Kaliningrad & The Baltics

Kaliningrad & The Baltics

This overland journey roves the countryside and urban centers of four distinct nations:  the three independent Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – and Kaliningrad, an exclave of Russia.  Together they form a mosaic of countries ruled over in early years by the traders of the Hanseatic League, and later occupied by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II. Read More


Essential Romania

Essential Romania

Romania is a country that has everything – fortified medieval towns, gorgeous mountain landscapes, castles complete with vampire legends, fascinating ethnographic museums, and hospitable people – and travelers are just beginning to discover it. From the vibrant capital, Bucharest, roam the green, forested hills and meadows of this little-known country, visiting folktale villages that seem to have stepped out of the Middle Ages, and walking in the footsteps of Bram Stoker’s legendary literary creation, Dracula. Read More


Essential Central Europe

Essential Central Europe

Hidden from view for much of the 20th century, the hip and historic countries of Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary boast gorgeous countryside, handsome churches and city centers, warm people, and some two dozen UNESCO World Heritage Sites. On this 8-day overland journey, relish in the medieval masterpieces, baroque architecture, sophisticated museums, and up-to-the-minute cultural life of three extraordinary European capitals — Prague, Bratislava, and Budapest. Read More


Essence of the Silk Road & Beyond by Private Train

Essence of the Silk Road & Beyond by Private Train

Traverse four of the five ‘Stans of Central Asia on this private rail journey along the Silk Road. Begin in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city. Continue into Kyrgyzstan to inspect the capital, Bishkek, and take a boat ride on the country’s most beautiful lake, Issyk-Kul. Dip into Khujand in Tajikistan to meet with a local family and hear about their daily lives. Stop in Tamerlane’s UNESCO-listed hometown, Shahrisabz, before visiting three famed Uzbek Silk Road oases – Samarkand, Khiva, and Bukhara – all of them UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Experience four UNESCO sites in 16 days, with seven hotel nights and eight nights onboard the comfortable Orient Silk Road Express private train. Read More


China’s Silk Road & Tibet: Route of Monks & Merchants

China’s Silk Road & Tibet: Route of Monks & Merchants

Retrace the path of ancient traders and adventurers on this comprehensive overland journey across Western China. Experience the legendary Kashgar Sunday Animal Market, where merchants sell everything from ducks to sheep. Make your way east to visit Turpan’s lush Grape Valley, watered by a 2,000-year-old irrigation system, and Dunhuang’s UNESCO-listed Mogao Caves, frescoed and carved with a thousand images of the Buddha. Ride the high-altitude train from Xining to Tibet, and explore the Tibetan Plateau on a splendid route that embraces the sacred cities of Gyantse and Shigatse, as well as Lhasa, “City of the Sun.”Read More


Bulgaria & Romania: Frescoes & Fortresses

Bulgaria & Romania: Frescoes & Fortresses

Explore the complex history and fascinating culture of Bulgaria and Romania, two East European countries whose rugged terrain and consequent isolation have helped preserve their heritage. Discover the luminous frescoes of the painted monasteries, breathe in the fragrance of the Valley of the Roses, and spend an afternoon visiting with villagers in a tiny Transylvanian town.Our August 25-September 9, 2020 departure of this tour will feature special host Patricia Schultz, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller, “1,000 Places To See Before You Die.” Read More


Tibet & China Rail Discovery

Tibet & China Rail Discovery

Roll across Western China to discover the teeming Sunday Market in exotic Kashgar, where Marco Polo may have shopped; the ancient karez underground irrigation system in Turpan that caused the desert to bloom; and the Mogao Caves at Dunhuang, where generations of pilgrims carved and painted images of the Buddha. Then hop the special high-altitude train, ascending from the Tibetan Plateau to Lhasa at 12,000 feet, passing the world’s highest railroad station along the way. Explore the “City of the Sun,” with its massive UNESCO-listed Potala Palace, sacred Jokhang Temple, and the lively Barkhor Market. Read More


Essential Tibet

Essential Tibet

Fly to the holy city of Lhasa high on the Tibetan Plateau. Admire the treasures of Tibetan culture on the “Roof of the World” and respond to the atmosphere of centuries of Buddhist practices.The highlights of this stirring journey are the holy city of Lhasa and the remote monasteries and sacred refuges hidden in the heart of the forbidding Tibetan Plateau.Read More


Essential Ukraine

Essential Ukraine

Ukraine is the borderland between Europe and Russia. Explore this resilient region influenced by Polish princes, Cossack hetmen, Turkish khans, Russian communists and Ukrainian poets and nationalists. The cradle of Slavic civilization, Ukraine offers an abundance of cultural treasures, a richness of detail and a largeness of spirit that can make a devotee out of even a seasoned traveler. On this compact journey, explore Western Ukraine’s Lviv, with its European feel, before flying to the glittering capital, Kiev, and then on to the historic port city of Odessa.Read More


Essential St. Petersburg

Essential St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg, home of the czars and their courts, is a rich repository of extravagant palaces, brilliant museums and renowned theaters overflowing with music and dance. Its fashionable boulevards and serene canals glisten in the “White Nights” of summer and dazzle on sunny winter days. Built by Peter the Great as Russia’s Window to the West, St. Petersburg is one of the world’s great cities.Read More