Your guide to luxury train travel (updated for 2021)
Luxury train travel is becoming more and more popular every year. Here at LuxuryTrainTickets.com, we’re seeing more and more demand from both those that have experienced a luxury train trip before and those who are brand new to the idea of a luxury journey. With luxury trains available all over the world offering a wide range of journeys, it’s possible to travel on the same train more than once but experience a completely different journey.
A luxury train journey is very much like a cruise; you pay a ticket price upfront and almost everything is then included in the price. Depending on the journey you choose, you then get to see many different parts of the country (or sometimes different countries) all from the comfort of a very luxurious train. Unless you have travelled on a luxury train before, there really is no comparison. They are build purely for luxury with exceptional details everywhere you look and stewards at your service to take care of your every need.
In this guide, we hope to share with you everything you need to know about taking your first, second, third or on-going luxury train journey. We will cover the reasons why you should take a luxury train trip, the differences between day trips and sleeper journeys, the costs and what you get for the price of your ticket. But if you do still find yourself with questions, our team of experts are on-hand by phone or email to answer any query you may have.
Why take a luxury train trip?
Quite simply because there is nothing else in the world quite like it. One can’t even really compare one luxury train trip to another, simply because each are truly unique. From the route you take to the cuisine you sample to the itinerary you enjoy, everything about a trip is unique to that particular journey.
A luxury train trips is very easy as well; once you have paid for your ticket, everything outlined in your itinerary for that journey is included. As standard this will include your meals, all of which have been prepared fresh onboard by chefs and include multiple courses. With some journeys this may include VIP tours of stately homes, exclusive visits to famous gardens or distilleries even luxury hotel stays and private tours.
Plus with a train capable of carrying no more than a couple of hundred passengers at the very most, there is much more of an exclusive feel to the whole experience. No queues, no waiting in line, the service is far more personal and of a higher standard simply because there are more stewards available to the number of guests on board.
Overall, it’s all about the service, the experience and the truly unique memories you will make. Luxury train journeys have been running since trains were accessible to the wealthy, so now it’s your turn to sample what life is like in unrivalled levels of luxury.
What about the Orient Express?
We are often asked about the most famous train in the world, the Orient Express. Famed for being the setting in many a novel and movie, the Orient Express was a luxury train that came into service in 1883 and ran from Paris to Istanbul during the 1920s and 1930s. Known as ‘The Golden Age of Travel’ this was when luxury train travel was a very aspirational thing to do and only available to the rich and famous.
From the Orient Express came many related trains including the Simplon Orient Express, the Venice Simplon Orient Express and the Alberg Orient Express. Each of these trains offered the same lavish levels of luxury, but took different routes across Europe.
Unfortunately, the Orient Express stopped servicing in 1977, so it’s not possible to ride the original train. However, her sister train the Venice Simplon Orient Express, is still very much in service and has been beautifully restored. A journey onboard the Venice Simplon Orient Express is the closest you’ll be able to get to the original, but you definitely won’t be disappointed.
Offering journeys all over Europe, the Venice Simplon Orient Express still follows the original route from Paris to Istanbul (as well as in reverse) that the original Orient Express took. So while you can’t ride the original, her sister train is a splendid alternative.
How luxurious are the journeys?
Imagine a five-star hotel on wheels. Stewards available 24 hours a day for anything you may need, food prepared fresh on board, made from the best ingredients and covering multiple courses. Open bar cars where no drink is too much trouble. A pianist in the background tickling the ivories. Glamorous décor in every carriage. The finest fabrics on every chair and especially for your bedding. We hope this is painting the appropriate picture.
Every luxury journey, whether that be a day trip or sleeper journey, is an experience. From start to finish, everything about your time on board is truly magical.
You are taken very good care of during your journey and no request is too much trouble. Whether it be something small like requiring assistance to board the train or something larger like a special occasion or a dietary preference, every passenger is treated like an individual meaning you really can have exactly what you want.
Day trips or sleeper journeys?
This is entirely down to personal preference. A day trip usually departs in the morning and returns back to the same station later that evening, taking up most, if not, the entire day. Days trips vary and either focus on the fine dining and the luxury service with no ‘destination’ and simply take guests on a relaxing round-trip while they are treated for a glorious gourmet food. Alternatively day trips may take guests to a location such as a famous country home or garden, or even a famous city for some free time to explore.
Popular options for day trips include ‘The Golden Age of Travel’ where passengers are treated to a luxury journey and a multiple-course meal while onboard. Alternatively the Christmas journeys are popular and include a few hours free time to explore a Christmas market before returning to the train for a dinner on the way back.
Sleeper journeys meanwhile are much more like holidays. The shorter one-night journeys are usually one-way and passengers spend the whole time onboard. These tend to depart midday and reach their destination afternoon the next day. The focus here is the luxury, relaxation and the fine foods serviced onboard. One-night journeys are popular as they are more affordable and offer a sample of luxury. Some passengers choose to take a one-night, non-return journey such as those offered on the Venice Simplon Orient Express before spending time in their destination city or moving forward with onward travel arrangements.
Longer sleeper journeys last between three and seven nights, like those onboard the Belmond Royal Scotsman that travels across Scotland and England or the Belmond Grand Hibernian that travels across Ireland. Both of these trains offer round-trips but each day offers something new, such as a new town, new country home, garden, castle or distillery to explore and fine foods served on board for every meal.
Sleeper journeys include your very own private accommodation, allowing you to use it as you wish. With a range of options from standard cabins to the ultra-luxurious Grand Suite onboard the Venice Simplon Orient Express, you are treated to a surprisingly spacious and very well appointed room. During the day the cabins can be converted into day-suites to allow you to relax in solitude, before being converted back into bedrooms ready for a restful nights sleep. The larger cabins don’t require converting as they are large enough to accommodate both a sleeping area and day-space.
Nearly all cabins also include private en-suites with shower, basin and WC allowing you to freshen up after your day’s adventure. Towels and robes are all included, meaning life on a luxury train journey is very much like that of a five-star hotel.
How much does a luxury train trip cost?
A cost of a luxury train ticket can vary massively depending on the train you choose, the journey as well as the length of the journey. As a general guide, the price of a luxury train journey costs between £200/€250/$250 and £55,000/€63,000/$69,000 per ticket.
The lower end of the price spectrum would get you a day trip on a train such as the Belmond British Pullman. The sister train to the Venice Simplon Orient Express, the British Pullman offers the same levels of luxury but without the sleeping arrangements.
As your budget increases, so do the possibilities. As you start to creep into the thousands per ticket, this will get you a sleeper journey for one to three nights depending on the location. The ticket price includes a choice of private cabins as well as all meals on board and everything else outlined further below in our guide.
A higher ticket price does generally include more for your money. The higher the price generally the more luxurious the train (some trains even have their own spa on board). The journeys also tend to be much longer up to seven nights and with a longer journeys means more included in your itinerary.
At LuxuryTrainTickets.com, we’re able to offer special discounts you wouldn’t receive booking direct. We are able to tailor your package to your needs in order to offer you the best price. We’re also pleased to allow customers to pay an initial deposit in order to guarantee their tickets where the balance can be paid whenever is suitable for the customer.
What is included in the cost?
Quite simply, almost everything. Your journey on board the train, all meals throughout your journey whether onboard or at a location of interest, plus any tours, visits or VIP access to anywhere outlined on that journey’s itinerary. The price also includes your cabin for the duration of your journey should you choose a sleeper journey and usually all drinks onboard including alcohol.
Some trains or journeys may require passengers to pay for certain drinks on board and if the train has an onboard spa you would need to pay an additional supplement for a massage or treatment for example.
Where do luxury trains go?
The luxury trains we offer are available across England, Scotland, Ireland, Europe and South America. Each train has it’s own unique route and set of destinations that it visits. Luxury journeys are available through out the year and offer different destinations throughout each month.
A sample of these destinations include:
- Kuala Lumpur
But this is by far not an extensive list. UK journeys for example may visit areas of interest such as:
As well as so many more. If you have a destination you’d particularly like to visit, please do get in touch and we will check our many hundreds of journey to see what we have available.