This Epic Around-the-World Rail Journey Connects 7 of the World’s Best Train Rides

Imagine riding the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, India’s Maharajas’ Express, the Belmond Royal Scotsman, Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer, and Singapore’s Eastern & Oriental Express—all in one trip.

A private cabin on the Rovos Rail train between Pretoria and Cape Town, with dark wood paneling and two armchairs

Riding on the upscale Rovos Rail train between Pretoria and Cape Town is among the seven included rail adventures.

Courtesy of Railbookers

The journey will be long, it will be memorable, and it will include some of the most storied rail trips in the world. International rail operator Railbookers recently unveiled a new 80-day “Around the World by Luxury Train” itinerary that has us all trying to figure out how to WFT (work from train) for the nearly three-month duration.

The over-the-top 2024 rail experience combines some of the most iconic train trips in the world, spanning 13 countries and 4 continents.

These are the seven luxury train rides included:

A map of Railbookers' Around-the-World by Luxury Train journey, with locations of seven routes highlighted

The new Around-the-World by Luxury Train journey crosses 13 countries on 4 continents via 7 train rides.

Courtesy of Railbookers

The rail adventure of the ages begins on August 28, 2024, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where travelers will board the Rocky Mountaineer and traverse the Canadian Rockies to Jasper. From there, you and your fellow travelers will transfer to Calgary (in Alberta) for a flight to Edinburgh. In Scotland, it’s all aboard the Belmond Royal Scotsman for one week of exploring the Scottish Highlands via rail. After that, it’s off to London and then Paris via individual train rides, and in Paris a journey on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will begin.

Following their arrival in Venice, travelers will be transferred to Florence for three nights and then to Rome, for three more, before flying off to Delhi. There, a six-night journey on the Maharajas’ Express to Mumbai awaits, with included stops at the Taj Mahal, the Amber Fort in Jaipur, and the City Palace in Udaipur. From Mumbai, travelers will fly to Istanbul. After three nights in Istanbul and two days in Cappadocia, a five-night train ride on the Golden Eagle Danube Express will head through Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary—ending in Budapest. From there, passengers will fly to Johannesburg; after some time in Kruger National Park, they will board the Rovos Rail from Pretoria to Cape Town.

After four nights in Cape Town, guests fly to Singapore for the final leg of the journey, three nights traveling through Malaysia on the Eastern & Oriental Express.

Starting at $113,599 per person, the once-in-a-lifetime trip includes all of the train rides, meals, luxury hotel accommodations, private ground transfers, sightseeing, and excursions. But travelers will need to make all of their own international flight arrangements between the different rail portions of the trip (including from Calgary to Edinburgh, Rome to Delhi, Mumbai to Istanbul, Budapest to Johannesburg, and Cape Town to Singapore).

In addition to 24 nights onboard luxury trains in private accommodations with meals provided, the trip will also include 52 nights of luxury hotel stays at properties such as the Fairmont resorts in Vancouver, Jasper, Banff, and Lake Louise; the Waldorf Astoria in Edinburgh; Hotel Cipriani, a Belmond Hotel, in Venice; InterContinental Rome Ambasciatori Palace; the Imperial Hotel in Delhi; the Taj Palace Hotel in Mumbai; and the Four Seasons in Budapest.

Among the included excursions will be a nighttime tour of Rome in a vintage car, a hot air balloon ride above Cappadocia in Türkiye, safari game drives in Kruger National Park, and dinner and a show at the Moulin Rouge in Paris.

If you don’t have 80 days to spare, don’t despair. You can book any combination of the seven rail journeys.

Railbookers’ 2024 “Around the World by Luxury Train” trip was created after the company saw huge success from a similar itinerary that was introduced in 2019. The 57-day Around the World by Rail trip traveled across four continents, with stops in more than 20 cities along the way.

Michelle Baran is a deputy editor at AFAR where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined AFAR in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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