Vancouver to Singapore “Around the World” luxury train

Train travel has been seeing a resurgence post-pandemic, as we’re focusing more on slowing down and appreciating the small moments. 

If scenic train rides in Asia aren’t quite doing it for you, what about one that takes you around the world? There’s an Around the World luxury train package which lets passengers explore 13 countries in 4 continents. And, you don’t have to choose a specific train journey, because this package will let you experience 7 of the world’s most luxurious trains. 

What is the 80-day Around the World train? 

Instead of one long train journey, the Around the World by Luxury Train experience is a package by Railbookers, a company that manages a collection of independent rail vacation itineraries around the world. You won’t be spending the entire journey on a single train, but instead, transferring between 7 different train services:

  • Rocky Mountaineer: Vancouver to Jasper
  • Belmond Royal Scotsman: Edinburgh to London 
  • Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Paris to Venice 
  • Maharajas Express: Delhi to Mumbai
  • Golden Eagle Danube Express: Istanbul to Budapest  
  • Rovos Rail: From Pretoria to Cape Town 
  • Eastern & Oriental Express: Singapore to Penang  

It’s not all rail travel, either. Travelling between some of the cities will require you to hop on a flight. 

What is accommodation like for the Around the World train? 

Image credit: @belmondroyalscotsman via Instagram

Passengers will spend 24 nights in private cabins onboard the trains, with meals and excursions included. The other 52 nights will be spent in hotel accommodations in 20 different destinations, all included as part of your package. We’re talking hotels like The Waldorf Astoria in Edinburgh, The Imperial Hotel in Delhi, and the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace in Budapest. 

You’ll also do excursions in each destination – small and intimate sightseeing tours featuring some cool experiences. Some of these excursions include a day trip at the Victoria & Butchart Garden by seaplane, a gorgeous balloon ride in Cappadocia, and safari game drives in Kruger National Park. 

Explore 13 countries in 4 continents, all in 80 days 

TL;DR: The destinations in the “Around the World” luxury train journey.
Image adapted from: Railbookers 

Start your journey weaving through landscapes of British Columbia 

All passengers will start their journey in Vancouver, where they’ll be picked up at the airport and taken to Fairmont Downtown, where they’ll stay for 2 nights. But the adventure begins the next day, by boarding a seaplane flight in The Butchart Gardens, a dreamy floralscape about 102km away from Downtown Vancouver. 

The train journey starts proper on day 3, onboard the first locomotive: the Rocky Mountaineer

You’ve probably seen this train on your Instagram feeds, with gorgeous glass-dome windows overlooking the views of Canada’s temperate rainforests, mountain peaks, and winding rivers. 

Image credit: @rockymountaineer via Instagram

Passengers will spend around 5 nights on this leg of the journey, and landscapes they’ll see include the Canadian Rockies, Yellowhead Pass, Lake Louis, and Banff National Parks. After which, they’ll get on an overnight flight to Edinburgh from Calgary Airport. This will set the tone for the entire journey – eat, sightsee, sleep, repeat.

A scenic train journey in Scotland  

Cosy up in your cabins in The Royal Scotsman as you marvel at Scotland’s landscapes outside your window.
Image credit: @belmondroyalscotsman via Instagram

The next leg of the journey will start on day 10 onboard The Royal Scotsman, as it chugs from Edinburgh towards Craigendoran. This will be your introduction to the West Highland Line, lauded as one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world. 

It traverses through some of Scotland’s most breathtaking landscapes such as Ben Arthur, Loch Lomond, Glen Falloch, and Fort William, a town in the Scottish highlands. Not to mention, it’ll also pass the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, also known as the “Harry Potter Bridge”. 

Next stop, London & Europe 

The East Coast Mainline will take you from Edinburgh to London, where you’ll spend 4 nights. The journey continues in Europe, where passengers will get onboard the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express to explore Paris, Rome, and Florence.

The Grand Suite on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, one of the train’s most luxurious cabins.
Image credit: Belmond

Some uber cool experiences in these European cities include checking out the Louvre, Doges Palace, and St. Mark’s Basilica on fast-track tickets, staying in the iconic Cipriani Hotel, and enjoying a private walking tour through Venice’s narrow streets. Yes, The Vatican and Colosseum will also be part of your itinerary, just in time before your flight to Delhi. 

Spend 6 nights in India 

You’ll visit the City Palace in Jaipur, known for its beautiful doors.

Image adapted from: @_drtechie via Instagram

Now, your Around the World luxury train journey won’t be complete without experiencing The Maharajas’ Express, which will take you around a few destinations in India. The train will chug along to Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, one of the 7 Wonders of the World.

Other stops in this 6-night odyssey include Ranthambore National Park, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, and Mumbai. 

From Istanbul to Eastern Europe & South Africa 

Stroll through Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria’s ancient capital.
Image credit: @janenikkisiani via Instagram 

You’re then off to your next city, Istanbul, where you’ll spend a few nights before getting onboard The Golden Eagle Danube Express. The train will take you from Turkey through Eastern Europe – Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria, Sinaia in Romania before stopping in Budapest, Hungary’s capital. This is where you’ll stop before your flight to Johannesburg.

Who knew you’d be able to see elephants in their natural habitat on your 80-day Around the World train journey?

Image credit: Kapama Private Game Reserve

You won’t be roughing it out in Kapama Karula safari lodge, where you’ll stay for 2 nights.
Image credit: Kapama Private Game Reserve 

If you’ve always wanted to go on a safari lodge adventure, this leg of the journey will be a dream come true. You’ll be whisked away to your first game drive in one of the largest wildlife reserves in the world, Kruger National Park. Keep your eyes peeled for lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, buffalos, among other wildlife. And at night, retire in your bougie safari lodge. 

Your next train journey will start from Rovos Rail station in Pretoria. Settle into a super fancy Pullman Suite on the Rovos Rail, which will take you to Cape Town 3 nights later. 

Finally, Southeast Asia 

From there, passengers will fly to Singapore, the starting point for the Eastern & Oriental Express. The historic train will chug along villages in Western Malaysia before arriving in Penang Island. This is the shortest train journey of the trip, where you’ll just spend 3 nights onboard before the train returns to Singapore via Johor. 

Image credit: @bydaviddodge via Instagram 

And before you know it, you’ve travelled from Canada to Singapore in 80 days. Of course, we can’t exactly detail the entire journey in a single article, but you can kaypoh and view the full 80-day itinerary on the company’s website.

Can you do just a section of the Around the World train journey? 

Banff National Park.
Image credit: Jacky Huang via Unsplash 

Of course, not all of us have 80 days’ worth of AL to spare just gallivanting around the world. Plus, the fact that the entire package starts from US$113,599 (S$153,008), might be unattainable for the average traveller. 

Those who can’t travel for 3 months straight or just want to max out long weekends in 2024 can also choose to do their preferred segments separately. The Grand Circle of the Canadian Rockies costs US$3,799 (S$5,114.88) for a 9-day itinerary, while the Venice Simplon-Orient Express from Paris to Venice, Florence, and Rome costs US$11,349 (S$15,280) for 10 days.

Add the 80-day “Around the World” train journey to your bucket list 

There are so many different ways to indulge in slow travel, whether you’re journeying from Singapore to Portugal by train or setting sail on a cruise to Antarctica. And now that we’re informed of the existence of the 80-day Around the World luxury train experience, we’re adding this to our bucket lists, pronto. 

Other train journeys around the world: 

Cover image adapted from: @belmondroyalscotsman & @rockymountaineer via Instagram

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