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2010 NEWS

December 2010

2010 Statistics

As the 2010 season draws to a close, we can relay some fun statistics about the customers that travelled with us over the year ...

Exactly 50% male / female ratio. 13% of our customers were teachers, while 12% were students. Other occupations include bankers, doctors, police, laywers, chefs, retirees as well as a train driver, pilots and a flight attendant! 53% of our customers were born in the 1970 / 80's while we covered 9 decades - our youngest passenger was just 2½ months (with his parents!) and the oldest 85, with her husband. Only 11% of our passengers claim to smoke.

Half of our customers were British, Australian or US, while we covered the globe with other nations - 35 in total, including Canadian, German, Swiss, Belgian, Brazilian, Japanese, Chinese, Maltese, South African, Finnish, Greek, Singaporean, Argentinean and a Sri Lankan.

We hope that all of them had a trip of a lifetime on the Trans-Siberian!

July 2010

Moscow / St Petersburg

Don't want to to visit Moscow? New train services on the Trans Siberian line now mean you can travel directly from/to St Petersburg and Ekaterinburg or Irkutsk, with almost daily overnight trains, meaning you can add Moscow after St Petersburg, or skip it altogether. Ask us to customise any of our tours to fit your needs.

June 2010

Russian Railway Timetable Updates

As indicated at the start of 2010, Russian Railways have made some changes to their timetables with effect from 31st May. For our customers the biggest implications are when travelling from between Irkutsk and Moscow and our new itineraries offer train #1 / #339 / #349 instead of previously on train #9. The flip side is that there is now a direct service from Irkutsk to St Petersburg, making the route options larger. filed 30th April 2010.

May 2010

Trans Siberian on Google

Russian Railways have teamed up with Google to create a virtual trip on the Trans Siberian. Have a look at this page on Google.ru to get some inspiration for the real Trans Siberian trip you plan to take with us! As Robert Reid reminisces, his "real highlight of the non-virtual version is [not] what is out the window. But what is found onboard" [read more on BBC]

April 2010

Bolshoi in Beijing

The Bolshoi Ballet and Orchestra are in Beijing over the May Day weekend (30th April to 3rd May), so if you will miss a visit to the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow this summer, then be sure to combine a visit to the National Center for the Performing Arts (国家大剧院) to see The Pharaoh's Daughter or Don Quixote. See more at NCPA official website or City Weekend Listings.

April 2010

VOLCANO DISRUPTS AIR TRAVEL, RESORT TO THE TRANS-SIBERIAN!

Flights cancelled due to volcanic ash

Flights Cancelled ..
But not the train!!

As millions of air passengers have been stranded worldwide, we have been inundated with last minute requests. Parents stuck in Beijing, Singa

pore or further afield are boarding the train in Beijing and travelling to Europe via Moscow to be reunited with their children before the end of April.

See our Sample Itinerarys here.

"Britain, which has 150,000 people stranded abroad, is looking at ferrying people home using the Royal Navy." Some have called Monkey Business the 4th Emergency Service!

All though the train journey takes much longer than a flight and extra visas are required, it is a good opportunity to take that trip, when otherwise you would be stuck travelling. As one customer told us, "if I get stuck with roadworks while driving, I always try to take a short-cut, even if it means more distance, it's horrid to be stuck not moving, twiddling your thumbs."

French Ecology Minister Jean-Louis Borloo said the test flights were not steps towards reopening European airspace, "We do tests and everything goes back to normal? No. It's not a theory which exists." As airlines in Beijing have suggested that flights will not return to normal until the beginning of May, we have had more and more late notice bookings.

Flights cancelled due to volcanic ash

Volcano Evacuation
Route !!

There is a direct train from Beijing to Moscow every Wednesday and Saturday and if you are already in Beijing we can arrange the necessary visas in just one or two days. It takes 5 days on the train and then two more to travel into Europe, but the sense of adventure and the uncertainty of a confirmed flight departure has meant the Trans-Siberian Railway has become a viable option.

Peter Mandelson said: "We need to look at every single logistical option for getting our people back home."

Others still, have decided to take their time with the trip, making some stops along the way, choosing to use the delay completely to their advantage, and after all insurance or companies may pick up the costs of the trip anyway.

There are many different possibilities. For those stuck in Japan and Korea you can board a ferry or flight to Vladivostok and start the famous 'Trans Siberian Railway' journey from Vladivostok to Moscow, making stops along the way, time permitting. See our specials page for more ideas and sample itinerarys

filed 19th April 2010.

March 2010

SUMMER TIME

As most of Europe leaps in to Summer time, so to does Russia. However, Mongolia and China do not use Daylight Saving, which means trains travelling from across the border will have slightly different arrival times. You need to have an analytical mind to work out where the hour is gained though!

filed 28th March 2010

RUSSIA'S TIMEZONES

You may have heard Russia has reduced it's number of timezones, but this is unlikely to affect any of your train travels, as the timezones lost are in the far corners of Russia and not along the Trans Siberian route, read more on The Telegraph.

filed 28th March 2010

February 2010

VIRTUAL TRAIN TRIP

As reported in The Guardian, Russian Railways have teamed up with Google to create a virtual trip on the Trans Siberian. Have a look at this page on Google.ru to get some inspiration for the real Trans Siberian trip you plan to take with us!

filed 16th February 2010

LUNAR NEW YEAR

Happy New Year to all in China and Mongolia as we celebrate the Year of the Tiger on 14th February 2010.

filed 14th February 2010

NEW BROCHURE

Our brochure and tours have been fully updated for the summer 2010 with some amazing tours in a range of different styles to suit all tastes. Download the latest brochure from our site.

filed February 5th 2010

January 2010

NEW WEBSITE

Monkey freshens up it's appearance giving a brand new look to Monkeyshrine! We hope you like the rejuvenated monkey.

filed 10th January 2010