From the Arctic Circle in the north to a romantic, luxurious Italian holiday, from a Russian Odyssey to spectacular Swiss scenery, Europe has something for every rail enthusiast.
Train travel is indeed the pure epitome of the journey, and here we gathered the five most luxurious rail journeys in Europe today:
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express – London, Paris, Venice, Verona
An icon of art deco design
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is the most storied set of carriages in the world. It promises to take you not just across Europe, but to transport you back in time. With its polished wood, sumptuous upholstery and antique fixtures, the train epitomises the glamour and elegance of the Golden Age of travel.
An uncontested icon of the rails, this train has long captured the hearts and imaginations of glamorous guests. Three elegant dining carriages exude culinary sophistication, from Lalique glass inlays in Cote d’Azur to black lacquer panels in L’Oriental. A steward in blue and gold livery waves with a white-gloved hand, welcoming you on board with a knowing smile. Settle in to your cabin, adorned with art-deco details and French-polished cherry wood, and sit back as a grand voyage begins.
Rekindle the romance of the rails as you travel between Europe’s most captivating cities, and relax in carefully restored 1920s cabins, rich with craftsmanship.
Glacier Express – Zermatt, St. Moritz
A cinematic train journey
Probably the slowest ‘express’ in the world, the famous Glacier Express now boasts the Excellence Class – an even more comfortable, spacious and attentive service than ever before.
A rail journey through the Swiss Alps has never been so luxurious. With guaranteed window seats, an exclusive bar, on-board entertainment, a concierge service and personal travel guides, the Glacier Express Excellence Class is setting new standards. The journey between St. Moritz and Zermatt is a feast for the senses: while the spectacular landscape passes by outside, guests are served champagne and amuse-bouches – followed by an exquisite five-course meal with accompanying wine.
Belmond Royal Scotsman – Scottish Highlands
All aboard a living legend
From the moment you step onto Belmond Royal Scotsman, you are swept up in a world of myth, legend and timeless luxury.
Delve into a land of soaring peaks and deep valleys, mirror lochs and looming castles. Enjoy a tasting in a world-famous distillery, then enter the forest for an exhilarating clay pigeon shoot. As night falls, mingle with fellow guests over candlelit dinners and live ceilidhs—a fine finale to the day’s adventures.
All luxury cabins provide a welcome sanctuary after a day in the Highlands. Lined with rich marquetry, each one features plush beds fitted with soft Scottish wools and tartans. An elegant dressing table and en suite add to the indulgence.
Trans-Siberian Express Railway – Moscow, Vladivostok
An epic railway journey
Undoubtedly the world’s greatest railway journey, the Trans-Siberian Express Railway runs as an 8000KM steel artery across mysterious Russia connecting east and west from Moscow over the Urals, across the magnificent and endless steppe and alongside the shore of the world’s largest freshwater lake.
Aboard the Golden Eagle, a pianist provides a mellifluous soundtrack of Tchaikovsky and others for those drinking cocktails and wine in the bar, and the scene is complete with enviable views of the Russian countryside through huge panoramic windows.
The Presidential – Porto, Douro
A journey of senses in a train of other times
The crown jewel of Portugal’s railway, the Presidential Train has hosted Kings, Presidents, Heads of State and Popes for over a century. Built in 1890, it served the court of King D. Luis I as the Portuguese Royal Train, transporting dignitaries like Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Paul VI. Renamed The Presidential Train at the turn of the century, it proudly transported Portugal’s Heads of State until 1970, when it was officially retired.
The Presidential Train was composed by five luxury carriages: the Hall of the Head of State, the Hall of Ministers, the Comity and Security carriage, the Restaurant hall and the Journalists carriage. A time capsule in which we travel through history, with a special aroma and purposeful music.
When its distinct sound is heard, here it comes with its imposing structure, and when you get on board its luxurious carriages you’ll feel like royalty. Rescued from the past, it is again in motion and the great protagonist of this unforgettable journeys.
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