SEATTLE, WA. July 20, 2011 – St. Petersburg invites guests through MIR Corporation to meet the New Year Dr. Zhivago-style by waltzing at the Czar’s Ball in Catherine’s Palace or dining in a private Russian home after days full of sleigh rides and, of course, strolling through the Hermitage Museum.  Travel via express train to Moscow and experience this capital before touring the Golden Ring towns of Vladimir and Suzdal. The Russian Winter Wonder Land: New Year’s in St. Petersburg small group tour runs Dec. 29, 2011 – Jan. 7, 2012 from $5,095 per person.

A second way to enjoy this country that makes an art of winter is on a Trans-Siberian winter rail journey on Russia’s most exclusive private train, the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express, on one of two departures: Eastbound: Moscow to Vladivostok Feb. 18 – Mar. 3, 2012 or Westbound Vladivostok to Moscow Mar. 1-15, 2012.

The itinerary includes Red Square, the Kremlin and a tour of the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow; two of Russia’s oldest cities and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Golden Ring cities of Vladimir and Suzdal; Ekaterinberg, the place where the last czar, Nicolas II, was executed; an exploration of Irkutsk and Lake Baikal with classic Siberian wooden architecture, ice fishing and dog sledding; multi-ethnic Ulan Ude and a village home experience; UlaanBaatar on the Mongolian steppe where Genghis Khan once roamed and Vladivostok, Russia’s Pacific Rim port. The 15-day program starts at $13,795 per person, double, and includes two nights in five star hotels and 12 nights aboard the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express.

“MIR has the inside access to Russia, as we have been running programs in this country for 25 years,” says Douglas Grimes, MIR founder and president.

MIR Corporation, whose name means “peace” and “world” in Russian, has specialized in Russia (and neighboring countries) since 1986. Offering scheduled and custom journeys to Russia, along the Trans-Siberian and across the Silk Route, MIR’s Seattle-based experts design imaginative trips that take travelers far from the familiar, and work closely with local affiliates in Western Russia, Siberia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan to carry them out.

MIR has twice been named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth,” and is a preferred operator for museum, alumni and special interest organizations across North America.