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All Aboard: Uncover the World’s Most Breathtaking Train Journeys

By Sue Rudolph January 14, 2024 Travel

Have you ever dreamt of seeing the world in a different light? Swapping the rush and stress of airports for the romantic charm and stunning landscapes only a train journey can provide? Here are some of the top train journeys in the world.

The Eastern Oriental Express Train

The Eastern Oriental Express Train, regarded as one of the most luxurious train journeys in the world, is a trip back in time to the era of glamorous and romantic travel. Traveling across Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, it provides a chance to experience the diverse and striking landscapes of Southeast Asia in absolute comfort.

The train, a vision in green and gold, is amplified by its signature polished wood-paneled carriages and cabin suites that exude an old-world charm. As one traverses through lush jungles, ancient temples, and quaint villages, the Eastern Oriental Express is not just about travelling from one destination to another, but a journey steeped in luxury, elegance, and unforgettable experiences.

The Blue Train – South Africa

South Africa’s Blue Train promises more than a journey. It offers a five-star “hotel-on-wheels,” with breathtaking views of diverse landscapes – from Cape Town’s Table Mountain and Pretoria’s Jacaranda City. Onboard, experience personal service, delectable cuisine, and luxury accommodation. The vibrant landscape features dramatic mountain ranges and green vineyards. You’ll find yourself lost in a world of tranquility and luxury, offering a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

Glacier Express – Switzerland

Glacier Express, “the world’s slowest express train,” lets you fully take in the extraordinary panorama of Switzerland’s Alpine scenery. Travel through 91 tunnels and cross 291 bridges, as you journey from Zermatt to St. Moritz, in glass-top carriages.

This exceptional journey makes you feel a part of every town, river, mountain, and forest it passes. Travelling comfortably at a slow pace, you get to witness the detailed beauty in every curve. It’s an unforgettable rendezvous with nature’s masterpieces!

The Ghan – Australia

The Ghan, named after the Afghan cameleers, takes you on an epic trip across Australia. Witness the stunning diversity of landscapes – from the fertile countryside surrounding Adelaide to the rusty-red expanses of the Outback and the tropical allure of the Top End.

As the landscapes transform before your eyes, you transition between bustling city life to serene solitude, immersing in Australia’s spirit. Witness flocks of colorful birds take flight at dawn, sleep under a blanket of stars and wake up to a stunning sunrise over the Outback. It’s a true testament to Australia’s dramatic contrasts.

Rocky Mountaineer – Canada

Ride the Rocky Mountaineer and experience Western Canada’s rich diversity. Traverse through the Rockies’ magnificent peaks, lush rainforests, and valleys teeming with wildlife. Enjoy this ride in a bi-level glass-dome coach while partaking in gourmet meals. With optimal comfort and extraordinary scenic beauty, every new site offers an adventure, filling your heart with lasting memories. It’s a captivating expedition across endless horizons, promising a unique perspective of Canada’s wild majesty.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express – Europe

Embark on a journey of romance and adventure on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. In an art-deco setting, take in the breathtaking Alpine vistas, indulge in world-class cuisine, and immerse yourself in the art and culture of the spectacular cities it traverses: London, Paris and Venice.

As you make your way through the heart of Europe, you are transported to a time of opulence and elegance. With every turn, journey back in time, unveiling the romance and admiration of Europe’s golden age of travel.

The Northern Explorer – New Zealand

Fill your senses with nature’s grandeur as you travel across the North Island of New Zealand, from Wellington to Auckland. The Northern Explorer takes you through farmland, dense forests, and across towering viaducts to discover remarkable coastlines. New Zealand’s amazing landscapes seem to have been designed for a breathtaking train ride, and you get it all with the Northern Explorer. Witness nature at her best, all in the comfort of your seat.

The Royal Scotsman – Scotland

Travel the scenic landscapes of Scotland in luxury aboard The Royal Scotsman. This grand highland chariot offers breath-taking views of castle ruins, shimmering lochs, and ancient highland clans. The journey offers guests a chance to step back in time and immerse themselves in the tales, history, and culture of this majestic nation. A ride through the land of the brave has never been so evocative.

The Belmond Hiram Bingham Luxury Train

Named after the explorer who rediscovered the Inca city, this luxury train gives travelers a unique experience enroute to Machu Picchu. The elegance of 1920s Pullman carriages combined with gourmet, on-board dining and intriguing landscapes in the background makes this trip truly special.

The train travels from Poroy Station in Cusco to Machu Picchu. The journey weaves through the Sacred Valley, revealing stunning Andean landscapes, passing by terraced fields, rural villages, and towering mountains, before culminating at the breathtaking Inca citadel. This gives you the chance of witnessing the ever-changing landscapes, and some of the world’s most spectacular archeological sites.

Seven Stars Kyushu Japan

Embarking on a journey with the Seven Stars in Kyushu is stepping into a realm of unparalleled luxury, tradition, and natural beauty. Known as “Nanatsuboshi” in Japan, this grand voyage is Japan’s first-ever luxury sleeper train that offers visitors an unforgettable experience of Kyushu’s diverse and rich cultural heritage intertwined with extraordinary scenic beauties.

This opulent 7-car train was launched in 2013 and takes its passengers through all seven prefectures of Kyushu, providing breathtaking views of both coastal landscapes as well as mountainous terrains. What sets Seven Stars in Kyushu apart is its exquisite craftsmanship that is evident in every detail. The interiors are adorned with intricate detailing, with each carriage showcasing the work of Kyushu’s local artisans.

These journeys manifest that train travel isn’t about moving from point A to point B; in fact, it’s a rejuvenating experience par excellence that one must undergo.


Let’s Have a Conversation:

I would love to hear your thoughts. Have you been on a train journey? What was your experience like? Which train did you choose and why?

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When I retired I decided to travel with my free time. The first trip I took was a trans-continental train ride from east Canada to west Canada.

Although it was on the public train system and not as luxurious as “The Rocky Mountaineer”, it was a very eventful, beautiful and glorious journey!


I plan to do the Glacier Express and the Bernina Railway before I retire from Switzerland.
Last year I travelled to Como in Italy and as the Gotthard Tunnel in Switzerland is closed due to a derailment the trains take the scenic route. The scenery is beautiful.

Velma kitchens

I have been desiring a train excursion with Amtrak here in us. Hope one day to just do it!

Sue Rudolph

Amtrak has some good packages

Patricia McDougall

This is a great post. I have been looking at train travel for a short period and had not run into these offerings as of yet. They all sound just wonderful. Thank you for this article.

Sue Rudolph

You’re welcome. Let me know if you need help planning.

Mary Lou

The Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapesin Switzerland is also absolutely worth the trip. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the view is amazing.

The Author

Sue Rudolph is the owner of Absolutely Amazing Travel. Since 1994, she has been helping travelers who want to experience a destination, not just see it. She creates itineraries to exotic locations where you will meet the locals, immerse yourself in the culture, and get up close to nature and wildlife. Find out more at Amazing Travel.

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