Undoubtedly the world's greatest railway journey, the Trans-Siberian Railway runs like a steel ribbon across mysterious Russia connecting east and west from Moscow over the Urals, across the magnificent and endless steppe and alongside the shore of the world's largest freshwater lake. The Golden Eagle combines first-class customer service with a romantic exploration of some of the world’s most remarkable sites. Unpack just once and experience a fantastic adventure!
Arrive at Moscow Airport, where you are met and transferred to the five-star Ritz-Carlton. Located in Moscow city center, and within walking distance of Red Square and the Bolshoi Theatre, you will discover a classic and sophisticated ambience within this luxury hotel. Wnjoy a welcome reception dinner this evening and meet your fellow travelers and anticipate the epic 15-day voyage that lies ahead.
Your touring program of Moscow principally takes you to the grandeur of the Kremlin—the spiritual, historical, and political heart of Moscow—and to see the treasures of the Tsars in the Armory Chamber. You will enjoy an exclusive private viewing before it opens to the public before, visiting Red Square. This 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 which was constructed in Tsarist times, is also the somber and evocative site of Lenin’s tomb. Enjoy lunch in Café Pushkin, a legendary Moscow restaurant with a décor that revives the atmosphere of an early 19th century mansion and serves traditional Russian cuisine and end the day with 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, you can see other sights of Moscow such as the famous State Tretyakov Gallery (National Museum of Fine Art) or the Space Museum.
After your day of touring you will be transferred to Moscow Kazansky Station where the Golden Eagle awaits.
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 yourself 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, you can explore its stunning mosque and picture-perfect onion-domed cathedral.
As Kazan is the birthplace of one of Russia’s most famous opera singers, Feodor Chaliapin (1873-1938), honor 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.
Founded in 1723 by Peter the Great, Yekaterinburg, is the capital of the Urals. Known as the Great Divide, the Ural Mountains create the natural border between Europe and Asia so that the cultural and architectural influences of European and Asian civilizations come together in this fascinating and cosmopolitan landscape. Your city tour takes you to the poignant site where the Romanov, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, was executed with his family by the Bolsheviks in 1918 following 78 days of imprisonment. Now a church dedicated to their memory, this site provides a powerful insight into the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. You will also visit the obelisk marking the geographical border and can drink a glass of champagne with one foot in Europe and the other in Asia.
You can also visit the recently opened Museum of Military Machinery. The museum houses an amazing collection of different types of military hardware including tanks, aircraft, boats, and even armoured trains. You will also see a wide range of civilian vehicles (particularly Russian models). The museum is a real treat for anyone with an interest in the Soviet past, unparalleled by anything else along the route.
A modern "Soviet" city, experience the life and character of Novosibirsk’s rich culture where the arts and science predominate. The city is located in the heart of Russia and is situated on both banks of the River Ob. Your city tour takes you to Lenin Square where the imposing Opera House is located. An architectural marvel, it houses two permanent ballet and opera companies and is one of the largest opera houses in the world. In front of the Opera House, visit an impressive statue of Lenin—a marvelous 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 Center with its fine display of Siberian minerals.
Spend the day to unwind and reflect on the many sights and sounds you have experienced on the journey so far. Chat to your fellow passengers, perhaps learn a few words of Russian, or simply enjoy the ever changing landscape outside your window as it unfolds.
Your visit to Irkutsk, the "Paris of Siberia", takes in the most significant sites and museums in this fascinating city, including an exploration of the classic wooden architecture with its intricately carved lace-like decorations that has given many of this region’s buildings such a distinctive and unique appearance. You will also visit the Volkonsky House Museum, which is dedicated to the memory of the aristocrats who were exiled to this remote outpost after the failed Decembrists uprising of 1825, and recreate the atmosphere of that time with a champagne reception and private concert.
You can also learn to cook some traditional Russian dishes with a local chef and prepare your own lunch. 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 a local Russian family.
Few natural sights can surpass the beauty and grandeur of Lake Baikal, and it is a major highlight on our Trans-Siberian journey. Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and holds 20 per cent of the world’s freshwater.
Also known as the "Pearl of Siberia", it is home to a unique breed of freshwater seal and over 50 species of fish including omul. For five hours, meander 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.
To add to the grandeur of the day, the Golden Eagle train will be hauled by a Soviet era steam locomotive on this beautiful section of the line. There will be plenty of opportunities for photographs as the train winds its way along the lake. This will be an unforgettable part of our journey.
Weather permitting, stop in an extremely picturesque location by the lake for photographic opportunities and for the brave hearted there is time for a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear and ice-cold waters of Baikal. Traveling onwards to the end of the Baikal branch line, leave the train and travel by boat on the lake to Listvyanka, a small Baikal settlement nestling at the base of the surrounding hills and visit the Lake Baikal Museum and Aquarium, where you can learn about the flora and fauna of the lake.
Enjoy a delicious barbecue, including freshly smoked omul fish, prepared by the train's chefs on the shore of Lake Baikal to complete a memorable day.
You can also choose a hiking opportunity that offers some spectacular and panoramic hillside views of the lake below.
The ethnic and cultural diversity of Ulan Ude, the capital of the Buryat Republic, offers a unique insight into its heritage. As you tour the area you will notice the different faces of these welcoming Buryat 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 we are treated to a concert featuring local traditions and folk singing.
Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia
Your Trans-Siberian adventure takes you into Mongolia and a visit to its capital, Ulaan Baatar. Mongolia, once the very center 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.
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 Chinggis Square (formerly Sukhbaatar Square) you can see the central monument to Genghis Khan, undoubtedly the most feared and revered Mongol. Head 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 your hand at horse-riding, an intrinsic part of Mongolian life.
Alternatively, there is an option to stay in the city to visit the National Museum where you can learn about the country’s intriguing history, and see Bogd Khan Winter Palace Museum, the winter residences of Bogd Khan, the last Mongolian emperor, built between 1893 and 1903. You can also explore the city and have some free time for shopping for Mongolian souvenirs, and their speciality cashmere, and later enjoy a performance of traditional Mongolian throat singing and contortionists.
Enjoy a more leisurely pace today as you travel through the beautiful landscape of the Russian Far East. You may wish to attend one of the interesting lectures or Russian language lessons.
Today is the perfect opportunity to practice your Russian or simply relax as your journey 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 your way to Vladivostok.
Passing directly north of Seoul, Darwin, and Osaka, spend your last full day on board the Golden Eagle as the most easterly point of this mammoth journey is reached passing through Khabarovsk, where you cross the River Amur. Tonight, enjoy a final dinner on board as you approach your final destination on this unforgettable journey.
After travelling through 8 time zones and covering a staggering 6,600 miles (10,600kms) along this iconic railway, the Golden Eagle 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. Due to its military importance, the city was closed to foreigners between 1930 and 1992. Vladivostok (literally translated as ‘Ruler of the East’) offers visitors an interesting opportunity to explore its principal military attractions including a visit to a preserved World War Two submarine. Your city tour will also take you to the iconic suspension bridge over Golden Horn Bay, one of the largest of its kind worldwide, which opened in 2012 for the APEC conference.
Your hotel in Vladivostok, where you stay for one night, is the four-star Hotel Hyundai.
Following breakfast, you will be transferred to Vladivostok Airport to begin your journey home.