Silk Road Railway Journey - Firebird Tours ®

Silk Road Railway Journey

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Trip Overview

Unique Silk Road adventure from Moscow to Beijing through the exotic Central Asian countries on board two most luxurious trains - Golden Eagle and Shangri-La Express. Begin your Trans-Siberian adventure with a guided city tour of the famous capital - Moscow, then board a top-quality train and discover a new city gem of Eurasia at every stop you make. End your journey on a high note - the world-famous landmark, the Great Wall of China.

Tour type:
Group rail tour
Tour rating:
4.93 / 5, Based on
  • HOTELS
  • 4 and 5-star central hotels
    Standard rooms - 7 nights
    Golden Eagle train - 10 nights
    Shangri-La Express - 4 nights
  • TRANSPORT
  • Private airport/railway-hotel transfers
    2 trips on luxurious trains
    A camel ride
  • SIGHTSEEING
  • 11 guided city tours
    The Kremlin
    The Great Wall of China
  • MEALS
  • 21 breakfasts
    20 lunches
    21 dinners

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Arrival in Moscow

Welcome to the legendary capital of Russia - Moscow! Your driver meets you at the airport and transfers you to your centrally located hotel for check-in.

The rest of the day is free so that you could relax in your cozy room after the flight or start exploring the charming city center on your own. In the evening you enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel, where you can meet your fellow travelers and discuss the fantastic journey that awaits you ahead.

Day 2

Moscow City Tour & Visit to the Kremlin

This morning is devoted to the exploration of a real Russian miracle and its most famous symbol - the mighty Kremlin. Following breakfast, you go on a guided tour of this historical fortress, including a visit to its wonderful Armoury Chamber that houses a unique collection of crown jewels, stunning coronation finery, hand-forged armor and weapons, royal carriages and sleighs, and world-famous Fabergé eggs. 

Later you enjoy a leisurely walk through the beautiful Red Square, take a photo stop near the colorful St. Basil's Cathedral and see the largest Moscow department store GUM.

  • Optional tour #1: Trip to Sergiev Posad
  • Optional tour #2: Visit to the Tretyakov Gallery

After the tour, you return to your hotel and have the rest of the day free.

Day 3

On Board the Train

Following breakfast, you check out from your hotel and your driver transfers you to the railway station where you board your luxurious Golden Eagle train. You spend the rest of the day on board enjoying the beautiful sceneries passing by your window, a diverse entertainment program, gourmet dining and a company of your fellow travelers as your rail journey to Beijing begins.

 

Day 4

Volgograd City Tour

Today your train arrives in Volgograd that is famous for being the dramatic scene of one of the most important Second World War battles - a year-long Battle of Stalingrad. 

During the tour, you explore the renowned Mamayev Kurgan war memorial with its iconic 85-meters-high Rodina Mat (Motherland) monument and enjoy an informative museum visit.

After the tour, you return on board your train and continue traveling.

 

Day 5

On Board the Train

You spend this day on board your luxurious Golden Eagle train traveling across the vast expanses of the Kara Kum desert. You have the great opportunity to unwind and chat to your fellow travelers, participate in a Russian language lesson, listen to interesting stories about the history of the Silk Road and its people, simply relax with a good book or enjoy the ever-changing landscapes passing by your window.

 

Day 6

Khiva Sightseeing Tour

Today you arrive in the ancient city of Khiva, founded 2,500 years ago. As one of the Silk Road’s most important trading posts and now a World Heritage Site, it lies at the crossroads of the routes between Mongolia, Russia, China and Persia. 

During your guided sightseeing tour you have the unique chance to discover the impressive architecture of this magnificent city, including its numerous mosques, madrassas, bazaars and minarets.

After the tour, you return on board your train and continue traveling.

 

Day 7

Ashgabat City Tour

Today you arrive in Ashgabat - the capital of Turkmenistan known as the "Las Vegas of the Kara Kum". During your guided tour of this relatively modern city built upon the ruins of the Silk Road city of Konjikala you visit the National Museum of History, go inside the Kipchak Mosque, and explore the city’s extravagant fountains, golden domes and towering modern buildings.

After the tour, you return on board your train and continue traveling.

 

Day 8

Merv Sightseeing Tour

Today your train arrives in Mary from which you are transferred to the ancient and mainly unrestored city of Merv. Once an important stopping point on the Silk Road, it claims to have briefly been the largest city in the world in the 12th century. 

During the tour, you explore the remains of this former great city and enjoy the breathtaking surrounded sceneries.

After the tour, you return on board your train and continue traveling.

Day 9

Bukhara City Tour

Today you arrive in Bukhara and have a wonderful sightseeing tour around the most outstanding city attractions. 

During the tour, you visit the famous Ark, a fortified residence of the Emirs of Bukhara, and travel out of the city to explore the Emir’s summer residence - the Palace of the Moon and Stars.

After the tour, you enjoy a barbecue on the station platform before your train departs (if weather and time permits). 

 

Day 10

Samarkand City Tour

Today your train arrives in the ancient city of Samarkand founded in the 6th century BC and famous for its unique architectural heritage left from the days when it flourished as the fabled capital of the Mongol empire of Timur and his successors. 

During the tour, you visit some of the most significant city sites, including the iconic Registan Square, the Bibi Khanum Mosque and the Ulag Beg observatory - one of the earliest Islamic astronomical observatories built in 1428.

In the evening you return to the beautifully illuminated Registan Square before reboarding your train for a late evening departure. 

 

Day 11

Tashkent City Tour

Today you arrive in Tashkent - the capital of Uzbekistan and the modern Soviet-style city which was rebuilt following the devastating earthquake of 1966. 

During your guided city tour you visit the Old Town with its cozy narrow streets, traditional houses and religious buildings. Here is a small library you will be privileged to see one of Islam's most sacred relics – the world's oldest Koran. Your tour finishes with a visit to the Railway Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts.

After the tour, you return on board your train and continue traveling.

Day 12

Almaty City Tour

Today you arrive in the largest city of Kazakhstan surrounded by the majestic Tien Shan Mountains - Almaty. 

During your city tour, you visit the Panfilov Park where you have the opportunity to explore the Zenkhov Cathedral built entirely of wood and take a trip to the Chimbulak resort, where you enjoy a cable car ride that provides you with spectacular views of Almaty and its picturesque neighbourhood.

After the tour, you return on board your train and continue traveling.

 

Day 13

Kazakh - Chinese Border Crossing

Today you arrive in the Kazakh border city of Druzhna where you say farewell to your luxurious Golden Eagle train. The border crossing can take up to five hours, however, your patience is rewarded as the Shangri-La Express awaits you in Alanshankou, the Chinese border station. 

You are now at liberty to settle into your cabins as you set off for the next stage of your journey across China. A welcome dinner on board is served in the restaurant car, giving you the first taste of authentic Chinese cuisine.

 

Day 14

Turpan City Tour

Today you arrive in Turpan, a picturesque city located right in the middle of the Flaming Mountains and known as the Hometown of Grapes for its land rich in high-quality orchards and vineyards.

During your sightseeing tour, you explore the ancient underground irrigation system, visit the Museum of Turpan and travel to the elegantly decaying sand fortress city of Jiaohe that was an important trading post along the Silk Road until it was abandoned in the 13th following a raid by Genghis Khan.

In the evening you return on board your train and continue traveling.

 

Day 15

Dunhuang City Tour

Today you arrive in the small oasis-city of Dunhuang. During your guided city tour you visit the beautiful Magao Thousand Buddha Cave Complex that contains about 500 grottoes, carved between 700 and 1,700 years ago. Inside the complex, you will see a unique collection of impressive sculptures and murals depicting the evolution of Buddhist religious art over a 1,000 year period.

After the tour, you are transferred to your hotel for overnight. In the evening you enjoy traditional dinner and a local folk performance.

 

Day 16

Gobi Desert Camel Ride

Today you have the great opportunity to explore the vast natural beauty of the Gobi Desert by camel. During the ride, you discover the picturesque Crescent Lake hidden amongst towering sand dunes and spend some time viewing the breathtaking desert sceneries.

After the tour, you are transferred to the railway station to continue your amazing railway adventure. 

 

Day 17

Visit to the Terracotta Warriors

Today your train arrives in Xian. During your guided tour you see the greatest archaeological find of the 20th century - the world famous Terracotta Warriors. You have several hours to explore 6,000 terracotta figures of men and horses and take some memorable photos.

  • Optional tour: Visit to the Han Yangling Museum where you will see the famous Han Dynasty Emperor's Liu Qi tomb built 2,000 years ago.

After the tour, you are transferred to your centrally located hotel for check-in. In the evening you enjoy the Tang Dynasty Dinner, Music and Dance Show.

 

Day 18

Xian City Tour

Following breakfast, you check out from your hotel and go on a guided tour around Xian’s historical landmarks.

During the tour, you explore the ancient city walls, experience the bustling street culture of the Muslim Quarter and visit the Great Mosque. 

After the tour, you are transferred to the railway station and continue your journey to Beijing.

Day 19

Arrival in Beijing

Spending your last day on board the Shangri-La Express you wind your way northwards towards the capital of China, Beijing. Upon arrival, you bid farewell to the train and its friendly crew and your private driver transfers you to your centrally-located hotel for overnight.

 

Day 20

Beijing City Tour

After breakfast, you meet your guide and go on a fantastic city tour around the most famous Beijing attractions. During the tour, you visit Tiananmen Square and explore the magnificently restored Forbidden City - the former residence of the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Your cultural exploration continues at the Temple of Heaven, the grandest of the four great temples situated in Beijing. Here you experience enchanting displays of traditional dancing, singing and the delicately precise ancient art of calligraphy.

Later you have the chance to explore the small "hutong" lanes of old Beijing by rickshaw and visit a local family in a traditional courtyard house.

  • Optional tour #1: Trip to Cuandixia ancient village that is home to more than 500 well-preserved courtyard houses dating to the Ming and Qing dynasties.
  • Optional tour #2: Visit to the Hutong Chinese Cooking School where you can learn the art of cooking authentic Chinese cuisine in a traditional courtyard home.

After the tour, you return to your hotel and have the rest of the day free.

Day 21

Visit to the Great Wall of China

Today you visit the most awe-inspiring site in the whole of China - the Great Wall. This world-famous landmark is one of the few man-made structures visible from the outer space and perhaps the most evocative symbol of Chinese skill and precision. During the tour, you enjoy a leisurely walk along a portion of the wall and take some memorable photos with your fellow travelers.

After the tour, you enjoy delicious dinner in an authentic Peking Duck restaurant to celebrate the end of your journey.

 

Day 22

Departure from Beijing

This is the final day of your fantastic Silk Road adventure. Following breakfast, you check out from the hotel and your driver transfers you to the airport for your flight back home. We wish you a safe flight and hope to work on your future trips!

 


Hotels

7 nights in centrally-located 4 or 5-star hotels

  • Free WiFi
  • Gym
  • Restaurant
  • Room Service

Always included:

  • Central location close to major sights
  • Buffet breakfast
  • Free WiFi
  • Spacious beds

  • Accommodation at remarkable hotels in Moscow (2 nights), Dunhuang (1 night), Xian (1 night) and Beijing (3 nights);
  • 10 nights on board of the Golden Eagle train;
  • 4 nights on board the Shangri-La Express;
  • Full Russian and Chinese visa processing service for US and Australian citizens (Mongolian visa is not required for US customers). Visa support service (invitation) for customers from other countries;
  • Airport transfers and all transportation throughout the itinerary with professional drivers;
  • Rich sightseeing tours according to the itinerary with experienced guides;
  • English Speaking Group Leader throughout the tour;
  • Full board starting with dinner on the first day and ending with breakfast on the last day;
  • Welcome and Farewell dinners;
  • Limited drinks for lunches and dinners;
  • Unlimited drinks from Standard Menu for Gold Class;
  • 24-hour service attendant and doctor on board;
  • Porter services at all railway stations;
  • All gratuities;
  • Emergency line support during the trip.


Not included: international flights, optional tours and services, personal expenses.

Tour Highlights

  • 11 guided city tours
  • A camel ride
  • A visit to the Great Wall of China
  • The Tang Dynasty dinner, music and dance show
  • Tour of Terracotta Warriors
  • A visit to the Kremlin
  • Full Russian visa processing service for US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand citizens and visa support service (invitation) for customers from all other countries

What to Know

  • Eurasian climates are unpredictable and weather can be quite harsh even during summers
  • Bringing a water-resistant jacket, umbrella, and some warm clothes will ensure that you enjoy the trip during any weather
  • Usual tip size in restaurants is 10% of the check. Recommended tips for guides and drivers is $8-12 per day for a great level of service
  • You should bring a few hundred dollars with you on the trip to pay for food as trains do not have ATM machines

Dates & Rates

Dates Gold Single Cabin Gold Twin Cabin Silver Single Cabin Silver Twin Cabin
Apr 16 - May 06, 2019
$44,595
reverse
deposit
$8,919
$30,795
reverse
deposit
$6,159
$35,895
reverse
deposit
$7,179
$24,595
reverse
deposit
$4,919
View all dates
Dates Gold Single Cabin Gold Twin Cabin Silver Single Cabin Silver Twin Cabin
Apr 16 - May 06, 2019
$44,595
reverse
$30,795
reverse
$35,895
reverse
$24,595
reverse

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