08:00 – Departure from Semey
09:30 Arrival in ghost town Chagan
Chagan is called a dead ghost town, which has been abandoned for many years. Like all secret facilities not identified on the map of former Soviet Union, this town has never formally existed. Nowadays, it has disappeared as an actual town.
Chagan was founded as a special base for the maintenance of former Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site. Its construction began in 1954, and it had been demolished in 1994.
It was mainly a home to the staff of Chagan airport located 10 kilometers southwest, which served as a base of long-range strategic aircraft.
Chagan was the second most unique and important airbase, special for some of the Soviet Union’s most iconic long-range bombers, including the legendary M-4 “Bison” and the Tu-95 “Bear”. The base used to locate the 79th bomber division containing about one hundred Tu-95 missile carriers.
Chagan aerodrome’s runway has an enormous length of 4 km (two and a half miles) and a concrete coating thickness of 1 meter and capable of withstanding space loads. That is the main reason why the runway has remained practically in its original form and condition.
10:10 Departure to Kurchatov
11.00 Arrival in Kurchatov
Excursion to the museum of the Semipalatinsk test site. This unique museum is located in a small town named after the ingenious physicist Igor Kurchatov. The museum was opened in the 70s of the last century on the basis of a local military unit. More than 100 objects demonstrate not only a variety of complex equipment, but also documentation, research and photographs related to nuclear tests. The exhibition provides a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the history of this very dangerous weapon and to see rare photographs showing various scientists working here.
12.00 – Lunch (at your own expense)
13.00 – Excursion to the site ‘Testing Field’
The Testing Field was the first object of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site and was intended for atmospheric (ground and air) nuclear tests between 1949 and 1962. The site is a plain about 20 km in diameter surrounded by low mountains on three sides. This is a large-scale complex of engineering and construction facilities intended for testing and recording parameters of a nuclear explosion in the conditions of a full-scale experiment. Up to the present time, fragments of instrumental and fortification structures with traces of nuclear explosions have been preserved. The first test of the nuclear device on the Testing Field was held on August 29, 1949 at 7 am local time. On August 12, 1953, the first thermonuclear device was tested here, and then, on November 22, 1955 they tested a hydrogen bomb. In total, 116 nuclear tests were conducted in the Testing Field, 86 of which were air tests, and 30 were ground tests. The whole site complex of the Testing field is still a unique monument of the nuclear age.
During the excursion you will visit one of the craters that appeared after the explosion of the atomic bomb.
17.00 – Returning to Semey
19.00 – Arrival in Semey. Dinner (at your own expense)
Tour Price per 1 person (only weekday)
- Individual tour – 730$
- 2-person tour – 385$
- 3-person tour – 295$
- 4-person tour – 250$
- 5-person tour – 195$
- 6-person tour – 180$
The price includes:
1. Transportation according to the program
2. Excursions with an English-speaking guide
3. Entrance tickets
4. Radiation suit
5. Permit to visit the test site
For a confirmed booking, a deposit of (10%) is required. Deposit is paid by credit card (secure payment via Stripe, no credit card fees). The remaining balance can be paid in cash upon start of the trip - unless Host & Traveler agree on different payment methods.
Cancellations can be made free of charge up to 30 days prior to the beginning of the booked service. The deposit (10%) is only refundable if the booking is canceled at least 30 days in advance.