Thursday 18 August, 2022
You wouldn’t tend to put trains and yachts in the same holiday, but there are a multitude of famous railways offering a luxury express along their routes that would pair perfectly to either begin or end a yacht charter, or perhaps even link two yacht charters.
A superyacht charter can easily pull into port or have a helicopter readied, and the express can cross over land offering all the comforts, luxury and incredible views associated with a luxury express train. This unlikely combination works seamlessly. Here are just a few examples, that can really round in a long charter trip and shake up the setting.
Venice Simplon-Orient Express: London to Venice
The setting of Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ the journey evokes true romanticism and exudes the suavity and sophistication of the golden age of travel. Stopping in cities such as London, Paris, Innsbruk, Verona and Venice, the journey offers travellers a slice of European elegance, with the train retaining its opulent suites and Art Deco glamour.
Blue Train: Pretoria to Cape Town
The 27-hour, 1,600-kilometre journey cuts diagonally across the entirety of South Africa. With 7-star service afforded by a dedicated and experienced staff of butlers, any service is at your disposal. The carriages themselves offer double suites, many of which feature full-size bathtubs to watch the savannah and mountains roll by from with a glass of your favourite champagne.
Golden Eagle: The Trans-Siberian Railway - Moscow to Vladivostok
Five-star accommodations are available for travellers of either end of the two-week cruise, and it is a cruise, as the train takes in the breathtaking scenery at a leisurely pace. The Golden Eagle is the luxury version of the Trans-Siberian Express, offering en-suites, an English-speaking doctor, a resident pianist and exceptional service. The line is perfect to then be greeted by an expedition yacht charter in Vladivostok, to cruise the waters of the Sea of Japan and beyond.
The Ghan: Adelaide to Darwin
A platinum service for the three-night, 2,979-kilometre journey from one end of Australia to the other, the express grants almost no other chance to experience both an outback sunrise or to take in the full breadth of the Milky Way on the few scheduled stops the train makes. A five-course meal, a dedicated dining car and en-suites are the standard to be expected. With Australia being a great yacht charter destination, the train is perfect as a pre- or post-yacht charter excursion at either end of the trip.
Rovos Rail: Southern & Eastern Africa
A slower, more laid-back version of the Blue Train, Rovos Rail extends to a further network of destinations that include Zimbabwe, Namibia and Tanzania as well as South Africa. The route is a safari in itself, offering ample opportunity to experience the varied and incredible wildlife of the savannah. The train in fact never exceeds 60kph, meaning no opportunity to snap the wildlife is missed.
The Rocky Mountaineer: Banff to Vancouver
One of several routes into the Rockies, the Gold-Leaf service is a premier service operating on one of the last legs of railroad expansion uniting Canada in the 1880’s. Whilst the Summer views are spectacular, the Autumn is truly romantic as the leaves turn gold, red and auburn with fresh snow capping the mountaintops.
Belmond Royal Scotsman: Scottish Highlands
The last luxury sleeper train in the UK, the Belmond Royal Scotsman offers journeys from two to seven days, though the classic journey is the traditional four. Excursions include distilleries and castle’s as the train heads from Edinburgh through the Scottish Highlands. If that wasn’t enough the express is a whisky connoisseur’s dream, being stocked with over 50 varieties. Whilst Scotland isn’t a traditional yacht charter destination its certainly worth considering an explorer yacht charter to the Faroe Islands or towards Norway at the end of the journey.
The Canadian: Toronto to Vancouver
Linking Toronto and Vancouver, the more than 4,466-kilometre journey takes travellers through breathtaking scenery aboard deluxe sleepers within the routes Prestige Class. Gourmet meals are the standard, as are the comfortable en-suite facilities and minibars. Toronto is a great city to set off on a yacht charter into the great lakes from, whilst Vancouver allows a yacht charter to sail down towards Seattle or further North along Canada’s Pacific coast.
Maharajas’ Express: Delhi to Mumbai
Otherwise known as the ‘Orient Express of the Orient’, the Maharajas Express exudes the décor and style of the golden days of the Raj, when Maharajas travelled in ostentatious and opulent carriages. The express is a newer entrant to the market but it doesn’t lack in style. The colonial era splendour matches with the stunning scenery, with elephant rides and gin and tonic sundowners to top it all off if taking the week-long version of the trip.
The Transcantabrico Gran Lujo: San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela
Consider this a luxury roll through the best of northern Spain, with stops including the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, the prehistoric cave of Altamira, the Picos de Europa National Park and the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The luxury train takes the route along Spain’s Atlantic coast, with an incredible wine and cuisine selection. Link up with a yacht charter at the end of the trip via short helicopter ride to Barcelona or Tarragona before cruising into the Mediterranean.
Seven Stars: Kyushu Japan
Just 14 suites aboard this seven-carriage luxury train accommodate 30 people. The interiors show the very best in Japanese craftmanship, with walls of rosewood and maple, with Shoji paper screens for window coverings and sliding glass doors etched in Japanese fauna. A two-day option stays around Fakuoka whilst the four-day journey does a loop of the island.
All of the options above are suitable in some way to link to a yacht charter, whether requiring a short helicopter or jet journey to the nearest marina or straight back to the yacht if it has a commercial helipad. A luxury express train might just be the perfect land excursion to relax and appreciate a change of scenery at a different pace of life.
Get in touch with the SWM Yachts yacht charter or luxury concierge teams to find out more about further ideas for excursions ashore following, preceding or during a luxury yacht charter.