Last updated: 18 January, 2023
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.