All aboard the Orient Express (belmond.com)
List Words : Wanderlust team | 04 May

All aboard! 7 luxurious sleeper trains and how to book them

There’s nothing quite like the romance of travelling on a sleeper train, especially in carriages as iconic – and luxurious – as these...

1: Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Europe

A cabin on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (Belmond)

A cabin on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (Belmond)

Route: London to Venice

How long: 2 days

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is quite simply the most famous set of carriages in the world, and on this overnight journey between London and Venice you’ll enjoy it at its elegant best. With its polished wood, sumptuous upholstery and antique fixtures, the train epitomises the glamour and elegance of the Golden Age of travel. You won’t just travel across Europe – you’ll also be transported back in time. More information

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2: Blue Train, South Africa

Watching the savannah roll by (bluetrain.co.za)

Watching the savannah roll by (bluetrain.co.za)

Route: Pretoria to Cape Town

How long: 2 days

South Africa’s ‘Five Star Hotel On Wheels’ has long been a favourite with kings, presidents and celebrities. Everyone from Nelson Mandela to Kylie Minogue has enjoyed the unparalleled service and views as the famous Blue Train makes its way from Pretoria to Cape Town. Some of the luxury doubles have full-sized bath tubs – the perfect place to watch the savannah pass by, with glass of Champagne in hand. More information

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3: Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru

The Andean Explorer en route to Arequipa (Belmond)

The Andean Explorer en route to Arequipa (Belmond)

Route: Cusco to Arequipa

How long: 3 days

South America's first luxury sleeper train glides from Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire, across the lofty Andean plains to the white city of Arequipa. With an interior inspired by the textures of Peru, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views while cocooned in hand-woven fabrics made from Alpaca wool and soothed by the Andean slate grey tones. All while enjoying vibrant Peruvian cuisine and the finest South American wines. More information

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4: Maharajas' Express, India

All aboard the Maharajas' Express  (the-maharajas.com)

All aboard the Maharajas' Express (the-maharajas.com)

Route: Dehli to Mumbai

How long: 4 days

Travel like a Maharaja between India’s two biggest cities on a train that spares no expense in recreating the opulence and pomp of the golden days of the Raj. Winner of the World's Leading Luxury Train Award at the World Travel Awards for five consecutive years, the Maharajas' Express is the last word in the romance of rail. It’s ostentatious and over-the-top, as well it should be. More information

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5: Golden Eagle, Russia

The Golden Eagle beside Lake Baikal (GoldenEagleLuxuryTrains.com)

The Golden Eagle beside Lake Baikal (GoldenEagleLuxuryTrains.com)

Route: Moscow to Vladivostok

How long: 2 weeks 

This is an unique opportunity to experience one of the world’s greatest rail journeys in unabashed luxury – passing endless steppe and travelling alongside the world's largest freshwater lake as you indulge in the finest cuisine as a pianist tickles the ivories. Your luxury suite features en-suite bathrooms, air-con in the summer, full heat in the winter, laundry services, and an English-speaking doctor on call. Traversing eight time zones has never been more comfortable. More information

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6: The Ghan, Australia

Ghan railway at a stop in Marla South Australia (Dreamstime)

Ghan railway at a stop in Marla South Australia (Dreamstime)

Route: Adelaide to Darwin

How long: 4 days

Australia’s most iconic rail experience, The Ghan takes a three-night 2,979km trip from Darwin to Adelaide, whisking travellers through the country’s spectacular red heart. The journey is the perfect balance of comfort and adventure, where you can enjoy the endless views from the solitude of your cabin while indulging your adventurous side on outback adventures like camel riding and trekking along the way. The dining is unforgettable too, with the menu featuring Australia’s exotic local fare such as saltwater barramundi fish and grilled kangaroo fillet. More information

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7: Belmond Royal Scotsman, Scotland

The Royal Scotsman on the move (Belmond)

The Royal Scotsman on the move (Belmond)

Route: Edinburgh to Edinburgh via the Scottish Highlands

How long: 5 days

Embark on a grand Highland fling on the Belmond Royal Scotsman as it travels through some of Scotland’s most dramatic heather-clad scenery. Ensconced in your mahogany-clad car, crystal decanter at hand, you’ll enjoy extraordinary meals prepared from locally-sourced game and the choice of over 50 single malt whiskies from the well-appointed bar. Combining Edwardian elegance with the comforts of a country house, the UK's only luxury sleeper train is an experience you’ll never forget. More information