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The Legendary Silk Road by Private Train

From Ashgabat to Almaty aboard the Orient Silk Road Express

  • 14 April 2020
  • 20 October 2020
  • 13 April 2021
  • History and Culture
  • Bukhara

We are delighted to be working with our German associates, Lernidee Trains and Cruises, to bring you this private train journey from Ashgabat to Almaty. Join us for an unforgettable journey as we retrace one of the most remarkable trading routes of ancient civilisation.

The Silk Road was a network of routes, plied by merchants and traders between China and the Mediterranean. We will follow in the footsteps of such legendary figures as Alexander the Great and Marco Polo, discovering 2000 years of history whilst travelling in great comfort aboard the Orient Silk Road Express Private Train.

During this fascinating tour, you will learn of the manifold cultures along the legendary Silk Road and numerous localities that made history, among them no less than seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Tien Shan Mountains, the Central Asian countries of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are richly endowed with history and culture, a flavour of which you will sample on this exciting journey by Private Train.

From Turkmenistan we travel to Kazakhstan and make our way through the Karakum Desert and into Uzbekistan where we will explore the 2,500 year old cities of Khiva and Bukhara as well as Samarkand, the ‘Rome of the East’, home to the beautiful Registan Square. We will also venture into Turkmenistan and visit the capital city of Ashgabat and the ancient city of Merv. This is a journey for the adventurous traveller, keen to discover ancient history, hidden wonders and varying cultures, but in great style and comfort.

Useful links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  


Orient Silk Road Express

Orient Silk Road Express

This private train allows us to explore the fascinating Silk Road in adequate comfort with excellent service. A maximum of 140 guests can be accommodated in modern, air-conditioned sleeping carriages. Once on board your luggage stays on the train for the duration of the trip allowing you to take only a small bag with you for our overnight hotel stays.

The restaurant cars usually seat all passengers in one sitting, serving excellent international and local cuisine. After dinner, these cars offer a bar service for you to enjoy a late drink. There is one experienced tour guide for a maximum of 26 guests, ensuring a personal service and informative tour throughout. There is also a doctor on board.

 

View train details

Itinerary

  • Tilla-Kari Madrasah, Registan Square, Samarkand
  • Bukhara

Day 1 London to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Fly by indirect scheduled flight. Arrive and transfer to the Grand Turkmen Hotel (or similar) in Ashgabat for an overnight stay.

Day 2 Nisa & Ashgabat.

This morning we drive to the old Parthian city of Nisa which has a striking geographical location on top of a small hill which offers splendid views towards the Kopet Dag Mountains to the south. While Old Nisa, which seems to have been either a Parthian royal residence or temple complex, was abandoned at the end of the Parthian period, the main town of New Nisa was revived in the 5th century, and grew to-become an important Medieval Silk Road centre. After lunch we return to Ashgabat and spend some time at the Russian Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the Turkmenistan. This evening we board our train and enjoy a welcome dinner on board.

Day 3 Merv.

Early morning sees us arrive in Mary, where we transfer to the ancient and mainly unrestored city of Merv, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its gigantic walls and ramparts in the desert and the impressive ruins of old buildings such as the Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar, the Virgin Fortress (Kis Kale), the cold room and other mausoleums. Once an important stopping point on the Silk Road, it claims to have briefly been the largest city in the world during the 12th century. 1794 saw the demise of Merv, after the Emir of Bukhara destroyed the dam which the population depended on for its water. We enjoy lunch in the picturesque courtyard of a family before we re-board our private train and head for Bukhara.

Day 4 Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

Bukhara is quite simply outstanding. Situated in the middle of the Kyzylkum desert, Bukhara features about one thousand monuments, which recall the halcyon days of the Great Silk Road. Foreign spices, furs and especially silk fabrics were stored and handled in the caravansaries. In the old city we will see the Kaljan Minaret and the Labi-Hauz Ensemble and in front of the Nasreddin-on-the-donkey monument we will learn of some anecdotes about him. This evening we visit the courtyard of a Madrasah with musical accompaniment, local dances and a presentation of colourful national costumes. We spend two nights at the Asia Bukhara Hotel (or similar) in Bukhara.

Day 5 Bukhara.

Today we will enjoy a day tour of the city, including lunch. Bukhara is a large, unique and authentic art museum that maintains its old oriental face. In the morning, visit the magnificent Mire-e-Arab Madrasah and the most beautiful and precious building in Central Asia, the Samanid Mausoleum. Then we will take a tour through the fortress Ark where we will see the coronation hall and visit the summer residence of the last Emir. At the end of our stay we will see the only women’s mosque in the world.

Day 6 Bukhara to Khiva.

This morning we will have time to explore Bukhara independently before rejoining our train and continuing in the direction of Khiva.

Day 7 Khiva.

After breakfast we will travel to the southern border of the seven river lands, in the ancient city of Khiva, founded 2500 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. A truly magnificent sight to behold, it rises out of the desert to reveal a wealth of impressive architecture. When you stand before the mighty city wall of Khiva with its gates and bastions of clay you are transported to another world. Around the Kalta Minor Minaret, life still pulses today as it did in old times, and on our tour we will see palaces, mosques, minarets, mausoleums and Koranic schools which convey what Medieval oriental urban development must have been like. Enjoy lunch in the atmosphere of the former Summer Palace of the Emir and in the evening we will depart to Samarkand.

Day 8 Samarkand.

Today we will experience the historical prominence of Samarkand, the most beautiful city in Tamerlane’s time: the grave city Shah-e-zende (“the living Shah”), the excavation sites of Afrosiab and the Registan Square present an impressive collection of Central Asian architecture. Enjoy a two night stay at the Registan Plaza hotel (or similar).

Day 9 Samarkand.

Today we visit a silk carpet factory and an Uzbek craftsman’s family, see paper manufactured from mulberry bark, the observatory of Ulug Beg, the ruins of the Bibi Khanum Mosque and the palace-like Gur Emir Mausoleum.

Day 10 On the Great Silk Road to Shakhrisabz.

Enjoy an excursion into the surrounding mountain region where elsewhere forgotten ceremonies of the Shaman cult still are held today. You will experience a folklore performance in the unique tradition of this region and get to know the inhabitants in their authentic everyday life. We follow the Great Silk Road and arrive in the green city, the birthplace of Tamerlane. Here, in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shakhrisabz we will tour the monumental memorials of the barbaric Mongol Prince and also have the opportunity to watch the thriving bustle of this lively town. In the evening we depart for Tashkent whilst we enjoy Uzbek wine tasting on board.

Day 11 Tashkent.

This morning we arrive in Tashkent at the foot of the Tien Shan Mountains. We will enjoy a sightseeing tour and experience the green oasis of the Steppe: the Madrasah Kukeldash, the Kavoj and Amir Timur monuments and the opera. In the evening we will also attend a musical performance (depending on schedules).

Day 12 Turkestan, Kazakhstan.

After breakfast and lunch on board we arrive at the city of Turkestan in Kazakhstan (border formalities occur comfortably in your cabin). You will see the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi with its dome hall, monumental mosque and well house. We will travel on to Almaty and enjoy our last dinner on board as we bid farewell to the friendly train staff.

Day 13 Almaty to London.

We arrive in Almaty after lunch. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city which is situated at the foothills of the northern Tien Shan Mountains where there are attractive tree-lined avenues, many parks and street cafes. Visit the Zenkov Russian Cathedral, one of the world’s tallest all wood buildings. This evening we will enjoy a special Farewell Dinner in country-specific yurts followed by some free time to relax at a hotel in Almaty before transferring to the airport for our late, scheduled indirect flight to London.

Day 14 London.

Arrive this morning.

  • Ashgabat
  • Merv
  • Khiva

Dates and Prices

Prices per person based on double occupancy
14 to 27 April 2020
Category Price
Aladdin - Double Occupancy £6595
Sultan - Double Occupancy £9195
Kalif - Double Occupancy £9595
Aladdin - Single Occupancy £7995
Sultan- Sole Occupancy £12695
Kalif - Single Occupancy Not Available
20 October to 2 November 2020 • 13 to 26 April 2021
Category Price
Aladdin - Double Occupancy £6995
Sultan - Double Occupancy £9595
Kalif - Double Occupancy £9995
Aladdin - Single Occupancy £8395
Sultan- Sole Occupancy £13095
Kalif - Single Occupancy Not Available

Tour Reference Code: TROSR140420, TROSR201020, TROSR130421

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled flights • Seven nights aboard the Orient Silk Road Express Private Train • Six nights hotel accommodation as described (four star properties or best available) • All meals throughout tour • Drinks with meals served on board the train • Tour director • Local guides • Excursions • Onboard doctor • Transfers • Gratuities • Log book about the Silk Road • Airport taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance, Turkmenistan visa & entry tax, drinks when not on board the train.

Important Information: Please note that a 20% deposit is required when booking this tour. A visa is required for Turkmenistan. The train operators, Lernidee, will provide all supporting documentation needed. Applications can be made in person at the Embassy or through a visa agency (a fee will apply) and can take up to 20 days to process. Current visa fee is $50 per person. This information is correct at the time of printing and should the information change, we will be in touch with booked passengers with updated guidelines.

Orient Silk Road Express

This private train allows us to explore the fascinating Silk Road in adequate comfort with excellent service. A maximum of 140 guests can be accommodated in modern, air-conditioned sleeping carriages. Once on board your luggage stays on the train for the duration of the trip allowing you to take only a small bag with you for our overnight hotel stays.

The restaurant cars usually seat all passengers in one sitting, serving excellent international and local cuisine. After dinner, these cars offer a bar service for you to enjoy a late drink. There is one experienced tour guide for a maximum of 26 guests, ensuring a personal service and informative tour throughout. There is also a doctor on board.

 

 
  • Orient Silk Road Express
    Orient Silk Road Express
  • Aladdin compartment
    Aladdin compartment
  • Kalif compartment
    Kalif compartment
  • Sultan compartment
    Sultan compartment
  • Carriage interior
    Carriage interior
  • Kalif compartment
    Kalif compartment
  • Ali Baba/Aladdin compartment
    Ali Baba/Aladdin compartment
  • Your Accommodation

    Aladdin

    Each car has eight compartments for two guests with two lower berths (28” x 72”). In the middle, below the window, you will find a table. Combined washing room/ lavatory compartments are located at both ends of the car. Additionally, a shower is located at one end of each car and you will receive a bathing robe and shower utilities.

    Sultan

    This category is equipped with two beds, one of which measures 44” x 73”, providing enough space for two people if required. The compartment also offers comfortable seating, a larger table and a small closet. Each compartment has its own lavatory equipped with toilet, washing basin and integrated shower with shower curtain. A total of twelve guests at most share the whole of the carriage.

    Kalif

    This category is equipped with two beds, one of which measures 44” x 73”, providing enough space for two people if required. Furthermore, the compartment offers a cosy seating bench, a commodious table and a wardrobe. The compartment’s exclusive en suite bathroom does not only contain a washing basin, WC and shower, but also storage space for your personal belongings. Each car of the Kalif category has only four compartments. A total of eight guests at most share the whole of the carriage.

     

  • For your comfort

    No domestic flights • No long bus rides • Your luggage remains on board during the entire trip • All cars airconditioned while the train is in motion • Excellent food • After dinner restaurant cars operate as bars

  • Train Directory

    Train Directory

    {MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}

    Please find below further details pertaining to the train or click on the booklet to download. 

    We are delighted to be working in association with our German associates at Lernidee in offering the Orient Silk Road Express Private Train tour which will acquaint you with the many highlights and different cultures along the Silk Road. With our comfortable rail journey you will discover places that are either absent from other itineraries or that can only be reached otherwise with much greater difficulty.

    During the journey you will be accommodated on board in your comfortable compartment as well as in selected three and four star hotels. An experienced tour director will accompany you throughout the journey and be joined by knowledgeable local travel guides and a physician aboard the train.

    There will be entertaining talks on the region and its people aboard the train. Some of the train’s wagons, including several sleeping cars and a dining car, were completely refurbished in 2013. The comfortable dining cars remain open with bar service into the evening and the train is air-conditioned while the train is underway. 

    ADAPTORS

    The sockets in the train are standard two-pole European plug sockets, as are those in most of the hotels. If you want to be absolutely sure, however, you should bring along an Eastern European plug adaptor.

    AIR CONDITIONING & HEATING

    The whole train is equipped with air-conditioning. However, this only works when the train is moving and the windows are closed. Once the train sets off, it takes about half an hour before the desired temperature is reached. If necessary, when the train is stationary, the guard can open a window in the corridor.

    CLOTHING

    Casual clothing is appropriate on the train, also at mealtimes. Please make sure you wear comfortable shoes for the excursions, and particularly for the city sightseeing tours. Although the Central Asian countries are much less strict about clothing than some other countries in Asia, it is inappropriate to wear shorts or skirts above the knee. As well as light clothing and headgear you should bring along warmer jackets and trousers for the cooler evenings and colder days and sturdy, comfortable shoes (without heels) for the gentle hikes.

    DAILY PROGRAMME

    A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced on board and displayed in every car.

    DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

    If you have any dietary requirements such as vegetarian, low salt, gluten free or low cholesterol, please notify the Reservations Department. We regret that not all dietary requests can be guaranteed. If you have any specific or special foods that you require we recommend that you take some with you although we will endeavour to accommodate your needs. Once on board, please speak to your tour guide on the first night to reconfirm your needs.

    DOCTOR

    A doctor will be travelling on the train throughout the entire trip. The doctor will be on call 24 hours a day in case of emergency. If additional, specialist medical treatment is required, the onboard staff will contact other doctors via radio.

    ELECTRICITY

    Onboard electricity is 110 volt DC and 220 volt AC. Please check the markings on the sockets as the use of 110 volt sockets can damage electrical equipment such as chargers and razors. Capacity overloads can cause the electricity to cut out and so we request you to recharge batteries / mobile phones in the hotels. Sockets at the ends of the carriages and in the conductor’s section are usually reliable, but are sometimes subject to voltage fluctuations so usage is at your own risk.

    END OF TOUR QUESTIONNAIRE

    We are always looking for ways to improve our holidays and the services provided and in order to do this we welcome feedback from our guests. Your comments are important to us therefore we request that you complete and return the questionnaire that will be provided to you.

    GRATUITIES
    Gratuities have been included in your holiday price.

    HAIRDRYERS

    Hairdryers are available in Kalif and Sultan compartments only.

    HOTELS

    Please leave larger items of luggage on board the train during overnight stays at hotels. Simply take everything you need for the day and night in a small travel bag. Keep your passport at hand as it is needed for check in at the hotel. Your tour guide will collect passports and return them to you after registration (possibly the next morning). Please keep your hotel registration slips safe, as these are sometimes needed at border crossings. (They are usually put loosely inside your passport.)

    LAUNDRY SERVICE

    There is no laundry service available on board the train. You may wish to make  use of the laundry service available during our hotel stays en route.

    LOST PROPERTY

    Before you disembark the train, please check your cabin to ensure you do not leave anything behind. If you discover you have left any items behind, please contact Noble Caledonia. If we are able to recover your item(s) we will contact you to arrange delivery or collection, and any costs incurred will be at your own expense.

    LUGGAGE

    Instead of bringing one large suitcase, we recommend using a travel bag or soft suitcase, as it is easier to store on board the train. You will also need a small bag or suitcase for the overnight stays in hotels for hand luggage, when you will probably want to leave the larger portion of your luggage on the train. The luggage will be loaded on board by porters at the station in Almaty/Ashgabat. Please make sure you attach a Lernidee label bearing your carriage and compartment number to all your bags. If you need new labels, please contact your tour guide.

    MEALS

    On board the train you will be provided with varied and nutritious meals. All drinks with meals are included on board the train and mineral water, tea & coffee are included throughout your journey. You will have to pay in cash for all other drinks. Because of the limited seating capacity, meals may sometimes have to be served in two sittings. In this case, sittings will be switched around halfway through the trip. If you are part of the first group to eat, please make your seat available to others 45 minutes after breakfast, and one hour after lunch and dinner. This way we can guarantee a smooth meal service for passengers in the second group.

    MEDICATION

    You should bring along a small first-aid kit and any medicines you need as the products you are familiar with will most probably not be available (although there will be alternatives). It is also advisable to bring anti-diarrhea drugs in case your stomach reacts to exotic food, the climate and time zone differences.

    MOBILE PHONES

    Ask your provider whether and where your mobile phone will work during the trip and make sure that international roaming is activated. Please remember that roaming costs will be relatively high – both for making and receiving calls.

    MONEY & PRICES

    The accepted currencies on board the Private Train are Euros and US dollars. You can purchase Turkmen Manats at your hotel in Ashgabat. When arriving at your hotel in Samarkand or Bukhara you can change some of your money into the Uzbek currency Sum. Make sure you are given a good amount of change. We recommend exchanging an initial amount of €50 per person. As fees are high, it is not advisable to exchange foreign currency back to Euros or US dollars. At the hotels, in international restaurants and good department stores you will often be able to pay with major credit cards. 

    ONBOARD ANNOUNCEMENTS

    The onboard announcement system provides you with important information and commentary on the regions. In your compartment you will find a knob that allows you to control the volume. Please keep this turned up between 8am and 9pm.

    RESTAURANT CAR

    At the beginning of your journey you will get a “Beverage Pass”. All your ordered drinks will be noted down and you must settle your account in Euros or US dollars at the end of the tour.

    SAFES

    Safes are available in Kalif compartments only.

    SAFETY & SECURITY

    Guards are on duty 24 hours a day. They are in constant contact with control via the radio in the train manager’s compartment (on regular trains, the only radio set is in the locomotive) and will ask them for help in emergencies (including medical emergencies).

    SMOKING

    Smoking is not permitted on board the train as well as at stations. In Turkmenistan smoking in public (in the streets) is not permitted. Please ask your guide for smoking facilities.

    STAMPS

    The tour guides are happy to help you to purchase stamps. Unfortunately, hotels often sell stamps at very inflated prices. Please be aware that it can sometimes take a few weeks for the post cards to arrive at their destination.

    TOWELS

    Towels and sheets are provided on the train and in the hotels and will be changed regularly. However, it is advisable to bring along one additional small hand towel and washcloths.

    WATER

    Never drink the tap water. You can buy half a litre of mineral water from the guard for €1.20. The water provided in carafes at mealtimes is clean and pure still mineral water from plastic containers. The ice cubes are also made from this water.

    WAKE-UP CALL

    Every morning on the train you will be woken by your tour guide knocking on the door of your compartment. In the hotels we will order a general wake-up call, but you are also welcome to order your own. In any case, we recommend you bring along a travel alarm clock or use the alarm function on your mobile phone to ensure you wake up at a time you prefer throughout the trip. 

    PLEASE NOTE:

    The above information is accurate and correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. Noble Caledonia accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions and none of the facilities or features of the vessel described herein which are not specifically described in our advertisements and on your holiday invoice as being included in your holiday price will be deemed to be included in your holiday package. If you would like further information about the vessel or about any of your holiday arrangements, please do not hesitate to contact us.

  • View all tours
  • Your Accommodation

    Aladdin

    Each car has eight compartments for two guests with two lower berths (28” x 72”). In the middle, below the window, you will find a table. Combined washing room/ lavatory compartments are located at both ends of the car. Additionally, a shower is located at one end of each car and you will receive a bathing robe and shower utilities.

    Sultan

    This category is equipped with two beds, one of which measures 44” x 73”, providing enough space for two people if required. The compartment also offers comfortable seating, a larger table and a small closet. Each compartment has its own lavatory equipped with toilet, washing basin and integrated shower with shower curtain. A total of twelve guests at most share the whole of the carriage.

    Kalif

    This category is equipped with two beds, one of which measures 44” x 73”, providing enough space for two people if required. Furthermore, the compartment offers a cosy seating bench, a commodious table and a wardrobe. The compartment’s exclusive en suite bathroom does not only contain a washing basin, WC and shower, but also storage space for your personal belongings. Each car of the Kalif category has only four compartments. A total of eight guests at most share the whole of the carriage.

     

  • For your comfort

    No domestic flights • No long bus rides • Your luggage remains on board during the entire trip • All cars airconditioned while the train is in motion • Excellent food • After dinner restaurant cars operate as bars

  • Train Directory

    Train Directory

    {MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}

    Please find below further details pertaining to the train or click on the booklet to download. 

    We are delighted to be working in association with our German associates at Lernidee in offering the Orient Silk Road Express Private Train tour which will acquaint you with the many highlights and different cultures along the Silk Road. With our comfortable rail journey you will discover places that are either absent from other itineraries or that can only be reached otherwise with much greater difficulty.

    During the journey you will be accommodated on board in your comfortable compartment as well as in selected three and four star hotels. An experienced tour director will accompany you throughout the journey and be joined by knowledgeable local travel guides and a physician aboard the train.

    There will be entertaining talks on the region and its people aboard the train. Some of the train’s wagons, including several sleeping cars and a dining car, were completely refurbished in 2013. The comfortable dining cars remain open with bar service into the evening and the train is air-conditioned while the train is underway. 

    ADAPTORS

    The sockets in the train are standard two-pole European plug sockets, as are those in most of the hotels. If you want to be absolutely sure, however, you should bring along an Eastern European plug adaptor.

    AIR CONDITIONING & HEATING

    The whole train is equipped with air-conditioning. However, this only works when the train is moving and the windows are closed. Once the train sets off, it takes about half an hour before the desired temperature is reached. If necessary, when the train is stationary, the guard can open a window in the corridor.

    CLOTHING

    Casual clothing is appropriate on the train, also at mealtimes. Please make sure you wear comfortable shoes for the excursions, and particularly for the city sightseeing tours. Although the Central Asian countries are much less strict about clothing than some other countries in Asia, it is inappropriate to wear shorts or skirts above the knee. As well as light clothing and headgear you should bring along warmer jackets and trousers for the cooler evenings and colder days and sturdy, comfortable shoes (without heels) for the gentle hikes.

    DAILY PROGRAMME

    A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced on board and displayed in every car.

    DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

    If you have any dietary requirements such as vegetarian, low salt, gluten free or low cholesterol, please notify the Reservations Department. We regret that not all dietary requests can be guaranteed. If you have any specific or special foods that you require we recommend that you take some with you although we will endeavour to accommodate your needs. Once on board, please speak to your tour guide on the first night to reconfirm your needs.

    DOCTOR

    A doctor will be travelling on the train throughout the entire trip. The doctor will be on call 24 hours a day in case of emergency. If additional, specialist medical treatment is required, the onboard staff will contact other doctors via radio.

    ELECTRICITY

    Onboard electricity is 110 volt DC and 220 volt AC. Please check the markings on the sockets as the use of 110 volt sockets can damage electrical equipment such as chargers and razors. Capacity overloads can cause the electricity to cut out and so we request you to recharge batteries / mobile phones in the hotels. Sockets at the ends of the carriages and in the conductor’s section are usually reliable, but are sometimes subject to voltage fluctuations so usage is at your own risk.

    END OF TOUR QUESTIONNAIRE

    We are always looking for ways to improve our holidays and the services provided and in order to do this we welcome feedback from our guests. Your comments are important to us therefore we request that you complete and return the questionnaire that will be provided to you.

    GRATUITIES
    Gratuities have been included in your holiday price.

    HAIRDRYERS

    Hairdryers are available in Kalif and Sultan compartments only.

    HOTELS

    Please leave larger items of luggage on board the train during overnight stays at hotels. Simply take everything you need for the day and night in a small travel bag. Keep your passport at hand as it is needed for check in at the hotel. Your tour guide will collect passports and return them to you after registration (possibly the next morning). Please keep your hotel registration slips safe, as these are sometimes needed at border crossings. (They are usually put loosely inside your passport.)

    LAUNDRY SERVICE

    There is no laundry service available on board the train. You may wish to make  use of the laundry service available during our hotel stays en route.

    LOST PROPERTY

    Before you disembark the train, please check your cabin to ensure you do not leave anything behind. If you discover you have left any items behind, please contact Noble Caledonia. If we are able to recover your item(s) we will contact you to arrange delivery or collection, and any costs incurred will be at your own expense.

    LUGGAGE

    Instead of bringing one large suitcase, we recommend using a travel bag or soft suitcase, as it is easier to store on board the train. You will also need a small bag or suitcase for the overnight stays in hotels for hand luggage, when you will probably want to leave the larger portion of your luggage on the train. The luggage will be loaded on board by porters at the station in Almaty/Ashgabat. Please make sure you attach a Lernidee label bearing your carriage and compartment number to all your bags. If you need new labels, please contact your tour guide.

    MEALS

    On board the train you will be provided with varied and nutritious meals. All drinks with meals are included on board the train and mineral water, tea & coffee are included throughout your journey. You will have to pay in cash for all other drinks. Because of the limited seating capacity, meals may sometimes have to be served in two sittings. In this case, sittings will be switched around halfway through the trip. If you are part of the first group to eat, please make your seat available to others 45 minutes after breakfast, and one hour after lunch and dinner. This way we can guarantee a smooth meal service for passengers in the second group.

    MEDICATION

    You should bring along a small first-aid kit and any medicines you need as the products you are familiar with will most probably not be available (although there will be alternatives). It is also advisable to bring anti-diarrhea drugs in case your stomach reacts to exotic food, the climate and time zone differences.

    MOBILE PHONES

    Ask your provider whether and where your mobile phone will work during the trip and make sure that international roaming is activated. Please remember that roaming costs will be relatively high – both for making and receiving calls.

    MONEY & PRICES

    The accepted currencies on board the Private Train are Euros and US dollars. You can purchase Turkmen Manats at your hotel in Ashgabat. When arriving at your hotel in Samarkand or Bukhara you can change some of your money into the Uzbek currency Sum. Make sure you are given a good amount of change. We recommend exchanging an initial amount of €50 per person. As fees are high, it is not advisable to exchange foreign currency back to Euros or US dollars. At the hotels, in international restaurants and good department stores you will often be able to pay with major credit cards. 

    ONBOARD ANNOUNCEMENTS

    The onboard announcement system provides you with important information and commentary on the regions. In your compartment you will find a knob that allows you to control the volume. Please keep this turned up between 8am and 9pm.

    RESTAURANT CAR

    At the beginning of your journey you will get a “Beverage Pass”. All your ordered drinks will be noted down and you must settle your account in Euros or US dollars at the end of the tour.

    SAFES

    Safes are available in Kalif compartments only.

    SAFETY & SECURITY

    Guards are on duty 24 hours a day. They are in constant contact with control via the radio in the train manager’s compartment (on regular trains, the only radio set is in the locomotive) and will ask them for help in emergencies (including medical emergencies).

    SMOKING

    Smoking is not permitted on board the train as well as at stations. In Turkmenistan smoking in public (in the streets) is not permitted. Please ask your guide for smoking facilities.

    STAMPS

    The tour guides are happy to help you to purchase stamps. Unfortunately, hotels often sell stamps at very inflated prices. Please be aware that it can sometimes take a few weeks for the post cards to arrive at their destination.

    TOWELS

    Towels and sheets are provided on the train and in the hotels and will be changed regularly. However, it is advisable to bring along one additional small hand towel and washcloths.

    WATER

    Never drink the tap water. You can buy half a litre of mineral water from the guard for €1.20. The water provided in carafes at mealtimes is clean and pure still mineral water from plastic containers. The ice cubes are also made from this water.

    WAKE-UP CALL

    Every morning on the train you will be woken by your tour guide knocking on the door of your compartment. In the hotels we will order a general wake-up call, but you are also welcome to order your own. In any case, we recommend you bring along a travel alarm clock or use the alarm function on your mobile phone to ensure you wake up at a time you prefer throughout the trip. 

    PLEASE NOTE:

    The above information is accurate and correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. Noble Caledonia accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions and none of the facilities or features of the vessel described herein which are not specifically described in our advertisements and on your holiday invoice as being included in your holiday price will be deemed to be included in your holiday package. If you would like further information about the vessel or about any of your holiday arrangements, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Book with Confidence

Speak to one of our advisors on 020 7752 0000