The Top 10 Luxury Train Journeys in the World (2011)
‘Trains are wonderful… to travel by train is to see nature and human beings, towns… and rivers, in fact, to see life’ ~ Agatha Christie
Luxury trains evoke a sense of grandeur and elegance. It’s like going back in time and rediscovering the romance of graceful traveling. The luxury trains around the world are designed to recreate the panache of a bygone era.
Suffused with nostalgia and equipped with state of the art amenities that technology can provide, these plush trains are like moving 5 star hotels in wheels characterized by gourmet dining, bar and lounges, observation car, in suite bathrooms and nowadays even spa, business center and Wi-Fi internet facility on board.
Gracious hospitality and tastefully crafted itinerary crisscrossing through spectacular and illuminating destinations are forte of almost every luxury trains in the world.
Here’s a list of the top 10 luxury rail journeys in the world (2011) which redefines the art of elegant traveling in sheer elegance.
- Venice Simplon Orient Express
- Palace on Wheels
- Royal Scotsman
- Maharajas Express
- Blue Train
- Rocky Mountaineer
- Eastern and Oriental Express
- The Silk Road: Trans Siberian Express
- Hiram Bingham Express
- Rovos Rail: Pride of Africa
Venice Simplon Orient Express
“The train against which all other luxury trains are measured”, Venice-Simplon has an almost legendary reputation when it comes to luxury train traveling around the world. Immortalized in the Agatha Christie’s mystery Murder in the Orient Express, VSOE is the oldest operating luxury train in the world offering journeys to some of the most distinguished destinations in Europe including Paris, Venice, Istanbul and Bucharest. Traversing across destinations in Europe, chugging along some of the most awe-inspiring vistas, Venice-Simplon offers world’s finest traveling experience – a journey which can be treasured in a succession of extraordinary moments etched in your memory for lifetime.
Most of the carriages are from original stock, refurbished and restored to their recreate old splendor while offering contemporary pampering to the guests. Characterized by the Victorian elegance and art deco furnishings, Venice Simplon lets you rediscover the romance of elegant traveling. Credited with inventing indulgence in train journeys, Venice-Simplon with its tastefully stored interiors, gourmet dining in refined restaurants and bar, observation lounge with library to offer perfect nonchalance and above all impeccable hospitality definitely stays at the very top of any list which concerns top luxury rail journeys in the world.
Palace on Wheels
Designed to recreate the elegance and refinement of the personal carriages of erstwhile Maharajas of Rajasthan, Palace on Wheels gives you a real taste of traveling like royalty. One of the most luxurious way to travel one of the most vibrant and colorful state of India, Rajasthan, Palace on Wheels has the honor of India’s first luxury train.
The train takes you through some of the most spectacular destinations in Rajasthan including Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur. Behold the Kaleidoscope of Rajasthan as the Palace on Wheels chugs along some of the most royal destinations in Rajasthan sprinkled with resplendent forts and breathtaking palaces of maharajas of a bygone era.
Witness the lushness and vivid fascination of the Scottish Highlands and lochs in one of the most expensive and luxurious train rides in the World. The Royal Scotsman passes through some dazzling scenery and one cannot but regale as one witness the landscape spool by like illuminating scroll weaving a tapestry which is at once mesmerizing and sublime.
Royal Scotsman offer 4 day journey and dining facilities are available on board. Interiors with their quaint décor and contemporary amenity seamlessly blend the classical elegance with modern panache. This ride does deserve to feature right at the top of any list featuring best luxury train journeys of the world.
Catering to the seekers of luxury and indulgence Maharajas Express arrives at a new station every morning for off-rail excursions which may include visit to monuments, heritage sites, shopping, royal dining at palaces and courtyard of mighty forts and spa session at palace hotels.
The eight-day Mumbai to Delhi trip crisscrosses through the western part of the country (Mumbai) with sightseeing halts at Vadodara, Udaipur palaces, an elephant polo match near Jaipur and a tiger safari through Ranthambore National Park.
Passengers aboard the seven-day Delhi-to-Delhi trip visit dozens of sites in eastern and central India including the temples of Khajuraho, the tigers at Bandhavgarh National Park and the sacred ghats of the Ganges River in Varanasi. All three itineraries – two from Delhi – begin or end with a visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra.
Considered to be a 5 star hotel on wheels and winner of several coveted award in its category, Blue Train is one of the most revered luxury trains in the world. A favorite of royalties and state dignitaries, this luxury train in Africa takes you on a mesmerizing journey crisscrossing some of the most scenic locales and celebrated destination.
Equipped with contemporary amenities which include dining cars, bar, lounge and pampering sleeping cabins, Blue train is synonymous with ultimate luxury and impeccable hospitality. Facilities such as finest bed linen, marble tiles and gold fittings in the bathrooms and absolute lavishness, all ensure that guests will never forget the time they spend on The Blue Train. Each compartment has its own bathroom, air conditioning, television and service with one press of a button.
The Rocky Mountains offer some of the most rugged terrain in North America operating in 4 different routes – three rail journeys into the Canadian Rockies and one spectacular 3 1/2 hour train excursion, formerly known as Whistler Mountaineer, from Vancouver to Whistler.
The journey onboard this plush tourist train offers an unmatchable experience of soaking up in sight of some of the most sublime landscapes, snowcapped mountains, waterfalls, ancient glaciers and densely vegetated forests. Rocky Mountaineer offers over 45 unique train vacation packages ranging from 25 to 2 days on four distinctive rail routes.
Eastern and Oriental Express
One of the most gracious and elegant trains in entire South East Asia, Eastern & Oriental Express luxury trip goes from Singapore to Bangkok, through tropical forests that are lush and beautiful. The train is stylish, modern and ultra-comfortable coming from the stock of legendry Orient Express. The guests are promised a regaling time as this luxury train journey chugs along through some richly vegetated rainforests, rolling mountains, lush fields and gardens, a wine testing session and past archaic temples.
The Eastern & Oriental Express runs between Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and Hua Lamphong, Bangkok, halting at Kuala Lumpur Sentral, Butterworth and Kanchanaburi, and lasts for 3 days and 2 nights. Enjoy gourmet dining, cocktails in the open-air observation car and special local entertainment as your adventure unfolds.
The Silk Road: Trans Siberian Express
Follow in the footstep of Marco Polo, one of the most ancient and historic trade routes in the world through Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and China. The Trans Siberian Express’ Silk Road journey is mother of all luxury journeys lasting 21 days starting from $19,495 per person. The Silk Route journey is one of the most loved journeys offering a fascinating experience like no other luxury trains in the world. Traversing some of the most picturesque and diverse landscapes, lakes, mountains, and geographical regions, the Silk Road journey Trans Siberian Express is unarguably one of the most diverse and awe inspiring rail journeys in the world.
From historic monuments to world’s largest freshwater lake; from snowcapped mountains to undulating sand dunes and from modern wonders to magnificent architectural heritage structures, the journey is as diverse and enriching as it gets. State of the art amenities, sumptuous dining & wining, recreation and leisure and impeccable hospitality ensures that you get optimal pampering inside the elegantly decorated and period furnished interiors of the Trans Siberian Express.
Hiram Bingham Express
The luxury train journey on board Hiram Bingham Express is one of the shortest luxury rail journeys in one of the shortest luxury trains in the world. So is it worth it? Beginning its ethereal sojourn from Cuzco to the legendary Incan settlement of Machu Picchu, the train passes some of the most spectacular landscapes rolling through verdant mountains, valleys and densely vegetated forests.
A taste of high class luxury and a unique window to witness the best of Peru, Hiram Bingham Express with its dining cars, bar and panoramic windows, is a worthy candidate of top 10 luxury trains in the world. Stunning sights of Andean landscapes rarified mystique of Machu Picchu, gourmet dining and guided tour, more than makes up for this shortest luxury rail journeys in the world.
Rovos Rail: Pride of Africa
Edwardian period furnishing, quaint décor and all the comforts that money can buy and technology can offer, Rovos Rail is definitely one of the top luxury trains in the world offering journeys lasting from 24 hours to up to 2 weeks across some of the most spectacular and vivid destinations in Africa – from Cape Town, at the tip of Africa, to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, from the game reserves of Mpumalanga to the Victoria Falls, from the desert landscapes in Namibia and the stark beauty of the Karoo to the lush cane fields of KwaZulu-Natal and the magnificent Garden Route along the Cape south coast.
Pride of Africa offered by the Rovos Rail is for the most part a nature trip, exploring the majesty and grandeur of the African Continent. On this once in a lifetime luxury train tour, you will travel through Cape Town, Pretoria, Kimberley and Kruger National Park, among other stops. Since the stay is mostly on board, the use of traditional furnishings and period décor ensure an atmosphere of elegance and grandeur in the Dining, Lounge and Observation cars.