Rediscover the art of elegant travelling on board one of these luxurious trains that promise to transport you on an enchanted journey across fascinating landscapes.
Royal Scotsman, UK
This train only carries 36 passengers in one go and famous for its journey from London to the Scottish highlands, with its castles, pine covered mountains, rustic villages, and idyllic glens and lochs. There’s an observation car as well as an open-air veranda for guests who really want to take in the landscape. For those who need something a little more stimulating there’s an extensive library on-board. The four-day classic voyage is the best with its excursions to castles and distilleries. Seeing as it’s called the Royal Scotsman, the train’s bar is well stocked with more than 50 different kinds of whisky.
Price: $1412 onwards
Blue Train, South Africa
This is a luxury train that diagonally cuts across South Africa, from Pretoria to Cape Town. It’s a 27-hour journey with stops that include the famous Kimberley diamond mines and the colonial outpost of Matjiesfontein. The train was started in the 1940s to provide the elite a way to travel from one end of the country to the other. The interiors are pure luxury, with some of the suites even sporting bathtubs! Lucky guests get to take in the view of the gorgeous savannah while soaking in some bubbles.
Price: $1128 onwards
Golden Eagle Trans Siberian Express, Russia
This train connects Russia’s west to Siberia and crosses eight time zones, which means it has a packed itinerary that includes some stunning sights like Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater lake in the world, and the stately Ural mountains. It also takes scenic detour to Ulaan Baatar, the Mongolian capital. It’s Russia’s most expensive train, with tastefully done interiors in gold, cream, and white, offset by panels of gleaming wood.
Price: $19,924 onwards
Venice Simplon Orient Express, Europe
Famous for being the setting of Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, this train journey takes passengers from Paris to Istanbul in Turkey via Budapest and Bucharest. This is a uniquely romantic travel experience that is enhanced by the exquisite cuisine, stellar personal service, and luxurious surroundings. With its vintage Art Deco décor and elegant suites, the train transports you back to the 1920s when effortless style and luxury ruled.
Price: £1830 onwards
Rovos Rail, South Africa
This is another South African train that was built to pamper. The rooms are opulent with lavish interiors that hark back to another era. It is a slower ride than the Blue Train, with the train travelling no more than 60 kph, which means guest can open the windows and really take in the gorgeous scenery they’re passing through.
Price: $1272 onwards
Maharaja Express, India
This one is frequently mentioned on award lists and is known for its opulent and lavish interiors that have been likened to five-star accommodation. The train is an effort to recreate the splendour of the Raj when opulent and grandiose carriages transported royalty. The train will take you through some of Rajasthan’s most magnificent cities, like Jodhpur, Jaipur, Agra, and Bikaner.
Price: $6,840 onwards
Eastern and Oriental Express, Southeast Asia
This luxury train takes you through beautiful landscapes like Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, and Singapore. There are different journey options each with their own fascinating draw. The stately rooms reflect understated luxury, with cherry wood walls, decorative inlays, and rosewood and elm panelling. The two restaurants on-board offer delicious eastern and European fare. There’s also an observation car so you can take in the fascinating sights along the route.
Price: $2,480 onwards
Photograph: Simon Pielow/Flickr
Rocky Mountaineer, Canada
This train route across the Canadian Rockies is a fantastic journey that showcases the country’s breath-taking natural beauty. Tourists prefer to travel during the autumn when the leaves change their colour, peppering the landscape with vibrant earthy oranges, reds, and yellows. There are four types of packages offered with the Gold Leaf being the most luxurious, offering gourmet meals, and a two-level glass domed coach for an unrestricted view of the surroundings.
Price: $ 2048 onwards
Transcantabrico Gran Lujo, Spain
This is a five-star hotel on wheels, with its gourmet cuisine, wide selection of wines, personalised service, and visits to elegant restaurants on excursions. The train takes you down Spain’s Atlantic coast and shows you best the country has to offer with extensive sightseeing stops that include the Picos de Europa National Park, Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, and the prehistoric cave of Altamira.
Price: $ 2134 onwards
Photograph: Simon Pielow/Flickr
The Ghan, Australia
This luxury train travels from Darwin to Adelaide along a 2,979-kilometre route across the continent. Guests are treated to a view of the heart of the mysterious Australian outback, with its wide stretches of red-earth antipodean bush. On the menu are uniquely Australian dishes liked grilled kangaroo fillet.
Price: $ 1427 onwards