With special anniversaries in Europe and Russia, luxury train specialists Golden Eagle have an adventure-packed 2021 calendar for fans of rail travel.
If you were looking for an excuse to hit Europe’s extensive network of rail lines next year, 2021 is the European Year of Rail. It will also mark luxury rail operator Golden Eagle‘s 250th Trans-Siberian departure and the company is celebrating with the introduction of five new tours for 2021, two of them hauled entirely by steam locomotive.
This is perfectly timed as 2021 is also the 20th anniversary of the restoration of Golden Eagle’s acclaimed P36 locomotive, the only privately owned locomotive in Russia. The train, which was donated to Russian Railways in 2019, is scheduled to haul the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express train for a 150km section of its Russian routes next year.
New to the Golden Eagle 2021 calendar is the Trans-Siberian Steam Express IV – The Winter Wonderland, a spectacular 22-day steam tour on the world’s most iconic rail route. During the February 25 journey, The Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express will be hauled by 20 different steam locomotives as it travels between Vladivostok and Moscow.
Next year also marks the 250th departure of the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express and to mark the occasion, Golden Eagle founder Tim Littler will be onboard the July 25th departure to host a celebratory banquet on the shores of Lake Baikal. Guests will also toast the special voyage with a glass of champagne with one foot in Europe and the other in Asia at Yekaterinburg, where representatives from the Chateau Palmer winery in Bordeaux will be hosting a wine tasting.
Another exciting departure is the White Nights by Steam, an all-new, all steam-hauled itinerary that starts and finishes in Moscow. The June 16, 2021 trip celebrates the White Nights season, when the high latitudes are bathed in a pearlescent all-night glow and summer days in St Petersburg are intoxicating. To travel onboard the luxury Golden Eagle through this celebratory season is a photographer’s dream; there can be no better way to experience the land of the midnight sun as you travel past remote communities, around dramatic fjords and through serene forests, reaching Murmansk, some 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
Head south for the new 17-day voyage of a lifetime through the Southern Republics of the former Soviet Union. The Golden Eagle will visit the ‘five stans’ – Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Due to high demand, 2021 will see the Golden Eagle add a further two Imperial Suites to its formation – bringing the total to five – and these will be unveiled on the first Republics of the Silk Road trip, departing April 2, 2021.
Another new adventure is the Central European Classics itinerary, aboard Golden Eagle’s sister train, the Golden Eagle Danube Express, which will whisk guests through an impressive five countries over eight days, travelling between Budapest and Prague. Combining captivating landscapes, eminent cities and architectural masterpieces from some of Europe’s most poignant periods, the June 28, 2021 tour provides a fascinating insight into modern European culture and traditions, with pauses in Keszthely, Bratislava, Vienna and Krakow.
Finally, head to one of Europe’s most iconic train destinations with the Swiss Rail Spectacular, which celebrates Switzerland’s historic trains and majestic Alpine railways, six years since its inaugural departure. The unique 13-day tour, which departs July 14, 2021, will offer the opportunity to witness the country’s breathtaking landscapes in style from the comfort of a selection of exquisite trains, including the Orient-Express-style Prestige Continental Express and the Glacier Pullman Express. Guests will spend their days being hauled by historic locomotives and marvelling at vantage points including the Furka Pass, the Gornergrat and the Jungfraujoch, while nights will be spent in luxury hotel accommodation.
Following the increased demand for greener ways to explore the world and a keen desire for genuine experiences away from the typical tourist centres, rail journeys have emerged as a growing trend for 2020/1. From the moment guests step onboard on Golden Eagle Luxury Trains’ hotel-on-wheels, they can expect first-class facilities, fine dining, a personal cabin attendant, and a diverse range of touring options. Private en-suite cabins provide a sanctuary, while the elegant Bar Lounge is the place to meet like-minded travellers. All that’s required is to sit back and relax.
In response to the pandemic, the company’s new travel pledge, Travel with Confidence promises a fully refundable deposit until December 31, 2020, should guests decide to cancel, and outlines the special measures that are in place to help protect guests from Covid-19. A British-registered medical doctor travels onboard every departure, providing further peace of mind.
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