“The journey has its own lyrics
A duet of balanced motion
The rails and wheels in tune.”
There is something timeless about traveling by train. It slows down the pace and allows you to soak up grand stretches of scenery from the comfort of a palace on wheels. Rather than flying over vast expansive countries, you can immerse further in scenic delights that many will never see. Luxury rail travel tours give you the opportunity to escape the mundane and exchange the cacophony of modern life for the gentle hum of the train on the tracks.
From industrious commuter trains that hug craggy cliffsides overhanging the Mediterranean to the grand dames that wind through thousands of miles of snowy white terrain, rail fans can find a journey that completely indulges their passion. Luxury Gold offers travelers the chance to add VIP Guided tours by train so you can dip your toe into the charms of some of the world’s best rail journeys. Read on to discover three of the most famous luxury rail tours that you can add onto your Luxury Gold journey.
DELVE INTO THE ROMANCE OF RUSSIA BY RAIL
Luxury Gold’s Remarkable Russia tour is truly a spectacle for the senses, but adding the Trans Siberian Express option raises this journey by degrees of magnitude.
After the decadence and historical wonders of St Petersburg and Moscow, it’s time to board to Golden Eagle for one of the greatest luxury train tours on earth. Journey deep into Russia to explore less visited cities and some of the most spectacular lake and mountainside destinations on the planet.
The Trans Siberian railway line stretches 9,288 kilometers from Moscow to Vladivostok, which makes it the longest single–service railway in the world. This extraordinary feat of engineering was opened in stages between 1891 and 1916, and it has become a lifeline for the communities that it passes through, providing work and links to wider Russia that could much more difficult to access via road.
Your home for the journey is a private en suite cabin with your own personal attendant to address any needs you may have, or offer advice on your stay. All your creature comforts are looked after onboard, so you can journey with the utmost ease. The elegant dining car is a welcoming place for all meals and the Executive Chef offers special meals that reflect the traditional dishes of each place along the way.
First stop is the city of Kazan, situated on the longest river in Europe, the River Volga. Embark on a city tour that takes in the many wonders of historical significance, including the striking blue-domed Kremlin, once the historic citadel of Russia. The following day you’ll awaken in the capital of the Urals, Yekaterinburg, where you’ll see the obelisk marking the divide between Asia and Europe as you sip Champagne with your fellow travelers.
After another night in the comfort of your hotel on wheels, Novosibirsk is the next stop, right in the heart of Russia. Here, a highlight is the Opera House in Lenin Square, one of the largest in the world and home to two ballet and opera companies.
Your journey on this remarkable route allows plenty of time for relaxation on the Golden Eagle, with diversions such as Russian lessons and engaging talks on local history and culture by expert guest speakers. Expansive windows let you appreciate the awe-inspiring views as this vast landscape sweeps by. Relax with a drink in the Bar Lounge Car with the sounds of the piano tinkling in the background.
You’ll spend the day in Irkutsk, also known as the Paris of Siberia, where you’ll visit the Volkonsky House Museum to see the lives of the failed Decembrists recreated. Spend a day chugging alongside the incredible Lake Baikal, which holds 20% of the world’s fresh water. You can take a refreshing dip, or simply capture some fantastic photos of its astounding beauty. Leave the train for a boat ride to a Baikal settlement to meet the local people and learn about the unique flora and fauna of the area at the museum and aquarium.
In Ulan Ude, the capital of the Buryat Republic, you’ll be treated to a concert amid the local people, hearing songs in their language and partaking in their traditions. Explore Ulaan Baatar in Mongolia and immerse yourself in the rich culture of country with its fascinating history dating back to Genghis Khan.
Your final day onboard will be spent passing through Khabarovsk on the River Amur. Soak up the last relaxing moments of this unforgettable train ride before reaching the military port of Vladivostok, which was closed to tourists for more than 60 years. This completes your journey on the Trans Siberian Express, which will live long in your memory.
FEEL THE SPIRIT OF THE 1920’S ON THE VENICE SIMPLON ORIENT EXPRESS
Stepping onto the Venice Simplon Orient Express is like taking a leap back to a more glamorous era, where train travel was not simply a means of getting from A to B, and the most popular rail travel tours were limited to the elite.
Now, you can get a taste of the 1920s and 1930s when you add the Venice Simplon Orient Express option to your Ultimate Italy tour with Luxury Gold. This lovingly-restored train has been traveling this route since 1982 and it was the setting for a series of “Whicker’s World”, a British television show where travel journalist Alan Whicker interviewed guests and celebrities as they traveled in style. Sir Michael Palin also took this train, spending the first leg of “Around the World in 80 Days” in sleeping carriage 3544.
After a leisurely tour that takes in the magnificence of Rome, the captivating Isle of Capri and the luscious food and wine of Tuscany, your Italian affair will lead you to magical Venice, where you can bask in the allure of the city before being whisked away on the Venice Simplon Orient Express to Paris.
Join the train in late morning, gently departing Venice Santa Lucia station, saying ciao to the City of Bridges. Pass through the pretty Padua before reaching the pink-hued buildings of Verona, and then emerging slowly into exquisite Alpine scenery. Afternoon tea is served, adding an element of culinary delight to this slow afternoon onboard. Mingle with fellow travelers in the Champagne Bar, or simply enjoy the view.
Dining is an integral part of your experience on board the Venice Simplon Orient Express, but not only for the epicurean splendor. Each dining car has its own personality, inviting guests into a bygone era where dressing up for dinner was non-negotiable. Step into Cote d’Azur to see the René Lalique glass, admire the stunning marquetry of Etoile du Nord and unwind among the flamboyant furnishings of L’Oriental.
Meals are a celebration, with seasonal ingredients carefully selected from the destinations the train travels through, such as fine shellfish from the shores of Brittany and tender vegetables from Provence. Special requests and dietary needs are catered for and every morsel is a delight. The French chefs deliver gourmet excellence every time, so you can be assured of a first class meal.
If you can peel yourself away from the stories at the bar, a restful night sleep awaits in your beautiful art deco cabin. While the rooms have been updated for modern comfort, you’ll still feel the glamor of another age. Plush seating is perfect to relax and gaze out on the passing scenery while the silky damask sheets invite you to snuggle in for a few winks before waking up in France.
Breakfast is served in your cabin at a time to suit you, as this marvellous train ride glides gently into the City of Light. There’s no better way to arrive in Paris for your stay.
GRASP THE GLORY OF THE ROCKIES ON THE ROCKY MOUNTAINEER
Imagine the icy peaks looming over you as you travel through national parks in a bi-level glass dome coach? Choose the Majesty of the Rockies with GoldLeaf Service to fully appreciate the grandeur of this scenery.
On Day three of your luxury guided tour through Canada, you’ll board the Rocky Mountaineer in Vancouver and leave the coastline to travel deep into British Columbia. The enormous windows provide you with sweeping views across the landscape, which changes from thriving green meadows into abundant firs that climb the mountainside.
You’ll experience exceptional service onboard from dedicated hosts alongside your Traveling Concierge. Be entertained by the stories of each landmark you pass, or spy the incredible wildlife as you sip on a refreshing drink. A delectable lunch is served in the lower lounge as the beautiful scenery unfolds outside the windows. If you fancy some fresh air, you can step onto the outdoor viewing platform to really stand amid the giant Rockies.
The first day’s highlights include Hell’s Gate in Fraser Canyon, a narrow tidal strait that the water rushes through, which makes for an exhilarating crossing. The steep slopes by Thompson river offer plentiful photo opportunities before you reach Kamloops, where you’ll bed down at a luxury hotel for the night.
The following morning, you’ll return to the Rocky Mountaineer for more dramatic vistas from your railway vantage point. Follow the North Thompson River through the Monashee mountains, where gold, copper and silver are mined from the foothills. Then the luxury train will wind through the Cariboo Mountains, a true wilderness with lofty serrated peaks and glacial lakes. See the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, Mount Robson, standing at 12,972 feet and climb over the Yellowhead Pass that straddles the Continental Divide. Another incredible feature of this area is the Pyramid Falls, which can’t be accessed from any trail, but the view from the Rocky Mountaineer is unsurpassed.
Arrive in Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for your stay at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge on the unspoiled shores of Lac Beauvert.