Prestigious Journeys: Exploring The World In Luxury

Prestigious Journeys: Exploring The World In Luxury – From connecting the country’s biggest cities through the countryside, the world’s best railway journeys offer completely new perspectives on the destination.

Train travel always offers a lot of magic. Sometimes it’s in cars, when you’re meeting fellow passengers, or when you eat and sleep with the sound of wheels rolling on steel rails beneath you. Sometimes it’s outside, the train traversing the landscape – an adventure, an experience, an insight into the heart of a nation.

Prestigious Journeys: Exploring The World In Luxury

 Completing the World’s Greatest Railway Rides. Pulled from its pages, these 24 train journeys are truly first class.

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It’s one of Southeast Asia’s best-loved railways — and one of the world’s most epic overnight train journeys. There’s no atmospheric way to pull up to Vietnam’s twin metropolises, as this train runs through historic cities and alongside stunning coastlines.

To soak up the scenic splendor of the North American continent, nothing compares to one of the best train journeys in the US, Amtrak’s California Zephyr. This classic three-day ride traverses the prairies, deserts, Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada from the Midwest to the West Coast.

A train travels through beautiful highland countryside to Lake Titicaca in Peru © SteveAllenPhoto / Getty Images

Traversing the Altiplano from the shores of Lake Titicaca to the bustling heart of the ancient Inca Empire, the railway from Puno to Cuzco cuts an epic but beautiful path through the snow-dusted peaks and majestic valleys of the Andes across the epic Peruvian plains. , passing hardy bowler-hatted llama farmers and traveling through remote towns and villages.

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From the futuristic architecture and imperial wonders of Beijing, the Z21 train transports its passengers from the neon lights of urban China across the Tibetan Plateau, where it moves past grazing yaks, waving prayer flags, snow-capped mountains and limitless blue skies. At your destination, purple-robed monks await. 

At under five hours, this journey is definitely one of the best and most scenic day train rides in the world. Start the Transalpine experience in Christchurch, before speeding across the Canterbury Plains and quickly climbing through the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps, then descending through a thrilling tunnel to emerge among the lakes, streams and rainforests of the South Island’s west coast. 

This stunning train is one of the best railway rides in Europe – and one of the least known outside of Norway. It covers the spectrum of the Nordic country’s natural splendor: climbing valleys, crossing rivers, traversing gorges and barren glaciers through mountains.

Few trains in the world offer the chance – and we should point out – that it’s more of a chance than a guarantee of spotting big game from your seat. Tajara (Tanzania and Zambia Railway Authority) does that. The highlight, though, was the chance to spend two days watching daily life from the window, and enjoying the hustle and bustle as the train pulled into the station – scheduled or unscheduled.

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The ultimate American railroad ride: east to west, coast to coast, clean from the bars of New Orleans to the breakers of the Pacific Ocean. If you’ve always dreamed of crossing the States, but don’t much enjoy the prospect of spending two weeks in an automobile, riding the Sunset Limited is the answer. Sit back and let America’s landscapes buzz: from the bayous of Louisiana, from the highlands of Houston, across the deserts of Texas and Arizona, to the golden beaches of LA on the hills of California. Saddle up, partner: It’s going to be quite a ride.

Board the Caledonian Sleeper in London, and wake up in the Scottish Highlands © Joe Dunkley / Shutterstock

The crisp air from the sooty suburbs and crowded concrete-lined cul-de-sacs of central London and the soaring sights of the Scottish Highlands on an overnight train journey epitomize the romance of train travel. Enjoy buffet-car banter, fall asleep to the rhythm of the rails, then wake up to bedside views of towering granite peaks. 

The Nairobi-Mombasa railway line is one of Africa’s most legendary routes: it helped foster the modern concept of safari. The dilapidated old railway has been rebuilt in recent years with new track and new tracks across Kenya’s savannah. Trains departing from Mombasa and the spellbinding journey passing to the edge of the Great Rift Valley in the shadow of Kilimanjaro have not changed.

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Nothing can fully prepare you for Morocco’s most evocative city – from the buzz and spectacle of the central square to the primary colors of Djemaa el Fna, Jardin Majorelle; And from the peaceful madrasa of Medersa Ben Youssef to the maddened exuberance of the streets. There is no doubt that a railway journey down the spine of this North African nation is a deeply uplifting experience.

Clapping across the wild Rocky Mountains along a 19th-century pioneer railroad, this train journey is a geography field trip, sightseeing adventure and wildlife safari. It promises cinematic views of Canada’s quintessential mountain landscapes, as well as a host of engineering marvels, from dizzying bridges to logic-defying tunnels. And with luck, you might even spot a bald eagle, moose or grizzly bear. 

A ride from Alexandria to Aswan means you’ll travel along Egypt’s rail network – and even embark on an odyssey in the company of the great Nile River, with opportunities to disembark and explore the ruins of empires along its banks. For all their plus points, keep in mind that Egyptian trains aren’t always known for punctuality. 

One of Brazil’s most spectacular train journeys, the Serra Verde Express begins in the architecturally dense city of Curitiba and winds its way through dramatic mountain passes covered in tropical rainforest before dropping you off at Moretes in the lush state of Paraná. The half-day tour takes in valleys, jagged mountain peaks and verdant lowlands, and offers plenty of opportunities to photograph the cinematic backdrop as the slow-moving locomotive crosses around 30 bridges and passes through 14 tunnels. Apart from the fascinating scenery, the journey through the small stations of the late 1800s offers a fascinating glimpse into the past.

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You get a (very) close look at small-town life in West Bengal with the Darjeeling Toy Train © Panoglobe / Shutterstock

India’s narrow-gauge steam railways are the stuff of legend, and the bottle-blue Darjeeling toy train is the nation’s flagship engine. The ride from the plains of Bengal to Darjeeling travels past emerald-green tea plantations and precariously balanced, tin-roofed townships, while the clouds roll in below the massive massif of Mount Khangchendzonga. Steam engines are now only used for a small part of the route, although this traditional mountain journey still provides a substantial piece of history.

The Hokkaido Shinkansen, one of Japan’s iconic bullet trains, takes you from Tokyo to Hokkaido’s southern port of Hakodate. Along the way, it zooms past picturesque scenes of rural Japan through the mountains and under the sea. The route is part of it, though: the ride

– with its food trolleys and staff who bow upon entering and exiting the train car – is a quintessential Japanese experience.

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Admire the lush tea plantations by train from Colombo to Badulla, Sri Lanka © Solovyova / Getty Images

One of the many unforgettable things about Sri Lanka is the variety and intensity of green color throughout the year. And for rail enthusiasts, there’s no better way to appreciate the country’s full, green spectrum, from Colombo’s city gardens at sea level to tea plantations in the Hill Country, than on a full-day train journey through the brain-spinning sensory doses of forest and jungle. , rice field and palm tree, mountain and valley, national parks…and even human habitation. Expect to move slowly – and enjoy one of the world’s most scenic train journeys.

A train journey from Bangkok to Singapore spans three countries, three capitals and – without disembarking once – can be completed in three days. But going that fast misses this arterial point along the Malay Peninsula – perfect for whimsical roaming. You always have the option of hopping off to see tropical islands, scale the cool heights of tea plantations and linger in three metropolises, each completely different.

Switzerland is a nation of train fanatics. And if the Swiss were to pick a definitive ride, the honor would surely go to the Glacier Express. This eight-hour journey from ritzy St. Moritz to Matterhorn-top Zermatt unzips the beautiful alpine terrain in the south of the country, corkscrews up wind-battered mountain passes, crosses 291 bridges and rumbles through 91 tunnels. It deliberately moves at a snail’s pace so you take in out-of-this-world views of meadows, forests, waterfalls and mountains through the panoramic windows. 

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We can wax lyrical about glacier-capped mountains, waterfall-covered gorges, jewel-colored lakes and endless spruce forests through the panoramic windows on Switzerland’s Bernina Express – but seeing is believing. This narrow-gauge train, which runs from Chur in Graubünden to Tirano in northern Italy, often tops surveys of the world’s most scenic train journeys.

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