Travel from Moscow to Mongolia on this exotic train trip that highlights Russia's history and culture, then wraps up with a visit to the unique Naadam Festival
About the Tour
Begin your excursion in Moscow, where you will tour the city to visit the iconic Red Square and the Kremlin. Then board the Golden Eagle Ulaan Baatar Express, and make your first stop in Kazan on the River Volga. Here you will visit the Kremlin Fortress and take in a private concert. Travel through the Ural Mountains and enjoy a drink as you straddle both Europe and Asian on the Great Divide.
A stop in Novosibirsk brings you to Lenin Square, followed by a visit to Irkutsk to tour the Volkonsky House Museum. A scenic highlight of this trip is your next stop at Lake Baikal, which includes a relaxing barbecue on its picturesque shores. You can then have a unique cultural experience in Ulan Ude, where you will explore the Old Believers’ Village. Finally, wrap up your tour in Mongolia and experience the traditional Naadam Festival set in the beautiful Gorkhi-Terelj National Park.
- Rail travel on Golden Eagle Ulaan Baatar Express (8 nights on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 2 nights
- All Meals Daily
- The Kremlin
- The Great Divide
- Lenin Square
- Volkonsky House Museum
- Lake Baikal
- Gandan Monastery
- Naadam Festival
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Baggage Handling
Day 1 – Arrive in Moscow
Arrive at Moscow Airport, where you are met and transferred to the stylish five-star Four Seasons Moscow. Located in the historic building of Moskva Hotel and occupying one of the most enviable addresses in the very heart of Moscow, the hotel is a short walk from the Kremlin, Red Square and the Bolshoi Theatre. Overnight hotel. (D)
Day 2 – Moscow
The tour of Moscow takes you to the Kremlin-the spiritual, historical and political heart of Moscow-where you can view the treasures of the Tsars in the Armoury Chamber. Then visit the Red Square, with its eclectic mix of fascinating architecture, such as the ornate St Basil’s Cathedral’s magnificent onion-domed spires. Enjoy lunch in Café Pushkin, a legendary Moscow restaurant which serves traditional Russian cuisine. End the day with a tour of the opulent and unique stations of the Moscow metro.
Or enjoy the included Freedom of Choice tour where you visit other sights of Moscow such as the famous State Tretyakov Gallery (National Museum of Fine Art) or the Space Museum.
Then transfer to the Moscow Kazansky Station, where the Golden Eagle awaits. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 3 – Kazan
Situated on the River Volga, the picturesque and historic city of Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan. Here you will visit the Kremlin Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within the walls of this ancient citadel, you will explore its stunning mosque and picture-perfect onion-domed cathedral.
Kazan is the birthplace of one of Russia’s most famous opera singers, Feodor Chaliapin (1873-1938), and later today you will listen to 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. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
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. Today you will visit a church dedicated to the memory of the Romanov family. Then enjoy a drive to the obelisk marking the geographical border of the Great Divide and drink a glass of champagne with one foot in Europe and the other in Asia.
The Freedom of Choice program features a visit to the recently opened Museum of Military Machinery. The museum houses an amazing collection of different types of military hardware including tanks, aircraft, boats and even armored trains. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 5 – Novosibirsk
Tour Novosibirsk, located in the heart of Russia and situated on both banks of the River Ob. Visit Lenin Square to see the imposing Opera House, which houses two permanent ballet and opera companies and is one of the largest opera houses in the world.
Alternatively, south of the city you could visit Novosibirsk’s Railway Museum on the Freedom of Choice tour. The museum displays locomotives and rolling stock from the late 1800s, including carriages of the Tsars, through to the Soviet era. Or choose to go to the Mineralogical Centre, which displays Siberian minerals.
Another Freedom of Choice option is a visit to the State Art Museum with an extensive collection including icons, Siberian art and numerous distinctive mountainscapes by celebrated spiritual Russian painter Nicholas Roerich. It also displays temporary art and photography exhibitions by local and international artists. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 6 – Train Travel on the Ulaan Baatar Express
Enjoy a day to unwind and reflect on the many sights and sounds you have experienced on your journey so far. Chat with your fellow passengers, perhaps learn a few words of Russian, or simply enjoy the ever-changing landscape outside your window. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 7 – Irkutsk
The 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. You will also visit the Volkonsky House Museum for a champagne reception and private concert.
Alternatively, you could learn to cook some traditional Russian dishes with a local chef and prepare your own lunch with our Freedom of Choice option. Or you could visit a traditional Russian Dacha (summer house) or an urban apartment to get an insight into the everyday life of an average Russian family. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 8 – Lake Baikal
Travel to the superb Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world that holds 20 percent of the world’s freshwater. Today the train winds its way through tunnels along cliff-hugging tracks above the lake with a vista of snow-capped peaks along the far shore. A Soviet era steam locomotive will haul the Golden Eagle train on this beautiful section of the line.
Weather permitting, stop in a picturesque location by the lake for photographs. For the brave-hearted, there is time for a refreshing swim in the crystal clear and ice-cold waters of Baikal.
Later you will disembark the train and travel by boat to Listvyanka, a small Baikal settlement nestling at the base of the surrounding hills. Here you will visit the Lake Baikal Museum and Aquarium. Then enjoy a delicious barbecue, including freshly smoked omul fish, on the shore of Lake Baikal.
As part of our Freedom of Choice excursion program, you can choose a hiking opportunity that offers spectacular and panoramic hillside views of the lake below. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 9 – Ulan Ude, Buryat Republic
The ethnic and cultural diversity of Ulan Ude, the capital of the Buryat Republic, offers a unique insight into its heritage. During exploration of the Old Believers’ Village, you have the opportunity to learn about the culture and history of these religious people as you are treated to a concert featuring local traditions and folk singing. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 10 – Ulan Baatar, Mongolia
Enter Mongolia and visit its capital, Ulaan Baatar. Mongolia is famous for its endless green Steppes, grazing livestock, and white, nomadic Gers (Yurts) dotted all across the countryside.
Begin your tour at Gandan Monastery, one of Mongolia’s most important Buddhist Monasteries housing a community of over 500 monks. At Chinggis Square (formerly Sukhbaatar Square), you can see the central monument to Genghis Khan. Then drive out of the city to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park for a unique opportunity to experience a taste of the traditional Naadam Festival, with a spectacular display of horse riding, wrestling, and archery performed by members of the local community. Meet a nomadic family in a traditional Ger and learn more about their historic culture and customs.
Alternatively, you can stay in the city as part of the Freedom of Choice option. After Gandan Monastery and Chinggis Square, visit the National Museum where you will learn about the country’s intriguing history. You will also see Bogd Khan Winter Palace Museum, the winter residences of Bogd Khan, the last Mongolian emperor, built between 1893 and 1903.
You can also explore the city and have some free time for shopping for Mongolian souvenirs, including their famous cashmere. You will also enjoy a performance of traditional Mongolian throat singing and contortionists. Overnight hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 11 – Departure
After breakfast, you will begin the journey home from Ulaan Baatar. Alternatively, you can enjoy an extension program to visit the wonders of the Gobi Desert. (B)
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.
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