In 2019, Golden Eagle Luxury Trains will celebrate 30 years in business. Since launching our very first service in 1989, we have carried many thousands of delighted travellers on a range of exciting and unique trips across the globe. Honouring our proud heritage of offering unique and pioneering rail journeys, we are pleased to present our highlights for the year ahead, including brand new and exclusive tours to celebrate this special anniversary.
Mumbai – Kolkata, Feb 7-21
First on our list must be the Darjeeling Mail, a trip covering the best of Northern India. From the incomparable Taj Mahal to the breathtaking views of the Himalayas, guests on board will experience a trip like no other. For this tour, we’ll have exclusive use of one of India’s most luxurious trains, the Deccan Odyssey. Guests will enjoy a number of fantastic facilities on board, including a dedicated spa car where they can work out in the gym, visit the hair salon or even indulge in a traditional Ayurvedic massage.
This journey proved so popular with our guests, it sold out almost immediately! We’ll be running another Darjeeling Mail in February 2020, the details of which can be found here.
Discover China & Tibet by Rail
Urumqi – Lhasa, Apr 11-22
In April, we’ll be venturing to China and the astounding Tibetan capital of Lhasa. Traversing across the grand wilderness of China through stunning scenery and ancient cities before offering a magical exploration of Tibet, this is a journey like no other. As befits such a remarkable land, Lhasa is home to a spectacular collection of UNESCO sites, including the former residence of the Dalai Lama, Potala Palace. What has made Tibet so elusive in the world of travel is that until recently, it was virtually inaccessible by land. That changed with the building of the Golmud to Lhasa railway. More than 600 miles is at an altitude of over 13,000ft and, with the summit of the Tangula Pass at 16,640ft, it is the world’s highest railway.
There’s still time to join us on this trip of a lifetime. Get in touch now for full details through our online contact form here.
Summer in the Balkans
Balkan Odyssey: Budapest – Venice, Jun 13-22 and Balkan Explorer: Venice – Istanbul, Jun 19-29
The launch of the Golden Eagle Danube Express in 2015 opened up an exciting range of rail journeys through Central and Eastern Europe and into the Middle East. We are continuously developing new ideas for journeys but possibly the most exciting trips are those that venture through the Balkans. As we venture through the lush landscapes of the Balkan states and their neighbouring countries, passengers will experience Europe from entirely new perspectives.
Highlights include Dubrovnik, with lunch overlooking the Adriatic and a tour of St Laurence Fortress, and Mostar, a historic city in South Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mostar’s world-famous Stari Most (Old Bridge) is instantly recognisable by its swooping stone arch. The bridge is the scene for many spectacular events, including an annual diving competition. Divers from around the world plunge 24 meters off the bridge towards the water below. Throughout the year you can watch locals making the same jump and even some brave tourists, though they must be trained by the Mostar Diving Club beforehand!
Trans-Siberian Express: Special June Departure
Moscow – Vladivostok, Jun 2-16
Undoubtedly the world’s greatest railway journey aboard our magnificent flagship train, our Trans-Siberian Railway programme for 2019 had to feature as one of our highlights. We are particularly looking forward to our June 2nd departure. We have partnered with UK tour operator, Steppes Travel, to welcome a very special guest speaker on board: Princess Katya Galitzine. Katya is a member of one of the oldest noble families in Russian History and will be joined by her husband, Nick Laing, founder of Steppes Travel. She is a fluent Russian speaker and author of numerous books and articles on Russian history. Her grandfather, Prince Vladimir Galitzine, fled his Russian homeland in 1919 after the Bolshevik Revolution and settled in London. Katya is also a direct descendant of Catherine the Great.
On this special departure, Katya will share her expertise and fascinating family history in a series of on board talks. Discover the full itinerary here.
Land of the Midnight Sun
Moscow – St Petersburg, Jun 17-28
In June, join us in celebrating the White Nights season as we cross deep into the Arctic Circle by private train. With dramatic fjords, serene forests and incomparable cities, our Land of the Midnight Sun tour is a photographer’s dream and one of our unmissable highlights this summer. The Midnight Sun refers to a natural phenomenon that occurs in the local summer months north of the Arctic Circle when the sun remains visible at midnight. During the few brief weeks of festivity, usually from May to the end of July in the north, this region is drenched all night in a pearlescent glow.
Our first real opportunity to see the Midnight Sun announces itself in Kirkenes, where we will take a boat cruise and attempt to catch a glimpse. As part of the boat journey we will make a stop to sample the local delicacy, cloudberries and cream, and learn about the cultural history of the Laplanders and the Russian Orthodox Church. See the full itinerary and join the festivities by clicking here.
Castles of Transylvania
Istanbul – Budapest, Jun 27-Jul 3
An exciting new tour for 2019 aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express! Delve into the chilling history surrounding Romania’s most infamous historical figure, Vlad the Impaler – or as he is more commonly known, Count Dracula – on this 7-day rail cruise of Transylvania. Enjoy a walking tour of the beautifully preserved town of Sighisoara where he was born, discover Sibiu’s Evangelic Cathedral where Vlad’s son was buried after his assassination, and visit the impressive Bran Castle – the setting made famous by Bram Stoker’s novel as the residence of the vampire count. Perched high atop a 200-foot-high rock, the 14th century castle is surrounded by an aura of mystery and legend.
President’s Tour: Madras Mail
Mumbai – Hyderabad, Dec 5-19
Last but not least, the Madras Mail is another new jewel in our collection of voyages of a lifetime and one of our key highlights for 2019. A special ‘President’s Tour’ to celebrate our 30th Anniversary, this outstanding journey will be joined by our President and Founder, Tim Littler. Vibrant cities, immaculate beaches, rich cultural heritage and incomparable ancient monuments, Southern India is a premier travel destination in its own right. Carefully designed to take in the best highlights of this fascinating region, the Madras Mail covers everything from India’s most important cities to spectacular World Heritage Sites and stunning coastlines.
With these itineraries and many more available, 2019 is sure to be our best year yet. See our full list of tours and discover more here.