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11 of our favourite luxury train journeys

There has been a renaissance of luxury train journeys around the world. Classic trains that hark back to a time when travelling by rail was a glamorous affair. Imagine carriages where people dress to impress and mingle with like-minded passengers. We sat down with our Travel Specialists to talk to them about their favourite train journeys, see which ones made the list! Slow down, unplug and get ready to experience something quite magical.

Golden Eagle-The Silk Road

Feel as though you have stepped back in time with a westbound journey on one of the most important trading routes of ancient civilisation, The Silk Road. Travelled by silk and tea merchants for centuries, the railway line is steeped in history and has influenced the culture of every town it traverses. Beginning in the sprawling city of Beijing, you will creep across the stunning landscape and pass through 14 cities before finally arriving in Moscow. Travel in style on the Golden Eagle train which features spacious cabins furnished with art deco style embellishments. The journey takes 21 days which are spent, enjoying fine dining in the restaurant car, enjoying the views from your cabin, or heading out on an excursion at one of the designated stops.

Golden Eagle-Trans-Siberian Express

Said to be the world’s greatest railway journey, the Trans-Siberian Express cuts through the landscape connecting east to west in the world’s largest country. State of the art facilities on board include ensuite bathrooms, live piano and a fantastic bar car that stays open until the last person leaves. Explore Russian specialties in the dining car, which has a convivial atmosphere and casual dress code contrasting the luxurious setting. Begin your journey in Vladivostok, a fascinating military port which was first opened to tourists in 1992. After 14 days travelling through iconic Russian cities, disembark in Moscow and enjoy a one-night stay in the stylish Four Seasons Hotel Moscow.

Deccan Odyssey-Darjeeling Mail

Board the Deccan Odyssey for a magical journey across Northern India. Experience the bustling chaos of Delhi, the iconic Taj Mahal, and take in breathtaking views of the sacred Varanasi Ganges. The interiors are reminiscent of colonial-era India with intricate patterns and bright colours. Try traditional Indian cuisine in the restaurant car, or exotic cocktails in the bar before retiring to your spacious cabin. Try out the spa car and indulge in a massage, visit the hair salon or unwind in the sauna. Your journey will begin in Mumbai with a two-night stay at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel. Then, embark on a 14-day cultural voyage which will fascinate and delight with the array of cuisines, languages and religions there are to experience.

Rovos Rail – Pretoria to Cape Town

Experience the ever-changing landscape of South Africa on this 1600-kilometre route from Pretoria to Cape Town. You will be transfixed by the lush green winelands contrasted with the barren lands of Great Karoo. The African answer to the Orient Express, the train encompasses the timeless grace and romance of African exploration. On board, cosy armchairs, ambient lighting and rich gold fabrics give the train a true feeling of luxury. For dinner, dress to impress! Formal wear is required in the dining car. Every meal is accompanied by full bodied South African wines. Highlights of this adventure include a stop off at the diamond mine museum in Kimberley and a visit to Matjiesfontein, a perfectly preserved Victorian village.

Rovos Rail - Lobito Dar es Salaam

Boarding at Lobito, Angola, embark on a 15-day journey that joins the Atlantic and Indian oceans. This passage is new to the Rovos Rail portfolio and has been highly anticipated. It will be the first time a passenger train has traversed the east-west copper trail. The beauty of the 20th-century carriages is reflected in the glamourous furnishings. Bask in the nostalgia of a bygone era whilst enjoying modern luxuries such as a unique open-air balcony to the rear of the train. The dining cars are reminiscent of a time gone by with wood carved pillars and roof supports giving the illusion of a larger space. As you pass through Tanzania, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, various excursions will help you stretch your legs.

Belmond Andean Explorer

Embarking from the historic city of Cusco, the Andean Explorer will take you on a jam-packed journey through the Andes. The stunning blue train is modern and bright inside with spacious cabins and a chic colour palette. This is one of few luxury trains to take a modern approach in its décor and the effect is stunning. Each cabin is designed to ensure your optimal comfort. Inbuilt oxygen supplies remove the risk of altitude sickness and the hand-woven soft furnishings will ensure a cosy and restful sleep. Over three days you will tour Inca sites, Lake Titicaca and the Sumbay caves before finishing up in Arequipa. The train journey covers a vast portion of the Peruvian landscape and is the perfect opportunity for keen travellers to soak up some authentic culture and scenery.

Belmond Hiram Bingham

Enjoy 1920’s luxury and celebrate the thrill of early exploration with a trip on the Belmond Hiram Bingham train. This journey includes a welcome performance of traditional dance on board the train, VIP access at Machu Picchu station and entrance to the Citadel. Inside the train, guests can relax in the beautiful old-world train cars. Antique fittings combined with modern accents are nostalgic, without feeling antiquated. Feel energised by a gourmet lunch served on board, followed by a Peruvian cocktail in the bar car. On the return route, a delicious four-course dinner will be served in the elegant dining car, and you will have time to enjoy the views of the landscape from a different perspective.

Maharajas’ Express – The Heritage of India

Beginning in Mumbai, this six-day journey will take passengers through India’s most important cultural sites. No expense has been spared and each train car comes equipped with its own butler. The suites are generally more spacious than other luxury trains too meaning the time spent in your cabin will be as comfortable as possible. Deep red tones and gold accents in the furnishings reflect classic Indian style. Even the staff on board are decked out in traditional gold and red livery. On your final night, there will be an “Indian Evening” on board with traditional entertainment and music followed by a special dinner, before your journey comes to an end the following day.

Seven Stars Kyushu – Japan

This railway journey will allow passengers to experience five of Kyushu’s key districts over the course of four days. As well as exciting stops and excursions, passengers can learn about Japanese culture on board the train with a Kunisaki Shichitoi Rush experience, whereby native grass reeds are used to weave tatami mats by hand. The sleeper train brings together the best of Japanese cuisine and hospitality. Fine Japanese cuisine is served in the dining car each day, accompanied by live music in the evenings to keep you entertained. A highlight of the trip is a one-night stay at a traditional Japanese Inn, called a ryokan. A dip in the nearby hot spring is the perfect way to unwind before continuing your journey.

Belmond - The Eastern & Oriental Express

The Eastern & Oriental Express is one of the world's greatest train journeys. It runs through the lush beauty of the Malay Peninsula, from Bangkok to Thailand, then into Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Combining adventure, culture and relaxation, admire the outstanding natural beauty of southeast Asia. Take a seat in the viewing carriage in the afternoons and be amazed by the ever-changing scenery. In the dining car, guests can experience classic dishes designed by world renowned chefs followed by an evening of live music and dancing in the piano bar. Make sure to dress the part in order to fit in with your glamourous surroundings!

The Venice Simplon Orient Express

A journey on the iconic Venice Simplon Orient Express (VSOE) is a once in a lifetime experience. This legendary train was immortalised by Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. The train oozes old-world luxury, from polished art deco woodwork to Lalique glassware. Fine French cuisine is served by liveried stewards, and the Alps provide a beautiful backdrop. You’ll be transported not only from Paris to Verona but also back in time on this glamorous set of carriages. Prepare to indulge in artisan cuisine curated and prepared by Executive Chef Christian Bodiguel. After dinner, retire to the bar car for a nightcap. Bar 3674 is the social hub of the train; here you’ll find signature cocktails and guests sipping their drinks well into the wee hours.


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