Skip the plane and pass off on the cruise you were about to take, as an older form of luxury transport has just reached the platform and it does not like seem as though they are about to leave the station anytime soon. Premium train services were originally the creation of George Nagelmackers, a Belgian man who went on to establish one of the first ever on-train catering and sleeping car services , Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. Renowned for operating the famous Orient Express rail, in which Agatha Christie’s iconic novel “Murder on the Orient Express” was based on, it is the work of George Nagelmackers and his company, that grew to shape the premium train service industry, and all that it has to offer.
Belmond Andean Explorer
Offering a multitude of luxury services, from river cruises to safari tours and gorgeous luxury hotels, Belmond Ltd. brings a lot to the table, especially with their unparalleled train service, particularly the Andean Explorer. Traversing along one of the highest train routes in the world, the Belmond Andean Explorer, provides you with a vibrant journey that allows you to rekindle the romance of the rails as you fall in love with the time-honoured city and natural wonders of Peru. As South America’s first luxury sleeper service, prepare to be stunned by the service that awaits you on board.
Experience unique dining experiences at the trains two dining carriages – Llama and Muña – and try out the full spectrum of Peruvian flavours and foods designed and crafted by creative chef and Ambassador of Peruvian cuisine, Diego Muñoz after which you can drop by the Picaflor spa car, for an added treat as you watch the Peruvian landscapes pass you by. Choose your own journey that travels between Cusco, Puno and Arequipa with their special 1 and 2-night packages such as Spirit of the Andes which take you from Puno to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire or go with the Peruvian Highlands package from Cusco with a visit to Puno and end up at Arequipa, a colonial-era city. Explore the raw nature of South America the way it was meant to be.
Also, as an added bonus, Belmond also does a similar experience through Scotland once you are done with the Andes.
Golden Eagle Luxury Trains
If you are looking for a way to capture the cinematic landscape of multiple countries and cities at once, look no further than Golden Eagle Luxury Trains. Recognised as one of the top 5 premium railroad services internationally, Golden Eagle trains provide an experience that cannot be gotten nor replicated anywhere else. Their 2018/2019 Voyages of a Lifetime by Private Train is set to operate worldwide and travel through Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, Mongolia, China, Central Asia, India and Iran. With three trains under them – Golden Eagle, Golden Eagle Danube Express, Shangri-La Express and Deccan Odyssey – there is no terrain that the Golden Eagle name has yet to covet.
From their opulent Bar Lounge car aboard each train that has a resident in-house pianist playing on the baby grand piano every evening to the constantly changing gourmet menu as the restaurant services provides a local culinary experience based on the country that the train is currently running through. There is also a Tour Manager whom, every morning, organises a programme of activities for the journey ahead, so there is always something to do on board the Golden Eagle Luxury Trains line. Any place you would love to visit, the Golden Eagle could take you there and more. Be it the Silk Road package from Beijing to Moscow, the Grand Alpine Express package from Budapest to Venice or the Sicilian Odyssey from Budapest to Taormina, the world is at your feet.
The Blue Train
A relic from the 1920’s that has evolved with the times, the world famous “Blue Train” has had celebrities, Presidents and Kings aboard its platform but if that doesn’t sell this luxury rail service to you, rest assured the rest of the train will. Birthed in the 1920s as a solution to workers needing a transport system to South Africa, once mineral ridges were found there untapped, the Blue Train originally served under a utilitarian purpose till post-World War where the iconic blue paint on the train created a legacy amidst the field of the luxury transport industry. This moving 5-Star hotel stands up to its multiple accolades, from their De Luxe and Luxury Suites that boasts of double beds, a bathtub for a leisurely soak and an entertainment system and writing desk in every room.
Explore and meet new people in the wood panelled Club or Lounge car, as you watch the South African terrain pass you by whilst having your drink of choice topped up constantly. Don’t drink up too much of the scenery as the chef’s onboard provide a feast easily worthy of Cordon Bleu status, made from local produce and offering a constantly changing menu so no two experiences aboard the Blue Train are ever exactly the same. There is also a 24-hour Butler service, just to ensure that every guest has their needs met at all times. The train follows two routes, both beginning and ending at Pretoria, the capital of South Africa, with one journeying through Cape Town and the other through Hoedspruit. Activities off the train are available to pursue should you want to see specific landmarks of the locations. From the opulence of modern day luxuries with the unbridled joy from the 1920s, this is one train ride you have to experience, at least once.