Condé Nast Traveler
By: Jessica Puckett
November 2, 2023
Imagine taking nearly three months to meander across Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, reveling in the romantic atmosphere of first-class train travel all the while. From your individual suite on board—or a seat in a gleaming bar car—you’d soak in the unique landscapes of each continent that whoosh past your window, making stops to explore historical marvels, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and picturesque cities.
It’s possible with a new rail itinerary from train specialists Railbookers. The groundbreaking 80-day “Around the World by Luxury Train” voyage is a dream trip for those who enjoy the charm of rail travel: It will allow passengers to see some of the most famous sites on Earth from the opulence of historic train cars. Travelers will enjoy lavish dining, elegant private train cabins, and gorgeous hotel accommodations throughout this marathon trip. All told, the voyage will include journeys on seven of the highest-caliber trains on the planet and call upon more than 20 cities in 13 countries across four continents.
This once-in-a-lifetime adventure begins in Vancouver, where passengers will board the Rocky Mountaineer for a three-day journey through the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise, and Banff National Park. Guests then hop over to Edinburgh, Scotland, for seven nights on board the Belmond Royal Scotsman, weaving their way by scenic lochs and rocky peaks on a roundtrip journey through the Highlands. Next up is a two-day trip on the iconic Belmond Venice-Simplon Orient Express from Paris to Venice, followed by six nights on The Maharajas’ Express from Delhi to Mumbai, with visits to the Taj Mahal and Jaipur.
From there, it’s on to Istanbul to board The Golden Eagle Danube Express, which will whisk passengers away to Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary, sprinkling in tours of ornate castles and charming mountaintop hamlets along the four-night journey. Travelers will then head down to South Africa for an unforgettable safari and three-day sojourn on Rovos Rail from Pretoria to Cape Town. On the final leg of the journey, passengers will jet to Singapore for a magical tour on the newly resumed Belmond Eastern and Oriental Express, which will weave its way to Malaysia, passing lush jungle forests and glittering rivers and returning to Singapore, where this epic journey terminates.
Railbookers designed the monumental itinerary after noticing a significant uptick of travelers seeking back-to-back extravagant train trips. “The demand for luxury rail from our customers continues to grow, and in response, we’ve created the ultimate bucket-list trip,” Frank Marini, Railbookers president and CEO said in a statement. “As we’ve seen a trend to combine itineraries to include multiple luxury trains, we’ve tailor-made this itinerary, along with smaller, customizable itineraries featuring these iconic trains.” Indeed, for those who can’t swing the full 80-day voyage, the company has made it possible to book shorter legs of the trip that are built around each of the individual trains and destinations of the larger, comprehensive itinerary.
If it all sounds like a whirlwind, don’t worry: The joys of slow travel are still emphasized across the voyage. Each stop along the way has plenty of time for sightseeing, sometimes with overnight stays in some of the destinations. Plus, in between the seven rail journeys, there are also longer stays in the best hotels in fascinating cities like London, Florence, Rome, Delhi, Istanbul, and Budapest.
What’s more: Most of the logistics are handled by travel specialists, leaving travelers worry-free. Hotel stays, car transfers, several flights, and many meals and sightseeing tours are included in the fare price and organized by Railbookers’ advisors. (Passengers are responsible for arranging their own international air travel.) Among the off-train excursions included in the journey are two full days in a safari lodge in South Africa’s Kruger National Park; ascending the Eiffel Tower and dinner at Moulin Rouge in Paris; visits to Jasper and Banff national parks in Canada; and a luxury picnic on the shores of Malaysia’s Pulau Payar Marine Park, to name only a few. Travelers also have free time at many of the destinations to explore on their own, if they wish.
This ultimate luxury rail journey departs August 28, 2024. Tickets start at $119,599 per person and can be booked with Railbookers.
Railbookers is The Train Specialist — a rail tour operator who manages all land-based elements of a holiday. It offers an ever-expanding portfolio of trips to inspiring, sought-after destinations across the UK, Europe, North America and beyond. Travelers can select one of Railbookers existing, expertly-planned, independent holidays or have a knowledgeable Rail Expert build a customized trip for them. Railbookers takes the complexity out of independent rail travel and offer unparalleled service and incredible travel experiences for the very best value. For more information, visit http://www.railbookers.com.
Booking with Railbookers Group offers travelers a host of advantages, including:
• Unparalleled knowledge from Rail Experts who can help identify the best itineraries and accommodations for any desired length or style of travel
• Access to exclusive inventory at some of the most in-demand trains and hotels, not otherwise available to the general public
• Customizable, tailor-made journeys to satisfy any traveler, with upgrades or add-on activities available during the booking process at any time leading up to departure
• Hundreds of cruise extension trips that can add to an existing sailing