Experience a journey of a lifetime as you visit two continents and travel by rail across nearly 4,000 miles to experience ever-changing landscapes and the fascinating cultures between Mongolia and Moscow.

Starting at: $16,295 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The <i>Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express</i>, traveling along Lake Baikal  Traditional landscape in Mongolia with <i>ger</i> and livestock  Mongolian nomad on the steppes  Archer at the Naadam Festival, Mongolia.  Credit: Barbara York  Naadam Festival wrestlers  National Horse Guard in ceremonial dress, Naadam Festival  Main street in Ulan Ude  Village along Lake Baikal  Traditional and modern architecture of Yekaterinburg  The Kremlin in Kazan  Sky blue domes of the Annunciation Cathedral in the Kazan Kremlin  St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow  View of Moscow's Kremlin

The Trans-Siberian Express

A Private Train Journey from Mongolia to Moscow Aboard the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

14 days from $16,295

Experience a journey of a lifetime as you visit two continents and travel by rail across nearly 4,000 miles to experience ever-changing landscapes and the fascinating cultures between Mongolia and Moscow.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

This was a wonderful trip. I thoroughly benefited from my time with Smithsonian.  An added bonus is that so many people on the tour are knowledgeable that we learn from each other. 

- Barbara H.

All in all this was an outstanding adventure—unique background information, excellent city guides, and also all the attention to detail and safety was greatly appreciated.  Would urge anyone to take this Journey and experience the vastness of Russia. 

- Pat R.

I really enjoyed this trip and will recommend it to my friends.  The was just ‘as advertised,’ the voyage of a lifetime by private train.  A unique experience with the most professional and personable staff.

- Ken T.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Overview

Join us for an amazing adventure that begins in Mongolia with two days at the incomparable Naadam Festival, a centuries-old celebration of nomadic traditions. Then board the legendary Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express for one of the most epic journeys on Earth, where you’ll explore two continents, travel nearly 4,000 miles through five time zones, and witness magnificent landscapes and diverse cultures.

Highlights Include:

  • UlaanBaatar, Mongolia: Observe Mongolian culture up close as you attend the opening ceremony of the Naadam Festival, the long-distance horse race, and archery and wrestling competitions. Plus, watch a performance of traditional Mongolian throat singing and see the giant statue of Genghis Khan at the National Park. Board your train and head north to Russia’s Siberia.
  • Ulan-Ude: Hear more about the unique cultural identity of the indigenous Buryat people. Then experience another distinctive culture as you visit a village of Old Believers, who adhere to 17th-century Russian Orthodoxy, and enjoy a concert of traditional music.
  • Lake Baikal: Admire the magnificent scenery of this World Heritage site as your train travels through tunnels and along the shoreline. Stop to explore sites in lakeside Listvyanka and enjoy a special barbecue.  
  • Irkutsk: In the “capital” of Siberia, known for its ornate wooden architecture, visit the Decembrist House Museum to learn about the people who settled here after the uprising in St. Petersburg and attend a special concert.
  • Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg: See nearly 100 historic train cars and engines at Novosibirsk’s open-air Trans-Siberian Museum. Then, crossing from Asia to European Yekaterinbug, visit the Church on the Blood at the site where Russia’s last tsar and his family were executed.
  • Kazan: In the capital of Tatarstan along the Volga River, tour the Kazan Kremlin (a World Heritage site) and learn about the cultural history of Tatars, Cossacks, and Russians.  
  • Moscow: Enjoy a panoramic tour of the Russian capital. Plus, consider an optional tour extension in Moscow and St. Petersburg! 

This was a wonderful trip. I thoroughly benefited from my time with Smithsonian.  An added bonus is that so many people on the tour are knowledgeable that we learn from each other. 

- Barbara H.

All in all this was an outstanding adventure—unique background information, excellent city guides, and also all the attention to detail and safety was greatly appreciated.  Would urge anyone to take this Journey and experience the vastness of Russia. 

- Pat R.

I really enjoyed this trip and will recommend it to my friends.  The was just ‘as advertised,’ the voyage of a lifetime by private train.  A unique experience with the most professional and personable staff.

- Ken T.

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S. / UlaanBaatar, Mongolia

Fly to UlaanBaatar. Upon arrival, meet fellow travelers at a welcome dinner. (in-flight, D)

Days 3-5 — UlaanBaatar, board the Golden Eagle

Explore UlaanBaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Visit the Gandan Monastery on Dalkha Hill. Meaning “Great Place of Complete Joy,” the monastery’s main temple houses a 20-ton gilded statue of “the Lord Who Looks in Every Direction.”  Learn about nomadic life at the National History Museum and enjoy a performance of traditional Mongolian throat singing.

A celebration of Mongolia’s land and traditions, the Naadam Festival spotlights the nation’s three most popular sports, archery, horse racing and wrestling.  Attend the celebratory opening ceremony, the long-distance horse race, and the archery and wrestling competitions. Visit the 13th-century National Park, with its giant 131-foot equestrian statue of Genghis Khan, an unforgettable sight. 

Board the luxury Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express private train, and head north to Siberia. (3B,3L,3D)

Day 6 — Ulan-Ude

Arrive in Ulan-Ude, the capital of the Buryat Republic, founded in 1666 by Cossacks. Make a visit to a village of Old Believers and enjoy a concert featuring local singers and musicians. In their isolated Siberian villages, these groups have been able to preserve their 17th century traditions, clothing, architecture, language and style of singing. Their culture and unique choral music have been entered on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Lake Baikal

A spectacular part of the journey is spent winding through tunnels and around cliffs along the shoreline of Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest and oldest freshwater lake. A World Heritage Site, Lake Baikal holds twenty percent of the world’s unfrozen fresh water. Stop en route for a barbecue at the lake’s edge, and explore the little lakeside village of Listvyanka. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Irkutsk

A tour of Irkutsk includes the major sights and museums of this cultured little city, including examples of the classic wooden architecture for which the area is known. A highlight is a visit to the Decembrist House Museum, the former home of Sergei Volkonsky and his wife, Maria. The Decembrists were a group of young Russian officers who had served abroad during the War of 1812 and become advocates of democratic reform. In December 1825, they tried to force the Senate to sign a manifesto abolishing serfdom and instituting reforms. Their rebellion was quickly put down, and five of the leaders hanged. The rest were sentenced to forced labor in Siberia. Many of them, with their wives, settled in Irkutsk after their terms were over, and brought with them education and culture. Enjoy a special concert of classical music and a glass of champagne in the drawing room. (B,L,D)

Days 9 & 10 — Aboard Train / Novosibirsk

After a relaxing day on the train, stop in Novosibirsk, Siberia’s largest city, with a population of roughly 1.6 million. Explore the central part of the city, including Lenin Square, home to Russia’s largest Opera House, and wander among the nearly 100 old steam and diesel engines and rail cars in the open-air Trans-Siberian Museum.  (B,L,D)

Day 11 — Yekaterinburg

Cross from Asia into Europe at Yekaterinburg​. Founded in 1723 and named after Catherine I, Yekaterinburg​ is where the last czar, Nicholas II, and his family were placed under house arrest for months before the Bolsheviks executed them in July of 1918. Discover the Church on the Blood, standing over the spot where the czar and his family were killed. (B,L,D)

Day 12 — Kazan

The final stop before reaching Moscow is in Kazan, the beautiful capital of the Republic of Tatarstan on the Volga River. The UNESCO-listed Kazan Kremlin is the highlight of the city tour. When Ivan the Terrible conquered it, he built new walls on top of the older ones, adding the Annunciation Cathedral and razing the original Qol Sharif Mosque, now gloriously rebuilt. (B,L,D)  

Day 13 — Arrive in Moscow

Disembark the train in Moscow. Tour the classic sights of this 850+ year-old capital city, including a drive by some of Moscow’s best-known places – Red Square; the Duma building where Russia’s governing body meets; the Bolshoi Theater; the forbidding Lubyanka prison where the KGB was headquartered; Moscow State University on the Sparrow Hills for a panoramic city view; and the moving World War II Memorial and Victory Park on Farewell Hill. Enjoy a nighttime tour of UNESCO-listed Red Square with its imaginatively decorated St. Basil’s Cathedral. (B,L,D)

Day 14 — Moscow / Depart

The tour concludes with transfers to the airport for international departures, unless you are participating in the optional extension to St. Petersburg. In that case, you remain in Moscow for more explorations. (B) 

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)