Travelling over Australia's Elizabeth River

Imagine sweeping along some of the world’s most stunning landscapes as you dine on sumptuous gourmet feasts or relax in your own private deluxe suite. Luxury train journeys offer the chance to sample 5-star service and surroundings on wheels. Across five continents, we offer you our hand-picked guide to the planet’s top 5 luxury rail trips.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (Europe)

Orient-Express trains are synonymous with romance, class and old-worlde charm. Established in the 1920s, this iconic brand strives to recreate the golden age of travel from its art deco design to uniformed stewards. There are a number of different European itineraries to choose from, but one of the most notable routes is from London to Venice. The two-day journey offers endless opportunities for you to feel spoiled, starting with an exquisite four-course dinner specially prepared by a team of experienced French chefs. The train has three restaurant cars, as well as 24 hour room service and afternoon tea served in the comfort of your own luxuriously-appointed private cabin suite.

Orient Express trainDress to impress in the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express bar car
Orient-Express / Matt Hind

For the ultimate socialites, the Bar Car is the place to be. Intricately designed to reflect the train’s vintage surroundings, it features a resident pianist to provide sophisticated entertainment as you sip delicious cocktails. Don’t forget to pack your most glamorous outfits as the Orient-Express believes you “can never be overdressed” for the occasion.

Prices start from £1,830pp.

Rovos Rail (South Africa)

Rolling vineyards, spectacular mountain ranges and expansive grasslands unfurl on the 1,600km (994 miles) journey from Pretoria to Cape Town on board Rovos Rail. With room for just 72 guests, this deluxe train imparts a feeling of pampered exclusivity. Passengers can choose from a variety of suites but the plushest is the Royal Suite. Measuring 16sq m (172sq ft), it accommodates two people and offers comfortable bedding, a private lounge and a personal bathroom with both a Victorian bath and shower. The use of mobile phones and laptops is limited to the private suites and there are no television sets available on board as this journey truly takes you back to the Victorian era.

Rovos RailRovos Rail recalls a bygone age of Victorian travel
Rovos Rail

Dining is an instrinsic part of the Rovos Rail experience, with meal times signalled by a gong echoing through the cabins. Meals are served in elegant Victorian dining cars, sourced from only the freshest local ingredients and accompanied by fine South African wines. Traditional dishes such as game are a speciality.

Prices start from R12,950pp (£1,014).

Deccan Odyssey (India)

A journey on the Deccan Odyssey begins before you’ve even stepped onto the train. Passengers board in the intricate towers of Gothic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in the bustling city of Mumbai and experience unrivalled opulence as they make an eight day round trip through Maharashtra, taking in sun-kissed beaches, ancient temples, caves and forts.

Deccan Odyssey trainRelax in the stylish lounge of the Deccan Odyssey
Deccan Odyssey

Each of the train’s 12 cabins are uniquely decorated and come with a private butler. Despite its heritage décor, modern comforts abound from Wi-Fi access to music entertainment and individual temperature control. Astonishingly, the train also features an on-board gymnasium, a spa focusing on Ayurvedic treatments, plus a sauna and steam bath. When it comes to dining, passengers can look forward to feasting on continental, Indian and oriental delicacies served by staff in traditional dress amid plush, golden interiors.

Prices start from £250pp per night.

Rocky Mountaineer (Canada)

Rocky MountaineerGawp at the views in the domed carriage of the Rocky Mountaineer
Rocky Mountaineer

Canada’s diverse, glorious landscapes can be viewed in all their magnificence on The Rocky Mountaineer, thanks to a custom-designed glass dome on the upper level of the train accessible by elevator or a gorgeous spiral staircase. Part of the GoldLeaf Service, the domed coach and full-length windows mean passengers can enjoy spectacular, uninterrupted views as well as the chance to dine on gourmet food prepared by award-winning chefs. While the train does not have any cabins or suites on board, passengers are provided with luxury overnight accommodation en route.

More than 40 different itineraries are available, ranging from two to 25 days, covering the Canadian Rockies as well as eastern Canada.

The Ghan (Australia)

The Ghan offers an unforgettable odyssey from the edge of one continent to another, between Darwin in the north to Adelaide in the south. The 2,979 km (1846 miles) journey lasts three days and traverses some of the best landscapes Australia has to offer, including the sun-baked Red Centre, home to iconic Uluru.

The GhanThe Ghan sweeps through Alice Springs
The Ghan

For the ultimate in decadence, splash out on a private carriage for your trip. The Chairman’s Carriage consists of two double bedrooms and two twin cabins with bathroom facilities, a video entertainment lounge, full kitchen, and private dining room.

The Prince of Wales Carriage is also stunning and features lofty, timber ceilings, ornate wooden carvings, cathedral glass doors and a full-sized bathroom. The carriage has room for up to 10 guests.

Passengers have the option of either dining in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant featuring delicacies such as grilled kangaroo fillet and saltwater barramundi, or simply hiring a private chef to prepare speciality meals upon request.

Prices start at AUS$2,116pp (£1,397).

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.