Day 1 Moscow
Arrival at Moscow airport and transfer to the five-star hotel, close to the Kremlin, for a two-night stay. Welcome dinner.
Day 2 Moscow
Moscow tour including Red Square and the Kremlin, with its magnificent Armoury. Lunch and dinner in city restaurants.
Day 3 Moscow
Free time in the morning. Lunch time departure of the Trans-Siberian Express train. Lunch and dinner on board.
Day 4 Volgograd
Arrival in Volgograd, the scene of probably the most important battles in World War II. Here the Russian Army finally turned back the Nazi. The Germans never won another battle. Visit to the sobering Mamayev Kurgan war memorial. All meals are on board.
Day 5 Kara Kum
On board day with the train going through Kazakhstan’s Kara Kum desert. Amazing scenery and beautiful remote villages. Brief stops. All meals are served on board.
Day 6 Khiva
Crossing into Uzbekistan and morning arrival in Urgench, transfer to the 2,500-year old city, once one of the most important trading centres at the crossroads of the routes between Mongolia, Russia, China and Paris. Fabulous buildings, mosques, bazaars and minarets. Lunch is in one of the former summer residence’s of the Khan. Return to the train for overnight run to the capital of Turkmenistan. Dinner on board.
Day 7 / Day 8 Ashgabat, Merv
Arrival in the ‘Las Vegas of the Kara Kum’, the capital city of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat. City tour. Return to the train and travel to the ancient city of Merv. Once an ancient Silk Road city, it was left to ‘die’ after the Emir of Bukhara destroyed then dam which the population depended upon for water.
Day 9 Bukhara
Arrival in Uzbekistan’s largest oasis city, the splendid Bukhara. City tour includes a visit to The Ark, the fortified residence of the Emirs of Bukhara, rulers infamous for their cruelty. Lunch is within one of the city’s many medressehs (beautifully-tiled Islamic schools popular in the area). Visit to the Emir’s Palace of the Moon and Stars. Dinner on board.
Day 10 Samarkand
Arrival to the jewel of the Islamic world, ‘the Paris of the Muslim World’, ‘Rome of the East’. Founded in the 6th century BC, its architecture gives an indication of its former status as one of the most important cities in Asia. City tour includes the Bibi Kharum Mosque, the Ulag Beg observatory and the awe-inspiring Registan Square. Dinner is near the illuminated Registan Square.
Day 11 Tashkent
Arrival in the capital of Uzbekistan and tour across the city, which was rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1966.
Day 12 Almaty
Arrival in the largest city in Kazakhstan, Almaty, beautifully set in a valley in the foothills of the Tien Shen mountains. Lunch in a traditional Kazak ‘yurt’. City tour. Dinner on board.
Day 13 Crossing into China
Arrival on the border of Russia and China. Changing train for the China Orient Express train. Arrive in Urumchi late evening and transfer to the Holiday Inn for one night.
Day 14 Urumchi
Tour includes Heavenly Lake, stationed 1,900 metres high, and dominated by the 5,445-metre high Bogda Feng, or ‘Peak of God’, set in the midst of the Gobi desert. Dinner on board the train while traveling through the Gobi desert.
Day 15 Dunhuang
Arrival in Liuyang and transfer to the small city of Dunhuang to visit the fascinating Magao Thousand Buddha Cave Complex, which contains almost 500 grottoes filled with an amazing collection of sculptures and murals. Dinner in the city and overnight stay at the Dunhuang Hotel.
Day 16 Jiayuguan
Arrival in Jiayuguan. The fortress at the end of the Great Wall is situated here and dates back to 1372, perfectly restored it is considered one of the great sights of North-western China. Continuing through the Gobi towards Xian.
Day 17 Xian
Arrival in the ancient city of Xian. City tour with the highlights being the Great Mosque, the 14-km city walls, Drum and Bell Towers, Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The afternoon is dedicated to visiting the world famous Terracotta Warriors, discovered by peasants barely 30 years ago. The 6,000 Terracotta figures, arranged in row after row of warriors and horses, are one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century. Dinner and Tang Dynasty show. Last night on board.
Day 18 Beijing
The train winds its way northwards towards Beijing. Arrival late evening. Transfer to the five-star Peninsula Palace hotel (or similar) for dinner and a three night stay.
Day 19 Beijing
Breakfast in the hotel. City tour includes Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City. Dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Day 20 Beijing
Visit to the Great Wall at Badaling and Ming Tombs. Lunch in the city. Free time at the week-end market. Final farewell dinner at a Peking Duck restaurant.
Day 21 Beijing
Breakfast in the hotel and transfer to the airport for international flight departures.
Westbound trips follow the same itinerary in reverse direction.