The Orient Silk Road Express
The Orient Silk Road Express
The Orient Silk Road Express

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The Orient Silk Road Express
10 days, 9 nights from £1,440
Once-in-a-life-time journey across Central Asia

Comfortably cross Uzbekistan by private train. Visit the most significant, historic and fascinating cities along the Central Asian Silk Road—Tashkent, Samarkand, Khiva and Bukhara. Choose from four comfortable cabin types: Habibi, Ali Baba, Aladdin and Kalif, with Kalif being the most luxurious with private en suite facilities in each cabin.
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The Route

TASHKENT • Shakhrisabz • Bukhara • Khiva • Samarkand • TASHKENT

Yerevan
Yerevan
The Yerevan skyline is dominated by Mount Ararat in nearby Turkey, with its snow covered peak towering in the distance. Yerevan has a rich history and was occupied as early as 6,000 BC.
Lake Sevan
Lake Sevan
Set 1900m above sea level, the Lake Sevan is the largest lake in the Caucasus and one of the largest freshwater high-altitude lakes in the world.
Tbilisi
Tbilisi
Hemmed in by the Surami Range, the beautiful city of Tbilisi extends for 17 miles (27 km) along the banks of the River Kura. Its fascinating historical sites include the 13th century Metekhi church, the 5th century Sioni Cathedral, the main church of Tbilisi, Holy Trinity Cathedral, one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world, the Great Hall of the Georgian Philharmonia, the Janashia Museum of Georgia.
Gori
Gori
Gori is one of the oldest cities in Georgia, founded in the 7th century AD as Tontio. Joseph Stalin, the Soviet leader, was born here in 1879 and he spent his childhood years in the city and later (1888-94) studied at its theological seminary. The small house where Stalin was born is preserved under a canopy outside the huge columned palace-like building that houses the Stalin Museum. To the side of the museum is Stalin’s private railway carriage.
Baku
Baku
Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, lies on the western shore of the Caspian Sea and the southern side of the Apsheron Peninsula, around the wide, curving sweep of the Bay of Baku. The bay, sheltered by the islands of the Baku Archipelago, provides the best harbour of the Caspian Sea, while the Apsheron Peninsula gives protection from violent northerly winds. Baku derives its international importance from its huge oil industry. The walled old town is highly picturesque, with its maze of narrow alleys and ancient buildings, such as the Palace of the Shirvan-Shahs and the Synyk-Kala Minaret and Mosque.
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.
Darvaza
Darvaza
Darvaza's famous gas burning crater is 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.
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.
Bukhara
Bukhara
Situated in the middle of the Kyzyl Kum desert, Bukhara features about one thousand monuments, which recall the halcyon days of the Great Silk Road. Foreign spices, furs and especially silk fabrics were stored and handled in the caravansaries. The old city is an UNESCO World Culture Heritage Site which features stunning Kaljan Minaret and the Labi-Hauz Ensemble.
Samarkand
Samarkand
The historic town of Samarkand is a crossroad and melting pot of the world's cultures. Founded in the 7th century B.C. as ancient Afrasiab, Samarkand had its most significant development in the Timurid period from the 14th to the 15th centuries. The major monuments include the Registan Mosque and madrasas, Bibi-Khanum Mosque, the Shakhi-Zinda compound and the Gur-Emir ensemble, as well as Ulugh-Beg's Observatory (UNESCO)
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.
Kazan
Kazan
Situated on the River Volga, Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan famous for its rich tapestry of history and culture. One of its highlights is the Kremlin Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within the walls of this ancient citadel is a stunning mosque and onion-domed cathedral.
Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk is situated in the south part of West Siberia, on the banks of Ob River. The city takes the third place by population in Russia after Moscow and St Petersburg. It's a center of Russian arts, science and literature. 14 most prestigiuos universities of the country are located here. In the heart of the city there is an architectural marvel -the largest opera house in the world.
Sergiev Posad
Sergiev Posad
Sergiev Posad, home to one of the most beautiful monasteries in Russia, is the historical and spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Vladivostok
Vladivostok
Vladivostok, a military port located on the western shores of the Sea of Japan, is home to the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet. Due to its military importance, the city was closed to foreigners between 1930 and 1992. Vladivostok (literally translated as ‘Ruler of the East’) offers visitors an interesting opportunity to explore its principal military attractions including a visit to a preserved World War Two submarine.
Terelj National Park
Terelj National Park
Terelj National Park is arguably the most popular destination in Mongolia. Be awestuck by Turtle Rock, an amazing, unique natural rock formation, and take in the breathtaking surrounding alpine scenery.
Mausoleum of Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi
Mausoleum of Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi
The magnificent Mausoleum of Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi is the vast, brightly tiled testament to power and beauty that UNESCO have made a World Heritage site and the Kazakhs revere as their national icon.
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.
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.
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.
Samanid Mausoleum
Samanid Mausoleum
The Samanid mausoleum is considered to be one of the most highly esteemed work of Central Asian architecture, and was built between 892 and 943 CE as the resting-place of Ismail Samani - a powerful and influential amir of the Samanid dynasty, one of the last native Persian dynasties that ruled in Central Asia in the 9th and 10th centuries. The mausoleum also houses the remains of his father Ahmed and nephew Nasr, as well as the remains of other members of the Samanid dynasty.
Shakhrisabz
Shakhrisabz
The historic centre of Shakhrisyabz contains a collection of exceptional monuments and ancient quarters which bear witness to the city's secular development, and particularly to the period of its apogee, under the rule of Amir Temur and the Temurids, in the 15th-16th century (UNESCO)

Maps

The Orient Silk Road Express

Video

TASHKENT ROUND JOURNEY

DAY 1, TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN

Tashkent. Once an ancient oasis, now a bustling metropolis. So much to explore. For now, you relax in your first class hotel. Tomorrow, you’ll board the Orient Silk Road Express.

Overnight: Hotel Grand Mir (or similar)

DAY 2, TASHKENT, THE GREEN OASIS
tashkent2

Under immense blue skies, you tour vibrant Tashkent, the Uzbek capital along the old Silk Road. Through the city’s monumental architecture, you witness history in earthen brick and turquoise tile. Caravanserai, fortress, museum, madrasah, rising from the desert.

In the cool dusk, you take a trip to the opera and enjoy a performance (dependent on schedule). Later, amid the pillars and chandeliers of Tashkent station, you board your private train to travel the Silk Road trail to Shakhrisabz.

Overnight on board. Meals included: breakfast (B), lunch (L) and dinner (D).

DAY 3, SHAKHRISABZ, THE MIGHTY

Under wide blue skies, you explore Shakhrisabz, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Timur, the fourteenth-century Mongol conqueror, filled this once mighty city with grandiose testaments to his earthly power. Now his palaces stand in ruins around you in the bustling market town, crumbling reminders of a lost empire. You experience a folklore performance and meet some of the locals in a local village. Before night closes in, the train departs, and you join fellow travelers for an Uzbek wine tasting in the dining car.

Overnight on board. (BLD)

DAY 4, BUKHARA, THE NOBLE

orient expressBeneath the imposing yellow brickwork of the Kalyan minaret, you gaze at the magnificent gateways on either side of the courtyard, each a heady cocktail of intricate tilework and grand design. This is only a first glimpse of old Bukhara, a UNESCO World Heritage site holding a miraculous city museum of a thousand monuments, every single one a testimony to the glory days of caravan trade. At the Lyab-i Hauz ensemble, you witness the 500-year-old architectural ingenuity that keeps a pool full in the baking Kyzylkum desert. You learn about the satirical Sufi Nasreddin Hodja, watch local dances, listen to exotic Uzbek tunes and have dazzling national costumes paraded in the courtyard of a madrasah.

Overnight: Hotel Asia Bukhara (or similar). (BLD)

DAY 5, MAUSOLEUM OF THE SAMANID

Another long, glorious, desert day devoted to the infinitely rich Bukhara. From the sumptuous stylings of the Mire-e-Arab madrasah, you move to the textured geometry of the Samanid Mausoleum, regarded by many as the most beautiful and precious building in Central Asia. Then onto the gargantuan, 1,500-year-old Ark fortress, and the only women’s mosque in the country. Standing on its vast rampart, you take a last view out over Bukhara, glistening turquoise and yellow in the bright afternoon light. A diamond in the dust.

Overnight on board. (BLD)

DAY 6, A FAIRY TALE OF 1001 NIGHTS

This is Khiva, an ancient city fortress. Beneath the vivid blue glazed bands of the Kalta Minor Minaret, you set out through the sun and shadow of winding streets on a dreamlike tour of the town’s palaces, mosques, mausoleums and madrasah. All inhabited, thriving—a living museum. You lunch in the old Summer Palace of the Emir.

Overnight on board. (BLD)

DAY 7, SAMARKAND, THE ANCIENT
samarkand

Wealth, conquest and faith intertwine among the splendors of Samarqand, one of the oldest settlements on Earth. At the time of Timur, this was called the most beautiful city in the world. Today, as you stand among the ornate marble pillars and vaults of Registan Square or the exquisite glazed tiles of the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, it’s impossible to suppress your sense of wonder. At the Afrosiyab excavation site you untangle the roots of this astonishing civilization.

Overnight: Registan Plaza Hotel (or similar). (BLD)

DAY 8, CROSSROADS OF CULTURES

You see Uzbek craftsmen skillfully weave silk into carpets and press paper from mulberry bark, before casting your eyes to the magnificent past at the Ulugh Beg Observatory, the ruins of Bibi Khanum Mosque and the Gur Emir Mausoleum.

Overnight: Registan Plaza Hotel (or similar). (BLD)

DAY 9, THE TRACKS TO TASHKENT

On a last bright morning in Samarqand, you breakfast, wander the city, and board your private train as the sun touches noon.

The spectacular steppe scrolls by your window in green hills, ancient rock and distant mountains. By afternoon, you’ve arrived in Tashkent.

Overnight: Hotel Grand Mir (or similar). (BLD)

DAY 10, HOME

Picked up from your hotel by the airport transfer, you look back at ten days on the world’s most famous trade route. Civilizations rising and crumbling, silk, spice and the romance of rail. The kind of trip that changes your perspective forever.(B)

(B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner

The Orient Silk Road Express

The private Orient Silk Road Express is designed to provide you with a comfortable experience as you embark on the adventure of a lifetime and offers a range of cabins to suit every budget.

Enjoy dining in the charming restaurant carriages where you are able to try the freshest local cuisine and relax with fellow passengers. Also, take the time to get involved in several lectures on board the train where you can learn about the history, people and cultures of the countries you travel through.

Choose from 4 different cabin types

The Orient Silk Road Express
This compartment has sleeping berths (26.4 × 72.4 in /67 × 184cm) for up to four guests. A table near the window separates lower and upper berths on either side. Each car has nine compartments, with washroom facilities at both ends.
The Orient Silk Road Express
This compartment has two lower berths (27.5 × 74.8 in/67 × 184 cm each), as well as a table and additional storage space. Each car has nine compartments, with washroom facilities at both ends.
The Orient Silk Road Express
This category features two lower beds (27.5 × 74.8 in/67 × 184 cm each), a small table and storage space. Each car has eight compartments and a shower, together with washroom facilities at both ends. Guests in this category also receive one bathrobe per compartment.
The Orient Silk Road Express
The Orient Silk Road Express’ grandest accommodation. The Kalif category features two beds, upper and lower (31.6 × 68.5 in/80 × 174 cm and 44 × 72.4 in/112 × 184 cm). Each compartment includes a closet, safe and private bathroom with a separate shower cabin. Each car in this category is limited to four compartments and a maximum of just eight guests.

The Orient Silk Road Express 2017 is available on enquiry basis - please get in touch with our Destination Managers to secure your holiday with an Early Booking Discount.

Make an Enquiry

DEPARTURE 2017

HABIBI

ALI BABA

ALADIN

KALIF


Tashkent to Tashkent 10 days, excluding flights

from from from from
MAY
Без имени 1
11 from 1701.34 £
from 2413.01 £ from 2969.01 £ from 3880.84 £
SEPTEMBER
Без имени 1
23 from 1701.34 £ from 2413.01 £ from 2969.01 £ from 3880.84 £

All Tours Include:

•   Four nights on an exclusively chartered train

•   Five nights in mid to high-end hotels

•   Excellent service from the tour director, group guide or local guide, each with excellent English

•   An on board doctor

•   All excursions and sightseeing as per itinerary, including entry fees

•   All transfers / bus trips according to itinerary

•   All meals according to itinerary

•   Hugely popular catering, with local specialties prepared on board and served as per itinerary

•   Entertaining and enlightening lectures on local lands, people and cultures

•   Concise informational talks on the Trans-Siberian Railway, regional geography, culture, and history of the countries along the route

•   A booklet on the region and the train itself for each reserved compartment

 

Not Included:

•   International flights

•   Visa fees paid directly to the Consulate

•   Gratitutes

Please note that 15% deposit is payable on this tour

The Orient Silk Road Express

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