WHITE NIGHTS BY STEAM
JUNE 16-30, 2021
Join us on an incredible rail journey during the celebratory White Nights season as we cross deep into the Arctic Circle by private train. Incomparable cities, remote communities, serene forests and stories recounting a turbulent history awaits you on this adventure of a lifetime. A tour that will be a photographer’s dream, what better way is there to experience the land of the midnight sun than by private train? Seven classes of Russian Steam Locomotives will be used including doubleheaders.
Day 1 Wednesday June 16:
Flight arrivals into Moscow, where you will be met and transferred to the luxurious Four Seasons Moscow (or similar) occupying one of the city's most enviable addresses, on Red Square, for two nights. This evening you are invited to a champagne drinks reception with the opportunity to meet your fellow travelers before our exclusive Welcome Dinner. Specially selected international wines are included with dinner, as with all meals during the tour.
Day 2 Thursday June 17:
Today in Moscow we are transported back to the early 20th century as we make an extended visit to the Podmoskovnaya Train Station and steam locomotive museum. During our visit we have exclusive access to the locomotive repair workshop and the beautifully preserved station buildings.
Day 3 Friday June 18:
We transfer this morning to Moscow’s Kazanski station to join Russia's premier train, the Golden Eagle, our home for the next 12 days. There will be a welcome reception and introduction to the train staff in the Bar Lounge Car, followed by lunch, as we depart pulled by a beautiful P36 4-8-4 steam locomotive. There will not be many hours of darkness in the next two weeks as this is the time of year the Russians call ‘White Nights’.
Day 4 Saturday June 19: On Board.
Today we relax on board as our steam engines haul us through the Russian countryside. If you wish, join one of our expert-led talks in the Restaurant Car or perhaps try your hand at learning Russian in our on board language lessons. Steam locomotives used today will be the Class L 2-10-0 and Class Er 0-10-0.
Day 5 Sunday June 20:
This morning we make a visit to Pskov with its ancient and well restored centre situated on the Latvian border and in whose station Tsar Nicholas II abdicated on March 15, 1915. We return to the train for lunch and travel onto Novgorod for a short city tour, billed as the birthplace of Russia. Within Novgorod Kremlin’s red-brick fortress walls is the 5-domed, 11th-century St. Sophia Cathedral. Our train will be pulled by the Class Er 0-10-0 today.
Day 6 Monday June 21:
After breakfast we visit Catherine’s Summer Palace in Pushkin, including a visit to the exquisite Amber Room. Lunch follows at the renowned Podvorye Restaurant, a typical Russian log house, serving traditional Russian delicacies. Before we return to the train for dinner, there is an afternoon tour of the city of St Petersburg incorporating a visit to the Imperial Waiting Room at Vitebski Station and an optional visit to the Railway Museum. Today our train will be pulled by the LV Class 2-10-0, P36 Class 4-8-4 and Ov Class 0-8-0.
Day 7 Tuesday June 22:
Petrozavodsk stretches along the western shore of Lake Onega - the second largest lake in Europe. It is one of the major cultural and industrial centres of the North-West of Russia and is the capital of the Republic of Karelia. This afternoon, we enjoy a private folk performance before we take a city tour and a hovercraft transfer to visit Kizhi Island on Lake Onega to explore its open-air museum of wooden architecture. Marvel at wooden churches built without the use of a single nail which have survived the challenges of Russian winters and revolution. Our train will be pulled by the Class Ov 0-8-0 today.
Day 8 Wednesday June 23:
We will continue to Murmansk, a city halfway between Moscow and the North Pole, and 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle. As the main city of the Kola Peninsula, it 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 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. As Murmansk is homeport of Russia's nuclear-powered icebreaker, we make a scheduled visit to the Nuclear Icebreaker Museum Ship. Today we will have a Class Su 2-6-2 in charge.
Day 9 Thursday June 24:
Early morning we will arrive at Nikel, on the border with Norway. The station is close to the Nikel smelting plant which in part has caused the devastation to the surrounding countryside that will have been evident for the 20 miles before our arrival. An eerie place but has been one of the highlights of our previous tours. A fast stepping Class P36 4-8-4 will pull our train today.
Day 10 Friday June 25:
After arriving early morning into Kem we transfer to a small boat bound for Solovetsky Monastery on Solovetsky Island in the White Sea. The Island is also infamous for its ‘Special Purpose Camp’ set up by Stalin and is the location used as the basis for Solzhenitzyn’s Gulag Archipelago. Class P36 4-8-4 will still be in charge today.
Day 11 Saturday June 26:
We spend the morning touring Archangel, a town located on the banks of the White Sea that was the chief seaport of medieval Russia. On our city tour we will have the opportunity to visit the British and American Arctic Convoy War Graves and the Wooden Architecture Museum. Double headed Class SO 2-10-0’s will pull our train.
Day 12 Sunday June 27:
Today we relax on board as our train follows the Northern Dvina River to the city of Severodvinsk, hauled by two P36 2-8-2 locomotives. Enjoy the remote landscapes unfold from your window or you may like to attend one of our absorbing lectures in the Bar Lounge Car.
Day 13 Monday June 28:
This morning we arrive in Vologda which is particularly known for its beautiful Kremlin, whose landmark buildings include the 16th-century St. Sophia Cathedral and its gilded bell tower. We return to the train for lunch whilst our P36 steam locomotives haul us to the next location Yaroslavl for a short city tour. Yaroslavl is the largest and oldest (founded 1010) city on the Golden Ring, a fact underscored by its place of honour on the Russian 1000-rouble note (including the 15-domed church of John the Baptist on the back). Embraced by two rivers, the mighty Volga and the smaller Kotorosl, Yaroslavl’s centre is dotted with onion domes like no other place in Russia. This evening we enjoy our farewell dinner on board.
Day 14 Tuesday June 29:
This morning we return to Moscow where we will spend one night at the stylish Four Seasons Hotel Moscow.Today we visit Red Square, an iconic symbol of Russia’s former military and political might with its eclectic mix of fascinating architecture, such as the ornate St Basil’s Cathedral’s magnificent onion-domed spires, the beautiful façade of the world famous GUM Department store constructed in Tsarist times, and the sombre and evocative site of Lenin’s tomb. We’ll also take 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. A 4-8-4 P36 will pull us back into Moscow.
Day 15 Wednesday June 30:
Breakfast in the hotel brings the tour to a close and airport transfers are provided for departing flights.
ALL PRICES ARE PER PERSON
DEPOSIT TO HOLD SPACE CONFIRMED$5,000
FINAL PAYMENT DUE BY MARCH 16, 2021
LIMITED TIME ONLY SPECIAL FREE AIR OFFER ROUNDTRIP TO MOSCOW. OUR CHOICE OF AIRLINES IN COACH CLASS. THIS OFFER IS FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY!
Experienced Tour Managers:
Experienced tour managers and their assistants are selected for their travel knowledge and their linguistic abilities allowing you to relax and enjoy your rail cruise. We receive exceptional passenger comments about our Tour Managers and their aim is to ensure you enjoy every minute of your holiday.
Arrival and Departure Transfers:
Arrival and departure transfers are included.
Hotel and Onboard Accommodation:
Although you will spend much of your time sightseeing or relaxing , you will find your hotel room or cabin a welcome retreat at the end of a rewarding day. Please note this tour exclusively features Heritage Class accommodation (in addition to our regular Silver, Gold and Imperial classes) on board the Golden Eagle. Heritage sleeper carriages comprise of 8 cabins with shared shower and toilet facilities. All hotels are of 5 star standard or, in certain locations, the best available. Room upgrades are available on request and at extra cost.
Welcome and Farewell Dinners:
Each tour begins with a Welcome Dinner, an ideal opportunity to get to know your fellow passengers; for the Tour Manager to brief you on the trip; and introduce you to the Golden Eagle Luxury Trains team and the Tour Doctor. The Farewell Dinner is the perfect end to your adventure by private train where you can relive the journey and look ahead to future tours.
Route Guide, Itinerary and Information Pack:
When you board the train there will be a brochure in your cabin detailing more about your journey and the places en-route. Our Tour Manager will organize a program of briefings on the cities or places we visit and, each evening, will issue a program for the next day’s touring schedule.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Daily:
All departures feature one or two uniquely designed restaurant cars where you can enjoy the excellent waiter-served food and wine. Several times during the tour we will also sample authentic local cuisine off the train.
Drinks with Meals and from the Bar Lounge Car:
A generous drinks allowance is included with lunch and dinner. For passengers traveling in Gold Class onboard the Golden Eagle, drinks from the Standard Drinks List in the Bar Lounge Car are also included. For Imperial Suite guests, drinks from both the Standard and Premium Bar Lists in the Bar Lounge Car are included.
You can expect service which is attentive and friendly. Your car attendants provide 24-hour housekeeping and bedding turndown services, with one attendant always on duty to assist you and to ensure you are comfortable in your cabin. Complimentary tea, coffee and bottle drinking water are available in your cabin 24 hours a day.
Guided Off-Train Excursions:
The history and culture of the places we visit on our rail cruises will come alive through our expert local guides. All our tours include a wide-ranging sightseeing schedule to make the most of the time you have off the train and bring you closer to the culture, people and history of your destinations. We believe it is the special little touches that help create magical memories.
Imperial Suite guests will benefit from the option of a private car and guide in the majority of places we visit along the route.
Freedom of Choice Touring:
Custom your journey and enjoy the opportunity to select from an array of Freedom of Choice Touring options that best suits your interests. Your off-train excursions will still take in all the major attractions of the places we are visiting but, in featured locations, you will be presented when you are onboard the train with a variety of activities from which to choose, and enjoy a tailor-made experience. Look at the individual itineraries where we are operating Freedom of Choice Touring.
Freedom of Choice Touring options may be subject to variations dependent on train timings and local charges. Touring options available will typically be advised in the evening prior to the day’s tour.
On all the off–train excursions, to enhance your enjoyment and comprehension of the places you visit, you will be provided with a lightweight personal headset on which to listen to your tour guide as you take in the sights. So you do not need to worry about missing any of the interesting details on your excursions.
Onboard Doctor and Medical Facilities:
To give you peace of mind our tours are accompanied by a doctor who travels with us for the entire journey; so you can rest assured that medical assistance is always available. On call 24 hours a day, the doctor is on hand to give primary care as required. Normally, the doctor will be English speaking and be registered.
24 Hour Service Attendant:
Your car attendants provide 24-hour housekeeping and bedding turndown services, with one attendant always on duty to assist you and to ensure you are comfortable in your cabin. Complimentary tea, coffee and bottled drinking water are available in your cabin 24 hours a day.
As you only have to unpack once, your luggage and belongings will stay with you on the train throughout the journey but, wherever necessary, porterage is included between the hotel and stations.
You will not have to worry about tipping on and off the train on your rail journey as all gratuities are included in the tour price.
TOUR CONDITIONS FOR 2021 **PLEASE READ CAREFULLY**
Tour Price: All tour prices are subject to change without notice, at any time. All prices based on double room occupancy. Those people that use a credit card for payments a 3% conveyance fee will be added to the tour price. We reserve the right to change tour prices if necessary without prior notice.