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  • Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Kirkenes Snowhotel, Kirkenes
  • Church of Ilya prophet, Suzdal, Russia
  • St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow, Russia

The Golden Eagle Arctic Explorer

12-day luxury rail journey from £9,965 pp incl. flights

Summary

Short description

Discover the frozen landscapes of the Russian and Norwegian Arctic aboard the Golden Eagle luxury train on this 12-day quest for the Northern Lights

Highlights

  • Experience exceptional service and rst-class dining aboard one of the world’s most iconic trains – the Golden Eagle
  • Travel throughthewildsofwestern Russia and the Norwegian Arctic to the remote town of Kirkenes
  • Explore the breathtaking palaces, cathedrals, museums and galleries of Moscow and St Petersburg

In Brief

  • 2 Nights St Petersburg
  • 2 Nights Golden Eagle
  • 2 Nights Kirkenes
  • 4 Nights Golden Eagle
  • 1 Night Moscow

About

Recommended for:
Activity adventure | Escorted tour | History & culture | Natural world | Northern Lights | Rail journey | Winter

Take in the beautiful city of St Petersburg before boarding one of the world's most luxurious trains, the Golden Eagle, and setting off on a quest to find the Northern Lights in the Russian and Norwegian Arctic.

Highlights of this unforgettable luxury rail jourmey include the Hermitage Museum, crossing the Arctic Circle, the frontier town of Kirkenes on the Russian/Norwegian border, dogsledding by day and hunting for the Northern Lights by night, the historic cities of Vladimir and Suzdal and ending with a tour of magnificent Moscow. All three of the Golden Eagle's spacious en-suite cabin classes benefit from 24-hour attendant service. Throughout your holiday you'll be accompanied by an experienced tour manager, making sure you enjoy every single minute of this incredible, once-in-a-lifetime journey.

Day by day itinerary

Days 1-2
St Petersburg

Fly to St Petersburg and transfer to your hotel for a two-night stay. In the evening, attend a champagne drinks reception. Spend the following day enjoying a city tour of St Petersburg, a city crowded with splendid palaces, impressive historical monuments, wide boulevards, and beautiful bridges. Visit Catherine's Palace in Pushkin, and the Hermitage, the former Winter Palace of the Tsars that now houses the royal art collection, consisting of more than three million works. Make your evening in St Petersburg extra special by purchasing a ticket for a ballet or opera performance at one of the world-renowned St Petersburg theatres (subject to availability and booked six weeks prior to departure - additional cost).

Stay: Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, St Petersburg (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 3
Crossing the Arctic Circle

Start your day with a morning tour of St Petersburg, featuring some key sites including St Isaac's Cathedral and Nevsky Prospect. In the afternoon, transfer to the station to board Russia's premier train, the Golden Eagle and settle into the modern, stylish cabins to embark on your trip to the Arctic Circle. Celebrate your first evening on board at a signature Gala Caviar Dinner. Enjoy complimentary champagne and international wines with dinner, whilst watching live music for entertainment.

Stay: Golden Eagle

Meals: B L D

Day 4
Crossing the Arctic Circle

Have a relaxed start to the day, and reflect upon the journey ahead. Today you may listen to a talk by Astronomer Dr Robin Catchpole who will host a lecture on the Northern Lights prior to his guided search in Kirkenes. Or, simply watch the ever-changing winter landscape outside the window rush by. Enjoy afternoon tea with freshly baked Russian cakes whilst listening to a talk by an astronomer talking about the Aurora Borealis in the bar car. Today, the train will cross the Arctic Circle, continuing the quest to see the Northern Lights.

Stay: Golden Eagle

Meals: B L D

Days 5-6
Kirkenes and the Northern Lights

In the morning, leave the train with an overnight bag at the Russian border station of Nikel, and then transfer across the Norwegian border to Kirkenes for a two-night stay at the Thon Hotel. Spend the next two days exploring this remote Norwegian outpost. Visit the magical Snow Hotel just 15 km outside Kirkenes; on arrival, enjoy a welcome drink in the snow bar and a tour of the Snow Bar and a tour of the hotel with its ice sculptures and snow paintings by local and international artists. After a traditional meal including a reindeer hotdog in the hotel's restaurant, take an evening bus tour in search of the Northern Lights. If the sky is clear, an astronomer will be on hand to offer advice about stargazing, and will bring the night sky to life with his extensive knowledge.

Enjoy a unique winter experience on a King Crab Fishing Adventure. You'll start your excursion with a snowmobile-drawn sleigh-ride across the frozen fjords. Your guide will then show you how to catch the magnificent Arctic King Crab (which can span two metres and weigh up to 15 kg) through a hole in the ice. Continue by sleigh to the nearby Fisherman's Lodge, where you'll enjoy your King Crab freshly cooked for dinner by a cosy log fire.

You may also like to book some additional activities in Kirkenes. These include a snowmobile safari (two hours), a snowshoe walking tour (two hours), or a husky dogsled excursion (four hours) where each sledge is pulled by a team of eight dogs, and can seat two people and a musher. These activities have limited places and should be requested at the time of booking the tour.

For a memorable experience, upgrade to spend a night at the famous Kirkenes Snowhotel, whose freshly sculpted Snow Rooms feature stunning frozen furniture and works of art. A snug sleeping bag and thermal clothing will keep you warm in temperatures of -5 degrees. 

Stay: Thon Hotel Kirkenes (Standard)

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Murmansk

Cross the border back into Russia, and rejoin the train, which is waiting in Nikel. Spend the afternoon on board travelling through Arctic Russia. Watch the winter landscape speed by, chat to fellow passengers, or listen to a lecture by the guest astronomer. Enjoy afternoon tea with freshly baked Russian cookies in the stylish bar car.

Stay: Golden Eagle

Meals: B L D

Day 8
Murmansk

Continue to Murmansk, a city halfway between Moscow and the North Pole, and 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The main city of the Kola Peninsula, it started out 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 Gulf Stream, the port is ice-free year-round. It is also the homeport of Russia's nuclear-powered icebreakers, and you'll visit the Nuclear Icebreaker Museum Ship.

Stay: Golden Eagle

Meals: B L D

Day 9
Petrozavodsk

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 a hovercraft transfer - weather permitting - 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 nails that have survived both Russian winters and revolution.

Stay: Golden Eagle

Meals: B L D

Day 10
Vladimir & Suzdal

The historic, UNESCO-listed city of Vladimir was founded in 990, and is one of Russia's oldest communities. Due to its wealth of architecture, it has been decreed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will embark on a tour of the city, which will take 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 km from Vladimir. Here, visit the atmospheric St. Euthymius Monestary to witness an enchanting choral performance by the resident monks. Complete your trip with a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the beautiful location.

Stay: Golden Eagle

Meals: B L D

Day 11
Moscow

Arrive in Moscow where you'll disembark the Golden Eagle for the last time, transferring to the five-star Marriot Royal Aurora Hotel (or similar) for a one-night stay. This afternoon you'll enjoy a tour of the Russian capital, visiting St Basil's Cathedral, the famous GUM Department Store, which was constructed in Tsarist times, and evocative site of Lenin's tomb. You day finishes at the Kremlin, the spiritual, historical and political heart of Moscow, where you'll see the treasures of the Tsars in the armoury chamber.

Stay: Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Moscow

Meals: B L D

Day 12
Departure

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before transferring to the airport for your onward flight to the UK. If you like, you can extend your stay in Moscow to explore more of the city, at your own leisure.

Meals: B

Map

Pricing

Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Superior Deluxe

12-day luxury rail journey from £9,965 incl. flights

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