Five of the Best Luxury Trains in the World – Rediscover the Pleasures of Rail Journey

Reinvent the art of traveling in luxury and elegance – experience the quality and decor of five of the world’s best rail services – Get pampered by the highly efficient and friendly staff.

Five of the Best Luxury Trains in the World - Rediscover the Pleasures of Rail Journey

There are few better ways in the world to experience the pleasures of travel than extended train journeys on luxury trains – the old-world ambiance of the coaches with all the modern trimmings one can hope for; the ever-changing scenery with some of the world’s most majestic sites to behold along the plains and winding fairytale mountain routes; friendly and ever-accommodating staff; fine dining; and an overall laid back atmosphere.

While there are around 25-30 super luxury train services in the world, we provide below our selection of 5 of the best from five different continents – Palace on Wheels ( Asia); Royal Scotsman (Europe); The Ghan (Australia), Rovos Rail (South Africa); and Rocky Mountaineer (North America).

Palace on Wheels – Rajasthan – India

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India’s first luxury train, the Palace on Wheels, is an experience in luxury and comfort and personalized attention truly befitting a Maharaja. This mobile palace traverses the Rajasthan landscape as you experience the rustic beauty of the land and its colorful people while you travel like royalty pampered by an ever accommodating staff.

It’s not for nothing that the PoW has been voted as the World’s 4th Best Luxury Train and honored with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Award.

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Here are the salient features of this moving marvel called the Palace on Wheels.

  • 14 salons that can comfortably accommodate up to 88 passengers. The salons are named after former princely states of India including Alwar, Bikaner, Bharatpur, Bundi, Dungarpur, Dholpur, Jaipur, Jhalawar, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Kota, Kishangarh, Udaipur, and Sirohi.
  • Miniature paintings, period furniture, upholstery and mirror work adorn each of the salons creating the ambiance of a bygone era.
  • Each salon is equipped with a mini pantry, serving coffee/tea and snacks, in addition to 4 coupes (sleeping rooms) with attached toilets.
  • There is a captain, valet, and a ‘Khidmatgar’ (attendant) in each salon to cater to the whims and fancies of the onboard royalties – well, that’s what you feel like on this train
  • The two restaurants on board, the “Maharaja” and the “Maharani,” serve table d’hôte meals good enough to tickle the fussiest of taste buds, if you will.
  • The well-stocked in-house bar offers the perfect ambiance and a selection of the finest of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • A comfortable and spacious lounge area to unwind, relax and watch the scenery go by.

Important Tips:

Best time – November to April

Itinerary – Delhi, Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bharatpur, Agra

Price – Off-season (September and April) $410 per person per night (Triple Sharing Cabin) and $600 for single cabin occupancy; Peak-season (October to March) $540 (Triple Sharing Cabin) and $800 for single cabin occupancy.

Website – https://www.palacesonwheels.com/

Royal Scotsman – Scotland

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Travel to the heart of the Scottish Highlands in aristocratic style aboard one of the finest luxury trains on the planet – The Royal Scotsman. This fine train exemplifies dignified style and grace – and subtle opulence.

A maximum of 36 guests on board ensures relative privacy and space and bears testimony to the exclusive attention given to service and passenger comfort aboard this magnificent coach.

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It journeys through some of the most scenic terrain in Scotland with rising peaks, and dipping glens and beautiful, endless “pine-clad mountains reflected in mirror-still lochs” passing you by while you enjoy the “world-class cuisine, rich with Scottish specialties” in one of the “mahogany-panelled Restaurant Cars.”

Main Features

  • 2 double, 4 single and 14 twin State Cabins for guest accommodation equipped with amenities including a private bathroom, top-of-the-line toiletries, constant hot water, and daily supply of fresh towels.
  • Observation Car with plush sofas and armchairs to enjoy the wonderful fairytale-like scenery.
  • A verandah for open-air views.
  • Extravagant meals all through the trip
  • Malt whiskeys, fine wines, and other alcoholic beverages available from the well-stocked cellar on board.

Best time: April to October

Itinerary: London, Edinburgh, Keith, Dundee, Glasgow, Perth, Cambridge, York, Ardlui, Scarborough, Cambridge, Oxford, Bath, Chester.

Price (all-inclusive) – $1,700–$2,000 per person, per day

Website https://www.belmond.com/royal-scotsman-train/

The Ghan – Australia

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The Ghan takes you on an end to end epic journey covering 1851 miles through spectacular and diverse landscapes – from the pastoral hues of the South Australian plains to the rusty reds of the MacDonnell Ranges and onward to the tropical greens of Katherine and Darwin.

Passengers can pick from the three classes of service on the Ghan according to their budgets – Platinum Service being on the higher side followed by the Gold Service and the Red Service.

Platinum Service Features

  • Full-size en suite equipped with shower, vanity with cupboard space, toilet and complimentary Australian bathroom amenities
  • Lockable door, power outlets and in-cabin safe
  • In-cabin music channels and journey audio commentary available
  • Picture windows offering views from both sides of the train
  • Choose to travel with Platinum Service Transfers at the start and end of your journey available for guests within 60km of the terminal
  • Freshly prepared continental in-cabin breakfasts served upon request
  • Refreshments served in-cabin
  • 90kg luggage allowance per guest (3 x 30kg each)

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Platinum Club – Offers all inclusive menu prepared by onboard chefs using fresh local fare. The seasonal menu features mouth-watering dishes such as saltwater barramundi and grilled kangaroo fillet.

Platinum Service fare includes hearty breakfasts, two-course lunches, and three-course dinners. Vegetarian, children’s and limited special dietary meals are available when you make your booking.

You may also choose to complement your meal with our selection of wines and beverages included in your fare.

Complimentary Platinum Service transfer to Darwin Rail Terminal is available for guests departing from selected Darwin hotels.

Gold Service Features

  • For Gold Twin, a comfortable sleeper cabin featuring private ensuite and upper and lower berths that convert to a three-seater lounge by day
  • For Gold Single, a compact sleeper cabin featuring a bed that converts to a seat by day and shared shower/toilet facilities located at the end of the carriage
  • Power outlets in cabin
  • In-cabin music channels and journey audio commentary available
    All-inclusive dining in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant
  • All-inclusive Australian wines, beers, base spirits and non-alcoholic beverages
  • All-inclusive Off Train Excursions and Short Stops
  • Luggage allowance is 60kg per guest
  • Complimentary Shuttle bus transfers available in Darwin to selected hotels in the city center.

Queen Adelaide Restaurant Car – An all inclusive menu is prepared by onboard chefs using fresh local fare. The seasonal menu features mouth-watering dishes such as saltwater barramundi and grilled kangaroo fillet.

Gold Service fare also includes hearty breakfasts, two-course lunches, and three-course dinners. Vegetarian, children’s and limited special dietary meals are available when you make your booking.

You may also choose to complement your meal with our selection of wines and beverages included in your fare.

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Red Service Features

  • Reclining seat per guest
  • 45-degree recline
  • Two abreast seating
  • Rotatable to allow adjacent guests to face each other
  • Ample 49cm leg room
  • Access to the licensed cafe with meals, beverages, and snacks for purchase and power outlets available to charge mobile devices
  • Free Platform magazine
  • Guests are permitted to check-in a maximum of 40kg of luggage free of charge (two items not exceeding 20kg each). Checked-in luggage cannot be accessed during the journey.
  • On the Overland, there is also an option of Red Premium Service

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Cafe 828 – Take a short stroll to Café 828 for an appetizing meal, an espresso coffee to kick off the day or a refreshing cool drink. And if you’re too busy soaking up the ever-changing view from your seat, call out for an a la carte meal, snack or drink from the catering trolley.

(Source: http://www.greatsouthernrail.com.au)

Rovos Rail – South Africa

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Ride on the Ravos Rail of South Africa from Pretoria to Cape Town, Victoria Falls or the Durban Safari and take some of the most memorable moments back with you to cherish for the rest of your life.

Here are some important features and information about this wonderful South African Rail Service.

Train – Locomotive, generator car, staff car, guest sleepers, a non-smoking lounge with a 26-guest-capacity, 2 non-smoking 42-seat dining cars which can accommodate up to 72 guests – the maximum that Ravos Rail carries, kitchen car, smoking lounge and 32-guest Observation Car at the rear end of the train.

Meals – Meals are served in a single sitting in the elegant Victorian style dining cars with a selection of fine South African wines. Fresh local ingredients are used and traditional dishes such as game are a specialty.

Accommodation

Royal Suites – Spacious and elegant covering over 16 square meters – each suite with personal lounge area and bathroom with Victorian bath and separate shower – wood paneling and Edwardian decor – writing surface, personal safe for valuables, bar fridge with beverages of choice, and 24/7 room service.

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Deluxe Suites – Over 10 square meters of room space – two-passenger accommodation with double or twin beds – wood paneled refurbished sleeper coaches over every modern convenience and comfort – writing surface, personal safe for valuables, bar fridge with beverages of choice, and 24/7 room service.

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Pullman Suites – Over 7 square meters of room space – equipped with convertible beds, sofa during the day and double or twin beds for retiring in the evening – wood paneled refurbished sleeper – writing surface, personal safe for valuables, bar fridge with beverages of choice, and 24/7 room service.

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Best time – Throughout the year

Price

Pretoria to Cape Town

  • Royal Suite – R35,150
  • Deluxe Suite – R26,395
  • Pullman Suite – R17,495

Pretoria to Victoria Falls

  • Royal Suite – R45,860
  • Deluxe Suite – R34,395
  • Pullman Suite – R22,895

Pretoria to Durban

  • Royal Suite – R38,150
  • Deluxe Suite – R28,650
  • Pullman Suite – R18,950

(Source: https://www.rovos.com)

Rocky Mountaineer – Canada

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Rocky Mountaineer is a Canadian Rail company offering 65 vacation packages over four breathtakingly scenic routes through British Columbia, Alberta, and the Pacific Northwest. From sweeping green forests to spectacular glacier-fed lakes to raging rivers and local wildlife, you are treated to some of the most jaw-dropping sites of Western Canada.

Important Information

Departure cities – Seattle, Vancouver, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, and Calgary

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Some of the MainPackages with itinerary

  • Coastal Passage Journey through the Clouds with cruise (From CAD 6,199; 16 -17 days): Seattle – Juneau – Sitka – Ketchikan – Victoria – Vancouver – Kamploops – Jasper
  • Journey through the Clouds Discovery Drive without cruise (From CAD 2,899; 8 days): Vancouver – Kamploops – Jasper – Lake Louise – Banff – Calgary, or Reverse
  • Canadian Rockies Highlights (From CAD 2,749; 5 nights): Vancouver – Kamploops – Banff – Lake Louise – Calgary, or Reverse
  • Grand Rail Circle with Post-Tour Cruise ms Nieuw Amsterdam (From CAD 7,849; 21 days): Vancouver – Kamploops – Banff – Lake Louise – Jasper – Quesnel – Whistler – Juneau
  • Grand Rail Circle with Pre-Tour Cruise ms Nieuw Amsterdam (From CAD 8,099; 21 days): Vancouver – Juneau – Skagway – Ketchikan – Vancouver – Kamploops – Banff – Lake Louise
  • Golden Circle via Whistler with Pre-Tour Cruise ms Volendam (From CAD 8,599, 21 days): Vancouver – Juneau – Skagway- Ketchikan – Vancouver – Whistler – Quesnel – Jasper
  • Golden Circle via Whistler with Pre-Tour Cruise ms Volendam (From CAD 8,449; 21 days): Vancouver – Juneau – Skagway- Ketchikan – Vancouver – Whistler – Quesnel – Jasper
  • Grand Rail Circle with Cruise ms Nieuw Amsterdam (From CAD 8,499; 21 days): Vancouver – Juneau – Skagway- Ketchikan – Vancouver – Kamploops – Banff – Lake Louise

There are some 65 packages tailored to suit your requirements. Log on to the company website (https://www.rockymountaineer.com) for the full range of packages and deals.

Best time – April to October

(Sourcehttps://www.rockymountaineer.com)

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