Trains are seen as an outdated form of transportation these days. They’re not as fast or, in some cases, as comfortable as airplanes, though there is far less drama involved than flying. They’re all not as action-packed as cruises.
However, if you’re someone who enjoys traveling at a slower speed, with plenty of quiet time, train travel can be a wonderful alternative. Sitting in a train for long periods of time doesn’t have to suck either. Here are 5 luxurious train journey around the world you might want to look into:
5 – Via Rail Prestige Class
Before I started my job a year and a half ago, I toyed with the idea of a cross-country train journey as a last hurrah. But let’s face it, doing that on Amtrak is akin to being in a prison cell. So I came across Via Rail’s route from Vancouver to Toronto. It’s a scenic journey that spans three days and costs $4,453 for two people per cabin. While the price tag was way too steep, for those who can afford it I don’t think it’s totally unreasonable. There are folks out there who will pay that amount for one business class ticket on a ~12 hour journey. Traveling Via Rail Prestige Class would be akin to a 3-day first class experience with fine dining, beautifully appointed cabin, private bathroom with shower, and more.
4 – The Golden Eagle’s Trans-Siberian Express
The Golden Eagle’s 2-week Trans-Siberian route between Moscow and Vladivostok is perfect for restless souls, writers, and those seeking to be whisked away on a luxury ride through Eastern Europe. The train’s Imperial Suites offer 120 sqft of space, consisting of a King bed, lounge area, bathroom (with heated floors), complimentary minibar, and more. Be prepared to pay through the roof for these luxuries, to the tune of $34,000 and up. If you’re willing to settle for a less luxurious Silver Class cabin, fares start at $16,695.
3 – Rovos Rail
Train travel is all about taking in the scenery and Rovos Rail ensures you won’t miss a thing – their train travels at just 37 miles per hour. Cabins are decked out in wood paneling and plush furniture, providing a comfortable, B&B feel as you roll through the African countryside. Guests also get access to a free mini fridge and 24 hour room service. Traveling on Rovos Rail doesn’t have to be expensive. A ride in the Pullman Suites starts at $1,437 while the luxurious Royal Suites clock in at $2888.
2 – Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express
Whether you opt for a “low level” Single Cabin or splurge on a Grand Suite, you’ll be treated to glamorous accommodations while you take in Europe’s greatest cities on the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express. All cabins feature luxurious sleeping accommodations, unlimited free champagne, marble bathrooms, in-cabin dining and butler service. It’s no wonder then that the lowest fare for a Single Cabin booking costs $2856 per person, while a ride in the uber-luxurious Grand Suite will set you back $12,882.
1 – JR East Train Suite Shiki-shima
Leave it to the Japanese to outdo everyone with a luxury train experience that looks almost unreal. JR East’s Train Suite Shiki-shima resembles a luxury hotel room more than a train cabin, with its 2-level suits offering plenty of space to sleep and lounge around while taking in the stunning scenery.
The dining car looks more like a Michelin-starred restaurant out of a major metropolis than the moving cafeteria most train passengers are used to. The futuristic looking observation cars were designed to reflect the elements, offering both modern simplicity and style. If you’re looking to burn some cash, a ride in these suites will set you back $6,700 – $12,000.
Have you taken any of the above train journeys? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.