Moscow to Almaty Across Central Asia Aboard the Golden Eagle

Covering the Central Asian portion of the 21-day Silk Route by Private Train between Moscow and Almaty, this journey provides the perfect vantage point from which to appreciate the dramatic contrasts of this region, stretching from European Russia to Almaty, Kazakhstan, and visiting five UNESCO sites along the way. You can make the epic journey aboard the exclusive Golden Eagle private train, which will carry you in style and comfort where camels used to trudge.

westbound Almaty to Moscow departure is also available.

 

13 Day Trip

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Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Spot a camel from your private train window
    Cross the Kara Kum (Black Sands) Desert of Kazakhstan, perhaps spotting a camel or two wandering through the low brush...
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  • Take a guided tour of the extensive ruins of UNESCO-listed Merv
    Take a guided tour of the extensive ruins of UNESCO-listed Merv; the earliest of its five ancient cities is attributed to Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC....
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  • Experience the busy markets and teahouses of Bukhara
    Experience the timeless character of Bukhara’s UNESCO-listed Old Town with its winding streets, colorful markets, and chaikhana (tea houses)....
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  • Explore the majestic Registan in UNESCO-listed Samarkand
    Applaud the unsurpassed majesty of the Registan and learn about the architectural wonders of fabled Samarkand....
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Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • 30 years of Trans-Siberian travel experience
  • Patricia Schultz, author of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, recommends MIR as the company to talk to about a Trans-Siberian journey
  • Travel programs such as Northwestern, Harvard and Johns Hopkins have chosen MIR to guide them along the Trans-Siberian line
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-5: Moscow, Volgograd, Kyzyl Kum Desert

Check into a five star Moscow hotel. Visit UNESCO-listed Red Square and the Armory or the world-class Tretyakov Gallery. Board the luxury Golden Eagle private train, and make a stop in Volgograd (Stalingrad during Soviet times), the scene of one of the most important battles of World War II. The train crosses into Kazakhstan and rolls through the desert.

Highlights

  • UNESCO-listed Red Square with its imaginatively decorated St. Basil’s Cathedral
  • Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) with the Mamaev Kurgan memorial and the Panorama Museum
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Days 6-8: Khiva, Darvaz, Ashgabat, Merv

Crossing into Uzbekistan, admire Khiva, among the most important oases on the Silk Road. You can choose to make a foray into the desert for a nighttime glimpse of the "Door to Hell," the burning Darvaza gas crater. Arrive in Turkmenistan's capital, Ashgabat, and take a tour of this modern city, glittering with gold and marble. Visit the ancient ruins of Merv, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Highlights

  • Ichon-Qala, or Khiva's Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Tash-Hauli Palace built in the 19th century for the khan and his wives
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Days 9-11: Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent

The highlights in Bukhara are the mud-brick Ark, the fortified residence of the Emirs of Bukhara, and the Lyabi-Hauz Plaza, its atmosphere cooled by the lovely reflecting pool in its center. Spend a day admiring the Bibi Khanum Mosque, Ulug Bek Observatory and Registan Square in Samarkand, Tamerlane’s beautiful capital. Visit Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan, a modern city rebuilt in the Soviet style after an earthquake in 1966.

Highlights

  • Bukhara’s atmospheric Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Ark Citadel, Bukhara’s ancient fortress
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Day 12-13: Almaty

In Almaty, tour Kazakhstan's business capital and largest city, including a visit to the 170-foot wooden Zenkov Cathedral.

Highlights

  • Almaty, Kazakhstan’s business capital and largest city
  • Lofty Tien Shan Mountain Range
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See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

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Tour Dates & Prices
Trip Length: 13 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person

  • Silver Class, twin share
    $16,995
  • Silver Class, single
    $24,995
  • Gold Class, twin share
    $20,595
  • Gold Class, single
    $30,995
  • Imperial Suite Class, twin share
    $33,995

2017 Dates

  • September 22-October 4
  • FROM
  • $16,995
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What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • 9 nights accommodation aboard the Golden Eagle private train.
  • Per the itinerary, 3 nights of shared accommodation in well-located hotels.
  • All meals starting with dinner on Day 1 until breakfast on final tour day, including a generous, though not unlimited, allowance of wine or local beer, soft drinks and water with all lunches and dinners.
  • Arrival/departure transfers, provided you arrive and depart on the tour start/end dates and in the tour start/end cities.
  • All guided off-train tours per itinerary.
  • The services of an experienced Train Tour Manager, with local guides for scheduled off-train touring.
  • Complimentary tea, coffee and mineral water round the clock from your car attendant while on-board the train.
  • All gratuities.
  • Baggage handling.

Before Your Tour

  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list, reading list, insurance information, visa kit.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international airfare is not included in the land tour cost).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
Download Detailed Itinerary
Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

More Info

Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

More Info

Visas

Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

More Info

Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

MIR can arrange for an extended program in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Mongolia or China before or after your tour. Consider a pre-tour of St. Petersburg, often described as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  All of MIR’s destinations are open to you, and all can be attached to this program. Please contact MIR for more details about exciting options for extended travel.

Or, choose from one of these suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

This trip is moderately active, and rated moderate to rigorous touring due to the daily walking involved and the overall shortcomings of the tourism infrastructure. To reap the full rewards of this adventure, travelers must be able to walk at least a mile a day, keeping up with fellow travelers. A full list of details about the rigors of this tour are explained in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

Read our Travel Journals

MIR's Travel Journals offer first hand accounts of MIR's fascinating destinations.

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MIR in the News
  • MIR’s Ancestry Travel Expertise Spotlighted on the Travel Channel Blog

    July 20, 2017

    Travel Channel writer and family travel expert Erin Gifford named MIR an expert in arranging custom itineraries for Jewish people seeking their lost families in Eastern Europe and beyond in her article “Ancestry Travel Is a... Read More

  • Caravan Cool

    June 19, 2017

    Luxury Travel Magazine recently gave MIR a shout-out with a spotlight article on Silk Route Odyssey: Caravan Across Uzbekistan.On this epic 15-day journey across the ancient country, guests discover an array of UNESCO Sites, ... Read More

See All Press & Awards
From the Blog
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Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

The perfect combination of remote destinations and comfortable accommodations, rail journeys by private train open a world of discovery to travelers who enjoy comfort and leisure time as well as exciting new vistas.

The exclusive Golden Eagle private train furnishes the dream of Old World rail travel with modern comforts and amenities that make the journey as pleasant as the destination. The luxurious Golden Eagle is a fully en suite train and a restful and satisfying way to experience legendary rail routes.

Train & Hotel Accommodations

Relax and enjoy the panorama rolling past your private window and disembark for guided off-train touring in fascinating towns and cities along the way.

Each sleeping carriage on the Golden Eagle has its own attendants who provide bed turndown service, plus tea, coffee and mineral water 24 hours a day. Attendants keep an eye on everything while guests are away from the train. L’Occitane body products, as well as premium bathrobes, slippers and a hairdryer, are provided in all cabin categories.

  • Imperial Suite

    Imperial Suite

    Imperial Suites are the most beautiful and spacious cabins available onboard the Golden Eagle. Measuring a surprising 120 sq ft (11.1 sq meters), they are furnished with a luxurious king size bed, dedicated seating area, dressing table and private en suite facilities with large power shower and under floor heating. Individual air-conditioning, wardrobe, DVD/CD player with LCD screen and two large picture windows make the cabin a pleasant retreat.

    Additional Information

    Imperial Suite dimensions – 2 suites per departure / 1 suite per carriage:

    Cabin area (total, including bathroom) – 120 sq ft (11.1 sq m)
    Cabin length – 17′ 4″ (5.3 m)
    Cabin width – 6′ 7″ (2 m)
    Bed length – 6′ 2″ (1.9 m)
    Bed width – 5′ (1.5 m)


  • Gold Class

    Gold Class

    Gold Class cabins are well-proportioned and feature modern en suite amenities including power showers, under floor heating, a DVD/CD player, LCD screen, remote-controlled air-conditioning/heating, recessed lighting and wardrobe and a personal safe. Each cabin is configured with upper and lower berths, and can accommodate double, twin or single occupancy.

    Additional Information

    Gold Class cabin dimensions – 5 cabins/carriage:

    Cabin area (total, including bathroom) – 77 sq ft (7 sq m)
    Cabin length – 11′ 8″ (3.6 m)
    Cabin width – 6′ 7″ (2 m)
    Size of bathroom – 6′ 6″ x 4′  (2.4 sq m)
    Bed length – 6′ 2″ (1.9 m)
    Lower bed width – 4′ 5″ (1.35 m)
    Upper bed width – 2′ 9″ (85 cm)

    Lower bed converts to a sofa for daytime use.

    Note: The 5th compartment is of a slightly different layout (68 sq ft), and will normally be allocated to single guests.


  • Silver Class

    Silver Class

    Silver Class cabins are more compact than Gold Class cabins with similar facilities. Silver Class cabins feature the same amenities as Gold Class cabins but in a smaller space and with a smaller, wet-room-style shower area.

    Additional Information

    Silver Class cabin dimensions – 6 cabins/carriage:

    Cabin area (total, including bathroom) – 60 sq ft (5.5 sq m)
    Cabin length – 8′ 8″ (2.6 m)
    Cabin width – 6′ 7″ (2 m)
    Size of bathroom – 4′ 6″ x 3′ (1.25 sq m)
    Bed length (upper & lower) – 6′ 2″ (190 cm)
    Lower bed width – 3′ 6″ (1.1 m)
    Upper bed width – 2′ 9″ (85 cm)


  • Hotel Accommodations

    Hotel Accommodations

    The first and last nights of most tours are spent in well-appointed four and five star hotels. Some tours feature additional hotel nights. Please review the detailed itinerary for specifics pertaining to each tour and departure. Additional nights before and after any tour can be arranged on request.

Life Aboard the Train
Dining Car Golden Eagle

The Golden Eagle private train provides everything you need for a pleasurable journey. Join travelers from around the world to enjoy the relaxed and casual environment onboard, with no need to wear formal attire on excursions or while dining.

Train formations are not fixed, as the composition varies to suit the number of passengers on a given departure. Group sizes on winter trips are generally more intimate than spring, summer or fall departures. The exact configuration of the train on any particular journey may not be determined until close to departure. 

Please note that a variety of cabins styles are in use aboard the train. Decor, layout, type and number of dining, bar and sleeping cars on your journey may differ from the sample images depicted in our brochures/websites.

  • Bar/Lounge Car

    Bar/Lounge Car

    A Bar/Lounge Car is a favorite destination in the train formation and is typically included on most departures. The lounge offers a relaxing and comfortable area where you can enjoy a drink, take language lessons, and gather around the piano with other passengers.

  • Dining Cars

    Dining Cars

    Dining Cars feature local and European cuisine complemented by a selection of local and European wines (except on trips in Iran). Dining cars are multi-purpose, used for on-board lectures and viewing documentaries. One or more dining cars may be included in the train formation of any given departure depending on the number of passengers.

    Additional Information

  • Off-Train Tours

    Off-Train Tours

    Rail journeys feature an extensive selection of educational city tours in the various stops on our routes. Private coaches and local guides whisk you away from your private train for fascinating half- or full-day forays into the principal towns and cities, sometimes including an in-city dining opportunity. Read through this tour’s itinerary for more information (found on the Itinerary & Map tab of this page).