Following Tracks of the Silk Road and Persia (20 days)

Day 5

Aral Karakum Desert, Kazakhstan

Day 6

Baikonur, Kazakhstan

Day 10

Khiva, Uzbekistan

Day 12

Merv, Uzbekistan

Day 17

Shiraz, Iran →Persepolis, Iran

Day 18

Tehran , Iran

Day 19

Tehran , Iran

Day 20

Tehran , Iran


Day 1
23 Mar 2018
Moscow, Russia
The Ritz-Carlton Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The Ritz-Carlton is our resplendent home for three nights.

We may find time to take a sneak peak of our dazzling

new neighbourhood from the roof-top terrace, which

overlooks Red Square and the Kremlin. A Welcome Dinner

in the hotel’s restaurant sets the scene for the pleasures

that lie ahead.

Day 2
24 Mar 2018
Moscow, Russia
The Ritz-Carlton Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

In Moscow, all roads lead to Red Square. This legendary

plaza is where we begin our full day of exploration,

paying respects at Lenin’s Mausoleum before seeking

Russia’s artistic soul at the Tretyakov Gallery. Deep in pursuit

of the aesthetically pleasing, venture underground on

the Moscow Metro where each station is bedecked

with marble and chandeliers.

Seeds of brilliance and dissent have germinated at

Moscow State University since the 18th century. Answer

the call for higher learning before taking time out for

contemplation at Peace and Gorky parks. The afternoon

takes us back towards the splendid spires of St Basil’s

Cathedral, where, like true Muscovites, we partake

in a vodka and caviar tasting.

Day 3
25 Mar 2018
Moscow, Russia
The Ritz-Carlton Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

A collection of 10 of the world’s most exquisite

Faberge Eggs is housed in the Kremlin Armoury.

Before the popular museum opens to the public,

the ornate creations along with countless artistic and

military treasures of the Tsars are available exclusively

to us for a private viewing.

This afternoon is free for you to enjoy at leisure,

or choose from a Your World experience.

- Visit Sergiev Posad, spiritual home of the

Russian Orthodox Church.

- Theatre lovers won’t want to pass up the chance

to step behind the curtains of the Bolshoi.

Day 4
26 Mar 2018
Moscow, Russia
Golden Eagle Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We are introduced to the trappings of luxury rail travel

before we even board the Golden Eagle. The scene for

the next leg of our journey is set in the Imperial Waiting

Room in Kazansky Station, where our departure is

celebrated with canapes and a glass of Russian bubbly.

Soon we are greeting the Golden Eagle, smoke billowing

from the steam locomotive in a most romantic fashion.

Board amidst much fanfare and become acquainted with

the timeless ambience of this grand dame of the tracks,

our rolling residence for the following fortnight.

Ahead of us lies a journey of almost 10,000 kilometres

across seldom travelled realms. Venturing towards Tehran,

the history and civilisations that exist along this ancient

trade route will be revealed to us.

Day 5
27 Mar 2018
Aral Karakum Desert, Kazakhstan
Golden Eagle Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We spend our first full day aboard Golden Eagle indulging

in fine dining and discovering the splendid facilities and

experiences available. It’s tempting to simply gaze wistfully

out the windows, for mile after mesmerising mile reveals

the arid landscape of the Aral Karakum Desert.

Day 6
28 Mar 2018
Baikonur, Kazakhstan
Golden Eagle Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The Golden Eagle rolls to a halt today in the Kazakhstan

town of Baikonur. The Baikonur Cosmodrome continues

to be leased from Kazakhstan by the Russian Federation,

and gaining access is tricky for the average visitor. Captain’s

Choice, however, have secured a special pass to tour the

Soviet-era space launch facility. Prepare for lift off.

Day 7
29 Mar 2018
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Golden Eagle Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The scholarly secrets of the Silk Road will be articulated

this morning during an onboard history lecture. Having

learned about the origins and importance of some of the

trading posts we visit during this epic journey, our minds

are abuzz with fresh facts and newfound knowledge.

After lunch, our train arrives into the Uzbekistan city,

Tashkent, where we disembark for further enlightenment

with a visit to the Museum of Applied Arts and the

Railway Museum. Further explorations will reveal how

Tashkent has evolved from its Soviet-style roots into

a thriving, modern metropolis.

Day 8
30 Mar 2018
Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Golden Eagle Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

One of Central Asia’s longest inhabited cities, Samarkand,

marks the crossroads of Eastern and Western cultures.

These days described as the Paris of the Muslim World,

the city’s grand mosques reflect its tradition as a mecca

of ancient arts and craft.

We explore the grand architecture at Bibi Khanym

Mosque, Ulugh Beg Observatory and The Registan,

where a dinner of traditional cuisine is accompanied

by views of the illuminated square.

Day 9
31 Mar 2018
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Golden Eagle Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Having followed the tracks through the Kyzylkum Desert,

the oasis city of Bukhara awaits us early this morning. The

World Heritage-listed city dates back more than 2,500 years.

Appreciate the city’s history and grandeur with a visit

to The Ark, the fortified residence of the Emirs of Bukhara

who ruled in earlier times. Just outside the city, the Palace

of the Moon and Stars (the last Emir’s summer residence),

holds magnificent celestial significance.

Day 10
01 Apr 2018
Khiva, Uzbekistan
Golden Eagle Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We arrive at an ancient intersection of the Silk Road

where pre-Christian travellers from Mongolia, Russia,

China and Persia would have greeted each other,

rested and traded curious wares.

Some stayed on, and the dusty desert crossroads became

a camp, a village, then emerged as the prosperous

walled town of Khiva. In the ornate mosques, bazaars

and minarets, the remnants of its former glory prevail.

The rustic beauty and unattainable air of mystery that

remains today is simply spellbinding.

Day 11
02 Apr 2018
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Golden Eagle Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Our journey through the Stans continues, delivering

us to the shimmering town of Ashgabat in Turkmenistan.

Located between the desert and the Kopet Dag mountain

range, Ashgabat was completely redesigned in 1948 after

being levelled by an earthquake.

Today’s Ashhgabat glows, particularly at dawn and dusk,

as it lays claim to having the largest number of marble

buildings of any city in the world – 543 to be exact. We

discover cultural curiosities with a visit to the National

Museum before a trip to the Kipchak Mosque.

Day 12
03 Apr 2018
Merv, Uzbekistan
Golden Eagle Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

As the Golden Eagle rolls in to outskirts of the once-mighty

city of Merv, our thoughts are taken back to the

late 18th century, when, for a brief moment in history,

this was the largest city in the world. Whilst London,

Paris and New York continued to prosper, Merv met its

downfall in 1794, when the Emir of Bukhara destroyed

the people’s major water source. Arriving in the town

of Sarakhs this evening, the Golden Eagle pauses

in preparation for the standard gauge tracks of Iran.

Day 13
04 Apr 2018
Mashhad, Iran
Golden Eagle Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Our arrival into the Persian realm is heralded by a call

to prayer floating on a burnished sunrise. In Iran’s holiest,

and second most populous city, Mashhad, we alight

our carriages eagerly knowing the entire day is set aside

for us to indulge our whims and curiosities.

Our first stop is the Imman Reza Shrine complex,

considered the heart and soul of Iran. After exploring,

leave the pilgrims behind and continue on to the

Mausoleum of Nadir Shah before learning about

the life and works of the father of Persian Literature,

Ferdowsi, during a visit to his splendid tomb.

Day 14
05 Apr 2018
Mahan, Iran
Rayen, Iran
Golden Eagle Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Since the 15th century, Mahan has received a steady

stream of pilgrims, their sights set on the shrine dedicated

to the Iranian poet and mystic, Shah Nematollah Vali.

Take to the gardens and courtyards before arriving in

Rayen, set under the gaze of Mt Hexar. Arg-e Rayen

is the town’s ancient adobe citadel and we’ve time to

appreciate it during our exploration of the bazaar and

governor’s complex.

Day 15
06 Apr 2018
Yazd, Iran
Golden Eagle Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Rolling on, we reach the ancient desert city of Yazd

where Persian architecture has withstood the ages and

the elements. Sometimes Yazd is referred to as the city

of windcatchers because of a design feature of the

buildings’ roofs which traps even the smallest of drafts

and directs the cooler air into the dwellings below.

We visit the Zoroastrian Fire Temple, where the flame

has been burning for almost 1,500 years. Next stop is

the Amir Chakhmaq complex which curiously combines

a mosque, a bathhouse and a confectioners. A defining

feature of Iranian mosques is the tall and intricately

embellished entryway, known as pishtaq. With lace-like

mosaics spiralling around twin minarets, the Friday Mosque

is no exception.

Day 16
07 Apr 2018
Isfahan, Iran
Golden Eagle Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning is spent discovering Isfahan’s shrines and

other holy sites including Chehel Sotoun Palace and Vank

Cathedral. The impressive expanse of Naghsh-e Jahan

is second in size only to Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

A stroll here takes us through the shadows of the Ali Qapu

Palace, among other buildings. Our day concludes with

a visit to Qeisarieh Bazaar where exotic trinkets may be

bargained for.

Day 17
08 Apr 2018
Shiraz, Iran
Persepolis, Iran
Golden Eagle Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The might of the First Persian Empire is on display at

Persepolis, one of the most important sites of the ancient

world. The ruins seen here today provide incredible

insight into what the city would have been like under

Darius the Great back in 522BC. Carved into a tall cliff

face, the royal tombs of Naqsh-e Rstam are so large they

can be seen rising from the horizon as we travel

north. On arrival in Shiraz, a tour will breathe life into

the Hafez Tomb and Quran Gate.

Day 18
09 Apr 2018
Tehran , Iran
Espinas International Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Disembarking the Golden Eagle in Tehran, farewell the

crew and head off for the five-star Espinas International

Hotel where we’ll stay the next two nights. The curtain

may have closed on our rail adventure but we are keen

to explore this city of startling contrasts.

Day 19
10 Apr 2018
Tehran , Iran
Espinas International Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After the museum closures and looting of the 1979

revolution, Tehran, Iran’s cultural hub, set out to rebuild its

former glory. A tour through the city takes us to the Treasury

of National Jewels. Later, the World Heritage-listed

Golestan Palace complex represents a vastly different

kind of elegance to the royal residences of Europe.

Day 20
11 Apr 2018
Tehran , Iran
None Breakfast

This morning, our minds are a patchwork of deserts,

bazaars and the sounds of Iran. For our final transfer,

we are taken to Tehran Airport where we have the

opportunity to farewell newfound friends and the

countries we have been fortunate enough to discover.

Tour Features


  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Food & Wine
  • Rail Journeys
  • Sightseeing


A mosaic of mysterious beauty and a multitude of sacred sites will be revealed to those prepared to lift the veil on the world’s oldest trade route. Tracing tracks of textiles, spice and grain, colourful history becomes another ware on offer. Alongside the Golden Eagle, a desert breeze lifts crimson sand into a mirage, and ahead lay horizons of biblical proportions. Become one of the few to touch on this region’s past – we’ve secured this journey for only 24 guests.

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