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15 октября 2019
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Sacred Lake Baikal cruise (8 days, 8 nights)

Irkutsk — Listvyanka — Chivirkuyski bay — Ushkanie islands -Olhkon Island— Irkutsk

                                                  Sv Baikal En

Departures: July 15-22, August 23-30, September 1-8

Sacred Lake Baikal Cruise embraces the most beautiful exceptional and hard-to-get wonders of the deepest lake in the world. Virgin nature, severe beauty of abyssal Baikal waters and unforgettable fishing will create an absolute feeling of pacification.Virgin nature,severe beauty of abyssal Baikal waters and unforgettable fishing will create an absolute feeling of pacification.


Day 1

Arrive at Irkutsk

Meeting at airport or train station

Breakfast (in case needed)

Transfer to Listvyanka village* (1 hour en route)

Welcome drink on board the cruising ship

Tour of Listvyanka, Baikal Museum

Lunch on board departing Listvyanka

Sailing towards the Peschanaya (Sandy) Bay**

Hiking to Boshaya Kolokolnya*** rock

Stop at Babushka bay****

Dinner and overnight on board

Night sailing to the Olkhon Gate strait (7 hours en route)*****

(80 km. en route in a day time;160 km. en route in a night time *Listvyanka village is located at the place where the Angara River flows out of lake Baikal. More than 300 rivers flow into the lake and the only one — the Angara — flows out. A beautiful legend tells about arrogant daughter of Baikal, who felt in love with the Yenisei River and escaped from her Father. One can see the famous Shaman-rock right in the middle of the beautiful Angara River, which symbolizes, as an old story says, the anger of old Father Baikal, who threw it after his daughter Angara. Listvyanka is the place to visit the famous Baikal Limnological museum to know all the information on the Lake.
**One of the most famous places of lake Baikal. Coniferous mountain sides of the Baikal range go down close by the lake, among the thick forest overlook kingly granite rocks. Two big rocks called Malaya and Bolshaya Kolokolnya (Small and Big Belltower) frame the shore. Peschanaya bay has a nick name that is «Siberian Riviera“ and this place is recognized as the natural monument.

***Sandy beach of Peschanaya Bay is framed by tapered rocks from both sides. Bolshaya Kolokolnya rock reaches 80 meters above sea level, Malaya Kolokolnya is 60 meters above sea level.

**** Babushka bay is located pretty close to Peschanaya bay.

***** Olkhon Gate strait separates the Olkhon Island from the mainland.

Day 2

Breakfast on board
Sailing to the Ukhan cape (2, 5 hours en route)

Fishing «from under the screw“* (1 hour)

Stop at Izhimey cape** (2 hours en route)

Lunch on board

Sailing to the Chivirkuisky bay*** (8 hours en route)

Dinner on board

Overnight on board in Zmeinaya cove

(170 km en route)
*Fishing «from under the screw» is a very simple and effective method of fishing. The boat bottoms to the shore and switches the screw. The waves from the screw take up entomostracans and sea grass (the favorite food of Baikal grayling) and fish follows the harvesting.

**Izhimey cape is the highest point of Olkhon island. The name of the cape derives from Buryat word «Ezhin» that means «the spirit of locality“. According to the legend Olkhon's Spirit lives on the top of the cape.

***Chivirkuisky bay is one of the most beautiful places of lake Baikal, where the wild life still preserves its original beauty. There are many small splendid coves in the Chivirkuisky bay: Okynyovaya, Zmeinaya, Ongokonskaya, fertik, Krokhalinaya, Krutaya coves and so on: There are also the hot springs on the shores of the Zmeinaya (snake) cove. Bolshoi Baklany island, sometimes called - Shimay is the biggest out of seven islands of the Chivirkuisky bay. A long time ago a colony of cormorants came to the island and built their nests, but later the birds were scared away by the presence of man, so nowadays the island is inhabited by wood-grouses.

Day 3

Breakfast on board

Relaxing in hot springs in Zmeinaya cove

Trekking from Zmeinaya cove to Kurbulik village along the Baikal Ecological trail

Lunch at the National park* ranger's house

Afternoon fishing for pike and perch, relaxing in different coves

Dinner on the shore of lake Baikal with traditional fish soup and omul on sticks cooked on fire.

Evening bonfire.

Overnight on board or in tents for those who wish camping.


(50 km en route)

*Zabaikalsky National Park was founded 1987. It comprises the Holly Nose peninsular, southern part of the Barguzin mountain range, the Ushkanye Islands, Barguzin and Chivirkuy bays. Fauna and flora are outstanding various. The Ushkanye Islands are of a great interest since they are the rookery of fresh water seals. Among the other animals there are bears, reindeers, black-capped marmots, elks, Siberian stags, sables, foxes, squirrels, wolfs, beaver rats and fresh water seals. 241 species of birds are registered in the park. Swooper, white tailed eagle, hooded crane are in Red List.

Day 4

Breakfast on board
Two options for this day:

- daytour to Barguzin valley* (about 200 km on vans) with lunch in a Buryat village

- fishing for pike, perch and grayling in the Kedrovka and Bolshaya Cheremshany rivers.** Grayling fishing and enjoying Siberian forest walks.

Dinner on the shore

Banya on board

 *Barguzin valley is a capturing landscape, picturesque lowlands and rocks, rich depository of archeological and natural monuments. Among them there are the petroglyphs; Suvinskaya Saksonia - picturesque group, reminding castles ruins with huge stone towers and narrow rocky ravine between them with the length about 200m and height 50m; Bull-stone that is Buryat sacred place; Inninsky stone garden (10 km of large stones)
**The Kedrovka and the Cheremshana rivers are located to the north of Chivirkuisky bay and are well known as the perfect place to fish grayling. The shores around are great place for walking and trekking in the pure nature of the Zabaikalskiy National park.

Day 5


Sailing to the Ushkanye Islands* early in the morning (2 hours en route)

Breakfast on board

Visit the Ushkanye Islands: trekking on one of the islands to a special place for the fresh-water seal Nerpa watching**

Sailing to the Olkhon island*** (5 hours en route)

Lunch on board

Stop at Uzuri village on the Eastern shore on the island.

Automobile tour to the Khoboi cape, trekking to the most Northern point of Olkhon for a magnificent view.

Return to the ship

Sailing around the Khoboi cape****, passing by rocky ensemble «Three brothers“ (4 hours en route)

Arrive at Burkhan cape*****

Lunch on board

Overnight on board

(160 km en route)

*The Ushkanye Islands are a group of four islands in the central part of lake Baikal, a handful of stones on the lake's smooth surface. Those four islands are the top of the underwater Akademichesky mountain range and they continue rising out of the lake. The origin of the Ushkanye islands is still a controversial question! There is unusual and original flora and fauna at the island, for example larches with stout, «bottle-shaped» trunks, birch-trees with dark bark and so on. Besides, there is a special continental mild climate here and the humidity is very high, especially in the summertime - 90-97%. Archeologists found three caves at Bolshoy island, where primitive people of Neolithic period used to settle for a long time (approximately 5000-4000 years ago). The islands are the Specially protected preserve area and each visit is controlled and approved by the Zabaikalskiy National park authorities.

** Baikal nerpa is a unique freshwater seal which is found only in lake Baikal. It is still a mystery how the seal came to Baikal. Nowadays, the Ushkanye islands are the last permanent shelter from the civilization of nerpa. The islands are a safe and quiet place where the nerpa can not be afraid of anyone. If you are lucky enough you will have a great chance to see more than a hundred animals, sleeping peacefully or playing, or clambering up the cliffs, and then falling dawn into the water.

** *Olkhon is the biggest island of lake Baikal as well as the historical and sacred centre of it. Olkhon is the focus of early legends and historical traditions. Olkhon is the only anciently populated island at Baikal. It is famous of its historical and cultural memorials and nature beauties.

****Khoboi cape (from Buryat language «Fang“) is the most northern cape of Olkhon island. From the sea the cape resembles the side face of a woman who is looking afield. Local legend says that it is the petrified Buryat lady who asked the celestials to present her with the better castle than her husband was presented with. For her anger and envy she was fated to be a stone till there would be evil and rancor.

***** Burkhan (Shaman) Cape is one of the 9 Asian treasures. Used to be known as «Stone temple». The Cape is considered to be the residence of the top ranked celestial Hute-Baabay Khan who has come down to earth to manage human beings lives.

Day 6

Meeting with local Buryat Shaman* at the Burkhan cape
Visit the Olkhon regional study museum. Walking around Khuzhir village

Lunch at local Buryat family

Afternoon relaxation on the beach of Saraisky bay

Sailing to Ogoi Island** (1.5 hours en route) for hiking to the top of the island to see Buddhist stupa (1 hour)

Overnight and dinner on board in Maloye More strait

(40 km en route)
*Cult rite to the local spirits is the main difference of shamanistic Buryats. Shamanism was wide spread in Siberia even in the Neolithic age and Bronze Age. In shamanism the world is divided into three parts: Upper world (heavenly), Middle (earthly) and Lower (underground). Shaman is a person who is chosen by the heaven to be a link and who can transfer in the entire worlds to reach some aim.

** On the top of Ogoy island overlooks a stupa (6.5 meters high) erected by Buddhists in 2005. In Buddhism any stupa incarnate Sumera mountain that join Earth, Space and Heaven

Day 7

Sailing through Olkhonskye Vorota strait to Sennaya cove* (8 hours en route)

Breakfast on board

Stop at Sagaan-Zaba cliff to watch Petroglyphs** (2.5 thousand years old ancient drawings)

Lunch on board

Siberian bathhouse on the shore of lake Baikal

Dinner and overnight on board

(120 km en route)
* Sennaya cove is famous for its gold-mines. Not far away from the shore there is abandoned mine belonged to Irkutsk merchant.

**Petroglyph is the picture whipped on the stone belonging to the period of time from the Paleolithic age up to the Middle ages. Sagaan-Zaba cliff disposes a great number of rock carvings. The rock icon-stand includes the images of dancing shamans since buryats used to conduct special rituals there.

Day 8

Breakfast

Arrive at Listvyanka

Farewell lunch on board

Transfer to Irkutsk

Check-in to a centrally located hotel

City tour of Irkutsk*

Free time for dinner independent

(80 km en route) *On Siberian map Irkutsk appeared in the middle of the XVII century. It began with the ostrog (wooden fortress) built in 1661, then it grew into a settlement which got its state insignia in 1686. In the beginning of the XVII century the town began to develop rapidly. The first ambassadors went to China through Irkutsk, Japan and America. In 1970 Irkutsk was included into the list of protected Russian cities with preserving its ancient planning and houses.

Day 9

Breakfast at the hotel
Depart Irkutsk