The Golden Eagle train was launched in 2007 to much fanfare in Moscow. It is one of the world’s top luxury trains.
The Golden Eagle plies the famous Trans-Siberian route between Moscow and Vladivostok, as well as making special tours of the Silk Road, Mongolia, and the Caspian region.
The train travels with one or two dining cars and a lounge car. It offers three types of accommodation, all with en-suite bathrooms. The five sumptuous Imperial Suites are the ultimate in luxury, with fixed, king-sized bed, separate sitting area and two large picture windows. Its Gold and Silver Class accommodations also are quite comfortable.
A maximum of 75 passengers can be accommodated on board, though most departures travel with fewer people. A typical number is around 56 passengers — the maximum for the train’s lovely dining cars.
The train’s “Freedom of Choice” program includes options for those who may prefer an alternate program. This appeals to two types: travelers who, for example, have already been to Moscow and don’t want to tour the Kremlin for a second time; and people who’d simply like a range of activities from which to choose.
Latest News: Read owner and IRT President Eleanor Hardy’s blog on the fantastic Imperial Suites aboard the Golden Eagle.
The Imperial Suites (five available on each departure) measure 120 square feet. They are the most luxurious and spacious compartments on the train.
The Suites feature a fixed, standard king-size (5’ x 6’6”) bed, a dedicated sitting area with dressing table, air-conditioning, wardrobe, safe, and two large picture windows. The bathroom has a large en-suite shower and under-floor heating.
Imperial Suite guests receive complimentary drinks from the premium bar list (not including premium wine list), included laundry service, and room upgrades to the next available category at selected hotels per the trip itinerary.
Imperial Guests have a private car and driver for off-train touring where possible. Click here for owner and IRT President Eleanor Hardy’s blog on the fantastic Imperial Suites aboard the Golden Eagle.
Gold Class compartments, five per car, measure 77 square feet. They feature air conditioning, a safe, recessed lighting and wardrobe space. Showers in Gold Class bathrooms are large (for a train) and have underfloor heating and a curved, sliding-glass door.
The lower bed is double-bed width; the upper bed is a twin. Both are among the most comfortable beds we have enjoyed on a train.
Beds fold up into comfortable seating during the day. Gold Suite guests receive complimentary drinks from the standard bar list.
Silver Class cabins, six per car, measure 60 square feet. Features include air conditioning, recessed lighting and wardrobe. There is a small double bed lower berth and upper twin-sized berth.
The Silver Class shower occupies the same space as the sink and toilet; to take a shower, the passenger draws a curtain around him- or herself. It sounds claustrophobic, but it’s not, in our experience.
Silver Suite guests receive complimentary drinks from the standard bar list.
The Romanov Suite is the ultimate: a full train car available with its own kitchen, chef and personal guide. It is perfect for families or small groups who prefer privacy.
The Romanov car has one Imperial Suite, one Silver Class cabin and one cabin with upper/lower berths (non en-suite).
The kitchen and lounge/dining room are exclusively for Romanov Suite guests. The package price includes a private vehicle and guide in all destinations (where available), private dining, complimentary laundry and premium drinks. Please inquire for availability and pricing.
The two 54-seat, sumptuously-appointed restaurant cars were renovated in 2012.
The “Gold” diner is decorated with a surfeit of brass, elaborate indirect lighting, gleaming wood and glowing overhead lights. The “White” diner is arrayed in shades of white and cream. Highlighted with gold medallions, mirrors and intricate carvings, it’s like a rococo wedding cake on wheels.
Travelers can choose to sit wherever they like in either car at tables for two or four.
The restaurant cars’ maitre d’ and executive chef ensure a high standard of communication and on-board service and food. Menus include locally sourced, fresh produce as much as possible. Guests enjoy bread and pastries made fresh on board as well as a selection of meal choices for all courses. Vegetarian and vegan options also are available.
Fine wines are served at lunch and dinner. The dress code is smart casual.
Golden Eagle china and crystal exude the air of a fine hotel dining room, as do the staff’s crisp uniforms.
The ornate bar car is the train’s social center. It has no official closing hours and includes a piano and pianist.
Bar drinks are included in Gold & Silver (standard bar list) and Imperial Class (premium bar list excluding premium wines). Non-alcoholic drinks are inclusive for all guests.
We especially enjoy the bar car at dusk. Nothing beats watching the sun set over Siberia’s endless steppes as the pianist plays Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C-sharp minor.
If the train seems unusually spacious, it is.
It’s amazing what an extra three-and-a-half inches of track gauge can do to enlarge a passenger compartment. (Russian railways operate on a five-foot gauge, unlike the U.S. and most other countries’ 4-foot, 8 1/2-inch gauge).
Most trips include one or two dining cars, comfy lounge with bar/piano (and pianist), laundry facilities (and laundress), English train doctor, translator, train/tour manager, day and night staff (who are friendly but speak just a few words of English).
On Golden Eagle tours, everything is included except bar liquor (included for Gold & Imperial travelers; additional for Silver travelers). In all, 64 staff members cater to the needs of up to 94 passengers.