Star Railways

According to many seasoned travellers, what matters is not so much where you are going, but how you are getting there. And this is especially true if you're travelling on one of the world's most luxurious trains.
he 19th century was the true Golden Age of railway travel. At a time when every long distance journey was an odyssey, only a privileged few could see the world by rail, and fewer still could do it in style.
These days, travellers wishing to take the slow and stylish route are still able to climb aboard some of those original steam trains and enjoy the trip of a lifetime. Here are just a few journeys where the glamour and romance of the railways is as strong as ever.
The Rovos Rail train runs to within 300 metres of Victoria Falls, the waterfall with the largest sheet of falling water in the world.

Peaceful nights

The Transcantábrico crew know that exploring and eating is tiring work. So the train stops each night to ensure that passengers' sleep is not disturbed by the rumbling of the train along the rails.

A safari from the observation car – Rovos Rail (South Africa)
Known as the Pride of Africa, this train journeys across South Africa and through Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania, pulling behind it magnificent restored 19th century carriages. On the journey from Pretoria to Cape Town you will see the Serengeti, Victoria Falls, and much more, though what’s inside is just as impressive as what’s outside. The train’s Royal Suites, 16 square metres of wood-panelled opulence, complete with personal lounge and ensuite bathroom, wouldn’t be out of place in the Great Gatsby. Keep an eye on the savannah as you enjoy your game meat meal in the Victoria restaurant, otherwise you might miss the free roaming leopards, rhinos and elephants.
From Adelaide to Darwin – The Ghan (Australia)
One of the longest train runs in the world crosses Australia from Adelaide to Darwin. It follows the route first taken by Scotsman John McDouall Stuart, one of the Australian continent’s most celebrated explorers. In all, the journey covers 2,978 kilometres in three nights and four days from south to north, crossing the Simpson and Victoria deserts, the Macdonnell Ranges, Alice Springs, and the small town of Coober Pedy, where most residents live in underground homes. The Ghan Platinum service offers a luxurious holiday with spacious rooms and breakfast service in your private cabin.
The deluxe suites on the Transcantabrico train are decorated in wood and all come with have ensuite bathrooms.
A magical trip to Machu Pichu – Belmond Hiram Bingham (Peru)
This train, named after the United States explorer Hiram Bingham III, takes you to Aguas Caliente station, the nearest stop to Machu Picchu. Passengers enjoy the sights of the Peruvian Andes from 1920s Pullman- styled carriages. There are many ways to make use of the train journey: enjoy a brunch in the dining car, learn from the barman how to mix a pisco sour cocktail, enjoy live Peruvian music in the bar, or simply drink in the scenery in the open air observation car.
Aboard the Rocky Mountaineer glass roofed cars offer unbeatable views.
The cleanest air of all – Rocky Mountaineer (Canada)
The Rocky Mountaineer train crosses Canada’s famous Rocky Mountains. Its route, through the legendary spiral tunnels dynamited out of the rock at Kicking Horse Pass, takes you to places inaccessible to cars. Try the fine wines from Okanagan Valley, but don’t let them distract you from the scenery, where it’s common to see brown bears and golden eagles. The train follows the routes of the Canadian National Railways and connects Vancouver with Jasper, Banff and Calgary. In all, it has six routes, some circular excursions starting and ending in Vancouver, and others that also just set out from the city.
A gastronomic train journey – Transcantábrico Gran Lujo (Spain)
Passengers travel along the Cantabrian coast of Spain on board original 1923 carriages, combining history with breathtaking views. The stopping-off points along the way serve as the perfect opportunity to get familiar with the typical dishes of the area, considered to be among Europe’s best for the quality of the chefs and of the foods. The journey takes passengers on a gastronomic whirlwind through Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country, offering Asturian fabada, Cantabrian mountain stew, seafood, baked fish, and deserts such as frixuelos cakes and Mondoñedo cake.

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