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There are various classic routes and several completely unique routes available across several continents. Perhaps two of the most popular routes are London to Venice on the world famous Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, and the Eastern & Oriental Express from Bangkok which travels south through Malaysia to Singapore.
Departing from London, the Belmond British Pullman will transport you through the beautiful Kent countryside to Folkestone. From Folkstone you will be transported across the Channel. And once in France, you will board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. The elegance, old-world charm and impeccable service will captivate you as you are transported to an era of opulence and old world glamour. This overnight journey will undoubtedly be one you remember forever, and with additional journeys to some of the most romantic destinations in the world, including from Paris, Rome, and Vienna, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express could quickly become your preferred way to travel around Western and Central Europe.
Belmond British Pullman
Restored to their former glory, the Belmond British Pullman’s carriages are as famous today as they were in the heyday of train travel. On the Belmond British Pullman, you will be transported back to the golden era of train travel. Sit back in your sumptuous chair and be transported to a more glamorous age of travel. Admire the intricate art deco features of your carriage, including handcrafted marquetry, gleaming crystal and silken lampshades. Expect glamour, luxury, a dash of adventure as you rediscover the British countryside. Whether you prefer afternoon tea, flowing champagne or both as many guests do there’s a journey for everyone.
One of the most popular journeys is the celebrated classic Afternoon Tea trip. This trip has become even more magical due to the presence of Mary Berry, one of the UK’s best-loved personalities. Author of over 80 best-selling cookery books, and with a TV career spanning more than six decades, Mary Berry is seen as the face of family cookery. As your host, she will be holding a meet and greet for guests at the Belmond British Pullman check-in lounge at London Victoria and on board the train. Soon you will be served an indulgent spread. Savour a selection of Mary Berry’s favourite cakes and desserts, tea or coffee and a glass of sparkling wine. Each delicacy is accompanied by stunning views as you journey through Greater London and into the Weald of Kent on this round-trip excursion. Ticket-holders will also be presented with a “surprise gift” from the food writer and TV star, who will no doubt be on hand to answer a few cooking queries. The classic Afternoon Tea trip with Mary Berry takes places on selected dates throughout the year from May to November. There are three routes available on this luxury roundtrip with departures from London Victoria, Truro and Penzance. The overall duration ranges from half a day to a full day.
Eastern & Oriental Express
Meanwhile, approximately 10,000 kilometres away, the Eastern & Oriental Express awaits with eye-catching green carriages, cabins panelled in Cherrywood, and traditional Chinese decor. Here, the five-star cuisine is a significant feature of the journey. Every morning a continental breakfast will be delivered to your cabin along with afternoon tea later in the day. Each three-course lunch and dinner is exceptionally prepared, a melange of harmonious European and Asian influences. Scheduled stops are made at points of interest throughout your journey in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Laos.
Belmond Hiram Bingham and Belmond Andean Explorer
On a luxury train journey, you can venture further than ever before. For luxury travel around South America, the Belmond Hiram Bingham and Belmond Andean Explorer are sublime choices that we highly recommend. The former travels to spellbinding Machu Picchu. Whilst the latter is South America’s first luxury sleeper train. Climbing to an altitude of more than 14,000ft, the Belmond Andean Explorer begins in Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire and ascends to the Andean plains, and the white city of Arequipa, on its remarkable journey to Lake Titicaca. This exquisite train combines exciting daytime adventure with luxury accommodation. And when we say luxury accommodation we definitely mean it. With rich artisanal accents, hand-woven fabrics, and alpaca style textures, each cabin is a sumptuous haven of Peruvian inspired comfort.
The Blue Train and Train Suite Shiki-shima
If South Africa has always been on your bucket list, why not explore South Africa on the Blue Train? The Blue Train has been synonymous with luxury and hospitality since 1946, travelling through some of the most diverse and spectacular scenery in the African sub-continent. Travelling to and from Pretoria and Cape Town, the Blue Train’s signature route takes 27 hours on a journey of 1,600 kilometres. Guests can expect personal and attentive service, a dedicated butler, comfortable accommodation, and excellent fine dining.
But if you’re searching for a futuristic modern luxury rail holiday, then the champagne-gold Train Suite Shiki-shima will be a perfect choice. With a five-star lounge and exquisite cuisine prepared under the guidance of Japan’s first Michelin-star chef, Katsuhiro Nakamura, this is a rail journey that you will treasure for a lifetime. The round-the-clock butler service, bespoke furnishings, piano recitals, and artisanal touches further add to the appeal.
Launched in 2017, the Shiki-shima joins the ranks of Seven Stars, the opulent sleeper that traverses the southern Kyushu region, which launched in 2013; the deluxe Twilight Express Mizukaze, which debuted in western Japan in June 2017; and the wood-lined Royal Express, which commenced service in July 2017.
Glacier Express and the Rocky Mountaineer
Switzerland and Canada are also renowned for a host of rail journeys through mountains, rivers, and lakes. Switzerland’s Glacier Express is a remarkable eight-hour journey between the two stunning alpine resorts of St Moritz and Zermatt through more than 90 tunnels and across 291 bridges. The route consists of four sections, each with their own unique scenery. Starting in Zermatt near the Matterhorn, traverse the highest peaks of the Swiss Alps, cross the river Rhone, and descend along the Rhine valley to Chur, before bending to the south towards Thusis and Tiefencastel as the Express proceeds to St Moritz. This journey can also be done in reverse.
Travel hassle-free with Eurostar
For midweek business trips, and short city breaks away from London, why not consider Eurostar? Eurostar is the only high-speed train that directly links the UK to France and Belgium via the Channel Tunnel. Since 1994 Eurostar has taken over 150 million travellers from city centre to city centre, with routes to Paris, Brussels and Calais to name a few. From being one of the first train companies in the world to introduce business lounges and a loyalty programme, travelling by Eurostar results in a leisurely relaxing experience. When travelling for business on Eurostar we highly recommend opting for Business Premier. As a business premier traveller, you are able to use the Business Premier gate which closes 10 minutes before departure saving you precious time. You will also have access to exclusive lounges for free Wi-Fi and refreshments. And for an added touch of luxury, Business Premier travellers can also expect a delicious three-course onboard meal designed with renowned chef Raymond Blanc.