Great Silk Road Journey - Golden Eagle Luxury Express
Great Silk Road Journey
Golden Eagle Luxury Express

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The Great Silk Road on board the Golden Eagle Luxury Express
13 days, 11 nights from £16,485
Bucket list rail journey from Moscow to Beijing

Retracing one of the most important trading routes of ancient civilisation, the Silk Road follows in the footsteps of such legendary figures as Alexander the Great and Marco Polo. For centuries, merchants and adventurers journeyed to and from China on ancient routes through some of the most testing landscapes in the world trading silk, spices and perfumes. These "highways" - stretching some 4,000 miles - collectively came to be called the "Silk Road".

Crossing both Russia and China as well as some of the remotest former Soviet Republics - Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - our epic journey on board the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express through Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and the Shangri-La Express from the Kazakh border, across the Gobi Desert and onwards to Beijing through an ever changing landscape will take in some of the most magnificent yet little visited sights and oasis cities from the ancient world.

We travel a total of 11,000kms (6,800 miles) across 5 countries and 6 time zones through areas only accessible by train. Whilst the journey may present great difficulties for the independent traveller, our railway journey provides the opportunity to travel in comfort and safety. A true feeling of adventure and pioneering awaits on this unique 21 day railway journey by private train.

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The Route

MOSCOW • Volgograd • Kara Kum • Khiva • Ashgabat • Merv • Bukhara • Samarkand • Tashkent • Almaty • Urumchi • Turpan • Dunhuang • Jiayuguan (Great Wall of China) • Xiam (Terracotta Warriors) • BEIJING

Moscow
Moscow
A truly iconic, global city, Moscow is the 860 year-old capital of Russia. There are dozens of reasons to come. Being one of the most breathtaking capitals in the world, Moscow has a wide range of cultural landmarks. We suggest exploring them all.
Moscow Kremlin
Moscow Kremlin

Discover the treasures that lie in wait for you behind the walls of Moscow’s most famous landmark: the almighty Kremlin! Home to a myriad of the city’s most exquisite cathedrals and monuments, as well as the official residence of President Putin himself, the Kremlin remains a political landmark in Russia and is visited by thousands of tourists every year.

The Red Square
The Red Square
Stepping onto Red Square never fails to inspire. In old Russian "red" stood for the word ‘beautiful’, and the square lives up to the original meaning of its word. The architectural marvels of the St Basil's Cathedral and the Museum of History, the grandeur of the Kremlin and the Mausoleum are among the key impressions the Square has to offer.
Armoury Chamber
Armoury Chamber
A world-wide known treasure house displaying an exquisite collection of more than 4000 unique Russian artefacts including the world famous Faberge egg collection and royal carriages which once transported the great tsars and their families.
Tretyakov Art Gallery
Tretyakov Art Gallery
Named after its founder, Pavel Tretyakov, this gallery is one of the greatest museums in the world and is a must see for art lovers. The Tretyakov Gallery is made up entirely of Russian art and contains more than 130,000 displays spanning from the 11th century to the early 20th. Our knowledgeable guides will take you to the most popular exhibits and will inform you about the artists and the pieces themselves.
St Basil's Cathedral
St Basil's Cathedral
St Basil’s Cathedral is one of the most recognisable buildings in the world and is an iconic symbol of Moscow. A true architectural wonder, the cathedral was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in the 1500’s and is lavishly decorated with vivid bold colours, striking patterns and shapes. The building is made up of nine churches connected by a web of narrow corridors; each church is lavishly decorated with intricate frescoes; however the exterior of the building is equally as impressive with its famous colourful onion domes! A common myth is that once the building was complete, Ivan had the architects blinded to be sure that they never build anything as beautiful again.
Volgograd
Volgograd
Volgograd is one of the most beautiful ancient cities of Russia, established in 1589. Known as Stalingrad during the Soviet period, the city was almost completely destroyed in World War II before becoming recognised as the turning point for victory. Take a city tour and observe the abundance of monuments in memorial of the Battle of Stalingrad and ascend the magnificent Mamayev Kurgan where the majestic statue Mother Russia rises 33 metres into the sky.
Kara Kum
Kara Kum
The Karakum desert is Central Asia’s hottest desert. Despite its temperatures and scarce vegetation its home to a few yurt villages. Desert's Darvaza Gas Craters, one of which is burning, is one of Turkmenistan’s most unusual sights.
Khiva
Khiva
Khiva, the pearl of eastern middle age architecture, lies 25 kilometers south of present-day Urgench. According to the legends Khiva was founded by a son of Noah, Shem when he dug a well in the middle of the desert. According to the archeologists Khiva was founded in the 5th or 4th centuries B.C. and was a key trading post on the Silk Road.
Ashgabat
Ashgabat
The grandiose desert city of Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan, is a dreamscape in white marble, an oasis of opulence on a terrain. Situated between the Kara Kum Desert and the Kopet Dag mountain range, Ashgabat has a population of about 400,000.
Merv
Merv
Once an important stopping point on the Silk Road, it claims to have briefly been the largest city in the world during the 12th century. 1794 saw the demise of Merv, after the Emir of Bukhara destroyed the dam which the population depended on for its water.
Tashkent
Tashkent
Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, is the largest city in Central Asia. The first mention of Tashkent dates from the 7th century A.D., although it was probably founded by the 1st century B.C. It is located in an oasis near the Chirchik River in a fertile cotton- and fruit-growing region. Tashkent is a very attractive city. The roots of the rich Uzbek culture shine through the city’s architecture, museums and vibrant cultural life.
Almaty
Almaty
Almaty is the former capital of Kazakhstan, and is still its largest city. Being a financial and cultural center of Central Asia, Almaty offers plenty of entertainment and cultural opportunities and is a wonderful gateway to this distinctive and hospitable country.
Turpan
Turpan
Turpan is the location where the Flaming Mountains create a magnificent backdrop. Among the highlights are the ancient underground irrigation system and the Museum of Turpan with its 5,000 artefacts.
Dunhuang
Dunhuang
Discover Crescent Lake, hidden amongst the towering sand dunes and it has sustained life in this region for millennia. In the small oasis city of Dunhuang visit the fascinating Magao Thousand Buddha Cave Complex. This impressive site contains almost 500 grottoes, carved between 700 and 1,700 years ago. Inside there is an amazing collection of beautiful sculptures and murals depicting the evolution of Buddhist religious art over 1,000 years.
Xian
Xian
Xian, the ancient capitals of 13 dynasties, is home to numerous historical and culture sites, such as the world-famous Terracotta Warriors, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Muslim Street, Mount, enchanting Huaqing Hot Spring and many more.
Beijing
Beijing
Beijing guarantees its visitors an unforgettable adventure. Being the nation's political, economic and cultural center, and having its history stretching back 3 millennia, Beijing offers a myriad of cultural hot spots. It is truly a place where you can stand right on the crossroads of time.
Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven is considered the most holy of Beijing's imperial temples and is absolutely unique. Since mid-15th century it is where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would make offerings to heaven and pray for good harvests.
Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China
One of the world's seven wonders, the Great Wall of China runs like a 5000 miles ribbon through the country. China's first emperor, Qin, started the construction of the wall in the 3rd century BC and it crook 1800 years to build. It is one of the oldest, largest, and most celebrated achievements of human ingenuity.

Maps

Great Silk Road Journey - Golden Eagle Luxury Express

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Please select your route:

•   EASTBOUND: MOSCOW TO ALMATY

•   WESTBOUND: ALMATY TO MOSCOW


EASTBOUND: MOSCOW TO ALMATY

DAY 1, MOSCOW, RUSSIA
Day 1Arrive at Moscow Airport, where you are met and transferred to the luxurious five-star Baltschug Kempinski hotel for a two-night stay, overlooking the Moskva River with an unrivalled view of the Kremlin, Red Square and St. Basil's Cathedral. We enjoy a welcome dinner at our hotel, whilst you meet your fellow travellers and, together, look forward to the 13 day voyage that lies ahead.
(Please note there will be a main group of travellers on the tour that will travel from Moscow to Beijing as a 21 day journey).
DAY 2, MOSCOW, RUSSIA
Day 2Our touring programme of Moscow principally takes us to the grandeur of the Kremlin – the spiritual, historical and political heart of Moscow – and to see the treasures of the Tsars in the Armoury Chamber. We also visit Red Square, an iconic symbol of Russia’s former military and political might with its eclectic mix of fascinating architecture, such as the ornate St Basil’s Cathedral’s magnificent onion-domed spires, the beautiful facade of the world famous GUM department store, constructed in Tsarist times, and the sombre and evocative site of Lenin’s tomb.
With our Freedom of Choice touring option you may instead wish to travel out of the city centre to Sergiev Posad, home to one of the most beautiful monasteries in Russia and the historical and spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church or visit the famous State Tretyakov Gallery (National Museum of Fine Art).
DAY 3, ON BOARD, RUSSIA
In the morning of Day 3, we board the Golden Eagle at Moscow's Kazansky Station.  After settling into our modern, stylish cabins, we enjoy dinner in one of the beautifully designed restaurant cars as our rail journey to Almaty in Kazakhstan begins.
DAY 4, VOLGOGRAD, RUSSIA
Standing on the banks of the Volga, Stalingrad, as the city was known in Soviet times, was the dramatic scene of one of the most important Second World War battles. The Russians heroically turned back the Nazi advance here to alter the course of the war. We visit the poignantly sobering Mamayev Kurgan war memorial, followed by an informative museum visit.
DAY 5, KARA KUM, KAZAKHSTAN
Today, we enjoy a relaxing day onboard as we travel across the vast expanses of the Kara Kum desert.  As well as experiencing the unique landscape, we can take the opportunity to chat to fellow passengers and maybe take our first Russian language lesson.
DAY 6, KHIVA, UZBEKISTAN
khivaFrom Urgench we travel to the ancient city of Khiva, founded 2,500 years ago. As one of the Silk Road’s most important trading posts and now a World Heritage Site, it lies at the crossroads of the routes between Mongolia, Russia, China and Persia.
A truly magnificent sight to behold, it rises out of the desert to reveal a wealth of impressive architecture. Stepping back in time, we discover its impressive mosques, madrassas, bazaars and minarets within Khiva’s ancient walls.
DAY 7, ASHGABAT, TURKMENISTAN
Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan is known as the 'Las Vegas of the Kara Kum'. Situated between the Kara Kum desert and the Kopet Dag mountain range, Ashgabat is a relatively modern city built upon the ruins of the Silk Road city of Konjikala and the Soviet city built after the devastating earthquake of 1948.
The city's extravagant fountains, golden domes and towering modern buildings appear strangely incongruous in this desert setting. Highlights on our visit include a visit to the National Museum and Kipchak Mosque.
DAY 8, MERV, TURKMENISTAN
From Mary we transfer to the ancient and mainly unrestored remains of Merv. Once an important stopping point on the Silk Road, it claims to have briefly been the largest city in the world during the 12th Century.
1794 saw the demise of Merv, after the Emir of Bukhara destroyed the dam which the population depended on for its water.
DAY 9, BUKHARA, UZBEKISTAN
bukharaBukhara is quite simply outstanding. Like Khiva, UNESCO sponsored the renovation of much of the city for its 2,500th anniversary in 1999. The highlight of this wonderful tour is a visit to The Ark, a fortified residence of the Emirs of Bukhara – the despotic and ruthless leaders who ruled until Soviet times.
We then travel out of the city to experience the Emir’s enchantingly named, Palace of the Moon and Stars. This evening, weather and time permitting, we will enjoy a barbecue on the station platform before our train departs.
DAY 10, SAMARKAND, UZBEKISTAN
samarkand taste of silk roadJust the mention of Samarkand instantly conjures up evocative images of the Silk Road, more so than any other town. Founded in the 6th Century BC, Samarkand’s stunning architecture hints at its former status as one of the most important cities in Asia and is particularly noted for its architectural remains from the 14th to the 17th Century, when it flourished as the fabled capital of the Mongol empire of Timur and his successors.
Today we will visit some of its most significant sites including Registan Square, the refined elegance of the beautifully proportioned Bibi Khanum Mosque and the Ulag Beg observatory, one of the earliest Islamic astronomical observatories built in 1428. Before dinner we will return to the now illuminated and awe-inspiring Registan Square.
DAY 11, TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN
tashkentTashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan and we spend time touring this modern Soviet-style city which was rebuilt following the devastating earthquake of 1966. Our tour of the city includes the Old Town, where traditional homes and religious buildings line the narrow streets and here in a small library we’ll be privileged to see one of Islam’s most sacred relics – the world’s oldest Koran. This is followed by a visit to the Railway Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts.
DAY 12, ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN
Almaty is the largest city in Kazakhstan and is notable for its wide tree-lined boulevards. Surrounded by the majesty of the Tien Shan Mountains, this beautifully verdant city derives its name from ‘alma’ meaning ‘apple’. Just a short distance from the city, apple orchards thrive in abundance.
Our city tour includes a visit to Panfilov Park where we have the opportunity to visit the Zenkhov Cathedral which was built entirely of wood. We’ll also go out of the city to the Chimbulak resort, where a cable car ride will give you spectacular views of Almaty and the mountains.
DAY 13, BORDER CROSSING, KAZAKHSTAN & CHINA
As we arrive at the Kazakh border of Druzhba, we bid the Golden Eagle a final farewell. The border crossing takes approximately 5 hours but our patience is rewarded as the Shangri-La Express awaits us in Alashankou, the Chinese border station.
Imperial Suite and Gold Class passengers will be accommodated in the private en suite Diamond Class cabins on board the Shangri-La Express, whilst Silver Class will be allocated Heritage Class cabins, which have shared shower and toilet facilities. Upgrades for Silver Class passengers to Diamond Class are available at an extra charge and subject to availability. A waitlist will be in operation for upgrades based on 'date of booking' order. Ask the Reservations Department for details.

We are now at liberty to settle into our comfortable cabins as we begin our journey across China. A welcome dinner is served in the Restaurant Cars, giving us our first taste of authentic Chinese cuisine.

DAY 14, TURPAN, CHINA
Turpan is the location where the Flaming Mountains create a magnificent backdrop. We take a fascinating tour to the ancient underground irrigation system that has successfully fed the rich orchards and vineyards for centuries. We will also visit the Museum of Turpan with its 5,000 artefacts detailing the rich history of the area and includes the Ancient Mummy exhibition with exhibits dating back 3,200 years. Our final destination is the elegantly decaying sand fortress city of Jiaohe that was founded in 108 BC and became an important trading route along the Silk Road until it was abandoned in the 13th century following a raid by Genghis Khan.
DAY 15, DUNHUANG, CHINA
dunhuang silk roadIn the small oasis city of Dunhuang we will visit the fascinating Magao Thousand Buddha Cave Complex. This impressive site contains almost 500 grottoes, carved between 700 and 1,700 years ago. Inside we will see an amazing collection of beautiful sculptures and murals depicting the evolution of Buddhist religious art over this 1,000 year period.
We stay for one night at the Silk Road Dunhuang hotel and tonight we experience dinner and a local folk performance in this magical setting.
DAY 16, DUNHUANG, CHINA
We wake early this morning to experience sunrise over the magnificent sand dunes, followed by breakfast. Today we will explore the vast natural beauty of the Gobi desert by camel. Here we discover Crescent Lake. Hidden amongst towering sand dunes, it has sustained life in this region for millennia.
DAY 17, XIAN, CHINA
terracotta wariors silk roadOur fascinating journey of discovery takes us to Xian. We will have several hours to explore the world famous Terracotta Warriors, discovered by peasants only 40 years ago. The 6,000 terracotta figures and their horses are one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century.
Alternatively, as part of our Freedom of Choice programme we will offer a visit to the Han Yangling Museum. This tomb, dating back 2,000 years with its adjoining museum, is one of China’s best kept secrets.
Tonight we stay overnight at the centrally located Sofitel Xian and enjoy the Tang Dynasty Dinner, Music and Dance Show, a wonderful performance of ancient entertainment.
DAY 18, XIAN & BEIJING, CHINA
Following breakfast at the hotel we will admire the city’s historical architecture on a cycle along the ancient city walls and experience the bustling street culture of the Muslim Quarter with a visit to the Great Mosque. This afternoon we depart Xian on the exhilarating new high speed railway line to Beijing*. Travelling at speeds of up to 300kms per hour (190 miles per hour) the bullet train will cover the distance of 1,144kms (710 miles) in a time of 4 hours and 40 minutes.
*Please note this is from 2017 onwards.
Arriving in Beijing later this afternoon, we will check in to our home for the next 3 nights, the five-star Regent Beijing hotel, located in the historical centre of the city. This luxurious Beijing hotel is minutes from the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Wangfujing shopping, the Oriental Plaza and picturesque hutongs.
DAY 19, BEIJING, CHINA
beijing silk roadIn our extensive touring programme of the Imperial City, we visit Tiananmen Square and explore the magnificently restored Forbidden City which was built in the early 14th century and was home to the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Our cultural exploration continues at the Temple of Heaven, built during the Ming Dynasty to offer sacrifices to the heavens, which is the grandest of the four great temples situated in Beijing. Here we experience enchanting displays of traditional dancing, singing and the delicately precise ancient art of calligraphy. We’ll also explore the small ‘hutong’ lanes of old Beijing by rickshaw and visit a local family in a traditional courtyard house.
Alternatively, with our Freedom of Choice touring programme we provide a number of options including a tour to Cuandixia ancient village, nestled in the mountains 90kms (56 miles) west of Beijing. Cuandixia is known for its architecture and the natural beauty of the area. It is home to more than 500 well preserved courtyard houses dating to the Ming and Qing dynasties. We also offer the fantastic opportunity to visit a Hutong Chinese Cooking School where you can learn the art of cooking authentic Chinese cuisine in a traditional courtyard home.
DAY 20, BEIJING, CHINA
During our three-night stay in Beijing we devote a whole day to the most awe-inspiring site in the whole of China – The Great Wall. This amazing edifice is perhaps the most evocative symbol of Chinese skill and precision. Originally built to protect the Chinese Empire from raids by nomadic tribes, it is the longest man-made structure in the world and part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.
We have the privilege of walking along a portion of the wall – the perfect opportunity to take some memorable photographs with your fellow guests.
We host our exclusive farewell dinner in an authentic Peking Duck restaurant. The banquet will be complemented by specially selected international wines, as with all our meals, as well as a glass of local rice wine also known as ‘firewater’ as befitting this special occasion.
DAY 21, BEIJING, CHINA
Following breakfast in the hotel, you will be transferred to Beijing airport for your onward flight departure.

WESTBOUND: ALMATY TO MOSCOW

DAY 1, BEIJING, CHINA
beijing silk roadUpon arrival at Beijing Airport, you will be met and transferred to the five-star Regent Hotel (or similar), which is located in the historical centre of the city. This luxurious Beijing hotel is minutes from the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Wangfujing shopping street, the Oriental Plaza and picturesque hutongs (old lanes).
We will enjoy a welcome reception dinner at a local restaurant, giving you the opportunity to meet your fellow travellers and look ahead to your 21 day voyage of a lifetime.
DAY 2, BEIJING, CHINA
In our extensive touring programme of the Imperial City, we visit Tiananmen Square and explore the magnificently restored Forbidden City which was built in the early 14th century and was home to the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Our cultural exploration continues at the Temple of Heaven, built during the Ming Dynasty to offer sacrifices to the heavens, which is the grandest of the four great temples situated in Beijing. Here we experience enchanting displays of traditional dancing, singing and the delicately precise ancient art of calligraphy. We’ll also explore the small ‘hutong’ lanes of old Beijing by rickshaw and visit a local family in a traditional courtyard house.
Alternatively, with our Freedom of Choice touring programme we offer a tour to Cuandixia ancient village, nestled in the mountains 90kms (56 miles) west of Beijing. Cuandixia is known for its architecture and the natural beauty of the area. It is home to more than 500 well preserved courtyard houses dating to the Ming and Qing dynasties.
DAY 3, BEIJING, CHINA
During our three-night stay in Beijing we devote a whole day to the most awe-inspiring site in the whole of China – The Great Wall. This amazing edifice is perhaps the most evocative symbol of Chinese skill and precision. Originally built to protect the Chinese Empire from raids by nomadic tribes, it is the longest man-made structure in the world and part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.
We have the privilege of walking along a portion of the wall – the perfect opportunity to take some memorable photographs with your fellow guests.
DAY 4, BEIJING & XIAN, CHINA
This morning we depart Beijing and travel to Xian on the exhilarating new high speed railway line. Travelling at speeds of up to 300kms per hour (190 miles per hour) the bullet train will cover the distance of 1,144kms (710 miles) in a time of approximately 5 hours.
Arriving in Xian early this afternoon, we will have several hours to explore the world famous Terracotta Warriors, discovered by peasants only 40 years ago. The 6,000 terracotta figures and their horses are one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century.
Alternatively, as part of our Freedom of Choice programme we will offer a visit to the Han Yangling Museum. This tomb, dating back 2,000 years with its adjoining museum, is one of China’s best kept Tonight we stay overnight at the centrally located Sofitel Xian and enjoy the Tang Dynasty Dinner, Music and Dance Show, a wonderful performance of ancient entertainment.
DAY 5, XIAN, CHINA
terracotta wariors silk roadFollowing breakfast at the hotel we will admire Xian's historical architecture on a cycle along the ancient city walls and experience the bustling street culture of the Muslim Quarter with a visit to the Great Mosque.
Later this afternoon we will board the Shangri-La Express for the next stage of our journey across China. A welcome dinner of authentic Chinese cuisine is served onboard in the Restaurant Cars, as we travel towards Dunhuang.
Imperial Suite and Gold Class passengers will be accommodated in the private en suite Diamond Class cabins on board the Shangri-La Express, whilst Silver Class will be allocated Heritage Class cabins, which have shared shower and toilet facilities. Upgrades for Silver Class passengers to Diamond Class are available at an extra charge and subject to availability. A waitlist will be in operation for upgrades based on 'date of booking' order. Ask the Reservations Department for details.
DAY 6, DUNHUANG, KAZAKHSTAN
Following a leisurely morning onboard, we arrive in the small oasis city of Dunhuang. This afternoon we explore the vast natural beauty of the Gobi Desert by camel. Here we discover Crescent Lake. Hidden amongst towering sand dunes, it has sustained life in this region for millennia.
We stay for one night at the Silk Road Dunhuang hotel and tonight we experience dinner and a local folk performance in this magical setting.
DAY 7, DUNHUANG, KAZAKHSTAN
We wake early this morning to experience sunrise over the magnificent sand dunes, before we visit the fascinating Magao Thousand Buddha Cave Complex. This impressive site contains almost 500 grottoes, carved between 700 and 1,700 years ago. Inside we will see an amazing collection of beautiful sculptures and murals depicting the evolution of Buddhist religious art over this 1,000 year period.
Later this afternoon we will rejoin the Shangri-La Express for our onward journey to Turpan.
DAY 8, TURPAN, KAZAKHSTAN
Turpan is the location where the Flaming Mountains create a magnificent backdrop. We take a fascinating tour to the ancient underground irrigation system that has successfully fed the rich orchards and vineyards for centuries. We will visit the Museum of Turpan with its 5,000 artefacts detailing the rich history of the area and includes the Ancient Mummy exhibition with exhibits dating back 3,200 years.
Our final destination is the elegantly decaying sand fortress city of Jiaohe that was founded in 108 BC and became an important trading route along the Silk Road until it was abandoned in the 13th century following a raid by Genghis Khan.
DAY 9, BORDER CROSSING, CHINA & KAZAKHSTAN
After a final breakfast on board the Shangri-La Express, we pass through dramatic mountain scenery before arriving at the Chinese border station of Alashankou. The border crossing takes approximately 5 hours, however our patience is rewarded as our private train, the Golden Eagle, awaits us in Druzhba, the Kazakh border station.
DAY 10, ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN
Almaty is the largest city in Kazakhstan and is notable for its wide tree-lined boulevards. Surrounded by the majesty of the Tien Shan Mountains, this beautifully verdant city derives its name from ‘alma’ meaning ‘apple’. Just a short distance from the city, apple orchards thrive in abundance.
Our city tour includes a visit to Panfilov Park where we have the opportunity to visit the Zenkhov Cathedral which was built entirely of wood. We’ll also go out of the city to the Chimbulak resort, where a cable car ride will give you spectacular views of Almaty and the mountains.
DAY 11, TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN
tashkentTashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan and we spend time touring this modern Soviet-style city which was rebuilt following the devastating earthquake of 1966. Our tour of the city includes the Old Town, where traditional homes and religious buildings line the narrow streets and here in a small library we’ll be privileged to see one of Islam’s most sacred relics – the world’s oldest Koran. This is followed by a visit to the Railway Museum and the Museum of Applied
DAY 12, SAMARKAND, UZBEKISTAN
samarkand taste of silk roadJust the mention of Samarkand instantly conjures up evocative images of the Silk Road, more so than any other town. Founded in the 6th Century BC, Samarkand’s stunning architecture hints at its former status as one of the most important cities in Asia and is particularly noted for its architectural remains from the 14th to the 17th Century, when it flourished as the fabled capital of the Mongol empire of Timur and his successors.
Today we will visit some of its most significant sites including Registan Square, the refined elegance of the beautifully proportioned Bibi Khanum Mosque and the Ulag Beg observatory, one of the earliest Islamic astronomical observatories built in 1428. Before dinner we will return to the now illuminated and awe-inspiring Registan Square.
DAY 13, BUKHARA, UZBEKISTAN
bukharaBukhara is quite simply outstanding. Like Khiva, UNESCO sponsored the renovation of much of the city for its 2,500th anniversary in 1999. The highlight of this wonderful tour is a visit to The Ark, a fortified residence of the Emirs of Bukhara – the despotic and ruthless leaders who ruled until Soviet times.
We then travel out of the city to experience the Emir’s enchantingly named, Palace of the Moon and Stars. This evening, weather and time permitting, we will enjoy a barbecue on the station platform before our train departs.
DAY 14, MERV, TURKMENISTAN
From Mary we transfer to the ancient and mainly unrestored remains of Merv. Once an important stopping point on the Silk Road, it claims to have briefly been the largest city in the world during the 12th Century.
1794 saw the demise of Merv, after the Emir of Bukhara destroyed the dam which the population depended on for its water.
DAY 15, ASHGABAT, TURKMENISTAN
Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan is known as the 'Las Vegas of the Kara Kum'. Situated between the Kara Kum desert and the Kopet Dag mountain range, Ashgabat is a relatively modern city built upon the ruins of the Silk Road city of Konjikala and the Soviet city built after the devastating earthquake of 1948.
The city's extravagant fountains, golden domes and towering modern buildings appear strangely incongruous in this desert setting. Highlights on our visit include a visit to the National Museum and Kipchak Mosque.
DAY 15, DARVAZA, TURKMENISTAN
The Golden Eagle makes a brief scheduled stop at Ichoguz, where we have the option to leave the train and make a short journey to Darvaza's famous gas burning crater, a spectacular sight best seen at night. Located in the middle of the Kara Kum desert where the area is rich in natural gas, the 70 metre wide crater is known by the locals as the 'Door to Hell' and has been burning for over 40 years. A unique experience that is not to be missed.
DAY 16, KHIVA, UZBEKISTAN
khivaFrom Urgench we travel to the ancient city of Khiva, founded 2,500 years ago. As one of the Silk Road’s most important trading posts and now a World Heritage Site, it lies at the crossroads of the routes between Mongolia, Russia, China and Persia.
A truly magnificent sight to behold, it rises out of the desert to reveal a wealth of impressive architecture. Stepping back in time, we discover its impressive mosques, madrassas, bazaars and minarets within Khiva’s ancient walls.
DAY 17, KARA KUM, KAZAKHSTAN
Today, we enjoy a relaxing day onboard as we travel across the vast expanses of the Kara Kum desert.  As well as experiencing the unique landscape, we can take the opportunity to chat to fellow passengers and maybe take our first Russian language lesson.
DAY 18, VOLGOGRAD, RUSSIA
Standing on the banks of the Volga, Stalingrad, as the city was known in Soviet times, was the dramatic scene of one of the most important Second World War battles. The Russians heroically turned back the Nazi advance here to alter the course of the war. We visit the poignantly sobering Mamayev Kurgan war memorial, followed by an informative museum visit.
DAY 19, MOSCOW, RUSSIA
Having travelled from Almaty we arrive into Moscow, our final destination.
Included in our time spent in Moscow is two nights at the five-star Baltschug Kempinski hotel, overlooking the Moskva River with an unrivalled view of the Kremlin, Red Square and St. Basil's Cathedral.
DAY 20, MOSCOW, RUSSIA
Day 2Our touring programme of Moscow principally takes us to the grandeur of the Kremlin – the spiritual, historical and political heart of Moscow – and to see the treasures of the Tsars in the Armoury Chamber. We also visit Red Square, an iconic symbol of Russia’s former military and political might with its eclectic mix of fascinating architecture, such as the ornate St Basil’s Cathedral’s magnificent onion-domed spires, the beautiful facade of the world famous GUM department store, constructed in Tsarist times, and the sombre and evocative site of Lenin’s tomb.
With our Freedom of Choice touring option you may instead wish to travel out of the city centre to Sergiev Posad, home to one of the most beautiful monasteries in Russia and the historical and spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church or visit the famous State Tretyakov Gallery (National Museum of Fine Art).
Why not extend your stay in Moscow with additional nights to explore more of the city at your leisure or have time to take in a performance at the world-renowned Bolshoi Theatre? Tickets need to be pre-booked and are subject to schedule and availability.
DAY 21, MOSCOW, RUSSIA
After breakfast, transfer to Moscow Airport for your onward flight home. 

Why not extend your stay in Moscow with additional nights to explore more of the city at your leisure or have time to take in a performance at the world-renowned Bolshoi Theatre? Tickets need to be pre-booked and are subject to schedule and availability.

The Golden Eagle Express

Travelling on the Golden Eagle is an exclusive way to truly take in the vastness and grandeur of the world's largest country.

The Golden Eagle entered service in 2007 and the 12 sleeping cars on the train are separated into three classes: Imperial, Gold and Silver Class.

In the restaurant, the chefs use the finest of local ingredients for lunch and dinner. From traditional and world renowned 'Borsch', to caviar and Omul fish unique to Lake Baikal.

Quality wines from around the world compliment the meals, along with mineral water, soft drinks and naturally, vodka. After a long day sightseeing, unwind in the newly designed and stylishly built Bar Car.

Great Silk Road Journey - Golden Eagle Luxury Express Great Silk Road Journey - Golden Eagle Luxury Express
Great Silk Road Journey - Golden Eagle Luxury Express

Imperial Suites are the most spacious cabins available onboard the Golden Eagle measuring 120 sq ft (11.1 sq metres) and benefiting from a large and luxurious double bed as well as a lounge area with dressing table.
Imperial Suite facilities include a private en-suite bathroom with power shower and the luxury of underfloor heating; individual air-conditioning; wardrobe; DVD/CD player with LCD screen; complimentary fully stocked minibar; safe; small library and two large picture windows to watch the world go by.
Exemplary service starts with a complimentary bottle of Dom Perignon champagne when you board the train to toast the start of your wonderful adventure.
Imperial Suite guests will also benefit from the option of a private guide and car service in most of the places we visit along the route, the inclusion of drinks from the standard and premium bar list in the Bar Lounge Car, a laundry service and room upgrades to the next available category at the hotels which are featured in the itinerary.

Specification

  • Sleeps 2 in King Size bed
  • Sitting area
  • Remote controlled air-conditioning and heating
  • Recessed lighting and wardrobe
  • Dressing table
  • Personal safe
  • Private en-suite bathroom with full power shower and underfloor heating
  • Bathrobes, slippers, hairdryer and toiletries provided
  • Complimentary minibar
  • DVD/CD player with LCD screens
  • Towels and linens changed every second day or daily on request
  • Complimentary tea, coffee and mineral water available at all times
  • In-cabin dining available on request
  • Drinks from the Bar Lounge Car included from the Standard and Premium Bar List (excluding Premium Wine List)
  • Private car and guide options in selected cities for off-train excursion programme
  • Laundry service included
Great Silk Road Journey - Golden Eagle Luxury Express
Great Silk Road Journey - Golden Eagle Luxury Express Great Silk Road Journey - Golden Eagle Luxury Express
Great Silk Road Journey - Golden Eagle Luxury Express

At 77 sq ft (7 sq metres) Gold Class cabins are extremely well-proportioned and have everything from a private bathroom with separate power shower cubicle and underfloor heating to a DVD/CD player, LCD screen, safe, individual air-conditioning, wardrobe, large picture window as well as featuring a double lower bed and a single upper bed.
Guests in Gold Class benefit from complimentary drinks off the Standard Bar List in the Bar Lounge Car.
Exemplary service starts with a complimentary bottle of Dom Perignon champagne when you board the train to toast the start of your wonderful adventure.

Specification

  • Sleeps 2 in either lower standard double bed or bunk style
  • Remote controlled air-conditioning and heating
  • Recessed lighting and wardrobe
  • Personal safe
  • Private en-suite bathroom with full power shower and underfloor heating
  • Bathrobes, slippers and toiletries provided
  • DVD/CD player with LCD screens
  • Towels and linens changed every second day or daily on request
  • Complimentary tea, coffee and mineral water in cabin available at all times
  • Drinks in the Bar Lounge Car included from the Standard Bar List
  • Laundry service available at an additional charge
Great Silk Road Journey - Golden Eagle Luxury Express
Great Silk Road Journey - Golden Eagle Luxury Express Great Silk Road Journey - Golden Eagle Luxury Express
Great Silk Road Journey - Golden Eagle Luxury Express

Silver Class cabins, which are more compact at 60 sq ft (5.5 sq metres), feature a small double lower bed and a single upper bed as well as DVD/CD player, LCD screen, safe, individual air-conditioning, wardrobe and large picture window.
The Silver Class cabins have private en-suite wet room with a washbasin, toilet and shower.

Specification

  • Sleeps 2 in lower small double bed or bunk style
  • Remote controlled air-conditioning and heating
  • Recessed lighting and wardrobe
  • Personal safe
  • Private en-suite bathroom with 'wet-room' style shower and toilet
  • Bathrobes, slippers and toiletries provided
  • DVD/CD player with LCD screens
  • Towels and linens changed every second day or daily on request
  • Complimentary tea, coffee and mineral water available at all times
  • Laundry service available at an additional charge
Great Silk Road Journey - Golden Eagle Luxury Express

Book this month to secure IntoRussia Early Booking Discount

GBP

Golden Eagle 2017 Departure Dates - Eastbound - Moscow to Beijing

DEPARTURE

Silver Class

Gold Class

Imperial Suite

Twin Single  Twin Single Twin Single
Eastbound Moscow - Beijing
SEPT
Без имени 1
22

£16,995
£16,485

 £24,695
£23,954
£21,195
£20,559
 £30,695
£29,774
£29,995
£29,095
On Request

Golden Eagle 2017 Departure Dates - Westbound - Almaty to Moscow

DEPARTURE

Silver Class

Gold Class

Imperial Suite

Twin Single  Twin Single Twin Single
Westbound Beijing - Moscow
SEPT
Без имени 1
26

£16,995
£16,485

£24,695
£23,954
£21,195
£20,559
£30,695
£29,774
£29,995
£29,095
On Request
 

All Tours Include:

As far as possible tours are all inclusive with no hidden extras. What follows are those elements which are included in the tour price. The only extra items you will need to budget for include personal expenses such as international and internal flights, visa costs, travel insurance, drinks from the Bar Lounge Car and laundry.

Experienced Tour Managers

Experienced tour managers and their assistants are selected for their travel knowledge and their linguistic and organisational abilities allowing you to relax and enjoy your rail cruise. Golden Eagle receive exceptional passenger comments about their Tour Managers and their aim is to ensure you enjoy every minute of your holiday.

Arrival and Departure Transfers

Arrival and departure transfers are included.

Hotel and Onboard Accommodation

Although you will spend much of your time sightseeing or relaxing in the train’s public areas, you will find you hotel room or cabin a welcome retreat at the end of a rewarding day. All hotels are of 5 star standard or, in certain locations, the best available. Room upgrades are available on request and at extra cost.

Welcome and Farewell Dinners

Each tour begins with a Welcome Dinner, an ideal opportunity to get to know your fellow passengers; for the Tour Manager to brief you on the trip; and introduce you to the Golden Eagle Luxury Trains team and the Tour Doctor. The Farewell Dinner is the perfect end to your adventure by private train where you can relive the journey and look ahead to future tours.

Route Guide, Itinerary and Information Pack

When you board the train there will be a brochure in your cabin detailing more about your journey and the places en-route. Tour Manager will organise a programme of briefings on the cities or places we visit and, each evening, will issue a programme for the next day’s touring schedule.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Daily

All departures feature one or two uniquely designed restaurant cars where you can enjoy the excellent waiter-served food and wine. Several times during the tour you will also sample authentic local cuisine off the train.

Drinks with Meals and from the Bar Lounge Car

A generous drinks allowance is included with lunch and dinner. For passengers travelling in Gold Class onboard the Golden Eagle, drinks from the Standard Drinks List in the Bar Lounge Car are also included. For Imperial Suite guests, drinks from both the Standard and Premium Bar Lists in the Bar Lounge Car are included.

Onboard Service

You can expect service which is attentive, friendly and unintrusive. Your car attendants provide 24-hour housekeeping and bedding turndown services, with one attendant always on duty to assist you and to ensure you are comfortable in your cabin. Complimentary tea, coffee and bottle drinking water are available in your cabin 24 hours a day.

Guided Off-Train Excursions

The history and culture of the places we visit on our rail cruises will come alive through our expert local guides. All tours include a wide-ranging sightseeing schedule to make the most of the time you have off the train and bring you closer to the culture, people and history of your destinations. We believe it is the special little touches that help create magical memories.

Imperial Suite guests will benefit from the option of a private car and guide in the majority of places we visit along the route.

Freedom of Choice Touring

Customise your journey and enjoy the opportunity to select from an array of Freedom of Choice Touring options that best suits your interests. Your off-train excursions will still take in all the major attractions of the places we are visiting but, in featured locations, you will be presented when you are onboard the train with a variety of activities from which to choose, and enjoy a tailor-made experience. Look at the individual itineraries where we are operating Freedom of Choice Touring.

Freedom of Choice Touring options may be subject to variations dependent on finalised train timings and local charges. Touring options available will typically be advised in the evening prior to the day’s tour.

Personal Headsets

On all the off–train excursions, to enhance your enjoyment and comprehension of the places you visit, you will be provided with a lightweight personal headset on which to listen to your tour guide as you take in the sights. So you do not need to worry about missing any of the interesting details on your excursions.

Onboard Doctor and Medical Facilities

To give you peace of mind our tours are accompanied by a doctor who travels with us for the entire journey; so you can rest assured that medical assistance is always available. On call 24 hours a day, the doctor is on hand to give primary care as required. Normally, the doctor will be English speaking and be registered with the General Medical Council in the UK.

Porterage

As you only have to unpack once, your luggage and belongings will stay with you on the train throughout the journey but, wherever necessary, porterage is included between the hotel and stations.

All Gratuities

You will not have to worry about tipping on and off the train on your rail journey with Golden Eagle Luxury Trains as all gratuities are included in the tour price.

Please note the following deposit is payable on this tour:

SILVER CLASS CABIN GOLD CLASS CABIN IMPERIAL SUITE
£1,000 £2,000 £4,000

 

Great Silk Road Journey - Golden Eagle Luxury Express

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