In February 2021, 25 years after operating its first ever Trans-Siberian rail journey, Golden Eagle Luxury Trains is to offer a spectacular Trans-Siberian Winter Wonderland trip, hauled entirely by steam.

Travelling between Vladivostok and Moscow aboard the iconic Golden Eagle train, pulled by no less than 20 different locomotive engines, this will be a first for the leading operator of luxury rail tours.

This epic 22-day passage follows the classic Trans-Siberian route but in winter, when the scenery is breath-taking. Undoubtedly the greatest rail journey on the planet, the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express will weave its way from East to West, travelling across the endless Steppe, over the Urals and through Russia.

Passengers will pass through eight time zones and cover a distance of over 10,000kms, all the while watching the cinematic snowy wilderness scenes unfold from the large picture windows as well as experiencing the drama of being pulled by various locomotives, among them the P36, L and LV classes.

Journeying westbound from Vladivostok to Moscow, there will be opportunities to: meet the community at Sretensk, one of the remotest towns of Siberia; enjoy a folk performance in the Old Believers Village at Ulan Ude; experience a traditional Russian Banya (sauna) in Irkutsk, the ‘Paris of Siberia’; discover the neoclassical architecture of Omsk; visit Yekaterinburg, known as the Great Divide due to its location between Europe and Asia; spend a day in Kazan to discover the Kremlin Fortress, a Unesco World Heritage Site; pause at Ulyanovsk, renowned as the birthplace of Vladimir Lenin; and visit the historic cities of Nizny Novgorod and Vladimir ahead of arrival in Moscow.

The highlight though is picture-perfect Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world which is completely frozen in winter and provides a great spot for a range of snowy activities including snowmobiling and dog sledding.

Once aboard the hotel-on-wheels, passengers can relax in the knowledge that every need will be taken care of, from cabin attendants on hand 24 hours a day to fine dining menus and even an onboard doctor. Private en-suite cabins provide a comfortable haven while the elegant Bar Lounge Car is the social hub. A variety of on-board activities is on offer, including Russian language lessons, talks on local history and vodka tasting sessions.

Price: from £14,495pp based on 2 sharing, including 17 nights onboard the Golden Eagle in Heritage Class, 4 nights’ hotel accommodation, all meals, wine, beer and soft drinks, fully guided off-train excursions programme, porterage throughout, arrival and departure transfers, the services of a Tour Manager and all gratuities. Flights are extra. Upgrade to Silver, Gold or Imperial Class for en suite cabins. Departs 25 Feb 2021.

Image © Parker Wilson.