Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Travels across Russia along the Trans-Siberian Railway


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The legendary Trans-Siberian Train journey is one of the greatest travel adventures of our age. This once-in-a-lifetime tour offers an opportunity to experience vast territories of Russia in the safest, most comfortable, and fascinating way.

The tour runs on the Trans-Siberian Railway, which is the longest railway line in the world. It spans 9,289 kilometers and connects Moscow to Russia’s Far East, reaching as far as Vladivostok. On this journey through five time zones, one delves into Russia’s past and present.

The number one attraction of the journey is the Russian landscape – the vast panoramas of ever-changing landscapes and a sense of immensity. The taiga landscapes are mesmerizing.

The most popular route across Russia is Moscow to Vladivostok, stretching 9258km. It takes seven nights. It runs every other day offering with first-class, second-class, and very basic third-class coaches and a restaurant car.

For something more exotic, take a less popular route across Siberia, running from Tayshet to Sovetskaya Gavan on the Pacific coast. The route is known as the BAM (Baikal-Amur-Magistral railway). It was completed in 1991 and is more popular among Russians than foreigners.

For independent travelers, it is important to know that reservations are required for all trains – you cannot choose to hop off one and catch another with the same ticket. Of course, it is possible to book tickets yourself; however, using a reputable specialist agent to make the reservations could be time-consuming. The best thing is booking an all-inclusive package from a travel company.

If you want a fully escorted tour, try to book the Golden Eagle Luxury Train. This train is very comfortable and offers a variety of tours through Russia, Mongolia, and China.

Travel Features

The regular public trains supply bedding only in first- and second-class coaches. The berths are folded into seats during a day. The sleeping-cars have at least two western-style toilets and a washroom with sinks. The Trans-Mongolian Moscow–Beijing trains have showers in the small washrooms shared between adjacent pairs of deluxe first-class two-berth compartments. 

Food quality on public trains is generally good, though menus are limited. At the bar beer, Russian champagne, vodka, chocolate, and snacks are sold.

Each carriage has a person in charge  – provodnik (male) or provodnitsa (female) who maintain the carriage, take care of the samovar ( hot water supply), so do not forget tipping her or him for good service.

The service on the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian train is very different and of a very high standard. Cabins there have double beds, wardrobe, TV and DVD, reasonable storage space, and floor heating in the en-suite shower room. Travelers can enjoy dining and lounge cars with musical performances, and food and wine included in the price.  Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian train tours arrange excursions off-train along the way in cities such as Kazan, Yekaterinburg. At Lake Baikal, you can sample a barbeque of freshly caught fish, visit a museum of wooden buildings, or join a cookery class.    There has never been a better time to experience the world’s greatest railway journey across vast and stunning Russia.

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