

Vladivostok is a military port located on the western shores of the Sea of Japan and is home to the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet. Due to its military importance, the city was closed to foreigners between 1930 and 1992. Vladivostok (literally translated as ‘Ruler of the East’) offers visitors an interesting opportunity to explore its principal military attractions including a visit to a preserved World War Two submarine. Our city tour will also take us to the iconic suspension bridge over Golden Horn Bay, one of the largest of its kind worldwide, which opened in 2012 for the APEC conference. Following a champagne reception at Vladivostok Railway Station, and with a military band playing on the platform, we will board the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express. After settling into our modern, stylish cabins we enjoy dinner in the restaurant car as our rail adventure westwards begins.

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DAY SIX

10 August Khabarovsk

Situated 15 miles (25 kilometres) from the border with China, Khabarovsk stretches along the banks of the Amur River. Khabarovsk was founded as a military post in 1858, but the region had been populated by several indigenous peoples of the Far East for many centuries. It is now a busy city with tree-lined streets.

Located next to the station we will pass the monument to Yerofey Pavlovich Khabarov, the Far East explorer the city is named after, and see the impressive World War Two memorial to the fallen soldiers. We will also have time at the Regional Museum where the local history has been well-preserved with a rich collection of artefacts describing the cultural and natural history of the region.

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DAY SEVEN & EIGHT

11 to 12 August – on board the trans-Siberian

Our journey today follows the Shilka and Amur rivers, close to the Chinese border. Enjoy Russia at its most beautiful and remote, as the landscape unfolds outside your window. Or you may like to attend one of the absorbing lectures or Russian language lessons. For those who like to socialise, the Bar Lounge Car is the perfect place to enjoy a chat with your fellow passengers as you listen to our resident musician.

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DAY NINE

13 August – Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia

Our Trans-Siberian adventure takes us into Mongolia and a visit to its capital, Ulaan Baatar. Mongolia, once the very centre of an enormous empire led by Genghis Khan, is a country rich in culture and history with beautiful landscapes and nomadic people. Mongolia is famous for its endless green Steppes, grazing livestock and white, nomadic Gers (Yurts) dotted all across the countryside.

We start the tour at Gandan Monastery, one of Mongolia’s most important Buddhist Monasteries housing a community of over 500 monks. The full name, Gandantegchinlen, translates as ‘the great place of complete joy’. At Chinggis Square (formerly Sukhbaatar Square) we can see the central monument to Genghis Khan, undoubtedly the most feared and revered Mongol. We then drive out of the city to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park and enjoy the beautiful scenery of wild Mongolia, having the opportunity to visit a traditional Ger and meet a nomadic family or try our hand at horse-riding, an intrinsic part of Mongolian life.

Alternatively, there is an option to stay in the city as part of our Freedom of Choice touring. After Gandan Monastery and Chinggis Square we visit the National Museum where we learn about the country’s intriguing history. We will also see Bogd Khan Winter Palace Museum, the winter residences of Bogd Khan, the last Mongolian emperor, built between 1893 and 1903.

We can also explore the city and have some free time for shopping for Mongolian souvenirs and their specialty cashmere. We will also enjoy a performance of traditional Mongolian throat singing and contortionists.

Please note, depending on final timings provided by the railway authorities we may substitute the railway journey from Russia into Ulaan Baatar with a private jet charter from Irkutsk or Ulan Ude so that we can maintain the advertised programme for Mongolia. This will be advised in your final documentation.

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DAY TEN

14 August – Ulan Ude

The ethnic and cultural diversity of Ulan Ude, the capital of the Buryat Republic, offers a unique insight into its heritage. As we tour the area you will notice the different faces of these welcoming Buryat people. During our exploration of the Old Believers’ Village we have the opportunity to learn about the culture and history of these religious people as we are treated to a concert featuring local traditions and folk singing.

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DAY ELEVEN

15 August – Lake Baikal

Few natural sights can surpass the beauty and grandeur of Lake Baikal, a major highlight on our Trans-Siberian journey. Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and holds 20 per cent of the world’s freshwater. Also known as the ‘Pearl of Siberia’, it is home to a unique breed of freshwater seal and over 50 species of fish including omul. For five hours we wind our way through tunnels along cliff hugging tracks above the lake. With a vista of snow-capped peaks along the far shore forming a picture-perfect backdrop, we gain a full appreciation of the engineering achievement which produced this part of the railway in the early twentieth century. To add to the grandeur of the day our Golden Eagle train will be hauled by a Soviet Era steam locomotive on this beautiful section of line. There will be plenty of opportunities to take photographs as the train winds its way along the lake. This will be an unforgettable part of your journey.

Weather permitting, we stop in an extremely picturesque location by the lake for photographic opportunities. For the brave hearted there is time for a refreshing swim in the crystal clear and ice-cold waters of Baikal. Travelling onwards to the end of the Baikal branch line, we leave the train and travel by boat on the lake to Listvyanka, a small Baikal settlement nestling at the base of the surrounding hills and visit the Lake Baikal Museum and Aquarium where you can learn about the flora and fauna of the lake.

We will enjoy a delicious barbecue prepared by our own chefs, including freshly smoked omul fish, in the delightful covered dining area on the shore of Lake Baikal to complete a memorable day.

As part of our Freedom of Choice excursion programme you can choose a hiking opportunity up Chersky Mount or you can choose to take the chair lift, which offers some spectacular and panoramic hillside views of the grandeur of the lake below.

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DAY TWELVE

16 August – Irkutsk

Our visit to Irkutsk, the ‘Paris of Siberia’, takes in the most significant sites and museums in this fascinating city, including an exploration of the classic wooden architecture with its intricately carved lace-like decorations that has given many of this region’s buildings such a distinctive and unique appearance. We also visit the Volkonsky House Museum, which is dedicated to the memory of the aristocrats who were exiled to this remote outpost after the failed Decembrists uprising of 1825. We recreate the atmosphere of that time with a champagne reception and private concert. You could learn to cook some traditional Russian dishes with a local chef and prepare your own lunch with our Freedom of Choice option. Or you might also wish to visit a traditional Russian Dacha (summer house) to get an insight into the everyday life of an average Russian family.

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DAY THIRTEEN

17 August – on board the trans-Siberian

A day to unwind and reflect on the many sights and sounds we have experienced on the journey so far. Chat to your fellow passengers, perhaps learn a few more words of Russian or simply enjoy the ever changing landscape outside your window.

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DAY FOURTEEN

18 August – Novosibirsk

A modern ‘Soviet’ city, we experience the life and character of Novosibirsk’s rich culture where the arts and science predominate. The city is located in the heart of Russia and is situated on both banks of the River Ob. Our city tour takes us to Lenin Square where the imposing Opera House is located. An architectural marvel, it houses two permanent ballet and opera companies and is one of the largest opera houses in the world. In front of the Opera House, we visit an impressive statue of Lenin – a marvellous opportunity to have your photograph taken with this iconic political leader. Time permitting, south of the city we will visit Novosibirsk’s excellent Railway Museum. The museum displays locomotives and rolling stock from the late 1800s, including carriages of the Tsars, through to the Soviet era. Alternatively, as part of our Freedom of Choice programme choose to visit the Mineralogical Centre with its fine display of Siberian minerals.

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DAY FIFTEEN

19 August – Yekaterinburg

Founded in 1723 by Peter the Great, Yekaterinburg is the capital of the Urals. Known as the Great Divide, the Ural Mountains create the natural border between Europe and Asia so that the cultural and architectural influences of European and Asian civilisations come together in this fascinating and cosmopolitan landscape. Our city tour takes us to the poignant site where the Romanov, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, was executed with his family by the Bolsheviks in 1918 following 78 days of imprisonment. Now a church dedicated to their memory, this site provides us with a powerful insight into the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. We will also drive to the obelisk marking the geographical border and we can drink a glass of champagne with one foot in Europe and the other in Asia.

Time permitting, our Freedom of Choice programme features either a visit to the recently opened Museum of Military Machinery. The museum houses an amazing collection of different types of military hardware including tanks, aircraft, boats and even armoured trains. The museum is a real treat for anyone with an interest in the Soviet past, unparalleled by anything else along the route. Alternatively, we will make a short stop at the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Centre, recently opened in Yekaterinburg, which is dedicated to the contemporary political history of Russia and its first president.

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DAY SIXTEEN

20 August – Kazan

Situated on the River Volga, the picturesque and historic city of Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan. Here we have the opportunity to see for ourselves its rich tapestry of history and culture. One of the highlights of this city tour is our exploration of the Kremlin Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within the walls of this ancient citadel we will explore the stunning mosque and picture-perfect onion-domed cathedral.

As Kazan is the birthplace of one of Russia’s most famous opera singers, Feodor Chaliapin (1873-1938), we honour his memory with a private concert of his music. You will also have time to wander through the main pedestrian area of Kazan and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the city.

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DAY SEVENTEEN

21 August – Moscow

Our touring programme of Russia’s capital takes us to the grandeur of the Kremlin – the spiritual, historical and political heart of Moscow – and to see the treasures of the Tsars in the Armoury Chamber where we will enjoy an exclusive private viewing.

Our exploration of the city continues with a visit to Red Square, the iconic symbol of Russia’s former military and political might with its eclectic mix of fascinating architecture. Here we visit the ornate St Basil’s Cathedral’s magnificent onion-domed spires and marvel at the beautiful façade of the world-famous GUM department store which was constructed in Tsarist times.

Lunch is served in Café Pushkin, a legendary Moscow restaurant serving traditional Russian cuisine with a décor that revives the atmosphere of an early 19th century mansion. An essential part of any visit to Moscow is a tour of the opulent and unique stations of the Moscow metro - showpieces of Socialist art furnished with statues, frescoes and mosaics, unsurpassed anywhere in the world.

If you have been to Moscow before we offer included Freedom of Choice touring where we show you other sights of Moscow such as the famous State Tretyakov Gallery (National Museum of Fine Art) or the Space Museum.

Included in our time spent in Moscow is one night at the stylish five-star Four Seasons Hotel Moscow (for 2019 departures). Located in the historic building of Moskva Hotel and occupying one of the most enviable addresses in the very heart of Moscow, the hotel is a short walk from the Kremlin, Red Square and the Bolshoi Theatre.

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DAY EIGHTEEN

22 August – Moscow to St Petersburg

Following breakfast, any free time can be spent exploring this rapidly evolving city. It is possible that we will visit The Kremlin this morning. At the conclusion of your time here, you will be transferred to Moscow railway station for your fast train (Sapsan) journey to St Petersburg – the former capital of imperial Russia.

On arrival at St Petersburg Railway Station your transfer will be waiting for you on the platform. Private car transfer to your centrally located hotel. Driver only service.

Check in to Kempinski Hotel Moika 22. This 5-star hotel in St Petersburg overlooks the Palace Square and the State Hermitage Museum. It offers free Wi-Fi. Furnished with antiques, the rooms are decorated in classic marine style with white and gold accents, and come with a flat-screen TV, air conditioner, minibar, en suite bathrooms with heated floors, and fine bathroom amenities. The Kempinski Hotel also features a spa. Guests can enjoy a range of massages. The Kempinksi is a 2-minute walk from the Nevsky Prospect and is near Saint Petersburg shops and restaurants.

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DAY NINETEEN

23 August – St Petersburg

Meet your English-speaking guide at the base of Alexander Column in the heart of Palace Square. Your guide will have the Hermitage Museum tickets already purchased. Enjoy a 4-hour guided tour of the Hermitage Museum complex.

The largest museum collection in the world is spread throughout four buildings. The overwhelming richness of the museum is all the more enhanced by the incredible splendor of the buildings, inside and out: ornate and regal facades, huge frescoed halls; marble, wood and mosaic floors; and statuettes, figurines, and antique furniture all on such a grand scale that it fascinates the mind.

The Hermitage houses a tremendous collection of Western European art, including such masters as Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael. Its collection of Spanish art may be compared only with that in Prado Museum in Madrid; the collection of French art is the largest outside France, displaying works by Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, Monet, Van Gogh, Goguen and Matisse.

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DAY TWENTY

24 August – St Petersburg

You will be met in the hotel reception by your English-speaking guide and transferred by car to Catherine Palace. Enjoy a 4-hour guided tour of Catherine Palace. Entrance fees included.

Catherine’s Palace is located 25 km south of St. Petersburg in the town of Pushkin originally called Tsarskoye Selo. It was named after Peter the Great’s wife Catherine I and gained a truly regal appearance in 1752. Constructed according to the design of the famous Italian architect Bartholomew Rastrelli, the palace is considered to be the pearl of Russian Baroque style of the XVIII century. Built as a summer residence of Russian Tsars, this place was loved by Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great, Alexander I and especially by Nicholas II, the last Russian monarch. The palace, a combination of blue, white and gold, looks magnificent. A huge breath-taking ballroom called the Throne Hall, the famous Amber Room, ornately decorated drawing and dining rooms leave unforgettable impressions. The most famous room here is the Amber Room, the walls of which were covered with amber panels given to Peter I by Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia and looted by Nazis during World War II. The Amber room was completely restored in 2003. Surrounding the palace is a park covering more than 570 hectares with bridges, terraces, fountains and small galleries. Close to Catherine’s Palace on the grounds of Alexandria Park there is one more palace – the Alexander Palace. The palace houses the exhibition “Nicholas & Alexandra” featuring the dramatic fate of the last Romanovs.

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DAY TWENTY ONE

25 August – Paris

You will be met in the hotel reception and transferred by private vehicle to St Petersburg Airport for your onward flight.

Airport transfers depart from Charles de Gaulle Airport for your hotel, Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel. With a stay at Marriot Rive Gauche Hotel in Paris (14th Arrondissement), you’ll be conveniently located to Paris Caracombs and Notre Dame Cathedral. This 4 star hotel is close to Eiffel Tower and Galeries Lafayette.

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DAY TWENTY TWO

26 August – Paris

After breakfast, depart of your half-day tour with your own private driver, where you will discover the famous attractions and rich heritage of Paris in the best conditions on a. You will see landmarks like Notre-Dame Cathedral, Opéra Garnier, and Champs-Elysées; neighborhoods such as the Latin Quarter; and several secret places little-known by most visitors. Your Paris tour starts with hotel pickup by your private driver, who takes you along the best route to admire the top monuments of the city. This tour also unveils charming places hidden from most visitors and provides the opportunity to experience the passion of the city, its history, and its residents.

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DAY TWENTY THREE

27 August – Paris

After breakfast, depart on a tour of Versailles Palace & Garden. On this Versailles half day tour with skip the line tickets, you'll feel like royalty as our passionate tour guide escorts you from Paris to Versailles by train, then helps you understand exactly what it was like to be a French king or queen in 17th century France. The tour is 3 hours long, including the time spent traveling with our guide from Paris to Versailles and a two hour guided tour of the palace and gardens. The Palace of Versailles and gardens are a breathtaking product of 17th century France. It is considered a UNESCO World Heritage site and a protected piece of French and royal history. The Hall of Mirrors is the most famous room in the palace, running almost 70 yards long and adorned with 357 mirrors. Also, the Treaty of Versailles was signed in the Hall of Mirrors on 28 June 1919, ending the First World War. Every room has its own story to tell, and our tour guides are thrilled to share as many as possible as you make your way throughout the palace. With over 2,000 rooms in the palace, our guided tour is the best way to cover the most magnificent and important rooms, maximizing your time at the palace. After touring the palace, explore the magical formal gardens of Versailles.. After an introduction to the gardens you are then free to explore on your own, or simply find a place to relax in the sun.

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DAY TWENTY FOUR

28 August – Paris to Kangerlussuaq

Airport transfers depart from your hotel to Charles de Gaulle Airport for your flight to Kangerlussuaq.

From 1941 to 1992, the town of Kangerlussuaq in Greenland was home to an American military base. Nowadays, thanks to its international airport, it has become a transit point for travellers seeking adventure in the Far North. Located to the north of the Arctic Circle, this town is the starting point of magnificent discoveries surrounded by unspoiled nature. Indeed, just a few dozen kilometres from there it is possible to get close to the Greenland ice sheet, the largest body of ice in the Northern Hemisphere. From Kangerlussuaq, admire also the superb landscapes of tundra in autumnal colours, where Arctic hares, musk oxen, Arctic foxes, reindeer, falcons and eagles live.

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DAY TWENTY FIVE

29 August - Sisimut

During your cruise, we invite you to discover Sisimiut, founded in 1756 and the second largest town in Greenland. This small town is typical of Greenland, boasting bewitching panoramas: here and there, colourful stilt houses dot the undulating landscape, and the small fishing port stands as the gateway to an icy realm. As for the town centre, it is home to a number of historic buildings, a small church and a museum which retraces the history of the Inuit people, as well as many craft shops. When your ship drops anchor here, you will set out to meet the locals in a typically arctic atmosphere.

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DAY TWENTY SIX

30 August - Ilulissat

At the heart of Disko Bay - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - the Ilulissat Icefjord provides an extraordinary spectacle of almost surreal beauty, with the largest icebergs of the northern hemisphere. The sculptural icebergs continue their timeless journey, shimmering with their eternal light. Vast pieces of ice break off from the bergs and rejoin the inexorable movement of the sea. Close by lies the town of Ilulissat, the region’s principal destination. Encircled by icebergs, it has retained a unique mix of traditional Arctic life, with multicoloured wooden houses, huskies and the leather tanners who still work today using the ancient methods of their ancestors.

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DAY TWENTY SEVEN

31 August - Tugtutoq

The small uninhabited island of Tugtutoq, a former Inuit encampment, is located in the Upernavik region. The power of this place lies in its soft landscapes, which conceal many archaeological treasures nestling in the wild tundra. After a stop on a beautiful beach, you will have the opportunity to walk around ancient peat houses from the Thule civilisation, built according to a traditional method. The graves of a cemetery, dotted here and there between the rocks, seem to remind visitors of the presence of ancestors in these places marked by the Thulean culture.

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DAY TWENTY EIGHT

01 September - Kullorsuaq

Well beyond the Arctic Circle, in the majestic landscapes of Greenland’s Northwest, you will find the village of Kullorsuaq, the last bastion of Greenland’s traditional hunters. Here is where you will find Greenland’s true character… Vast mineral expanses, sumptuous mountains, impressive glaciers and, above all, the local population which still lives off fishing and seal or bear hunting. Hospitality and respect for nature are essential elements in the daily lives of these men, who live an austere life. When we drop anchor in this remote part of the world, set off to discover these friendly people who are also talented craftsmen, deftly sewing the furs and skins of marine mammals. This will be a unique and authentic experience.

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DAY TWENTY NINE

02 September - Savissivik

Some places in this world are so magical that their beauty cannot be described in words… Savissivik, a small Inuit village with less than a hundred inhabitants, is one such place. Rightly considered to be the biggest iceberg graveyard in Greenland, it is a stunning sight to behold. During your Zodiac® outing, you will sail between these icy giants. Once on land, you can hike to a viewpoint from which to enjoy breathtaking views over these icebergs, which come in an incredibly diverse range of shapes and colours. Photographers will love it. Savissivik Bay attracts many bears and is also known for having been the home of one of the world’s biggest meteorites, but the latter has now been moved to a museum in New York.

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DAY THIRTY

03 September - Pond Inlet

On Baffin Island, located in northern Canada at the mouth of the famous NorthWest Passage, there is a small Inuit settlement at the very bounds of infinity. To get there, cross the Arctic Circle, the imaginary line that separates man from lands of mystery and wonder. It’s not so much the way of life that sets Pond Inlet’s inhabitants apart, so much as the setting. Snow-capped mountains, fjords and glaciers combine in a dazzling natural environment that fills space and expands time. Some discoveries change you forever: this is one of them.

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DAY THIRTY ONE

04 September - Beechey Island

Beechey Island, at the eastern end of Resolute Bay, will call to mind some of the most important moments of Franklin’s expedition. Sir John set off in 1845 in search of the mythical Northwest Passage and was forced to take shelter in Erebus Harbour for two long years, while he waited for the ice floes to recede and allow him a way through. It is a spectacular location; seeing the three wooden grave markers, bleached by the sun (indicating the burial places of at least three of Captain Franklin’s men) and visiting the memorial that has been erected in memory of Franklin and his men can only reinforce the hushed sense of reverence. If the surrounding wilderness impresses us, the ochre and yellows of the rocky desert soften the landscape.

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DAY THIRTY TWO

05 September - Fury Beach

The ice floe gradually appears as you approach Somerset Island, in the heart of the North West Passage. In a Zodiac® dinghy, you will land on Fury Beach, a place with a rich history where the English explorer William Edward Parry ran aground in 1825. He left materials and supplies here in order to help the next expeditions that would pass by this site. During your hike around the majestic canyon of Fury Beach, you’ll be dazzled by the surprising landscape: the turquoise green water and sheer cliffs are reminiscent of the Grand Canyon or the High Atlas in Morocco. If fortune smiles on you, you will perhaps come across a family of polar bears roaming the enormous ice floes. A sublime hike; a sense of wonder is guaranteed.

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DAY THIRTY THREE

06 September – Qariaraqyuk, Fort Ross & Bellot Strait

Located at Hazard Inlet (Somerset Island), the abandoned village of Qariaraqyuk is home to the ruins of one of the largest Thule archaeological sites in the High Arctic. The foundations of several constructions as well as many whale bones found on the site bear witness to the village’s past activity and its inhabitants’ incredible capacity to adapt to such isolated lands. Qariaraqyuk had a population of 300 people who subsequently left the village for reasons that remain unknown. The Thule civilisation is the last Paleo-Eskimo civilisation from which all the Inuits we know today are descended.

Discover Fort Ross, the last trading post established by the Hudson's Bay Company. Constructed in 1937, it was used as a fur and whaling trading post at the same time. Fort Ross, located on a small island at the entrance to the Bellot Strait, is still home to this former store as well as the house for the manager and staff. The interior of these two buildings has been damaged over time and by the presence of polar bears. After a short walk towards the summits of the island, you will be able to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view over the Bellot Strait and surrounding area.

A key stage in the North West Passage, the Bellot Strait, crossed by strong currents, promises you an unforgettable sailing experience. The entrance to the strait is dominated by the Ross Cairn. The buildings of Fort Ross also stand not far from here. Separating Somerset Island from the Boothia Peninsula, this 2-km-wide strait was discovered in 1852 by Captain William Kennedy of the Royal Navy, and the Frenchman Joseph-René Bellot, during an expedition in search of Sir John Franklin. Discover a magnificent décor covered in snow, fragmented by large ice floes. As you sail between them, your ship will perhaps be accompanied by an icebreaker… and a few polar bears.ice sheet, the largest body of ice in the Northern Hemisphere. From Kangerlussuaq, admire also the superb landscapes of tundra in autumnal colours, where Arctic hares, musk oxen, Arctic foxes, reindeer, falcons and eagles live.

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DAY THIRTY FOUR

07 September - Gjoa Haven

The only settlement on King William Island – it was started in 1927 as a Hudson’s Bay Company trading outpost. In 1941 Henry Larsen reached the post from the west. The settlement has attracted the traditionally nomadic Inuit people as they have adapted a more settled lifestyle.

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DAY THIRTY FIVE

08 September - At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

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DAY THIRTY SIX

09 September - Edinburgh Island

Fall under the charm of small and uninhabited Edinburgh Island. Blueberries, crowberries, arctic willow, cranberries: vegetation rules the roost here, with no fewer than 19 types of dwarf shrubs, berries and flowers identified. In autumn, these species are adorned with shimmering colours that produce a magnificent picture. The tundra, dotted with red and yellow touches, competes in its beauty with the superb ochres of the sandy beaches and the dark tones of the surrounding cliffs. At the end of a walk towards the heights of the island, enjoy a superb panorama with a view over lakes, sea and basalt mountains. An enchanting place, frequented by caribous, peregrine falcons, reindeer, Arctic foxes and hares.

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DAY THIRTY SEVEN

10 September - Holman (Ulukhaktok)

Set off to meet the inhabitants of Holman for an unforgettable moment in the midst of a welcoming community. With some 500 inhabitants, this hamlet located on the west of Victoria Island has learned how best to adapt to an at-times harsh environment and a difficult climate. As you visit this village in the Canadian Far North, admire the prints and other objects created by the very rich local craftsmanship. Traditional singing and dancing are also part of the daily life of this commune, to the great delight of fans of Inuit culture. The village of Holman, also called Ulukhaktok, is one of those places in which you can share an authentic experience in a remote land.

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DAY THIRTY EIGHT

11 September - Minto Inlet

Located to the east of the Amundsen Gulf, in the eastern part of Victoria Island, Minto Inlet is an integral part of the history of the Copper Inuits. The representatives of this people, also called the Kitlinermiut, are the descendants of the old Thule. Hunter-gatherer nomads during more than three millennia, they knew how to flawlessly exploit the copper deposits in the regions where they set up camp, which is what earned them their name. Arrows, knives, spears, ulus (blades) and harpoons: all these objects made with a deft hand and used day-to-day by this small community. During your visit, you will have the opportunity to visit their territory, in a landscape of tundra frequented by many caribou.

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DAY THIRTY NINE

12 September - Franklin Bay

This large bay, 48 km long and 40 km wide, is located in the Northwest Territories, in Canada. It was given its name in 1826 by the naturalist John Richardson, in honour of the British polar explorer Sir John Franklin. Franklin Bay always offers fine occasions to come across marine mammals. During your cruise here, you will also see the famous smoke column show at Smoking Hills, which are cliffs made of sulphur and lignite in beautiful yellow, ochre and brown colours.

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DAY FORTY

13 September - At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

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DAY FORTY ONE

14 September - Herschel Island

The Canadian Arctic Archipelago is composed of a myriad of islands and reveals landscapes you will only see at this far end of the world. Come and discover the small canadian island of Herschel, a frozen paradise located in the Beaufort Sea, within the Ivvavik National Park. During an expedition in 1826, Sir John Franklin was the first european to lay eyes on these unique places and their inhabitants, the Inuvialuit, the nordic cousins of the Inuit. It was during this trip that he named the island after one of his friends, John Herschel, a brilliant british astronomer and scientist. Herschel Island is a landmark in the West Arctic and has since served alternately as a whaling station, a relay station and a refuge for travellers.

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DAY FORTY TWO & FORTY THREE

15 to 16 September - At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

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DAY FORTY FOUR

17 September - Inalik, Little Diomede & Fairway Rock

You’ve now arrived in the heart of the Bering Sea, between Alaska and Russia. Your ship sets sail for Little Diomede, an American island inhabited by an Inuit community numbering fewer than a hundred people. You will disembark at Inalik, a village gripping the steep slopes of this lost piece of rock. Here, around twenty dwellings are curled up against each other, mounted on stilts and accessible by small staircases. You will be warmly welcomed by the Inupiak, who will be keen to introduce you to their culture, traditions and day-to-day life. Only 3 kilometres away, on the other side of the International Date Line, is the island of Big Diomede, belonging to Russia.

Your ship moves slowly towards Fairway Rock, a small rocky island lost in the middle of the Bering Strait. This little piece of pebble, located off the Russian coastline and the Diomedes Islands, rises a hundred meters above the water. It is home to many species of marine birds that the naturalist-guides will help you to identify: Tridactyl gulls, thick-billed murres, Atlantic puffins and cormorants have set up home on the cliffs of Fairway Rock. Spotted seals and walruses have also found their place here and make a warm welcome committee. If you’re lucky, you will perhaps spot the blow of a humpback whale from the deck of your ship. A magical encounter with the local fauna.

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DAY FORTY FIVE

18 September - At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

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DAY FORTY SIX

19 September - Nome to Seattle

Located along the Bering Strait at the westernmost point of Alaska, Nome offers the rustic charm of a former gold-mining town, set in the middle of magnificent wilderness. As you weave in and out of the brightly coloured houses, you will discover the pioneering legacy that still marks local traditions. Fishing, reindeer rearing, sledge-racing ヨ people here live from their manual labour. The surrounding plains provide stunning vantage points for observing Arctic fauna.

Disembarkation in Nome at 08H00.

Nome – Seattle (flight)  Arrival into Seattle. Transfer to your hotel, located in the heart of downtown Seattle. Discover the many facets of the Emerald City as you tour the downtown business and shopping district, historic Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market, and the vibrant Chinatown-International District. Overnight Seattle.

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DAY FORTY SEVEN

20 September - Coast Starlight to Los Angeles

Arrive at Seattle's King Street Station for your morning departure. Once onboard the famous Coast Starlight, settle into your seat as you begin your 1400 mile journey to Los Angeles. After settling in, you may want to visit the Pacific Parlour Car which is used as the exclusive lounge for Sleeping Car Passengers. Enjoy dinner in the Dining Car as you pass Three Sisters Mountains. All meals on the train are included for sleeping car occupants. Departs daily from Seattle, Washington: 9:45AM*. Overnight train.

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DAY FORTY EIGHT

21 September - California Coast/Los

This morning wake up outside of San Francisco. Enjoy your breakfast in the dining car as the Coast Starlight hugs the California Coast. Continue to take in the awe-inspiring scenery through late afternoon. On board, you will enjoy lunch and dinner. Arrival LA at approximately 9pm. Independent transfer to Lowes Santa Monica.

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DAY FORTY NINE & FIFTY

22 to 23 September – Los Angeles

Time at leisure to explore LA, Santa Monica and nearby Venice Beach

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DAY FIFTY ONE

24 September – LA to Australia

Return flight back to Australia.

Deluxe Stateroom

Prestige Balcony

 Price Per Person Twin/Double ShareSolo
5 Aug - 24 Sep$84,999.00Price On Request

Book by 31 December and only pay $79,999.00 per person

Upgrade to Imperial Suite on Golden Eagle at an additional US$15800 per person
Reduction for travel on Golden Eagle in Silver Class – US$3800 per person

Upgrade to Prestige Deck 5 AU$2511 per person

Sections of the trip can be booked individually including the Golden Eagle Luxury Train ( 8 August – 22 August) and the North-West Passage Expedition cruise (28 August – 19 September)– apply for details.

Terms and Conditions

Prices correct as at 1 November 2018 and valid for bookings made and deposited by 31 December 2018. Golden Eagle Luxury Train price is based on tour price of US$21595 per person which currently equates to AU$30498 pp. Note this component of the trip will vary in price in line with exchange rates until final payment is made. A full breakdown of individual tour costs will be provided at time of booking.

Hotels listed on the itinerary may, for operational reasons, be substituted for alternatives of equal or better standard.

Booking Process

To make a booking we would require a scan copy of all passengers’ passports. A non refundable deposit required within 7 days of booking – $18500 per person.

Final payment due no later than 1 April 2020. Note that airline ticketing limits may require additional payments at an earlier stage.

Payment can be made by cheque or bank transfer. Credit cards accepted subject to the following surcharges – Visa and Master Card 1.8%, Amex 2.75%. Credit card surcharge waived for deposit payment.

Visas

Australian and New Zealand passport holders require visas for Russia and Mongolia. Full supporting documentation will be supplied to assist clients in obtaining these visas and we also offer a ‘done for you’ visa service at an additional charge.

An ESTA is required for travel to the US. Passports should be valid for at least 6 months beyond intended duration of trip.

Only fancy part of the trip?

Sections of the trip can be booked individually inlcuding the Golden Eagle Luxury Train ( 8 August – 22 August) and the North-West Passage Expedtion cruise (28 August – 19 September)– apply for details.

Alternative flight options available at a cost difference– apply for details Full terms and conditions for Golden Eagle Luxury Train booking.

Totally impressed with the level of service

Can I just say that I have been totally impressed with the level of service we have received from both Heidi and Karen, it has been exceptional, and you can be very proud of this level of customer service. You can be assured that we will continue to use your services, and recommend Flower Travel Continue Reading

Graeme Williams,