magazine | Travel | Attractions

12 Trains That Are Bringing Back the Romance of a Bygone Era

Imagine this: you're seated comfortably in a plush, luxurious chair with a window to your left. Outside, the passing landscape rushes by. The train is traveling through South Africa, Napa Valley or Japan and you're along for the ride. You get out and explore at one of the many stops, discovering the newest way to travel isn't actually new at all. Reminiscent of a bygone era, luxury train travel of today feels novel and exciting. Hop on one of these twelve luxury trains to satisfy your wanderlust and check a few items off of your bucket list.

Reporter: Scout | Train: Venice Simplon Orient Express
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Rovos Rail

South Africa, Namibia and Tanzania
Travel through South Africa, Namibia and Tanzania in style aboard the Rovos Rail. Wood-paneled couches, a Victorian atmosphere and formal dining make up this opulent train.
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Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

London - Venice
Step into the Golden Age of travel in the Art Deco inspired Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Their navy blue upholstery and vintage fixtures will transport you to a different time. Book any one of their elegant cabins and master the art of travel from London to Venice.

Train Suite Shiki-Shima

Travel around Japan in Train Suite Shiki-Shima, a modern meets eastern Japanese getaway. You can even book a two-floor suite equipped with traditional tatami mats and a cypress bathtub. Fall in love with the lounge’s modern wall patterns which summon up forest imagery while watching Japan’s breathtaking scenery shoot by. All in all, the trip is a three-day, two-night journey through East Japan.

Golden Eagle Luxury Trains

Europe, Russia, Central Asia and China
Travel across Europe, Russia, Central Asia and China with Golden Eagle Luxury Trains. For 29 years, Golden Eagle Luxury Trains has been offering first-class customer service with breathtaking views to match. Their tours include The Silk Road, New Year in Vienna, Darjeeling Mail and Trans-Mongolian Express. 
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Napa Wine Train

Napa, California
“Travel back to an elegant age” is the mission statement of Napa Wine Travel. With Honduran mahogany paneling, etched glass partitions and velvet armchairs, this Napa Valley tour does not compromise on luxury. Their cars are named after different wines – think Zinfandel Lounge Car and Champagne Vista Dome. With wine tours paired with gourmet dining, Napa Wine Travel allows you to unwind while the vineyards pass you by.
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The Presidential

Porto, Portugal
Known for its culinary experience, The Presidential Train is Portugal’s luxurious way to explore the land. The Presidential Train brings on culinary talents to give you a state of the art experience. In addition to its superb cuisine, this train has hosted the likes of kings and presidents for over a century. 

Great Southern Rail - The Ghan

The dramatic scenery of central Australia is calling your name. Hop aboard The Ghan to experience Australia in luxury. For four days and three nights, retreat to your private cabin or get lost in the passing picturesque landscape. Explore the stops along the way, like the scope of the Northern Territory. 
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The Canadian

Toronto - Vancouver
Experience Canada through the windows of The Canadian. From Toronto to Vancouver, this nine-stop train will take you through the lake country all the way to the majestic Rockies. Cuddle up in one of their sleeper cabins for this four-night, three-day journey.
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Royal Rajasthan

Regal luxury is what you get aboard India’s Royal Rajasthan. Take advantage of this seven night and eight day trip with their spa, dining centers and saloon. Udaipur, Khajuraho and Varanasi are some of the cultural stops you'll be making.

Cruise Train Seven Stars

Known as Japan’s first luxury sleeper train, Seven Stars helps you discover the island of Kyushu. With four days and three nights, you’ll hop out along the way to uncover all of Kyushu’s attractions, even stopping off at the traditional ryokan, Yufuin Onsen.

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The Blue Train

South Africa
Kings and presidents have been known to indulge in South Africa’s landscape on The Blue Train. Their routes go through Pretoria, Cape Town and Hoedspruit and they promise modern luxury with a history that dates back to the 1920s.

El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo

This five-star hotel on rails takes you to over fifteen stops between San Sebeastiàn and Santiago de Compostela in Spain. El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo boasts complimentary buffet breakfasts and tickets to museums, attractions and shows at all the stops. Hop on board for seven nights and eight days and indulge in their Northern Spain influenced cuisine.

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