HEART OF THE SILK ROAD 18-29 September, 2019

Day 1. Arrival in Tashkent

Tashkent—once an ancient oasis, now a bustling metropolis. So much to explore, but for now you relax in your first-class hotel. Tomorrow you board your private train, the Orient Silk Road Express.

Overnight: Grand Mir Hotel (or similar)

Day 2. Tashkent: an Oasis in the Steppes

Under immense blue skies, you tour vibrant Tashkent, seeing the city’s monumental architecture, including the Kukeldash Madrasa and the Amir Timur monuments. You witness history in earthen brick and turquoise tile. Caravanserai, fortresses, museums and madrasas—rising from the desert.

In the cool air of dusk, you take a trip to a music hall and enjoy a traditional performance (depending on schedule). Later, amid the pillars and chandeliers of Tashkent station, you board your private train, which takes you to your first stop on the Silk Road, Shahrisabz.

Overnight: On board (BLD)

Day 3. Shahrisabz: Birthplace of Timur

Today, you explore Shahrisabz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and birthplace of Timur, the fourteenth-century Mongol conqueror who filled this once mighty city with amazing testaments to his power. The ruins of his palaces surround you in the city’s bustling market. You experience a folk performance and meet some locals in a nearby village. Before night falls, you depart on your private train, joining fellow travelers for an Uzbek wine tasting in the dining car.

Overnight: On board (BLD)

Day 4. Samarkand: Crossroads of Cultures

Wealth, conquest and faith intertwine among the splendors of Samarkand, one of the oldest settlements on Earth. In Timur’s time, it was known as the most beautiful city in the world. Today, as you stand among the ornate marble pillars and vaults of Registan Square and the exquisite glazed tiles of the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, it’s impossible to suppress your sense of wonder. At the Afrasiyab excavation site, you visit a museum where you learn about the ancient history of this astonishing place. It is also the site where many Uzbek women burned their veils (paranjas) in 1917 to signal their arrival in a new era.

Overnight: Registan Plaza (or similar) (BLD)

Day 5. Samarkand: The Ancient City

Today you observe Uzbek craftsmen skillfully weave silk into carpets and press paper from mulberry bark. Later you view the stunning Ulugh Beg Observatory, the restored ruins of Bibi-Khanym Mosque and the inside of the palatial Gur-e-Emir mausoleum.

Overnight: Registan Plaza (or similar) (BLD)

Day 6. Samarkand: Yours to Explore

Today you have a free day to discover Samarkand on your own. Your train departs for Khiva in the late afternoon.

Overnight: On board (BD)

Day 7. Khiva: A Tale from the 1,001 Nights

In the morning you arrive in the oasis of Khiva, a city straight out of a tale from the Thousand and One Nights. Standing at the mighty town walls with their gates and bastions of mud brick, you feel transported into another world. In the afternoon you visit the Kunya Ark Citadel and the Kalta Minor and Islam Hodha Minarets. Dinner is served in a traditional restaurant.

Overnight: Asia Khiva (or similar) (BD)

Day 8. Khiva: To the Palace of the King

On your tour of this oasis, you have many chances to take in its exotic atmosphere. Its palaces, mosques, minarets, mausoleums and madrasas (Muslim religious schools) represent one of the best preserved ensembles of medieval urban architecture in the world. You enjoy lunch in a former emir’s summer palace.

Overnight: On board (BLD)

Day 9. Bukhara: The Noble City

Beneath the imposing yellow brickwork of the Kalyan Minaret, you gaze at the magnificent city gates, each built with intricate mosaics. This is your first glimpse of Bukhara’s historic center, a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site which is home to a thousand monuments, each a testimony to the glory days of legendary Silk Road. At the Lyab-i Hauz architectural ensemble, you discover the 500-year-old technology that keeps a pool from evaporating in the heat of the Kyzylkum Desert. You hear about the life of Sufi poet Nasreddin Hodja, watch local dances replete with national costumes, and listen to stirring Uzbek music in the courtyard of a madrasa.

Overnight: Asia Bukhara (or similar) (BLD)

Day 10. Bukhara: To the Samanid Mausoleum

Today is another glorious desert day devoted to the numerous sites of Bukhara. You view the sumptuous stylings of the Mir-i-Arab Madrasa; the historic design of the Samanid Mausoleum, one of the most important structures in Central Asia; the immense 1,500-year-old Ark of Bukhara; and a unique women’s mosque. Standing on the ramparts of the ancient city walls, you enjoy stunning panoramic views of Bukhara, its turquoise and yellow buildings glimmering in the bright afternoon light.

Overnight: Asia Bukhara (or similar) (BLD)

Day 11. Bukhara to Tashkent

On your last morning in Bukhara, you enjoy breakfast and have the chance to explore the city one last time. Around noon you board your private train and watch the spectacular green hills, ancient rock formations and distant mountains of the Central Asian steppe pass by your window. By afternoon you’ve arrived in Tashkent.

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

Day 12. Goodbye, Uzbekistan. Goodbye Silk Road

After breakfast, your private airport shuttle picks you up from your hotel. On the way you reflect on your 12 days on the legendary Silk Road, where ancient civilizations rose and fell; silk and spice were traded across continents; all made unforgettable by the romance of rail travel—a journey that leaves you with memories of a lifetime. (B)

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

Discover Uzbekistan in the most comfortable way—by exclusive private train. Visit the most historic and fascinating sites and cities along Central Asia’s legendary Silk Road—including Tashkent, Shahrisabz, Samarkand, Khiva and Bukhara.

Highlights of Your Journey

Traditional welcome ceremonies in Bukhara and Samarkand train stations

Insights into everyday life of Uzbekistan

Fascinating visit to the Afrasiyab excavation sites

600-year-old Ulugh Beg Observatory

Lunch in the summer palace of a former emir

Spectacular landscapes of the Karakum and Kyzylkum deserts and the Tian Shan mountains

Wine and vodka tasting on board

Rates Include

4 nights on your private train in the category booked

7 nights in first-class hotels

All meals according to itinerary

All excursions and sightseeing as per itinerary, including entry fees

Multilingual tour director

Experienced local guides for a maximum of 26 guests per group

Doctor on board

Private transport to and from airports and train stations according to itinerary

Entertaining and enlightening lectures on local history and culture

Log book with information on the region and the train itself for each booking

Not Included

International flights

Visa fees

Tips and gratuities

Personal expenses

Entry Requirements

You may require a visa, depending on your nationality. Please check with your local embassy

No vaccinations required

Habibi

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.

Ali Baba

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.

Aladdin

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.

Sultan

This category features two beds, upper and lower (31.6 × 68.5 in/80 × 174 cm and 43.3 × 72.4 in/110 × 184 cm) These compartments also offer comfortable seating, a larger table and a small closet. Each room has its own private bathroom, complete with integrated shower. The cars in this category are comprised of just six compartments.

Kalif

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.

 

Update 09 April 

2019: 18 September departure only hs a few Kalif cabins left at USD8,600 per person 

2020: 12-21 September. Space available in all grades. Ali Baba USD2,730. Aladdin USD 5,000 

HEART OF THE SILK ROAD 18-29 September, 2019

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival in Tashkent

Day 2. Tashkent: an Oasis in the Steppes

Day 3. Shahrisabz: Birthplace of Timur

Day 4. Samarkand: Crossroads of Cultures

Day 5. Samarkand: The Ancient City

Day 6. Samarkand: Yours to Explore

Day 7. Khiva: A Tale from the 1,001 Nights

Day 8. Khiva: To the Palace of the King

Day 9. Bukhara: The Noble City

Day 10. Bukhara: To the Samanid Mausoleum

Day 11. Bukhara to Tashkent

Day 12. Goodbye, Uzbekistan. Goodbye Silk Road

 

Tour cost per person in United States dollars         

Habibi            USD 2,730 

Ali Baba         USD 4,270 

Aladdin          USD 5,000 

Kalif               USD 8,600

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