We all in our lives have at least once traveled on train. Haven’t we. Also we consider those rail journeys to be most exhilarated ones. The joy of meeting new people on board, or finishing that novel before sun sets, or strolling down the alley of coaches, or spending days and nights in that cozy berth, or gazing at those country side landscapes for hours, or quest for the window seat, all of it is unmatchable. Now if that rail journey gets fused with luxury and all favorite destinations, the result has to be a dream vacation. Here we are with most luxurious rail rides across the world.
Venice Simplon Orient Express – Venice Simplon Orient Express is truly the father of Luxury travel from Golden Age. It was made famous by Agatha Christie novel ‘Murder on Orient Express’. The exquisite interior art and décor of Orient Express is going to leave you spell bounded. One of the popular journey route of the train is from London to Venice, and it costs around 3400 dollar per person one way.
The food served on Orient Express is in parallel to Michelin Star standards. You can expect Caviar and Champagne for breakfast. Though there is no such particular dress code, but you are expected to wear something classy like from the 1920’s. There is a strictly no to Jeans and t shirts, that is too casual for Orient Express. The train still runs on the legendary Paris to Istanbul route.
Earlier there were no showers in the train but recently they have made their way as an amenity. When on Orient Express you must be prepared to see the scenic beauty of Italian Dolomites, Swiss Alps and the french countryside. Be assured that this train is not for overnight sleep during journey, as you are expected to hit the train bar.
Golden Eagle – There is absolutely no better way to see Siberia from Moscow to Vladivostok, from West to East than through Golden Eagle Train. The train primarily operates its routes in Russia, Europe, Central Asia and China. Golden Eagle train also has a special feature that is known by the name of ‘Freedom of Choice’, which entitles the travelers to choose additional excursions apart from rail journey.
The journey in Golden Eagle Train on different routes can involve multiple nights, so you will have all the time to indulge in the scenic beauties. It defines lavishness with handcrafted décor, TVs in each room, Pianist, White and Gold Dining cars that live by their name. The bars won’t close till the last man down, and there are generous complimentary drinks for every traveler.
You can expect Russian and International cuisines for dining, including the Tsar’s platter and Caviar. The best thing about the Golden Eagle Trains is that it covers some of the most beautiful remote regions with untouched beauty. Some of the popular routes of Golden Eagle Trains are Silk Road Rail Tour, Trans Mongolian Express, and Trans Siberian Express.
Palace on Wheels –This one is a regal affair, bringing back the Royalty of princely Rajasthan. Stay like them, dine like them, feel like them is the overall experience. The journey includes stops at popular destinations, guided excursions, and sightseeing tours. The prominent regions that Palace on Wheels covers is the Capital Delhi, Royal Rajasthan, and Agra.
Palace of Wheels has been running since 1982, and the idea of Palace of Wheels was derived from the royal coaches that were designed for princely rulers and the Viceroy of India. The food served on Palace on Wheels is dominated by Rajasthani dishes or the inter continental dishes. The suites offered on Palace on Wheels are Emerald, and Diamond.
The two popular restaurants on the board are ‘The Maharaja’ and ‘The Maharani’. The train journey also includes guided excursions on popular stops. In total Palace of Wheels has 14 coaches, The cabins are equipped with modern facilities lkie Wifi, satellite TV and attached washrooms. The itinerary from Palace on Wheels is studded with all popular touristy spots.
Maharajas Express – It tops all of them to be the most luxurious one. It is another regal affair to make you feel like a Maharaja. Maharajas Express is the only train to have full train car as one Presidential Suite. It is operated by Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and has been running since 2010, and has already won many luxury train awards.
Some of the journeys that Maharajas Express provides go by the name of Indian Panorama, Indian Splendor, Heritage of India, Gems of India, Southern Jewels, and Southern Sojourn. Every journey covers different routes and different tourist destination. Every destination stop in the journey will also include least 1 to 3 excursions to the most touristy spots.
The entire train is made up of luxurious and spacious 23 coaches. Some of the amenities provided in the rooms are Wifi, LCD TVs, en-suite bathrooms, temperature controls, and electronic safes. The most luxurious one is Presidential suite which covers an entire coach. The lavish dining cars of the train are Rang Mahal and Mayur Mahal with some dine ware made by Swaroski.
Golden Chariot – It is another Indian Luxury Train that has itineraries across states of Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. There are three journeys that the Golden Chariot offers which go by the name of 6 Nights Jewels of the South, 6 Nights Pride of Karnataka, and 3 Nights Glimpses of Karnataka. It is operated by Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and has been running since 2008.
There are guided tours at all the destination spots. Some of the interiors feature ancient temple structures. Spa and Gym facilities along with Ayurveda are present on the board. The rooms are equipped with smart TV’s with subscription to services like Netflix. There are total of 44 guest cabins in the train, and there is an assistant with every cabin.
The carriages are named after the popular dynasties of Karnataka. There are two restaurants on the board which go by the name of Ruchi and Nalapaka. There is also a bar which goes by the name of Madira. The train also features performances by local artists during the journey of the train. The pricing for Golden Chariot starts from 2400 Dollars.
Deccan Odyssey – This Indian Beauty has itineraries covering Rajasthan, Gujarat, Nashik, Hyderabad, and Kokan Cities. Deccan Odyssey is owned by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC). It has been operational since 2004. The popularity and design aesthetics of Deccan Odyssey has also earned it a nickname of ‘Blue Limousine on Wheels’.
The Deccan Odyssey primarily offers four journey routes which go by the name of Maharashtra Splendor, Indian Odyssey, Jewels of Deccan, Hidden treasures of Gujarat, Indian Sojourn, and Maharashtra Wild Train Journey. The destinations covered in the train journeys are different and also offer glimpses of UNESCO world heritage sites. The train consist of 21 luxurious coaches.
Some of the interiors of Deccan Odyssey are inspired by Southern Art. The Deccan Odyssey has two multi cuisine restaurants which go by the name of Peshwa I, and Peshwa II. Most of the dishes served are made using the Maharashtrian style. Shout out for Ladies that it also has an on board Spa car. The Deccan Odyssey also has an on board bar, and a sitting lounge.
Belmond Royal Scotsman – How about Scotland in your glass and eyes. Belmond Royal Scotsman is all about it. The base of Belmond Royal Scotsman is Edinburgh’s Waverley Station. The iconic Royal Scotsman on boards up to 40 passengers on its journey. This magnificent beauty is built of wooden décor, polished brass and fine fabrics.
It has an Observation car where you head on to spark a conversation with fellow passenger, and a Veranda to enjoy Scottish outback’s and sightseeing. Royal Scotsman offers 5 Star dining experience to its travelers. The starting price for a two night journey in Royal Scotsman is 3000 Dollars on wards. The Royal Scotsman has been operational since 1985.
The bar of Royal Scotsman includes more than 60 whiskies which are some of the finest from Scotland. The itineraries of Royal Scotsman includes some of the most popular touristy spots of Scotland, including the popular castles and some of the whisky distilleries. The Royal Scotsman offers on board live entertainment, and also has a Dior Spa.
Eastern & Oriental Express – This Asian beauty runs through Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. The journey from and back Singapore to Bangkok could not be more enthralling than that by Eastern and Oriental Express. The interiors of Eastern and Oriental Express are embellished with Jim Thompson Thai silk and cherry wood.
The journey from Singapore to Bangkok is a three night and 2 day tour, which includes all meals with 3 course lunch and 4 course dinner, complimentary drinks including house wines, guided excursions and local experiences. The journey in Eastern and Oriental Express includes passage through lush green forests and ancient temples. It also has an observatory car for the sight seeing.
There are different types of cabins offered by the Eastern and Oriental Express which goes by the name of Pullman Single, Pullman State and Presidential. The pricing for the journey starts from 3000 Dollars. In total there are 3 restaurant cabins in the Eastern and Oriental Express. They are decorated with floral motifs and furnished with rosewood.
Rocky Mountaineer – Rocky Mountaineer is a classic window into Canadian Rockies that now also include Seattle as a stop. The most popular route of Rocky Mountaineer is from Banff to Vancouver. The train ride happens during the day time to ensure that travelers are able to enjoy the scenic beauty of the country side.
There are two types of services that are available on Rocky Mountaineer which go by the name of Gold Leaf Service, and Silver Leaf Service. The panoramic views from the train journey are a lifetime treat. You can easily view the glacier fed lakes, lush green mountains, and the roaring rivers flowing by. Rocky Mountaineer offers five unique rail routes in total.
The pricing for Rocky Mountaineer journeys starts from 2000 Canadian Dollars. There are multi course meals that are served on the train paired with house wines. Rocky Mountaineer journeys also offer you opportunity to catch up wildlife. Hosts also offer storytelling like information or the history about a particular region, along with breakfast served to your seats.
Rovos of Africa – There isn’t a more luxurious means to unravel the beauty of Africa on a rail ride. The Rovos Rail has been operational since 1986. It is interesting to note that all the engines of the Rovos Rail trains are named after the daughters of the founder. In total there are three types of cabins in Rovos Rail which go by the name of Pullman Suites, Deluxe Suites and Royal Suites.
There deep wood paneling in the interiors of the Rovos Trains and has rich textured carpets spread along. The royal suites even include a Victorian era styled bath tubs while the other two suites come with showers. The journey of Rovos rails can last somewhere between 48 hours to even two weeks. It passes thru diamond mines, national parks and famous Kalahari Desert.
The popular journeys of the Rovos rails include, Cape Town Journey, Victoria Falls Journey, Durban Safari, Golf Safari, Namibian Safari and Dar es Salaam Journey. This Edwardian styled train serves the most tantalizing African cuisines, spread over a four course menu which comes along with house wines and cheese.
The Chepe – This Mexican rail ‘The Chepe’ is best known to preserve and portray the Raramuri culture. The most popular journey that Chepe offers is through the world popular copper canyon. The route is considered to be a Mexican engineering marvel because of its complexity. The cabins of Chepe offers scenic views of the valleys and ravines.
It has two classes of service, Primera Class and Clase Economica. The on board Urike Domo restaurant offers some of the finest local cuisines and flavors of the Raramuri Culture. There are porters on board to assist the guests. The train covers a journey through diverse landscapes and terrains, starting from the coastal regions to the mountains.
Chepe Express covers the journey from Creel to Los Mochis and making stops at Divisadero, El Fuerte. During the journey the passengers can make a stop at any five destinations and explore the beauty surrounding them. The experience of watching pass by the mesmerizing bridges and tunnels will be going to leave you spell bounded.
The Ghan – Best window to experience the out backs and interiors of Australia is by traveling through the Ghan. It runs from Adelaide to Darwin, and offers you the most scenic views of Australia while covering a track of almost 3000 kilometers. The Ghan has been in operation since 1929, and has changed the hands of operations couple of times.
The train is comprised of 30 coaches, and throughout the journey from Adelaide and Darwin, it offers two stops at Alice Springs and Katherine. At these stops you can indulge in some sightseeing and exploring the local beauty. The best part of the journey is that you get to explore contrasting terrains. The pricing of the journey through The Ghan starts from 2500 Australian dollars on wards.
The Ghan Expedition is a journey that lasts for 3 nights and four days. It has three classes of service Platinum, Gold and Red, with dedicated dining facilities. You can expect Australian cuisines such as Kangaroo fillet and the menu is designed keeping in Australian flavor in mind. The guided excursions are the best part about the Ghan.
Kyushu Seven Stars – Kyushu Seven Stars is rated as one of the most luxurious train rides. The train is based out of Kyushu Island in Japan, and will take you through seaside to mountains, through its journeys. Tickets for Kyushu Seven Stars are sold by lottery system due to huge demand and less available seats for the passengers.
Woodwork and textiles used in the Kyushu Seven Stars are all from Japanese tradition. The passengers can choose from the 1 of the 12 standard suites, or 1 of 2 Deluxe suites. The Jupiter Dining coach of the train boasts of some of the best Local cuisines, while the Blue Moon Lounge Car offers bar service with some of the finest wines and local beverages.
There are two journeys that the Kyushu Seven Stars offers which come with a four day itinerary and two days itinerary. The pricing for journeys in Kyushu Seven Stars start from 2500 Dollars. The kind of experience you will have in Kyushu Seven Stars is unparallel to any of the train rides, and you will be treated royally and greeted by your name.
Belmond Hiram Bingham – Belmond Hiram Bingham offers the best and the most memorable trip between Machu Picchu and Cusco. It runs everyday but Sunday for a journey of 3.5 hours. The window side dining options give amazing views. Expect to be served with Alpaca meat, Peruvian Wine in China Silver ware. The treatment in the train is as luxurious as it can get.
The Pullman styled carriages of Belmond Hiram Bingham are designed to accommodate up to 84 passengers. The interiors are decorated with polished woods and antique pieces from all across the world. The journey will take you through lush green landscapes and mountains. Upon reaching Machu Picchu you will be escorted with a private guide for detailed tour.
On journey back the passengers are treated with four course meals and regional wines. The journey on Belmond Hiram Bingham comes with on board live musical performances, unlimited beverages, and even on board entertainment. The train also has an observatory car that offers breath taking views along the journey.
Rail Ways is the way!