Staff and Service

Is there a Doctor on board at all times?

Golden Eagle Luxury Trains provides a doctor on every tour, unless otherwise stated. The tour doctor travels with the train and passengers at all times, and is available 24-hours a day for the duration of the tour. He or she is responsible for illnesses that arise during the trip, and carries a medical kit to deal with immediate medical problems. If you are taking prescription medications, please bring sufficient supplies to last for the duration of the trip. Consultations and any treatment provided from the medical kit are free of charge.

Is the Doctor English speaking?

Under normal circumstances we always provide an English speaking doctor, however there may be exceptional circumstances out of our control where that may not be possible. In this case translation will be provided.

How will I know who the Tour Doctor is?

The Tour Doctor will introduce him or herself at the beginning of the tour, and will give a brief medical talk during the introductory meeting.

Do I need to make any special prior arrangements if I am travelling with medications?

If you are on any regular medication you must bring enough to last the duration of the trip. In June 2016, legislation was introduced requiring travellers bringing prescribed medicines into Russia to carry a prescription in the traveller’s name, plus the name of the drug and prescribed quantity. If this isn’t in Russian, a notarised translation is also required. Some medicines which you can buy over the counter in the UK or US may require a prescription in Russia. Check with the nearest Russian Embassy if you’re unsure whether you need a prescription to bring your medicines into the country.

This is particularly important for sedatives such as sleeping pills or strong pain killers, as these are often regarded as ‘narcotics’ in eastern European and central Asian countries. Please inform the Tour Doctor that you are travelling with prescription medication.


Do I need to inform Golden Eagle about my pre-existing medical condition before travelling?

It is not compulsory to inform us about your medical conditions, but we strongly advise you to bring a medical summary from your doctor if you have any ongoing health problems, to give to the tour doctor at the beginning of the tour. A medical summary of this nature can be invaluable in the event of an emergency. If you don’t wish to inform us about your medical condition, please speak to the tour doctor on the tour. We strongly advise you that you seek medical clearance prior to travelling.


Shall I inform Golden Eagle about my special diet requirements?

It is in our booking form that you are asked to provide your dietary requirements. We are able to
arrange special meals only if we know about it in advance.


Are any special vaccinations required?

As with all overseas travel, you need to contact your GP or local travel clinic to get the most up to date information on what vaccinations are required. In addition to any travel vaccines that are advised, we strongly recommend that you are up to date with influenza vaccination.


 How fit should I be in order to join the excursions?

It depends on the actual tour and the places we are visiting but you should be moderately fit in order to participate in our excursions. There may be are uphill and downhill gradients, uneven surfaces and multiple flights of stairs. On some days the touring and sightseeing may be less strenuous, on others it may be longer and more physically demanding. As the average age of our passengers is over 60 years of age, we try to ensure that the excursions suit all our clients, however if you feel you will have difficulties in finishing any particular trip or simply don’t want to join the group for whatever reason, you are welcome to stay on the train or in a hotel day room. Please speak to either the Tour Manager or a Tour Doctor in advance and they will be able to assist you.


 What happens in the event hospital treatment is needed?

If inpatient treatment is needed, we will escort you to the hospital and make every effort to ensure that you receive the highest possible level of care. If required, we will get in touch with your relatives at home therefore it is important to provide us with an emergency contact. The Russian Railways have their own hospitals along the route. Any hospital investigation, treatment or in-patient admission will be at the passenger’s own expense, and the travel insurers should be involved at the earliest possible opportunity.


 What happens if I am not able to finish the journey due to my health?

If the tour doctor, or the treating doctor in a hospital to which the passenger has been admitted advises that a passenger is not fit to travel on the tour, then tour management is obliged to make arrangements for repatriation. It is therefore essential that all passengers hold adequate travel insurance, which includes cover for medical treatment and repatriation costs, and that Golden Eagle Luxury Trains hold the details of the policy.


Should I bring any travel first-aid medication with me?

Although we carry a basic supply of medicine on the train you are advised to bring your own preferred brands of drugs to cover minor illnesses such as stomach upsets, colds, flu etc. We highly recommend visiting your GP prior the tour and get the stand-by course of the following:


-Loperamide for diarrhoea

-A broad spectrum antibiotic

-We also advise to bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer


I use a wheelchair. Can I go on the tour and join all the excursions?

We welcome passengers with limited mobility, however we need to know in advance. Unfortunately, our train corridors are not wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs. If you require a wheelchair for off-train excursions this must be arranged at the time of booking, and we will do our best to accommodate the request (charges will apply if wheelchair assistance is required). However, it may not be possible to go on all of the excursions.


Norovirus and common colds – useful information

Outbreaks of Norovirus are extremely common, second only to the Common Cold in the UK. Symptoms include vomiting and/or diarrhoea, but some people may also experience headache, fever, tiredness and abdominal cramps (stomach ache) or bloating. These symptoms usually last between 1 to 3 days and generally resolve without treatment or long-term consequences. On average, the incubation period of the virus is 12 - 48 hours.

Clusters are only identifiable where people share facilities day-to-day in close proximity. If the virus were to take hold on a train tour or cruise ship, it would be to the detriment of all aboard.

The virus is primarily spread from person to person, and can easily be caught from fixtures if recently touched by an infected person. In the unlikely event that the virus is introduced to the train, we are committed to minimising all possibility of its spread. The crew of all Golden Eagle trains strive to maintain the highest standards of hygiene. This said, extra vigilance in all aspects of personal hygiene is of vital importance.

Frequent, diligent hand washing with soap and hot water is highly recommended, as this is the single most effective procedure to prevent the spread of any infection. Please also always use the hand gel provided on board, especially before entering the restaurants.

If you find yourself experiencing any of the above symptoms, please stay in your cabin and contact your cabin attendant without delay. Our doctor will visit you in your cabin and provide immediate treatment, reassurance and containment.

While we seek to reassure all that the possibility of Norovirus becoming an issue on any tour is limited; we feel it important that you are made aware of the facts.


Common Colds: Protect Yourself and Others

Symptoms include sore throat, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, headaches and body aches. Most people recover within about 7-10 days, but the cough can last up to 18 days or longer, and most importantly, colds do not get better with antibiotics.

Many different viruses can cause the common cold, but rhinoviruses are the most common.

Transmission is by direct contact with infected nasal secretions, contaminated objects or via airborne droplets (aerosols). Hand-to-hand and hand-to-surface transmission is the most frequent and significant form of spread, and the viruses may survive more than 18 hours on objects in the environment. Colds are most infectious during the first three days of symptoms, much less so afterwards.


How to Protect Yourself and Others

Quarantine or isolation have not been shown to be effective to prevent the spread of colds. If you have a cold, you should follow these tips to prevent viruses from spreading to other people:

Avoid close contact with others, such as hugging, kissing, or shaking hands.

Move away from people before coughing or sneezing.

Cough and sneeze into a tissue then throw it away, or cough and sneeze into your upper shirt sleeve, completely covering your mouth and nose

Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.


To help reduce your risk of getting a cold:

Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands - Viruses can enter your body this way and make you sick.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.