You don’t have to be a polar explorer to join a band of voyagers venturing far above the Arctic Circle on a hunt for the celestial aurora borealis or Northern Lights. Guests aboard the luxurious Golden Eagle private train will head north from St. Petersburg across the Arctic Circle on an unforgettable 12-day itinerary. The tour includes visits to the Snow Hotel, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the world’s first nuclear-powered icebreaker, the Arctic port of Murmansk, the open-air museum of Kizhi Island, the Golden Ring towns of Vladimir and Suzdal, and of course magnificent Moscow. For more information on the Arctic Explorer by Private Train voyage slated for December 29, 2016 – January 9, 2017, visit http://www.mircorp.com/trip/arctic-explorer-by-private-train/ or call MIR Corporation at 800-424-7289. The tour starts at $11,995.
Days 1-3: St. Petersburg
Get to know Russia’s second city, with visits to the Hermitage, Catherine’s Palace, the famed Amber Room, monumental St. Isaac’s Cathedral and cosmopolitan Nevsky Prospekt. Board the private train and enjoy a signature caviar dinner as you head north.
Days 4-7: Arctic Circle • Kirkenes • search for Northern Lights
Cross the Arctic Circle and learn more about the Northern Lights from a guest astronomer. Enter Norway by bus, arriving in the polar town of Kirkenes. Take a tour of the Snow Hotel, whose igloo-like rooms glow blue in the night. Search for the Northern Lights across the Aurora Borealis Zone on two consecutive evenings in the comfort of a cozy coach. Ride a dogsled behind a team of huskies and introduce yourself to a herd of reindeer. Re-board the train, keeping a continued lookout for an appearance of the Northern Lights.
Day 8: Murmansk • search for Northern Lights
Arrive in the port city of Murmansk, headquarters of Russia’s Northern Fleet; the warm waters of the Gulf Stream keep it ice-free for most of the winter. Board the world’s first nuclear-powered icebreaker, the Lenin. As the train rolls back south, there is still a chance to observe the Northern Lights.
Day 9: Petrozavodsk • Kizhi Island
Make a stop in Petrozavodsk on Lake Onega. Weather permitting, board a hovercraft and skim over to Kizhi Island’s UNESCO-listed open-air museum.
Day 10: Vladimir • Suzdal
Discover two of Russia’s Golden Ring towns, Vladimir and Suzdal, UNESCO Sites with some of the oldest and most beautiful churches in Russia.
Days 11-12: Moscow
Explore Red Square and the Kremlin, touring the Armory Museum where Russia’s historic treasures are on display.