This is a Marco Polo Club Invitational Journey. In a great expanse from the Caspian Sea to the Tien Shan Mountains, the central Asian countries of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are richly endowed with history and tradition. Learn about the many cultures that grew up along the legendary Silk Road on an exciting journey by private train.
Travel in comfortable Kalif cabins with private bathrooms
Explore no less than seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Attend a lecture with a resident archaeologist in Samarkand
Watch traditional craftsmen in Samarkand make silk carpets
Learn to make Samarkand bread and plov, and enjoy a tandir dinner
Arrive in Almaty, a city with wide tree-lined avenues, an abundance of parks and inviting street cafés.Royal Tulip Almaty
During a city sightseeing tour, visit the Zenkov Russian Orthodox Cathedral, one of the world’s tallest all-wood buildings. After a welcome lunch in a traditional yurt (tent), board your train, the Orient Silk Road Express.Orient Silk Road Express | Meals: B L D
Arrive in Turkestan after breakfast. Visit the mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features a domed hall, monumental mosque and a bronze ritual cauldron.Orient Silk Road Express | Meals: B L D
Disembark in Tashkent at the foot of the Tien Shan Mountains. Visit the 16th-century Kukeldash Madrasa and the Kavoj and Amir Timur monuments. This evening, attend the famous Tashkent Navoy Opera (depending on the schedule)Orient Silk Road Express | Meals: B L D
Travel to the surrounding mountain region to watch a traditional folklore performance and mingle with local residents. From there, follow the Great Silk Road to Shakhrisabz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the birthplace of Tamerlane. Explore the lively town and see the monuments dedicated to this barbaric Mongol prince. This evening, re-board the train and enjoy wine tasting on board.Orient Silk Road Express | Meals: B L D
Explore Samarkand, one of the world’s oldest inhabited cities. Visit Shah-i-Zinda, a large medieval burial complex often referred to as “the Street of the Dead.” It exemplifies Mongol conqueror Tamerlane’s intention to transform Samarkand (ancient Afrosiab) into a showcase of architectural styles. View the excavation sites of Afrosiab and see the Registan Square. Later, attend a lecture by a local archaeologist.Registan Plaza Hotel | Meals: B L D
Visit a silk carpet factory and meet with a traditional Uzbek craftsman’s family to watch paper being made from mulberry bark. Continue to the observatory of Ulugh Beg; the ruins of the Bibi Khanum Mosque; and the palace-like Guri-Emir Mausoleum, the location of Tamerlane’s tomb. Later, join a local family as they prepare plov, a traditional rice dish.Registan Plaza Hotel | Meals: B L D
Samarkand is famous for its bread, and this morning you join local bakers in preparing a batch. The train departs for Khiva around noon.Orient Silk Road Express | Meals: B L D
The oasis of Khiva is an open-air museum of mud walls and minarets and the only city in central Asia to have survived in its entirety from the old times. Explore the the area’s palaces, mosques, minarets, mausoleums and Koranic schools. Lunch is in the Isfandiyar Palace, the former summer palace of the emir. Although the rooms are mostly bare, the ceilings are gold embroidered with huge mirrors and a 110-pound chandelier.Orient Silk Road Express | Meals: B L D
Located in the middle of the Kyzyl Kum Desert, Bukhara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to nearly a thousand monuments recalling the halcyon days of trading along the Great Silk Road. See the Kalyan Minaret and the Labi-Hauz Ensemble, a small pond and recreation area. Gather this evening in the home of a local merchant for a special tandir roasted dinner.Hotel Omar Khayyam or Zargaron Plaza Hotel | Meals: B L D
Explore the magnificent Mire-e-Arab Madrasa and the Samanid Mausoleum. Home to the rulers of Bukhara for over a millennium, the Ark Fortress is as old as the city itself. Its courtyard is now a local history museum. See the coronation hall and then visit the summer residence of the last emir. Afterward, view the only women’s mosque in the world.Orient Silk Road Express | Meals: B L D
Arrive early this morning in Merv, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. View its gigantic walls and ramparts set in the desert and see impressive ruins, including those of the mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar and the Virgin Fortress (Kris Kale). Pause for lunch in the picturesque courtyard of an artist before re-boarding the train.Orient Silk Road Express | Meals: B L D
Visit the old Parthian city of Nisa. After lunch, explore Ashgabat and its National Museum. Celebrate your Silk Road adventure at a farewell dinner.Sofitel Oguzkent Ashgabat | Meals: B L D
Board your international flight.
Prices are in USD, per person, based on double occupancy.
|Oct. 03, 2013 - Oct. 16, 2013||$14,595||--||Limited Availability|