From the moment you step aboard you travel back to a forgotten time when to travel by rail was a journey met with anticipation and excitement. Luxury trains carrying guests through spectacular scenery in private suites, dining in lavish restaurants and exchanging stories with other travelers as they are carried from city to city, country to country in total opulence. Now is the time to re-live that era as the luxury trains are back on track and are once again offering memories that will last a lifetime.
Journey through the capitals of Eastern Europe, the mountains of Asia or the wilderness of Africa. Travel Masters can arrange the ultimate luxury rail journey for you on any of these famous trains and help you build your next holiday around one or more of these great rail journeys.
The Moors conquered the land we call Spain and named it “Al Andalus”. Now you can retrace their steps on the Al Andalus Express. Originally built in 1929 to carry George V of England from Calais, France to the French Riviera, this lavish train now journeys from Seville to Cadiz, Grenada and Cordoba, winding through the Andalucía countryside with luxurious Spanish hospitality. To explore “Green Spain” in just seven days, the El Transcantábrico travels across the coastline of Northern Spain passing through Bilbao, Santander, Oviedo, Vivero and other Spanish gems, while you take in the lush green meadows and craggy mountains. The Danube Express winds its way from Brussels to Istanbul, passing through the great cities of Prague, Vienna and Budapest amongst others. A relaxed, casual 5 star service is provided with British flair onboard the train. Tours are included for the duration of your journey. Bagpipes can be heard as you board The Royal Scotsman in Edinburgh as you accompany just 36 guests on an adventure through the Scottish Highlands. Indulge yourself in Scottish hospitality onboard, sipping finest Malts and Highland Cuisine. You can even hire a kilt for the formal evenings! The ultimate European Rail journey is of course the famous Orient Express. Dating back to 1833 this opulent journey now travels through Europe featuring Venice, Paris, Istanbul, Budapest and Prague whilst experiencing the very best in French cuisine and enjoying cocktails around the grand piano.
The British Empire gave India a rail network back in 1851 and now boasts over 55,000 km of rail tracks crisscrossing their country. A resurgence of Luxury train vacations now means the adventures of yesteryear can now be relived. Based in Mumbai the Deccan Odyssey will carry you around West India calling at Goa, Pune, Sindhudurg and Ganpatiphule in 7 nights. The Palace on Wheels will transport you through Rajasthan from Delhi with journeys ranging from 7 to 10 days. Take in sights such as the Taj Mahal, Jaipur and Jodhpur. These two train journeys can be combined for an amazing 17 day Indian experience. If Southern India is your preference The Golden Chariot will take you from Bangalore or Goa through the state of Karnataka. Named after the Stone Chariot in Hampi, a world heritage site, you will witness historic 11th century Indian temples and palaces.
Rovos Rail is probably the most luxurious train in the world, The Pride of Africa. It travels though South Africa calling at Cape Town, Pretoria, Durban and George. Extended itineraries also include Dar Es Salaam, Victoria Falls and Swakopmund. The extravagant carriages boast the largest suites on any train, some with their own full Victorian bath and private lounge area. In 2010 it leaves Cape Town for Victoria Falls, combining with Rovos Rails’ own private airline for the ultimate onward journey northbound by air to Cairo in 28 days. Winding through Southern Africa The Shongololo Express can deliver you to the best game reserves and parks in Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Tanzania from its Cape Town home. If a shorter journey is needed then the famous Blue Train journeys from Cape Town to Pretoria in just 27 hours. During this venture you will enjoy all suite accommodation, the finest cuisine and exemplary service.
What better way to view the exotic Asian scenery and culture than from the window of your private air conditioned luxury rail cabin or suite? This is provided by the Eastern & Oriental Express service from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok. This luxurious train, formerly New Zealand’s Silver Star train, was the first train allowed to complete the 2000 km journey without a change of train at Penang. On board the Eastern & Oriental Express, the atmosphere hails back to a ‘Colonial’ age of rattan chairs on the veranda, linen suits and tea dances during which you are assured of the highest quality food and service, while enjoying dramatic views across the South East Asian landscape. If China and Tibet is your destination then the Shangri La Express will provide a memorable adventure across the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. You will traverse Tangula Pass (and the world’s highest railway station) on the way between Lhasa to Xining. The track reaches an altitude of 5 km above sea level while travelling on special high-altitude carriages before switching trains to complete the journey to Beijing or other major Chinese cities. Coming soon the brand new super-luxury Tangula trains will be able to complete the same Beijing to Lhasa journey. Tangula will also offer a 5 day journey from Beijing to Lijiang through the Guangxi, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces. Possibly one of the most famous rail journeys of the world is the Trans Siberian Railway. Not an actual train but a network of routes stretching the length of Asia from Moscow to Vladivostok, Ulaanbaatar or Beijing. Normally this train has a basic level of service, but the new Golden Eagle train has changed that. Launched by Prince Michael of Kent in 2007 it is the epitome of luxurious rail travel where Russian caviar and fine wines are standard on the menu.
Since 1881 The Royal Canadian Pacific can boast carrying Queen Elizabeth II, US President FD Roosevelt and PM Winston Churchill as satisfied guests onboard their adventures around the Rockies of Alberta and British Columbia. This is a journey so spectacular that National Geographic has named it as one of the “tours of a lifetime”. The Gold Leaf domed sightseeing cars on the Rocky Mountaineer Train from Vancouver to Banff offer unparalleled views on its two day traverse of the Canadian Rockies. Of course if you are the adventurous type VIA Rail of Canada and Amtrak of the USA offer overnight accommodation in sleeper cars on their immense network of routes in North America allowing you to view Canyons, National Parks and stunning cities in comfort.
You don’t have to travel far to experience a high quality rail adventure; Australia has three great rail journeys for you to enjoy. Originally named in honour of the Afghan camel trains that trekked the same route before the construction of the railway, The Ghan travels from Adelaide to Darwin, calling en route at Alice Springs. The world’s longest stretch of straight track provides clear passage for the Indian Pacific train. Departing twice weekly from Sydney to Perth, stopping at Adelaide, Kalgoorlie and Broken Hill. Australia’s latest luxury train is the Southern Spirit. Launched November 2008 it travels a variety of routes including a 12 night Grand Tour of Australia from Brisbane to Darwin, via Victoria and South Australia, during which you will view the Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley and Katherine Gorge.
These Great Train Journeys are just the selection from many options to travel in great comfort as part of a holiday in some of the worlds most exotic countries. Each of our selections involves overnight accommodation and enough time to savour the real joy of train travel. Start your Great Train Journey by visiting Travel Masters and let us help you put your dreams “on track”…