Vladivostok to Ulaanbaatar via the BAM Aboard the Golden Eagle

The seldom-traveled Baikal-Amur Magistral (BAM for short) rolls through some of the most remote, roadless taiga in the country, through dramatic mountains and over miles of tundra. The train stops at crumbling little towns thrown together in the 1970s for railroad workers, where the few who remain stay for the beauty of the Siberian outback. Then head south to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, to celebrate the “three skills of man” – archery, horse racing and wrestling – at the country’s favorite festival, Naadam.

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Day Trip

Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Ride the BAM through remote Siberia
    Travel where Trans-Siberian passengers rarely go – through thick taiga forests, mountains and tundra in the sparsely-populated region northeast of Lake Baikal....
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  • Enjoy a home-cooked meal with Siberia’s Old Believers
    Make a village visit to enjoy a home cooked meal and hear the powerful centuries-old songs of Old Believers, learning about their unique history and traditions...
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  • Cheer the Naadam Festival athletes
    Cheer on the school-age jockeys, traditional wrestlers and keen-eyed archers at the Naadam Festival....
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  • Breathe in the beauty of Lake Baikal, the deepest and oldest lake on earth
    Breathe in the astounding beauty of UNESCO-listed Baikal, a lake so vast that locals call it “the sea”...
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Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • Over 30 years of Trans-Siberian travel experience
  • Patricia Schultz, author of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, recommends MIR as the company to talk to about a Trans-Siberian journey
  • Travel programs such as Northwestern, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins have chosen MIR to guide them along the Trans-Siberian line
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-2: Vladivostok

Arriving in Vladivostok, transfer to a four star hotel for a one-night stay, and enjoy a city tour that includes the principal attractions of this once off-limits Russian city. Board the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express on its way northeast.


  • Vladivostok, Pacific Rim port city and terminus of the Trans-Siberian line
  • Eagle’s Nest Observation Platform
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Day 3: Khabarovsk

Stop in Khabarovsk for a short city tour. Built on three hills overlooking the Amur River just beyond its confluence with the Ussuri, the city has a long and pleasant waterfront. Reboarding the train, enjoy the relaxed pace onboard.


  • Gracious Amur River embankment

Days 4-6: Sovetskaya Gavan, join the BAM route, Komsomolsk-na-Amur

Sovetskaya Gavan (Soviet Harbor) is a seaport town of 30,000 on the western shore of the Strait of Tartary. It’s the official terminus of the Baikal-Amur Magistral, the BAM, which reached it from Komsomolsk-na-Amur in 1945.

Komsomolsk-na-Amur, as its name implies, was built from the ground up by the Komsomol, the Soviet youth organization, along with hundreds, maybe thousands, of gulag prisoners from the region. Neoclassical Stalinist buildings line the wide boulevards, and Soviet mosaics adorn the blocks of apartment buildings.


  • BAM terminus
  • One of the best harbors on Russia’s east coast
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Days 7-8: Tynda, Sretensk, Nerchinsk

Explore Tynda, a town of some 40,000. Seated at the crossroads of the BAM and a branch of the main Trans-Siberian line, Tynda’s life is tied to the railroad; it hosts the headquarters of the BAM construction company. Make a stop at the little blue railway station in Sretensk on the right bank of the Shilka River, and in the town of Nerchinsk, remembered as the site of the 1689 treaty that established the Russia-China border for 200 years.


  • BAM Museum in Tynda, illustrating the construction of the railroad
  • Stretensk, an isolated community of some 7,000 souls
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Day 9: Irkutsk

Arrive in Irkutsk, the “capital” of Siberia. A tour includes the major sights of this cultured little city, including examples of the classic wooden architecture for which the area is known.


  • Irkutsk’s neighborhood of wooden buildings, decorated with the lacy wooden fretwork typical of Siberian architecture
  • Classical concert at Decembrist House Museum

Day 10: Lake Baikal

Board a private boat for a spectacular cruise along the old Circumbaikal Railway along the shoreline of Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest and oldest freshwater lake. The journey includes an onboard lunch of Baikal omul, and a walk along the tracks. Continue to the village of Listvyanka.


  • Circumbaikal Railway, the most scenic stretch of the original Trans-Siberian Railway
  • Little Listvyanka village on the shores of UNESCO-listed Lake Baikal, the oldest and deepest lake on earth

Day 11: Ulan Ude

Stop in Ulan Ude, capital of the Buryat Republic and the Buddhist region of Russia. Visit a village of Old Believers for a concert featuring local singers and musicians.


  • Ulan Ude, capital of the Buryat Republic, with the world’s largest Lenin head
  • Village visit to Old Believers, exiled to Siberia after they rebelled against the 17th century reforms of the Orthodox liturgy

Days 12-15: Ulaanbaatar

Dipping down onto the steppe of Mongolia, arrive in Ulaanbaatar, the country’s capital. Experience the pageantry of the fascinating Naadam Festival, a celebration of Mongolia’s ageless traditions, and finish with a remarkable performance of Mongolian throat-singing.


  • Ulaanbaatar, capital and most important city in Mongolia
  • Naadam Opening Ceremony
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See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

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Tour Dates & Prices

There are no departures available at this time.

Please contact us for more information and a MIR Destination Specialist will contact you shortly. Thank you!

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Accommodation aboard the Golden Eagle private train.
  • Per the itinerary, 4 nights of shared accommodation in well-located hotels.
  • All meals starting with dinner on Day 1 until breakfast on final tour day, including a generous, though not unlimited, allowance of wine or local beer, soft drinks and water with all lunches and dinners.
  • Arrival/departure transfers, provided you arrive and depart on the tour start/end dates and in the tour start/end cities.
  • All guided off-train tours per itinerary.
  • The services of an experienced Train Tour Manager, with local guides for scheduled off-train touring.
  • Complimentary tea, coffee and mineral water round the clock from your car attendant while on board the train.
  • All gratuities.
  • Baggage handling.

Before Your Tour

  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list, reading list, insurance information.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application and instruction kit (please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international airfare is not included in the land tour cost).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
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Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

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Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

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Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

MIR can arrange for an extended program in Mongolia or Central Asia after your tour. Before your tour, take a day trip outside Vladivostok to visit a family of endangered Siberian tigers living at the Amur Tiger Rehabilitation Center. All of MIR’s destinations are open to you, and all can be attached to this program. Please contact MIR for more details about exciting options for extended travel.

Or, choose from one of these suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

This trip is moderately active, and rated moderate to rigorous touring due to the daily walking involved and the overall shortcomings of the tourism infrastructure. To reap the full rewards of this adventure, travelers must be able to walk at least a mile a day, keeping up with fellow travelers. A full list of details about the rigors of this tour are explained in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

The perfect combination of remote destinations and comfortable accommodations, rail journeys by private train open a world of discovery to travelers who enjoy comfort and leisure time as well as exciting new vistas.

The exclusive Golden Eagle private train furnishes the dream of Old World rail travel with modern comforts and amenities that make the journey as pleasant as the destination. The luxurious Golden Eagle is a fully en suite train and a restful and satisfying way to experience legendary rail routes.

Train & Hotel Accommodations

Relax and enjoy the panorama rolling past your private window and disembark for guided off-train touring in fascinating towns and cities along the way.

Each sleeping carriage on the Golden Eagle has its own attendants who provide bed turndown service, plus tea, coffee and mineral water 24 hours a day. Attendants keep an eye on everything while guests are away from the train. L’Occitane body products, as well as premium bathrobes, slippers and a hairdryer, are provided in all cabin categories.

  • Imperial Suite

    Imperial Suite

    Imperial Suites are the most beautiful and spacious cabins available onboard the Golden Eagle. Measuring a surprising 120 sq ft (11.1 sq meters), they are furnished with a luxurious king size bed, dedicated seating area, dressing table and private en suite facilities with large power shower and under floor heating. Individual air-conditioning, wardrobe, DVD/CD player with LCD screen and two large picture windows make the cabin a pleasant retreat.

    Additional Information

    Imperial Suite dimensions – 2 suites per departure / 1 suite per carriage:

    Cabin area (total, including bathroom) – 120 sq ft (11.1 sq m)
    Cabin length – 17′ 4″ (5.3 m)
    Cabin width – 6′ 7″ (2 m)
    Bed length – 6′ 2″ (1.9 m)
    Bed width – 5′ (1.5 m)

    (click on photo to see larger version)

  • Gold Class

    Gold Class

    Gold Class cabins are well-proportioned and feature modern en suite amenities including power showers, under floor heating, a DVD/CD player, LCD screen, remote-controlled air-conditioning/heating, recessed lighting and wardrobe and a personal safe. Each cabin is configured with upper and lower berths, and can accommodate double, twin or single occupancy.

    Additional Information

    Gold Class cabin dimensions – 5 cabins/carriage:

    Cabin area (total, including bathroom) – 77 sq ft (7 sq m)
    Cabin length – 11′ 8″ (3.6 m)
    Cabin width – 6′ 7″ (2 m)
    Size of bathroom – 6′ 6″ x 4′  (2.4 sq m)
    Bed length – 6′ 2″ (1.9 m)
    Lower bed width – 4′ 5″ (1.35 m)
    Upper bed width – 2′ 9″ (85 cm)

    Lower bed converts to a sofa for daytime use.

    Note: The 5th compartment is of a slightly different layout (68 sq ft), and will normally be allocated to single guests.

    (click on photo to see larger version)

  • Silver Class

    Silver Class

    Silver Class cabins are more compact than Gold Class cabins with similar facilities. Silver Class cabins feature the same amenities as Gold Class cabins but in a smaller space and with a smaller, wet room-style shower area.

    Additional Information

    Silver Class cabin dimensions – 6 cabins/carriage:

    Cabin area (total, including bathroom) – 60 sq ft (5.5 sq m)
    Cabin length – 8′ 8″ (2.6 m)
    Cabin width – 6′ 7″ (2 m)
    Size of bathroom – 4′ 6″ x 3′ (1.25 sq m)
    Bed length (upper & lower) – 6′ 2″ (190 cm)
    Lower bed width – 3′ 6″ (1.1 m)
    Upper bed width – 2′ 9″ (85 cm)

    (click on photo to see larger version)

  • Hotel Accommodations

    Hotel Accommodations

    The first and last nights of most tours are spent in well-appointed four and five star hotels. Some tours feature additional hotel nights. Please review the detailed itinerary for specifics pertaining to each tour and departure. Additional nights before and after any tour can be arranged on request.

Life Aboard the Train
Dining Car Golden Eagle

The Golden Eagle private train provides everything you need for a pleasurable journey. Join travelers from around the world to enjoy the relaxed and casual environment onboard, with no need to wear formal attire on excursions or while dining.

Train formations are not fixed, as the composition varies to suit the number of passengers on a given departure. Group sizes on winter trips are generally more intimate than spring, summer or fall departures. The exact configuration of the train on any particular journey may not be determined until close to departure. 

Please note that a variety of cabins styles are in use aboard the train. Decor, layout, type and number of dining, bar and sleeping cars on your journey may differ from the sample images depicted in our brochures/websites.

  • Bar/Lounge Car

    Bar/Lounge Car

    A Bar/Lounge Car is a favorite destination in the train formation and is typically included on most departures. The lounge offers a relaxing and comfortable area where you can enjoy a drink, take language lessons, and gather around the piano with other passengers.

    Additional Information

    (click on photo to see larger version)

  • Dining Cars

    Dining Cars

    Dining Cars feature local and European cuisine complemented by a selection of local and European wines. Dining cars are multi-purpose, used for on-board lectures and viewing documentaries. One or more dining cars may be included in the train formation of any given departure depending on the number of passengers.

    Additional Information

    (click on photo to see larger version)

  • Off-Train Tours

    Off-Train Tours

    Rail journeys feature an extensive selection of educational city tours in the various stops on our routes. Private coaches and local guides whisk you away from your private train for fascinating half- or full-day forays into the principal towns and cities, sometimes including an in-city dining opportunity. Read through this tour’s itinerary for more information (found on the Itinerary & Map tab of this page).