HEART OF THE SILK ROAD     25 August - 03 September, 2021

Day 1. Thursday August 25. Tashkent arrive.

Arrive Tashkent. Tashkent was 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: Grand Mir Hotel (or similar)               

Day 2. Friday August 26.  Tashkent, the Green Oasis

Under immense blue skies, you tour vibrant Tashkent, the Uzbek capital along the ancient Silk Road. History comes to life through the city’s impressive sepia and turquoise architecture as caravanserai, fortresses, museums and madrasas rise from the desert.

In the cool dusk, you visit a music hall to enjoy a performance (schedule permitting). Later amid the pillars and chandeliers of Tashkent station, you board your private train to continue your discovery of the legendary Silk Road.

Overnight: On board (BLD)

Day 3. Saturday August 27.  Shahrisabz, the Mighty

Today you explore Shahrisabz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and birthplace of Timur, a fourteenth-century Mongol conqueror who filled this once mighty city with majestic testaments to his earthly power. His palaces surround you in the city’s bustling markets. Later you enjoy a folklore performance and meet some local villagers. Before night closes in, you depart on your private train, joining fellow travelers for an Uzbek wine tasting in the dining car.

Overnight: On board (BLD)

Day 4. Sunday August 28. Bukhara, the Noble

Beneath the impressive design of the Kalyan Minaret, you gaze at the intricate tilework of the magnificent city gates of old Bukhara. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a virtual city museum of a thousand monuments, every single one a testimony to the glory days of the legendary Silk Road. At Lyab-i Hauz you learn about the 500-year-old technology that keeps a pool from evaporating in the heat of the Kyzylkum Desert. Later in the courtyard of a madrasa, you discover the stories of Sufi poet Nasreddin Hodja, local dances, Uzbek music and dazzling national costumes.

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

Day 5. Monday August 29.  Mausoleum of the Samanid

It’s another glorious day in the desert devoted to the rich sights and history of Bukhara—the magnificent design of the Mir-i Arab madrasa; the Samanid Mausoleum, one of the most revered buildings in Central Asia; the gigantic, 1,500-year-old Ark of Bukhara; and a unique women’s mosque. Standing on the immense ramparts of the city wall, you take in spectacular panoramic views of Bukhara, its turquoise and yellow surfaces glimmering in the bright afternoon sun. Overnight on the train.

Day 6. Tuesday August 30.    A Fairy Tale from the Thousand and One Nights

Today you arrive in Khiva, an ancient walled city now a thriving, living museum. Beneath the vivid glazed blue mosaic of the Kalta Minor minaret, you set out through the sun and shade of winding streets on a dreamlike tour of the city’s palaces, mosques, mausoleums and madrasas. You enjoy lunch in the old Summer Palace of the Emir.

Overnight: On board (BLD)

Day 7. Wednesday. August 31. Samarkand, the Ancient

The stunning sites of Samarkand, one of the oldest settlements on Earth, take you through an amazing history of conquest, culture and faith. At the time of Timur, the city was considered the most beautiful in the world. It’s almost impossible to suppress your sense of wonder as you stand among the ornate marble pillars and vaults of Registan Square or the exquisite glazed mosaics of the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis. Throughout the day you discover more and more, including the Afrasiyab excavation site, where you untangle the roots of this astonishing civilization.

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

Day 8. Thursday. September 01. Crossroads of Cultures

Today you observe Uzbek craftsmen skillfully weave silk into carpets and press paper from mulberry bark before visiting the magnificent Ulugh Beg Observatory, the ruins of Bibi-Khanym Mosque and the Gur-e Amir mausoleum.

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

Day 9. Friday September 02. The Tracks to Tashkent

On a last bright morning in Samarkand, you breakfast, wander the city, and board your private train by noon.

The green hills, ancient rock and distant mountains of the spectacular steppe scroll past your window. By afternoon, you arrive in Tashkent, to discover another historic Silk Road city.

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

Day 10. Saturday.  September 03. The Journey Home

After breakfast you head to the airport via private transfer service, marking the end of your unforgettable adventure on the legendary Silk Road. On the way, you look back at the time you spent on the world’s most famous trade route. Images play in your head—civilizations rising and falling in the desert; silk, spice and other wares being traded across continents; all made unforgettable by the ease and extravagance of rail travel on the Orient Silk Road Express. (B)             


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


Please note: we do hope these amazing train journeys will commence again in 2022 but departures are dependent on covid restrictions being lifted, Travel insurance being available,  etc. You are welcome to register with us without cost or obligation and we hope by November/December 2021 to be have a better idea whether they will operate.



25 August - 03 September, 2022

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  

Tour cost per person in New Zealand dollars

.Habibi   NZD 4,670

Ali Baba   NZD 7,270

Aladdin  NZD 8,530                

Kalif    NZD 14,810


Rates Include

4 nights on your private train in the category booked

5 nights in first-class hotels

All meals according to itinerary

All excursions and sightseeing as per itinerary, including entry fees

Multilingual tour director on train 

Experienced local guides for a maximum of 26 guests per group

Doctor on board

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 

Air fares to and from Tashkent

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


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.


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’ 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.






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