Irkutsk Botanic Garden
Betchart Expeditions
Betchart Expeditions, Inc
17050 Montebello Road, Cupertino, CA 95014-5435, USA
(800) 252-4910

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

Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Korean
Join us on Expeditions!
& the Great Siberian Taiga
redball.gif (326 bytes)   June 3-14, 2004     redball.gif (326 bytes)

  SIGMA XI Expeditions & AAAS Travels
The Scientific Research Society

   Viewing the great natural phenomenon,
As Venus passes in front of the sun, see the first Transit of Venus in 122 years!

Join us on Expedition to China and to Kamchatka!

Lake Baikal - The shoreline of the world's oldest, deepest, and purest water"Zaisan" - largest cruise ship on Lake BaikalExploring Ushkany Iskands going a shore on a motor boat lighter "Treskov"
Ushkany islands - unique isolated ecosystem, temporary home for baikal seals (nerpa)
Burkhan (Shaman) Cape - sacred place for shamans and buryat tribes on Olkhon IslandExploring Olkhon Island. A sandy beach"Zaisan" is very reliable and comfortable ship even in stormy weatherBig Tower rock - favorite attraction in the Peshannaya Bay areaEarly morning in the middle of Lake BaikalSunsets is always beautiful and never the same on Baikal

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 Baikals 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.

For more detailed brochure click here (gif-files).
or go to the Mel Siegel's Photos of Siberia and Baikal-97
and the Mel Siegel's Home Page
Join our discussions on the Baikal expedition!Omul (Coregonus autumnalis) - favorite tasty fishCatch of fishSiebrian flower - Trollius asiaticusSiberian flowers - edelveis (Leontopodium leontopodioides)Butterfly
For Information, phone  (800) 252-4910 or (408) 252-4910
Fax: 408 252-1444   Email:
Download ZIP-file with a good quality brochure for Adobe Acrobat
Look at

And More! Please keep checking for updates on Sigma XI Expeditions and AAAS Travel Opportunities for the coming year!
Or write to our Guest Book or contact by mail:
        Betchart Expeditions Inc.
        17050 Montebello Road
        Cupertino, CA 95014
Lake Baikal area in Russia

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