The Golden Eagle Danube Express - Winter Wonderland - Eastbound
Take in snow-capped mountain peaks, vast expanses of frozen wilderness and beautiful cities from years past on this uniquely Eastern European tour aboard the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express.
A winter wonderland awaits in Russian and Mongolia, and we travel over 6,000 miles over the course of 15 days to experience it all. This journey begins in the city of Moscow, where stunning traditional architecture mingles with historical sites and modern conveniences. After two days of planned group and Freechoice activities, we board the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express and set off for the city of Vladimir. As one of the oldest regions in Russia and a mecca of culture, this city is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers fascinating touring options. From here, the train continues on an eastbound route, with full-day stops in Suzdal, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk along the way. Pure white grounds meet brilliant blue skies as the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express makes its way through the country and to Irkutsk, which is known as the "Paris of Siberia" and is filled with impressive wooden structures and museums. Continuing on, we enjoy a one-of-a-kind winter adventure on Lake Baikal and are in for a traditional experience in Ulan Ude. Dipping into Mongolia, Ulaan Baatar is the last planned stop on our route before a multi-day journey across Russia to our final destination, Vladivostok.
Journey is also available in westbound based on your travel preference.
Highlights and Inclusions
- One night of hotel accommodations in Moscow
- One night of hotel accommodations in Vladivostok
- Twelve nights in the comfortable accommodations of the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express
- Guided expeditions and Freechoice activities
- Three meals a day
- Transfers to and from the airport
- Services of an experienced Tour Manager
- Onboard enrichment activities
- Guided look at Moscow, including all of the offerings in Red Square
- Tour of the 12th century Uspensky Cathedral
- Private choral performance at St. Euthymius Monastery
- City tour of Yekaterinburg, noting the important sites of the Russian Revolution
- Walking tour of Novosibirsk, featuring Lenin Square
- Insider's look at the stunning wooden architecture of Irkutsk
- Hovercraft ride on Lake Baikal
- Tour of Old Believers' Village, including a traditional folk concert
- Visit to a nomadic family's traditional Ger in Ulaan Baatar
- Picturesque scenery through Russia's cities and wilderness
- City tour of Vladivostok, featuring the city's famed suspension bridge
Day 1 - Moscow
Arrive at Moscow Airport, where you are met and transferred to the luxury five-star Ritz-Carlton, featured in 2016 as part of our commemoration of 100th anniversary since the opening of the final section of the Trans-Siberian line. Superbly located in Moscow city centre, and within easy walking distance of Red Square, the Kremlin and the Bolshoi Theatre, this historic hotel offers spacious and luxurious accommodation. The O2 Lounge, a stylish rooftop terrace, features panoramic views over the Red Square and the Kremlin. The spacious ESPA spa centre includes a hot tub, indoor pool, and 14 treatment rooms. Crystal lighting, candles and beautiful facilities create the perfect atmosphere, and a wide variety of spa treatments, as well as the sauna, are available. There is also a fitness centre, and a beauty salon.
Why not extend your stay in Moscow with additional nights to explore more of the city at your leisure or have time to take in a performance at the world-renowned Bolshoi Theatre? Tickets need to be pre-booked and are subject to schedule and availability.
Day 2 - Moscow
Our touring programme of Moscow principally takes us to the grandeur of the Kremlin - the spiritual, historical and political heart of Moscow - and to see the treasures of the Tsars in the Armoury Chamber. We also visit Red Square, an iconic symbol of Russia's former military and political might with its eclectic mix of fascinating architecture, such as the ornate St Basil's Cathedral's magnificent onion-domed spires, the beautiful facade of the world famous GUM department store, constructed in Tsarist times, and the sombre and evocative site of Lenin's tomb. With our Freedom of Choice touring option you may instead wish to visit the famous State Tretyakov Gallery (National Museum of Fine Art). Upon arrival at Moscow Yaroslavsky Station, you are welcomed on board by the train staff with a glass of champagne waiting in the Bar Lounge Car as the train prepares for departure.
Day 3 - Vladimir
The historic city of Vladimir was founded in 990 and is one of Russia's oldest communities with an architectural wealth. The whole city was decreed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our tour takes in Uspensky Cathedral, built between the 12th and 15th centuries. It is considered one of the most important and beautiful of Russian cathedrals, where many of the prominent Russian Tsars were crowned.
Day 3 - Suzdal
The pastoral town of Suzdal is one of most perfectly preserved walled cities in Russia dating back to 1024 and is located 22 miles (35 kms) from Vladimir. Here we visit the atmospheric St. Euthymius Monastery to witness an enchanting choral performance.
Day 4 - Yekaterinburg
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.
Day 5 - Novosibirsk
A modern ‘Soviet' city, we experience the life and character of Novosibirsk's rich culture where the arts and sciences predominate. The city is located in the heart of Russia and is situated on both banks of the River Ob. Our city tour takes us to Lenin Square where the imposing Opera House is located.
An architectural marvel, it houses two permanent ballet and opera companies and is one of the largest opera houses in the world. In front of the Opera House, we visit an impressive statue of Lenin - a marvellous opportunity to have your photograph taken with this iconic political leader. Alternatively, our Freedom of Choice tour goes south of the city to visit Novosibirsk's excellent Railway Museum, which displays locomotives and rolling stock from the late 1800s, including carriages of the Tsars, through to the Soviet era.
Day 6 - Onboard
Today we relax onboard as our train travels through Siberia. In comfort enjoy the ever-changing panoramas of natural snow-covered beauty unfold before us.
Day 7 - Irkutsk
Our visit to Irkutsk, the ‘Paris of Siberia', takes in the most significant sites and museums 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, and we recreate the atmosphere of that time with a champagne reception and private concert. Alternatively you may wish to visit a traditional Russian Banya (sauna) on our Freedom of Choice tour.
Day 9 - Lake Baikal
Our day by Lake Baikal offers a real highlight of travelling through Siberia in winter. Few natural sights can surpass the beauty and grandeur of Lake Baikal and today 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 snow-capped peaks along the far shore forming a picture-perfect backdrop. Completely frozen in winter, Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and at this time of the year we will visit the shoreside Ice Festival to look at the many intricate works of ice art.
We are taken in a hovercraft on the frozen lake to the place where the ice fishing, dog sledges and snowmobiles are situated and you will enjoy the perfect vantage point to appreciate the magnificence of this unspoilt location. There is 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!
Day 9 - Ulan Ude
The ethnic and cultural diversity of Ulan Ude offers a unique insight into its heritage. As we tour the area you will notice the different faces of these welcoming people. We will meet the people of the Old Believers' Village and have the opportunity to learn about the culture and history of these religious people. We are treated to a concert featuring local folk singers.
Day 10 - Ulaan Baatar
Our Trans-Siberian adventure takes us into Mongolia and a visit to its capital, Ulaan Baatar. Mongolia, once the very centre of an enormous empire led by Genghis Khan, is a country of beautiful landscapes, nomadic people and rich in culture and history. Mongolia is famous for its endless green Steppes, grazing livestock and white, nomadic Gers (Yurts) dotted all across the countryside. We start the tour at Gandan Monastery, one of Mongolia's most important Buddhist Monasteries housing a community of over 500 monks. The full name, Gandantegchinlen, translates as ‘the great place of complete joy'. At Sukhbaatar Square we can see the central monument to Genghis Khan, undoubtedly the most feared and revered Mongol and visit the National Museum where we learn about the country's intriguing history. We also have the opportunity to visit a traditional Ger and meet a nomadic family.
Day 11 - Onboard
Enjoy a more leisurely pace today as we travel through the beautiful landscape of the Russian Far East. You may like to attend one of the interesting lectures or Russian language lessons.
Day 12 - Onboard
It's the perfect opportunity to practice your Russian or simply relax as our journey today follows the Shilka and Amur rivers, close to the Chinese border. Enjoy Russia at its more dramatic and remote, as the Golden Eagle eats up the miles on our way to Vladivostok.
Day 13 - Onboard
Passing directly north of Seoul, Darwin and Osaka, we spend our last full day onboard the Golden Eagle today as the most easterly point on our mammoth journey is reached pasing through Khabarovsk, where we cross the River Amur. Tonight we enjoy our final dinner onboard our private train that has been our home for the last 12 days as we approach our final destination on this unforgettable journey.
Day 14 - Vladivostok
After travelling through 8 time zones and covering a staggering 6,600 miles (10,600kms) along this iconic railway, the Golden Eagle pulls into its final destination, Vladivostok.
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 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. Our hotel in Vladivostok, where we stay for one night, is the four-star Hotel Hyundai.
Day 15 - Vladivostok
Following breakfast, you will be transferred to Vladivostok Airport to begin your journey home.
Rail Your Way
Own your holiday, make it bespoke, especially designed for you. This could be as simple as a variation to one of our existing tours by choosing where and when you want to begin and end your journey. Or something totally unique with your chosen destinations and hotels for the time you want. Rail Your Way allows you to tailor make your holiday so you can have the experience you want.
Ask your rail specialist for details.
Add long-haul or domestic flights from your nearest airport and make your holiday air-inclusive. Look for the Air Available icon to identify those holidays where flights can be included.
Ask your rail specialist for details.
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Silver Class cabins, which are compact at 60 sq ft feature a small double lower bed and a single upper bed as well as DVD/CD player, LCD screen, safe, individual air-conditioning, wardrobe and large picture window. The Silver Class cabins have private en-suite wet room with a washbasin, toilet and shower.
Gold Class cabins, at 77 sq ft are extremely well-proportioned and have everything from a private bathroom with separate power shower cubicle and underfloor heating to a DVD/CD player, LCD screen, safe, individual air-conditioning, wardrobe, large picture window as well as featuring a double lower bed and a single upper bed. Guests in Gold Class benefit from complimentary drinks off the Standard Bar List in the Bar Lounge Car.
Imperial Suite cabins, the most spacious cabins available onboard the Golden Eagle measures 120 sq ft and benefits from a large and luxurious double bed as well as a lounge area with dressing table. Imperial Suite facilities include a private en-suite bathroom with power shower and the luxury of underfloor heating; individual air-conditioning; wardrobe; DVD/CD player with LCD screen; complimentary fully stocked minibar; safe; small library and two large picture windows to watch the world go by. Guests will also benefit from the option of a private guide and car service along the route, the inclusion of drinks from the standard and premium bar list in the Bar Lounge Car, a laundry service and room upgrades to the next available category at the hotels which are featured in the itinerary.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
Please enter the child's age.
Please enter the children's ages.
Please enter the children's ages.
Please enter the children's ages.
Register for Free Notification of 2018 Dates & Prices
Enter your details below if you would like to be notified when 2018 dates and prices are available for The Golden Eagle Danube Express - Winter Wonderland - Eastbound.
Foreign Travel Advice
The Foreign Office issues regular advice and updates on safety and security, entry requirements, travel warnings and health advise. Please check this information on their website www.gov.uk or contact the FCO Travel Advice Unit on 0845 850 2829 before you travel.
Holidays By Rail cares about your safety.