Pre-Departure

What is included in the price?

All accommodation as per the itinerary, both onboard the train and in hotels; all meals starting with dinner on the first day and ending with breakfast on the last day of the tour (on some tours this may differ slightly, please refer to the specific itinerary); a generous allowance of wine, beer, soft drinks and tea and coffee with all lunches and dinners both on and off the train (except where stated otherwise); all arrival and departure transfers (please provide us with your arrival details); guided off-train sightseeing excursions; the services of experienced tour leaders; complimentary tea, coffee and mineral water 24 hours a day, all gratuities; the services of a doctor (except where stated otherwise).

What is not included in the price?

International and domestic airfares, visas, excess baggage charges and insurance.

On the Golden Eagle train, personal expenses such as drinks in the Bar Lounge Car or laundry are not included for Silver Class passengers. Gold Class passengers receive inclusive drinks from the Standard Bar List; Imperial Suite passengers receive inclusive drinks from the Standard and Premium Bar List and complimentary laundry service. On some tours there may also be an occasional optional activity to be paid for locally. Only cash payments onboard are accepted.

On the Golden Eagle Danube Express all Bar Lounge drinks are inclusive at all times.

Who is responsible for booking flights?

We recommend that all flights are booked through your travel agent. In cases where this is not possible, Golden Eagle Luxury Trains can advise fares and book flights for UK-based passengers, using a third-party supplier. We advise that passengers do not book flights more than three months prior to tour departure.


Is insurance included and do I need it?

It is a booking condition that you must be fully insured for any medical expenses that may be incurred whilst travelling. Comprehensive travel insurance policies can be obtained from our agent Campbell Irvine (restrictions may apply). We recommend taking out cancellation insurance in case you are unable to travel for any reason. Please contact us for more details.

What is the standard of hotels that I will stay in as part of the tour?

Hotel accommodation as described in the tour itinerary is included in the price of the tour. All hotels are of a 5-star standard or best available. Room upgrades are available on request, subject to availability and an additional cost.

Do I need to tip when I am on the tour?

All gratuities are included in the tour price and we encourage passengers to refrain from offering gratuities to crew/hoteliers/drivers etc. as we will tip on your behalf. We would prefer passengers to inform our management of any exceptional service received, and Golden Eagle Luxury Trains will reward accordingly.

What currency will I need to bring?

Currency on board the Golden Eagle is US Dollars and Euros, and only cash payments can be accepted. Each cabin has a safe in which to store any valuables, such as cash. There will be little need for currency on board, other than for laundry, additional bar bills and on board souvenirs. It is possible to run a ‘tab’ on board and make one payment at the end of the tour.

For Golden Eagle Danube Express tours, the on board currency is Euros.

We recommend passengers travel with small denominations and clean dollar bills for use off the train, as marked or torn US Dollar bills are generally not accepted in Russia. You will only require money for souvenirs and any shopping you may wish to do off the train. This can be paid for in local currency and in some instances in US Dollars. Your Tour Manager and/or guides will advise you on how, and if necessary, where to change money.

Can passengers use/pay with credit cards and traveller's cheques?

ATM machines are now available in all large towns and cities along our routes. All the hotels that we use accept major credit cards. Traveller's cheques are virtually impossible to exchange.

What happens when I arrive at the airport / train station?

At the point of arrival, you will be met by one of our representatives who will be waiting with a Golden Eagle Luxury Trains sign. If arriving by air, this will be after immigration, once you have collected all your luggage and cleared customs. Our representative will then assist you to your transfer vehicle to the hotel.

What happens if I miss my flight, or I am delayed?

Prior to departure, clients will receive a 24-hour Emergency Contact Card with their final documentation. This card displays the telephone numbers of our representatives in both the country of their arrival as well as our office in the UK. Should they have any problems they can call the appropriate person detailed on the card.

Is there a recommended time of arrival on the first day?

We recommend arriving between 11.00 and 16.00, in time for the Welcome Dinner, which is normally held between 19.00-20.00. Most hotels' check-in is 12 noon and early check-in is dependent on hotel availability (charges may apply). If you’re trip begins in Moscow, please allow 2-3 hours transfer time from the airport, as traffic can be notorious.

Is there a recommended time of departure on the last day?

You can leave at any time on the last day. Most hotels' check-out is 12 noon; however, luggage storage is available. Late check-out is dependent on hotel availability (charges may apply).

Do I need to make any special prior arrangements if I am travelling with medication?

Clients need to ensure they are travelling with sufficient quantities of prescription medication. It is strongly advised that all clients seek medical clearance prior to travelling. If you will be travelling with prescription medication, you must advise us at the time of booking so that we can inform the on board tour doctor in advance. This is particularly important for sedatives such as sleeping pills or strong pain killers, as these are often regarded as ‘narcotics’ in eastern European and central Asian countries. 

For travel in Russia:

In June 2016, legislation was introduced requiring travellers bringing prescribed medicines into Russia to carry a prescription in the traveller’s name, plus the name of the drug and prescribed quantity. If this isn’t in Russian, a notarised translation is also required. Some medicines which you can buy over the counter in the UK or US may require a prescription in Russia. Check with the nearest Russian Embassy if you’re unsure whether you need a prescription to bring your medicines into the country.


Are any special vaccinations required?

We cannot offer medical advice. As with all overseas travel, clients will need to contact their GP or local travel clinic to get the most up to date information on what vaccinations, if any are required.

What is the average age of the passengers?

Although we have no age restrictions on our tours, the majority of our travellers are aged 55+. The average age is 64. Our tours may not be suitable for young children. Please check with us at the time of booking.

Are there any minimum passenger requirements?

All our rail tours require a minimum number of passengers to operate. Should this not be reached, Golden Eagle Luxury Trains reserve the right to offer a modified service of carriages attached to regular service trains to accommodate a smaller group or offer an alternative tour. If no alternative is suitable, a full refund will be offered.

Reduced numbers on the Golden Eagle will mean more intimate groups and a shorter train, as we leave unfilled cars behind. Occasionally Russian Railways will be combining our Golden Eagle carriages with regular trains departing at similar times. Your onboard experience and off-train tours will be unaffected and, as there will be no connection between our carriages and the regular trains, the Golden Eagle carriages will remain totally private and you will not notice any difference to the quality, comfort and enjoyment of your holiday.

The maximum capacity for the Golden Eagle in Russia is 100 passengers, but many departures will operate with smaller passenger numbers. The Golden Eagle Danube Express has a maximum capacity of 64 passengers.

 

On board the train

Are there any restrictions on the size and number of pieces of luggage?

There is limited space inside the cabin for luggage storage. Soft-topped luggage is easier to store. Luggage cannot be stored under the beds. There is a dedicated luggage storage area at the end of each carriage. We recommend passengers unpack and store their empty luggage in this area. Our cabin attendants will assist with this.

What is the dress code on the train?

During the day, the dress code on the Golden Eagle and Golden Eagle Danube Express is casual both on and off the train. In the evening we suggest smart casual.

For our winter tours on the Golden Eagle, we recommend Ski-type jackets and trousers and thermal underwear. We can provide hats, gloves and warm boots (so long as passengers advise us of their shoe size). The train itself is always well heated and normal indoor clothing can be worn.

What type of footwear is required?

Since every tour requires some walking we recommend that passengers pack some comfortable walking shoes. A rubber sole is recommended to avoid possible slipping.

Do I need to take my own toiletries?

L'Occitane toiletries, including shower cream, shampoo and conditioner are provided in each cabin. A hairdryer, bathrobes, slippers and towels are also provided.

What language are the tours conducted in?

The tour language will be English. Other language guides are available on selected departures where stated (subject to minimum numbers) or on request at additional cost. Please contact us for more information.

Can you cater to specific dietary requirements?

Most dietary requirements can be catered for. Please advise us of your requirements at the time of booking.

Where can I socialise on board?

The Bar Lounge Car on the Golden Eagle and the Golden Eagle Danube Express is the social heart of the train, open to all passengers for as long as they wish.

What activities are available onboard?

On board the Golden Eagle passengers can take part in Russian language classes and lectures. There is a selection of DVD's and books available from the Bar Lounge Car.

On the Golden Eagle Danube Express, there will be some afternoon activities on board the train, however most afternoons will be spent off the train exploring each destination.

Is there set seating in the dining car?

We operate a free seating policy. All passengers can choose where they sit for all meals and there will always be enough seats to accommodate all passengers in one sitting. Meals times will be advised in the daily programme supplied in your cabin each evening.

Can I dine in my cabin?

On the Golden Eagle, all guests are able to enjoy a light continental breakfast in their cabin. Imperial Suite guests can also request to eat dinner in the privacy of their cabin.

On the Golden Eagle Danube Express, all meals are enjoyed in the Restaurant Car.

Can I smoke on board the train?

The Golden Eagle and the Golden Eagle Danube Express are non-smoking trains, however there is a designated area at the back of each train where people are permitted to smoke.

Is internet available on the train?

On the Golden Eagle there is a Wi-Fi box on board, powered by a 3G sim. Coverage is limited and will usually be available as we pass through larger cities/towns. However, on all tours we aim to provide internet access in a local hotel or restaurant for passengers at least every other day.

What is the cell phone coverage like?

Mobile phone coverage may be limited in low populated areas. We recommend you check with your service provider for more information on coverage.

Will I need a plug adaptor?

On the Golden Eagle, each cabin has 110 V (dc) and 220 V (ac) sockets suitable for recharging video batteries and shaving. We also recommend packing spare camera batteries that you may require for your trip.

On the Golden Eagle Danube Express, each Deluxe cabin contains two 220v European two pin sockets. Heritage cabins contain one socket. It would be worthwhile bringing an adaptor if you are likely to need to plug in multiple appliances at once.

Are beauty treatments available onboard?

These are not available on either of our trains, but may be available in the hotels we use off the train.

Are there opportunities to exercise whilst on the tour?

Gym facilities are available in most of the tour hotels we use. There are no exercise facilities on board either of our trains. The tours themselves can involve a moderate degree of walking.


Booking information

How do I make a booking?

Call our office on +44 (0) 161 928 9410 or email reservations@goldeneagleluxurytrains.com and speak to one of our reservations team. Provisional reservations can be held for up to 7 days without payment. After this time confirmation is required or the cabin will be released. Upon receiving confirmation, an invoice will be issued and deposit payment is due upon receipt of this. The deposit payment secures your place on the tour.

Can I book with my local travel agent?

We welcome bookings directly and from travel agents.

Is there a charge for using a credit card?

All credit card transactions incur a 2% surcharge. There is no additional charge for debit card transactions.

When is the deposit due?

Once we have received your confirmation that you wish to travel we will issue your invoice and confirmation letter. The deposit is due upon receipt of the invoice. Deposit payments are non-refundable.

When is the final balance due?

The balance is due 60 days prior to departure. We will not issue a final balance so please make a note of the balance due date. Cancellations received within 60 days of departure are subject to full loss of payment.

When will I receive my travel documents?

Approximately 3 months prior to departure you will receive, by e-mail, an 'Update Letter' containing further information on your tour (weather, what to pack etc.) along with all the relevant visa information.

Do you issue a train ticket?

A train ticket is not required to board our trains. You will not be issued with a train ticket or any travel vouchers.

Can we extend our holiday?

We have various pre and post tour extensions available for tours on the Golden Eagle or Golden Eagle Danube Express, including St Petersburg, Beijing, Gobi Desert and Shanghai. Please contact our office for further details.