The world of luxury train travel isn’t just a thing of old movies – in fact, some of today’s train tours are the most luxurious ever.When people talk about luxurious train tours, they often conjure up some familiar images in our head. There is the wood-panelled restaurant bar gliding along the rails, an observation deck to watch incredible landscapes disappearing into the horizon and a well-dressed crowd of passengers sipping champagne and enjoying the slow pleasure of train travel.Some of those images remain true today. But luxurious train travel is better than ever because it has also embraced the modern world, from contemporary fine dining to communications technology.Here we’ll give you a peek into what life is like aboard some of the world’s most luxurious train tours.
The One and Only Orient Express
The grand daddy of all luxurious train tours remains the world famous Orient Express.Actually the name Orient Express for most of its history was attached to a fairly ordinary sleeper service which trundles out of Paris and across western Europe towards the Balkans. But in most people’s mind the name conjures up the luxurious wood panelling and of a dining car in which a pianist plays while travellers in dinner jackets sip champagne as an aperitif.This image was immortalised by Agatha Christie’s thriller novel set on the train and in fact it remains close to the reality today.The train has a high price tag so attracts an exclusive clientele. It’s very much a dress for dinner affair. The dining cars are lovingly restored 1920s vintage cars, with crisp linen on tables, antique lamps, deep carpets and warm wood panelling.
Fancy a Bath?
It may surprise you that some trains offer private showers onboard – but even more amazingly, you can even have a bath!The Blue Train is a legendary luxury service offered in south Africa. Winding its way slowly across the plains, it is renowned for its stunning views of the exotic, wild landscape outside.It is almost famous for world class levels of luxury. In its suite, as well a well-appointed bedroom with a double bed, you will find a separate private bathroom. It contains one of the world’s only full-sized bath tubs. Passengers in the suite can draw a steaming hot bath at will and lie back, luxuriating in the water while the African scenery passes by outside their window just inches away.
Live Like a Prince
India was renowned in the past for its high-living princes – and their lifestyle is now reflected in the country’s varied luxury train operators.With names like the Maharaja’s Express and Palace on Wheels, it comes as no surprise that the train tours let their passengers live like a prince. Indian Railways is famous for its chaotic and slow-running services. Surprisingly, it also runs the luxury tour Palace on Wheels, which ferries tourists around the princely sites of beautiful Rajasthan. It really is a palace on wheels. Not only does it offer mod cons such as hot and cold running water and live streamed satellite television, it also has older luxury touches such as personal cabin attendants and an onboard spa. Not that you’ll need to feel any more relaxed than you already would enjoying the service onboard!
The Highlands by Train
If a train is fit for the Queen, it’s certainly luxurious enough for everybody else!Scotland has an incredible landscape, with railway tracks through Highland vistas and over viaducts made famous in films such as the Harry Potter series. Vintage train sets are often led by authentic steam locomotives from the golden age of train travel. From the moment you are set off at the platform of Edinburgh’s Waverley station to the skirling of a uniformed piper on the platform, the trip across the Highlands is one of unrivalled luxury, sipping champagne and enjoying the finest local smoked salmon, venison and game.
Train Luxury for the Modern Era
Luxury train tours aren’t all about looking to the past – as the trans-Australian service The Ghan shows.The railway was started decades ago but its extension early this century was what made the coast to coast link complete. The train itself has all of the luxury touches you would expect from a luxury train tour. In addition, the fine living extends even when passengers step down to ground level. At Alice Springs, for example, tables are laid outside with crisp tablecloths. Onboard chefs cook a restaurant-quality meal using local ingredients and accompanied by Australia’s finest wine. Under the night sky, passengers eat dinner and later dance, while a million stars twinkle in the absence of light pollution.A train trip can be the perfect holiday – low stress, informative, slow-moving and relaxing. That is even more true when you opt for one of the growing number of luxury train tours which are available in different parts of the globe. We’ve shared with you an inside look at how the other half holiday in the world’s most luxurious train tours. Whichever one sounds most appealing to you, the price may be more affordable than you expect – why not look up more information today?