Discover ancient civilizations and enduring cultures on a journey by private jet, exploring centuries-old centers of trade, religion, and power, as you travel to the temples of Georgia and Thailand, the trading hubs of Samarkand and Hoi An, the glittering Arabian capitals of Oman or Qatar, and beyond.

Starting at: $149,950 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Valletta, Malta
 2024 departure
 2025 departure
 Tbilisi, Georgia
 Doha, Qatar (2025)
 Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
 The Registan complex, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
 Cupola of the Sher Dor Madrassah, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
 Shakhi-Zinda necropolis, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
 Wat Arun at twilight, Bangkok, Thailand
 The Grand Palace, Bangkok
 Statue at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok
 Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Bangkok, Thailand
 Amber Fort, Jaipur, India
 Amber Palace, Jaipur, India
 Amber Fort, Jaipur, India
 City Palace Museum, Jaipur, India
 Prayer flags at Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal
 Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal
 Durbar Square, Kathmandu
 Sculpture at the temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal
 Prayer wheels at Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal
 Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Paro, Bhutan
 Paro Dzong, Bhutan
 Riverfront at sunset, Hoi An, Vietnam
 The canals of Hoi An
 The Japanese Bridge at Hoi An
 My Son Sanctuary, near Hoi An
 Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman
 Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman
 Big Ben and Westminster Bridge, London, England

Ancient Crossroads by Private Jet

23 days from $149,950

Discover ancient civilizations and enduring cultures on a journey by private jet, exploring centuries-old centers of trade, religion, and power, as you travel to the temples of Georgia and Thailand, the trading hubs of Samarkand and Hoi An, the glittering Arabian capitals of Oman or Qatar, and beyond.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Experience a breathtaking sweep of history and culture as you journey to discover ancient civilizations and enduring cultures, exploring centuries-old centers of trade, religion, and power. From Malta’s megalithic temples to the gilded palaces of Thailand, discover magnificent monuments to religion, culture, and power that have endured through the centuries. Travel in the comfort of a custom-fitted Airbus A321, flying direct to remote destinations across Asia. Venture to the spiritual sites of Tbilisi and Kathmandu, the historic trading ports of Muscat (2024) or Doha (2025) and Hoi An, and the Silk Road capital of Samarkand, delving into the unique heritage of each destination alongside a Smithsonian Journeys Expert.

Highlights Include:

  • Malta: Explore the World Heritage site of Valletta on a walking tour and take in views of its golden-hued architecture on a harbor cruise. Explore the megalithic temples of Ggantija or Hagar Qim, trace history in ancient Mdina, and sample Maltese vintages at a local winery.
  • Georgia: Ride the funicular over the ancient city of Tbilisi and visit the Georgian National Ballet. Tour the World Heritage-listed Jvari Monastery in the ancient capital of Mtskheta. Then delve into an 8,000-year-old wine-making tradition and meet artisans at a cloisonné enamel studio.
  • Uzbekistan: Trace the history of the Silk Road among the majestic, mosaic-covered religious monuments of Samarkand, a World Heritage site and one of the oldest cities in the world.
  • Thailand: Cruise the Chao Phraya River through Bangkok, detouring into the klongs (canals) to witness local life. See the world’s largest reclining Buddha at Wat Po and the sacred Emerald Buddha, enjoy a culinary adventure, and experience the contemporary art scene.
  • Bhutan: Visit the fortress and monastery of Paro Dzong and delve into Bhutan’s timeless artistic traditions in Thimpu. Then opt for a strenuous hike to the iconic Tiger’s Nest monastery, perched on a cliffside high above the valley floor.
  • Nepal: Discover a wealth of World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley, exploring the palaces and temples of Bhaktapur and Patan, as well as the Hindu temple of Pashupatinath or the Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath.
  • India: (2024) Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Jaipur. Admire the intricate architecture of the Hawa Mahal and Amber Fort, visit the Jantar Mantar observatory, and gather for a festive dinner featuring music and a Rajasthani polo match.
  • Vietnam: In the World Heritage site of Hoi An, meander past traditional shophouses and French colonial buildings, travel through rice fields and rural villages, and visit the Cham ruins of My Son.
  • Oman or Qatar: (2024) Encounter the cultural gems of Muscat, Oman a fabled port city set between mountains and sea. Sail a dhow on the Gulf of Oman and get acquainted with local life in the desert outpost of Nizwa. (2025) Travel across towering sand dunes, explore bustling markets and marvel at the glittering skyline while in modern-day Doha, Qatar.

The jet tour is operated by TCS World Travel. The aircraft is operated by Titan Airways Limited.

2024 Itinerary

Day 1 — London, England

Arrive in London and transfer to your hotel overlooking Hyde Park. This evening, meet fellow travelers, trip staff, and your Smithsonian Journeys Expert for a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel. (R,D)

Day 2-4 — Valletta and Gozo, Malta

Your first flight by private jet brings you to the World Heritage site of Valletta, Malta’s capital city, set on a peninsula jutting out into a beautiful harbor. On a harbor cruise, take in views of the city’s golden-stone historic center, which was fortified by the Knights of Saint John in the 16th century. Then venture into town on a walking tour to get a closer view of its many Renaissance and baroque monuments, including the Grand Master’s Palace and St. John’s Co-Cathedral, home to Caravaggio’s famous work, The Beheading of St. John the Baptist. Admire the view from the Upper Baraka Gardens, and journey inland to the walled town of Mdina, a former capital that tells the story of 4,000 years of Maltese history—from the ancient Greeks and Romans to the Arabs and the Knights Templar.

The next day, take a short boat ride to the tiny island of Gozo for a full day tour that begins with the extraordinary temple at Ggantija, a World Heritage site comprised of megalithic structures that stand some 20 feet tall. In the town of Victoria, visit the hilltop citadel and the cathedral before lunch at a local restaurant. See the island’s salt pans and enjoy a leisurely afternoon cruise back to Valletta. Alternatively, tour the southern reaches of Malta, including two megalithic tombs also designated as World Heritage sites: Hagar Qim and Mnajdra. View the unusual Blue Grotto on the coast, and enjoy free time meandering through the fishing village of Marsaxlokk. In the afternoon, gather for a wine tasting and tour at the Ta’Betta Wine Estate. (B,L,D)

Day 5-6 — Tbilisi, Georgia

Poised at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, Georgia harbors a treasure trove of historic sites that reflect the many foreign influences that have passed through the Caucuses—from Silk Road merchants to the Soviet Empire. Ride the funicular over the ancient city of Tbilisi and explore its cobbled streets on a walking tour. Step behind the scenes at the Georgian National Ballet on a specially arranged tour, and trace 15 centuries of Georgian history at the city’s museums.

Venture to Mtskheta, the capital of Georgia from the second to the fifth century, scenically set at the confluence of two rivers. The city is now home to stunning examples of medieval religious architecture that have been collectively named a World Heritage site. Tour some of these grand monuments, including the beautifully preserved Jvari Monastery, perched on a hilltop high above the town since the sixth century. Delve into wine-making traditions that date back 8,000 years during a special wine tasting experience, and see how Georgian cloisonné enamel is crafted on a visit to the Ikorta Enamel Jewelry Studio. (B,L,D)

Day 7-8 — Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Your next flight brings you to the fabled city of Samarkand, once an important crossroads on the Silk Road. With evidence of human settlements dating back as far as 1500 BC, Samarkand is one of the oldest cities in the world. Stroll through Registan Square, flanked by majestic madrasas and mosques clad with luminous mosaics. Learn about the discoveries made at the Ulugh Beg Observatory and admire the exquisite interior of Gur-e-Amir, the ornate tomb of the medieval conqueror Timur, also known as Tamerlane. Then visit the enormous Bibi Khanum Mosque, built to honor Timur’s wife in the 15th century—and once the largest mosque in the Islamic world. Get a taste of Uzbekistan’s rich textile traditions on a visit to a workshop where silk carpets are woven. (B,L,D)

Day 9-11 — Bangkok, Thailand

Fly into bustling Bangkok and enjoy three days immersed in this city’s exuberant culture. Glide along the Chao Phraya River, which winds through the heart of Bangkok, cruising past historic temples and palaces, and detour into the klongs, or canals, for a fascinating look at local life. See the world’s largest reclining Buddha at Wat Po, then stroll through the dynamic Creative District, a once-forgotten corner of old Bangkok that has been transformed by street art, innovative businesses, and eclectic art galleries.

Experience the city’s exciting culinary scene from all sides, sampling everything from street food and local specialties in hole-in-the-wall joints to an inventive tasting menu at an acclaimed restaurant. You’ll also have the chance to learn how to make authentic Thai dishes during a cooking class. Venture into the Grand Royal Palace, the residence of the King of Siam from 1782 until the early 20th century. Inside the exquisite Wat Phra Kaew temple on the palace grounds, admire the mysterious Emerald Buddha—only 26 inches tall, but the most revered Buddha image in Thailand. (B,L,D)

Day 12-13 — The Kingdom of Bhutan

Travel by chartered jet to the Kingdom of Bhutan, where a rich and timeless culture endures among emerald valleys and snowcapped peaks. Arrive in Paro and head to the Rinpung Dzong, a spectacular example of Bhutanese architecture perched in the hills overlooking the Paro Valley. On an excursion to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital city, visit the Dechen Phodrang Monastery, a monastic school that houses 12th-century paintings and other important Bhutanese artifacts. At the National Textile Museum, learn about thangka weaving techniques, and see examples of locally made textiles and traditional dress. Return to Paro and take part in a range of activities or simply relax at your stunning hotel, a showpiece of Bhutanese craftsmanship set among lovely parklands. If you wish, hit the trails for a vigorous hike to Taktsang Palphug Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, built high on a cliffside more than 10,000 feet above sea level. (B,L,D)

Day 14 — Kathmandu, Nepal

Fly above soaring Himalayan peaks to colorful Kathmandu, where Buddhist and Hindu traditions have intermingled for centuries. Set out into the World Heritage-listed Kathmandu Valley to visit two ancient cities: in Patan, stroll the expansive Durbar Square, filled with temples, towering pagodas, and detailed brickwork; and in Bhaktapur, visit the Palace of 55 Windows, named for its beautiful wooden window frames, as well as the intricately carved Golden Gate. Then venture into the Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, dedicated to Shiva and built in the Nepalese pagoda style; or explore the iconic Boudhanath Stupa, where thousands of pilgrims gather daily. (B,L,D)

Day 15-16 — Jaipur, India

Our next stop is Jaipur, a planned city built as a royal capital in the 18th century. Home to numerous World Heritage sites, this so-called “Pink City” is known for its rose-hued buildings, painted pink in 1876 in preparation for the arrival of the Prince of Wales. Delve into the intriguing history of Rajasthan’s maharajas as you explore Jaipur’s architectural masterpieces, including the 16th-century Amber Fort and the City Palace, home to the royal family’s vast collection of textiles, costumes, armory, and miniature paintings. Visit Jantar Mantar, an open-air royal observatory created by Maharaja Jai Singh, and view the honeycombed façades of the Hawa Mahal, or the Palace of Winds. As the sun sets, gather for a festive evening of cocktails, folk music and a match of polo, considered the royal sport of Rajasthan. (B,L,D)

Day 17-19 — Hoi An, Vietnam

Fly to Hoi An, a World Heritage site located on the central coast of Vietnam. The exceptionally well-preserved old city was a thriving trading port from the 15th to the 19th century, and its buildings and street plan reflect a vibrant confluence of cultures. Meander down enchanting streets, exploring Chinese guildhalls and French colonial gems, teahouses and temples, and a stunning Japanese covered bridge. Just outside of town, encounter quintessential Vietnamese landscapes of brilliant rice fields dotted with traditional villages. During your stay in Hoi An, savor the region’s unique cuisine, which incorporates culinary traditions from across East and Southeast Asia. (B,L,D)

Day 20-21 — Muscat, Oman

Flanked by the Arabian Desert and the sea, the Sultanate of Oman was once a powerful maritime empire with a reach that stretched from China to East Africa. Discover the delightful capital city of Muscat, dominated by the rugged Al-Hajar Mountains and towering minarets. Tour Al Alam Palace, one of the six official residences of Oman’s ruling monarch, and visit the National Museum. Explore the ornate Grand Mosque, built to host up to 20,000 worshippers amid its gem-studded colonnades and marble courtyards. Step back in time in the labyrinthine Muttrah Souk, one of the oldest markets on the Arabian Peninsula. If you wish, take an excursion to historic Nizwa, where you’ll visit the impressive 17th-century Nizwa Fort; meander among silver and ceramics sellers in the souk; and sample Omani coffee, dates, and halwa—a traditional dessert. Conclude your visit with a tranquil cruise on a traditional Omani sailing dhow, enjoying beautiful views of Muscat and the rugged mountains and desert that surround it. (B,L,D)

Day 22 — Return to London, England

Board the private jet a final time for your flight to London. This evening, toast your journey to Asia’s cultural crossroads at a celebratory farewell dinner.

Day 23 — Depart for Home

Depart for the airport to connect to your commercial flight home.

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

2025 Itinerary

Day 1 — London, England

Arrive in London and transfer to your hotel overlooking Hyde Park. This evening, meet fellow travelers, trip staff, and your Smithsonian Journeys Expert for a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel. (R,D)

Day 2-4 — Tbilisi, Georgia

Poised at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, Georgia harbors a treasure trove of historic sites that reflect the many foreign influences that have passed through the Caucuses—from Silk Road merchants to the Soviet Empire. Ride the funicular over the ancient city of Tbilisi and explore its cobbled streets on a walking tour. Step behind the scenes at the Georgian National Ballet on a specially arranged tour, and trace 15 centuries of Georgian history at the city’s museums.

Venture to Mtskheta, the capital of Georgia from the second to the fifth century, scenically set at the confluence of two rivers. The city is now home to stunning examples of medieval religious architecture that have been collectively named a World Heritage site. Tour some of these grand monuments, including the beautifully preserved Jvari Monastery, perched on a hilltop high above the town since the sixth century. Delve into wine-making traditions that date back 8,000 years during a special wine tasting experience, and see how Georgian cloisonné enamel is crafted on a visit to the Ikorta Enamel Jewelry Studio. (B,L,D)

Day 5-6 — Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Your next flight brings you to the fabled city of Samarkand, once an important crossroads on the Silk Road. With evidence of human settlements dating back as far as 1500 BC, Samarkand is one of the oldest cities in the world. Stroll through Registan Square, flanked by majestic madrassahs and mosques clad with luminous mosaics. Learn about the discoveries made at the Ulugh Beg Observatory and admire the exquisite interior of Gur-e-Amir, the ornate tomb of the medieval conqueror Timur, also known as Tamerlane. Then visit the enormous Bibi Khanum Mosque, built to honor Timur’s wife in the 15th century—and once the largest mosque in the Islamic world. Get a taste of Uzbekistan’s rich textile traditions on a visit to a workshop where silk carpets are woven.(B,L,D)

Day 7-9 — Hoi An, Vietnam

Fly to Hoi An, a World Heritage site located on the central coast of Vietnam. The exceptionally well-preserved old city was a thriving trading port from the 15th to the 19th century, and its buildings and street plan reflect a vibrant confluence of cultures. Meander down enchanting streets, exploring Chinese guildhalls and French colonial gems, teahouses and temples, and a stunning Japanese covered bridge. Just outside of town, encounter quintessential Vietnamese landscapes of brilliant rice fields dotted with traditional villages. During your stay in Hoi An, savor the region’s unique cuisine, which incorporates culinary traditions from across East and Southeast Asia. (B,L,D)

Day 10-12 — Bangkok, Thailand

Fly into bustling Bangkok and enjoy two days immersed in this city’s exuberant culture. Glide along the Chao Phraya River, which winds through the heart of Bangkok, cruising past historic temples and palaces, and detour into the klongs, or canals, for a fascinating look at local life. See the world’s largest reclining Buddha at Wat Po, then stroll through the dynamic Creative District, a once-forgotten corner of old Bangkok that has been transformed by street art, innovative businesses, and eclectic art galleries.

Experience the city’s exciting culinary scene from all sides, sampling everything from street food and local specialties in hole-in-the-wall joints to an inventive tasting menu at an acclaimed restaurant. You’ll also have the chance to learn how to make authentic Thai dishes during a cooking class. Venture into the Grand Royal Palace, the residence of the King of Siam from 1782 until the early 20th century. Inside the exquisite Wat Phra Kaew temple on the palace grounds, admire the mysterious Emerald Buddha—only 26 inches tall, but the most revered Buddha image in Thailand. (B,L,D)

Day 13-15 — The Kingdom of Bhutan

Travel by chartered jet to the Kingdom of Bhutan, where a rich and timeless culture endures among emerald valleys and snowcapped peaks. Arrive in Paro and head to the Rinpung Dzong, a spectacular example of Bhutanese architecture perched in the hills overlooking the Paro Valley. On an excursion to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital city, visit the Dechen Phodrang Monastery, a monastic school that houses 12th-century paintings and other important Bhutanese artifacts. At the National Textile Museum, learn about thangka weaving techniques, and see examples of locally made textiles and traditional dress. Return to Paro and take part in a range of activities or simply relax at your stunning hotel, a showpiece of Bhutanese craftsmanship set among lovely parklands. If you wish, hit the trails for a vigorous hike to Taktsang Palphug Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, built high on a cliffside more than 10,000 feet above sea level. (B,L,D)

Day 16 — Kathmandu, Nepal

Fly above soaring Himalayan peaks to colorful Kathmandu, where Buddhist and Hindu traditions have intermingled for centuries. Set out into the World Heritage-listed Kathmandu Valley to visit two ancient cities: in Patan, stroll the expansive Durbar Square, filled with temples, towering pagodas, and detailed brickwork; and in Bhaktapur, visit the Palace of 55 Windows, named for its beautiful wooden window frames, as well as the intricately carved Golden Gate. Then venture into the Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, dedicated to Shiva and built in the Nepalese pagoda style; or explore the iconic Boudhanath Stupa, where thousands of pilgrims gather daily. (B,L,D)

Day 17-18 — Doha, Qatar

A rising star in the Middle East, Qatar holds a reputation as a hub of art and culture. Embark on a journey through Doha, the vibrant heart of the country. Tour of Souq Waqif, a bustling market dating back to the 19th century, thoughtfully refurbished to preserve its timeless charm. Meander through an intricate maze of shopping stalls, where local vendors and artisans showcase an array of products. Then explore the National Museum of Qatar, an architectural masterpiece by French architect Jean Nouvel, celebrating Qatar's heritage and future. Exhibits span the desert's natural history, Bedouin artifacts, tribal wars, state establishment, and the oil era. Step aboard four-wheel drive vehicles and travel across towering sand dunes that stretch to the shores of the Inland Sea (Khor Al Adaid), a UNESCO World Heritage site and pristine natural reserve,  one of only three places in the world where desert dunes converge with the ocean. Sail aboard an authentic dhow through the tranquil waters of West Bay for an enchanting perspective of the city's glittering skyline.

Day 19-21 — Valletta, Malta

The private jet brings you to the World Heritage site of Valletta, Malta’s capital city, set on a peninsula jutting out into a beautiful harbor. On a harbor cruise, take in views of the city’s golden-stone historic center, which was fortified by the Knights of Saint John in the 16th century. Then venture into town on a walking tour to get a closer view of its many Renaissance and baroque monuments, including the Grand Master’s Palace and St. John’s Co-Cathedral, home to Caravaggio’s famous work, The Beheading of St. John the Baptist. Admire the view from the Upper Baraka Gardens, and journey inland to the walled town of Mdina, a former capital that tells the story of 4,000 years of Maltese history—from the ancient Greeks and Romans to the Arabs and the Knights Templar.

The next day, take a short boat ride to the tiny island of Gozo for a full day tour that begins with the extraordinary temple at Ggantija, a World Heritage site comprised of megalithic structures that stand some 20 feet tall. In the town of Victoria, visit the hilltop citadel and the cathedral before lunch at a local restaurant. See the island’s salt pans and enjoy a leisurely afternoon cruise back to Valletta. Alternatively, tour the southern reaches of Malta, including two megalithic tombs also designated as World Heritage sites: Hagar Qim and Mnajdra. View the unusual Blue Grotto on the coast, and enjoy free time meandering through the fishing village of Marsaxlokk. In the afternoon, gather for a wine tasting and tour at the Ta’Betta Wine Estate. (B,L,D)

Day 22 — Return to London, England

Board the private jet a final time for your flight to London. This evening, toast your journey to the Middle East and Asia’s cultural crossroads at a celebratory farewell dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 23 — Depart for Home

Depart for the airport to connect to your commercial flight home.

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

Related Tours