It is with the deepest sadness and regret that we have to announce that Marina Linke, Managing Director of Golden Eagle Luxury Trains, passed away suddenly on Monday, 4th January.
Along with Founder Tim Littler, Marina was instrumental in the growth and development of the business from the early days to the successful travel business that it is today.
Marina’s passion for travel was unbridled and infectious. Her knowledge of the many places we visited and routes we travelled was unsurpassed. Her desire to provide unique travel experiences for the thousands of our guests was always at the forefront of her mind.
Nothing gave her greater pleasure than to read a positive comment form (of which there were many) or to welcome back a returning guest on board one of our departures. Marina loved to travel and share experiences with our guests and made many great friends along the way.
At this difficult time the resolve of Tim and the rest of the Golden Eagle family is to continue in our quest to grow and develop the business to new levels that recognises the spirit and legacy of Marina. We look forward to continuing that journey with you in her honour and memory.
We would like to ask those that personally knew Marina to sign the book of condolence below. We will take great comfort in the messages that we will receive.
Tim and the Golden Eagle team
Marina’s funeral took place in Altrincham with a Covid-limited number of family and friends on Monday 15th February. When restrictions allow, a memorial service will be held in Manchester and the date will be posted here when known but expected to be mid-summer.
In place of flowers we would like friends and colleagues to make a donation in Marina’s honour to the Railway Children, a charity the company has supported for many years. Full details of the Charity’s work in India, East Africa and the UK can be found, and donations made, at https://www.railwaychildren.org.uk/donate/
Darjeeling Mail set-up trip 2 February 2018
Marina with Andrea Peto (Train Manager of the Golden Eagle Danube Express) travelling on the Golden Eagle, Trans-Siberian Express Eastbound departure 28 July, 2015
Caspian Steam Express 29 August 2002
Early days on The Trans-Siberian - A little local difficulty, Petrovsky Zavod, BAM 2000 tour, 8 August 2000
Dear Tim, Dear Golden Eagle Team at home and across Eurasia, Marina's sudden passing has saddened me deeply and has me revelling in wonderful memories of travelling the Silk Road with her. Marina's organisational talents were unrivalled, with her wit, concentrated calm, tough negotiation skills and charm she could manage any difficult situation. Everyone on board knew they were in good hands with Marina at the helm. Marina had an ear for everyone, her empathy and that unique dry humour with that exploding laugh from deep within her kept the spirits on board light. I remember some deep and oftentimes philosophical conversations, particularly on her personal background, oftentimes switching languages between English and German. My admirations were with her and my condolences go out to everyone who holds her deep in their heart.
Dr. Peter Wenzel
Special people stand out for the qualities they have and Marina was a special person who stood out. I am thankful for the things that Marina facilitated on trips that wouldn't have otherwise happened and her unique brand of humour that amused me no end. She will be sadly missed.
One month passed already, but I still can not accept Marina's sudden passing away. In our company, we have nickname for Marina "Big Sister Ma" because she can achieve anything impossible. I cannot forget the hard time we went through together; I cannot forget the one day relaxing time we spent in Golmod; I cannot forget you share with me your travel experiences......These will never come back! There are so many things we haven't done. You haven't got chance to see our new COE train yet. But I promise we will go forward by your spirit. we will continue to work as hard as you were here. We will make the new COE your pride. Your smile, your sound will live in our heart for ever! Rest in Peace! Marina! Our Big Sister Ma!
Lilly Lou, China by Rail International
Dear Tim, It is difficult to find the words to express my deep sorrow. She was a great visionary lady with full of energy, hard working not only to create ideas but also to apply them in the field. It is a great loss certainly for you but also to train tourism industry as she was the main pillar. Once again please accept my condolences. I have donated to Turkish environmental foundation to plant pine trees in her name. God help you and give you strength to overcome during this tough times. God never gives you something that you can not carry patience and love and do whatever she wanted you to do. My sincere and all the best wishes,
Dear Tim, Dear Golden Eagle Family, Please accept my, our sincere apologies. We all at Sireon have been shocked to read Marina's sudden death. I had the pleasure and the HONOR of meeting Marina in September 2017. We were at the Hotel Danieli in Venice. A woman with hard skin but a heart full of love for her passion, making happy and fulfilling the expectations of Golden Eagle Travellers. It has been successful every time we have seen to teach me something, and also to learn, characteristics of great professionals. I will never forget her smile and her kindness that arrived to us when a"goal" had arrived to a good end. A great woman, a great leader, a great professional. We will miss Marina from every point of view. Every other word is superfluous. Rest in peace, dear Marina!
I only had the pleasure of knowing and working with Marina for a relatively small amount of time. A measurement of time is straight forward to quantify though compared to the significant impression she left on me and continues to do so. Words like tenacious and determined are easy to liken to Marina’s character but it was her kindness, charm and smile which I will remember the most. I will never forget her and the experiences I shared alongside her in some of the most incredible places on Earth and I will always be grateful to her for making them what they were. A personality and traveller like no other, losing Marina so suddenly is a tragedy. I offer my sincere condolences to her family and family of colleagues at Golden Eagle in Altrincham, Russia and beyond.
What truly sad news for Gina and me,after 2 trips with Marina and her unflagging friendliness and professionalism. A horrible blow for you Tim and all the friends at GELT - our deepest condolences.... An abrazo from house arrest in Mexico City...
Gina & Ken Prysor-Jones
It is with great sadness I read. the death of Marina. She was a delightful person, wonderful knowledge off our journeys. Marina will be missed by those who travelled with her. Her care, consideration and her ability to solve all queries and problems with grace and "not a problem". Thank you Marina. To Phillip, the photographer on the Northern Lights 2019-2020, and to Tim, your stalwart and companion may you remember the wonderful times with much laughter and the tears that follow will help ease the pain.
Sally & Bruce Neumann
Dear Tim! Please accept my sincere condolences to you, your family, team of Golden Eagle. I am shocked. I focused on Marina. She was a guide star. She made an invaluable contribution in railway tourism development, particularly for Russia. I am in mourning.
I know Marina since I am 12 years old, our families were close friends, and managed to hold this friendship through years, and different countries. We didn't have a lot of contact through the past few years, but each time we met, it was hearty and warm, with a lot of conversations and laughter. She was talking a lot about fantastic train journeys she made, and we were each time joking, we will do some together one day. It is inconceivable and very sad, that Marina should leave us so early. RIP, Marina.
I can remember Marina as a lovely person and fully passionate in everything she was involved with. Certainly, this world need more people like Marina. With all my respect and love.
Jose Felix Cano Montoya
I am so deeply saddened to hear of Marina's untimely and unexpected death. We have worked together on countless tours in absolutely amazing locations as well as at head office, and I will forever remember her glorious smile, infectious laugh and unflappable nature. I've marvelled when seeing her in action in Russia and the Stans dealing with difficult officials, and absolutely flooring them with a torrent of high velocity Russian, followed either by that smile or a steely glare and always managing to smooth out the seemingly insurmountable problems. Marina also had the most wonderful selection of tales of narrow escapes and hair-raising moments that would make the most wonderful late night conversation on tour. She was so vibrant and irrepressibly full of life it is hard to believe that she is gone. You will be so greatly missed.
Shocked to read of her sudden death. She was fun very competent and fully committed to making our trips most enjoyable We extend our condolences to her family, to Tim and the company.
Kelso & Jo Sutton
Yes I remember Marina well and I am very sad that she will no longer be among the travelers. My first trip was the Silk Road in 2004 train then not as modern but still fun and Marina was there. She was also on my Trans Sib in 2018 and on the DArjeeling trip the one with the hailstorm and that was also my birthday (but did not wanted it to be known) so I have a birthday card signed by Marina. Dear memories now. My sincere condolences to all I am sure she will be missed by so many.
Dear Tim, We are so saddened to learn passing away of Marina! She always had the most beautiful smile during our trip through the Silk Road. And, she was not only smart but quite a funny lady. We had lots of laughs together! I cant even imagine what you are going through at this time, Tim! We are so sorry!
Suat & Donna Gulec
I first met Marina in 1993 on the Caucasian 2 tour, which Steve le Cheminant and Phil Metcalfe of Telerail also joined, for us to shoot a video programme as we travelled. It was massively enjoyable but far from easy. Travel in the region was relatively new and railway managers, police and soldiers found it hard to comprehend what we were doing. Sometimes the big video camera helped and secured assistance - sometimes it hindered and prompted a hostile reaction. There were issues by the hour to resolve and I have many fond memories of Steve, Phil and I standing patiently to one side and watching in awe as majestic Marina sallied forth, either wreathed in smiles or with eyes ablaze, as she set about ironing out whatever 'bump in the road' was in the tour's path. From armed soldiers to bad tempered policemen and jobsworth railway officials, she left them all in her wake, either as a result of charm or thunderbolts! She truly was a force of nature. I couldn't believe it when I heard she'd left us. Taken too young and with so much more yet to give, enjoy and participate in. Tim and Golden Eagle will miss her very much. Even those of us who write millions of words for a living can’t find the right ones at times like this...but I hope my sincere condolences carry the weight of sincerity that lies behind them. She lived life as it should be lived. I am very sorry I shall not spend time in her company again. RIP.
I am so sorry to hear this terrible news. It was an honour to have met Marina, albeit only once. The Golden Eagle family are very much in my thoughts and prayers. I know you will overcome this setback and continue to thrive despite the loss of Marina's inspiration and drive.
Our condolences to the Golden Eagle team, family and friends on the passing of Marina. We are deeply saddened by the news and our thoughts are especially with Tim. In remembrance of a very special person and friend. Willem, on behalf of the Cruising on Rail team.
I am so saddened by this tragic news. I was privileged to do many trips with Marina, through the connection with Captains Choice Tours, such vivid memories of a dynamic, strong, friendly and extremely competent lady. Sincere condolences to Tim and the family and to the colleagues, I know that all who have been associated with Marina will miss her dearly. Travel well Marina. Kind regards and love to all.
Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Marina. She ‘made’ our many trips on GE and her contribution to the company’s development was immense. But more importantly she was simply a wonderful person. She will be greatly missed by Tim and all the GE team as well as the multitude of travellers on GE trains. Our thoughts are with all at GE at this very, very sad time.
Rick & Sue Coles
Like everyone I was stunned to read the very sad message telling of Marina's sudden passing. I always enjoyed the times I spent in her company on tours, such a lovely lady who will be greatly missed by many. I send my sympathy and condolences from my home in New Zealand to Tim, to Marina's son and to all her colleagues at Golden Eagle . She will never be forgotten by all who were privileged to know her. God bless you Marina. RIP
This is very Sad and Sudden. Marina's dynamism will be missed by Golden Eagle Luxury Trains as well as all those who have seen her deliver exacting standards in top-end Rail Travel and Tourism. RIP.
With deepest Sympathy from my heart thinking of you, Marina. Your exceptional knowledge and talent for details made my journeys with the Golden Eagle on and off the Train a truly "Luxory" Experience.
Hello Mr Tim, we sincerely condole on your loss. We had the opportunity to communicate with such a wonderful person as Marina Linke and are grateful to destiny that has given us a chance to meet such a wonderful person. She was always ready to respond to an invitation or a request for help. I, my wife Natalia, Fedor and Vlad convey our words of condolences to you and Phil and to everyone we know in England. You can always turn to us for help and support in these difficult times.
We are deeply saddened with this news. Marina was our tour leader in Tibet and Western China. We enjoyed her very much and hope to travel with her again. Please accept our condolences to her family and also to her Golden Eagle family.
Ann Cassidy & Alistair Bleifuss
We met Marina at the very beginning as the Soviet Union was changing into the Russian Railways we know today, and we thought it was complicated then, however we would like to place on record that we had so much help and support from the Russian Railway staff and Marina'a arrival we know helped make Tim's undertakings and plans all over the world into the great company we know today. Our trains to St. Petersburg and Moscow must have been simple in comparison. It was always a pleasure to see her on the trains and she was more, much more than a reassuring presence as we all know that if it can go wrong, it will go wrong, and at the wrong time. However she could always be relied on to find a solution, sometimes the passengers knew about, often they didn't and very few really understood just how much work took place in the months and sometimes years before the departure dates. Thank so very much to Marina, for being you; she was a lovely person and will be a great loss to Tim and his team. From everyone at Steam Traction in England and our whole team based in Finland.
Nigel Sill, Steam Traction Ltd
Dear Tim and colleagues I was shocked to hear of Marina’s untimely death and my thoughts and prayers are with you all. After the two longest journeys I have made by steam-hauled train, I was very conscious of just how much Marina contributed to their brilliant success. Her patience with railway enthusiasts seemed unending. On a personal note, I shall be ever in her debt when she helped me make an unforgettable visit to the cruiser Aurora instead of the Winter Palace!
I can’t believe that Marina is no longer. My sincere condolences to her family and the entire Golden Eagle team. May she rest in peace!
Marina and I did so many trips together such wonderful memories of a strong, confident, friendly lady with a huge heart and generous spirit - you will be sadly missed. Condolences to Tim and family and to all the staff who worked with her so closely. Lots of love to all of you.
Gayle & Dave Jennings
Oh Marina - We always hoped we would board another train in your company. The possibility that time was running out was on our side, not yours, or so we thought. Your enthusiasm for adventure was infectious. Your determination that things be done right was impressive. If only we understood Russian we would have known just what you said to the soldiers who tried to stop the steam train at a bridge crossing in Eastern Siberia. You did not hesitate to speak up - we think you told the soldiers that the train was filled with foreigners who were so interested in steam trains and Siberia that they spend money to get there... The soldiers looked almost ashamed. The train resumed travel. As we went westward we ran into some very hot Siberian weather - over a 100 F. Then the train was side tracked to accommodate higher priority traffic. The AC compressors on our cars were powered from the undercarriage only while rolling. When it became clear we would be waiting for awhile, you suggested scrambling down the bank to a stream below. We will always remember drifting down a cold stream in Siberia on a startlingly blue-skied day. We have no doubt GE trains will continue to do you proud. Martha and Jeff.
Martha Eakin Buster
Tim, nothing I can say can do anything meaningful, reduce the loss, ease the pain. But your achievements with Golden Eagle are her memorial. A memorial living on in the memories of those who shared the journeys, and to gather momentum in those of travellers to come. Not that this remotely compensates for your personal loss - my sincerest condolences and very best wishes.
We have no words to express our deep sorrow for the sad loss of Marina and of her wonderful smile and inexhaustible pleasantness. How difficult it is to accept her so unexpected absence.
Elza & Roberto Burgdorf
Such a terrible loss! I feel that I am among a few people who could truly fathom the extent of your sorrow, having spent time with both of you here in Moscow. Please, accept my deepest condolences and a short poem by Konstantin Vanshenkin of my translation in-memoriam of your many years of relationship with Marina.
That happy day strung us together
You went through years by my side.
And ever since that business tether
Right next to me you would abide.
Since that so distant smart suggestion
That seems like dissipated smoke,
Was with advice or with a question I turned to you and gently spoke.
What devastating news ! I am deeply saddened by the untimely and unexpected passing of Marina and I can only imagine the pain Tim must feel about this terrible loss. My most heartfelt condolences reach out to Tim, Marina’s son and team of Golden Eagle. I met Marina in Burma as a potential business partner and was deeply impressed with her energy, her devotion, her creativity and also the most remarkable story of her own life and her family history which she happily was willing to share. We had many fruitful meetings in Burma, in England, Germany and Russia and I was most impressed seeing her in full action on a tour we did together for a few days on the Golden Eagle express. We had great fun despite the seriousness of our talks and she impressed me also very much with her devotion to Tim and her strong desire to protect Tim and make him happy. I am speechless about these devastating news and would wish to be able to something to comfort all who are saddened by her passing but I know I can’t! She leaves a big gap in our hearts and our lives and the only notion in this situation of serious pain and sorrow which appears a bit comforting is that a person who passed away is with us and alive as long as people remember this person. So I have a feeling that Marina will continue to live in the hearts and memories of so many whom she brought inspiration love and joy and friendship.
Shocked and immensely saddened to hear of Marina's untimely death! I was on the first Caucasian tour from Rostov in 1989 and soon began to appreciate what a gem Marina was and how instrumental she was to the successful operation of Tim's tours. This impression was reinforced on the great All Steam Trans-Siberian in 1996 and on several subsequent tours. Immensely charming but with great determination to solve any difficulties which arose and by force of personality to a achieve optimal outcomes from her dealings with obstructive officialdom. A wonderful lady with a mischievous sense of humour too. My sincerest condolence go to Tim, her son and all at Golden Eagle for their sad loss.
So much zest for life. So much love, generosity and enthusiasm. So much energy. So many plans. So very, very young to die. Thank you Marina for everything.
Great memories of Marina from our trip to see the Northern Lights in January 2016. Our deepest sympathies to her family and colleagues.
David & Patricia Hampshire
My first meeting with Marina was on Golden Eagle's maiden Darjeeling Mail tour as a guide and tour manager. I found her to be a knowledgeable tour operator with a pleasing personality. Her ability to foresee situations and deal with them effectively was amazing. Marina was an able leader, a compassionate human being and an ever helping friend. We at Golden Eagle are going to miss her. Marina will be alive in our memory and will never be forgotten.
My deepest condolences to Tim and all the Golden Eagle Trains' team. It was a great shock for me to hear about Marina's death. I still cannot believe that she is no longer with us...
I’m really astonished and sad about the unexpected news...
Since we had the opportunity to work with Marina in early 2015, she immediately passed on your company's commitment and philosophy to us, which is much uncommon.
Marina has always been a very professional and friendly person; this has always made it a pleasure to collaborate with her and with you all.
Please pass my sincere condolence to Tim and all your colleagues.
My sincere condolences to Marina's family, friends and colleagues. This is a terrible loss, sorry. Marina was a strong, energetic, active person and a reliable partner. We will continue to develop the work to which she dedicated 27 years in her memory. Warmest regards,
I’m so very sorry, and quite shocked, to learn of Marina’s passing. Many great memories of trips going back to 2000, and I appreciated learning about the country and culture of Russia from someone who grew up there. Marina brought the history of Russia, not always pleasant, alive, and was happy to share some of the black humour of those who endured life there. She contributed so much to our enjoyment of the whole trips, not just the railways. We will miss her greatly.
What terrible news, a shock to the system.. I have fond memories of Marina working her magic on Trans-Sib, BAM and other tours that made them such a success for all the customers, because Marina had the knowledge of how the Russian system worked. My sympathy to Tim and all at GE, Marina will be a great loss for all. RIP.
Stunned in disbelief. It wasn’t supposed to end here, or now. After a terrible year thought it couldn’t get much worse. It just did, dramatically worse. So much more to see, say, do and share. Wishing strength and courage to Philip, Tim and all at GE in the times ahead.
A breath of our inspiration
Is the life of each generation;
A wondrous thing of our dreaming
Unearthly, impossible seeming
The soldier, the king, and the peasant
Are working together in one,
Till our dream shall become their present,
And their work in the world be done.
RIP Marina, Bye x
So shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Marina. Thinking of Tim, Marina’s family and colleagues at GE Travel at this most difficult of times. I, along with many others, would not have enjoyed such memorable travel experiences without her. May she Rest in Peace.
I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to you and share the deep grief and sorrow of the family in this difficult time. God bless her soul and may she rest in peace!
It was a terrible shock when we heard that Marina had passed away last week, sad news that touched Hilly and myself deeply. We cherish many happy memories of our travels with Marina. We were so lucky to be part of magnificent train trips such as the first train to Lhasa, the Darjeeling Mail and of course the fabulous journey from Budapest to Teheran. On such trips Marina seemed to be everywhere to check things were going to the plan. And if not, she knew whom to speak to and moved a mountain if necessary to get the best for her guests. She will be sorely missed, of course as managing director but most of all as the strong, outgoing and warm personality she was. I could never have imagined that my farewell party in September 2019 would turn into a final goodbye to Marina. We will never forget her. Be sure our thoughts are with her son Philip, Tim and the entire Golden Eagle family. With heartfelt condolences,
Jos & Hilly Beltman
I have had the pleasure of both working with Marina to develop new offerings for Golden Eagle and also had the benefit of her as a tour leader in the coldest of Northern Manchuria. Marina was a delight to know, ensured service delivery where nothing was forgotten or too much trouble. She had an infectious sense of humour, even in difficult circumstances. Marina was persistent in her devotion to service, developing Golden Eagle and life. She will be deeply missed.
A Golden soul and a loving heart has left us prematurely to grieve for ever. It is incredible that such a dynamic and vibrant person would leave us so unexpectedly. May God accord her eternal rest and peace! May her lifetime passion and dream ‘The Golden Eagle’, soar high again on the wings of her vision and aspirations!
So very shocked and saddened for the loss of a lovely lady and neighbour, Marina will be very sadly missed by us all. Rest in peace.
I was shocked and very saddened to learn of the death of Marina Linke.
I met Marina on each of my trips with Golden Eagle and was impressed by her cheerfulness and organisational skills whatever the circumstances. I particularly remember her jumping off the Darjeeling ‘toy train’ in a snow storm to show the locals how to move their cars off the track so that the train could move on. None of us were prepared for such weather but Marina did not let that deter her.
Her loss to the company will be immense but more than that, Tim has lost a great partner.
My very heartfelt condolences to him in particular and the rest of the team.
Yours in sorrow,
Thinking of Marina conjures up memories of arriving in far-flung destinations, the joy of meeting up with old friends, as we became, and the excitement of starting another adventure. Marina was pivotal in planning and executing our amazing travels on wheels. When things beyond her control went awry such as a collapsed bridge at the star of the Mongolia to Moscow trip, which initially prevented our group of excited train enthusiasts from boarding the longed-for Golden Eagle, she magicked up solutions, calmed and cajoled us till everything was put right and we could board. I remember at the end of an arduous 21day Silk Route journey a group of rather tired and very quiet travellers sitting around a Chinese-style banquet and witnessing Marina enlivening and enthralling everyone with tales of her early life in Russia and relocation to England. She was mesmerising.. At other times she would make us laugh with her dry, carefully-worded, comments about some of the customs and regimes that we travelled through. Another memory is of sharing a gondola with her in one voyage starting in Venice. She was serene and loving her surroundings- huge smiles and completely in the moment. Her love of life and travel was palpable. The last time I saw Marina was exactly a year ago in the Four Seasons Hotel. It was late at night and even at the end of our Arctic adventure she looked beautifully radiant and engaged in animated discussion. She inspired and energised all those she met. Impossible not to shed tears at her loss, impossible not to smile at her memory.
With Love to her son, Philip, to Tim and to all at Golden Eagle,
My dear friends,
With sadness I knew by Instagram that Marina Linke passed away and if I was shocked.
May care and love of those around Golden Eagle Family provide comfort and peace to get through this difficult time. My most sincere condolences.
All love and empathy from Brazil,
Marina, my dear friend, I shall miss you very much. You have always been kind, loyal, fun and adventurous. You always put others before yourself. Your smile and laugh were infectious. I know that there is now a huge void in my life but I am sure that part of you lives in all who had the pleasure of your acquaintance. Dear friends like you are rare and precious and one day we will be practising our yoga together again on rainbows in clear blue skies. Until then, you will always be in my heart. My love and deepest heart felt condolences reach out to Tim and Philip, her close friends of which there are many and to all who feel the loss of our dear beautiful Marina.
All the treasures of the earth can't replace a good Friend – Voltaire. I am very shocked and saddened about Marina's passing. Thinking about you and wishing you comfort and peace.
With heartfelt condolences,
So sorry to hear that, she was an incredible person! On behalf of the entire AL Travel team our condolences to Marina's family and the GE team. Rest in Peace Marina...
What a shock it was to hear about the loss of Marina. Our condolences for this terrible and unexpected loss. She was a lovely lady and very passionate about her job. we were lucky to meet her a couple of times. Our thoughts are with Tim, the whole Golden Eagle team and with her family and friends.
Anita Rohrig and the team of Incento Treinreizen in the Netherlands
As you know, out of all of our Golden Eagle trips we travelled with Marina on three occasions. I can’t express enough how sorry we are to hear of her passing, we hold fantastic memories of her that we will never forget. Our deepest sympathies for this irreplaceable loss. We hope to see you again soon.
With all our love,
Antonio Pamies Pla y Dolores Nadal Aymerich
Anne and I are very sorry to hear of the untimely death of Marina. What a terrible shock to all who knew her. It is hard to believe, she was so vital and full of life. She was so kind to both of us, and with her great store of knowledge made our trips so enjoyable. In my capacity as a medic on several trips I found her so helpful and reassuring. Our sincere condolences to her family, her nearest and dearest, and to Tim and all who worked with her. We have lost a very special person.
Oliver & Anne Hidson
Heartfelt condolences to the family. Marina's contribution to one of the finest patterns of a journey, by means of the train in all its glory, cannot be forgotten. May she rest in peace.
Tim I am devastated to hear the tragic news of Marina’s passing. I was lucky enough to have known her over several years and she always inspired me with her knowledge and dedication to a company you built tougher and the close bond that existed between you. Her passing at such a young age is a true tragedy. Together you brought Golden Eagle to the amazing company it is today - the challenges that you now face will be large but you are strong and with the GE family behind you - keep you head held high and forge ahead in her memory to even greater things, she would wish you to do that for her and her son.
We both were shocked and terribly saddened to read of Marina's passing. We traveled with Marina on several Golden Eagle trips and quickly realised her immense value to the enterprise -- not only her great talent for smoothing out "bumps" when unplanned circumstances arose, but the interest and joy she brought to our experiences each day of the journeys. We hope her next journey will be as uncomplicated and pleasurable as she made our own, earthly, experiences. Our thoughts and prayers are with her, with the entire Golden Eagle team (so many of whom we consider friends) and especially with Tim and her family.
Alesia Ranney-Marinelli & Frank Marinelli
It is now a good remembrance that we (Marina, Tim, my husband and me) had rounded Kyoto and Kyushu in 2016 trying to bring the Golden Eagle tour some day in Japan. I would like to express my heartfelt sympathy and compassion to Tim and the Golden Eagle team. May she live in our heart forever.
Michiko Kimura, BHB Planning, Japan
I’m so sorry to hear of Marina’s sudden passing. We’ve lost a very special fellow traveler with a beautiful soul. My last journey with Marina was the 2019 30th Anniversary trip aboard ‘The Madras Mail’. She planned our final dinner at the Taj Falaknuma Palace. True to form, what a gorgeous celebration it was...with oh so many fabulous flowers, candles, courses, and costumes. Everything glowed, and we were all magically transported to a different era. Thank you, Marina, for so many lovely experiences and memories. My deepest sympathies to Tim and Marina’s family, and to the extended Golden Eagle Family.
My heartiest condolence to her family members on the demise of Marina. I was very saddned to hear about this. Marina was a kind hearted person and helpfull too. Though I've known her only for the past 1 year, but during the time period, she was always there to help whenever needed. We met during an India trip and from that time onwards she became my yoga student from the past 1 year. She was always regular, active and very enthusiastic during her practises. Remembering her wonderful and gentle soul will forever remain in our hearts. May her soul rest in peace.
Dearest colleagues at Golden Eagle Luxury Trains,
I was sad to hear about your tragic loss. Please accept the deepest condolences from us.
When thinking of her, I remember that we met at WTM in London a decade ago for the first time. She was so direct and confident in business talk. She was the strongest and greatest leader that we ever knew.
Keeping her in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope that you all have good memories to comfort you.
We would like to express, on behalf of Pasargad Tours Co., our condolences on the loss of lovely Marina Linke. Many of us here knew her personally, and her professionalism, management and smiles were well-loved among our staff. She will be missed and cordially remembered. Again, we extend our deepest sympathies to her and Golden Eagle Luxury Train family during this period of mourning.
I am deeply saddened to hear about the sudden demise of dear Marina. I had the honor to know her and had the greatest respect for her. I know it is a great loss for Golden Eagle Luxury Trains in particular. I had spent some memorable time working with her in Iran’s section of the trains round trips and will truly miss her. She was intelligent, frank, sincere, kind, professional, well-seasoned, and sympathetic. Please accept my condolences to her and the Golden Eagle Luxury Train family for your loss!
So shocked and saddened to hear about the sudden death of our beautiful friend and neighbour. Marina was a brilliant Yogi who loved travel and life. Gone too soon.
Janet & Mark Wylie
Although I was by no means a regular, I was always impressed with Marina's enthusiasm and ability to "get things done" - she will be sorely missed. RIP
I knew Marina and worked in Russia back in the early 1990s. She was a very charming and kind person, a professional in her business! Although she and I have not seen her for a long time, the news of her death shook me! Her eternal memory.
Russia, the Stans, Mongolia. Wonderful trips with Marina. We wish we knew words that would make sense of Marina’s death. We wish we knew words that would undo what has happened or at least bring comfort and healing to those who love and cared for her. Marina was a gem. We loved her dry, offbeat sense of humor. We appreciated her dedication and competence and her patience and unceasing efforts to make sure we didn’t do something really stupid, like fail to get back on the train. (She tells a wickedly funny story of a passenger who ended up in a Russian train station in his jogging clothes with no passport, no money, no tickets or identification, and absolutely no ability to speak or understand Russian! Marina’s deadpan delivery was at least as funny as the story itself.) A year. Ten years. Fifty years. A hundred years. There is never enough time to be with those we love and care about. And there is never enough time to prepare the heart to say goodbye. What Marina worked so hard and so successfully to build remains. We know we shall see our friends at Golden Eagle again, on another adventure. We wish Tim and Marina’s family, friends and colleagues peace, strength, and healing. And we wish Marina bon voyage.
Alesia & Frank Marinelli
We are so sad to hear this unexpected news. We have met or travelled with Marina on several Golden Eagle trips over the years, most recently in India on the Madras Mail in 2019. She has always been most pleased to see us and very helpful in sorting out any hiccups. We recall particularly a very entertaining dinner with her in Venice and a brief hello in Zanzibar when the North and Southbound Cape to Cairo tours crossed each other. She was clearly synonymous with Golden Eagle's remarkable service to its passengers and will be a hard act to follow. Our condolences to all at Golden Eagle and her circle of family and friends.
Richard & Judi Brook
Dear Tim, Like I'm sure many others, Eleanor and I were shocked and saddened by the news of Marina's death. What a tragedy to befall someone so young, vital, talented and beloved. I extend my most heartfelt condolences to you and the entire GE family. I have many memories of Marina from over the years, as the growth of our company in many ways mirrored yours. And, especially in the earlier days, I was frequently on trips with Marina across Siberia and elsewhere. What stands out to me about Marina is a combination of toughness and brilliance, but also good humour and a genuine appreciation of her friends, customers and humanity in general. I remember one time in particular, on an eastbound Trans-Siberian trip I made with an IRT group. We were somewhere. maybe it was Irkutsk or Novosibirsk, and the tour bus pulled up to a beautiful Russian Orthodox cathedral. "Oh God!" an Australian (and, I regret to say, one of our passengers) called out. "Not another bloody church!" Everyone froze, not knowing where this was leading. The guy had been whining and complaining ever since we'd left Vladivostok. "Yes, George," Marina called out. "Another bloody church." The bus broke out in laughter, applause...and relief. That was Marina. Tough as nails. But caring, compassionate and loads of fun as well. We'll miss her. Yours, Owen
Owen C. Hardy, Founder & CEO The Society of International Railway Travelers®
A person that departs from this earth never truly leaves, for they are still alive in our hearts, through us, they live on. My most sincere.condolences to Marina’s family and the whole Golden Eagle team.
Antonio Caballero Barrada, CARA Technology
I'm sure that Marina's legacy will continue to nurture Golden Eagle endeavors even as our energies of sadness and appreciation of who she was and how she contributed to what Golden Eagle became will continue into the future. My deepest condolences to Tim!
Terribly sad to hear this news, condolences are with all at Golden Eagle and Tim from us all at Belmond.
Although I saw Marina rarely, knowing she is no longer in this world takes away a little of the sparkle. A strong, confident and capable woman with a smile that lit the rooms and made the recipient feel so special. My love goes out to all those closest to her, Tim, her beloved boy Phillip and the girls she worked with. Those smiling eyes and her deep joyous laugh will stay in my memory of Marina may she rest in peace.
I’ll never forget the Xmas we spent together with the team that travelled so far to Australia. Marina was so grateful and enjoyed everything the Sunshine Coast offered. Marina laughed and bought brightness to us all. It was such a privilege to travel on the Golden Eagle with Marina.
I'm so sorry to hear of the tragic loss of Marina for you all. My deepest sympathies Tim, Ian and for all at Golden Eagle. Keep hold of all that you have managed to achieve together, making incredible memories for many. With all best wishes Liz and the team at Sundowners.
Dear Tim and all the team at Golden Eagle, My heartfelt condolences on your loss. Maria was a shining light of energy, passion and a can do attitude. I'll always remember her powerful personality and her cheeky humour. My thoughts are with you all at this time.
Dan Kotzmann, Constellation Journeys, Australia
It is so hard to believe that Marina is gone way too soon. I will always remember her strength and perseverance, fun and love of life and travel and sharing that with all the Golden Eagle guests who had the luck to travel with her. So many great memories I have travelling with Marina including the inaugural journeys into Iran and then Italy/Sicily. She handled all challenges in her stride and was always a tower of calm strength and resolve, to ensure guests expectations were not just met but exceeded. My condolences to Tim, Phillip, Melanya, Tatiana, Beata and all at GELT.
Back in 1995 I had the pleasure of meeting Marina at World Travel Market. We worked together to create our first tour with Golden Eagle and Marina was with me on our first two Eastern Europe by Private Train tours in 1996. We at Captain’s Choice have worked with Marina, Tim and the Golden Eagle Team to operate some truly amazing journeys in the decade at the end of the Soviet Union and notched up many firsts on the way. Marina did not have the word No in her vocabulary. She ensured we and our guests got the best of everything. Marina loved her travellers and ensured they got the best possible on every journey. I loved her words in the Tour Notes where she warned that Dinosaurs of the past will try to impede the tours progress. Her Russian background and language ensured we all got what we needed. Marina and Tim achieved the impossible to so many amazing destinations. Marina, you achieved the impossible. We will all miss you.
Phil & Kaye Asker, Captain’s Choice, Australia
This is the saddest news. I was privileged to travel with Marina on several Golden Eagle trips and marvelled at her skills. Nothing was ever too much trouble and she handled difficult situations with her gorgeous smile. To Tim and the Golden Eagle family and to Marina’s family, please accept my deepest sympathy. Vale Marina. I will miss you, but will hold dear my beautiful memories of you.
Life is a journey and filled with surprises. But this surprise was the worst of the year. There was a space filled named Marina, who was always there. Now that space is void and it hurts me to perceive the fact that she is no longer. I was utterly hurt and shaken when I hear the news. Just starred at the wall blankly. You are missed. My deepest condolences to the family and every friend who has come across in this life with Marina. RIP.
Zekeriya Sen (Fest, Turkey)
I am lost for words. She was a good partner and always problem solver. May you rest in peace...
Faruk Pekin (Fest, Turkey)
I can't find the words to say how sorry I am, and how much Marina will be missed. Marina was the kindest, sweetest person you could ever meet. She always went the extra mile to help you, and she had a real sixth sense about when you needed it..... I know that the days ahead are going to be hard. My deepest sympathies. My heart goes out to you all.
I am sad that such a wonderful woman had to leave those who loved her. I am certain that she left behind a legacy of love for people and the world.
Countess Ursula Widawska
For Tim, family and all Golden Eagle members our most sincere condolences. These last many months have been extremely difficult for all but the news received this morning brought very deep sadness. Our memories of a recent trip through India are highlighted by the company of Marina and Tim, always expressing their passion and love for travel by train. Marina you will be missed.
Ken Forshaw & Amanda Louth
So sorry to hear this news, our thoughts are with you at this time.
My friend and I took the TranSiberian Train in 2017. It had been on our bucket list for a while. It was an awesome trip. Marina wasn't on our trip but it is obvious that the founders had a passion for Luxury Trains. My condolences to everyone's loss.
Surely we belong to God and Surely to Him we shall return . We are so shocked and numbed to hear this sad sad news, Radhica and I first met Marina on our flight to Moscow about four years ago , before travelling with her on the Trans Siberian journey. She was always friendly, and totally efficient and in control, always reliable to find a solution to any situation that could possibly arise, and on all our journeys with Golden Eagle we were lucky enough to have had her looking after us. The last trip was almost two years ago on the Darjeeling Express, and she was always on top of things, even in the most trying conditions. To Tim, and family, our deepest sympathies, no words can express our sadness. God bless you, rest in peace, Marina.
Dr Ashfaq Ali
This news is a terrible shock to Yuko and me. Marina was the heart and mind of the trips we took with her. She was knowledgeable, well-informed, focused, articulate and very funny -- her dinnertime announcements were unquestionably a high point of our day and essential to our understanding of the following day's events. She made each member of the group feel well looked after and took everyone's concerns seriously. Her warmth, energy and good spirits contributed enormously to the success of the trips. While we look forward to future trips with Golden Eagle, we will always miss Marina keenly and will remember vividly the unmistakable sound of her voice. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Tim and to the Golden Eagle staff. All of us have lost in Marina a remarkable and irreplaceable member of the community.
So very sorry to read this sad news. I have many happy memories of trips with Marina. She was always smiling and so full of enthusiasm. Sincere condolences to Tim and all the Team. Things will never be quite the same again. Anne Haddon.
It saddened us greatly to hear of Marina passing away so suddenly. She was a great Partner and a dear Friend, always in quest of doing outmost for the travellers joining her onboard GELT. Our deepest condolences to Philip, whole family and your great Team. We know Marina's spirit and passion will continue travelling on every trip, each itinerary you set your hands on in the future. Just as she would want to. Some things cannot disappear, they just shift form.
Snowhotel Kirkenes Team
Marina's genuine warmth and legendary skills in problem solving will forever be missed. A tour de force taken too soon. I will miss you.
Dear Marina, there are no words... it is a different language we will speak now. But you stay my compass, lighthouse, mentor, inspiring friend and family. Wherever you are, I hope you are smiling as you always did and feel what our hearts are telling you. You will always be on board.
We are devastated to hear of the loss of Marina. We had the privilege of working and travelling with her on several of the Golden Eagle journeys most recently on the South India Deccan Express. Her boundless enthusiasm and genuine warmth came across in all she did. She had that amazing attribute of being able to continue to smile when faced with daunting logistical challenges, always ensuring that the journeys schedule appeared effortless. An abiding memory is of her looking radiant in her sari for the farewell dinner in the magnificent surroundings of the Taj Falaknumar. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Philip, Tim and all the extended Golden Eagle family.
Vince Perkins & Dawn Philip
A tragic shock when I received this news. I considered her to be a friend having met up with her on most of the trips I have done with Golden Eagle and at several other events as well. Words cannot express the sense of loss I feel at the moment knowing she won't be on the trips I have booked during 2021 and 2022 and beyond. She will be greatly missed. My sincere condolences to all at Golden Eagle.
I was shocked and saddened to hear of Marina's death. I have travelled as a lecturer with Golden Eagle four times and soon realised what a vital part of the organisation Marina represented. Her ability to organise and manage gave me a feeling of confidence and security that things would always work out perfectly. I remember on the train from Nikel to Murmansk, after we had failed to see the aurora, she organised buses from Murmansk at an hours notice as the skies cleared and we saw it. To all those who knew and loved her I offer my sincere condolences.
Namaste Tim and the Golden Eagle family, None of us here in India can still believe the sad news of Marina leaving us, she was such an effervescent person, full of life and brimming with ideas. Her childlike enthusiasm was so infectious, one couldn’t but just agree with her. She loved being with people and was always so caring and affectionate. Tough at times, a disciplinarian in terms of a train operation but a lady with a heart of gold. Travel and curating experiences for her customers was her absolute passion. On the various journeys that we have done together, it was always about the customer’s aspirations, comfort, enjoyment and so on, she was totally devoted to her role. Marina has left us the legacy of a great brand and many fond memories. Her affection for India and her faith in Yoga, having mastered it over the years. Such a beautiful soul, we will all miss her presence immensely, the world is a sadder place without Marina. But then, as we believe, the soul is indestructible, so am sure she is somewhere around, watching over us, caring for us and loving us. Take care of yourselves Tim, Philip and all the Golden Eagle family, I know you will miss her much.
Marina’s sudden death is so tragic and unexpected. To lose such a lively and valuable person so young is cruel. I have travelled on many GE trains and worked with Tim and Marina over fifteen years and they made the perfect team running a fantastic business. The loss of Marina will leave a huge void in the lives of both Tim and GE Trains. Marina’s achievements, her kindness, efficiency, humour and sense of fun will never be forgotten.
The whole CBRI are now plunged into deepest sorrow at such a shocked and heartbroken news. We deeply mourn Marina's passing away.
20 years of working closely with Marina and GELT, and with more than 100 trains operating over the years, there are thousands of stories among us, how hard can we accept her sudden passing? In the recent couple of days, we never thought Marina really left us, it couldn't be, it couldn't be true.
Marina is also very well-known in China, and many colleagues in the Chinese tourism industry are also very familiar with her. She has left a very deep impression on us. She works earnestly and reliably, and also she is enthusiastic and sincere to everyone.
No doubt her passing away has brought us a huge loss. We deeply miss everything she left us, her voice, her smile, and even every move of hers. Over the years, we have become particularly accustomed to working with her, and each time we met is not only for working, but also it is friendship accumulation for each other....we are simply like brothers and sisters. All these memory fragments come to our minds, and how can these multitudes of memories be easily forgotten?
In China, we have a very old proverb：“The deceased can never be back, and the living has to continue..."
Our thoughts and prayers are with Tim, Philip and all of our GELT outstanding colleagues. Let's turn grief into strength and inherit her legacy, we all firmly believe that, led by our great president, Tim, GELT will continue to create more brilliant performance inspired by Marina's spirit.
Marina will always live in our hearts.
Marina wil always be with us.
Marina will be deeply missed.
Marina, Peace in Heaven. Alas.
Zhang, Bing & QiQi, and the CBRI Staff
I was greatly saddened to hear of the death of Marina. My travel companions (son Thomas, friends Sally and Ba) and I met Marina on several of the tours we took with Golden Eagle between 2005 and 2017 and always found her to be a reassuring presence. We collectively enjoyed her smiles and stories and I will never forget the time she offered to exchange rooms with me in Darjeeling when I reported a tarantula in the bathroom!! My thoughts and condolences to Tim, to her family and the Golden Eagle Team.
Words cannot express my shock and sorrow. Marina was such a charismatic person and touched so many people. It was a great pleasure to work with her and I will always remember her strong character, sense of humour, decisiveness, a great manager to work with, respect, and also love her. Her memory will never leave me.
What a shock to read this this morning! So unexpected and unbelievable. Tim, you have our deepest sympathies, you were a magnificent team for so many years, we are ever aware that we were ‘in at the beginning’ as far as your ventures to Russia and involvement with Marina were concerned and feel a great personal attachment. As a couple we enjoyed many steam tours together with Marina in Russia and the former Soviet states and myself as an ardent 'gricer' singly in China, No matter what hour or the day or night, or time zone, Marina was always there and on top of whatever situation arose. An incredible lady. Together you built what must forever be one of, if not the most adventurous tour companies ever. With Great Sadness indeed. We are thinking of you both.
Colin & Liudmila Mitchell
My condolences. Shocked.
We met Marina on our tour through Iran, the first backwards one. We enjoyed her company and we were impressed how well everything was organised. It was a special time for us and we will not forget Marina, since she was so very much instrumental in making the tour a very interesting one. May she rest in peace, My condolences for all who worked with her and to her family and friends.
Marina's kindness always enriched my travel. May her memory be a blessing to you, Tim, and to her colleagues and friends.
We are totally shocked when we got the massage that Marina will do already do her last journey. Marina was too young to leave this world. Marina and Tim were friends with us together so long time. We were not only business-partners, which like to travel through the world by trains - no we where very big friends over 30 years. We together will see us not so much time per year, but every meeting was a good and happy time together. My wife Meilan was working together with Marina a long time on the China Orient Express and they arrange wonderful tours together through the homeland of my wife, China. We are stunned. This times are really very hard for everybody at the moment and how can I say now a good friend has left us in this hard times. Is it good for her? Is it more hard for us, why we not know what all will be happen in the future in this world? My dear Tim. Please stay strong. It is very hard to lose a very close human being and especially if it is somebody who is your love, your partner and your motivator to face all the problems in the world. We can feel, what you have lost. And to all members of the Golden Eagle Luxury Trains - keep Marina in your heart and take over the spirit of her working and her thinking, that the clients will always feel her positive spirit on the GE train-tours. We hope Marina will find a peaceful place in the heaven and will look at you and us all the time. And the memory to her will give us always a smile. We will stay with you Tim an all others in this hard times and in future we must try to see us as much as possible. The time is running too fast. With sincere sympathy and silent sadness Good bye Marina.
Armin & Meilan Goetz from IGE Germany
So sad to hear! The first time I met Marina must have been on the North Caucasian trip of 1993. On every later occasion, even if sometimes there were many years in between my trips, I was personally welcomed by Marina and also given personal service, many times far beyond what was reasonable to expect. We all live on borrowed time, and Marina’s turned out to be much too short.
Curt Olof Bodman
I am heartbroken. Marina was like a sister to me. We have lost the most decent, honest, kind, professional and smart person with huge heart. She helped everyone and was full of joy. It is too soon. My heart goes out to her family.
To Tim, The Right Partner is all-important at both the personal and professional level and while I cannot feel your loss I can well imagine it. To the Golden Eagle Family, Marina personified the best of our industry and her life serves as a model for those who follow. There are people who love trains, and people who love people who love trains: she was both. In sorrow from Pittsburgh, Henry.
Henry Posner III
Dear Tim, what utterly devastating news. I hope she didn't suffer. She was great on the Trans Sib trips my total sympathy is with you. This just made a bad year even worse I hope you get over this in time. All my best wishes.
I had the pleasure of working for Marina at the time of the launch of the Golden Eagle. She was a strong, charismatic, striking lady. She was also thoughtful, caring and had a great smile. I'm very, very sad to hear of her passing. My sympathy to her son, Tim and the Golden Eagle Luxury Trains team of past and present.
Truly shocked and saddened by this terrible news Tim. A truly special lady who I will always remember fondly, an extremely sad loss.
We are shocked and full of sadness when reading that Marina was passing away. Marina was a unique personality with visions, energy, and pragmatism. For more than two decades we met at various places all over Europe and Asia and always enjoyed the communication with our colleague Marina about our joint interests: comfortable and luxury rail travel. The travel industry lost a person of extraordinary professionalism in rail tourism. Our condolences to Marina’s family and the entire GE team.
Helmut Mochel & Natalia Tkachenko and the Eurasia Trains team
So shocked and saddened to hear of Marina's death. We first met her on Trans Siberian in 2015 and subsequently on Darjeeling Mail in India and Balkan Odyssey in 2017. We were struck by her knowledge and enthusiasm for railway travel and to learn of her fascinating family background. We admired her professional and friendly approach to ensure every guest had the best experience. She will be sadly missed. Our condolences to Tim and all at Golden Eagle.
David & Pam West
I was shocked and saddened to learn today of Marina’s untimely death. My sincere condolences to Tim and to Marina’s son. I had the pleasure of meeting Marina for the first time in 2012 at a joint Golden Eagle/Noble Caledonia roadshow at Crewe Hall. As a Russian speaker with a longstanding interest in Marina’s part of the world I was immediately drawn to her. I was able to meet up with her again on a couple of occasions and was fascinated to learn about her background as an ethnically German Soviet citizen and her early career working on the Soviet/Russian railway network. A few years later my wife and I travelled with Golden Eagle and Tim on their Caspian Odyssey tour and it was as fascinating and enjoyable as Marina had suggested it would be. A delightful intelligent lady who will stay in my memory and be sorely missed I’m sure by all who knew her.
So many memories and all to treasure. We traveled together with Tim and Marina through China, Russia, Africa, India, Iran and the last foray being an unforgettable journey through Siberia. I will remember Marina for her warmth, her smile and her sheer professionalism which made each trip both so unique and so unforgettable. Gone too soon but forever etched in our memories.
Yolande & Richard Torin
We were shocked and saddened to receive notice of Marina's passing away. Marina was one of the pillars of GE travel. She and Tim always managed to make us feel special and "at home" during our travels with GE. We keep the best memories of Marina making the journeys unforgettable for us and she will be greatly missed on forthcoming travels. We wish her family, Tim and the GE travel crew all the love and strength to carry on without her.
Dolf & Elisabeth Huijgers
Our hearts are broken. We all have lost a lovely, capable, committed, and concerned friend not only of Golden Eagle but of each and every one of us who had the pleasure and honour of meeting and knowing a little of Marina. We extend our deepest sympathies to her family, all the staff at Golden Eagle, and especially to Tim. With profound sadness,
Keith & Alice Snyder
So sorry to hear the sad news about Marina. We met her at the start of our Balkan Explorer tour is 2016 - a very special group of just 21 travellers - and she very kindly agreed to take back to the UK a very heavy book we’d been given in Venice.
Geoff & Meryl Weir
OH MY. My deepest sympathy to all at Golden Eagle. I spent several trips with her and enjoyed her. My thoughts and prayers go to Tim specifically. So sorry for your loss!!!!!
So sorry and sad to hear. She was always a good friend to us on our various trips with the Golden Eagle. She will be greatly missed. Sympathies to you and her family. From South Africa.
Robert & Angela Fowlds
We read this message with deepest sadness. Marina had many years of life ahead of her and it's a cruel trick that she is not to have those. We remember Marina as a very positive and happy person, who loved her job and travel and people and who always had a smile for everyone and a solution to offer for every problem. She was a professional to her core, as well as being a good mother, a good companion and a good friend. Our condolences to her family and also to the family at Golden Eagle.
Annette Campbell-White & Ruediger Naumann-Etienne
What a shock; losing Marina is like losing family. She ran a tight ship, she always kept us very well informed, and she was a wonderful person. When you heard Marina's voice on the train's public address system in the morning or before a stop, you knew everything was going to be OK. My condolences to the entire Golden Eagle family - managers, staff, and passengers. We will all miss Marina more than I can say.
I cannot find any word to describe my feelings. Really sad and deeply wounded from my heart.
You know I have also worked with her very close, spending weeks with her on board. She was my boss as well. And together we have made possible all that kind of impossible things here in Turkey. There are lots of first-time stories for me that I have lived, experienced because of her. When I re-think all these memories now, what an important person for me not only for my professional career but also for my personal life.
And what kind of period we are in. Shame on this pandemic as nothing to do beside this e-mail for me. Cannot keep this long as my heart hurts. May perpetual light shine upon her.
Best Regards / Saygılarımızla
Marina was on most of my seven Golden Eagle tours, and it very quickly became clear that she was one of essential ingredients to a wonderful trip. She was the embodiment of what Golden Eagle stands for... making you feel very special and your trip a unique experience of a life time. If plans went awry during a trip, she would be immediately on top of it, then reassuring the customers with her wonderful deep Russian voice and infectious sense of humour. During the lockdowns of 2020, Marina was always happy to have a chat by ZOOM call, and in my last one with her in December, when i was struggling with my intention to learn Russian during lockdown (it’s hard!), she was pulling my leg, whilst giving me words of encouragement – I will persevere in honour of her. My heart goes out to all the members of the Golden Eagle team who must be profoundly shocked and saddened by this unexpected turn of events - I know it is a close-knit family. We all share your grief and determination for Golden Eagle to carry on, as a fitting tribute to all she has achieved. I am booked on the Winter Trans-Siberian by Steam, as well as the new BAM trip in 2021 and I look forward to meeting fellow past passengers and staff to celebrate Marina’s life and toast her memory in true Russian style! Our thoughts are also with her son Philip - i hope he can take some comfort from knowing what an amazing woman Marina was, how much she was loved by her customers, and how much she achieved in her short lifetime.
Roger & Lou Wilson
We will always remember Marina and the big part she played helping us achieve our memories of a lifetime. Our thoughts are with Tim, her family and colleagues.
David & Sheila Downham
I did not know Marina personally, but I did have the adventure of a lifetime on the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian journey, Moscow to Vladivostok. I have been to many places since, but even travelling on my own it was a quite extraordinary journey with first-class everything, including lecturers. Whatever Marina had to do with the founding of the organisation, I greatly appreciated it and mourn her passing.
Marie Christine Purdy
Marina, you will be sorely missed by so many people. Your passion for travel, for trains, was infectious, but what I will remember most is your smile and your sense of fun. I have such happy memories of the trips we had together, and will always remember how you enriched those experiences with your very presence. You have finished this earthly journey so tragically soon, but I hope that it is the start of another bigger, better adventure x
If i could chose a sister, it would have been Marina....life won't ever be the same.
Dear Tim and the staff. We are heartbroken by this sad news. During the Madras Mail, only 13 months ago and the two other trips to Tibet and Iran, she was a dedicated and fantastic tour leader. We are never going to forget Marina. Please accept our sincere condolences.
Ivo & Monique Van Vaerenbergh
I learned this morning of the sudden and unexpected passing of Marina, your VP operations and long-time partner. I’m very sorry to learn of this and empathize with your entire team there as you manage this sad impact of losing a long time friend and partner. On top of all our world challenges, losses like this hurt even more because of their closeness. Someone sent me this reflection after my dad passed in 2013. It helps me think of him close. I hope it helps you too.
Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped into the next room, I am I and you are you, whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used, put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow, laugh as we always laughed, at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was, let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant, it is the same as it ever was. There is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind, because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner, all is well.
Dan Mahar - CEO, Tauck
We are shocked and so saddened to receive this news. Marina is, without a doubt, our most cherished memory from our trips with Golden Eagle. We first met Marina in Moscow, at the start of our Trans-Siberian adventure in 2017 (our 30th anniversary and GE's Millionth Mile Celebration). We were so surprised and excited to see Marina's friendly face greeting us in Urumqi for our China & Tibet trip in 2019. Our hearts ache for Marina's family, including her Golden Eagle family. We think of Marina often. Her professionalism, combined with a sincere love of what she was doing, made each of our Golden Eagle trips incredibly special and memorable. To say that Marina will be missed is an inadequate expression of our feelings. We too have lost a member of our family. In our hearts, Marina will be with us, both at home and on future Golden Eagle adventures. To Marina's family, please accept our sincere sympathy and prayers.
Mike Hoffman & Karen McKenzie
Deepest condolences. Thanks for making it possible to journey across Siberia on the Trans-Siberian.
Wendy and I would to extend our heart felt condolences to Marina's family, Tim and the whole of the Golden Eagle family on the sad passing of Marina. We will always remember her effervescent spirt and the subtle way she made our journeys so memorable - a true professional.
John & Wendy Scott
Marina and I enjoyed several fabulous Golden Eagle journeys together and she was one of the reasons the trips were always spectacular. Her warm and gracious personality enriched every aspect of our travels. Her laughter and enthusiasm made every moment special. Her vast knowledge enlightened our understanding and made every trip more meaningful. On the one trip (out of the four or five I have taken) on which she was not on board, I felt as though an essential ‘light’ was missing. Her spirit made every journey memorable and she will be sorely missed by all who had the privilege of traveling with her. What a shock to learn of her death. My condolences to her family, friends, and to Tim and all of the Golden Eagle staff.
The Rev. Dr. Vienna Cobb Anderson
This is the saddest and most unexpected news to read today. Marina was such a lovely, helpful person with a wicked sense of humour and an absolute pleasure to travel with. Whether travelling with Marina on the Transiberian Express, the Silk Road, or a tour of Western China and Tibet, Marina's ability to fix problems was sometimes a godsend. It's so sad to lose her so young and a massive loss to the Golden Eagle family. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family and friends.
Derek Stubbs & Leighton Walsh
June and I are deeply saddened to hear this shocking news. Marina was so full of life. We remember only months ago listening to her brilliant, entertaining, amusing stories, particularly of her Rovos Rail trip in Tanzania and Zimbabwe, as well as others. We have re-told those stories many times. We also remember her wonderful company on Golden Eagle journeys. Marina appears frequently in June's diary of our Golden Eagle journeys, for her sage advice. We always took it, and always benefitted.
We are sad for Philip, for Tim, for you and all the Golden Eagle family.
With our heartfelt condolences,
Don & June Kurtz
Words cannot even express how sorry I am to hear the tragic and overwhelming news about Marina.
My thoughts and prayers are with you, Philip and all of the Golden Eagle family. Thankfully we are a strong family and are here to support each other through this very difficult and devastating time.
Please do let me know if there is anything I can do, no matter how small.
My sincerest condolences.
Marina wouldn’t want us to be sad at this tragic loss we are all feeling, instead she would want us all to remember the person we all knew and loved. I really got to know the real Marina when we worked together and travelled overseas, promoting the Golden Eagle rail journeys. A tough negotiator, Marina had a great sense of humour, warmth and generosity that she would reveal once you got to know her properly. I recall her encouraging me to join her in one of her ‘hot yoga’ sessions on a trip to Florida – as if Florida wasn’t already hot enough without straining myself in a closed room as hot as a sauna!
That was Marina. She had a great lust for life and a passion for all that she did.
She will be greatly missed.