Silk Road by Private Air with Dr. Keelan Overton

Trace the path of explorers and emperors on this customized private air program. Begin appropriately in Venice, Marco Polo’s home where many caravans originated; visit a plethora of UNESCO World Heritage sites that were important stops along Silk Road routes in Georgia, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan; and conclude in Istanbul, terminus for many Silk Road caravans.

Travelling by private aircraft allows us to maximize the time spent at key points of interest and fabled outposts along the ancient Silk Road. Other than the one-night stay in Mary to allow a visit to the incredible archaeological site of Merv—an important stop on the Silk Road for over 2,000 years—other stopovers are all two to three nights to provide ample time in each important place. We’ll travel aboard a Canadian-built De Havilland Dash 8-400, the world’s most advanced turboprop, significantly more efficient than an aircraft with jet engines.

The tour visits Venice, Tbilisi, Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Ashgabat, Merv and Istanbul. Highlights of this incredible tour include the following:​

  • Visit to Marco Polo’s House in Venice

  • Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Jvari Monastery and Svetitskhoveli in Georgia

  • Premium Georgian Wine making experience

  • Meet with Akmal Nur, President of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan (if available)

  • In the Khasti Imam complex meet with Dr Farrukh Khudoyberdiev, the keeper of the Koran of Caliph Osman, one of the most important relics of Uzbek Muslims

  • Hands-on ceramic workshop

  • Marvel at Registan Square, Samarkand

  • Learn about the once lost technique of creating Samarkand silk paper which has been restored in a sustainable manufacturing method

  • Cocktails and a performance by the National Instruments Academic Orchestra in Registan Square

  • Sights of Bukhara, including the Ark Citadel

  • Ichan Kala, the walled inner town of Khiva

  • Old Nisa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Turkmenistan

  • The ancient Silk Road site of Merv, Turkmenistan

  • Topkapi, Agia Sophia and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

  • Dervish performance and cocktails in a Private Cistern

Carbon-neutral: Our tour operator will be purchasing carbon offsets to neutralize the impact of greenhouse gasses that are emitted as a result of operating this Silk Road Cities by Private Air program, with the proceeds helping to fund thoughtfully vetted environmental projects around the world.

This luxury tour offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to follow the Silk Road with Dr. Keelan Overton, expert local guides, private transportation, and top notch accomodations.

Accepting Early Interest. Email to express early interest.

Tour Guide

Dr. Keelan Overton

Dr. Keelan Overton

Keelan Overton (PhD, UCLA, 2011) is a historian of Islamic art and architecture specializing in the eastern Islamic world. In 2020, she published the edited volume Iran and the Deccan: Persianate Art, Culture, and Talent in Circulation, 1400-1700 (Indiana University Press), and she is currently working on a global history of Persian tilework and curating an online exhibition on an Iranian shrine. For the last eight years, Keelan has been as an Independent Scholar based in Santa Barbara, where she divides her time between research, writing, teaching, and travel. She is currently teaching at UCLA and has also recently taught at UCSB and Pomona. Dr. Overton previously served as the Curator of Islamic Art at the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art (Shangri La) in Honolulu (2011-12) and as an Associate Curator in the Art of the Middle East department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2014-15)

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