We cover lots of ways to get around, but sometimes just ‘getting around’ won’t cut it, and plane journeys are just a bit too fast. If you yearn for a life where butlers bring you cocktails, while captivatingly landscapes roll by- through the oversized window of your own private train cabin, this is definitely the post for you. A few companies have put their seal on the ultra luxe train journey, and if you’re in the market, the only question is which one first?
Belmond Royal Scotsman
With a mere 40 guests on board, this is one fascinatingly intimate way to travel through picturesque Scottish landscapes, and into the heart of the Highlands. Whether you’re in for golf courses, distilleries, castles or natural wonders, you can create your own perfect a la carte train journey, taking in as much or as little of each Scottish gem. Whatever your pleasure, you’ll return each day to your own luxurious cabin, perhaps after a quick stint in the onboard spa. As if that’s not exciting enough, there’s world class dining, featuring international favorites alongside Scottish flare for the duration of the journey. Kilts optional. Yum!
Suite Shiki-Shima, Japan
Location: Eastern Japan.
This just has to be one of the coolest trains ever made! The brand new train features 17 highly sought after suites, so if you want in, you’ll need to quickly fill out an application for the first available spots next year. Carriages are stunning and sleek, with everything you could dream of from modern Japanese design, notably including two observatory carriages at the front and rear of the train with floor to ceiling glass walls, allowing you to sit and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Eastern Japan. On a journey like this, anything short of exceptional food would be a disappointment – so world famous chef Katsuhiro Nakamura, who happens to be Japan’s first Michelin starred chef, will be onboard to ensure nothing butunforgettable, seasonal dishes, cooked to perfection.
The Ghan, Great Southern Rail
Deep in the heart of Australia, the Ghan is your first class-front row ticket to rolling landscapes, exquisite views and five star service. This is a truly remarkable way to see parts of the country normally unseen on any standard holiday; while experiencing the unique majesty of a luxury train journey. There’s a perfect balance of relaxation and adventure on each journey with one offering taking guests to the beautiful coastal city, Adelaide, and up to Darwin. Along the way, guests can stop for camel rides or hikes to explore the ancient beauties of the Northern Territory. Hey, you’ve gotta do something to burn off all the onboard fine dining. Adelaide to Darwin (or vice-versa) takes three days and two nights and is available all year round.
Belmond Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
Location: Western Europe
As if going to Paris or Venice isn’t romantic enough, doing it in iconic style aboard an elegant luxury sleeper train may just tip your journey into Hollywood blockbuster territory. Roll through beautiful European scenery whilst enjoying stunning interior features, plush fabrics and seemingly endless style throughout every carriage. There are three restaurant and bar cars, each with their own unique setting, as well as a champagne bar for anyone hoping to add a little effervescence to the fairytale. If a little peace and quiet is what you fancy, fear not, all guests have stunning private cabins with a steward attending to all needs. The train has many European routes, passing through all the greatest destinations, including Paris and Venice – so the hardest part is picking where you want to go, and how to pay for it.
Rocky Mountaineer, Canada
Location: Northwest North America
What better way to see the Canadian Rockies than taking a train offering untapped access to the most outrageous natural habitats unreachable by car? Better yet, make it a luxury train, with packages that can be tailored to all your needs and social media goals, with a balance of adventure, excitement and relaxation. Now we’re talking. Seattle, Vancouver, Whistler, Banff, Lake Louise, are all possible on this peak filled journey, so why not just do it all?! For any oenophiles out there, The Rocky Mountaineer also happens to offer one of the most impressive collections of British Columbia wine, the perfect accompaniment to a beautiful meal. That is if you can stop looking out the window to notice…
Twilight Express Mizukaze, Japan
Location: Western Japan
It’s literally impossible to imagine a more pleasurable journey through Western Japan. Flights and hotels just can’t compare. With Art Deco inspired interiors and iconic green exterior to blend into the natural landscapes, the Twilight Express Mizukaze is itself a piece of refined art. There’s at least one sightseeing stop per day, and you can enjoy the bountiful dreamy landscapes in between from your choice of observation cars-at either end of the train, or the observation deck offering fresh air, and of course a breeze. The train holds approximately 30 guests and for any high rollers out there, even has one off-the-charts suite that takes up one entire carriage! If it happens to be sold out, don’t worry.. the other guest rooms are all pretty swanky too!
Rovos Rail, South Africa
Location: Namibia, South Africa
With a number of epic journey options, this is a unique, and truly grand way to explore parts of Africa. Just picture yourself relaxing in a full scale bath as you wind along the vista filled tracks, watching wildlife at its finest. Sold. Depending on your desires you can see Cape Town, Victoria Falls and Swakopmund, and if you want to go all in, you can see much more. And don’t let anyone tell you it’s just for animal lovers. They do golf safaris too. Using fresh local ingredients, such as wild game not found anywhere else, the food onboard is remarkable. Just don’t forget to pack some fancy clothing to go with the safari gear, a journey this sophisticated requires a dress code.
Belmond Hiram Bingham
If you haven’t already been to Machu Picchu, then it’s undoubtedly looming somewhere high on your bucket list. When you finally get around to going, there’s without a doubt – no better way of getting there than aboard the legendary Belmond Hiram Bingham. Carrying up to 84 passengers, the experience centers around two dining cars where guests can rejoice in an exceptional brunch and subsequent dinner, all created from scratch by the onboard chef. For a little more entertainment, groove along to the bar car where you can sip a cocktail and listento live music. For less noise and mesmerizing views, hit the observation car to take in the beautiful Peruvian landscape as your winding trek takes you upward.
The Golden Eagle
Location: Russia and beyond…
Offering a large number of journeys of different lengths to multiple destinations, this is a wonderful way to travel and explore some amazing parts of the world. We say multiple parts, because these journeys can be seriously long. Have you heard of the Trans-Siberian express? Yes, they do that one. The itineraries are perfectly designed so you can take in memorable and sometimes truly remote places in comfort and style, many of which leave you no choice but to disconnect from the outside world (since they don’t have any reception). The well-known Trans-Siberian Express, travels between East and West Russia, where you pass over the striking Urals and along the shore of the world’s largest freshwater lake. Whichever journey you choose to take it will be unforgettable!
Belmond Grand Hibernian, Ireland
Location: Ireland, Northern Ireland
The breathtaking countrysides of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are a lifelong delight however you experience them, but let’s be real, taking them in via private- en suite cabin aboard a first class train is tops. The journey through the Emerald Isle departs from Dublin, and carriages happen to coincidentally be inspired by the architecture of it’s originating city. You can do a two, four or six night trip taking in ancient castles, spirited, lively cities and of course, famous whiskies along the way. Between notable daily excursions, guests can enjoy refined food and beverage choices- with oversized windows of the rolling hills and wonders of the countryside.