When we set out for a little time away, we’re often in a hurry to get to our destination. We rush to the airport the day of the trip, board a flight, and then spend our vacation excitedly exploring a single city or area without taking advantage of our opportunity to see beyond the city walls.
Thanks to the ease of flying, we sometimes forget we still have the benefit of slowing down.
The next time you decide to plan a relaxing excursion, consider taking a luxurious train trip.
1. Vancouver, B.C. to the Canadian Rockies on the Rocky Mountaineer
As Americans, we often forget about the beautiful land north of our border. Canada has some truly incredible sights and one of the best places to see them in British Columbia.
Did you know the Rocky Mountains don’t stop in Colorado? They actually migrate all the way up into Canada’s British Columbia territory and they’re no less of sight there than they are in the US.
To truly experience the Rockies, climb aboard the Rocky Mountaineer. The train’s GoldLeaf Service won’t disappoint you. The GoldLeaf car has two levels and was custom-designed to give riders the best views of the mountain range. From the food to the accommodation, you’ll be on an awe-inspiring ride.
Peru is a place of beauty and wonder. Most famously, it’s the home of Machu Picchu, an unforgettable ancient metropolis lost in the depths of the rainforest. But Peru is comprised of more than just hidden hiking paths; its terrain is steeped in rich history.
The sumptuous Belmond Andean Explorer will treat you to an experience like no other. Your journey begins in Cusco, the seat of the Inca Empire, and takes you across the Andean plains to Arequipa, a city dating back to 1540 and the capital of the region. Arequipa is nestled between 3 active volcanoes and its many historical cathedrals and religious structures are built from “sillar,” white stone from the volcanoes.
While the cities are astounding and there’s much to see, the Peruvian countryside is equally as breathtaking. You won’t forget this trip.
Leave it to the Japanese to perfect train travel. The British may have introduced the world to the first railways, but the Japanese turned them into an art form and gave us the Shinkansen, more commonly known as “the bullet train.”
The most recent travel phenomenon to hit Japan is the Shiki-Shima Luxury Train. It’s so superb, in fact, you’ve likely heard a lot about it from various travel and news outlets like CNN, The Guardian, and Conde´ Nast Traveler. Tickets are already sold out (and have been for months) until early 2018. Needless to say, it’s getting a lot of attention from across the globe.
All that attention isn’t surprising, though: The train’s interior has been opulently designed by Ken Okuyama, a Japanese industrial designer famous for his work with luxury auto dealers Porsche, Ferrari, and Maserati. Meals are prepared by chef Katsuhiro Nakamura and reflect the various regions through which the train makes its journey. The coveted executive suite is remarkable: It features a split-level design with two beds, a living room, and a bathtub.
Who wouldn’t want to take a ride on the Shiki-Shima?
4. South African Golf Safari from Pretoria on the Rovos Rail
South Africa is far from the desert we often imagine much of the African continent to be. On the contrary, for being such a small nation, it boasts a number of distinct and alluring ecosystems.
To the north, safaris are popular through the vast savannahs where wild game roam freely. The western cape is famous for its beautiful beaches and frightening great white sharks. Just to the east of Cape Town, Paarl is a smaller city known for its vineyards and wineries. There’s much more to South Africa than meets the eye.
What better way to taste and see all that South Africa has to offer than to break away from the norm and go on a golf safari? This unique experience takes place over 9 glorious days and is perfect for both golfers and non-golfers alike. Play a game on the links at more than 4 resorts and enjoy relaxing travel between each location on the exquisite Rovos Rail.
This is an epic journey not to be missed!
The Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian railways are perhaps the most fascinating of them all. At the time of its completion in 1904, the Trans-Siberian was the longest railway in the world and was meant to solve the problem of transporting goods across Russia. Later, in 1947, work began on the Trans-Mongolian line that would allow Russia and China to trade more efficiently. The Trans-Mongolian was only the third rail line to be constructed in Chinese territory at the time.
In addition to its incredible history, the Trans-Mongolian railway passes through some of the most charming Russian and Mongolian towns along its path. The elegant Golden Eagle Trans-Mongolian Express takes you – depending on your starting location – southeast or northwest through Russia over the course of 8-9 days and crosses the Russian-Mongolian border to port at Ulaan Baatar, where you’ll spend 3-4 days of the trip exploring the historic city.
The Golden Eagle is currently booking tickets for the Naadam Festival in Mongolia – one of the nation’s most important holiday celebrations. There’s plenty of time to make arrangements: Journeys don’t depart until 2018.
If you’re hoping to find a new way to see the world, perhaps looking back to history will help. Take a train, slow down, and view things from a different perspective. You’re sure to love the journey and remember it for years to come.
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