On arrival at Moscow Airport, you will be met and transferred to the stylish Four Seasons Hotel Moscow. Located in the historic building of Moskva Hotel – and occupying one of the most enviable addresses in the very heart of Moscow – the hotel is a short walk from major sights including the Kremlin, Red Square and the Bolshoi Theatre.
On your first evening in the city, you will be invited to a champagne drinks reception before an exclusive Welcome Dinner. Guests can enjoy specially selected international wines that are included with dinner, as with all meals during the tour. D
This morning, enjoy a guided tour of Moscow taking in the capital’s best sights. Witness the grandeur of the Kremlin – the spiritual, historical and political heart of Moscow – including an exclusive private viewing of the Armoury Chamber that houses the treasures of the Tsars.
Visit Red Square – the symbol of Russia’s former military and political might – with its iconic architecture, including the ornate, onion-domes of St Basil’s Cathedral, and the beautiful facade of the famous GUM department store, built during Tsarist times.
Enjoy lunch at Café Pushkin, a legendary Moscow restaurant serving traditional Russian cuisine whose décor revives the atmosphere of an early 19th century mansion. Guests will also visit the extravagantly decorated underground stations of the Moscow metro – furnished with statues, frescoes and mosaics showcasing Socialist art.
If travellers have been to Moscow before and seen many of the key highlights mentioned above, an alternative tour is possible exploring sights such as the famous State Tretyakov Gallery (National Museum of Fine Art) or the Space Museum (subject to opening times).
In the late afternoon, arrive at Moscow Kazansky Station and be greeted in the ornately decorated Imperial Waiting Room with a cold glass of Russian Champagne and canapés, as you mix with the other guests and welcomed by staff. Approximately 30 minutes before departure, you will be escort to Platform 1 to board the Golden Eagle. B L D
Today, explore the picturesque and historic city of Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan situated on the River Volga. Discover the city’s rich tapestry of history and culture, including exploring the legendary Kremlin Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within the walls of this ancient citadel is the stunning mosque, with its picture-perfect onion-domed cathedral.
Kazan is also the birthplace of one of Russia’s most famous opera singers, Feodor Chaliapin (1873-1938). Honouring his memory, enjoy a private concert of his music. There will also be time to wander through the main pedestrian area of Kazan and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the city. B L D
Yekaterinburg, founded in 1723 by Peter the Great, is the capital of the Urals. The Ural Mountains (known as the Great Divide) create a natural border between Europe and Asia. The cultural and architectural influences of European and Asian civilisations come together in this fascinating and cosmopolitan landscape.
Your city tour explores the famous 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. The tour will also visit the obelisk marking the geographical border – where you can drink a glass of champagne with one foot in Europe and the other in Asia.
Time permitting, there may be a chance to visit the recently opened Museum of Military Machinery. The museum houses a truly fascinating collection of military vehicles, such as tanks, aircraft, boats and even armoured trains. The museum is a must visit for anyone interested in Soviet history. Alternatively, make a short stop at the recently opened Boris Yeltsin Presidential Centre, which is dedicated to the contemporary political history of Russia and its first president. B L D
This morning’s stop is the modern ‘Soviet’ city of Novosibirsk, where you can experience the life and character of the city’s rich culture. Located in the heart of Russia, the city is situated on both banks of the River Ob.
Today’s explorations take guests to Lenin Square where the imposing Opera House (an architectural marvel) is located. One of the largest opera houses in the world, the building housing two permanent ballet and opera companies. In front of the Opera House there is also an impressive statue of Lenin.
Time permitting, south of the city, visit Novosibirsk’s excellent Railway Museum – displaying an impressive array of locomotives and rolling stock from the late 1800s (including carriages of the Tsars) through to the Soviet era. Alternatively, guests might also have the chance to visit the Mineralogical Centre with its fine display of Siberian minerals. B L D
Enjoy life onboard this splendid train today. Unwind and reflect on the many sights and sounds you have experienced on your journey so far. Chat to your fellow passengers over a drink in Bar Lounge Car, learn a few words of Russian or enjoy the ever-changing landscape from the comforts of your cabin. B L D
Today, explore Irkutsk – sometimes known as the ‘Paris of Siberia’ – and take in this fascinating city’s best highlights. Tour highlights include the classic wooden architecture with its intricately carved lace-like decorations. This architectural decoration has given many of this region’s buildings a distinctive and unique appearance.
You will also visit the Volkonsky House Museum, dedicated to the memory of the aristocrats who were exiled to this remote outpost after the failed Decembrist uprising of 1825. Enjoy a champagne reception and private concert.
Alternatively, learn to cook some traditional Russian dishes with a local chef and prepare your own lunch, or visit a traditional Russian Dacha (summer country house) and gain an insight into the everyday life of a Russian family. B L D
Few natural sights can surpass the beauty and grandeur of Lake Baikal, a major highlight on your Trans-Siberian journey. Also known as the ‘Pearl of Siberia’, this enormous lake is the deepest in the world and holds roughly 20 per cent of the world’s freshwater. If that isn’t impressive enough, it is also home to a unique breed of freshwater seal and over 50 species of fish.
For approximately 5 hours today’s rail journey winds through tunnels and along cliff hugging tracks above the lake. This breath-taking section of rail – engineered in the early 20th century – boasts plenty of impressive vistas including snow-capped peaks along the far shore that form a picture-perfect backdrop. To top things off, the train will be hauled by a Soviet Era steam locomotive on this beautiful section of line.
Weather permitting, stop in one of the most picturesque locations by the lake for photographs and, for the brave hearted, a refreshing swim in the crystal clear and ice-cold waters of Lake Baikal. At the end of the Baikal branch line, disembark the train and travel by boat on the lake to Listvyanka, a small settlement nestled at the base of the surrounding hills. Here, guests will visit the Lake Baikal Museum and Aquarium and learn about the fascinating flora and fauna of the lake.
Alternatively, guests may choose to hike up Chersky Mount or take the chair lift, which offers some spectacular, panoramic hillside views of the lake below.
Instead of lunch on the train, enjoy a delicious lakeside barbecue prepared by your onboard chefs under a covered dining area, featuring freshly smoked omul fish. B L D
Today, discover the ethnic and cultural diversity of Ulan Ude, the capital of the Buryat Republic, that offers a unique insight into its heritage.
As you explore the area, you will notice the different faces of the welcoming Buryat people. During your exploration of the Old Believers’ Village, you can learn about the culture and history of these religious people and are treated to a concert featuring local traditions and folk singing. B L D
Your Trans-Siberian adventure takes you into Mongolia and a visit to its incredible capital – Ulaan Baatar – once the very centre of an enormous empire led by Genghis Khan. Mongolia is a vast country of beautiful landscapes and nomadic people, rich in culture and history, and famous for its endless green Steppes, grazing livestock and the white Gers (Yurts) of nomadic herders.
Today’s tour starts at Gandan Monastery, one of Mongolia’s most important Buddhist monasteries, home to a community of some 500 monks. The monastery’s full name – Gandantegchinlen – translates as ‘the great place of complete joy.’ Your next stop is Chinggis Square (formerly Sukhbaatar Square), where travellers can see the central monument to Genghis Khan.
Heading out of the city, drive to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park and witness the beautiful scenery of wild Mongolia. There is the opportunity to visit a traditional Ger and meet a nomadic family or to try your hand at horse-riding, an essential part of Mongolian life.
Alternatively, there is an option to stay in the city and explore it in greater depth. Take a tour of the National Museum where you can learn about the country’s intriguing past. You will also see Bogd Khan Winter Palace Museum (built between 1893 and 1903), the winter residences of Bogd Khan, the last Mongolian emperor. There may also be some free time for shopping for Mongolian souvenirs and enjoy a performance of traditional Mongolian throat singing and contortionists. B L D
Please note: Depending on final timings provided by the railway authorities the railway journey from Russia into Ulaan Baatar may have to be substituted with a private jet charter from Irkutsk or Ulan Ude, so that the train can maintain the advertised programme for Mongolia.
Enjoy a more leisurely pace today as the train passes through the beautiful landscape of the Russian Far East. If they wish, guests can attend one of the interesting lectures or Russian language lessons. B L D
Today offers another chance to relax onboard or practice your Russian, as the train follows the Shilka and Amur rivers, close to the Chinese border. Enjoy Russia at its most dramatic and remote. B L D
The train passes directly north of Seoul, Darwin and Osaka today, the last full day on board. You will also reach the most easterly point of this mammoth journey, passing through Khabarovsk, where the train crosses the River Amur.
Tonight, enjoy a final dinner on board that has been your home for the last twelve days, the Golden Eagle slowly approaches the final destination of this unforgettable journey. B L D
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 ‘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. Our city tour will also take us 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.
This evening you are invited to our farewell dinner. Specially selected international wines are included with dinner, as with all meals during the tour. Our hotel in Vladivostok, where we stay for one night, is the five-star Lotte Hotel Vladivostok. B L D
Following breakfast, the remainder of your time in Vladivostok is at your leisure, before being transferred to the airport for your onward flight. Tour ends. B
B = Breakfast | L = Lunch | D = Dinner