Rail holidays are growing sector of the tourism industry.Travellers choose this type of vacation because of comfort, convenience and pleasure. Whilst travelling you enjoy the passing scenery and relax at the same time. There is also something traditional about train travel;you dine onboard, enjoy drinks while you travel and you are mesmerised by the rhythmic, rocking sounds!
Do some research and take a scheduled local service and truly get to know the locals. Or take a touring train which normally stop in towns and villages so you can visit and explore. Furthermore, train travel is also kinder to the environment compared to other means of transport.
Without a doubt, railway vacations are designed with singles in mind. They offer sociable viewing and meal times whereyou meet like-minded people and share your passion for new places (and possiblytrains!). Railway vacations really seem to add to the sense of freedom that solo travel gives.
There are many tour operators that specialise in organising solo vacations by rail. Amongst the most popular in the U.S. are Holidays by Rail (who offers hundreds of train tours throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe)and Great Rail Journeys (with over 30 years of experience of planning rail holidays for single travellers).The latter also operates from other countries including the U.K.
If you decided to travel solo on railway vacation but need some ideas about as to where to go, here are the most luxurious and popular railway journeys in the world:
1. Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express – the best and most luxurious way to see Siberia, it runs from Moscow to Beijing or Vladivostok. Every single traveller has their own private suite with panoramic windows to ensure best views of the passing countryside. If you are on a budget you could also choose the normal Trans-Siberian Railway with locals on board – a great way of getting to know different cultures and customs.
2. Venice Simplon-Orient-Express – possibly the world’s most authentic train for luxury travel, which runs from Paris to Istanbul. It has the spirit of the original Orient Express with vintage cars and a piano bar to serenade guests – and as importantly, luxury single cabins are available.
3. Rovos Rail Pride of Africa – the most elegant and luxury rail running from the Cape Town. Single travellers can experience the magic and mystery of Africa in a relaxed and elegant fashion.
4. The Rocky Mountaineer – one of the original rail journeys focusing on majestic scenery – across North America from Toronto to Vancouver and through the epic Rocky Mountains. Holidays can range from 2-21 nights but for the best journey take the 12 night tour with overnight stops included.
5. Royal Scotsman – runs through the heart of the Highlands, where you can meet the friendly local experts in whiskey and salmon fishing!.
6. Eastern & Oriental Express – travelsthrough some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic landscapes, through Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, and on into Laos.
7. Deccan Odyssey –explore a different part of India. Roundtrip from Mumbai, this ultra-luxury train journey lasts 7 nights and include trips to some of the most prominent destinations in Maharashtra along with a trip to the ‘Pearl of Orient’ Goa.
8. Glacier Express – travels through Switzerland in around seven hours. It is a day trip with untouched mountain landscapes,deep gorges, delightful valleys, 91 tunnels and an amazing 291 bridges. It is the best way to admire the stunning Alpine scenery.
9. Bergen Railway – one of the highest rail journeys in Europe, travel through the best scenery of Norway and get close up to glaciers, fjords and salmon fishing.
10. Hiram Bingham- the most luxurious way to travel from Cusco to Machu Picchu. The journey can be taken as a day excursion or with an overnight stay at Machu Picchu sanctuary.
A railway vacation is one of the most liberating ways to see the world and have a stress free time doing exactly as you please. Which rail journey will you choose for your perfect solo holiday?