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Monday 13th August 

  • Meet at 18.30 at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport before boarding the 21:15 flight to Magadan. The flight takes 8 hours and arrives at 12:45pm the following day.


Tuesday 14th August 

  • Upon arrival at the airport, we will meet our local guides and driver for the 50km trip into Magadan. The trip should take about an hour and takes us through the ‘Road of Bones’, which was built by forced labour. We will stop at various places on the way.
  • On arrival, we will check into the VM-Central Hotel. This is a masterpiece of a hotel and a must for Soviet watchers.
  • After lunch, we will embark on a city tour of Magadan. Of particular interest is the ‘Mask of Sorrow’ – a monument to the memory of the victims of the Gulags.
  • Stay overnight at VM-Central Hotel.


Wednesday 15th August 

  • We have an early start, with a trip to the Regional History Museum and its 5 halls of the Gulag and Chief Directorate of Camps.
  • We will visit the Geological Museum, which documents the gold discovered in the region (a primary reason for the forced labour).
  • We will visit the Memorial Museum of Vadim Kozin – In 1944, shortly before the birthday of Comrade Stalin, the KGB chief Beria called him and asked why his songs didn’t feature Stalin. Kozin famously replied that songs about Stalin were not suited for tenor voices. In late 1944, as part of the repression campaign against prominent Soviet performers, Kozin was sentenced to five years at the Magadan Gulag.
  • It’s not a Soviet trip unless you see a big statue of Lenin, so we head for sunset selfies with the original Bolshevik.
  • Enjoy dinner and drinks in Magadan.
  • Stay overnight at VM-Central Hotel.


Thursday 16th August 

  • The main event! We get up early for the long drive to Dniprovsky Mine – the Soviet Prison camp operated between 1941 and 1954. Much of the infrastructure used when it was a gulag including the watchtowers, huts and barbed wire fences are still intact.
  • We’ll spend most of the day here, taking our time exploring.
  • We will visit various ghost villages either before, or after our trip to the mine.
  • At night, we will camp out in the countryside near the mine, feasting on a barbeque and drinking obligatory vodka.


Friday 17th August 

  • Another day of exploring this massive mine complex ably led by our expert local guides awaits us.
  • We’ll eat lunch in the countryside.
  • We take the leisurely drive back to Magadan stopping on the way for various picture opportunities and rest stops.
  • On arrival back in Magadan, we check back into VM-Central Hotel.
  • Overnight stay in Magadan.


Saturday 18th August 

  • Another early start for the drive to the sea of Okhotsk on the east coast of the Russian Federation. This is an extremely scenic drive with us taking the opportunities to stop for pictures where possible.
  • We’ll spend the day sea fishing, with local professionals on hand should our skills fail us.
  • We’ll enjoy a barbeque lunch by the sea, cooked on a bonfire.
  • We’ll take the slow drive back to Magadan.
  • We’ll stay overnight in VM-Central Hotel.


Sunday 19th August 

  • Tour of Ollu Village site.
  • Tour Nyukli and surrounding area, one of the must-see places in Magadan with views of the bay. We’ll also see the monument to the Cazegradsky-Biblin expedition.
  • Return to Magadan for lunch.
  • Azman hills with rare natural phenomena. There’s snow here until July.
  • At night, we’ll have our last group dinner, possibly involving Borsch.
  • We make the most of our last night by heading to the OkeanBar for a YPT style party (almost definitely involving vodka).
  • We stay overnight in VM-Central Hotel.


Monday 20th August 

  • We have a free morning for last-minute shopping, walking or relaxation.
  • We transfer to the airport for the 15.30 flight back to Moscow landing at 15.00 (due to the time difference).
  • Those doing the next part of our Soviet Tour continue on to Kamchatka (TBC)
  • End of tour.