Moscow Red Square on Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express.
Baikal BBQ on Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express.
Yekaterinburg church on Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian journey
Group in the car on the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express journey
Ulan Ude on Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express.
Dining on Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express.

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

Asia, Europe
15-day Escorted Tour
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Overview

The Highlights

  • Guided tours in Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Ulaan Baatar, Ulan Ude, Lake Baikal, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Kazan and Moscow
  • Afternoon barbecue on Lake Baikal shore, largest freshwater lake in the world (weather permitting)
  • Dinner, concert and dancing provided by the Old Believers, breakaway Eastern Orthodox sect living outside Ulan Ude
  • Irkutsk, elegant home of the upper-class “Decembrist” revolutionaries exiled by Tsar Nicholas I in 1825
  • Yekaterinburg, infamous execution site of Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, their son, daughters and servants, by the Bolsheviks in 1918
  • Grand Moscow’s Red Square, the Kremlin and Kremlin museum, with its Imperial jewels and Fabergé eggs
  • All meals, fine wine with lunch and dinner, hotels, gratuities, off-train tours and arrival/departure transfers included

The Tour

The Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express is THE big train ride—an epic 15-day journey spanning two continents and seven time zones. Travel across the world’s most famous railway on board the private Golden Eagle luxury train.

There’s no better way to see the vastness of Siberia. One of IRT members’ favorite journeys, it’s a trip that will change your life.

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You’ll spend most days touring cities along the route as well as enjoy three, relaxing full days on board. You’ll spend your nights on the train in private cabins (except on the first and last nights of the tour, when you’ll be in top hotels). A favorite highlight: viewing the early-morning mist rising over Lake Baikal, as you ride outside on the engine, followed by a picnic lunch on a secluded beach.

Five Imperial Suites are available on all Golden Eagle departures. These compartments are the most spacious – 120 square feet – offered on the train and feature a fixed king-sized bed, a dedicated dressing table and lounge area, and more. Read about more details of the Imperial Suites.

Golden Eagle Trans Siberian Express map

Countries Visited

  • Russia
  • Mongolia

Itinerary

Download itinerary

Day 1: Vladivostok

Arrive at Vladivostok Airport, where you are met and transferred to the deluxe Lotte Hotel for a one-night stay. Meet your fellow travelers at a welcome reception dinner this evening.

Day 2: 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 II 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.

Following a champagne reception at Vladivostok Railway Station, and with a military band playing on the platform, we will board the Golden Eagle. After settling into your modern, stylish cabin, enjoy dinner in the restaurant car as our rail adventure westwards begins.

Day 3: Khabarovsk

Situated 15 miles (25 kilometres) from the border with China, Khabarovsk stretches along the banks of the Amur River. Khabarovsk was founded as a military post in 1858, but the region had been populated by several indigenous peoples of the Far East for many centuries. It is now a busy city with tree-lined streets.

Located next to the station we will pass the monument to Yerofey Pavlovich Khabarov, the Far East explorer the city is named after, and see the impressive World War II memorial to the fallen soldiers. We will also have time at the Regional Museum where the local history has been well-preserved with a rich collection of artifacts describing the cultural and natural history of the region.

Day 4: On board

Our journey today follows the Shilka and Amur Rivers, close to the Chinese border. Relax on board as the Russian scenery unfolds before you. Perhaps you would like to attend an on-board lecture or Russian language lesson.

Day 5: On board

Today offers another opportunity to enjoy the train’s service and amenities. Practice your improving Russian or sit back and enjoy a drink (perhaps the local favorite, vodka) in the bar car, where a resident musician entertains.

Day 6: Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia

Our Trans-Siberian adventure takes us into Mongolia, home of Genghis Khan. We visit the capital, Ulaan Baatar, once the center of an enormous empire. We begin 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.” See the monument to Genghis Khan at Chinggis Square before driving out of the city to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. Here we’ll have the visit a traditional Ger (yurt) and meet a nomadic family or try your hand at horse-riding, an intrinsic part of Mongolian life.

Alternatively, there is an option to stay in the city as part of our Freedom of Choice touring. Visit the National Museum to learn about the country’s intriguing history. And see Bogd Khan Winter Palace Museum, the winter residences of Bogd Khan, the last Mongolian emperor, built between 1893 and 1903.

Enjoy a performance of traditional Mongolian throat singing and contortionists.

Please note, depending on final timings provided by the railway authorities we may substitute the railway journey from Russia into Ulaan Baatar with a private jet charter from Irkutsk or Ulan Ude so that we can maintain the advertised program for Mongolia.  This will be advised to you in your final documentation.

Day 7: Ulan Ude

Afternoon arrival in Ulan Ude, capital of the Buryat Republic, where you’ll notice a fascinating change of people and dress. We visit a community of Old Believers, Russian Orthodox church members whose forebears broke off from the main church following the 1443 split with Constantinople.

We learn about the culture and history of these communities through a traditional meal and concert featuring local dancers and musicians.

Day 8: Lake Baikal

Few natural sights can surpass the beauty and grandeur of Lake Baikal, a major highlight on our Trans-Siberian journey. Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and holds 20 percent of the world’s freshwater. Also known as the ‘Pearl of Siberia’, it is home to a unique breed of freshwater seal and over 50 species of fish including omul. For five hours we wind our way through tunnels along cliff hugging tracks above the lake. To add to the excitement of the day, our Golden Eagle train will be hauled by a Soviet Era steam locomotive on this beautiful section of line.

At the end of the Baikal branch line, we leave the train and travel by boat on the lake to Listvyanka, a small Baikal settlement nestling at the base of the surrounding hills and visit the Lake Baikal Museum and Aquarium where you can learn about the flora and fauna of the lake. We will enjoy a delicious barbecue prepared by our own chefs, including freshly smoked omul fish, in the delightful covered dining area on the shore of Lake Baikal to complete a memorable day. The brave hearted may wish to take a refreshing swim in the crystal clear and ice-cold waters of the lake.

Our Freedom of Choice program includes a hiking opportunity up Chersky Mount or you can choose to take the chair lift, which offers some spectacular and panoramic hillside views of the grandeur of the lake below.

Day 9: Irkutsk

Today we arrive in the “Paris of Siberia,” Irkutsk, so named because of the sophistication brought to the Siberian outpost by the exiled “Decembrists.” These were eight aristocratic families banished to Irkutsk in 1825 following an attempted revolt in St. Petersburg. Our full-day tour includes an exploration of the classic wooden architecture that is unique to the region. Visit the Volkonsky House Museum, where we recreate the atmosphere of that time with a champagne reception and private concert.

Alternative touring options include a cooking demonstration or visit to a traditional Russian dacha (cottage). Return to the train for dinner.

Day 10: On board

Of Siberia, the Russian poet Chekov reportedly wrote: “only the migratory birds know where it ends.” Today, we find out why.

After several exciting stops, we have a full day on the train to rest, reflect on the sights we’ve seen and simply gaze out the window. All meals are served in the train’s restaurant cars.

Day 11: Novosibirsk

Stop in this modern “Soviet” city and visit the Opera House, one of the world’s largest, completed in 1944 and whose stage reportedly was ordered by Stalin to withstand the weight of a squadron of tanks. Also visit Lenin Square and River Ob, which flows 3,500 miles from its source to the Arctic.

Time permitting, south of the city we will visit Novosibirsk’s excellent Railway Museum. The museum displays locomotives and rolling stock from the late 1800s, including carriages of the Tsars, through to the Soviet era. Alternatively, the Freedom of Choice option will take you to the Mineralogical Centre with its fine display of Siberian minerals.

Day 12: Yekaterinburg

Founded in 1723 by Peter the Great, Yekaterinburg is the capital of the Urals. The Ural Mountains create the natural border between Europe and Asia, and the influences of each continent come together in this fascinating city.

More important for students of Russian history, Yekaterinburg is the execution site of Russia’s last Czar, Nicholas, as well as his wife, Alexandra, their children and servants. Khrushchev ordered the destruction of the building where the crime took place, but the Russian Orthodox memorial which replaced it several decades later is a moving tribute to the doomed Romanovs. We will also drive to the obelisk marking the geographical border can drink a glass of champagne with one foot in Europe and the other in Asia.

Time permitting, our Freedom of Choice program features a visit to the recently opened Museum of Military Machinery, with an amazing collection of military hardware including armored trains – a treat for anyone with an interest in the Soviet past. Alternatively, visit the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Centre, recently opened in Yekaterinburg, dedicated to the contemporary political history of Russia and its first president.

Day 13: Kazan

Situated on the River Volga, the picturesque and historic city of Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan. One of the city tour highlights is the Kremlin Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within the walls of this ancient citadel, we will explore the stunning mosque and picture-perfect onion-domed cathedral. As Kazan is the birthplace of one of Russia’s most famous opera singers, Feodor Chaliapin (1873-1938), we honor his memory with a private concert of his music. You will also have time to wander through the main pedestrian area of Kazan and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the city.

Day 14: Moscow

Today our train arrives in Moscow—the end of our 6,600 mile journey. Our full day touring program of Russia’s capital 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, where we have an exclusive private viewing.

Continue to Red Square, with its eclectic mix of fascinating architecture, including the ornate onion-domed spires of St Basil’s Cathedral and the beautiful façade of the world-famous GUM department store, constructed in Tsarist times.

Lunch is served in Café Pushkin, a legendary Moscow restaurant with a décor that revives the atmosphere of an early 19th-century mansion. An essential part of any visit to Moscow is a tour of the opulent and unique stations of the Moscow metro – showpieces of Socialist art furnished with statues, frescoes and mosaics, unsurpassed anywhere in the world.

If you have been to Moscow before, we offer an included Freedom of Choice touring program, where you visit other sights of Moscow, such as the famous State Tretyakov Gallery (National Museum of Fine Art) or the Space Museum (all subject to opening times).

Check in to the five-star Four Seasons Hotel for a one-night stay, and toast a wonderful journey at a farewell dinner this evening.

Day 15: Moscow

Following breakfast, you may explore the city at your leisure. An early-morning Kremlin visit may be scheduled this morning if your journey arrived in Moscow on a Thursday, when the Kremlin museums normally are closed. Transfers to Moscow airport included.

Day 1: Moscow

Arrive at Moscow Airport, where you are met and transferred to the stylish five-star Four Seasons Hotel Moscow, a short walk from the Kremlin, Red Square and the Bolshoi Theatre. Enjoy a champagne drinks reception before our exclusive welcome dinner. Specially selected international wines are included with dinner, as with all meals during the tour.

Day 2: Moscow

Our touring program of Russia’s capital 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, where we have an exclusive private viewing. Continue to Red Square, with its eclectic mix of fascinating architecture, including the ornate onion-domed spires of St Basil’s Cathedral and the beautiful façade of the world-famous GUM department store, constructed in Tsarist times.

Lunch is served in Café Pushkin, a legendary Moscow restaurant with a décor that revives the atmosphere of an early 19th-century mansion. An essential part of any visit to Moscow is a tour of the opulent and unique stations of the Moscow metro – showpieces of Socialist art furnished with statues, frescoes and mosaics, unsurpassed anywhere in the world.

If you have been to Moscow before, we offer an included Freedom of Choice touring program, where you visit other sights of Moscow, such as the famous State Tretyakov Gallery (National Museum of Fine Art) or the Space Museum (all subject to opening times).

Upon arrival at Moscow Kazansky Station in the late afternoon, you will be greeted in the ornately decorated Imperial Waiting Room with a cold glass of Russian Champagne and canapes as you are welcomed by the Golden Eagle train staff.

Day 3: Kazan

Situated on the River Volga, the picturesque and historic city of Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan. One of the city tour highlights is the Kremlin Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within the walls of this ancient citadel, we will explore the stunning mosque and picture-perfect onion-domed cathedral. As Kazan is the birthplace of one of Russia’s most famous opera singers, Feodor Chaliapin (1873-1938), we honor his memory with a private concert of his music. You will also have time to wander through the main pedestrian area of Kazan and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the city.

Day 4: Yekaterinburg

Founded in 1723 by Peter the Great, Yekaterinburg is the capital of the Urals. The Ural Mountains create the natural border between Europe and Asia, and the influences of each continent come together in this fascinating city.

More important for students of Russian history, Yekaterinburg is the execution site of Russia’s last Czar, Nicholas, as well as his wife, Alexandra, their children and servants. Khrushchev ordered the destruction of the building where the crime took place, but the Russian Orthodox memorial which replaced it several decades later is a moving tribute to the doomed Romanovs. We will also drive to the obelisk marking the geographical border can drink a glass of champagne with one foot in Europe and the other in Asia.

Time permitting, our Freedom of Choice program features a visit to the recently opened Museum of Military Machinery, with an amazing collection of military hardware including armored trains – a treat for anyone with an interest in the Soviet past. Alternatively, visit the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Centre, recently opened in Yekaterinburg, dedicated to the contemporary political history of Russia and its first president.

Day 5: Novosibirsk

Stop in this modern “Soviet” city and visit the Opera House, one of the world’s largest, completed in 1944 and whose stage reportedly was ordered by Stalin to withstand the weight of a squadron of tanks. Also visit Lenin Square and River Ob, which flows 3,500 miles from its source to the Arctic.

Time permitting, south of the city we will visit Novosibirsk’s excellent Railway Museum. The museum displays locomotives and rolling stock from the late 1800s, including carriages of the Tsars, through to the Soviet era. Alternatively, the Freedom of Choice option will take you to the Mineralogical Centre with its fine display of Siberian minerals.

Day 6: On board the Golden Eagle

Enjoy a full day to unwind and reflect on the many sights and sounds we have experienced on our journey so far. Chat to your fellow passengers, perhaps learn a few words of Russian or simply enjoy the ever-changing landscape outside your window.

Day 7: Irkutsk

Today we arrive in the “Paris of Siberia,” Irkutsk, so named because of the sophistication brought to the Siberian outpost by the exiled “Decembrists.” These were eight aristocratic families banished to Irkutsk in 1825 following an attempted revolt in St. Petersburg. Our full-day tour includes an exploration of the classic wooden architecture that is unique to the region. Visit the Volkonsky House Museum, where we recreate the atmosphere of that time with a champagne reception and private concert.

Alternative touring options include a cooking demonstration or visit to a traditional Russian dacha (cottage). Return to the train for dinner.

Day 8: Lake Baikal

Few natural sights can surpass the beauty and grandeur of Lake Baikal, a major highlight on our Trans-Siberian journey. Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and holds 20 percent of the world’s freshwater. Also known as the ‘Pearl of Siberia’, it is home to a unique breed of freshwater seal and over 50 species of fish including omul. For five hours we wind our way through tunnels along cliff hugging tracks above the lake. To add to the excitement of the day, our Golden Eagle train will be hauled by a Soviet Era steam locomotive on this beautiful section of line.

At the end of the Baikal branch line, we leave the train and travel by boat on the lake to Listvyanka, a small Baikal settlement nestling at the base of the surrounding hills and visit the Lake Baikal Museum and Aquarium where you can learn about the flora and fauna of the lake. We will enjoy a delicious barbecue prepared by our own chefs, including freshly smoked omul fish, in the delightful covered dining area on the shore of Lake Baikal to complete a memorable day. The brave hearted may wish to take a refreshing swim in the crystal clear and ice-cold waters of the lake.

Our Freedom of Choice program includes a hiking opportunity up Chersky Mount or you can choose to take the chair lift, which offers some spectacular and panoramic hillside views of the grandeur of the lake below.

Day 9: Ulan Ude

Afternoon arrival in Ulan Ude, capital of the Buryat Republic, where you’ll notice a fascinating change of people and dress. We visit a community of Old Believers, Russian Orthodox church members whose forebears broke off from the main church following the 1443 split with Constantinople. We learn about the culture and history of these communities through a traditional meal and concert featuring local dancers and musicians.

Day 10: Ulaan Baatar

Our Trans-Siberian adventure takes us into Mongolia, home of Genghis Khan. We visit the capital, Ulaan Baatar, once the center of an enormous empire. We begin 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.” See the monument to Genghis Khan at Chinggis Square before driving out of the city to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. Here we’ll have the visit a traditional Ger (yurt) and meet a nomadic family or try your hand at horse-riding, an intrinsic part of Mongolian life.

Alternatively, there is an option to stay in the city as part of our Freedom of Choice touring. Visit the National Museum to learn about the country’s intriguing history. And see Bogd Khan Winter Palace Museum, the winter residences of Bogd Khan, the last Mongolian emperor, built between 1893 and 1903.

Enjoy a performance of traditional Mongolian throat singing and contortionists.

Please note, depending on final timings provided by the railway authorities we may substitute the railway journey from Russia into Ulaan Baatar with a private jet charter from Irkutsk or Ulan Ude so that we can maintain the advertised program for Mongolia.  This will be advised to you in your final documentation.

Day 11: On Board

Enjoy a more leisurely pace today as we travel through the beautiful landscape of the Russian Far East. You may wish to attend one of the interesting lectures or Russian language lessons.

Day 12: On Board

It’s the perfect opportunity to practice your Russian or simply relax as our train follows the Shilka and Amur rivers, close to the Chinese border. Enjoy Russia at its most dramatic and remote, as the Golden Eagle eats up the miles on our way to Vladivostok.

Day 13: On Board


Passing directly north of Seoul, Darwin and Osaka, we spend our last full day on board the Golden Eagle today as the most easterly point of this mammoth journey is reached passing through Khabarovsk, where we cross the River Amur. Tonight we enjoy a final dinner on board as we approach our final destination.

Day 14: 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 II 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. This evening we will have a festive farewell dinner before overnighting at the five-star Lotte Hotel Vladivostok.

Day 15: Vladivostok

Following breakfast, spend the remaining time in Vladivostok at your leisure. Transfer included to Vladivostok Airport.

Please note: Freedom of Choice touring options may be subject to variations dependent on finalized train timings and local weather conditions.

Dates & Prices

2021 Dates

July 25 - August 8 *

August 7 - 21

August 22 - September 5 *

September 4 - 18

*Departure operates Moscow to Vladivostok.

2021 Pricing - May & June Departures

2021 Pricing - July, August & September Departures

All prices are per person.

2022 Dates

May 1 - 15 *

May 14 - 28

June 12 - 26

July 24 - August 7 *

August 6 - 20

August 21 - September 4 *

September 3 - 17

*Departure operates Moscow to Vladivostok.

2022 Pricing - May & June Departures

2022 Pricing - July, August & September Departures

All prices are per person.

2023 Dates

April 30 - May 14

May 13 - 27 *

June 11 - 25 *

July 23 - August 6

August 5 - 19 *

August 20 - September 3

September 2 - 16 *

*Departure operates Moscow to Vladivostok.

2023 dates are tentative.

2023 Pricing - May & June Departures

  • Book 2023 now at 2022 prices — for a limited time!
  • Prices are per person.

2023 Pricing - July, August & September Departures

  • Book 2023 now at 2022 prices — for a limited time!
  • Prices are per person.

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Double-entry Russian visa required for this trip. Mongolian visa may be required, depending on traveler nationality.

Extensions: We are delighted to make arrangements for your extension, and highly recommend adding on St. Petersburg, traveling by first-class train or river cruiser from Moscow, with special visits to Catherine’s Palace, the Hermitage, and more. Let us custom-design a package for you.

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If your departure arrives Moscow on a Thursday, please schedule your air departure next day in the afternoon so you can participate in the early-morning Friday Kremlin visit.

Latest News: Read our blog, Track 25, for the latest news on this and other tours on our World’s Top 25 Trains™.