Where Will the Rails Take you?

Top 10 Luxury Train Experiences Around The World

May 27, 2022

The launch of the Orient Express in 1883 played a pivotal role in history and helped establish the concept of luxury travel. The Orient ran with two sleeping car saloons along with a dining carriage squeezed between the two fourgons (luggage cars).

The launch event caught the attention of media, as the Orient Express offered high-end service and exquisite meals delivered by only a small group of talented chefs, who found themselves forced to work in cramped conditions.

Nevertheless, the cuisine on the Orient Express was universally received by journalists as well as the British audience. The Orient Express offered a unique experience to its guests by including local and regional foods on the train’s menu, offering guests a unique perspective and allowing them to reflect on the routes and tastes of the countries that they ran through. This idea was first curated by the head Burgundian chef later described as a genius.

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Where Will the Rails Take you?

In an era where time is luxury, Art In Voyage encourages travelers to consider a luxury train experience. Seeing a destination by rail offers travelers a unique perspective as they are given the chance to experience true luxury travel, with an ever-changing landscape.

Whether you are planning to explore the Andes Mountains, or zip through the Russian countryside, luxury train travel proves that seeing a country by ground is a lot more interesting than a fly-by country experience.

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Indian Pacific, Australia

Covering a staggering distance of 4.352km (2704.2 miles), this iconic passenger rail service made its first journey in 1970. Traveling all the way from Sydney, on the side of the Pacific Ocean, the train dashed through Australia, until finally reaching Perth, which sits on the side of the Indian Ocean.

A trip from Sydney, all the way to Perth, will take 65 hours. The train offers four classes to choose from: The Red Service Day-Nighter, Sleeper, Gold Service and Platinum.

The Platinum class is the newest addition to the Indian Pacific, and was introduced in 2008. Platinum class was created as a premium class, and <>goes for $1,198 per night. Platinum offers in-cabin breakfast, access to the restaurant and lounge, as well as a full size ensuite with shower, toilet and vanity

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Pride of Africa/Rovos Rails

Covering an incredible distance of over 2000 miles in around nine days, The Pride of Africa connects South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania, and brings them together to create a magical, luxury experience.

The Pride of Africa train service has been operational since 1989, and is run by a family-owned company called Rovos Rail, who also offer many other magical adventures through Africa.

However, The Pride of Africa is their best offering by far, traveling through the beautiful African Safari, and providing the highest quality of amenities to make your journey truly special. The Pride of Africa has a capacity of 72 passengers and will cost you $2,075 per night.

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Rocky Mountaineer, Canada

The Rocky Mountaineer is a Canadian rail tour company founded in 1990, and is regarded as the largest privately owned train company in the world.

The Rocky Mountaineer operates on four rail routes that run through British Columbia, Alberta, as well as the US state of Washington, and is currently serving more than 1.7 million guests on all its routes as we speak.

All Rocky Mountaineer trains are equally stunning, and prove to travelers that the seven awards won by the company for the World’s Leading Experiences by Train, is well-deserved.

Rocky Mountaineer trains only run during the daytime to allow guests to take in all of their stunning surroundings, and prices depend on the route. Prices start at $1,600 per night, and journey’s can last as long as 12 days.

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Eastern & Oriental Express, South East Asia

The Eastern & Oriental Express is operated by Belmond Ltd, a company synonymous with high quality service, luxury and excellence. The company offers travelers a 4 day railway adventure that travels through Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, in an unforgettable trip that brings together some of the most beautiful places in the world.

This luxurious masterpiece was built all the way back in Japan, in 1970. Since then, its interior has been updated and upgraded several times over the years in order to increase the level of comfort and overall experience.

The Eastern & Oriental Express includes two amazing dining cars, a library car, two bar cars, a saloon, and an open-air observation car, allowing guests to fully experience the South-East Asian outdoors. The entire trip from Bangkok to Singapore is priced at $2,690.

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Venice Simplon Orient Express, Europe

Known for its timeless elegance, this private luxury train usually travels from London to Venice, but is also known to connect to some of Europe’s most important, and travel worthy destinations from time to time.

The tour from London to Venice is offered once or twice a week, with stops in Paris, Zurich, Innsbruck and Verona. However, if you are a traveler looking for a more extended escape, the train also travels to Istanbul via Budapest and Bucharest, as well as Rome, Berlin, Stockholm and Copenhagen, although these trips aren’t as frequent.

Fun Fact : The carriages of the Venice-Simplon date back to the 1920s and 1930s.

Travelers who choose the classical route can expect a 6 day tour, at a cost of $1,900 per night. The Venice Simplon is another luxury train on our list operated by Belmond Ltd, so expect lavish accommodations, amazing food, first-class service and bespoke amenities.

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British Pullman, A Belmond Experience, England

The Belmond British Pullman offers a wide range of day trips and weekend breaks that venture all throughout Britain, routes that include castles, luscious gardens, historic houses and romance.

Travelers get to choose from 11 gorgeously restored cars that all date back to the 1920s and 1930s, all with different themes, décor, history, and even have their own names.

“Minerva” and “Perseus”, the names of two of the Belmond cars, were used to bring foreign dignitaries to Queen Elizabeth II’s royal coronation in 1953. For fans of the hit BBC series “Peaky Blinders”, the Perseus was also used in the funeral of Winston Churchill in 1965.

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Kyushu Seven Stars, Japan

The Kyushu Seven Star train is Japan’s first luxury train, and offers travelers a luxury experience that can’t be found anywhere else.

The train has been beautifully designed, pulling inspiration from both the east and west, making use of intricate woodwork and sumptuous textiles within the lounge and dining cars, as well as all 14 en-suite cabins.

Tip : Every suite on the Seven Star is unique. Two of the 14 are larger deluxe suites that are able to take up to 3 guests.

During the day, the lounge car is a lovely space to unwind and relax. Guests can enjoy a drink from the Blue Moon bar, while enjoying a live musical performance, as well as other forms of entertainment in the evening.

Fun Fact : The Jupiter dining car offers guests cuisine made from seasonal ingredients that will change throughout the year.

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Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru

Built in Australia in the 1990s, the Andean Explorer whose name was originally “The Great Pacific Express Luxury Train”, ran between Cusco and Brisbane, but sadly shut down only after 4 years of service.

However, in 2016 the Great Pacific was shipped to Peru, and in 2017, like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, the luxury train was reintroduced to the world as the Belmond Andean Explorer.

The Andean Explorer has been transformed into a work of art. It is gorgeously outfitted with colorful, traditional textiles that can be found on the pillows, throws and ottomans, while the train also proudly displays a collection of local art.

The Train has an intimate atmosphere and accommodates 70 guests in 35 all ensuite cabins. The train includes an open-air observation platform on the rear lounge car, two dining cars serving fresh, locally-sourced delicacies, another lounge car with a bar and piano, as well as a full spa car with treatment rooms.

TravelTip : Travelers should be aware that the journey on the Belmond Andean Explorer involves high altitudes. Please consult your doctor before booking. Oxygen will be available in hotels, on trains and in vehicles.

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Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express, Russia

Out of all the luxury train experiences that we have covered, this could be the most impressive! The Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express has been deemed, “The World’s Greatest Journey By Train”, as this epic tour lasts for 15 days, spanning over two continents and seven different time zones (some say 8).

This famous Luxury Train experience runs through the Russian countryside, treading over the Urals to connect Moscow in the west, to Vladivostok in the east. With stops in Mongolia and its capital Ulaanbaatar, travelers will get the opportunity to discover and explore the majestic locations along the route, like the impressive Lake Baikal.

With regards to service, travelers can expect top quality dining and accommodation. The train comes with a beautifully appointed lounge and bar, two stunning restaurant cars, and many other amenities. Prices start at $2,000 per night.

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The Presidential Train, Portugal

Used for transporting kings, presidents, and heads of state within the 20th century, the Presidential Train ran for almost a century and was retired in 1970. The train stood in the railway museum until finally being rescued by a wealthy businessman who saw its potential, and brought the Presidential Train back to the tracks.

Today, the Presidential train offers travelers a bespoke luxury travel experience, taking them on gastronomical adventures with Michelin star chefs who are masters of pairing dishes with fine wines from Portugal’s wine region.

The Presidential departs from São Bento in Porto and slowly travels along the Douro River and wine estates. The Presidential Experience is 10 hours long. However, you can also book two and three day journey’s with hotel stops along the way.

Luxury Train travel is one of the best forms of slow travel as it incorporates elements of both adventure and relaxation. Travelers can see large parts of the destinations they visit, and enjoy bespoke amenities, as they sit back and enjoy the ever-changing landscapes around them.

Ready to create your own journey? Click here to book your next Exclusive Experience.