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Golden Eagle Winter Wonderland Experience 2014.

A luxury private train journey over the Siberian plains in winter !

One Eastbound and the return westbound trips.

Starting on 23rd February in Moscow, this trip gives you time in Moscow to see the iconic architecture of the Communist era, along with the very elaborate style of the Tsars; before their overthrow.

The return trip starts from Vladivostok on 7th March 2014 to Moscow.

 

Seen above is the totally frozen edge of Lake Baikal, this is a very different view of the Siberian tundra. Rail travel is still the only method of transport that can cross the enormous expanse of Russia all year round. Added to this, it was formerly almost impossible to get a visa to visit Siberia due to its Military and economic importance. Today that has all changed and it is relatively easy to get visa’s.

 

A great misconception is that the Trans-Siberian Railway ends in Beijing, it actually goes a lot further east to Vladivostok, on the Pacific coastline. It is a spur line that takes this great railroad to Beijing, after crossing the plains of Mongolia. Alternatively we can also organize train tours of the Southern Republics, starting in Moscowand finishing in Tashkent, or vice versa, following the Silk Road for its last section.

 

As far as possible these tours are all inclusive with no hidden extras. From the time that you arrive at the airport (usually), you are met by representatives of the Train and ushered into private transfer vehicles to the hotel or to the train; all meals and wines with dinner are included, as is the service of a very experienced Tour Manager, as well as a medical Doctor who travels with the train each and every tour. This is backed up with luxury accommodation aboard the privately owned train “The Golden Eagle”, with three classes of accommodation offered.

Pictured above is the Bar Car, the heart of the train in the evenings, where you gather for pre-dinner drinks and then post dinner chat in the wonderful surroundings.

 

DAILY ITINERARY For this very unusual and interesting sojourn.

 

February 23              Day 1                   Arrive Moscow.

Arrive at Moscow airport, where you are met and transferred to the five-star Marriott Royal Aurora hotel (or similar) located in the heart of the city for a one-night stay.

Enjoy a welcome reception dinner at the hotel.

 

February 24         Day 2                            Moscow - Board the Golden Eagle

After breakfast this morning our tour of Moscow takes you to Red Square, an iconic symbol of Russia’s former military and political might. Here you see a mix of fascinating architecture, such as St Basil’s Cathedral with its magnificent onion-domed spires, the grandeur of The Kremlin and the evocative site of Lenin’s tomb. With our Freedom of Choice touring options you may instead wish to visit, for example, the Tretyakov Gallery or travel out of the city to Sergiev Posad.  In the afternoon, taken to the Golden Eagle toa welcome drink and then settle into your cabin.

Overnight on the train.

The Kremlin from the river, Moscow.

 

February 25         Day 3                           Aboard the Golden Eagle - Vladimir & Suzdal.

Today we visit the historic city of Vladimir.  Founded in 990, it is one of the Russia’s oldest communities with an architectural wealth and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Our tour takes in Uspensky Cathedral, built between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. It is considered one of the most important and beautiful of Russian cathedrals, where many of the prominent Russian Tsars were crowned. Our excursion moves on to the town of Suzdal, one of Russia’s most perfectly preserved walled cities dating back to 1024. Here we visit the atmospheric St. Euthymius Monastery to witness an enchanting choral performance by a male choir. No Russian winter experience would be complete without a Troika Sledge Ride. Enjoy the stunning scenery as your open horse drawn sleigh takes you on a captivating journey around Suzdal.

 

            Gold Class cabin set for day use.                                                           Silver Class cabin set for day use.

 

February 26         Day 4                          Aboard the Golden Eagle -  Yekaterinburg

We cross the Europe/Asia divide before arriving in the historic city of Yekaterinburg.

Founded in 1723 by Peter the Great, this third largest Russian city is also the capital of the Urals.  Our tour takes us to the execution 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 offers a powerful insight into the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. 

  

 

February 27         Day 5                            Aboard the Golden Eagle - Novosibirsk

 A modern ‘Soviet’ city, we experience the life and character ofNovosibirsk’s rich cultural city.  Our tour takes us to the Novosibirsk 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, we visit an imposing statue of Lenin – a marvellous opportunity to have your photograph taken with this iconic political leader. 

         

February 28                Day 6                    Aboard the Golden Eagle.

Today we relax onboard as our train travels throughSiberia. In comfort enjoy the ever-changing views as sweeping panoramas of natural snow-covered beauty unfold before us.

   

The dining carriage and  the wine waiter.      

 

 

March 1                Day 7                            Aboard the Golden Eagle - Irkutsk.

 We arrive inIrkutsk, the ‘Paris of Siberia’, and take in the most significant sites and museums in this 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, we 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. We will enjoy a private concert before leaving for the enchanting wooded encampment of Zaimka (Hunters Lodge) where we will be met by local women dressed in traditional costume.  We have the opportunity to explore a Banya (Russian Sauna) in one of the region’s authentic wooden houses.  Drinks and traditional food can be enjoyed within a series of the cosy timber houses.

 

 

 

March 2                Day 8                            Aboard the Golden Eagle - Lake Baikal

Today offers a real highlight of travelling throughSiberiain winter. Few natural sights can surpass the beauty and grandeur ofLakeBaikal.  For five hours we wind our way through tunnels along cliff hugging tracks above the frozen lake with snow-capped peaks along the far shore forming a picture-perfect backdrop. 

Completely frozen in winter LakeBaikalis the deepest lake in the world and at this time of year we will visit the shoreside Ice Festival to look at the many intricate works of ice art.

 

We are taken in a hovercraft across the lake itself for 30 minutes to the place where the ice fishing, dog sledges and snowmobiles are situated and you will enjoy the perfect vantage point to appreciate the magnificence of this unspoilt location.

There is also the opportunity to watch the under-ice fishing and try the freshly caught fish which have been smoked in a mobile smokehouse and served warm with ice-cold vodka. Delicious!                     This is truly a unique day of adventure to experience!

 

March 3                Day 9                 Aboard the Golden Eagle - Ulan Ude

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

 

March 4                Day 10                 Aboard the Golden Eagle - Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia.

 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 Steppes, grazing livestock and white, nomadic Gers (Yurts) dotted all across the countryside.

 

March 5                Day 11                 Aboard the Golden Eagle.

Enjoy a more leisurely pace today as we travel through the beautiful Russian landscape of this vast and varied country. 

 

March 6                Day 12                 Aboard the Golden Eagle.

Another day travelling the expanse of the Mongolian Plains. 

 

March 7                Day 13                 Aboard the Golden Eagle.

Passing directly north of Seoul, Darwinand Osaka, we spend our last full day on board the Golden Eagle as the most easterly point of our journey is reached passing throughKhabarovsk, where we cross the River Amur. Tonight, we enjoy our last dinner onboard as we approach our final destination on this unforgettable journey.

       

March 8                Day 14                 Aboard the Golden Eagle - Vladivostok

After travelling through 8 time zones and over 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 offers visitors an opportunity to explore its principal military attractions including a tour of a restored submarine before we transfer to the four-star Hotel Hyundai for our final evening and the Farewell Dinner. 

         

March 9              Day 15                 Vladivostok.

Following breakfast, you will be transferred to Vladivostok airport to begin your journey home.

 

 

Prices are subject to change, by the Train or Operator, without notice.

 

This is a suggested Itinerary only, it can be lengthened or shortened to suit your available travel dates. It can also be made to include other destinations inRussiaorAsia.