If you’ve ever returned from vacation to face the endless security lines at the airport and the herding of passengers onto the plane, where you struggle to find space in the overhead bin for your carry-on bag and wait for the drinks and snack carts to roll past your seat at the rear of the plane, hoping that they have anything left to snack on besides pretzels, then consider a luxury train trip for your next vacation.
Imagine the anticipation of stepping from the station onto the platform, hearing the whistle in the distance, feeling the rumble of the approaching train, and finally seeing your train arrive. Your steward shows you to the lounge while your luggage is placed in your cabin. You settle in with a glass of champagne and survey the polished wood and plush upholstered seating. ‘Yes’, you say to yourself, ‘this is the way travel was meant to be’.
There’s something unavoidably romantic about traveling by train, especially aboard a luxury train. The journey itself becomes the destination, to be savored as it unfolds. The world seems to slow just a bit when you’re enjoying your breakfast, served by uniformed waitstaff, while taking in the ever changing scenery. You have the time to reconnect with your travel companion in an unhurried manner, and with no pressing schedule you find the time to relax and enjoy yourself and the five-star service.
The Venice Simplon-Orient- Express, “The train against which all other luxury trains are measured”, will whisk you away for an overnight trip from London to Paris where you’ll enjoy brunch and a four-course dinner. If you’d like to experience an extended stay aboard the train book the Paris to Istanbul journey and spend three nights aboard the train and two nights in luxury hotel accommodations.
Enjoy a glass of champagne in the bar car as you depart the train station.
Lunch and dinner are prepared fresh in the train’s onboard kitchen, and served in one of the beautifully restored dining cars. And dressing for dinner is encouraged. Who doesn’t love dining with a man in a tuxedo?
While away at dinner your steward has converted your cabin from daytime seating to a luxurious bedroom. And don’t worry about missing any of the scenery while you sleep, the journey is planned to take advantage of the best scenery during the day.
Though you’re cabin suite won’t have a full ensuite bath on your journey an oak panel in your cabin slides open to reveals a beautifully outfitted washbasin. Luxury lavatories are located at each end of the train car.
Breakfast and afternoon tea are served in your cabin. And 24-hour cabin service is available should you require a snack or refreshment to sustain you until your next meal.
If luxury train travel and an African safari are both on your travel list Rovos Rail is ready to accommodate you. Imagine the unique experience of seeing the wide open spaces of Africa from the clubby comfort of a most luxurious train. The Pride of Africa, Rovos travels to Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
For this journey of a lifetime be prepared to unplug. There are no TVs or radios aboard the trains and guests are asked to confine their use of mobile devices to the privacy of their cabins so as not to disturb the other guests.
The club car is outfitted with button tufted, leather seating and large windows for excellent viewing opportunities.
The comfortable luxury suites feature a double bed, a sitting area and desk. All designed for your ultimate relaxation and comfort. Additionally luxury suites include an ensuite bath with a shower and free-standing clawfoot tub.
Meals are taken in the Victorian style dining cars complimented by a selection of South African wines and meals feature fresh local foods and traditional dishes. Again, dressing for dinner is encouraged. Be sure to listen for the gong calling you to lunch and dinner.
Afternoon tea service.
The observation deck at the rear of the train.
The breathtaking Victoria Falls.
The Royal Scotsman, sister train of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, in lovely Scottish fashion greets you at the platform with a kilted Scotsman playing bagpipes and stewards bearing refreshments. Book the seven day Grand Tour of Great Britain and enjoy the sweeping views of both Scotland and England and excursions to castles, distilleries, estates, and cathedrals.
One look around at the gleaming marquetry on the walls and you’ll understand why the Royal Scotsman is often described as the finest country house on wheels.
Dinners aboard the Royal Scotsman are either formal and informal depending on the night. Attire for formal dinners is cocktail dresses for women and a tuxedo or kilt for men.
After dinner relax with a whisky in the Observation Car
So, which journey would you take?
*all photos via Pinterest unless otherwise noted