Are these the world’s best luxury rail journeys?
Written by: Julia Hammond
Be warned: slow travel’s addictive. We may think we want to jump on a plane, but board a train instead for a cross-continental journey and this is vacationing on an epic scale. But you don’t need to ditch the comfort when you swap your five star resort for a moving hotel. Here are Mundana’s picks for what we consider to be the world’s best luxury rail journeys.
The Orient Express
As famous for its opulence as it is for its history, the Orient Express is the very epitome of glamorous rail travel. Ride the Venice-Simplon Orient Express and set foot in a world of sophistication and opulence. Sip champagne in the Bar Car to a soundtrack of tinkling ivories courtesy of the resident pianist. Art Deco touches and French-polished cherry paneling adorn cabins that have carried the rich and famous across Europe. From the minute the white gloved steward welcomes you on board to the second your foot touches the platform in Venice, this is an experience like no other. If ever a rail journey captured the essence of the Golden Age of travel, this is surely it.
Hailed by some as the world’s most luxurious rail journey, the Pride of Africa links Cape Town to Dar Es Salaam. You can hop aboard for a couple of nights or spend a month soaking up some of Africa’s most amazing scenery. Namibia’s deserts, the spectacle of Victoria Falls and the game reserves of Mpumalanga await guests. On board, time has stood still. Wood paneling, fine dining and attentive service make this a timeless experience. Air conditioning, showers, hairdryers, shaver sockets and roomy double beds remind travellers that despite appearances, they’re still firmly in the 21st century.
Belmond’s Andean Explorer
High in the mountains of Peru, there’s a train that boasts the finest of modern amenities inside and offers travellers the chance to see some of the most incredible archaeological sites in the whole of South America. Beginning in the Inca capital Cusco, the journey traverses the altiplano to reach the world’s highest navigable lake, Titicaca. It ends up in the elegant city of Arequipa, famed for its sillar stone cathedral overlooked by Misti Volcano. For those wishing to tour Peru in style, this is the way to do so.
Palace on Wheels
With a name like Palace on Wheels, you can’t really go wrong. India’s premier train experience does not disappoint. This eight day trip crosses majestic Rajasthan while you settle back in your spacious, deluxe cabin to enjoy being pampered by your own personal butler. On board, there are two restaurants, a bar and even a spa. Each day, you’ll alight for a wonderful excursion. The sightseeing programme includes the Pink City of Jaipur with its splendid forts, Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve and of course Agra’s exquisite Taj Mahal. of course, with a train this good the excursions have to be able to blow you away or you’d never get off!
Do you agree? If your dream rail journey didn’t make the cut, let us know. And if we’ve convinced you to ride the rails this year, why not get in touch? Here at Mundana, we can help you turn your vision into luxurious reality. Go on, spoil yourself!