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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 23 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Anthony Lambert

This classic journey offers an unrivalled insight into Russia’s vastness, and this particular train the best way to travel it in style.

The 15-day journey begins in Moscow and ends in Vladivostok, stopping en route at Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Ulan Ude and Ulaan Baatar in Mongolia.

Highlights along the way include St Basil’s Cathedral, the fortress in Kazan – the spot in Ekaterinburg where the Romanovs were murdered – the classic wood buildings of Irkutsk, the ‘Paris of Siberia’, and ancient Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world. A BBQ is held by the lake followed by a visit to a typical lake settlement.

Another good option is through an untouched part of Siberia on the Baikal-Amur Magistral (BAM) route north of the classic route, leaving it at Novosibirsk. The train winds through the Abakan and Sayan mountains to join the BAM at Taishet. Off-train excursions are made to a monumental hydro-electric dam, museums, incongruous sand dunes and an enclave of Soviet architecture.

Facilities onboard are plentiful (including showers with underfloor heating), while the wider Russian track gauge creates space for generous sofas in the lounge car. Meals are served in the two elegantly appointed dining cars; the food is of a high standard, based on Russian cuisine, and infused where possible with local ingredients such as fish unique to Lake Baikal, caviar and Borsch.

Logistics

Price from: £15000
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around
Duration: 15 days

Getting there & doing it

Operated by Golden Eagle Luxury Trains (a British company), the 15-day journey is bookended by a night each in Moscow and Vladivostok.

All food, tours and gratuities are included in the price. The only extras are laundry and alcohol beyond the generous allowance. There is 24-hour service for drinks.

When to do it

The train runs June to September with four journeys (one per month) both eastbound and westbound, plus one journey in late February/early March.

Who to go with: tour operators

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Our writer’s recommended tour operators to book with

Golden Eagle Luxury Trains

Golden Eagle Luxury Trains

Altrincham, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom (UK)

UK-based operator of some of the world’s most iconic and luxurious rail journeys over the last 30 years, notably Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, Mongolia, China, Central Asia and India.

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