Relive the golden era of rail travel with these elegant train travel experiences where one can meet fellow travellers for a cocktail, delight in the ever changing scenery and enjoy some delicious fare.
1. Maharajas’ Express
Custom built to fit the title of India’s most luxurious train, all cabins on board the Maharaja have panoramic windows, widescreen TVs, wifi access, individual temperature controls and en suite bathrooms. The Presidential Suite, however, is in a league of its own, comprising a full carriage of the train. It’s currently the largest suite available on any train in the world.
2. The Venice Simplon Orient-Express
Restored from vintage 1920’s cars, this luxury train was made famous by Agatha Christie. Still running on its legendary route from Paris to Istanbul, additional trips have also been added to include Venice, Krakow, Prague and Paris.
3. Golden Eagle
Launched in 2007, the Golden Eagle takes the famous Trans-Siberian route between Moscow and Vladivostok, as well as special tours of the Silk Road, Russia’s Arctic and the Caspian. Though its standard rooms are spacious and come with en suite, you’ll want to splash out on an Imperial Suite – a 120 sq ft space with a king-size bed and lounge area.
4. Royal Scotsman
Perfect for food enthusiasts and those who want a more intimate trip, the famous Scotsman carries just 36 passengers, departing from Scotland’s bonnie capital, Edinburgh. Once on board you’ll be treated to five-star dining with wine-pairing as you admire the pine-covered peaks and awe-inspiring lochs of the Scottish Highlands.
5. Gran Lujo
This luxury service traverses Northern Spain and allows for just 28 passengers to travel at once. It contains only Preferente Suites which span half a train carriage each. Every suite has a double bed, long sofa, flat-screen TV and a computer for personal use.
6. Blue Train
The world renowned Blue Train runs eight times a month between Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa. Everyone from royalty to presidents have enjoyed the sweeping landscapes from this 5-star hotel on wheels.
7. The Canadian
Running between Toronto and Vancouver thrice a week, the Canadian has only this year launched its exclusive Prestige Class. Though it provides guests with a large bedroom, en suite bathroom, TV, unlimited alcohol and 24-hour butler service, one of the biggest draws on board is the exclusive access to its great glass dome cars.
8. Hiram Bingham
By far the slickest way to travel to Peru’s Machu Picchu, the Hiram Bingham provides the perfect South American day trip. After complimentary aperitifs, guests are treated to a traditional brunch, Peruvian wines, on board entertainment, tourist guides and a gourmet dinner.
Another South African rail service with a difference, Rovos Rail takes numerous exciting routes from the comfort of timeless wood-panelled coaches. Expect nothing less than five-star service, cuisine and amenities. Their Pretoria to Durban safari is an unforgettable three-day quest through the heart of Africa, where you will see savannah, grasslands, traditional Zulu lifestyles and of course the Big Five.
10. Royal Canadian Pacific
Step back in time to an era of bygone luxury as you gaze upon breathtaking Canadian landscape. Royal Canadian Pacific’s seven-day Rockies roundtrip from Calgary carries you through some of the world’s most rugged and spectacular terrain. The luxury rail company has also partnered with the country’s most elite tourist experiences, so why not throw in a helicopter trip on your final day for a different perspective?