The Silk Road: Beijing to Moscow by Private Train

21-day Escorted Tour
Asia,Europe
Luxury

The Silk Road rail adventure is one of the most exotic, storied, and best-loved by Society of IRT members, taking travelers to places few Westerners have ventured.

It’s no wonder IRT co-owners Owen & Eleanor Hardy chose this epic adventure to celebrate IRT’s 30th anniversary in 2013!

This two-train tour follows in the footsteps of Marco Polo along one of the world’s oldest and most historic trade routes. The luxurious Golden Eagle and the first-class Shangri-La Express train will transport you back in time through five countries.

This great caravan road linked the kings of Europe with the luxuries of Asia—most significantly, its silks and spices. It is preserved to a remarkable degree.

Tour the Gobi Desert on camel, and see the Terracotta Warriors of Xian. Marvel at the architecture and artistry on display in the mosques and buildings of Central Asia’s most important medieval cities.

Wander through local markets offering Uzbek textiles and ceramics. Explore the history-rich cities of Beijing and Moscow. And do it all from the comfort of your “hotel-on-wheels!”

This is truly a “trip of a lifetime.”

Note: Our Silk Road by rail journey also runs in the opposite direction. For the Moscow-Beijing itinerary, please click here.

The Silk Road: Moscow to Beijing by Private Train

21-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

The Silk Road rail adventure is one of the most exotic, storied, and best-loved by Society of IRT members, taking travelers to places few Westerners have ventured. It’s no wonder IRT co-owners Owen & Eleanor Hardy chose this epic adventure to celebrate IRT’s 30th anniversary in 2013!

This two-train tour follows in the footsteps of Marco Polo along one of the world’s oldest and most historic trade routes. The luxurious Golden Eagle and the first-class Shangri-La Express train will transport you through five countries – and back in time.

This great caravan road linking the kings of Europe with the luxuries of Asia—most significantly, its silks and spices—is preserved to a remarkable degree. Tour the Gobi Desert on camel and see the Terracotta Warriors of Xian. Marvel at the architecture and artistry on display in the mosques and buildings of Central Asia’s most important medieval cities. Wander through local markets offering Uzbek textiles and ceramics. Explore the history-rich cities of Beijing and Moscow. And do it all from the comfort of your “hotel-on-wheels!”

This is truly a “trip of a lifetime.” Our Silk Road by rail journey also runs in the opposite direction. For the Beijing-Moscow itinerary, please click here. Note the westbound itinerary is one day shorter than the Moscow-Beijing eastbound itinerary.

New:
The Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express will include two Imperial Suites on all departures. These new compartments are the most spacious – 120 square feet – and feature a fixed king-sized bed, a dressing table and lounge area, and more. For details about this and other upgrades, click here.

 

The Silk Road & Tibet: Moscow-Lhasa by Private Train

23-day Escorted Tour
Asia,Europe
First-class,Luxury

Embark upon a journey of a lifetime through the ancient Silk Road & Tibet. This epic one-off rail adventure begins in Moscow and winds through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and China, with a dramatic finale in Lhasa, Tibet.

This trip combines the classic Silk Road journey with the new-for-2017 Tibet & China Rail Discovery Journey.

The Silk Road rail adventure is one of the most exotic, storied, and best-loved by Society of IRT members, taking travelers to places few Westerners have ventured — and now, with this dramatic climax in Lhasa, Tibet, it is even more exciting

This two-train tour follows in the footsteps of Marco Polo along one of the world’s oldest and most historic trade routes. The luxurious Golden Eagle and the first-class Shangri-La Express train will transport you through five countries – and back in time.

This great caravan road linking the kings of Europe with the luxuries of Asia—most significantly, its silks and spices—is preserved to a remarkable degree. Tour the Gobi Desert on camel and see the Terracotta Warriors of Xian. Marvel at the architecture and artistry on display in the mosques and buildings of Central Asia’s most important medieval cities. Wander through local markets offering Uzbek textiles and ceramics. Explore the history-rich cities of Lhasa and Moscow. And do it all from the comfort of your “hotel-on-wheels!”

This is truly a “trip of a lifetime.”

New:
The Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express will include two Imperial Suites on all departures. These new compartments are the most spacious – 120 square feet – and feature a fixed king-sized bed, a dressing table and lounge area, and more. For details about this and other upgrades, click here.

 

Bangkok-Singapore (& vice versa) by Luxury Train

4-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Linking Bangkok and Singapore, the Eastern & Oriental Express provides a short but satisfying introduction to four great cultures, as revealed by the glittering Thai temples of Bangkok and Singapore’s exciting mix of Chinese, Indian and Malay architecture and cuisine. The mid-journey visit to the famed bridge over the River Kwai is an added bonus.

New in 2017: Guests in Presidential Suites now enjoy a host of new amenities, including complimentary and exclusive in-cabin wi-fi and complimentary private limousine transfers to/from train stations in Singapore & Bangkok. Presidential Suites also include:

– A bottle of champagne and fruit basket in cabin on arrival
– Complimentary mini bar – stocked with a selection of spirits, local beer, soft drinks and chocolate
– Complimentary on board pressing service
– Wireless speaker in cabin

A Caspian Odyssey Along the Ancient Silk Road

16-day Escorted Tour
Asia,Europe
Luxury

Begin the captivating Caspian Odyssey journey in Yerevan, Armenia, where the skyline is dominated by snow-capped Mount Ararat towering in the distance. Then, board the luxurious all-ensuite Golden Eagle train and begin your adventure through the South Caucasus region.

Visit the Georgian cities of Tbilisi, Telavi, and Gori, all steeped in history both modern and ancient. Then make your way to Baku, Azerbaijan on the western shore of the Caspian Sea.

After an adventurous crossing on the Caspian Sea, you’ll join the ancient Silk Road trading route and visit Ashgabat, the gleaming capital of Turkmenistan. Then, visit Uzbekistan, with tours of Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, and Tashkent, before arriving at your final destination of Almaty, Kazakhstan.

This once-a-year tour takes you to places few western travelers have ever seen – and on one of the most luxurious trains in the world, the stunning Golden Eagle. There’s no better way to see these historic and otherworldly places!

The Caucasus by Luxury Rail

9-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

This fall, join our captivating 9-day rail adventure from Yerevan to Baku, experiencing the remarkable and culturally diverse countries of the Caucasus.

Discover the western shores of the Caspian Sea as we weave our way through Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Home to fascinating modern culture, as well as some of the world’s most ancient and timeless architecture, this journey promises to be a unique adventure.

Only a few cabins remain on this breathtakingly beautiful journey, so book your place now to avoid disappointment. Travel in comfort and luxury aboard the fully en-suite Golden Eagle luxury train.

Note: Map shows entire Caspian Odyssey journey, whose opening Yerevan-Baku section comprises this tour.

Indian Odyssey: Delhi to Mumbai by Luxury Deccan Odyssey Train

8-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Relax in supreme comfort aboard the Deccan Odyssey while visiting some of India’s most iconic landmarks on this Indian Odyssey itinerary, including multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Soak in the beauty of Udaipur, the “City of Lakes,” the colorful city of Jaipur, and search for tigers in Ranthambore National Park. The breadth of India’s culture, history and ineffable spirit come alive as you travel from Delhi to Mumbai. This tour is great for experiencing a large swath of Rajasthan in a relatively short time. For more information about the train itself, click here.

Ulaan Baatar Express: Moscow to Ulaan Baatar

11-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Think of this as a compilation of some of the most intriguing and stimulating elements of the world’s greatest railway journey and you will understand the appeal of the Ulaan Baatar Express.

 

Maharajas’ Express Indian Panorama, Delhi-Delhi

8-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Explore the hidden treasures of India by luxury train. Embark on the Maharajas’ Express and join an unforgettable adventure that begins in the capital city of Delhi. Make your way through the sacred city of Varanasi and cruise on the River Ganges to observe ancient spiritual rites. Witness the immortal beauty of the Taj Mahal in Agra, the sensuous moods of the temples of Khajuraho, the elegance and imperial splendor in Lucknow and the wilderness of the Ranthambore National Park, known for its large population of Bengal tigers.

Golden Eagle: Heart of Persia

14 Days
Asia
Luxury

Our ‘Heart of Persia’ tour is aimed at those who display true pioneering spirit; a distinctive adventure that may not always follow the itinerary step-by-step, but will delight and enthrall with the potential for a surprise or two along the way.

Travelling in the ancient land of Persia, this unique journey by rail on board the fully en-suite Golden Eagle takes in destinations that have been off the tourist map for many years and therefore have rarely been experienced by the Western visitor, which makes it all the more special.

Maharajas’ Express Indian Splendour, Delhi-Mumbai

8-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

The Maharajas’ Express “Indian Splendour” journey is a fabulous way to discover India’s heritage and exquisite architecture. A few highlights: sipping champagne as you admire the legendary Taj Mahal; stalking the elusive tiger in Ranthambore National Park; indulging in traditional barbecue delicacies prepared on the sand dunes. Feel like royalty as you participate in an Elephant Polo Match followed by dinner. Soak up the spectacular regal heritage of Rajasthan, with its landscape of hilltop forts and palaces. This extraordinary journey is full of special touches and delights—not the least of which is the train itself, the Maharajas’ Express.

Click here to read an in-depth review of the Maharajas’ Express by Society VP Angela Walker on our blog, Track 25.

Orcaella: Gorges of the Far North

12-Day Escorted Tour
Asia
Cruise

Enjoy 12 days aboard the luxurious river boat Orcaella and take in the scenic majesty of Myanmar. The boat, the staff, the dining, the visits: it all added up to one of the best IRT journeys ever when we traveled on this ship in 2014.

Any description of this ship or the journey itself comes up short, because it is so much more.

It is, in fact, one of the best trips IRT has ever offered. Read all about it in our blog, Track 25.

For details about Myanmar and its incredible people, click here. For details on life aboard the beautiful ship Orcaella, click here.

Deluxe Rail Journey of Japan

16-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Important Note: Join us on this Deluxe Japan Rail Journey! The Society of International Railway Travelers® is the only travel agency in the Western Hemisphere offering advance space on the ultra-exclusive Seven Stars, the “grand finale” of our Deluxe Japan Rail Journey.

• • •

Picture yourself enjoying pre-trip canapés and drinks in the Seven Stars’  beautiful private waiting room in Fukuoka’s Hakata Station. Suddenly, the President of JR Kyushu drops by to welcome you. (This happened to our 2016 group!)

Imagine boarding this spectacular new train, the first luxury sleeper train in Japan. As you leave the station, you see dozens of locals waving the flags of the U.S. and other nations (depending on who’s on board) to send you off.

This train astounded our guests in 2016 — its first Western group. So we are honored to announce this, our fourth IRT Japan tour, featuring wonderful rail and cultural experiences — topped off with the Seven Stars in Kyushu.

The first part of the escorted tour focuses on the intersection of modernity and ancient tradition in some of Japan’s most celebrated cities and regions. The itinerary includes Tokyo, the Hakone nature reserve, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Miyajima. We also include a visit to the Kyoto Railway Museum and a ride on the lushly scenic Sagano Romantic Train.

The second week focuses on beautiful Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost island, and its new luxury rail star, the Seven Stars in Kyushu. We also have a trip on another Kyushu favorite, the SL Hitoyoshi steam train, which chugs along thescenic Kuma River at a time when the foliage should be spectacular.

Our guests from the 2016 tour told us that some of the tour’s treasures were unexpected: the lively drumming workshop, Hakone’s amazing outdoor art, the warm, unexpected reception of Americans by local Japanese at the Hiroshima museum and the quiet beauty of the shrine at Miyajima.

Fukuoka was grand, they told us. They also loved exploring Kyushu, overlooked by many Americans. Best of all, they said, was the sincere welcome they received at almost every stop by locals proud of their luxury train, their island and their country.

Latest News: Click here for owner Owen Hardy’s blog about his Japanese adventure on the Kyushu Seven Stars. Spoiler alert: He loved it!

Trans-Mongolian Express: The Naadam Festival

13-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Naadam is the big event in Mongolia—a lively national festival, held every year. Naadam means “three manly games.” Known as the world’s second-oldest Olympics, it celebrates what defined civilization in the steppes eight centuries ago—archery, wrestling and horse riding. The competitors in the riding events are all children aged between 5 and 12, many of whom have been in the saddle since the age of one. It is claimed that such equestrian skills won Genghis Khan an empire that stretched from the Sea of Japan all the way to Europe. Once a religious ceremony, the festival now formally commemorates the 1921 revolution when Mongolia declared itself a free country. This tour is a unique opportunity to be among the few non-Mongolians to experience this spectacular, colorful but little-known festival and soak up the exciting atmosphere of this national holiday. Our tour combines the Naadam Festival with an amazing overland journey from Moscow on board the Golden Eagle private luxury train.

Singapore-Bangkok Extended Tour: Fables of the Peninsula

7-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Fables of the Peninsula is a leisurely, luxury rail journey, where guests gain unique insights from local people, including sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur, the Highlands of Malaysia, Penang, and Hat Wanakon Beach. For more information about the Eastern & Oriental Express itself, please click here.

Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok by Luxury Train

2-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Journey on board the Eastern & Oriental Express from Kuala Lumpur to exciting Bangkok through the heart of South-East Asia. Visit royal Kuala Kangsar and the infamous River Kwai. Trip is also available in reverse direction.

Tibet and China Rail Discovery

12-day Escorted Tour
Asia
First-class

This intriguing rail journey through China begins in one of the world’s least known places: Lhasa, the mystical capital city of Tibet.

In the shadow of the Himalayas and known as the ‘Roof of the World’ due to its breathtaking average height of 13,200ft (4,060m) above sea level, Tibet is home to more Himalayan peaks than anywhere else in the world.

Mount Everest lies on its border with Nepal. As befits such a remarkable land, Lhasa is home to an amazing UNESCO collection of spectacular palaces and temples.

Tibet has been virtually inaccessible by land. That changed with the opening of the Golmud to Lhasa railway in 2006. More than 600 miles (965kms) is at an altitude of over 13,000ft (4,000m) and much of this magnificent line runs over permafrost.

With the summit, the Tanggula Pass, at 16,640ft (5,072m) it is also the world’s highest railway. To travel on this line is a true pioneering adventure, an experience as unique as the destination itself.

The Shangri-La Express, the best passenger rail experience in China, has been newly outfitted for the 2017 season with en-suite cabins. Read more about the Shangri-La Express here.

 

Persian Odyssey: Moscow-Tehran

18-Day Escorted Tour
Asia,Europe
Luxury

As rail tours go, experiencing Persia and the Silk Road on board the Golden Eagle is truly stunning. Combining one of the most important trading routes of ancient civilisation with the remarkable treasures of Persia, this unique journey takes in destinations that are rarely experienced by the Western visitor which makes it all the more special. These tours are operated by Australian Pacific Touring.