We can travel by car, by plane, by ferry and by cruise, but how often have you viewed the world from the comfort a train? I’m not talking about starting your holiday on the Gatwick Express or commuting to your job, I mean really see the world!
I grew up with a dad who LOVED trains, and the love of trains was passed down to me, although in a fairly more toned-down way. So I thought I would put together my top 5 list of amazing train journeys.
Belmond Hiram Bingham
I could probably have created the whole list and filled it with Belmond Trains but I thought you needed a little more variety. That being said, I will start with a Belmond journey!
Travel in the highest levels of comfort and luxury through Peru on the world-renowned Hiram Bingham. The trains are modelled on those that would have been around in the 1920s, and with personalist service, an observation car and even an elegant dining room, there is no better way to enjoy the beautiful Peruvian countryside.
Guests are welcomed on board with a delicious cocktail before tucking into a gourmet lunch, on the return trip guests can indulge in a fine dining dinner. Both meals are accompanied by a fantastic wine selection, other alcoholic beverages are also available.
Whilst it isn’t the cheapest train journey in the world, with tickets coming in at $495 USD each way, this is a once in a lifetime experience, it also includes afternoon tea at the beautiful Belmond Sanctuary Lodge.
Rovos Rail – Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls is home to the largest curtain of falling water in the world, located halfway along the Zambezi River the falls are now listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Starting in Pretoria, South Africa, the Rovos Rail takes travellers on a 3-day journey crossing over the Tropic of Capricorn en route to the border with Zimbabwe. The train travels over the world’s longest stretch straight of track before arriving in Hwange National Park where you can spot wildlife from the comfort of your own seat, a game drive is also included! On arrival into Victoria Falls, guests are invited to stay overnight and can experience white water rafting, game drives and photo safaris.
The train itself has been painstakingly restored back to its former Edwardian elegance and even boasts an open-air viewing platform.
The Canadian Rockies are home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world and the Rocky Mountaineer is the most iconic way to view them.
The Rocky Mountaineer offers a number of different routes and classes of travel to suit different budgets. Custom-designed glass dome carriages mean you won’t miss a thing and guests who want to get one step closer to nature can delight in the outdoor viewing area.
Whilst the train journeys travel over a few days, guests do not stay on the trains, they stay in stunning hotels along the way including the 5* Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel if you travel in Gold Leaf class!
The Sunset Limited
Most people think of road trips when they dream of travelling across the USA, but did you know there is a train journey that can take you from New Orleans to Los Angeles in just 2 days?
The Sunset Limited is the oldest named train in the US and travels 3 days a week, taking you from New Orleans through to San Antoni, Tucson, Phoenix and terminating at Los Angeles. Travellers can expect to see a variety of different landscapes such as Bayou Country, the Mexican border, southwestern deserts and Californian mountains.
I thought I would save the most famous till last, the one that I dream of travelling on the most! The Orient Express transports guests back in time, taking them across Europe in some of the most iconic train carriages in the world. The train epitomises all the glamour and old age romance of the rails from a time gone by.
Elegant carriages offer luxurious sleeping quarters with fine fabrics and glossy wood panelling. Twin cabins offer plush banquette seating by day before being transformed into stunning bedrooms each evening.
Guests can start their journey in London, stepping into beautiful cream and brow carriages before flying through the magical Kent countryside. Waiters wearing white gloves will serve guests a delicious 4-course gourmet dinner as you sail through France, stopping at Paris, home to the original station that served the Orient Express over 100 years ago.
The hardest part? Having to go to sleep instead of staying up and watching the Swiss Mountains glide past you. But don’t worry, there will be plenty of sightseeing when you wake up, and an afternoon tea before steaming into Venice, Italy’s most recognisable city.