Moscow, Russia Almaty, Kazakhstan

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Taste of the Silk Road

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

Retracing one of the most important trading routes of ancient civilization, 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 (6,400 km) – collectively came to be called the ‘Silk Road’.

Accommodations

Almaty
One (1) night at the Intercontinental Hotel or similar; Tax and Buffet Breakfast included daily.

Golden Eagle
One Silver or Gold Class Cabin or Imperial Suite for Nine (9) nights on board the Golden Eagle. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included daily.

Moscow
Two (2) nights at the Ritz Carlton; Tax and Buffet Breakfast included daily.

The Tour Includes:

  • All meals
  • Wine, beer and soft drinks provided with Lunch and Dinner.
  • Experienced tour representatives throughout the tour.
  • Russian Interpreters able to speak English, German, French and Italian.
  • Comprehensive off-train sightseeing program as detailed in the itinerary. Please note that all touring is with fellow-passengers at all times.
  • A doctor who travels with the train throughout the tour.
  • Complimentary tea, coffee and mineral water throughout the tour from your car attendant.

The Tour Does Not Include:

  • Travel cancellation insurance.
  • Charges of a personal nature on the train or at the hotels (laundry, telephone, bar account, etc.)
  • Visas (as required) or Excess Baggage Charges, Airport Departure Taxes, Vaccination or Medical Costs.

Options and Extensions:

Please contact Exeter International for tour extensions and options in Russia. All tour extensions are on a private customized basis.

Trip Departure:

April 18-30, 2020

October 7-19, 2020

Download a PDF itinerary here.

ITINERARY

PRICING FROM

Silver Class $18,195.00 per person, double occupancy                                                       Silver Class $26,695.00 single occupancy Gold Class $21,995 per person, double occupancy                                                          Gold Class $33,195.00 single occupancy Imperial Class $38,195 per person, base on double occupancy.  Single occupancy on request.

Day 1
Arrival | Almaty, Kazakhstan Orthodox cathedral Almaty Kazakhstan

Arrival in Almaty where you will be met and transferred to the Intercontinental hotel (or similar) located in the heart of the city for a one-night stay.

Day 2
Almaty | Almaty Kazak singers, Almaty

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.

Your city tour includes a visit to Panfilov Park where you have the opportunity to visit the Zenkhov Cathedral which was built entirely of wood. You’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 3
Tashkent | Tashkent Puppets, Market, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Tashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan and you spend time touring this modern Soviet-style city which was rebuilt following the devastating earthquake of 1966. Your tour of the city includes the Old Town, where traditional homes and religious buildings line the narrow streets and here in a small library you’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 4
Samarkand | Samarkand Registan, Samarkand

Just 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 you 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 you will return to the now illuminated and awe-inspiring Registan Square.

Day 5
Bukhara | Bukhara

Bukhara is quite simply outstanding. Like Khiva, UNESCO backed 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. You will 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, you will enjoy a barbecue on the station platform before the train departs.

Day 6
Merv | Merv Golden Eagle Train

From Mary you 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 7
Ashabat | Ashabat Golden Eagle Train

The Golden Eagle makes a brief scheduled stop at Ichoguz, where you have the option to leave the train and make a short journey to Darvaza’s famous burning gas 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.

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 your visit include a trip to the National Museum and Kipchak Mosque.

Day 8
Khiva, Uzbekistan | Khiva, Uzbekistan Golden Eagle Train

Today, you 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, discover its impressive mosques, bazaars and minarets within Khiva’s ancient walls.

Day 9
Kara Kum Desert | Kara Kum Desert Golden Eagle Train

Today, enjoy a relaxing day onboard as you travel across the vast expanses of the Kara Kum desert. As well as experiencing the unique landscape, you can take the opportunity to chat to fellow passengers and maybe take a Russian language lesson.

Day 10
Volgograd | Volgograd Golden Eagle Train

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. You will visit the poignantly sobering Mamayev Kurgan war memorial, followed by the informative diorama and absorbing museum visit.

Day 11
Moscow | Moscow Volgograd, Russia

Having travelled from Almaty you arrive into Moscow, your final destination.

Included in your time spent in Moscow is two nights at the stylish five-star Four Seasons Hotel Moscow. Located in the historic building of Moskva Hotel and occupying one of the most enviable addresses in the very heart of Moscow, the hotel is a short walk from the Kremlin, Red Square and the Bolshoi Theatre.

Day 12
Moscow | Moscow Volgograd, Russia

Your touring program of Moscow principally takes you 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. You 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 your Freedom of Choice touring options 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 13
Departure | Departure

Following breakfast in the hotel, you will be transferred to Moscow airport to begin your journey home.

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