The marvelous, the unprecedented, the train that will put all other trains to shame – all aboard the Shiki-Shima, the world’s most overindulging train known to mankind. To celebrate its launch last month, we have decided to come up with a list of the most highly pined after, bucket-list designated trains on earth.
Shiki-Shima: Ueno to Nikko
With two-story suites, multiple chefs on hand, architecturally designed observation cars, personal toilets and showers and elegant sense of design fit for a king, this 10-carriage train was built for those who dare to live life at its fullest.
Price: $4,045 per person
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: London to Venice
Passing through some of Europe’s most captivating scenery, this train rolls past London, Paris, Innsbruck, Verona and Venice. Adorned by a sophisticated, Art Deco-type theme in the suites, this train’s elegance is undeniable.
Price: $3,342 per person
The Rocky Mountaineer: Banff to Vancouver
Offering one of few five-star rail experiences in North America, the path crossed in this railway shows its best shades during Fall, when the leaves turn to a vivid hue of red, orange and yellow. If you’re lucky, fresh snow could be spotted accumulating on the mountaintops.
Price: $1,309 per person
Rovos Rail: Southern and eastern Africa
With plush and extravagant cabin surroundings and extended network of far-flung destinations, This train never travels more than 37 m.p.h., which means passengers can open windows for fresh air or to photograph the landscapes. As a matter of fact, the staff can provide goggles so that, should the urge arise to stick heads out of windows, dust in eyes won’t be a problem.
Price: $1,504 per person
The Ghan: Adelaide to Darwin
The 3-night journey on this train offers its guests a menu consisting of Australia’s exotic local fare, like saltwater barramundi fish and grilled kangaroo fillet. If the Platinum service sounds tempting, know it comes with extra cabin and ensuite space, chauffeured transfers, access to an exclusive dining carriage, breakfast in bed and five- course meals.
Price: $2,637 per person
Blue Train: Pretoria to Cape Town
Crossing South Africa diagonally, it’s easy to understand why this 27-hour journey guarantees an experience unachievable anywhere else. With butlers on call day or night, full size bathtubs, breathtaking scenery and a guest book signed by stars like Nelson Mandela, Quincy Jones, Paul Simon, Mia Farrow, Margaret Thatcher and Kylie Minogue.
Price: $976 per person
Golden Eagle: Moscow to Vladivostok
The Trans-Siberian Railway runs across mysterious Russia, connecting east and west from Moscow over the Urals, across the magnificent and endless steppe and alongside the shore of the world’s largest freshwater lake. Featuring en-suite bathrooms, laundry services, TVs, a resident pianist and an English-speaking doctor, the two-week passage feels more like a cruise than a train ride.
Price: $12,995 per person
Maharajas’ Express: Delhi to Mumbai
Often called “the Orient Express of the Orient,” this express is a recent entrant to the luxury train market, and a surprising one at that. In the spirit of the era with gin and tonic sundowners, elephant rides and a chance to chat with erstwhile royal families, the Maharajas’ Express is greatly enjoyable, yet passengers should beware of some hidden extras (like camera fees or porter charges).
Price: $3,850 per person