A Rail of a Time: Five of the World’s Best Train Journeys
By Richard Jones
We are so preoccupied with getting from one destination to another as quickly as possible, that we don’t always take the opportunity to make the most of the views and places in between.
Travelling by rail is a slower-paced style of travel that encourages people to seek a deeper connection with the people and places they visit.
And as we continue to grow more consciously aware of our impact on the world, travelling by train is also an effective way to reduce our carbon footprints.
Tropical Sky and its sister brands have curated a selection of luxury train journeys which encourage travellers to sink into a plush seat and be spoilt with the highest-quality service, while admiring their surroundings.
America’s Iconic East Coast Cities
Experience the rich history, cultural diversity and bustling energy of the USA’s east coast on a tour of Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York and Boston.
Arrive in Washington and explore the Capitol Region walking around the National Mall and taking in the White House, Capitol Building and Lincoln Memorial.
From there, board the Amtrak train for Philadelphia, home to Independence National Park, with the Liberty Bell, Franklin Court and Independence Hall.
Next stop is the City That Never Sleeps – New York – a place that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
The final destination is Boston, from where you can explore the prestigious Harvard University, the bustling Quincy Market and walk the Freedom Trail.
A seven-night rail tour departing on 11 September 2023, is priced from £1,649pp based on two sharing a double room, and including flights, accommodation and Amtrak rail travel between the cities.
American Sky (americansky.co.uk)
Eastern Canada on the Ocean
Experience a unique and captivating journey through the Canadian Maritimes and Quebec.
Spend a few days in Halifax and explore the fascinating city and its coastline before boarding the ocean train for a two-day journey through Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Make the most of this spectacular train journey and enjoy a delicious meal onboard and then retire for the evening in the comfort of a private cabin.
Stop off in Quebec and explore the historic city, before boarding the VIA Rail’s service to Montreal, following Canada’s busiest waterway along the St Lawrence River.
The final leg of the trip takes you through ‘The Corridor’, reaching Ontario and ending in the vibrant cosmopolitan city of Toronto.
A seven-night Eastern Rail Experience, departing on 6 September 2023, is priced from £1,749pp, based on two sharing a room or cabin, and including return flights, transfers, economy class rail travel and a sightseeing tour.
Canadian Sky (canadiansky.co.uk)
Discover India onboard the Maharajas’ Express
Stepping on the Maharajas’ Express in India is like taking a step back in time, with lavish interiors, refined service, luxurious accommodation and superb dining.
The train accommodates a maximum of 88 guests across a range of cabins, all fitted with air conditioning, Wi-Fi, private bathrooms and butler and room service.
Begin the journey in vibrant Mumbai before heading to see some of India’s gems including the Ganjer Palace and the Amber Fort.
From there, head to Ranthambore National Park for a chance to see some of the country’s amazing wildlife during a game safari.
The tour ends with a visit to the striking Taj Mahal before rolling into Delhi.
A six-night tour, travelling in October 2023, is priced from £7,699pp, based on two sharing a cabin on an all-inclusive basis, this includes return flights, private transfers, internal travel by luxury train, butler service, guided off-train tours and monument sightseeing fees.
Tropical Sky (tropicalsky.co.uk)
Darwin to Adelaide on The Ghan
Discover Australia’s most iconic rail journey on an eight-day tour from north to south.
The perfect mix of luxury and adventure, take in breathtaking scenery from the comfort of a private cabin, sample gourmet food from the train’s onboard restaurant and revel in the high-quality service.
The tour starts with two days in Darwin and the Northern Territory, before you board The Ghan to begin an unforgettable journey.
The all-inclusive train stops at Katherine, where travellers can see the stunning Katherine Gorge, before travelling through the Outback to Alice Springs and Coober Pedy.
The trip ends with two nights in Adelaide, South Australia, where you can sample the delicious food and wine, and visit the famous galleries and museums.
A seven-night trip on The Ghan, travelling in a gold cabin, is priced from £4,499pp. This includes three nights on board based on two sharing a private cabin on an all-inclusive basis, four nights’ hotel accommodation, and excursions.
Australian Sky (australiansky.co.uk)
A Kenya Safari
This six-night trip begins in Nairobi National Park with a safari experience as travellers embark on morning and early evening game rides, moving deep into the park and spending the night in a luxury canvas tent.
The following morning, board a train Nairobi and head towards the coast, with spectacular views of the surrounding landscape and wildlife.
Travellers will be met at Emali station and transferred to Amboseli National Park for a two-night stay at Elewana Tortilis Camp.
Tortilis has magnificent views across to Kilimanjaro, interrupted only by the vast elephant herds.
On arrival in Voi station, travel onto the last safari stop in Tsavo East for a two-night stay at Satao Camp.
On the last morning of the safari, head back to the station for the final rail journey to Mombasa, where you can extend your holiday with a relaxing beach hotel stay.
A six-night trip, departing 15 November 2023 is priced from £3,189pp, including international and domestic flights and transfers, all rail journeys, drivers or guides for the safari experiences and National Park fees.
Africa Sky (africaskysafari.com)
Top image: Amtrak