Luxury rail travel conjures up romantic images of beautifully designed trains, gourmet dining and world-class hospitality. As 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the Trans-Siberian Express, Wexas Travel has compiled its top six rail adventures around the globe…
1. Best for…The Ultimate Railway Experiences - 15-day Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express
In June 2016 and to mark the Trans-Siberian Express’ 100th anniversary, Golden Eagle Luxury Trains will launch two new routes. Undoubtedly the world’s greatest railway experience, this 6,000-mile journey (1/3 of the way around the world) starts from Moscow. It travels over the Urals, across the Russian steppes, along the shore of the world's deepest lake, down into Mongolia and then east to Vladivostok. A supremely luxurious private train, it comprises en-suite silver and gold class sleeping cars that come complete with everything from power showers to underfloor heating, superb food and wonderful entertainment.
Wexas Travel (0207 838 5892, wexas.com) offers a 15-day Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express itinerary from £9,895 per person based on two sharing in Silver Class on a full-board basis. This includes transfers, Freedom of Choice guided touring, one-night accommodation in Moscow, 12-nights on-board Golden Eagle, one-night in Vladivostock. Does not include flights or visas. Valid for travel on select dates in 2016. Book by 4 September 2016
2. Best for… Wildlife Lovers – Rocky Mountaineer Grand Circle Tour
The 180˚ views and dramatic scenery are a real highlight of this Canadian Rockies tour. Brilliantly designed, the GoldLeaf service coach has elegant glass-domed cabins that lend themselves to enjoying the backdrop and wildlife spotting. Catch a glimpse of bald eagles, mountain goats and even bears. This once-in-a-lifetime experience begins in Vancouver, Canada’s multicultural hub on the west coast. From here, guests board the Rocky Mountaineer train for a memorable journey through the mountains with visits to Whistler, Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise and the wilds of the North Cariboo.
Wexas Travel (0207 838 5892, wexas.com) offers a 12-day Rocky Mountaineer Grand Circle Tour from £5,965 per person based on two sharing GoldLeaf in low season and from £6,625 in GoldLeaf in high season. This includes 10-nights’ accommodation including four breakfasts, four lunches, touring in Vancouver, Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper, return flights to Vancouver, all railway station transfers, luggage handling and national park passes. Valid for travel in low season from 4 May – 26 May and 1 June – 25 September in high season. Book by 5 October 2016
3. Best for Culture Enthusiasts – Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
With visions of 19th century splendour, this is one of the world’s most famous train journeys. The first Orient Express pulled out of Paris for Constantinople in 1883 and continued to carry tuxedo-clad cads and be-pearled dames across Europe until 1977. Fast-forward some years and it is en-route again and the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express remains, to this day, as faultless and desirable as ever. There are various routes across the continent but the 32-hour journey from London to Venice via Paris is the piece de resistance!
Wexas Travel (0207 838 5892, wexas.com) offers a four-day Venice Simplon-Orient-Express from £2,655 per person based on two sharing a cabin/ room. This includes a one-way journey from London to Venice on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, two-nights in a Superior room at Baglioni Hotel Luna, Venice, private station and airport transfer, privately guided Venice walking tour (two hours). Valid for travel on selected dates from March to November 2016. Book by 1 November 2016
4. Best for Striking Design – Royal Rajasthan on Wheels
Epitomising travelling extravagance, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels offers mesmerising experiences across the ‘Land of Maharajas’. From striking exteriors to interiors infused with nostalgia of a bygone era, this eight-day journey takes guests on a circular route from Delhi via Jodhpur, Udaipur, the fort at Chittogarh and Sawai Madhopur in the east of Rajasthan. This is the gateway to the jungle-clad hills and open plains of the Ranthambore National Park, which is home to one of the world's largest wild tiger populations. The train then stops in the colourful city of Jaipur, the holy city of Varanasi on the banks of the Ganges River and its final stop before ending in Delhi is Agra, for the Taj Mahal.
Wexas Travel (0207 838 5892, wexas.com) is offering a 12-day Royal Rajasthan on Wheels itinerary from £5,895 per person. Includes return flights, transfers, excursions, eight-days staying on the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels (on an all-inclusive basis) with visits to Delhi, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Chittogarh, Sawai Madhopur, Khajuraho, Varanasi and Agra. Also includes three-nights in Delhi on a B&B basis. Valid for travel on select dates during October – March/ April (low season). Book by 30 April 2017
5. Best for Wine Connoisseurs - Classic Cape, Blue Train and Safari
This South African odyssey starts with four days enjoying the delights of Cape Town; Table Mountain, Robben Island, boutiques, bars and restaurants on the V&A Waterfront. The next stop is the stunning Cape Winelands, with exclusive accommodation choices and the chance to enjoy some of South Africa's best wineries. From the Cape Winelands guests depart on the luxurious Blue Train for an incredible overnight journey to Pretoria. First class travel all the way, the journey takes travellers through the stunning landscapes of central South Africa. Guests spend a night in Pretoria before completing this South African holiday with a four-day safari in the Motswari Private Game Reserve.
Wexas Travel (0207 838 5892, wexas.com) is offering a 15-day Classic Cape, Blue Train and Safari itinerary from £3,045 per person (save up to £350 per couple) based on two sharing with some meals included. Includes international and domestic flights, one-night aboard the Blue Train, 11 nights’ accommodation, excursions with English-speaking guides. Valid for travel year-round. Book by 30 December2016
6. Best for Long Haul - Australia by rail
Australia is not only home to the Ghan but also to the renowned Indian Pacific rail service which runs right through the heart of the country between the two great oceans. This epic 13-day journey begins in Perth. Travelling in style on one of the world’s longest rail journeys, guests will cross the entire country in four-days. Rolling farmlands, vast deserts of Western Australia, the ancient Nullarbor Plain and the spectacular valleys of the Blue Mountains – this journey takes it all in as well as whistle stop tours of Kalgoorlie, Cook, Adelaide and the remote mining town of Broken Hill. The train journey ends in Sydney with just enough time to explore the capital before heading north to the Hunter Valley, Australia's oldest wine region.
Wexas Travel (0207 838 5892, wexas.com) is offering a 13-day Australia by Rail itinerary from £2,999 per person (save up to £575 per couple) based on two sharing with some meals included. Includes international flights, seven-nights’ accommodation, three-nights on board the Indian Pacific with all meals and private transfers. Valid for travel year-round (low season from 1 April – 9 June 2016 and 8 August – 21 August 2016). Book by 30 April 2016
The go-to girl for luxury hotels, Lisa Corcoran knows how to travel in style. Join Lisa on her quest, with a little help from her friends, to seek out those special places which stand apart from the rest.