Treat Yourself to a Virtual Ride Aboard Some of the World's Most Luxurious Trains

Treat Yourself to a Virtual Ride Aboard Some of the World's Most Luxurious Trains

Tuesday, 22 December, 2020

Sure, Agatha Christie’s tale set aboard the legendary Orient Express gets a bit more murdery than the average person might like. But it’s hard to argue with the glamour and luxury those Pullman cars embodied.

Teak paneling, white linen tablecloths, crystal wine glasses, and 5-star service made the Orient Express the poshest way to travel between London and Istanbul — a dream-like way to travel from the familiar West to the exotic East and back again.

Today, you can still make that 10-night journey across Europe aboard the Venice-Simplon-Orient Express], and there are equally posh options in North and South America, UK, Africa, India, Russia, and Asia.

We invite you to take a virtual holiday on some of the most opulent trains in the world with these videos. All aboard!

rule

The Rocky Mountaineer — Canada

Travel from Toronto to Vancouver aboard the Rocky Mountaineer. You’ll travel through the majestic Rocky Mountains, passing dramatic waterfalls, charming small towns, and vast expanses of forest along the way.

 

Belmond Andean Explorer — Peru

This train journey begins in the ancient Inca capital of Cusco, then crosses the Andean Plains to arrive at the highest lake in the world: the breathtaking Lake Titicaca. Inside, the cars are decorated with tapestries made from alpaca wool, and pisco sours are served all day in the rear observation car.

 

Venice-Simplon Orient Express — UK, France, Switzerland, Italy

It’s the grand dame of luxury train travel with art deco decor, nonstop champagne, and a route that passes through some of the most beautiful and cosmopolitan cities in the world — London, Paris, Innsbruck, Venice. You can board the train for a one-night journey from London to Venice or revel in the amenities of the annual excursion all the way to Istanbul.

 

The Royal Scotsman — Scotland

Take a leisurely ride aboard the UK’s only luxury sleeper train to explore Scotland’s countryside, lochs, castles, and distilleries — perhaps while snuggled under a tartan wool blanket in your private cabin or sipping a lovely dram of scotch in the mahogany-lined dining car. Mingle with other travelers in the observation car or take deep breathes on the open-air veranda.

 

The Transcantabrico Gran Lujo — Spain

Travel along Spain’s Atlantic coast on a 7-day journey — from San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela — that combines luxury and history in original 1923 Pullman cars. The onboard experience is highlighted with excursions off the train, including stops at the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, the prehistoric cave of Altamira, the Picos de Europa National Park, and the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

 

Rovos Rail — South Africa

Take a 3-day train safari from the grasslands of Highveld to the desert of Great Karoo. Relax in posh Edwardian furnishings (and enjoy the thoroughly modern air conditioning) as you take in the wildlife and scenery of South Africa. Goggles are provided for passengers who can’t resist sticking their heads out the window; you can also take in the view from the open-air balconies on the observation car.

 

Maharajas’ Express — India

This train is consistently named one of the most luxurious trips on the rails for good reason: At each stop, passengers are greeted with fresh flower garlands, and every car is served by a private butler. The 8-day’ Heritage of India’ tour includes stops in Mumbai, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi. Step back in time to the golden era of travel whilst you sip cool gin-and-tonics and relax in opulent comfort.

 

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express — Russia

Make your way along the east coast of Russia from Moscow to Vladivostok on this revered 100-year-old rail line. Along the way, you can dance to live piano music, learn Russian in the bar car, and watch the dramatic scenery pass by the windows. Curious travelers can plan a side trip to the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, and the daring can plan a dip in the chilly waters of Lake Baikal.

 

Eastern & Oriental Express — Asia

Since 1993, this elegantly-decorated train has been making stops in three of Asia’s most glittering cities: Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and Singapore. The cars’ interiors were inspired by the 1932 Marlene Dietrich film Shanghai Express and feature Jim Thompson Thai silk, Malaysian embroidery, and cherrywood paneling. The rich decorations are only enhanced when the train passes through lush rainforests or ancient temples. Be sure to pack apparel worthy of the scene. Evening wear is required for dinner.

 

Cruise Train Seven Stars — Japan

Vying for the title of world’s most luxurious train, the 2- and 4-day trips on the Seven Stars whisk passengers around the island of Kyushu for up-close views of both the seaside and the mountains. Carrying only 28 passengers at a time, it’s an exclusive experience in opulent surroundings: rosewood and maple walls, walnut floors, sliding glass doors etched with flowers and birds, and shoji paper screens on the windows.

 

If you could magically take an all-expenses-paid trip on a luxury train, which would you choose?

Top image courtesy of Irene Miller/Shutterstock.

Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!

keep reading

All aboard for a fascinating virtual journey on train tracks. In this episode, we explore train history and proclaim trains the best mode of transportation, then we share books we love that put us right on the rails.
Is there anything quite so romantic as the notion of riding the rails? This weekend, embark on a madcap adventure across the United States while you relax in the velvet-linen-and-teak luxury of a vintage train car.
The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is a heritage railway that runs through Brontë country from Keighley to Haworth to Oxenhope, passing through lush, green countryside under the watchful eye of sweet-faced sheep.
Forget everything you know about English muffins. These homemade muffins are yeasty, light, and riddled with oh-so-irresistible nooks and crannies. And bonus: They're super-easy to make. Break out the butter and jam!

sharing is caring!

Can you help us? If you like this article, share it your friends!

our mission

Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.

our patreon

If you like the work we do, you can help support us through our Patreon! That'll unlock additional content, too — like Mel's recipe for Banh Mi Bowls, and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.

This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.

no spoilers. ever.

We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.

super-cool reading fun
reading atlas

This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.
follow us

Content on this site is © 2021 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.