A United Airlines passenger was violently removed from a plane for refusing to give up his seat. Then a scorpion fell on someone’s head mid-flight, and plane passengers just keep beating each other up. It seems like the glamorous era of flying is over (unless you’re Kardashian-level rich and sitting in first class, that is).
Luckily there’s never been a better time to travel by train, with some new luxury journeys having recently been added to the world’s bucket list rail trips. All aboard!
Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru
Launching this month, the Belmond Andean Explorer is a luxury sleeper train taking guests on one or two night journeys through Peru, with itineraries beginning or ending in Cusco, and also visiting the Andes, Arequipa and Lake Titicaca.
The Andean Express holds up to 40 guests, who stay in spacious private cabins with an ensuite shower.
There’s also a spa carriage, bar car, library carriage and stylish dining car, where the menu is overseen by famed Peruvian chef Diego Munoz. Belmond Andean Explorer journeys begin this week, visit Belmond.com.
Suite Shiki-shima, Japan
Also just launched this month is the Japanese Train Suite Shiki-shima, which is exactly the kind of futuristic luxury you’d expect from Japan.
The 10-car train takes its 34 passengers on various itineraries around the country, treating guests to Michelin star meals on the way. Want to jump aboard?
The Train Suite Shiki-shima is so in demand it’s currently booked out until March 2018. Jreast.co.jp.
Belmond Grand Hibernian, Ireland
It doesn’t get much more romantic than travelling Ireland by train.
Leaving from Dublin, the Grand Hibernian is a cozy and comfortable way to see Ireland’s lush countryside, ancient castles and cities including Belfast and Galway, depending on which itinerary you choose.
Waking up to the view of the Irish countryside rolling by, or dancing to live musicians in the bar car late into the night – where do we sign up? Belmond.com
The Ghan, Australia
Without a doubt the most luxurious way to travel through the Outback, The Ghan should be on every Australian’s bucket list.
Over three nights you’ll travel almost 3,000 kilometres from Darwin to Adelaide or vice-versa, stopping in Alice Springs on the way (there’s also an itinerary with a stop in Coober Pedy) with a rare view of Australia’s vast red centre.
The cabins range in price and luxury, the best being Platinum Level, which includes the most spacious cabin, with a double bed and ensuite, and fancy extras like breakfast in bed. Great Southern Rail.
Twilight Express Mizukaze, Japan
The Twilight Express Mizukaze is like staying in a five-star hotel on wheels.
The dining car’s enormous windows allow guests to take in spectacular views of the Japanese countryside and coastline during meals, while the art-deco designed cabins are similar in size to some studio apartments in Tokyo – one ridiculously luxurious suite takes up a whole carriage and has a bathtub. That’s right, a bath.
Itineraries vary from two to four night trips, leaving from or ending in Kyoto or Osaka. Book Twilight Express Mizukaze
Eastern & Oriental Express, Asia
You can spend up to six nights travelling through South-East Asia on the Eastern & Oriental Express, starting in Singapore and ending in Bangkok – or vice-versa – with stops to explore Penang and Kuala Lumpur.
Watch the scenic landscapes go by while dining on three and four-course meals of Asian-fusion fare, or kick back in your spacious private cabin with bed, couch and ensuite. Book at Belmond.com
Golden Eagle, Russia
Arguably the world’s most iconic rail journey, the Trans-Siberian Express from Russia to Mongolia can be done in style on the Golden Eagle.
Relaxing on the plush red couches of the bar cart, which is decorated in dark wood, brass and old-fashioned furnishings, you could be forgiven for forgetting what year it is as you sip champagne (or maybe more appropriately, vodka) and watch the sights of Russia go by.
The cabins are all decked out with luxury amenities, and range in size from cosy five square metre rooms to Imperial Cabins, where you can spread out with 11 glorious square metres of space, enough to break out some traditional Russian folk dancing after a few too many glasses of Stolichnaya. Golden Eagle Luxury Trains.
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