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Journeying in Elegance: The World's Top 10 Luxurious Trains

26 February 2024

1. Venice Simplon Orient Express:

A Timeless Voyage My journey aboard the Venice Simplon Orient Express was nothing short of stepping into a moving piece of history. As the landscapes of Europe unfolded from the plush surroundings of my cabin, I was transported to the golden age of travel. This train is more than just a mode of transportation; it's a celebration of luxury, romance, and the enduring allure of rail travel.

Every detail, from the polished wood marquetry to the crisp linens and gourmet meals, evokes a bygone era of elegance. Travelling from the streets of Paris to the sun-drenched canals of Venice, each moment aboard is a testament to the timeless appeal of the Orient Express.

Venice Simplon Orient Express holidays


2. El Transcantabrico: Spain's Northern Gem

Boarding El Transcantabrico felt like entering a moving boutique hotel, with its intimate suites offering a cozy retreat as the picturesque landscapes of northern Spain passed by. The train's route, winding through the verdant countryside and along rugged coastlines, offers a unique perspective on Spain's rich cultural and natural beauty.

The personal touch of the staff, the exquisite local cuisine served onboard, and the carefully curated excursions make El Transcantabrico much more than a train journey. It's a deep dive into the heart and soul of Spain, experienced in unparalleled comfort.

El Transcantabrico holidays

El Transcantábrico Playa De San Antolin HR

3. Al Andalus: Andalusian Elegance on Rails

The Al Andalus train is a rolling homage to the opulent Moorish palaces that dot Andalusia. With interiors that mirror the region's historical grandeur and itineraries that showcase its stunning landscapes and cities, each journey feels like a page out of a fairy tale.

Dining on the Al Andalus, with its Andalusian specialties prepared to perfection, was a highlight of my journey. The train's routes, whether meandering through the Sierra Nevada or stopping in cities steeped in history like Seville and Granada, offered endless opportunities for discovery.

Al Andalus holidays

ANI HERO 1 Al Andalus Express

4. Maharaja's Express: India's Regal Railways

From the moment I stepped onto the Maharaja Express, I was enveloped in the splendor and opulence befitting royalty. This train takes you on a journey through India's rich tapestry of history, culture, and breathtaking landscapes, from the iconic Taj Mahal to the majestic palaces of Rajasthan.

What sets the Maharaja Express apart is not just its luxurious amenities but the way it immerses you in the essence of India. Each day brings new adventures, from elephant polo matches to private tours of ancient forts, making every moment onboard a treasure trove of memories.

Maharaja's Express holidays

Mayur Mahal

5. Rovos Rail: Africa's Majestic Wanderer

Riding the Rovos Rail is akin to being part of an epic African adventure, one that unfolds in the lap of luxury. The train, with its vintage charm and modern comforts, traverses the heart of Africa, from the savannahs of South Africa to the stark beauty of Namibia and the thundering Victoria Falls.

The journeys offered by Rovos Rail are a celebration of the African spirit, combining the thrill of safari with the serenity of train travel. Waking up to a new panorama each day, whether it's the vineyards of the Cape or the deserts of Namibia, was an unforgettable experience that deepened my love for this diverse continent.

Rovos Rail holidays

RVR Obscarsunrise Hres

6. Blue Train: South Africa's Iconic Blue Jewel

South Africa's Blue Train offers an unparalleled window into the soul of the country. Renowned for its luxurious service and the stunning landscapes it traverses, the journey between Pretoria and Cape Town is a showcase of South Africa's natural beauty and cultural heritage.

The train itself is a moving five-star hotel, with suites that offer every comfort imaginable and panoramic windows that bring the outside in. Dining on the Blue Train, with dishes that reflect the country's culinary diversity, was a journey of flavors as much as a journey across the land.

Blue Train holidays

BTI DAY 5 Blue Train Lounge Car

7. Rocky Mountaineer: Canada's Scenic Splendor

The Rocky Mountaineer offers an unforgettable journey through the heart of the Canadian Rockies, with vistas of towering mountains, pristine lakes, and untamed wilderness. What makes this train unique is its commitment to daylight travel, ensuring you don't miss a moment of the breathtaking scenery.

The onboard service is impeccable, with gourmet meals and stories shared by the crew adding layers of depth to the visual feast outside. This journey is a celebration of nature's grandeur, experienced in a way that only the Rocky Mountaineer can provide.

Rocky Mountaineer holidays

COI HIGHLIGHT 1 Rocky Mountineer Banff

8. Indian Pacific: Australia's Coast-to-Coast Adventure

Crossing the vast continent of Australia on the Indian Pacific was a journey of contrasts, from the sparkling waters of the Pacific Ocean to the rugged cliffs of the Indian Ocean, with the endless expanse of the Nullarbor Plain in between. The train itself offers a comfortable and stylish way to traverse these diverse landscapes.

The Indian Pacific is more than just a train ride; it's an exploration of Australia's heartland, with stops that offer a glimpse into the country's history, culture, and natural wonders. The journey is a reminder of the vastness and beauty of Australia, seen from the unique vantage point of one of the world's most luxurious trains.

Indian Pacific holidays

JBRE Indian Pacific Hero Blue Mountains NSW 19

9. The Ghan: An Australian Outback Odyssey

The Ghan's journey through the heart of Australia, from the tropical north of Darwin to the historic south of Adelaide, is an odyssey through the soul of the country. The train, named after the Afghan cameleers who once traversed these lands, offers a luxury experience that contrasts starkly with the rugged landscapes it passes.

Traveling on The Ghan, with its comfortable accommodations and exquisite dining, provides a unique perspective on the Australian Outback. The excursions, whether exploring the natural wonders of Katherine Gorge or the underground opal mines of Coober Pedy, enrich the journey with authentic Australian experiences.

The Ghan holidays

GHI HERO 1 CREDIT JBRE The Ghan Exterior

10. Deccan Odyssey: India's Rolling Palace

The Deccan Odyssey is a journey through the heart of India, offering a window into the diverse landscapes, cultures, and histories of the Deccan Plateau. The train, with its palatial interiors and impeccable service, mirrors the splendor of the regions it explores.

Each day on the Deccan Odyssey brings new discoveries, from the architectural marvels of Maharashtra to the pristine beaches of Goa. The train's itineraries are thoughtfully crafted to showcase the best of India, making every moment onboard an exploration of the country's rich heritage and vibrant present.

Deccan Odyssey holidays

Deccan Odyssey 8389

Traveling on any of these luxurious trains is not just about the destinations they connect but about the journeys themselves. Each train offers a unique window into the soul of its region, combining the romance of rail travel with the luxury of modern amenities. Experiencing these journeys firsthand has deepened my appreciation for the art of travel, reminding me that the journey is just as important as the destination. Join us on your next Great Rail Journey, and let's discover the world from the tracks of its most luxurious trains.