Trans-Siberian Steam Express IV (Winter Wonderland)

Exclusive to Golden Eagle Luxury Trains. 25 years after operating our first ever private Trans-SIberian rail journey, join us again for a spectacular 22 days on the most iconic railway in the world hauled entirely by steam locomotives. Enjoy this exclusive Winter Wonderland departure in February 2021 on board the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express. Please note this tour exclusively features Heritage Class accommodation (in addition to our regular Silver, Gold and Imperial classes) on board the Golden Eagle. Heritage sleeper carriages comprise of 8 cabins with shared shower and toilet facilities. (Image: Parker Wilson)

Vladivostok – Khabarovsk – Sretensk - Ulaan Baatar - Ulan Ude – Lake Baikal – Irkutsk – Abakan – Novokuznetsk - Barnaul – Omsk - Yekaterinburg – Kazan – Ulyanovsk – Nizhny Novgorod - Vladimir - Moscow

Tour Schedules & Prices

2021

Day 1 Vladivostok

Russia

Arrive at Vladivostok Airport, where you are met and transferred to the five-star Lotte Hotel for a one-night stay. This evening you are invited to our Welcome Dinner. Specially selected international wines are included with dinner, as with all meals during the tour.

Day 2 Vladivostok

Russia

Vladivostok is a military port located on the western shores of the Sea of Japan and is home to the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet. Due to its military importance, the city was closed to foreigners between 1930 and 1992. Vladivostok (literally translated as ‘Ruler of the East’) offers visitors an interesting opportunity to explore its principal military attractions including a visit to a preserved World War Two submarine. Our morning city tour will also take us to the iconic suspension bridge over Golden Horn Bay, one of the largest of its kind worldwide, which opened in 2012 for the APEC conference.

Following a champagne reception at Vladivostok Railway Station, and with a military band playing on the platform, we will board the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express hauled by a pairing of P36 and L steam locomotives. After settling into our modern, stylish cabins we enjoy dinner in the restaurant car as our rail adventure westwards begins.

Steam Locomotives: P36 and L class

Day 3 Khabarovsk

Russia

Located 15 miles (25 kilometres) from the border with China, Khabarovsk stretches along the banks of the Amur River. Khabarovsk was founded as a military post in 1858, but the region had been populated by several indigenous peoples of the Far East for many centuries. It is now a busy city with tree-lined streets. Located next to the station we will pass the monument to Yerofey Pavlovich Khabarov, the Far East explorer the city is named after, and see the impressive World War Two memorial to the fallen soldiers. We will also have time at the Regional Museum where the local history has been well-preserved with a rich collection of artefacts describing the cultural and natural history of the region.

Steam Locomotives: P36 and Yem class

Day 4 On Board

Russia

Our journey today follows the Amur and Shilka rivers, close to the Chinese border. Enjoy Russia at its most beautiful and remote as the landscape unfolds outside your window. Or you may like to attend one of the absorbing lectures or Russian language lessons.

Steam Locomotives: P36 class

Day 5 Sretensk

Russia

Sretensk is a community that survives far from the beaten track of the main Trans-Siberian line and offers a rare and exclusive opportunity for our guests to see how families exist and livelihoods are maintained despite the isolation from major conurbations in this remotest part of Siberia.

Until 1916 Sretensk was the end of the Trans-Siberian line. From here passengers changed to a river steamer for 1,500kms to Khabarovsk.

Steam Locomotives: P36 class

Day 6 On Board

Russia

Today we relax on board as our train travels through Siberia as we head towards Mongolia. In comfort enjoy the ever-changing panoramas of natural snow-covered beauty unfold before us.

Steam Locomotives: P36 class

Day 7 Ulaan Baatar

Mongolia

Our Trans-Siberian adventure takes us into Mongolia and a short visit to its capital, Ulaan Baatar. Mongolia, once the very centre of an enormous empire led by Genghis Khan, is a country rich in culture and history with beautiful landscapes and nomadic people. Mongolia is famous for its endless Steppes, grazing livestock and white, nomadic Gers (Yurts) dotted all across the countryside..

Steam Locomotives: L class

Day 8 Ulan Ude

Russia

The ethnic and cultural diversity of Ulan Ude, the capital of the Buryat Republic, offers a unique insight into its heritage. As we tour the area you will notice the different faces of these welcoming Buryat people. During our exploration of the Old Believers’ Village we learn about the culture and history of these religious people as we are treated to a concert featuring local traditions and folk singing.

Steam Locomotives: P36 class

Day 9 Lake Baikal

Russia

Our two days spent by Lake Baikal offer a real highlight of travelling through Siberia in winter. Few natural sights can surpass the beauty and grandeur of Lake Baikal and our experiences here will be an unforgettable part of our Trans-Siberian journey. For five hours we wind our way through tunnels along cliff hugging tracks above the frozen lake with a vista of snowcapped peaks along the far shore forming a picture-perfect backdrop.

Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and during winter is completely frozen. This evening enjoy an overnight stay at a traditional Siberian lodge hotel on the shoreline of Lake Baikal, where you can make full use of the sauna and spa facilities and wake up to breathtaking views across the Sharyzhalgay river gorge.

Steam Locomotives: L class

Day 10 Lake Baikal

Russia

This morning on our second day on Lake Baikal we are taken in a hovercraft on the frozen lake to the place where the dog sledges and snowmobiles are situated. Here will be the perfect vantage point to appreciate the magnificence of this unspoiled location. There is also the opportunity to watch the under-ice fishing and try the freshly caught fish which will be smoked in a mobile smokehouse and served warm with ice-cold vodka. Delicious!

We depart at lunchtime back along the lake. At Slyudyanka, two P36 locomotives will be waiting to take our train up Devil's Mountain, the steepest section of the Trans-Siberian, 26kms upto Andrianovskaya.

Steam Locomotives: P36 and L class

Day 11 Irkutsk

Russia

Our visit to Irkutsk, the ‘Paris of Siberia’, takes in the most significant sites in this fascinating city, including an exploration of the classic wooden architecture with its intricately carved lace-like decorations that has given many of this region’s buildings such a distinctive and unique appearance. We also visit the Decembrist House museum which is dedicated to the memory of the aristocrats who were exiled to this remote outpost after the failed uprising of 1825.

Steam Locomotives: P36 class

Day 12 On Board

Russia

A day to unwind and reflect on the many sights and sounds we have experienced on our journey so far. Chat to your fellow passengers, perhaps learn a few words of Russian or simply enjoy the ever-changing landscape outside your window as it unfolds.

At breakfast time we leave the main Trans-Siberian route at Taishet and take a very scenic alternate route through the Sayan Mountain. Late afternoon we leave Shchetinkino and and climb 14km over a double horse-shoe to reach Dzheb.

Steam Locomotives: P36 class

Day 13 Abakan

Russia

Abakan is the capital city of the Republic of Khakassia located at the confluence of the Yenisei and Abakan Rivers, where this morning we will conduct a short tour of the regional museum and enjoy a private folk concert.

Steam Locomotives: P36 class

Day 14 Novokuznetsk & Barnaul

Russia

Novokuznetsk is one of the oldest cities in Siberia, founded in the early 17th century and we’ll enjoy a short city tour of this former mining centre. The town has a large iron and steel plant that specialises in producing rails for Russian Railways and there is an interesting museum of steel production which we will visit.

After lunch we continue the short distance onto Barnaul, located on the western banks of the River Ob for an early evening arrival and enjoy a few hours touring.

Steam Locomotives: P36 class

Day 15 Omsk

Russia

This afternoon we spend a few hours in the city of Omsk. Founded in 1716 as a fortress on the Imperial Russia's expanding southern frontier, by 1850s Omsk grew to become the capital of Western Siberia. The construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway in the late 1890s brought a rapid development boom, culminating in an extravagant 1910s World Fair, around the time of which Omsk acquired much of its neoclassical architectural heritage.

Steam Locomotives: P36 and L class

Day 16 Yekaterinburg

Russia

Founded in 1723 by Peter the Great, Yekaterinburg is the capital of the Urals. Known as the Great Divide, the Ural Mountains create the natural border between Europe and Asia so that the cultural and architectural influences of European and Asian civilisations come together in this fascinating and cosmopolitan landscape.

Our city tour takes us to the poignant site where the Romanov, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, was executed with his family by the Bolsheviks in 1918 following 78 days of imprisonment. Now a church dedicated to their memory, this site provides us with a powerful insight into the turmoil of the Russian Revolution.

We will also visit the working narrow gauge Children's Railway.

Steam Locomotives: P36 and LV class

Day 17 Kazan

Russia

Situated on the River Volga, the picturesque and historic city of Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan. Here we see for ourselves its rich tapestry of history and culture. One of the highlights of this city tour is our exploration of the Kremlin Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within the walls of this ancient citadel we will explore its stunning mosque and picture-perfect onion-domed cathedral.

As Kazan is the birthplace of one of Russia’s most famous opera singers, Feodor Chaliapin (1873-1938), we honour his memory with a private concert of his music. You will also have time to wander through the main pedestrian area of Kazan and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the city.

Steam Locomotives: LV and L class

Day 18 Ulyanovsk

Russia

Ulyanovsk is a western Russian city sitting beside the Volga River, known as the birthplace of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin. The central Lenin Memorial complex features museums in his former homes and a research centre.

Steam Locomotives: L class

Day 19 Nizhny Novgorod

Russia

Today we arrive into Nizhny Novgorod (formerly known as Gorky). The city is particularly well-known for its 16th-century Kremlin, ringed by 13 fortified towers, including the Dmitrovskaya Tower. Within the Kremlin’s walls is the green-spired Cathedral of the Archangel Michael, rebuilt in the 17th century.

Steam Locomotives: P36 class

Day 20 Vladimir & Suzdal

Russia

The historic city of Vladimir was founded in 990 and is one of Russia’s oldest communities. With an architectural wealth, it has been decreed 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.

From Vladimir we travel to Suzdal, one of Russia’s most perfectly preserved walled cities dating back to 1024, located 35 kilometres from Vladimir. Here we visit the atmospheric St Euthymius Monastery to witness an enchanting choral performance by the resident monks. No Russian winter experience would be complete without the horse-drawn sleigh ride through this stunning location.

This evening we head towards Moscow and following dinner in the Restaurant Car we arrive into our final stop.

Included in our time spent in Moscow is two nights at the stylish five-star Four Seasons Hotel Moscow. Located in the historic building of Moskva Hotel and occupying one of the most enviable addresses in the very heart of Moscow, the hotel is a short walk from the Kremlin, Red Square and the Bolshoi Theatre.

Steam Locomotives: P36 class

Day 21 Moscow

Russia

Today in Moscow we make an extended visit to the Podmoskovnaya Locomotive Depot.

Steam Locomotives: Em and Eu class

Day 22 Moscow

Russia

Following breakfast, spend the remaining time in Moscow at your leisure, followed by your transfer which will take you to the airport to begin the return flight home.

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