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Golden Eagle Arctic Explorer at Christmas

Moscow ● Vladimir ● Suzdal ● Petrozavodsk (for Kizhi Island) ● Murmansk ● Kirkenes (Norway) ● St Petersburg

11 nights from UK £ 9,695 per person

Price based on 2 people sharing a Silver Class cabin. These prices are based on 2019 rates. See below for full pricing.
Please note that this is group tour with fixed date departures (see full pricing and dates further down this page). We can also book your international flights if required.

Moscow – Russia’s Iconic Capital

Vladimir – Beautiful Architecture

Suzdal – Fairytale Russia Lost in Time

Petrozavodsk – Cultural Lakeside City

Murmansk – Remote Military Port City

Kirkenes – Norway’s Most Northerly Town

St Petersburg – a Celebration of Art and Culture

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival Moscow

Arrival in Moscow & a Welcome Reception & Dinner

Flight arrivals into Moscow and transfer to your luxurious hotel for a two-night stay. This evening a welcome reception and dinner where you can meet your travel companions for the next 12 days.

Meals Included: Dinner.

Day 2 - Moscow

Tour the Highlights of Russia’s Capital

Our touring programme of Russia’s capital takes us to the grandeur of the Kremlin – the spiritual, historical and political heart of Moscow – and to see the treasures of the Tsars in the Armoury Chamber, where we will enjoy an exclusive private viewing.

Our exploration of the city continues with a visit to Red Square, the iconic symbol of Russia’s former military and political might with its eclectic mix of fascinating architecture. Here we visit the ornate St Basil’s Cathedral’s magnificent onion-domed spires and marvel at the beautiful façade of the world-famous GUM department store which was constructed in Tsarist times.

Lunch is served in Café Pushkin, a legendary Moscow restaurant serving traditional Russian cuisine with a décor that revives the atmosphere of an early 19th century mansion. An essential part of any visit to Moscow is a tour of the opulent and unique stations of the Moscow metro – showpieces of Socialist art furnished with statues, frescoes and mosaics, unsurpassed anywhere in the world.

If you have been to Moscow before we offer included Freedom of Choice touring where we show you other sights of Moscow such as the famous State Tretyakov Gallery (National Museum of Fine Art) or the Space Museum.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 3 - Vladimir & Suzdal

Visit Two of Russia’s Historical Cities & Board Your Train

Today we travel by public train north-west from Moscow to two of the ancient cities that form the Golden Ring.

The historic city of Vladimir was founded in 990 and is one of Russia’s oldest communities. With an architectural wealth, it has been decreed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our tour takes in Uspensky Cathedral, built between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. It is considered one of the most important and beautiful of Russian cathedrals, where many of the prominent Russian Tsars were crowned. From Vladimir we travel to Suzdal, one of Russia’s most perfectly preserved walled cities dating back to 1024, located 35 kilometres from Vladimir.

Returning to Moscow early evening, we board the Golden Eagle and settle into our modern, stylish cabins to embark upon our rail adventure deep into the Arctic Circle.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 4 - Petrozavodsk

Stop in Petrozavodsk as You Head North

Petrozavodsk is the capital of the Karelia Republic and remains a major cultural and industrial centre of Russia’s North-West. It stretches along the western shore of Lake Onega, the second largest lake in Europe. Today we visit the Art Museum and Kantele House, where we enjoy a local Karelian folk performance.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 5 - On Board the Train

Cross the Arctic Circle as You Head to Murmansk

We have a relaxed start to the day and look forward to the many sights we are about to experience on our rail journey, maybe listen to a talk or simply relax in the Bar Lounge Car and enjoy the ever-changing summer landscape outside our window. Our train crosses the Arctic Circle on our quest to see the Northern Lights and we will have a special ceremony on board to mark this occasion.

This evening we arrive into Murmansk – located halfway between Moscow and the North Pole and 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle – and get the chance to explore the city.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 6 - Murmansk

Arrive in Russia’s Northern Port City

As the main city of the Kola Peninsula, Murmansk started as a tiny settlement and Arctic trading post. In 1916, under pressure from the British to establish a support port, Murmansk was founded.

Thanks to the influence of the Gulf Stream, the port is ice-free all year round. Here we learn about the perilous missions of the many Arctic convoys, hunted continually by the German Navy, which sailed from the United Kingdom, Iceland and North America to Murmansk in World War Two to deliver essential supplies to the Soviet Union.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 7 - Kirkenes

Cross Into Norway by Bus for a Two Night Excursion

We leave our train with an overnight bag at the Russian border station of Nikel Murmansk and transfer by bus (90 minutes’ drive) across the Russian/Norwegian border to Kirkenes for a two-night stay at the Thon Hotel (or similar). We will visit the magical Snow Hotel just 15 km outside Kirkenes.

We will have a welcome drink in the snow bar and a tour of the Snow Hotel with its ice sculptures and snow paintings by local and international artists. After a traditional meal in the Snow Hotel’s warm lodge restaurant we will take an evening bus tour in search of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).

If the sky is clear our guest astronomer will be on hand to advise us during star-gazing and will bring the night sky to life with their extensive knowledge.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 8 - Kirkenes

A Day of Winter Activities in Kirkenes

Today a unique winter experience awaits on our King Crab Fishing adventure. The excursion begins with a snowmobile drawn sleigh across the frozen fjords. Warm clothing and a helmet is provided. Through a hole in the ice you will be shown by your guide a catch of the magnificent Arctic King Crab (which can span two metres and weigh up to 15kgs). We then continue by sleigh to the nearby Fisherman’s Lodge, where your fresh King Crab meal awaits by a roaring log fire.

Also included during your stay in Kirkenes is a one-hour husky dog sledge ride and a visit to the resident reindeers.

Optional Activities in Kirkenes: You may like to book some additional optional activities such as a Snow Shoe Walking Tour (2 hours), go in search of the Northern Lights by snowmobile (3 hours) or take a magical excursion by husky dog sledge (2 hours). Each sledge is pulled by a team of eight dogs and can seat two people as well as a driver called a dog musher. These activities have limited places and should be requested at the time of booking the tour – please contact us for prices.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 9 - On Board the Train

Back Into Russia to Rejoin Your Train to St Petersburg

We cross the border back into Russia and re-join our train, which is waiting for us in Nikel Murmansk. We’ll spend today on board travelling south through Arctic Russia. Enjoy the ever-changing landscape outside your window and relax in the company of your fellow passengers as we head to our final destination, St Petersburg.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 10 - St Petersburg

Arrive in Russia’s Cultural Capital

St Petersburg is a stunning city, crowded with splendid palaces, impressive historical monuments, wide boulevards and beautiful bridges. It is also renowned as the Ballet Capital of the World.

The White Nights (Beliye Nochi) – those remarkable, luminous northern mid-summer evenings when the high latitudes are drenched all night in a pearlescent glow and warm summer days – are an enchanting time lasting just a few weeks. By day, locals revel in the heat and the outdoors; by night, there are the Stars of the White Nights festivals and concerts to indulge in.

Upon arrival into the city we orientate ourselves with a short touring programme of central St Petersburg featuring the key sights, including St Isaac’s Cathedral, Kazan Cathedral and Nevsky Prospect.

We stay for two nights in St Petersburg.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 11 - St Petersburg

Continue to Explore This Beautiful City

Today we have a guided tour of Catherine’s Palace in Pushkin and the spectacular Hermitage Museum, the former Winter Palace of the Tsars which houses the royal art collection of over three million works. It is one of the world’s largest and most impressive art museums.

After dinner, why not make your final White Nights evening in St Petersburg extra special by purchasing a ticket for a ballet or opera performance at the world-renowned Mariinsky Theatre or take in one of the many outdoor concerts (subject to schedule and availability; must be pre-booked at least six weeks prior to departure).

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 12 - Depart St Petersburg

Transfer to your onward travel arrangements

After breakfast our tour comes to a close. Lunch, if required, would be by your own arrangement.

At the end of your adventure why not extend your stay in St Petersburg with post-tour nights to explore more of the city at your leisure?

Meals Included: Breakfast.

Please note: Our Arctic Explorer tours can operate as small group departures (normally less than 30 guests). Reduced numbers mean more intimate groups and a shorter formation of Golden Eagle sleepers with a restaurant appropriate to the number of guests. Russian Railways attach our carriages to the rear of a regular train each day. However, your on board experience will be unaffected as there is no connection between our carriages and the main train.

2019 Dates & Prices

Starts Moscow 21st December 2019 and finishes St Petersburg 1st January 2020

IMPERIAL SUITE

£ 17,995 per person or £ 35,895 for single occupancy of cabin & hotels

GOLD CLASS

£ 11,395 per person or £ 16,295 for single occupancy of cabin & hotels

SILVER CLASS

£ 9,695 per person or £ 13,795 for single occupancy of cabin & hotels

2020 Dates & Prices

Starts Moscow 21st December 2020 and finishes St Petersburg 1st January 2021

IMPERIAL SUITE

£ 19,195 per person or £ 38,495 for single occupancy of cabin & hotels

GOLD CLASS

£ 11,495 per person or £ 16,495 for single occupancy of cabin & hotels

SILVER CLASS

£ 9,995 per person or £ 13,995 for single occupancy of cabin & hotels

Inclusions & Exclusions For This Trip

What is included?

Accommodation in high quality hotels for nights not spent on the train.

Full board the Golden Eagle train including drinks with meals.

Other meals as indicated in the itinerary including welcome and farewell dinners.

Visa support documents required.

Airport transfers and all transportation according to the itinerary.

 Route Guide and Information Pack.

Informative sightseeing tours as per the itinerary with professional guides and your own personal headsets.

 Experienced tour managers and 24 hour service attendants.

Entertainment program on board, including lectures on regional geography, culture, and history of the countries you pass through along the route.

Onboard doctor and medical facilities.

Porter services at all railway stations.

 All tips and gratuities.

Financial Peace of Mind as your trip is protected

What is not included?

International Airfare to / from the start / finish of your trip – we can book these flights on request

The visas – we can advise and partner with VisaCentral

Travel insurance to cover any medical treatment – we recommend ABTASure

Travel insurance to cover any medical treatment

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