Train is a classic way to travel and with less people choosing to fly following the Covid-19 pandemic, it is a great alternative for your next holiday. Here are five of the most incredible (and often luxurious!) train journeys to provide a bit of inspiration.
1. Trans-Siberian Express, Russia
The Trans-Siberian Express runs from Moscow to Vladivostok, making it the world’s longest train journey. It also joins with the Trans-Mongolian and Trans-Manchurian routes, meaning that as well as enjoying the incredible scenery of Russia and its most interesting and diverse cities, you can also journey right through to explore the wonders of China and more The Trans-Siberian Express actually connects the European rail network at one end with either Vladivostok or the Chinese rail network at the other, making it possible to travel overland via train in either direction between London, Paris or anywhere in Europe and China, Japan, Korea or even Southeast Asia!
2. The Rocky Mountaineer, Canada
The Rocky Mountaineer offers beautiful Canadian scenery combined with luxury. Make yourself comfortable as you pass mountains, hot springs, aquamarine lakes, gorgeous National Parks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are three routes; First passage to the West, Journey through the clouds, and Rainforest to gold rush, as well as circle journeys for those who can’t decide. Whilst meals are served on the train with locally inspired dishes, there are stops offs in luxury hotels each night to ensure a good nights sleep. Coaches have panoramic views and outdoor viewing areas which provide a truly unique experience.
3. The Seven Stars, Japan
It is difficult to find a more luxurious form of travel that Japan’s luxury trains, and The Seven Stars train is no exception. The train explores Kyushu and its seven prefectures: Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Oita, Miyazaki, Kumamoto, and Kagoshima. The seven stars are also meant to represent the 7 most important aspects of a visit to Kyushu: hot springs, nature, power spots, history & culture, food, the friendliness of its people, and its train system. There are two different travel options, a 4 days/3 nights trip which makes a large circuit around all of Kyushu, with its most famous hot springs, volcanoes, and urban areas, and a 2 days/1 night trip which focuses on the northern half of Kyushu, starting in Fukuoka and passing by Oita and Nagasaki. The train is the absolute height of luxury travel and designed to hark back to a time of high class travel as well as to push train travel ever forwards. The suites have a retro feel but offer large windows with an expansive view of the countryside.
4. Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru
The Belmond Andean Explorer is South America’s first luxury sleeper service and follows one of the highest train routes in the world. It offers both one or two night journeys, with the route going from Cusco, the ancient Inca capital, across the highest plains of the Andes to arrive at the beautiful Lake Titicaca and city of Puno, and further onto Arequipa city if you choose the longer route. The luxury train is the ideal way to explore this breathtaking countryside of Peru, a country with vibrant cities and spellbinding natural wonders.
5. TranzAlpine, New Zealand
The TranzAlpine in New Zealand runs coast to coast through the Southern Alps across the mountainous spine of the country’s South Island. Starting in Christchurch on the east coast of the Island, the train passes the plains of Canterbury then onto Springfield. The section between here and the township of Arthur’s Pass is considered a masterpiece of railway engineering and the most famous section of the TranzAlpine. The route then follows Waimakariri River gorge onto the high plains of Craigieburn and the iconic views of the Craigieburn Straight. Otira Tunnel marks the transition from Canterbury to West Coast and the landscape becomes extremely different, more green and vibrant. Finally, the TranzAlpine reaches the mountainous hills and broad meandering riverbeds of Greymouth, the trains terminus.