Grand Tours don’t get much bigger and better than Golden Eagle Luxury Trains’ brand new Grand Tour of Russia, introduced for summer 2017. Combining a river cruise on the Volga Dream and a passage along the famed Trans-Siberian railway aboard the Golden Eagle, this impressive 26-day voyage is not to be missed. Also launching next summer onboard the Golden Eagle is a spectacular journey deep into the Arctic Circle to experience the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Golden Eagle Luxury Trains, the world’s leading operator of exclusive, long-distance luxury rail tours, continues to offer a host of exotic trips discovering some of the world’s most intriguing destinations – from Siberia’s grand wilderness to the diverse South Caucasus, and the remote former Soviet Republics to the ancient lands of Persia. What’s more, passengers can enjoy these mysterious regions from the comfort of the Golden Eagle, a private hotel-on-wheels. From the moment guests climb aboard, they can relax in the knowledge that everything is taken care of. Expect en-suite cabins, fine dining menus, fully guided sightseeing, onboard activities such as vodka tastings and Russian language lessons, and even a traveling doctor.
NEW VOYAGES ONBOARD THE GOLDEN EAGLE FOR 2017
Grand Tour of Russia: Bringing together two of Russia’s most luxurious means of travel, this new trip on the Volga Dream and Golden Eagle is the way to travel in style across this vast region. The holiday begins in St Petersburg with a walking tour, museum visits and a trip to Peterhof – the Versailles of Russia. Then it’s time to embark on a six-night cruise, sailing the Russian waterways on the MS Volga Dream, passing riverside hamlets, forested countryside and limitless wilderness. Dock in the ancient trading town of Uglich to enjoy a choral concert; visit Yaroslavl, one of Russia’s oldest cities, for a costumed reception at the Governor’s house; discover Lake Onega with its many rivers and islands; and step ashore from Lake Ladoga to explore the quaint wooden village of Mandrogi. Onboard, special experiences include a Russian cooking class and a piano concert. Disembark in Moscow to spend the next few days sightseeing, ahead of the next leg of the journey on the Golden Eagle.
The 12-night Trans-Siberian Express route crosses Russia, from Moscow to Vladivostok, traversing a massive 11,000kms. On this, one of the world’s greatest railway journeys, weave through Russia’s vast interior, from east to west, over the Urals and across the steppe, glimpsing cinematic landscapes, visiting remarkable cities, and enjoying privileged access. Of the numerous highlights are: the picturesque city of Kazan; sipping champagne with one foot in Europe and the other in Asia at Yekaterinburg; Irkutsk – the ‘Paris of Siberia’; being hauled by a steam locomotive alongside picture-perfect Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world; and dipping into Mongolia to visit its capital city, Ulaan Baatar, and a traditional Ger in the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park.
Price: from US$20,590, including 7 nights’ B&B hotel accommodation with lunches (3 in St Petersburg, 3 in Moscow and 1 in Vladivostok), 6 nights’ full board on the Volga Dream (Standard Cabin), and 12 nights’ full board on the Golden Eagle (Silver Class). Departs: 12 July 2017.
Land of the Midnight Sun: This incredible new rail adventure, during the celebratory White Nights season, crosses deep into the Arctic Circle to uncover incomparable cities, remote communities, dramatic fjords, still forests and a turbulent history. After sightseeing in the Golden Ring city of Vladimir and the perfectly-preserved wall city of Suzdal, step aboard the Golden Eagle in Moscow. The first port of call is Petrozavodsk, stretched along the western shores of Lake Onega, where a hydrofoil is waiting to whisk passengers across to the tiny island of Kizhi. Back on the train, cross into the Arctic Circle to visit Murmansk. From here, leave the train at the border station of Nikel to transfer across the Russian/Norwegian border to Kirkenes for a two-night stay. After a traditional meal, take a boat cruise onto the Bøkfjord and Barents Sea by RIB boat in search of the Midnight Sun. Other highlights here include a King Crab Fishing quest and a Summer Solstice Cocktail Party. It’s then time to re-join the Golden Eagle to loop southwards to St Petersburg, the journey’s end, to spend two nights enjoying the mid-summer White Night festivities and concerts.
Price: from US$11,995, including 2 nights in Moscow, 5 nights on the Golden Eagle, 2 nights in Kirkenes, 2 nights in St Petersburg and all meals. Departs: 15 June 2017.
MORE GRAND TOURS ONBOARD THE GOLDEN EAGLE
Trans-Siberian Express – Classic Route: The Trans-Siberian Railway runs like a steel ribbon across Russia connecting the east with the west – travel from Moscow to Vladivostok on what is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest railway journeys.
Trans-Mongolian Express: Journey from Moscow to Ulaan Baatar to take in Mongolia’s colourful Naadam Festival.
Trans-Siberian Express Winter Wonderland: The Trans-Siberian route, but in winter, when the scenery is jaw-droppingly beautiful, this trip features additional stops in the historic city of Vladimir and the pastoral town of Suzdal, as well as snowy activities on Lake Baikal which is totally frozen in winter.
Arctic Explorer: From St Petersburg, embark upon a rail adventure deep into the Arctic Circle to seek out the Northern Lights at Kirkenes before travelling to Moscow.
Silk Road: Retrace one of the most important ancient trading routes on this epic journey stretching from Moscow to Beijing, passing through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, reaching areas only accessible by train.
Caspian Odyssey: Explore countries on the eastern and western shores of the Caspian Sea, traveling from the Armenian capital of Yerevan, through the South Caucasus and great trading posts of the Silk Road, to Almaty in Kazakhstan.
Persian Odyssey: Travel from Moscow, via the Silk Road, to Iran’s capital, Tehran. Passing through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan en route to Persia, this pioneering trip reaches areas rarely experienced by Western travelers and visits some of the most magnificent ancient sites.
Heart of Persia: Starting and finishing in Tehran, this 14-day discovery centres wholly on Iran, visiting places that have long been off the tourist map; it also includes a day trip on an Iranian pilgrimage train.
*Prices are per person, based on 2 sharing an en suite cabin in Silver Class (Gold and Imperial also available) on the Golden Eagle. Additional inclusions are fully guided off-train excursions programme, porterage, arrival and departure transfers, and the services of a Tour Manager. During the Golden Eagle journey, all drinks and gratuities are also included. Hotel accommodation is 5* (4* in Vladivostok and Kirkenes). Flights are extra.*