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Our special winter programme includes the Trans-Siberian Express Winter Wonderland and Arctic Explorer tours. From our experience in previous years, it is important that guests understand what to expect when it comes to the cold weather and how best to prepare.

Despite the icy climes, exploring Siberia and the Arctic Circle during the winter months is a magical opportunity. From King Crab fishing to horse-drawn sleighs, our tours offer unforgettable experiences. To enjoy such adventures fully, the key is to prepare a packing list of winter clothing in advance to ensure you remain warm and cosy throughout your trip.

In this guide, we shall answer the most frequently asked questions regarding weather and clothing requirements for the tour, including what will be provided to you on arrival.

What will the weather be like?

As you may expect, Siberia is cold throughout the winter months. In some areas, temperatures outside can drop as low as -13˚F (-25˚C). This is also true of Kirkenes, the Norwegian town we visit during our Arctic Explorer tour.

Such temperatures may seem daunting, although the weather overall is generally dry, calm and sunny and on board the train is always well heated.

Dog sledging on Lake Baikal, Russia

The beauty and grandeur of Lake Baikal enjoyed by dog sledge

What is the dress code on the train?

During the day, the dress code on and off the Golden Eagle is casual, although we suggest smart casual for the evenings. Despite the cold temperatures outside, the train itself is always well heated and normal indoor clothing can be worn.

What type of footwear is required?

Since every tour requires some walking, we recommend that passengers pack some comfortable walking shoes. A rubber sole is recommended to avoid possible slipping. For our winter tours, we recommend warm boots with thick socks to ensure you are comfortable.

Does Golden Eagle provide any winter clothing?

We provide scarves, hats and gloves to wear during the off-train excursions. We will also be able to provide some warm felt boots for you to wear (don’t forget to let us know your shoe size!) You will receive these items on arrival on board the Golden Eagle and are welcome to keep them as souvenirs.

Our Guest Speaker in winter gear with troika horses

Complimentary hat, boots and mittens, as worn by one of our guest lecturers, Dr. Lynne Attwood

Valenki – These are traditional Russian woollen shoes. We will provide one pair of these per passenger. They have rubber soles which will give you grip but we generally don’t recommend them for walking long distances or for entering museums, restaurants or theatres.

Mittens & Socks – We will provide one pair of mittens and socks. They are woollen in material.

Ushanka – We will provide one of these per passenger. They are Russian synthetic fur caps with ear flaps that can be tied up to the crown of the cap, or fastened at the chin to protect the lower face from the cold. There will be a style in white for female passengers and a dark blue style provided for male passengers.

Scarves – Each passenger will receive one scarf each. They are all one size and come in one style.

On our Arctic Explorer tours, you will also be given Norway Arctic Suits. These will be provided on arrival in Kirkenes and are returnable each day to the Snow Hotel who provide them. They are designed to protect your own clothes while also providing an additional layer protecting against the cold for the specific activities of King Crab ice fishing, snowmobiling and husky dog sledging.

Guests King Crab ice fishing in their Norway Arctic Suits

Guests enjoying King Crab ice fishing in their Norway Arctic Suits in Kirkenes

What other winter clothing should I bring?

We recommend you bring the following items with you as essentials:

  • A ski jacket, winterproof jacket or similar
  • At least one pair of light winterproof trousers suitable for a short time outside (up to 30 minutes)
  • Microfleeces or woollen sweaters
  • Thermal underwear such as long johns.
  • Gloves

On some of our winter tours, there may be an opportunity to experience a Russian Banya (sauna), so you may wish to include some swimwear in your luggage. Check with us first to see if the sauna is an option on your journey.

For more information and advice on our Arctic Explorer or Trans-Siberian Express Winter Wonderland tours, please contact us here.