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5 Most Luxurious Train Journeys In The World

Luxury Train Journeys

Train journeys were once considered “real travel” for their promise of adventure and the romance of falling asleep and waking up to different landscapes each day. As travel extended to the speed of airplanes and the comfort of cruise ships, the thrill of living on board a moving body of carriages for days, or even weeks, began to fade. Then trains found the track leading to the luxury space and are suddenly back in style and demand again.

Travellers now have the option of staying in spacious Presidential Suites, dining on the freshest locally sourced cuisine and seeking the assistance of their personal butler. Then, of course, there is the journeys itself, which is consistently jaw-dropping no matter the route.

woman with drive has picked five of the world’s most luxurious train journeys to get you started on a new adventure.

Also read: 6 Wilderness Resorts To Revive Your Spirits

Pride of Africa, South Africa


Pride of Africa

Route: Various, through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Zambia

Duration: From 16 to 22 days

Being on board this luxury train is likened to staying in a five-star hotel. Spend weeks rolling through Africa’s wildlife reserves and the Kalahari Desert in magnificent heritage carriages with modern amenities and first class service. The Pride of Africa’s Royal Suites contain separate lounge areas and en-suite bathrooms with full Victorian tubs. When you tire of the in-house entertainment, just turn to the grand windows for front-row seats to the spectacular African landscape.

Luxe Detail: King-sized beds



Seven Stars in Kyushu, Japan


Seven Stars Kyushu

Route: Fukuoka and Kyushu

Duration: From two to four days

Japan is known for its stellar rail services but Seven Stars in Kyushu is a league of its own. The country’s most luxurious train has just seven carriages to accommodate 14 couples in its 12 suites and two deluxe suites. Each suite is beautifully furnished by local artisans in a fusion of Japanese and Western design, and celebrates the best of Japanese craftsmanship. If you can tear yourself away from the sheer beauty of your room, head to the lounge car to enjoy the spectacular scenery during the day and live musical performances in the evening. Both itineraries are in such high demand that the company has resorted to selecting applications by lottery.

Luxe Detail: Each room has different wood furnishing, designs and colours.



The Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express, Russia

Golden Eagle

Route: Moscow to Vladivostok

Duration: Two weeks

With the world’s greatest railway journey celebrating its centennial anniversary this year, there is no better time to travel through eight time zones across Russia. Each of The Golden Eagle’s three spacious cabin styles feature state-of-the-art amenities, en-suite facilities, laundry services, an English-speaking doctor and a personal cabin attendant service. Head out on excursions during the day and trade stories with fellow travellers over fine dining at night. Five-star accommodation is also provided in Moscow and Vladivostok.

Luxe Detail: A resident pianist at the baby grand piano



The Eastern & Oriental Express, Thailand


E&O Express

Route: Singapore to Bangkok

Duration: Four days

Expect nothing less than old-world opulence in a train that is from the same stable as the renowned Venice-Simplon Orient Express. The Eastern & Oriental’s cherry wood and burr elm walls showcase inlays of intricate Thai and Malay motifs that beautifully complement the cabin’s tasteful interior. The most luxurious rooms on board are the Presidential Suites, which are configured as a private lounge during the day and reverted to two single beds at night. Breakfast is served in your suite while Eastern and European cuisine is served in one of the two elegant restaurants. The train is fully air-conditioned but if you love the tropics then step outside to the observation car and watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand.

Luxe Detail: Saloon car with reading room, library and boutique



El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo, Spain


El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo

Route: San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela

Duration: Seven days

If there is one thing you will remember about your time on board El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo it is the exceptional cuisine. The kitchen is ruled by some of the most renowned chefs in Northern Spain who take guests on an unforgettable gastronomic journey of haute local cuisine paired with the finest wines. Once you are satiated at the dining table, make your way to the social carriages to watch the countryside roll by or retire to the living room in your sprawling deluxe suite for a quiet evening read.

Luxe Detail:  Steam sauna and hydromassage shower


Main image credit: Rovos Rail

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