From Moscow to Almaty via Central Asia Aboard the Golden Eagle

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Discover the incredible history and diversity of the Silk Road on this epic rail journey by private train, experiencing the fabled five ‘Stans of Central Asia and six UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the way. Explore legendary oasis cities, ancient archaeological sites, and intriguing modern monuments, and witness the artistic and cultural traditions that have sustained this multifaceted region for centuries.

17 Day Trip

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Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • 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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  • Visit Central Asia’s most ancient living city, UNESCO-listed Bukhara
    Visit Central Asia’s most ancient living city, UNESCO-listed Bukhara with its Ark Citadel, the original fortress of Bukhara, likely dating back two thousand years...
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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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  • Meet Kyrgyz eagle hunters
    Meet with Kyrgyz eagle hunters to learn about their traditional hunting method and the magnificent raptors they use....
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Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • Over 30 years of Central Asia travel experience
  • Travel programs such as Vassar, Dartmouth and the Harvard Museum of Natural History have chosen MIR to guide them to Central Asia
  • 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 1-4: Moscow, Aboard Train, Baikonur

Enjoy an overnight in Moscow, then board the private train and head through the Volga River region. Cross the Kazakh border and discover Russia’s premier space launch facility, Baikonur Cosmodrome, in the arid Kazakh steppe.

Highlights

  • Moscow, capital of the Russian Federation
  • Charming Volga River region
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Days 5-6: Kokand, Osh, Andijan, Margilan

Dip down to the Fergana Valley, the heartland of agriculture and the arts in Central Asia. View the beautifully restored rooms of the Khudayar Khan’s Palace in Kokand, then continue to Osh, Kyrgyzstan’s oldest city. Visit Andijan’s ornate Juma Madrassah and a silk master’s workshop in Margilan.

Highlights

  • Restored Khudayar Khan’s 113-room palace in Kokand
  • Walking tour of Osh, the oldest and second-largest city in Kyrgyzstan
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Days 7-10: Samarkand, Shahrisabz, Dushanbe, Bukhara

Admire the Bibi Khanum Mosque, Ulug Bek Observatory, and Registan Square in Samarkand. Visit the UNESCO-listed ruins of Ak Saray (White Palace) in Shahrisabz before continuing to the Tajik capital of Dushanbe. The highlights in Bukhara are the mud-brick Ark Citadel and the emir’s Palace of the Moon and Stars.

Highlights

  • Samarkand, a UNESCO World Heritage Site called “Crossroads of Cultures”
  • Registan Square, Samarkand’s most famous landmark
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Days 11-13: Merv, Ashgabat, Khiva

Crossing into Turkmenistan, visit the UNESCO-listed ancient ruins of Merv. Arrive in the capital, Ashgabat, and take a tour of this modern city, glittering with gold and marble. Back in Uzbekistan, admire Khiva, among the most important oases on the Silk Road.

Highlights

  • Ruins of Marghiana and Archeological Museum in UNESCO-listed ancient Merv
  • Capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, with marble and gold monuments
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Days 14-15: Tashkent, Bishkek, Lake Issyk-Kul

Visit Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan, a modern city rebuilt in the Soviet style after an earthquake in 1966. Explore the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, and enjoy a demonstration of traditional Kyrgyz hunting with golden eagles near the shores of alpine Lake Issyk-Kul.

Highlights

  • Uzbekistan's capital and largest city, Tashkent
  • The Uthman Koran, thought to be the world’s oldest
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Days 16-17: Almaty

Arriving in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s business capital and largest city, take a tour that includes 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: 17 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person

  • Silver Class, twin share
    $22,695
  • Silver Class, single
    $22,695
  • Gold Class, twin share
    $28,395
  • Gold Class, single
    $28,395
  • Imperial Suite Class, twin share
    $47,295
  • Imperial Suite Class, single
    $94,595

2020 Dates

  • April 5-21
  • FROM
  • $22,695
What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Accommodation aboard the Golden Eagle private train.
  • Per the itinerary, 2 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

  • Personalized pre-departure support from one of our knowledgeable Tour Specialists.
  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list and reading list.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application instruction kit (please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international and internal airfares are not included in the land tour cost).
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Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

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

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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.

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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.

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Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

Consider a pre-tour of Moscow or St. Petersburg, or an extended program in Iran or the South Caucasus countries. 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. Flexibility, a sense of humor and a willingness to accept local standards of amenities and services are essential components to the enjoyment of this trip.

A full list of details about the rigors of this tour are explained in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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Golden Eagle

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)

    (click on photo to see larger version)


  • 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.

    (click on photo to see larger version)


  • 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)

    (click on photo to see larger version)


  • Hotel Accommodations

    Hotel Accommodations

    The first and last nights of most tours are spent in well-appointed 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 of the Golden Eagle,/i> luxury private train Photo credit: Golden Eagle Luxury Private Train

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.   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.

    Additional Information

    (click on photo to see larger version)


  • Dining Cars

    Dining Cars

    Dining Cars feature local and European cuisine complemented by a selection of local and European wines. 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

    (click on photo to see larger version)


  • Off-Train Tours

    Off-Train Tours

    Rail journeys feature an extensive line-up of educational city tours at the various stops on the 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).