|Irkutsk Botanic Garden
Betchart Expeditions, Inc
17050 Montebello Road, Cupertino, CA 95014-5435, USA
Look at Donna Hruska's Adventures in Siberia
or Mel Siegel's pictures
or Sue Ann Miller's page
Lake Baikal Virtual Tour
Download the ZIP-file with good quality brochure for Adobe Acrobat or look at the Detailed brochure
French, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Korean
Viewing the great natural phenomenon,
||We will explore Lake Baikal, the "blue eye
of Siberia," and the great Siberian taiga on a 15-day ecological expedition of
discovery, led by an outstanding team of Russian scientists. This expedition is offered in
association with the Baikal Museum, situated on the shores of Lake Baikal, and is led by
the Director of the Baikal Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Dr. Vladimir A.
Fialkov, and the Director of the Botanic
Garden of Irkutsk State University, Dr. Victor Kuzevanov.
The Russian "Galapagos Islands," Baikal is the single richest location in Russia for endemism, a fabulous reservoir of unique flora and fauna. Lake Baikal is the oldest and deepest lake in the world, and stores nearly 20% of the freshwater on earth. It is immense – the distance from San Francisco to Los Angeles – and contains more than 1,500 species unique to Baikal, and hundreds more endemics on the surrounding mountainsides.
At Lake Baikal, we will board M/V Zaisan, a 41-meter ship with modest accommodations for 20 participants plus leaders. We will venture more than 250 miles up the lake, visiting Pribaikalsky and Zabaikalsky National Parks; Maloe More, the "small sea" and Olkhon Island, to visit the fishing village, school, and museum. We will walk along the marble headlands to Baikal’s famous "Shaman Rock" and explore the Ushkanyi Islands, home to the "nerpa" seals of Lake Baikal. Also of interest will be the 1000-year-old petroglyphs and the Selenga Delta, a spectacular bird and wildlife refuge.
Our journey will begin in Khabarovsk where we will board the Trans Siberian Express for a two and one-half day train adventure across the Siberian taiga, a land of grand rivers, lush forests, and charming small villages. One of the classic train journeys in the world, our trip will include lectures by our expedition leaders and a chance to practice Russian conversation on board, with interesting commentary. In Irkutsk, we will explore the "Paris of Siberia," with striking gold-domed churches and wooden homes with blue and green shutters. Here, we will also have a special visit to the Irkutsk Botanic Garden and a brief introduction to the "Academic Village," the vast scientific community on the shores of the Angara River.
We look forward to returning to Baikal this year and to sharing the many wonder of Siberia and Baikal with you. You may depart from San Francisco for Anchorage and Khabarovsk in the Russian Far East. Contact us for flight information.
Space is limited. We urge you to reserve your place soon. For reservations call Betchart
Expeditions, Inc. at 800-252-4910 or 408-252-4910 or write to:
17050 Montebello Road, Cupertino, CA 95014-5435.
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© Betchart Expeditions, Inc., 2004