Enjoy the “all-inclusive” railroad trip on the private Golden Eagle Express, with the luxury cabin and Four Seasons 5* accommodation, the New Year and a Russian Christmas in style! Take in the beautiful cities of Moscow and St Petersburg, graced by festive decorations and nature's own wintry adornments, explore the Russian and Norwegian Arctic Circle in pursuit of the magnificent Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).
|Luxury class “all-inclusive” rail trip
Moscow - Vladimir - Suzdal - Murmansk - Kirkenes -
Nikel, Murmansk - Petrozavodsk - St Petersburg
|29.12.2020 – 09.01.2021
||from 11395 €
|29.12.2021 – 09.01.2022
||from 13595 €
Moscow, Russia. Fly into Moscow and get transferred to the luxurious 5* Four Seasons Moscow (or similar) situated on Red Square for one night. This evening you are invited to a champagne drinks reception with the opportunity to meet your fellow travellers before our exclusive Welcome Dinner. Specially selected international wines are included with dinner, as with all meals during the tour. At the start of your adventure why not extend your stay in Moscow with pre-tour nights to explore more of the city at your leisure and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the Christmas markets or go ice skating on one of the outdoor rinks in the central squares? On the next day visit to the 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. As well 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.
Vladimir and Suzdal, Russia. 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. What better place to spend Rozhdestvo (Russian Christmas), celebrated today? The 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 travel to Suzdal, one of Russia’s most perfectly preserved walled cities dating back to 1024, located 35 kilometres from Vladimir. Here visit to the atmospheric St Euthymius Monastery to witness an enchanting choral performance by the resident monks. No Russian winter experience would be complete without the horse-drawn sleigh ride through this stunning location. Have the New Years’ celebration in the evening.
Murmansk, Russia. Enjoy the opportunity to have a relaxed start to New Year's Day with a sumptuous breakfast and to unwind after our evening of celebration. Relax and enjoy the ever-changing winter landscape outside our window as we cross into the Arctic Circle on our quest to see the Northern Lights. 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. Homeport of Russia’s nuclear-powered icebreakers we’ll visit the Nuclear Icebreaker Museum Ship. Continue journey farther into the Arctic Circle.
Kirkenes, Norway. This morning leave the train with an overnight bag at the Russian border station of Nikel and get transferred by bus (90 minutes’ drive) across the Russian/Norwegian border to Kirkenes for a two night stay at the Thon Hotel (or similar). Visit the magical Snow Hotel just 15 km outside Kirkenes to have a welcome drink in the snow bar and a tour of the Snow Hotel with its ice sculptures and snow paintings. After a traditional meal in the snow hotel’s Hoyloftet restaurant take an evening bus tour in search of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). If the sky is clear the guest astronomer will be on hand to advice during star-gazing and will bring the night sky to life with his extensive knowledge. As an optional Activity in Kirkenes you may book an evening snowmobile tour or husky dog sledge tour in search of the Northern Lights (limited to availability). Another opportunity is to check-in the Snow Hotel for a night (should be booked in advance). As the Snow Hotel tays at a constant minus five degrees centigrade and thermal sleeping bags are provided. Showers, toilets and a Scandinavian sauna are provided in a building next to the snow hotel. On the next morning a unique winter experience awaits on the King Crab Safari. 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 your master guide will demonstrate how to catch the magnificent Arctic King Crab and prepare it for cooking. Then continue by sleigh to the nearby Fisherman's Lodge, where the crabs you catch will be prepared and cooked for you. It is here you can enjoy your delicious King Crab meal by the cosy log fire. This afternoon return to the Snow Hotel to see the resident reindeers and visit the biggest husky dog farm in eastern Finnmark or return to Kirkenes Village for a walking tour.
Nikel, Russia. Today cross the border back into Russia and re-join the train which is waiting for the group in Nikel Murmansk. Spend the afternoon on board travelling through the Arctic Russia. Relax and enjoy the ever-changing winter landscape outside your window or chat to fellow passengers. Afternoon tea with freshly baked Russian cookies will be served in our stylish Bar Lounge Car.
Petrozavodsk, Russia. 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. Take a city tour and then celebrate Sochelnik (Russian Christmas Eve) with a Karelian Folk Performance and continue our festivities with a traditional Russian Christmas Eve meal, known as the Holy Supper. As always a generous allowance of international wine and drinks are included with our dinner as we celebrate together. Head to St Petersburg in the night ride.
St Petersburg, Russia. Today you will see Russians celebrate their Christmas Day and the city of St Petersburg will be beautifully decorated for Rozhdestvo (Russian Christmas). St Petersburg is a stunning city, crowded with splendid palaces, impressive historical monuments, wide boulevards, beautiful bridges and is renowned as the Ballet Capital of the World. Make one of your evenings in St Petersburg extra special by purchasing a ticket for a ballet or opera performance at one of the world-renowned St Petersburg theatres (should be pre-booked at least six weeks prior to departure). Have a guided tour of the Catherine’s Palace in Pushkin and the world-famous 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. There is also a city tour of St Petersburg featuring the key sights including St Isaac's Cathedral and Nevsky Prospect. Enjoy a Farewell Dinner on the last night before de[arture and reflect on the experiences you had over the last 11 days. On the last day after breakfast in the hotel the tour comes to a close. Lunch, if required, would be by your own arrangement, and you will be transferred to the airport at necessity.