One of the most memorable ways to travel is by train. It’s an ideal way to enjoy breathtaking scenery, giving you a wonderful idea of the length and breadth of your destination. If you’re lucky you’ll pass through a variety of landscapes, lush green fields, rocky outcrops, large swathes of water, gushing streams and rivers, and tranquil lakes. What could possibly make this better? How about some pampering while you take in the sights? Train travel can be one of the most stylish ways of getting from one point to another, with stylish interiors and impeccable service. Step on board these famous luxurious trains that will take you back in time to rediscover the art of elegant travelling—an era of decadence, romance, and leisure.

Also Read: 12 Best Virtual Train Rides You Need To Experience Right Now!

Travel In Style On These Luxurious Trains From Around The World

1. Visit Natural Wonders And Ancient Kingdoms: Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru

Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru

South America’s first luxury sleeper train, Belmond Andean Explorer takes you on one of the highest and most scenic train journeys in the world. The train starts at the ancient capital of Cusco and offers various routes that will take you through the Peruvian Andes and Lake Titicaca up to Arequipa in style. You can take a one- or two-night journey to experience the region’s highlights such as the Inca ruins, the Colca Canyon, and the snow-capped peaks of the Andes, amid the beautifully curated interiors of the train. The 24 cabins of this luxurious train are festooned with local flair, complete with Peruvian tapestries (made from alpaca wool) on the bed along with a personal bathroom, shower, and built-in oxygen tanks and masks (to help the high altitudes). Don’t forget to check out the fancy lounges, onboard spa, and fine dining options.

2. Earthy African Safari: Rovos Rail, Africa

Rovos Rail, Africa, luxurious trains
The coffee bar area of the Rovos Rail luxury train travelling between Cape Town and Pretoria

Rovos Rail serves you the diverse landscape of Africa. Passing through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Tanzania, this journey is the most lavish way to experience the country’s jaw-dropping scenery and wildlife. The safari train is a two-night journey from Pretoria to Cape Town that gives you a tour of a wide range of environments, from the grasslands of Highveld to the desert of Great Karoo. As the train never travels more than 60 kilometres per hour, passengers can easily open their windows or even enjoy the train’s exceptional open-air balconies on the observation car. The luxurious train features sophisticated, authentically refurbished antique carriages, sleeper cars with wall-to-wall wood panelling, private bathrooms and showers (some even have bathtubs!), and five-star meals (jacket and tie required!) paired with South Africa’s finest wines.

3. Charm Of Culture And Luxury: Maharajas’ Express, India

Maharajas’ Express, a fabulously classy train in India

Often called the ‘Orient Express of the Orient’, the Maharajas’ Express gives you a taste of royal luxury with lavish interiors, several restaurants, lounge cars, and attentive butlers. While there are seven journeys throughout India to choose from, take the unforgettable eight-day ‘Heritage of India’ tour that will take you along the ever-changing views of the country while crossing Mumbai, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi. Among the most luxurious trains in the world, it has 14 guest carriages that can accommodate up to 88 guests. The guest carriages have a private butler and are named after the legendary jewels of the various maharajas, with options including the Presidential Suite, Suite, Junior Suite, and Deluxe Cabin. Inside the train, you get to experience traditional music and dance performances and decor that recalls colonial splendour.

4. Art Deco Icon: Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Italy 

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express a luxury trains

This luxurious train is the modern incarnation of the world’s most famous train, the Orient Express, and runs from London to Venice, stopping in Paris and Verona along the way. Widely acclaimed for its Art Deco finery and atmosphere of old-school glamour, the train is virtually synonymous with luxury. This luxury train transports the passengers back in time to the golden age of train travel. The train’s interior is meticulously designed with antique fixtures, polished wood, and plush upholstery to ooze glamour, with luxuries including a resident pianist, and a bar car where the champagne always flows. This magnificent train however compared to other luxurious trains, does not have onboard showers. Therefore, the five-night schedule of Orient Express involves three nights on the train and two in hotels along the way.

5. Journey Like The Afghan Cameleers: The Ghan, Australia

The Ghan from Australia is among the most luxurious trains in the world

The legendary Ghan is one of Australia’s premier luxury train routes that takes its passengers through the Australian Outback. Named after the 19th-century Afghan pioneers who explored the outback, this four-day journey from Darwin to Adelaide allows you to cross Australia while peering into the endless uniformity of the red-earthed antipodean Bush. A three-night, 2,979-kilometer tour also covers stopping off in Alice Springs, Katherine, where you can cruise on the gorge and the unique underground town of Coober Pedy. The train which has been in operation since 1924, is modernised today and offers a Platinum level of service which includes chauffeured transfers, access to an exclusive dining carriage, breakfast in bed, and five-course meals. This luxurious train also offers special stops that provide an opportunity to experience either an outback sunrise in Marla going north or a nightcap under the Milky Way in Manguri going south.

6. Edwardian Feel: Belmond Royal Scotsman, Scotland

Belmond Royal Scotsman train journey in Scotland

Get a taste of Scotland’s lochs, castles, and countryside on this slow-moving luxurious train. The Royal Scotsman is the UK’s only luxury sleeper train. It allows you to chug through the highlands in a Downton Abbey-esque atmosphere while being nestled underneath tartan wool blankets in your suite or nursing a scotch in the mahogany dining car. Only hosting 36 passengers at a time, the train’s interior includes mahogany-lined, Edwardian-style carriages, an onboard spa,  an observation car with an open-air veranda where you can share your tales of adventure with guests, along with a bar stocked with more than 50 kinds of whiskey. While there are several round trips that travellers can choose from, pick the classic voyage which is the four-night passage to the Scottish Highlands which is designed to bring Scottish history and culture to life with stops at castles, distilleries, and monuments.

7. Fabulous Hotel On Wheels: Golden Eagle, Russia

Golden Eagle train, Russia

Also known as the Trans-Siberian Express, the Golden Eagle runs from Moscow all the way to Vladivostok on the eastern coast and spans eight time zones. Covering the unimaginable vastness of Russia, the train offers en-suite cabins, Russian language lessons in the bar car, fine dining, a personal cabin attendant, a resident pianist, and state-of-the-art amenities. This 15-day journey only occurs eight times per year, from May through September, covering Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Lake Baikal, and Ulaanbaatar. When it comes to luxurious trains, nothing trumps one with such a history. This luxury train which is now over 100 years old evokes images of adventure, exotic locales, and opulence. The tour has local stops for local sightseeing such as a tour of Mongolia’s capital and a dip (for the daring) in the freezing waters of Lake Baikal.  

8. Most Scenic Train Ride: Rocky Mountaineer, Canada

Rocky Mountaineer, Canada's luxurious train

Explore Canada’s iconic Rocky Mountain landscape on this one-of-a-kind voyage aboard the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer. Travellers can choose from routes such as First Passage to the West, Journey Through The Clouds, Rainforest to Gold Rush, and Circle Journeys with different services (GoldLeaf, SilverLeaf, or RedLeaf Service) — each of which can give you incomparable landscapes of the Rockies. This luxurious train winds between the mountains, rivers, lakes, and postcard-perfect snow-capped alpine scenery, and also offers passengers a chance to spot Canadian wildlife such as bears and moose. The Gold Leaf Service on this Canadian excursion is synonymous with luxury and comfort. It offers prime viewing opportunities, with a deluxe bi-level glass-domed carriage that brings the outside in along with delicious a la carte meals.

9. An Enchanting Journey Across Southeast Asia: The Belmond Eastern And Oriental Express, Asia

The Belmond Eastern And Oriental Express, Asia, luxurious trains

This elegantly-decorated train travels twice monthly between Bangkok and Singapore and offers 19 journeys that a traveller can choose from. The interiors were inspired by the 1932 Marlene Dietrich film ‘Shanghai Express’, and offers a completely luxurious experience with Jim Thompson Thai silk, Malaysian embroidery, and cherry wood panelling. As the train makes stops in three of Asia’s most glittering cities, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore, one passes through lush rainforests and ancient temples. The train also offers three-course lunches, four-course dinners, afternoon tea, and three levels of cabins, with private showers and lavatories.

Also read: 22 of the most beautiful train stations around the world

Indulge In A Little Glamour With These Luxury Trains

Come on board these luxurious trains around the world and step back in time to enjoy the romance of the rail. Each one takes passengers on enchanting journeys that you will cherish as once-in-a-lifetime voyages. See the sights amid the best of luxury and let us know your experiences in the comments below.


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