10 Luxury Train Getaways Adventurers Will Love



Slide 1 of 11: Sure, you could call them “luxury hotels on wheels,” but as any train traveler knows, the whole of the railway experience is worth far more than the sum of its parts. It’s often best to explore the far reaches of the world slowly, mile by mile, to truly get a feel for the landscape. So we’ve put together a list of 10 luxury train experiences for the modern day adventurer.  The 10 Best Off-the-Grid Trips to Connect With Nature  Channel your inner Paul Theroux and choose your adventure—from idyllic coastal escapes to imposing glaciers with more than a few quaint villages thrown in the mix. Oh, and don’t forget to pack that dog-eared copy of The Great Railway Bazaar.
Slide 2 of 11: Brace yourself for one arresting view after the next. On this eight-day Canadian adventure, between Vancouver and Calgary, you’ll be spoiled with hectare upon hectare of natural wonder—Lake Louise, Banff, and Jasper National Park to name a few. You’ll spend two days on board the train with the ability to choose from 50+ vacation packages as you venture through the Canadian Rockies. Two must-dos? A guided heli-hiking tour on Cariboos Mountain, and a chauffeured tour through Jasper National Park and the Columbia Icefields, where you’ll have the chance to walk on the Athabasca Glacier.
From $2,843 per person
Slide 3 of 11: Traveling to The Emerald Isle? Belmond Grand Hibernian is the country’s first luxe sleeper train. Starting Sept. 28, 2019, it’s unveiling a two-night itinerary, featuring meals by renowned Irish chef and cookbook author Clodagh McKenna. Forty lucky voyagers will learn about the rich heritage of Irish cuisine. You’ll even forage with the chef in Cork—and be spoiled with a gin tasting uniquely formulated with whey alcohol from Irish cow’s milk. Can’t swing it this year? A similar trip is slated for Sept. 19–21, 2020.
From $4,692 per person
Slide 4 of 11: Vacations By Rail, a full-service tour operator, makes planning your epic journey on tracks a breeze. (Picky? You can work with a rail specialist to customize your travels.) On this 18-day getaway, highlights include Rainbow Springs Natural Park, Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and plenty of downtime to check out Auckland, Queenstown, and Christchurch. The Best of New Zealand trip departs weekly from September to July—the warmer months in this slice of the world.
From $5,295 per person
Slide 5 of 11: Ready to go on a rollicking adventure to the tune of $17K per guest? Passengers aboard the Golden Eagle will be treated to 12 nights in an en suite cabin in Silver Class (Gold and Imperial are also available), a 2-night hotel accommodation, all meals and drinks, off-train excursions, porterage, arrival and departure transfers, as well as the services of a tour manager and all gratuities. This train journeys from Moscow to Vladivostok (or the reverse), with lavish receptions and pastoral vistas along the way.
From $16,995 per person
Slide 6 of 11: Wildlife and jaw-dropping scenery abounds on this recently resumed service between Winnipeg and Churchill, the town in Manitoba known as the polar bear capital of the world. More bragging rights: Churchill has one of the planet’s largest beluga whale populations, and is one of the best places to see the northern lights. Treat yourself to Sleeper Plus class (available through Nov. 5) aboard the sole dry-land connection to Churchill. Sit back and watch the world chug by from a panoramic dome.
Search fares here
Slide 7 of 11: Looking to have an unforgettable day trip in the land of Kiwis? Your six-hour ride to/from Christchurch and Picton wows with cliffs and remote beaches near Oaro and the Kaikoura mountains to the North, with the Pacific Ocean just a stone’s throw away at various stages of your journey. This seasonal train runs spring through fall.
From $103  
Slide 8 of 11: Another Vacations By Rail gem: Start in either Dar es Salaam; Tanzania; or Capetown, South Africa. You’ll set out on 15 days through Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa, with plenty of opportunities to see wildlife in their natural habitats. Standout moments include a sunset cruise floating along the Zambezi River in Victoria Falls; a two-night stay at the Madikwe Game Reserve (pack a notebook to track lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and cape buffalo sightings); and chugging through the Selous Game Reserve, where you can spot animals from the train or on foot the next day.
From $12,820 per person
Slide 9 of 11: Waiting with bated breath for the Downton Abbey movie to debut? To toast the upcoming film, hop onto the Belmond British Pullman, opening exclusively for Belmond guests on March 18 and Sept. 23, 2020. You’ll embark on a day trip from London’s Victoria Station. The trip includes table d’hote meals, half a bottle of wine per person, a private tour of Highclere Castle (the ancestral residence of the Earl & Countess of Carnarvon—and where the beloved TV series took place), as well as a champagne reception. We can’t deny: 1920s and 1930s carriages never called our names so loudly.
From $650 per person
Slide 10 of 11: An 11-day experience destined to impress, the Golden Pass Panoramic and Jungfrau Railway will take you through lush countryside and historic villages, where guests can disembark to enjoy plenty of activities like biking, hiking, museum-hopping, and even taking a historic paddle steamer across Lake Lucerne. You’ll also visit the UNESCO site of the largest glacier in the Alps, the Aletsch Glacier, an image sure to etch itself into your memory. 
From $2,559 per person
Slide 11 of 11: Traverse four countries in seven days with plenty of castles and palaces along the way. Beyond awe-inspiring views of Central Europe aboard your roving hotel, you’ll spend your first night in Istanbul at the Pera Palace Hotel, where Agatha Christie penned Murder on the Orient Express. If rereading that celebrated tome doesn’t spook you out, continue to the Carpathian Mountains; the World Heritage site of Sighișoara in Romania; an excursion to see a “Puszta” horse show in Lajosmizse, Hungary; and more remarkable experiences. Tickets include meals and drinks, guided excursions, porterage, gratuities, tour manager services, arrival and departure transfers, and five-star hotels in Istanbul and Budapest for one night each.
From $5,995 per person

1. First Passage to the West at Leisure on the Rocky Mountaineer between Vancouver and Calgary

Brace yourself for one arresting view after the next. On this eight-day Canadian adventure, between Vancouver and Calgary, you’ll be spoiled with hectare upon hectare of natural wonder—Lake Louise, Banff, and Jasper National Park to name a few. You’ll spend two days on board the train with the ability to choose from 50+ vacation packages as you venture through the Canadian Rockies. Two must-dos? A guided heli-hiking tour on Cariboos Mountain, and a chauffeured tour through Jasper National Park and the Columbia Icefields, where you’ll have the chance to walk on the Athabasca Glacier.

From $2,843 per person

2. Belmond Grand Hibernian in Ireland

Traveling to The Emerald Isle? Belmond Grand Hibernian is the country’s first luxe sleeper train. Starting Sept. 28, 2019, it’s unveiling a two-night itinerary, featuring meals by renowned Irish chef and cookbook author Clodagh McKenna. Forty lucky voyagers will learn about the rich heritage of Irish cuisine. You’ll even forage with the chef in Cork—and be spoiled with a gin tasting uniquely formulated with whey alcohol from Irish cow’s milk. Can’t swing it this year? A similar trip is slated for Sept. 19–21, 2020.

From $4,692 per person

3. Vacations By Rail Best of New Zealand Tour

Vacations By Rail, a full-service tour operator, makes planning your epic journey on tracks a breeze. (Picky? You can work with a rail specialist to customize your travels.) On this 18-day getaway, highlights include Rainbow Springs Natural Park, Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and plenty of downtime to check out Auckland, Queenstown, and Christchurch. The Best of New Zealand trip departs weekly from September to July—the warmer months in this slice of the world.

From $5,295 per person

4. Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express between Moscow and Vladivostok, Russia

Ready to go on a rollicking adventure to the tune of $17K per guest? Passengers aboard the Golden Eagle will be treated to 12 nights in an en suite cabin in Silver Class (Gold and Imperial are also available), a 2-night hotel accommodation, all meals and drinks, off-train excursions, porterage, arrival and departure transfers, as well as the services of a tour manager and all gratuities. This train journeys from Moscow to Vladivostok (or the reverse), with lavish receptions and pastoral vistas along the way.

From $16,995 per person

5. VIA Rail between Winnipeg and Churchill in Canada

Wildlife and jaw-dropping scenery abounds on this recently resumed service between Winnipeg and Churchill, the town in Manitoba known as the polar bear capital of the world. More bragging rights: Churchill has one of the planet’s largest beluga whale populations, and is one of the best places to see the northern lights. Treat yourself to Sleeper Plus class (available through Nov. 5) aboard the sole dry-land connection to Churchill. Sit back and watch the world chug by from a panoramic dome.

Search fares here

6. Coastal Pacific Train in New Zealand between Christchurch and Picton

Looking to have an unforgettable day trip in the land of Kiwis? Your six-hour ride to/from Christchurch and Picton wows with cliffs and remote beaches near Oaro and the Kaikoura mountains to the North, with the Pacific Ocean just a stone’s throw away at various stages of your journey. This seasonal train runs spring through fall.

From $103  

7. Vacations By Rail Rovos Rail between Dar es Salaam and Cape Town

Another Vacations By Rail gem: Start in either Dar es Salaam; Tanzania; or Capetown, South Africa. You’ll set out on 15 days through Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa, with plenty of opportunities to see wildlife in their natural habitats. Standout moments include a sunset cruise floating along the Zambezi River in Victoria Falls; a two-night stay at the Madikwe Game Reserve (pack a notebook to track lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and cape buffalo sightings); and chugging through the Selous Game Reserve, where you can spot animals from the train or on foot the next day.

From $12,820 per person

8. Belmond British Pullman in the United Kingdom

Waiting with bated breath for the Downton Abbey movie to debut? To toast the upcoming film, hop onto the Belmond British Pullman, opening exclusively for Belmond guests on March 18 and Sept. 23, 2020. You’ll embark on a day trip from London’s Victoria Station. The trip includes table d’hote meals, half a bottle of wine per person, a private tour of Highclere Castle (the ancestral residence of the Earl & Countess of Carnarvon—and where the beloved TV series took place), as well as a champagne reception. We can’t deny: 1920s and 1930s carriages never called our names so loudly.

From $650 per person

9. Vacations By Rail Grand Train Tour of Switzerland from Zurich to Lucerne

An 11-day experience destined to impress, the Golden Pass Panoramic and Jungfrau Railway will take you through lush countryside and historic villages, where guests can disembark to enjoy plenty of activities like biking, hiking, museum-hopping, and even taking a historic paddle steamer across Lake Lucerne. You’ll also visit the UNESCO site of the largest glacier in the Alps, the Aletsch Glacier, an image sure to etch itself into your memory. 

From $2,559 per person

10. Golden Eagle Danube Express Castles of Transylvania Rail Journey between Istanbul and Budapest

Traverse four countries in seven days with plenty of castles and palaces along the way. Beyond awe-inspiring views of Central Europe aboard your roving hotel, you’ll spend your first night in Istanbul at the Pera Palace Hotel, where Agatha Christie penned Murder on the Orient Express. If rereading that celebrated tome doesn’t spook you out, continue to the Carpathian Mountains; the World Heritage site of Sighișoara in Romania; an excursion to see a “Puszta” horse show in Lajosmizse, Hungary; and more remarkable experiences. Tickets include meals and drinks, guided excursions, porterage, gratuities, tour manager services, arrival and departure transfers, and five-star hotels in Istanbul and Budapest for one night each.

From $5,995 per person

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