Travelling the Trans-Siberian Railway on the Golden Eagle luxury private train is a one of a kind experience, especially in winter. You will have the opportunity to enjoy beautiful snowy landscapes, go ice fishing on Lake Baikal or travel by dog-sledge and snowmobile. The displays of ice sculptures at the shore side are a reminder of the constant sub-zero temperatures here. Complimentary hats, Russian traditional felt boots and gloves are there to keep you warm!
The Golden Eagle luxury private train will take you along the traditional Trans-Siberian route, with a slight detour along the newer Trans-Mongolian Railway, as the adventure takes in northern Mongolia and its capital city, Ulan Bator. By the time you have completed this epic journey, you will have travelled a staggering 6,500 miles (11,000 km), having visited eight cities across two continents.
Day 1 – Arrival in Moscow
Once you have arrived in Moscow, you will be picked up and taken to the luxury five-star Four Seasons hotel located in the very heart of Moscow, overlooking Red Square. The Four Seasons offers a grand experience with awe-inspiring views of Moscow's glorious sights.
An exclusive welcome dinner will be held, offering you the chance to get yourself acquainted with your travelling companions for the next two weeks.
Day 2 – Excursions in Moscow
While in Moscow, you will explore the city centre, including the iconic Red Square, an evocative symbol of Russia’s political and military might throughout the 20th Century. You can marvel at the incredible architecture surrounding the square, including St Basils Cathedral, with its gorgeously ornate onion domes, and the famous, and historic, GUM department store. Not only will you visit Red Square, you will also have the opportunity to step inside the Kremlin, the seat of Russia’s government, while visiting the Armoury chamber. You will have lunch in the legendary Café Pushkin.
An essential part of any visit to Moscow is a tour of the opulent and unique stations of the Moscow metro - showpieces of Socialist art furnished with statues, frescoes and mosaics, unsurpassed anywhere in the world.
If you have been to Moscow before, there are Freedom of Choice excursions where you will have the choice to see other sights around Moscow, such as the famous State Tretyakov Gallery (the National Museum of Fine Art) or the Space Museum.
At the end of the day you will be taken to Moscow Kazansky station and welcomed on board the Golden Eagle itself with a cold glass of Russian Champagne and canapes.
Day 3 – Excursions in Kazan
Situated on the Volga River, the picturesque and historic city of Kazan is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan. You will have the opportunity to experience its unique history and culture, with free time to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the city, as well as a tour of the Kremlin Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
To top off your day, in memory of one of Russia’s most famous opera singers, born in Kazan, Feodor Chaliapin, you will be invited to a private concert of some of his music.
Day 4 – Excursions in Yekaterinburg
Founded nearly 300 years ago by Peter the Great, Yekaterinburg is the fourth largest city in Russia and holds a very important place in the history of Russia, as it is here that, in 1918, the last Tsar, Nicholas II, and his family were executed.
Our tour will take you to the site of the execution, now the Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land. The tour will offer an insight into the turmoil that surrounded the Russian Revolution.
Day 5 – Excursions in Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk is situated in the heart of Russian Siberia. Nowadays it is one of the ten most promising Russian megalopolises.
You will take a city tour, taking in Lenin Square and its Soviet era statue of this iconic political leader, where you will find the imposing and beautiful Opera House. It is one of the largest opera houses in the world and hosts two permanent opera and ballet companies.
The Freedom of Choice excursion offers a visit to the Novosibirsk Railway Museum. Here you will find a collection of locomotives and rolling stock from the 1800’s up until the present day. Of particular interest are the collection of carriages that were in use by the Tsars themselves.
Day 6 – On the Train
You can take a day to unwind and recharge your batteries after several jam-packed days. Share your experiences with your fellow travellers. perhaps learn a few words of Russian or simply watch the snowy scenery to go by.
Day 7 – Excursions in Irkutsk
Irkutsk is often called the ‘Paris of Siberia’ due to its wide streets and ornate architecture, and we are sure you will see why as you take the city tour upon arrival. Exploring the city, you will have the opportunity to take in the beauty of the intricate, lace-like, decorations carved into the classical wooden architecture that make the regions buildings so distinctive and unique. There will also be time to visit the Volkonsky House Museum, which is dedicated to the aristocrats who were exiled to this, at the time, far corner of Siberia after the failed Decembrists uprising of 1825. As an additional option for your day in Irkutsk you may wish to experience a traditional Russian Banya (Sauna).
Day 8 – Winter activities in Lake Baikal
One of the major highlights of any journey along the Trans-Siberian, is the part alongside the majesty that is Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater lake in the world.
You will be taken in a hovercraft on the frozen lake to the location where ice fishing, dog sleding and snowmobiles are situated, and you will enjoy the perfect vantage point to appreciate the magnificence of this unspoilt location.
There is the opportunity to watch the under-ice fishing and try the freshly caught fish which will be smoked in a mobile smokehouse and served warm with ice-cold vodka. Delicious!
Day 9 – Excursions in Ulan-Ude
Ulan-Ude is a unique place, with a unique heritage; it is the capital of the Buryat Republic and home to the native Buryat people.
You will be taken on a tour of the Old Believers' Village and have the opportunity to learn more about the culture and history of these deeply religious people. Following this you will be treated to a concert featuring local traditions and folk singing.
This evening we travel by private air charter to Ulan Bator, Mongolia, where we stay overnight at the Shangri La Hotel.
Day 10 – Excursion in Ulan Bator, Mongolia
Your Trans-Siberian adventure takes you into Mongolia and its capital Ulan Bator (literally meaning Red Hero). Mongolia is a country of stunning landscapes and nomadic people, rich in culture and history. The country is famous for its endless green steppes, the Gobi Desert, its grazing livestock and the iconic white Gers that are dotted across the landscape.
Your time in Ulan Bator will begin at the Tibetan-style Gandan Monastery, one of the most important Buddhist Monasteries in Mongolia, home to a community of over 500 monks. The full name, Gandantegchinlen, translates as 'the great place of complete joy'.
Visiting Chinggis Square (formerly Sukhbaatar Square), you will have the opportunity to gaze upon the central monument to Genghis Khan, probably the most famous, and certainly the most feared and revered, Mongol.
After lunch you will head into the Mongolian countryside where you will visit the imposing Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue, located on the bank of the Tuul River, and also have the opportunity to visit a traditional Mongolian Ger and meet a nomadic family.
This evening, we travel on board a private jet charter to Ulan Ude, where we will rejoin the Golden Eagle train.
Please note: depending on final timings provided by the railway authorities we may subsitute the railway journey from Russia into Ulaanbaatar with a private jet charter from Irkutsk so that we can maintain the advertised programme in Mongolia.
Day 11-13 – On the Train
Chat to your fellow passengers, take a Russian language class, listen to a talk on Soviet or Russian history, learn about the construction of the Trans-Siberian railway or simply relax and enjoy the ever-changing winter landscape outside your window.
Day 14 – Excursion in Vladivostok
After travelling through eight time zones and covering a staggering 6,500 miles along this iconic railway (including the Mongolian detour!), the Golden Eagle train pulls into its final destination, Vladivostok.
Vladivostok is a military port, located on the western shores of the Sea of Japan and is home to the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet. You will have the opportunity to visit its principal military attractions, including a visit to a preserved Wold War Two submarine. You will also be taken to one of the largest suspension bridges in the world over the Golden Horn Bay, which opened in 2012 for the APEC conference in the city.
You will stay in the five-star Lotte Hotel, which is conveniently located in the centre of Vladivostok.
Day 15 – Departing Vladivostok
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Vladivostok airport to begin your journey home.
This tour includes:
Hotel and On-Board Accommodation: Although you will spend much of your time sightseeing or socialising in the trains public areas, you will find your hotel room, or cabin, a welcome retreat at the end of the day. All hotels are 5*, or the best available. Room upgrades are available on request and at extra cost.
Experienced tour managers: Golden Eagle tour managers are selected for their linguistic and organisational capability, allowing you to sit back and relax on your Trans-Siberian adventure.
Arrival and Departure Transfers: Arrival and departure transfers are included.
Winter Accessories: You will be provided with complimentary Russian hats, traditional felt boots, a Golden Eagle embroidered scarf and woolly mittens on arrival, to help keep you warm.
Welcome and Farewell Dinners: Golden Eagle welcome dinners offer all travellers the opportunity to make friends with one another before the adventure ahead. The farewell dinner offers the chance to share stories of your time on the Trans-Siberian and look ahead to future tours.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Daily: All departures feature Golden Eagles uniquely designed restaurant cars, it is here you will be served your meals. On occasion the tour will also provide meals in that day’s destination in order to sample the finest local cuisine.
Drinks with Meals and from the Bar Lounge Car: A generous drinks allowance is included with lunch and dinner. For passengers travelling in Gold Class on board the Golden Eagle, drinks from the Standard Drinks List in the Bar Lounge Car are also included. For Imperial Suite guests, drinks from both the Standard and Premium Bar Lists (excluding premium wine) in the Bar Lounge Car are included.
On Board Service: You can expect service which is attentive, friendly and non-intrusive. Your car attendants provide 24-hour housekeeping and bedding turndown services, with one attendant always on duty to assist you and to ensure you are comfortable in your cabin. Complimentary tea, coffee and bottled drinking water are available in your cabin 24 hours a day.
Route Guide, Itinerary and Information Pack: Once you have boarded the train, a brochure will be available in your cabin outlining the journey ahead. Each evening the Golden Eagle tour manager will offer a briefing and a programme for the next day’s activities.
Guided Excursions: All tours include a rich sightseeing schedule to make the most of the time you have off the train and bring you closer to the culture, people and history of your destinations. Imperial Suite guests will benefit from the option of a private car and guide in most places you visit along the route.
Freedom of Choice Excursions: In many of the places that you visit, Golden Eagle guides will offer you a selection of different tours to take, to best suit your interests. Please note, though, that ‘Freedom of Choice’ options may be subject to variations depending on finalised train timings and local charges. Touring options that are available will, typically, be advertised the evening prior to the days tour.
Personal Headsets: On all the off–train excursions, to enhance your enjoyment of the places you visit, you will be provided with a lightweight personal headset on which to listen to your tour guide as you take in the sights.
On Board Doctor and Medical Facilities: To give you peace of mind Golden Eagle tours are accompanied by a doctor who travels with you for the entire journey. Normally, the doctor will be English speaking and be registered with the General Medical Council in the UK.
Porterage: As you only have to unpack once, your luggage and belongings will stay with you on the train throughout the journey but, wherever necessary, porterage is included between the hotel and stations.
All Gratuities: You will not have to worry about tipping on and off the train on your rail journey with Golden Eagle Luxury Trains as all gratuities are included in the tour price.
- Any flights or travel costs not covered in the itinerary.
- Visa costs. See the Real Russia Trans-Siberian Visa’s page
- Insurance. See Real Russia’s advice on travel insurance.
- Drinks from the Bar Lounge Car not included in your travel class. For more information visit On-board the Golden Eagle.
- Any laundry services not included in your travel class. For more information visit On-board the Golden Eagle.
- Personal expenses such as souvenir shopping, or extra food and drink, are not included in the itinerary.