Opulent amenities and amazing destinations abound in some of the world’s most fantastic train and cruise itineraries.
Experience the most luxurious cruises and rail journeys with some of the best train and cruise operators in the world, with luxurious amenities like private flight charters, Tony Award® winning shows, gourmet expeditions and opulent suites. Board the glorious trains for a dose of old-world glamour, with journeys on the newest and perhaps most luxurious train in the world, explorations to Ireland and to exotic locales in Africa.
(Rovos Rail train crossing the scenic vineyards in South Africa)
(DreamWorks parade on Allure of the Seas)
(Main Lobby - Seven Seas)
(Master Suite from Regent Seven Seas)
(Dining area in the Silver Spirit’s Owner’s Suite)
(Wine Tower on board the Celebrity Cruise)
(Arial view Coco Cay accessible by Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas cruises)
(Floating in the sea during the day away from the Royal Caribbean ocean liner)
(Watch the Aurora Borealis at the Kirkenes Snow Hotel in Norway, an itinerary that takes guests there via the Arctic Explorer)
In a move that is certain torevolutionise the cruising industry, Celebrity Cruises has added private charter flight services to its lineup of itineraries. The Jet Set Sail will be available on selected 2016 summer Mediterranean voyages. It begins with on-site parking at Stansted Airport’s Private Jet Terminal, and a selection of refreshments before flying from London to Barcelona for your cruise. Seven itineraries are available, including the 11 Nights Italy, Greece and Turkey journey departing on 31 May 2016. The cruise will sail past Nice, Florence, the Amalfi Coast, Mykonos, Santorini before arriving at Athens. Celebritycruises.com; US$3,201
World-Class Family Fun
Guests looking for world-class entertainment will be delighted by Royal Caribbean International, which is the only cruise line with Tony Award® winning shows. These include musical favourites like We Will Rock You, Cats, Mamma Mia!, and Saturday Night Fever. For an awesome end to the year, board the Allure of the Seas® for the 7 night West Caribbean New Year Cruise that will depart from Florida and travel to Jamaica, Haiti and Mexico.
Aside from watching Mamma Mia!, other entertainment options include DreamWorks experience for the young (and young at heart) who can meet their favourite characters from Shrek and Madagascar, and Adventure Ocean Youth Program, a 3D movie theatre and H2O Zone kids’ water park. Adults can view the AquaTheater and ice shows, reserve a VIP at Casino Royale, shop, or even attend a 1920s Prohibition-themed party. Royalcaribbean.com; US$1,972.
Best for gourmands or anyone with an intense appreciation for the culinary culture, we recommend Silversea Cruises because of their Wine Series Voyages and L’École des Chefs by Relais & Châteaux. The first encompasses lectures, tastings and private tours to renowned vineyards and wineries, including a famous château in Bordeaux, France or a winery in Australia’s Barossa Valley. The latter includes cooking demonstrations, a market tour to shop for the freshest ingredients and learning to hone your knife skills. Try the 21-day Bridgetown, Barbados to Bueno Aires, Argentina voyage for the perfect culinary cruise. Silversea.com; US$10,250
Slated to be the most luxurious suite across all cruise ships, the Seven Seas Explorer Regent Suite will have a staggering 271sqm of interior space and a 89sqm balcony. Ready in 2016, the suite will be stocked with Hermès and L’Occitane amenities, a personal butler, of course, a Kingsize Savoir Bed, complimentary use of iPads and iPods, as well as an extensive media library. Guests will also love the personalised liquor bar setup, where the complimentary minibar is replenished daily. Other complimentary amenities include a personal car and guide to explore the various cities, unlimited in-suite spa services, a one-night pre cruise luxury hotel package and a guaranteed reservation in the specialty restaurant of your choice each night. We recommend sailing around the world on the 128-day signature itinerary available in 2017, exploring 29 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in over 31 countries. Rssc.com; US$53,399
(Travelling through South Africa on Rovos Rail)
(The view from Deluxe Suite onboard Seven Stars in Kyushu)
(The observation car of the Grand Hibernian Belmond train)
(St. Petersburg, Russia, one of the stops on the Arctic Explorer’s itinerary)
(Fermanagh cabin onboard the Grand Hibernian Belmond)
(Passing the spectacular Victoria Falls in South Africa with Rovos Rail)
(Enjoy a dram of whiskey while onboard the Rovos Rail)
(Travellers brave the cold to admire the amazing Aurora Borealis in Norway, travelling there on the Arctic Explorer)
Designed in a fusion of Japanese and Western design, the Seven Stars in Kyushu cruise train will ensure luxurious comfort. The all-suite train comprises 12 regular suites and 2 deluxe suites. We think one of the highlights must certainly be the opportunity to taste local Kyushu cuisine, made with seasonal delicacies, in the Jupiter dining car. Sleep in just one of two special deluxe suites, designed to imbue a distinct Japanese aesthetic sense. They boast large rooms, complete with living area and workspace and panoramic windows to enjoy the best views. Book the fourday journey to travel around Kyushu’s prefectures, where guests can tour the Yufuin areas on foot or enjoy the famous hot springs at the Kirishima hot springs resort. Be sure to apply early for your voyage (applications for March 2016 voyages commence in October 2015) as they are almost always oversubscribed by about 20 to 30 times. Cruisetrain-sevenstars.jp; US$6,044
Expect train journeys to reach new frontiers in 2016, where the Belmond Grand Hibernian will discover the best of Ireland. We recommend trying the seven-day Grand Tour of Ireland, travelling around the best sights, including a private tour of Blarney Castle & Gardens where you can attempt to appeal to the stone for the powers of the gift of the gab by kissing it. Otherwise, take in the history of the whiskey-making process in an exclusive trip to the Jameson Experience, which is followed by a tasting session.
Onboard the train, the contemporary carriages are designed to reflect Dublin’s rich architecture, with accommodation for up to 40 guests in private ensuite cabins boasting an Irish county’s traditional tartan. Dine onboard on the finest artisan cheeses and superb smoked fish in Sligo and Wexford, also named after Irish counties. Belmond.com/grandhibernian-train; US$8,500
For the most luxurious way to travel by train in South Africa, we suggest going with Rovos Rail. Aside from the seven different itineraries, private charters of not just the train are also available, perfect for a personalised exploration of the vast country, or for that very special event. Choose the Dar es Salaam tour, departing
from Cape Town, where travellers will visit the historic Matijesfontein village, the diamond town Kimberley and the capital Pertoria. Spot the wild dogs, elephants, cheetahs and white rhinoceros – among many others – on a game drive at Madikwe Game Reserve and visit the majestic Victoria Falls before setting sail on a Zambezi River sunset cruise.
Of the three categories onboard, we recommend the 16sqm Royal Suites, with private lounge area and full bathroom, a bar fridge filled with guests’ favourite beverages and 24h room service. While lounging on the train, view the best of the African scenery from the lovingly restored observation cars, and dine in the Victorian-era dining cars complemented with the best local wines. Rovos.com; US$11,850
Pursue the Northern Lights in this epic train journey onboard the Arctic Explorer, one of the many Golden Eagle Luxury Trains. The best times to embark on this voyage is likely to be December to February, making the New Year celebrations an unforgettable one. The 2015 trip departs on 29 December from St. Petersburg, Russia, where you’ll usher in the New Year before crossing the Arctic Circle on the first day of the New Year. The itinerary will also encompass a visit to the Snow Hotel in Norway, replete with ice sculptures and snow paintings, as well as an excursion on a sled pulled by huskies. Attempt to catch the Arctic King Crab – which can weigh up to 15kg – before hopefully glimpsing the Aurora Borealis at Murmansk, a city between Moscow and the North Pole. Exclusive, private visits to Kremlin in Moscow are also included, as is a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vladimir, Russia. Goldeneagleluxurytrains.com; US$11,995