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Early morning at Lake Baikal

Discover the hidden gems of Siberia

Look closer at the Siberian Discovery journey to find out why even the most remote parts of Russia can be extraordinary.

What better way to celebrate 100 years of the Trans-Siberian railway than to discover Siberia and its remote, yet spectacular beauty on board the Golden Eagle? The Siberian Discovery, one of the new tours added to our schedule exclusively for the centenary, offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel through an area of untouched beauty.

One of the highlights of this tour is spending two days at Lake Baikal, with an overnight stay on board the train. What could be more picturesque than waking up to views of the world’s deepest freshwater lake outside your window? The pièce de résistance is undoubtedly the Soviet-era steam locomotive, which will haul our train across a section of the line, followed by an evening BBQ on a private pavilion, admiring our charming surroundings at sunset. Whilst enjoying the stunning scenery, there are plenty of organised activities to take part in, as well as the opportunity to explore independently and take some awe-inspiring photographs.

Experience the Pearl of Siberia, Lake Baikal, by steam train
Our Golden Eagle train is hauled by a Soviet era steam locomotive along the shores of Lake Baikal

Continuing east through Siberia, we stop in Nerchinsk. If you are familiar with Russian history, you will likely have heard of Nerchinsk as being associated with a treaty defining the border between Russia and China, finalised in the late 17th Century. Bypassed by the Trans-Siberian Railway, Nerchinsk is often sidestepped by travelers. However, reminders of its rich past do still remain. The Butin Palace Museum, decorated with huge mirrors, is fundamental to its heritage. With a population of around 15,000 and a travel time from Moscow of 11 hours (a flight and bus journey combined), this is a rare opportunity to visit an intriguing part of Trans-Siberian history.

Next, we visit Sretensk, a community that survives far from the Trans-Siberian line and offers an opportunity for us to see how families exist in isolation from any major cities. With temperatures plummeting to -30°C in the winter, it is much more inhabitable during the summer months, reaching a pleasant 16-20 degrees.

A typical Siberian landscape
Discover Siberia and its beautiful landscapes on the Trans-Siberian Railway

Our penultimate stop off is Blagoveshchensk, which resides on the south bank of the Amur River, one of the longest in the world. It also lies close to the Zeya River, which separates Russia from China and the vibrant Chinese city of Heihe sits directly across the water. When frozen, the river can be crossed by bus in just five minutes. Showcasing stunning Tsarist-era buildings, Blagoveshchensk offers a charming and picturesque experience. Standing six time zones away from Moscow, it is truly isolated with no bordering cities or towns, but its close proximity to China makes it an intriguing prospect. Blagoveshchensk is also known for preserving some of the world’s best dinosaur remains and resides nearby the Vostochny Cosmodrome, which is currently under construction and is soon to be Russia’s main Spaceport.

This 15-day tour from Moscow to Vladivostok will be hosted by our Company Founder and President, Tim Littler and will be filled with other special commemorative events such as expert guest lecturers, including award-winning railway book author Christian Wolmar. There will also be a themed caviar dinner on board the Golden Eagle and an exclusive tour of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.  Discover Siberia in style on this truly unique journey through Russian history, departing July 26th 2016.

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