Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview

  • Join historian George Munro aboard the luxurious Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian for an enlightening journey across Russia on one of the world’s most legendary railways.
  • Attend musical performances, including a private show at the Decembrist House Museum in Irkutsk and a choral concert given by Buryat’s Old Believers.
  • Sip tea at a family home in the village of Listvyanka, perched along the shores of beautiful Lake Baikal.
  • In Moscow, take an in-depth tour of the Kremlin, and learn about the history of Russian space exploration during a talk by a cosmonaut.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Set out on an epic train journey across one-third of the world, traveling from Vladivostok, Russia to the heart of Moscow along the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. From the Mongolian steppe to Lake Baikal’s remote shores to the snow-capped Ural Mountains, trace the history of tsars, exiles, and Mongols in the comfort of our luxury train, the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express. Encounter remote cultures and the unique architecture of Siberia’s wooden cottages and Moscow’s onion domes.

Day 1: Vladivostok, Russia

Arrive in Vladivostok and check in to our hotel. Meet fellow travelers at a welcome dinner this evening.

Meals Included:Dinner
Accommodations:

Hotel Hyundai

Day 2: Vladivostok

As a strategic naval outpost, Vladivostok was closed to most of the world from World War II until the end of the Cold War. Get acquainted with this modern city on a tour that includes the brightly painted railway station and Our Lady Grieving Orthodox Church. See the Pacific Navy War Memorial and the steamboat Krasny Vympel, take in views of the city and its bay from the Eagle’s Nest observation platform, and stroll the historic Vladivostok Naval Cemetery. This evening, climb aboard our luxury train and set off on our journey across Russia.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

Day 3: Khabarovsk

Explore the lively squares of Khabarovsk and visit the Natural History Museum by the Amur River. Learn about the flora and fauna of the region, and see artifacts from the indigenous tribes of the Goldi and the Gilyak.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

Days 4-5: On Train/Siberia

As the train slips past rolling hills and Siberian villages of log houses, relax with a book, attend a talk by our expert, or simply watch remote and ever changing countryside pass by. On our second day on board, we enter the sweeping Mongolian steppe

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

Day 6: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

During a morning in Mongolia’s capital city, visit the National Museum to trace the history of Genghis Khan and explore the culture of the steppe nomads. Then head to nearby Gorkhi-Terelj National Park to enjoy the alpine scenery, watch a demonstration of Mongolian horseback riding, and visit a traditional ger (felt tent). This evening, enjoy dinner and a performance of Mongolian throat singing and traditional dance before we reboard our train and continue on our way back into Russia.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

Day 7: Ulan Ude

The train rolls through the valley of the Selenge River, which flows into Lake Baikal. Stop in Ulan Ude, the capital of the Buryat Republic and once a major trading post between China and Irkutsk. Pay a visit to a village of Old Believers, a group descended from 17th-century religious exiles whose fascinating culture has changed little over the centuries. Watch a performance of their unique choral music.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

Day 8: Lake Baikal

Arrive at beautiful Lake Baikal, called the sacred sea by locals and named a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The lake basin holds about 20 percent of the world’s unfrozen fresh water. A sacred site for Buryat shamans, Lake Baikal’s Shaman Rock is steeped in legend. Our train route hugs the rocky shores and passes through 33 tunnels. Take in spectacular views from the train, and stop for a barbecue lunch on the shore. In the afternoon, explore the village of Listvyanka and join a family for tea in their home.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

Day 9: Irkutsk

Spend today in Irkutsk, an important Siberian outpost established by the Cossacks in 1652. In the early 19th century, many Russian artists, officers, and nobles were exiled here for their involvement in the Decembrist revolt. Visit the city’s historic sights, and wander through a delightful collection of classic Russian and Siberian cottages at the Museum of Wooden Architecture. Stop for a private bell-ringing performance, and then enjoy a private concert and champagne reception at the Decembrist House Museum.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

Days 10-11: On Train/Novosibirsk

Enjoy a day to relax on board, taking in stunning scenery as the vast Siberian taiga unfurls. The following day, stop in Novosibirsk, Siberia’s largest city, to see the opera house and Lenin Square.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

Day 12: Yekaterinburg

Arrive in Yekaterinburg, where Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. Visit the Romanovs’ execution site—now a church dedicated to their memory—and view the city’s ornately decorated wooden houses.

Accommodations:Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express
Day 13: Kazan

Today, explore Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, perched on the banks of the Volga River. Tour the city’s Kremlin, the turquoise-topped Qol Sharif Mosque, and the Peter and Paul Cathedral. Pay a visit to the Kazan Conservatory and enjoy a concert performed by its students. Then set off on a private cruise around the walls of the city’s Kremlin before returning to our train to depart on the final leg of our journey.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

Days 14-15: Moscow

Disembark in Moscow, and check in to our hotel before an afternoon city tour. After dinner at a local restaurant, take a guided stroll through Red Square at night. The following morning, explore the legendary Kremlin. Visit St. Basil’s Cathedral, and view court regalia from the Romanov dynasty at the Armory Museum. After lunch, head to the Monument to the Conquerors of Space, which sweeps some 360 feet into the sky. Delve into the history of space exploration at the recently updated Memorial Museum of Astronautics, and enjoy a specially arranged talk by a Russian cosmonaut.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:

Ararat Hyatt Park Moscow

Day 16: Moscow

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Meals Included:Breakfast

Extensions

Extensions

  • Trans-Siberian Rail: Saint Petersburg Extension
    4 days from $2,995
Trans-Siberian Rail: Saint Petersburg Extension

Post-Trip, 4 Days

St. Petersburg is often described as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Its miles of canals, laced together with graceful bridges set amidst 18th-century buildings, have earned it the name "Venice of the North." Immerse yourself in the treasures of the city, discovering magnificent palaces and cathedrals, cruising St. Petersburg's waterways, and savoring the masterpieces of the splendid Hermitage.

Day 1: Moscow/St. Petersburg

The day begins with a tour of the 16th-century Novodevichy Convent and its spectacular Smolensk Cathedral, which rises from within the complex and is filled with stunning paintings, woodwork, embroidery, and illuminated books. Stroll through the adjacent cemetery, the final resting place of luminaries such as Gogol and Chekhov, as well as political figures like Khrushchev, Raisa Gorbachev, and Boris Yeltsin. Ride the high-speed train to St. Petersburg and, upon arrival, settle into your hotel in the heart of the city.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations:Kempinski Hotel Moika 22
Day 2: St. Petersburg

Designed by European architects of Peter the Great's choosing, St. Petersburg was conceived as Russia's link to the western world and served as the country's capital from 1712 until just after the revolution. Get oriented on a driving tour of the city, then take in incredible views of the Winter Palace and Peter and Paul Fortress from Vasilievsky Island. Admire the sparkling dome of St. Isaac's Cathedral, covered with 220 pounds of gold, and examine its beautiful columns faced with lapis, lazuli, and malachite. Step into the Church of the Savior on the Blood, built as a tribute to Czar Alexander II who was killed by a bomb here in 1881. After lunch, explore the world-renowned Hermitage museum and, by special permission, enter its Gold Room to view Scythian and Greek golden ornaments. Cap off the day with a leisurely boat cruise along the city's canals, and dine on your own this evening.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations:Kempinski Hotel Moika 22
Day 3: St. Petersburg

Travel by hydrofoil (weather permitting) to Petrodvorets, the country estate of Peter the Great. Stroll the palace's manicured gardens, intended to rival those at Versailles. Then journey to Pushkin, site of Catherine's Palace, originally built in 1717 by Catherine I. After lunch at a traditional restaurant, enjoy a guided tour of the estate, including the iconic Amber Room, clad in brilliant panels of amber. Return to the city for dinner.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Kempinski Hotel Moika 22
Day 4: St. Petersburg/U.S.

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Meals Included:Breakfast