Luxury train journeys: how much are the tickets for the most luxurious in the world
So much travel is by plane that it can be easy to overlook another fabulous way to take in the scenery: trains!
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Trains can offer a comfortable experience like no other, with ornate cabins, fancy dining cars, 24-hour concierge service and again – incredible scenery, anywhere in the world. Here we’ve listed 11 of the most luxurious train journeys, according to Travel + Leisure, that you can dream of taking… at the right price.
The Presidential Train, Portugal
Portugal is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets when it comes to beautiful scenery and culinary grandeur. The Presidential train takes its passengers to the heart of this incredible gastronomic scene, in the Douro Valley.
On this train ride, chefs come aboard every day to prepare incredible dishes and pair them with local wines. Passengers have private cabins to admire the beautiful landscape of the valley. Tickets start at $560 per person for this luxury dining experience.
Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru
The Belmond Andean Explorer begins its journey in the capital of Cusco and meanders along the Andean plains, to Lake Titicaca. Not only is it one of the most luxurious train rides – with brightly colored and lush Peruvian fabrics decorating your cabins and tasty cuisine – but the train claims to have one of the highest rides in the world, by due to the altitude of 12,507 feet.
Individual passenger tickets start at around $1,915 per person.
Seven Stars cruise train, Japan
This luxurious Japanese train experience invests as much in beauty as it does in passenger comfort. For one thing, it’s one of the first trains to include luxury sleeping compartments. The train is visually stunning, inside and out. According to its website, its exterior has been compared to antique lacquer, and its interiors include polished wood accents and gold embellishments.
You can choose from multi-day tours around the island of Kyushu, offering views of the mountains and the ocean. However, only 28 passengers can travel at a time, which means you have to enter a lottery to participate. It’s not cheap either. Individual tickets start at around $2,300 per ticket (330,000 yen) but can go up to double that depending on your suite.
The Ghan, Australia
When you think of Australia, you might think of the vast, warm outback and jeep expeditions in khaki. However, the Ghan Expedition train offers passengers a chance to tour Australia in luxury on a journey that first went into service in 1924 but has been updated with modern comforts and conveniences.
You’ll spend four days traveling from Darwin to Adelaide with stops at such stunning locations as the historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station and the Nitmiluk Gorge, where you can learn about its rich Aboriginal history. You can also sample Australian food and wine, all for around $2,500 per person.
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Rovos Rail, South Africa
This incredible train journey passes through multiple landscapes in South Africa, from the Highveld grasslands to the Great Karoo desert, as well as stunning mountain ranges and the Cape Winelands. You’ll end your three-day trip in Cape Town, described as “South Africa’s Mother City.”
You’ll also stop at historic Matjiesfontein, an authentically preserved Victorian village, and Kimberley, where you’ll see the Diamond Mine Museum and the world’s largest man-made excavation, the Big Hole. Passengers will pay approximately $3,095 per passenger for the Royal Car.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Europe
Imagine yourself in an Agatha Christie novel as you travel aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, a train positively dripping with old-world Art Deco luxury. The train runs from London to Venice, stopping in Paris and Verona along the way. The food you eat is collected throughout your journey in places like Brittany and Provence. Also feel free to dress in your finery, which is more than encouraged, and sip champagne in the bar car.
This luxurious adventure starts at around $3,750 per ticket.
The Canadian, Canada
Travel through the Great White North while staying warm in your train cabin. The Canadian offers services across the country, from Toronto to Vancouver. If you never get off the train, it will take you four consecutive days to complete the journey.
Along the way, passengers will see waterfalls, charming little towns and the great Rocky Mountains. Take the train in winter for the best views of snow-capped peaks and endless fields of white powder. This trip starts at around $6,190 per passenger.
Eastern & Oriental Express, Asia
The Eastern & Oriental Express aims to bring the best of Asian luxury to its passengers, and has done so since 1993. Its website describes the interiors as decorated in “beautiful green and gold carriages concealing beautiful cherry woodwork, Thai silks and Malaysian embroidery”.
The train will also take you through “lush jungle, ancient temples, and quaint villages” as you pass through cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and Singapore. You’ll also need to dress appropriately – dinner parties require formal attire. For all this luxury, you only need to shell out around $7,575 per person if you want to stay in the Presidential Suite.
Maharajas Express, India
If you want to take your luxury train experience up a notch, consider Maharajas’ Express train, an eight-day “Heritage of India” tour that takes you through some of the major cities like Mumbai, Udaipur, Jodhpur , Jaipur, Agra and Delhi. Not only do you get the absolute beauty and comfort of the train itself, decorated with Indian fabrics and gleaming wood, but also a private butler.
Tickets for it start around $8,950 per passenger.
Belmond Royal Scotsman, Scotland
For the Outlander obsessive or anyone who’s always wanted to see the majesty of Scotland up close – from its mysterious lochs to its majestic stone castles and lush countryside – the Royal Scotsman train ride will blow your mind. You will be installed in “cars dressed in mahogany [that] marry Edwardian elegance with the comforts of a country house,” its website states.
Even better, the Royal Scotsman is one of the few luxury trains to have an onboard spa. Enjoy a spa service, such as a massage or manicure, while admiring the scenery. Of course, you’ll want to save – their Grand Western Scenic Wonders Tour is around $12,500 per person!
Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express, Russia
If you take the Russian Trans-Siberian Express, you will be riding a train that is over 100 years old. All of this history adds up to an unforgettable experience.
The journey takes you from Moscow all the way to Vladivostok, and you can do more than just sit in your luxury compartment. You can take Russian lessons, enjoy live piano music and help yourself to fine cocktails in the bar that doesn’t close.
This 15-day trip is the most expensive on our list. It starts at $19,895 per person for ‘Silver Class’ and can go up to $88,000 for ‘Royal Suite’ depending on travel dates.
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