Best luxury trains 2021, top rail vacations by category. The decor attempts to emulate the golden days of the Raj when Maharajas traveled with opulence and pomp in ostentatious carriages. Luxury Train Vacations An extraordinary journey awaits you when you embark on a luxury train tour. Let us do the legwork! Some trips are pulled by steam locomotives. The Hokkaido Railway Company train, which takes just over four hours to reach the famed ski haven, offers an 18-seat luxury "Gran Class" carriage featuring plush reclining seats and high-end dining. Travel Smarter! There are several routes into the Rockies, but it's the classic Banff to Vancouver ride that still captures the imagination. For a year now, the rail company has been quietly adding deluxe sleepers and gourmet meals to its standard routes. The train stops for local sightseeing at several places along the way. They are filled with freshly caught lobsters to be served during a delicious brunch before the train reaches the French port of Calais -- only available on the westward route. Each comes with its own ensuite shower, a washroom and minibar with alcohol included in the ticket price. Step aboard lovingly restored rail cars from the golden era of train travel and settle into well-appointed private accommodations. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. It offers three levels of cabin, all of which include private shower and lavatory, plus dining and observation cars. This was the last, arduous leg of the great rail expansion westwards that united Canada in the late 1880s. The Eastern & Oriental Express train consists of modern cars built to luxury standards. The Andean Explorer train includes three levels of cabin, all with private shower, plus an observation lounge, and spa cars. Travelers can choose from several round trips from Edinburgh lasting between two and seven days, but the classic voyage is the four-night passage to the Scottish Highlands. Of course, there are also luxury train lines that cover vast expanses of land, such as the Golden Eagle Trans Siberian Express, which makes a 6,000-mile journey across eight time zones while traveling from Moscow to the port town of Vladivostok in Russia. Take the United Kingdom’s Royal Scotsman, for example, which travels through Scotland’s mysterious lochs and glens while traversing the spectacular Scottish Highlands. Pricing is seasonal, starting at $500 per person, per night, on the Palace on Wheels. For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Be the first to discover secret destinations, travel hacks, and more. For a more untamed version of regional luxury train travel, select a journey featuring the Blue Train or the Pride of Africa, and relish in the breathtaking scenery and amazing wildlife of South Africa. The two-week passage feels more like a cruise than a train ride as it stops for daily excursions along the way. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. There’s something timeless about traveling aboard a luxury train: the white-glove service, the exotic scenery rushing by, the rhythm of the rails rocking you to sleep in your own comfortable private berth. The Platinum service offers more cabin and ensuite space, chauffeured transfers, access to an exclusive dining carriage, breakfast in bed and five-course meals. Easily the top of the top, this modern incarnation of the world’s most famous train, the Orient Express, evokes images of the colorful Middle East, mysterious Eastern Europe, and, of course, classic mystery with Agatha Christie character Hercule Poirot. Although most tourists prefer the summer season, September to mid-October is possibly the most romantic time to travel, when the leaves turn to a vibrant mix of reds, oranges and yellows and fresh snow accumulates on the mountaintops. An extraordinary journey awaits you when you embark on a luxury train tour. Past passengers include Nelson Mandela, Quincy Jones, Paul Simon, Mia Farrow, Margaret Thatcher and Kylie Minogue. Born in Evanston, Illinois, Perkins lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife. He has also written for Business Traveller magazine (London). Its new Prestige class now offers seven swanky bedrooms, but these will increase to 13 in summer 2016. 1-877-929-7245. Celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2016, the Blue Train is now offering special journeys from Pretoria to Hoedspruit, in the Kruger Park area. To help passengers acclimatize in extravagance, five-star accommodations in Moscow and Vladivostok are provided. These trains provide all accommodations in private compartments for two or more, plus inclusive dining and other onboard services. In fact, the staff provide sets of goggles so that, should the urge arise to stick heads out of windows, dust in eyes won't be a problem. He is the author of "Online Travel" (2000) and "Business Travel: When It's Your Money" (2004), the first step-by-step guide specifically written for small business and self-employed professional travelers. Luxurious and lavish cabin surroundings mean the Rovos ride is not an end in itself, but an essential part of a long journey with several overnights. The UK's only luxury sleeper train, it has a bar stocked with more than 50 kinds of whisky. Rovos Rail passengers get to take in Africa's spectacular scenary -- big beasts included. All compartments include double or twin beds, toilet, and shower. America’s Trains is revamping luxury train travel in that they are fusing the glory of olden-day train cars with the modern amenities of a high-end hotel. Because the train never travels more than 60 kilometers per hour (37 m.p.h.) We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. A tour that joins the Venice Simplon-Orient Express allows you to discover the hidden gems of Western and Central Europe aboard historic carriages, whereas packages highlighted by a ride aboard the Danube Express include enigmatic destinations like Budapest, Istanbul and Prague. Belmond also runs other regional excursions with the train. Before editing Consumer Reports Travel Letter, Perkins spent 25 years in travel research and consulting with assignments ranging from national tourism development strategies to the design of computer-based tourism models. The Hokkaido Railway Company train, which takes just over four hours to reach the famed ski haven, offers an 18-seat luxury "Gran Class" carriage featuring plush … Pricing generally starts around $3,500 per person for a two-day, one-night trip, although Belmond offers occasional promotional deals. The Ghan offers scheduled excursions in Katherine and Alice Springs, while special stops provide an opportunity to experience either an outback sunrise in Marla going north, or a nightcap under the Milky Way in Manguri going south. Silver cabins offer either small double beds or bunks; higher categories are larger with full beds. The Andean Explorer, another Belmond operation, runs weekly two-night trips linking Cusco with Arequipa via Lake Titicaca, with a lake excursion included. Seven Stars offers two itineraries: a two-day option, which stays around Fukuoka, or a four-day journey that does a loop of the southern Japan island. Perkins was founding editor of Consumer Reports Travel Letter, one of the country's most influential travel publications, from which he retired in 1998. Perkins' advice for business travelers is featured on, a website devoted to helping small business and self-employed professional travelers find the best value for their travel dollars. Belmond’s East Asian luxury train travels between Bangkok and Singapore twice monthly. Such colonial splendor has been recreated to the full and the week-long journey also immerses travelers in the spirit of the era with gin and tonic sundowners, elephant rides and a chance to chat with erstwhile royal families. Passengers in this seating class also have access to Tokyo Station's View Gold Lounge, which includes complimentary beverages and snacks. All Rights Reserved. The train still rolls by some of Europe's most captivating scenery through cities that have become legends in themselves: Its Art Deco glamor has persevered through the decades while the train's elegant suites recall an older, more stylish age. (More on the journey below.). A nationally recognized reporter, writer, and consumer advocate, Ed Perkins focuses on how travelers can find the best deals and avoid scams. Sign up for our free newsletter now. Sign up for our free newsletter. On the Pride of Africa train, Rovos Rail provides five luxury train trips a year on a 15-day itinerary from Cape Town to Dar Es Salaam or the reverse, passing through Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania, and including stops at a game reserve and Victoria Falls. Luxurious surroundings apart, the image that lingers afterward is of the friendly and helpful staff. The menu highlights Australia's exotic local fare, like saltwater barramundi fish and grilled kangaroo fillet. Sign up for special offers and get a free copy of our 2021 brochure. Rovos Rail operates the Pride of Africa on a wide range of other itineraries in South Africa and adjacent countries, some including safari stops. Below I’ve picked the six best luxury train trips, taking you to places as far-flung as Bangkok, Cape Town, and Moscow. Often called "the Orient Express of the Orient," the. Here are 11 of the world's most incredible train journeys. More like a five-star hotel on wheels than a train experience. In fact a luxury coach catches up with the train at every stop for the day's excursion, meaning you'll likely spend as long on the bus as on the train. The interiors showcase the best in Japanese craftsmanship, such as walls of rosewood and maple, walnut floors, shoji paper screens as window coverings and sliding glass doors etched with flowers and birds. Worth noting: this is the only regular scheduled passenger train in North America to offer double beds instead of upper and lower bunks or just singles. The Golden Eagle lets travelers experience Russia in style. The timeless romance of the rails is found in the details from the time you board your train and throughout the magnificent route it follows. Things you buy may earn us a commission. All cabins include a private toilet and shower. Southern Comfort, Northbound from New Orleans to Fort Worth. No other train journey evokes romance and adventure quite like the famous. While luxury train trips operate all over the world, only a few rise to the top as being truly unforgettable. The train's viewing carriages offer stunning views of the Canadian Rockies. Join Our Mailing List: And be a Club Member for exclusive offers and luxury train news. Four hours of pampering just isn't enough? Call to book Machu Picchu Is Overrated, Go to Choquequirao Instead, 6 Incredible Train Journeys That Won’t Break Your Budget. Recently reopened rail connections allow the train to complete its original itinerary between Paris and Istanbul, which it does  once a year; overnight stops include Budapest and Bucharest. Deluxe Indian trains use modern equipment, generally with decor inspired by Bollywood’s best extravaganzas. The Pride of Africa uses mainly older equipment updated to current standards.