Introduction/History:

The Golden Eagle train travels in Russia, Eastern Europe Central Asia, and Iran. This train has made a huge push to offer true luxury accommodations with an Imperial Suite (includes butler service and private touring), as well as Gold and Silver Class accommodations, all with en-suite bathroom. The train also has two dining cars and a lounge car. It plies the famous Trans-Siberian route between Moscow and Vladivostok, as well as making special tours of the Silk Road, Russia’s Arctic, Iran, and the Caspian region.

The train’s “Freedom of Choice” program includes options for those who may prefer more active or off the beaten path touring in some cities en route.  Freedom of Choice touring 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: Click here for owner Owen Hardy’s blog on improvements in 2012 on the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express.

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Accommodations

Imperial Suite
The Imperial Suites (two available on each departure) measure 120 square feet. They are the most luxurious and spacious compartments on the train. The Suites feature a fixed king-sized bed, a dedicated sitting area with dressing table, large en-suite shower, under-floor heating, individual air-conditioning, wardrobe, DVD/CD player, and two large picture windows. Imperial Suite guests receive complimentary drinks from the premium bar list, included laundry service, and room upgrades to the next available category at selected hotels per the trip itinerary. There is a dedicated butler, and In-cabin dining is available. Imperial Guests will also have a private car and driver for off-train touring where possible.

Gold Class
Gold Class compartments measure 77 square feet and have five compartments per car. These feature underfloor heating, DVD/CD player, audio system, individual air conditioning, recessed lighting and wardrobe space. Showers in Gold Class bathrooms are large (for a train) and have 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. They fold up into comfortable seating during the day. We loved our wake-up coffee, flowers and gift of vodka in our room.

Silver Class
Silver Class cars have six compartments each. Features include DVD/CD player, audio system, individual 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 is not, in our experienced opinion. Each compartment is 60 square feet.

Dining

The two 64-seat, sumptuously-appointed restaurant cars were renovated in 2012, with extra space and a central buffet. 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.

The positions of maitre d’ and executive chef have been added to improve communication and on-board service and food. New china and crystal have been introduced in the dining room, as have new staff uniforms.

Lounge Cars

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 (standard bar list) and Imperial Class (premium bar list); drinks are additional for Silver Class passengers.

Other

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’ four-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). Everything is included except bar liquor (which is included for Gold Class and Imperial travelers.) In all, 64 staff members cater to the needs of up to 132 passengers.

Golden Eagle add-on: Begin or end your tour with a side trip to St. Petersburg: To travel all the way to Russia without seeing the city of Peter the Great would be a shame. A convenient and luxurious overnight rail service between Moscow and St. Petersburg is available on the “Alexander Nevsky.” We are delighted to arrange this train, additional hotel nights in Moscow and St. Petersburg, transfers and touring. Please inquire.

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The Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express in Moscow.  (Photo by Owen Hardy)
The Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express in Moscow. (Photo by Owen Hardy)
The new Imperial Suite aboard the Golden Eagle (Photo by GW Travel)
The new Imperial Suite aboard the Golden Eagle (Photo by GW Travel)
Lounge car of the Golden Eagle.  (Photo by Owen Hardy)
Lounge car of the Golden Eagle. (Photo by Owen Hardy)
Society of IRT members ordering dinner on the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express. (Photo by Owen Hardy)
Society of IRT members ordering dinner on the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express. (Photo by Owen Hardy)