- Kazan - with its impressive Kremlin and mosque.
- Ekaterinburg - visit the church marking the spot where Tsar Nicholas and his family met their fate
- Irkutsk and Lake Baikal - lying east of Bangkok and only two thirds of the way across Russia
- Meet a Mongolian nomadic family
Take an unforgettable journey across eight-time zones aboard the magnificent Golden Eagle train. This epic journey will take you from Eastern Russia crossing Central Asia before ending in the home of the Russian Pacific fleet, Vladivostok. En route your hosts, Nick Laing and his wife Katya Galitzine will guide you through a variety of Russian and Mongolian cities giving you a unique insight into the history and culture of these incredible places.
Nick started Steppes Travel in 1989, while on an exploratory trip to the Altai region of Russia and having visited over 80 times, his love and knowledge of the region is unsurpassed. In 2005 he motorbiked from London to Vladivostok. His wife, Katya Galitzine, is a member of one of the oldest noble families in Russian History. Katya’s grandfather, Prince Vladimir Galitzine fled his Russian homeland in 1919 after the Bolshevik Revolution and settled in London. On her maternal grand mother’s side, Katya is also a direct descendant of Catherine the Great. Katya is fluent in Russian, has travelled widely in Russia, written articles for many newspapers and magazines and appeared on several discussion panels on Russian history. She was also Chief Executive of the Hermitage Foundation UK and is currently working on her most recent book, a history of the Russian country house.
"In 2005 I rode a motorbike from London to Vladivostok, a journey of some 8,000 miles, which for the vast majority of time crisscrossed the tracks of the Trans Siberian. We sped past idyllic wooden villages nestled in glades of silver birch. Ignored city after city which beckoned us. Lake Baikal was still frozen as we rode around the southern shore and when I eventually arrived in Vladivostok I made a promise to myself to return and visit all those places I had missed. Kazan with its imposing Kremlin and mosque, the 19th century wooden quarter of Irkutsk, the magic of a banya on the shores of Baikal, the colourful villages of the Old Believers in Ulan Ude and of course, on this trip, a glimpse of Mongolia. It will be fun, exciting and you will visit an area that only a few foreigners have penetrated. Come with us. A trip of a lifetime. You will only regret not going!" Nick Laing, Chairman, Steppes Travel
Why join this Steppes Travel train journey?
The Trans Siberian train remains one of the most iconic rail journeys in the world and while it has been possible to travel from Moscow to Vladivostok since 1916, it is only in the last few years that a purpose-built luxury train has been available. For 2019 Steppes Travel has chartered half of the train to pull together a group of like-minded individuals fascinated by this vast country. Travelling largely at night and stopping each day for excursions, this journey will offer an opportunity to see parts of Russia that would otherwise require some long and tedious flights. It is easy to understand why this is the world’s greatest train journey and this group tour takes in all the highlights plus adds something a little extra special.
WHAT IS THE ACCOMMODATION LIKE ONBOARD THE GOLDEN EAGLE TRAIN?
When travelling aboard the luxurious Golden Eagle train, as part of a small group you can expect elegant surroundings, fine dining and first-class service on board, with a personal cabin attendant always available.
WHAT ARE the benefits of train travel IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD?
The sheer size of this part of the world makes it almost impossible to see these vast countries any other way. As Simon Reeve recently said on his television programme 'Russia' "the only way to see Russia is by train". And he's right. Apart from the major cities and Moscow in particular, being on the train offers a far superior level of comfort.
what is the difference between silver, gold and imperial suites?
There are 12 Silver Cabins, 21 Gold Cabins and one Imperial suite on board the Golden Eagle train. The price advertised is for a twin share berth in a Silver Cabin. Please contact us for the cost of Gold Cabins and the Imperial Suite.
The Imperial Suite is the most spacious cabin available, benefitting from a large, double bed as well as a lounge area with dressing table. Facilities include:
- A private en-suite bathroom with power shower and underfloor heating
- Individual air-conditioning
- DVD/CD player with LCD screen
- Complimentary fully stocked minibar (non-alcoholic drinks only)
- Small library
- Two large picture windows to watch the world go by
- Optional private guide and car service in most of the places visited
- A laundry service
- Room upgrades to the next available category at the hotels which are featured in the itinerary
Gold Class cabins are extremely well-proportioned featuring a double lower bed and a single upper bed. Facilities include:
- Private bathroom with separate power shower cubicle and underfloor heating
- DVD/CD player, LCD screen
- Individual air-conditioning,
- Large picture window
Silver Class cabins which are more compact, feature a small double lower bed and a single upper bed. Facilities include:
- DVD/CD player, LCD screen,
- Individual air-conditioning
- Large picture window
- Private en-suite wet room with a washbasin, toilet, and shower
In addition to private en-suite sleeping cabins, there is a bar lounge car and restaurant cars.
what is the food like on board?
Jeremy Seal from the Telegraph travelled on one of Golden Eagle’s inaugural journeys and wrote of the food and service:
'We drank from Bohemian crystal glassware and enjoyed lovingly presented three-course dinners, typically salmon tagliatelle, wild boar, and creme brûlée, somehow conjured from the cramped galley.'
Each morning, an extensive breakfast buffet is served in the restaurant car, offering a selection of fresh fruit, cereals, cold plates and freshly squeezed orange juice. For something more substantial you can order a cooked breakfast, accompanied by tea and coffee. At lunch and dinner, a mixture of international cuisine and regionally inspired food will be served, all skilfully prepared by the Executive Chef and his onboard team, using the very best ingredients and locally sourced wherever possible. Vegetarian and other dietary options are well catered for.
Expect a relaxed and convivial atmosphere at meal times with the freedom to dine wherever, and with whomever, you please in a single sitting. Be prepared for an informal dress code throughout the journey.
what will the weather be like in June?
June is a wonderful time to travel in Russia and Mongolia with ideal temperatures across most of the country. With an average temperature of 18 degrees and nine-plus hours of sunshine, the perfect weather for sightseeing.
For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.