The train has been exiled into oblivion since the beginning of modern road-building and airfares becoming readily available to everyone. But in recent years, trains have made a comeback and with style and poise at that. Train travelling is becoming fashionable again, especially for those who wish to travel a bit back in time. So why not enjoy some luxury train experiences on your honeymoon?
1. Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
You have probably heard about Agatha Christie’s famous murder-mystery novel Murder on the Orient Express. The titular train first departed from Gare de l’Est in Paris in 1883, birthing a new era of train travel. The luxurious train covered Europe’s longest route at the time, starting in Paris and finishing in Constantinople, today’s Istanbul.
Giving the famous train a new life, a privately owned company bought the original carriages and restored them to their most glorious time. The Art Deco style carriages allow you to experience the heights of roaring ’20s, enjoying the comfortable, luxurious bedding and dining in the famous Bar Car 3674. There are customizable options for honeymooners who want their first days of marriage to be extra special.
Today’s route is somewhat shorter, with most passengers opting to get off in Venice or Vienna. On their website, however, they still offer the original route starting in September of this year, so maybe the Orient Express route will be restored to its former glory, passing through Europe’s capitals and countryside. The Istanbul-Paris route also includes planned excursions to Budapest and Bucharest, a Danube cruise, and a visit to Peles Castle.
2. Blue Train
Experience South Africa in a completely different light aboard the Blue Train. Its 27-hour journey crosses 1,600 kilometres of South Africa’s land. You will also get to stop at the diamond mines of Kimberley on the way south. On your way back, you can visit Matjiesfontein, the colonial outpost.
This luxury train experience includes butlers that are on call 24/7. They can get you a glass of drink or a snack, or even iron your clothes. The luxurious suites also have full-size bathtubs, so you can enjoy the savanna while soaking in a bubble bath and sipping champagne.
Since 2016, the Blue Train has also offered special journeys from Pretoria to Hoedspruit, in the Kruger Park area. The train tickets can be booked online well in advance.
3. Golden Eagle
Once known as the Trans-Siberian Express, the Moscow-Vladivostok train represents one of the most incredible train journeys you will ever take. You will have access to a private bathroom, laundry services, and of course air conditioning or heating, depending on the time of year. Onboard, there are also a resident pianist and an English-speaking doctor.
Daily excursions await you along the way, so at times it may feel more like a cruise than a train ride. You will enjoy the mesmerising Lake Baikal and get to visit Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar. The two-week-long journey can serve as an excellent opportunity to bask in the luxury of this train with your spouse.
4. TranzAlpine Train
One luxury train journey that you’ll never forget is the TranzAlpine train trip in New Zealand. World-renowned for its stunning beauty. A journey that begins in Christchurch – where you can book some wonderful luxurious Christchurch accommodation after your stay there – you’ll travel in a rail that links the city of Christchurch to historic Greymouth, a river town on the rugged West Coast in the South Island of New Zealand. Highlights include a 240-foot-high Staircase viaduct, the world-famous Arthur’s Pass National Park, and the Otira tunnel. This journey is the honeymoon of a lifetime.
5. Seven Stars
When you think about Japan, the first thing that pops in mind is the fast trains. But Japan’s answer to Orient Express was the Seven Stars train. And it does not disappoint. Only 30 people can be aboard at the same time, in seven luxurious carriages. This train is in itself a masterpiece, featuring the best of Japanese craftsmanship. Glass doors rich in flowery details, shoji paper screens instead of curtains, and wooden details across floors and walls.
Seven Stars offers two itineraries. A shorter, two-day trip, mainly in Fukuoka prefecture, and a longer, four-day journey that goes around the southern part of the Kyushu island. Since both options are highly in demand, the company selects travellers by lottery. This can be somewhat disappointing for honeymooners who don’t win, but you can have multiple entries for the dates that you want.
Train travel is making a comeback in the form of luxury train experiences that are best enjoyed with your significant other. So since the honeymoon usually represents a unique, costly trip, why not slow down and enjoy the relaxing train travel experience? After all, the staff on any of them will spoil you until you reach your final destination.