Five train journeys for your bucket list
The ultimate for lovers of epic train journeys, the Trans-Siberian Railway is a 5,753-mile steel artery across Russia from Moscow to Vladivostok, crossing eight time zones as it weaves through the country’s vast and little-visited interior.
The Trans-Siberian is actually a number of services, ranging from slow local stoppers to grand international trains running the main route, as well as two separate routes to Beijing in China. The public train, Rossiya No 2, takes six days and is definitely a great way to meet the locals. Those preferring to go Tsar-style can take the Golden Eagle luxury train, which is complete with sumptuous suites, fine dining and even an on-board doctor.
Starting in Russia or China, a journey to Mongolia on the legendary Trans-Siberian Express is one of the last railway adventures in the world. International trains connecting Moscow, Ulaanbaatar and Beijing run four times on a weekly basis.
The Ghan, Australia
Australia has one of the world’s great rail journeys, the Ghan. Beginning in Darwin, this epic four day, three night, 2,979km tour takes passengers to some of the most remote yet captivating parts of Australia in style and luxury. This distinctly Australian holiday includes a series of immersive off train excursions. River cruises, cultural experiences and optional camel rides or helicopter flights add another exciting dimension to your journey, giving you a chance to breathe in the beauty you’ve been watching pass by. From the moment you step into your Platinum or Gold Service cabin, you can leave your credit card safely tucked away knowing that all food and beverages are covered by All Inclusive fare – from gourmet meals to a social beverage shared in one of the atmospheric lounges.
Belmond Andean Explorer
South America’s first luxury sleeper train, the Belmond Andean Explorer, launched in May 2017. Running along one of the world’s highest rail routes, traversing the Peruvian Andes from Cusco to Lake Titicaca and Arequipa, the new luxury train explores natural wonders and ancient kingdoms on two- and three-day journeys.
Guests have the opportunity to explore the vast Colca Canyon, then continue towards the city centre of Arequipa, a Unesco World Heritage site. The reverse itinerary, from Arequipa to Cusco, is also possible. The Picafor Spa Car is ready with a host of services to serve weary travellers.
The Maharajas’ Express was custom-built to be the most luxurious train in India - and perhaps the world – offering state-of-the-art facilities and amenities, says The Society of International Rail Travellers.
All cabins have large windows, LCD televisions, wi-fi access, individual temperature controls and full en-suite bathrooms. There is one Presidential Suite which comprises a full train car—the largest suite available on any train in the world. The two elegantly decorated dining cars serve a choice of multi-course Indian and continental cuisine. Two lounge cars provide cool drinks and comfortable seating. The train is 22 cars long, taking a maximum of 84 passengers.
Seven Stars, Kyushu
Seven Stars in Kyushu, Japan is the country’s first luxury sleeper train, and takes to you the seven prefectures of Kyushu, while introducing the seven treasures the area has to offer. The itineraries offered are four days-three nights across Kyushu or two-days, one-night journey around northern Kyushu, including Nagasaki. Cruise Train Seven Stars in Kyushu brings together the seven treasures of Kyushu – nature, hot springs, cuisine, power spots to rejuvenate the mind, history and culture, humanity and trains.