From the verdant forests and gorges of Canada’s Rockies to the vast expanses of southern Africa, rail travel often places the otherwise inaccessible within your reach. There’s something quite calming about being able to sit back and unwind as ever-changing scenes glide by and all the finer details are taken care of. Hop aboard and rediscover the romance of rail travel, taking in some of the world's most remarkable landscapes from a unique vantage point.
1. Rovos Rail, South Africa
Offering lavish sojourns across southern Africa
for more than 30 years, Rovos Rail is the epitome of luxury. If you’re looking for an Orient Express-style adventure aboard a vintage train
, look no further. Recapture that romantic feeling of a bygone era as are greeted by your train manager and a stellar team of staff. The suites on board are exactly as one would expect, with dark-wood panelling, plush linens and a writing desk stocked with monogrammed stationery.
2. Rocky Mountaineer, Canada
Aboard the Rocky Mountaineer it’s all about the journey, and this is a journey like no other. Take your seat for the glass-domed adventure of a lifetime and get comfortable as this prestigious train rolls through the Canadian Rockies, past forested cliffs, alpine rivers and snowy peaks. Relax in bi-level glass-dome carriages, enjoying all the comforts of Gold Leaf Service, with a lower-level dining room and outdoor viewing platform adding to the experience.
3. Belmond Andean Explorer,
In a class of its own, the Belmond Andean Explorer takes passengers along one of the highest train routes in the world, via Lake Titicaca and Colca Canyon. This incredible two-night rail journey through Peru’s Andes mountain range is South America’s first luxury sleeper service. Complementing the unique Andean landscapes, the train’s interiors are brimming with local flair. There are Peruvian tapestries made from alpaca wool, fabulous timber finishes, linen-covered walls and bathrooms fashioned from local stone.
4. Glacier Express, Switzerland
Traverse the Swiss Alps by taking Switzerland by Rail in style aboard the Glacier Express, journeying between the mountain resort towns of Zermatt and St Moritz through some of Switzerland’s most breathtaking landscapes. This famous route was declared a World Heritage-listed site by UNESCO in 2008 for its engineering, architecture and connection to the alpine landscape. On board, panoramic glass windows offer spectacular views while regional dishes and wines are served at your seat.
5. The Grand Empress Steam Train, Hungary
Follow in the footsteps of the Habsburg empire on an imperial train journey aboard the elegant Grand Empress steam train. Once the transport of choice for the emperor and empress of Austria, later king and queen of Hungary, Franz Joseph I and Elisabeth of Bavaria, you’ll feel like royalty during this grand journey. Take a peek inside some of the ornately adorned carriages from the early 1900s and be treated to lunch on board.