Lindsay Dixon, head of trade sales at Great Rail Journeys picks out her three favourite rail journeys and gives 10 reasons why your clients should consider rail travel
The ‘Golden Age’ of rail travel is best experienced on board a true luxury train. From days out on a heritage rail experience, to far-flung adventures on board some of the best-known trains in the world, Belmond’s luxury trains offer a magical way to see the world.
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express needs almost no introduction. This classic train is renowned for its luxury, and for the timeless landscapes it passes through. Making its way from the ‘floating city’ of Venice, past the Dolomites and into the romantic French capital, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express offers an exceptional level of comfort as you travel, with sumptuous cuisine created by talented on-board chefs and inspired by the regions the train passes through, a stylish bar car complete with resident pianist, and attentive staff on hand to serve your every need round the clock.
The journey from Venice to Paris travels overnight, allowing you to relax in your cosy cabin (transformed by your cabin attendants from a sofa into a sleeping space as you dine), and wake to incredible scenery and a delicious Continental breakfast served in the privacy of your vintage cabin.
Belmond Northern Belle
With the ambience of the 1930s throughout, the Belmond Northern Belle is another fabulous British train, offering luxurious comfort as it traverses the length of this green and pleasant land. Each of the seven carriages bears the name of a great British castle or stately home, whilst the on-board cuisine, paired with fine wines, is incomparable. Partake in a five-course lunch whilst being entertained by talented performers, and watch the world roll by your window, as you soak up vintage glamour on board.
Eastern & Oriental Express
For a far-flung adventure, why not embark on the Eastern & Oriental Express? Travelling from Bangkok, Thailand, to glorious Singapore and even taking in the River Kwai en-route, this is a luxurious journey through Asia like no other. Relax in the Observation Car for stunning views as you traverse the Thai landscape, or share a nightcap with sophisticated fellow travellers in the Bar Car, for a gentle end to a day of exploring. Be sure to stop by the Saloon Car before the end of your holiday, to pick up mementoes of a spectacular time away on board one of the world’s greatest luxury trains.
Top 10 reasons to consider taking a luxury journey
Trains are one of the most comfortable forms of transportation, but the pinnacle of rail experiences comes on board luxurious carriers.
Many of the world’s luxury trains also have a reputation as providers of gourmet cuisine, taking influences and fresh produce to create magnificent dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Although luxury journeys come with an expectedly high price tag, many have inclusive value, combining off-train excursions to some of the more fascinating points along the route, as well as all meals and the sumptuous accommodation of the train itself.
Chance to travel on one of the best-known trains in the world, from the Trans-Siberian and Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, to the Blue Train of Africa and Australia’s Ghan.
Trains can cross vast expanses and reach incredible destinations other methods of transport can only dream of, so it’s hardly surprising to learn that luxury trains pass through some of the world’s most dramatic scenery, providing unforgettable views from a perfectly comfortable setting.
A luxury hotel, for less
Luxury trains are like rolling hotels, equipped with first class amenities and sumptuous comfort throughout.
Exclusive access … to the world
How else is it possible to cross a vast Siberian wasteland, reach outer Mongolia, or cover the vast, uninhabited expanses of the Australian desert, with this level of comfort? Travelling aboard a luxury train provides unprecedented access to landscapes that are beautiful yet hostile.
A connection to the past
Some of the world’s greatest luxury trains have a long heritage, and either feature original carriages from rail travel’s ‘Golden Age’, or restored versions that retain the feel of a bygone era.
A unique experience
Luxury rail journeys are rare, with relatively few travellers able to claim they have had such an experience.
The views you can enjoy from a train designed specially to pass through the kind of breath-taking scenery that graces the cover of National Geographic is unparalleled.