Tailor-Made Holiday

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Railway

An epic railway journey from moscow to vladivostok

15 days

from £12,895pp

This is undoubtedly one of the greatest railway journeys in the world and one of the best ways to absorb the rich culture and sprawling landscapes on offer in Russia’s rarely visited interior. This journey connects east and west travelling from Moscow over the Urals, across the seemingly endless steppe and alongside the shore of the world’s largest freshwater lake. There has never been a better time to experience the world's greatest railway journey between Moscow and Vladivostok

  • Travel 6,500 miles across Russia, through eight time zones and covering a third of the world’s total!
  • Watch the ever-changing landscape, from the comfort of the luxurious Golden Eagle train.
  • Attend private performances of opera and traditional Mongolian throat singers.
  • Take a dip in the bracing crystal clear waters of Lake Baikal before dining on fresh fish on the lakeside shores.
  • See the wonderful wooden architecture around Irkutsk.
  • Explore the beautiful Mongolian scenery dotted with nomadic gers.
  • Visit Vladivostok, home to the Russian Pacific fleet.

MOSCOW TO IRKUTSK

The journey begins with the iconic sites of Moscow, from the grandeur of the Kremlin to the ornate architecture of St Basil's Cathedral. After boarding the Golden Eagle train your journey continues to the picturesque and historic town of Kazan with its UNECSO World Heritage Kremlin fortress. From here, travel onto Yekaterinburg, the Capital of the Ural Mountains, which form a mighty natural divide between Europe and Asia and onwards to the modern Soviet city of Novosibirsk and Irkutsk, known as the Paris of Siberia.

LAKE BAIKAL & ULAN UDE

Lake Baikal is a major highlight on this journey and five hours will be spent winding alongside the lake through stunning scenery. To add to the wonderful vistas the Golden Eagle train will also be hauled by a Soviet era steam locomotive for this section of the journey and the day will conclude with a barbecue on the shores of the lake. Onto Ulan Ude with its unique culture and people, known for their local traditions, beliefs and folk singing, before crossing into Mongolia.

ULAAN BAATAR & VLADIVOSTOK

In Ulaan Baatar, explore Gandan buddhist monastery, home to over 500 monks and experience some of Mongolia's wild scenery as well as the chance to meet with a traditional nomadic family. After a few days on board the Golden Eagle train, the journey will end in the military port of Vladivostok with the chance to visit a preserved WWII submarine.

THE GOLDEN EAGLE TRAIN

For most of this trip, stay on board the luxurious Golden Eagle Train. This private trains contain some of the finest accommodation available in luxury train travel today, offering a high level of comfort. All departures feature one or two restaurant cars and a spacious bar car.

Days spent travelling on board the Golden Eagle train offer the chance to relax and enjoy the passing scenery, take a Russian language class or listen to a talk on Soviet or Russian history.

Whilst in Moscow and Vladivostok you will stay in 5* and 4* Hotel accommodation respectively.

Eastbound Departure Dates in 2017:

July 23 - 6 August 
August 20 - 3 September 

Westbound Departure Dates in 2017:

August 5 - 19 
September 2 - 16 

Eastbound Departure Dates in 2018:

May 6 - 20
June 9 - 23 
July 23 - 6 August 
August 20 - 3 September 

Westbound Departure Dates in 2018:

May 19 - 2 June 
August 5 - 19 
September 2 - 16 

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Moscow


The ancient city of Moscow is the focal point of modern Russia and everything that it has come to represent. It is a city where history unfolds around every corner, whether in the shape of the magnificent golden domed cathedrals and churches, or the historic and instantly-recognisable Kremlin. With a rich history and an insatiable hunger to embrace global modernity, Moscow is a compelling city.


You will be staying at Marriott Aurora, Half board

Day 2

Moscow Sightseeing
The touring programme of Moscow principally includes the grandeur of the Kremlin, the spiritual, historical and political heart of Moscow, and to see the treasures of the Tsars in the Armoury Chamber. Also visit Red Square, an iconic symbol of Russia’s former military and political might with its eclectic mix of fascinating architecture, such as the ornate St Basil’s Cathedral’s magnificent onion-domed spires, the beautiful façade of the world famous GUM department store, constructed in Tsarist times, and the sombre and evocative site of Lenin’s tomb.

With the Freedom of Choice touring option you may instead wish to travel out of the city centre to Sergiev Posad, home to one of the most beautiful monasteries in Russia and the historical and spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church or visit the famous State Tretyakov Gallery (National Museum of Fine Art).


You will be staying at The Golden Eagle Train, Full board

Day 3

Kazan Sightseeing
Situated on the River Volga, the picturesque and historic city of Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan. Here you have the opportunity to see for yourselves its rich tapestry of history and culture. One of the highlights of this city tour is the exploration of the Kremlin Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Within the walls of this ancient citadel explore its stunning mosque and picture-perfect oniondomed cathedral.

As Kazan is the birthplace of one of Russia’s most famous opera singers, Feodor Chaliapin (1873-1938), we honour his memory with a private concert of his music.

You will also have time to wander through the main pedestrian area of Kazan and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the city.

Kazan is one of the largest cities in Russia, sitting at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers, home to Kazan Kremlin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


You will be staying at The Golden Eagle Train, Full board

Day 4

Yekaterinburg Sightseeing
Cross the Europe/Asia divide before arriving in the historic city of Yekaterinburg. Founded in 1723 by Peter the Great, the third largest Russian city is also the capital of the Urals. The cultural and architectural influences of European and Asian civilisations come together in this fascinating and cosmopolitan landscape.
Your city tour takes you to the poignant site where the Romanov, Nicholas II of Russia was executed with his family by the Bolsheviks in 1918. Now a church dedicated to their memory, this site provides us with a powerful insight into the turmoil of the Russian Revolution.
The Freedom of Choice programme will also offer activities such as a walking tour of the city, or explore the intriguing Soviet military past in a visit to Yekaterinburg Military Museum which displays fragments of the U2 American spy-plane flown by Gary Powers that was shot down in this area in 1960 during the Cold War.


You will be staying at The Golden Eagle Train, Full board

Day 5

Novosibirsk Sightseeing
A modern ‘Soviet’ city, experience the life and character of Novosibirsk’s rich culture where the arts, science and literature predominate.

Your city tour takes you to the Opera House. An architectural marvel, it houses two permanent ballet and opera companies and is the largest opera house in the world. In front of the Opera House, visit an imposing statue of Lenin – a marvellous opportunity to have your photograph taken with this iconic political leader.

Alternatively, south of the city you could visit Novosibirsk’s excellent Railway Museum on our Freedom of Choice tour. The museum displays locomotives and rolling stock from the late 1800s, including carriages of the Tsars, through to the Soviet era. Or choose to go to the Mineralogical Centre with its fine display of Siberian minerals.

For those interested in art there is also the Freedom of Choice option to visit the State Art Museum with an extensive collection including icons, Siberian art and numerous distinctive mountainscapes by celebrated spiritual Russian painter Nicholas Roerich. It also displays temporary art and photography exhibitions by local and international artists.

Informally known as the capital of Siberia is the third most populated city after Mosocw and St Petersburg and is an important point on the Trans-Siberian Railway.


You will be staying at The Golden Eagle Train, Full board

Day 6

A Day Travelling Onboard the Train


You will be staying at The Golden Eagle Train, Full board

Day 7

Irkutsk Sightseeing
Arrive in Irkutsk, the ‘Paris of Siberia’, and your visit today takes in the most significant sites and museums in this fascinating city, including an exploration of the classic wooden architecture that has given many of this region’s buildings such a distinctive and unique appearance.

Next, visit the Decembrist House museum which is dedicated to the memory of the exiled aristocrats who were forced to flee to this remote outpost after the failed revolution of 1825. Here, enjoy a private concert before returning to your waiting train for dinner.

You could learn to cook some traditional Russian dishes with a local chef and prepare your own lunch with our Freedom of Choice option. Or you might also wish to visit a traditional Russian Dacha (summer house) or an urban apartment to get an insight into the everyday life of an average Russian family.

Irkutsk is one of the largest and most important towns in Siberia and sits on the Angara River, a tributary of Lake Baikal. Following many Russian artists being sent to Siberia in the early 19th Century, Irkutsk became a centre of intellectual thought, from which much of the city's cultural heritage sprang. With an abundance of wooden houses Irkutsk is home to the Museum of Wooden Architecture, a collection of interesting and reconstructed houses from the region.


You will be staying at The Golden Eagle Train, Full board

Day 8

Lake Baikal Sightseeing
Few natural sights can surpass the beauty and grandeur of Lake Baikal. For five hours you wind our way through tunnels along cliff hugging tracks above the lake with a vista of snow-capped peaks along the far shore forming a picture-perfect backdrop.

Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and holds 20% of the world’s freshwater. Also known as the ‘Pearl of Siberia’ it is home to a unique breed of freshwater seal and over fifty species of fish including omul which will be served in the dining car for some of your meals.

Weather permitting, stop at one of Baikal’s picturesque and secluded bays to enjoy a delicious BBQ including freshly smoked fish prepared by our own chefs. For the brave hearted, there is even time for a refreshing swim in the crystal clear waters. In the afternoon, visit Listvyanka, a small Baikal settlement nestling at the base of the surrounding hills.

As part of our Freedom of Choice excursion programme you can choose a hiking opportunity that offers some spectacular and panoramic hillside views of the lake below.

At 1,637m deep Lake Baikal is the world's deepest lake and is estimated to hold 17% of the world's fresh water. Larger than Belgium and with crystal clear water that allows visibility down 40m. The route from Irkutsk to Lake Baikal travels through picturesque taiga-forest up and past the Shaman Rock, at the source of the Angara River.


You will be staying at The Golden Eagle Train, Full board

Day 9

Ulan Ude Sightseeing
This morning arrive in Ulan Ude, capital of the Buryat Republic. The ethnic and cultural diversity of this area offers a unique insight into its heritage.

As you tour the area you will notice the different faces and dress styles of these welcoming people. During your exploration of the Old Believers Village you have the opportunity to learn about the culture and history of these religious people as you are treated to a traditional meal and enjoy a concert featuring local dancers and musicians.

Ulan Ude is an important commercial and industrial centre of Eastern Siberia, located on the Trans-Siberian railway. It is the capital of the Buryatia Republic that is a home for Buryat, Evenk, and Russian people. The city itself has a distinct Asian-like feel, perhaps because of the cultural mix and proximity to Mongolia. Eastern Buryats generally converted from Shamanism to Tibetan Buddhism, during the 19th century and Western Buryats generally retained their Shamnic beliefs and ways. Although almost all of the 'datsans' (Buddhist temple) were completely destroyed by the communists in the 1930s, many have been rebuilt, and hidden icons and treasures have been donated by brave monks, keen to keep their religion alive. The city was closed to foreigners until 1987, which explains why so few people visit this most interesting and culturally rich city.


You will be staying at The Golden Eagle Train, Full board

Day 10

Ulaanbaatar Sightseeing
Your Trans-Siberian adventure takes us into Mongolia and a visit to its capital, Ulaan Baatar. Mongolia, once the very centre of an enormous empire led by Genghis Khan, is a country of beautiful landscapes, nomadic people and rich in culture and history. Mongolia is famous for its endless green Steppes, grazing livestock and white, nomadic Gers (Yurts) dotted all across the countryside.

We start the tour at Gandan Monastery, one of Mongolia’s most important Buddhist Monasteries housing a community of over 500 monks. The full name, Gandantegchinlen, translates as 'the great place of complete joy'. At Sukhbaatar Square we can see the central monument to Genghis Khan, undoubtedly the most feared and revered Mongol. We then drive out of the city to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park and enjoy the beautiful scenery of wild Mongolia, having the opportunity to visit a traditional Ger and meet a nomadic family or try our hand at horse-riding, an intrinsic part of Mongolian life.

Alternatively there is an option to stay in the city as part of our Freedom of Choice touring. After Gandan Monastery and Sukhbaatar Square we visit the National Museum where we learn about the country’s intriguing history. We’ll also see Bogd Khan Winter Palace Museum, the winter residences of Bogd Khan, the last Mongolian emperor, built between 1893 and 1903. We can also explore the city and have some free time for shopping for Mongolian souvenirs, and their speciality cashmere.

We will also enjoy a performance of traditional Mongolian throat singing and contortionists.

The capital and largest city by some distance, Ulaanbaatar has changed drastically since the turn of the millennium. Construction has boomed and as a consequence the face of the city has changed.

Despite this, more than half of residents still live in traditional gers, showing that nomadic culture remains well-entrenched within this modern city.

Founded by nomadic Buddhist monks, Ulaanbaatar didn't settle in a permanent location until the 18th century. It then took until the 20th century for the city to really develop, fuelled by its industrial growth.


You will be staying at The Golden Eagle Train, Full board

Day 11

Onboard Train
Relax on board today and travel through the beautiful landscape of the Russian Far East. You could attend one of the interesting lectures or Russian language lessons.


You will be staying at The Golden Eagle Train, Full board

Day 12

Onboard Train
It's the perfect opportunity to practice your Russian or simply relax as the train follows the Shilka and Amur rivers, close to the Chinese border. Enjoy Russia at its most dramatic and remote, as the Golden Eagle eats up the miles on the way to Vladivostok.


You will be staying at The Golden Eagle Train, Full board

Day 13

Onboard Train
Passing directly north of Seoul, Darwin and Osaka, this is the last day onboard the Golden Eagle today as the most easterly point of this mammoth journey is reached passing through Khabarovsk, where the train crosses the River Amur and approaches the final destination.


You will be staying at The Golden Eagle Train, Full board

Day 14

Vladivostok Sightseeing
After travelling through 8 time zones and covering an amazing 6,600 miles (10,600km) along this epic route to the end of the Trans-Siberian line, the Golden Eagle pulls into Vladivostok, a military port located on the western shores of the Sea of Japan. Vladivostok (literally translated as ‘Ruler of the East’) offers visitors an exciting opportunity to explore its principal military attractions including a tour of a restored submarine before you transfer to the centrally located four-star Hotel Hyundai.

The final evening is spent saying our goodbyes to your fellow travelling companions and friends at the Farewell Dinner.

Vladivostok, with it's stunning setting, loosely translates from Russian as 'the ruler of the East' and sits at the head of the Golden Horn Bay, close to Russia's borders with China and North Korea. It is best known as the last stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway.


You will be staying at Hyundai Hotel, Full board

Day 15

Fly Vladivostok to Moscow

Fly Moscow to London

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Marriott Aurora

Marriott Aurora

The Aurora Marriott has 234 rooms and suites and is found on Petrovka Street just 2 minutes walk from the Bolshoi Theatre, and 5 minutes from Red Square....

View Accommodation

The Golden Eagle Train

The Golden Eagle Train

This is undoubtedly one of the greatest railway journeys in the world and one of the best ways to absorb the rich culture and sprawling landscapes on offer in Central Asia's rarely visited interior....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Mongolia

Amy Waters, Travel Expert

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Charles Knights, Travel Expert

"Charles was most attentive without becoming intrusive, he changed the schedule several times to meet our changing needs."

"Charles was extremely helpful, swift in replying to emails and when he was away another consultant carried on the good work."

"Charles Knights was superb. He gave us all the information we requested, was very patient with the number of queries we had running up to our trip and was extremely helpful throughout from the start thinking about our trip to taking off. Fantastic service."

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Paul Craven, Travel Expert

" I spoke to five different companies, but Paul was by far the most knowledgeable and empathetic."

"The service which I received from your Travel Expert Paul Craven was excellent, he was able to answer any queries I put to him."

"Paul must be congratulated on his expertise and great patience in dealing with all my programme changes. He must dread my phone calls!! A big thank-you from both of us to Paul and Carol."

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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