Tuesday, 06 September 2016 01:38

Best Train Journeys (Part 1) Featured

Written by  Roddy P. Carbonell
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A train journey can be an unforgettable experience, romantic, scenic, adventurous, relaxing, all from the comfort of your seat. Let's face it, travelling by plane is fast, but it is also stressful, with dozens of passengers that are way too close to you for comfort, and once you are twenty thousand feet above the ground, there isn't much you can see by looking through the window. When you travel by train, you can relax and enjoy looking at landscapes before reaching your destination. A train journey can last a few hours, or it can last a few days. It can be as cheap as a movie ticket, or it can cost as much as a luxury cruise. There are many exceptional train rides around the world. We are going to show you some of the most unforgettable. Some of them are cheap while others are expensive. Some of them are a little rustic and may even feel like you have travelled back in time.


Trans-Siberian Railway – Tsar's Gold Train:

Tzar Gold Train

The construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway started in 1891 and ended in 1916 under the supervision of Russian government ministers appointed by Tsar Alexander III and then by his son Tsar Nicholas II. The Trans-Siberian Railway connects hundreds of cities, large and small, inside the European and Asian parts of Russia. It is part of the massive Russian railway network and spans seven time zones. The Trans-Siberian Railway connects the Chinese rail network with Vladivostok. The Trans-Siberian Railway has three major routes: Moscow to Vladivostok, Moscow to Beijing via Manchuria, and Moscow to Beijing via Mongolia. The latter is the most interesting of them all.

If you want to travel like a tsar and see the natural beauty of China, Mongolia, and Russia in one single trip, the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Beijing to Russia via Mongolia is the perfect trip for you. We are talking about journeying through three of the world's biggest countries, and two continents with different landscapes, in the comfort of the Tsars' Gold Train. On Moscow, this train leaves for Beijing every Tuesday night and takes six nights to reach its destination. Westbound, this train leaves Beijing every Wednesday morning. We are talking about a 7,621 Km (4,735 miles) journey that will last 15 unforgettable days.

The Trans-Siberian Travel Company will allow you to see the Great Wall, one of the 8th wonders of the world. On the way there, you will stop at a pearl farm as well as at the famous Ming Tombs. You will be able to see Beijing's Forbidden City; a city that for centuries was closed to the public, but now you can see the ground and interiors of the Emperor's Palaces. Once you reach the China-Mongolia border, you will travel through the vast expanse of the Gobi desert and also through the green steppes of Mongolia. An entire day will be dedicated to Lake Baikal in southern Siberia, so you will experience the wonderful scenery of the area and even visit Baikal village. This amazing adventure will take you to Kazan, the old Tartar capital on the banks of the Volga. Kazan, just like Moscow has its own Kremlin, where you can learn about the turbulent relationship between Tartars, Cossacks, and Russians. Once you reach Moscow, you can visit that other Kremlin and also get a chance to capture Moscow's amazing cathedrals.



Rovos Rail

Rovos Rail is a train company running two restored classic trains. Each train has twenty renovated coaches refurbished to mint condition and is capable of carrying up to 72 passengers. Rovos Rail is a train-hotel that offers various rides across Southern Africa. Established in 1989, the company operates out of Capital Park Station in Pretoria, the only privately owned train station in South Africa.

Rovos Rail Train

The death of Queen Victoria in January 1901 signaled the end of the Victorian Era. King Edward VII would step in. The Edwardian Period would last until 1910. A time when women wore picture hats, and the rich lived conspicuously. Step inside Rovos Rail's coaches, and you will find suites that capture the romance and atmosphere privileged travelers of the Edwardian era experienced when they rode on steam trains across Africa. The air-conditioned suites offer the option of twin or spacious double beds, each suite can accommodate two people, with wood-paneling, classic décor, traditional authentic furnishings, and other features that capture the beauty of the Edwardian era. Each Royal Suite takes up half a carriage measuring up to 16 sq meters in size (172 sq ft) and are equipped with showers and Victorian baths. The Deluxe Suites measure up to 11 sq meters (118 sq ft) with private baths and showers. Both Royal and Deluxe Suites are equipped with writing desks, personal safes, a bar fridge filled with beverages, and room service 24 hours a day, providing exceptional service and cuisine. Rovos Rail Cuisine rivals that of the best restaurants in the world, with delicious meals served in a Victorian atmosphere. The meals are served in fine china, silver service, and crisp white linen.

There are a variety of train journeys you can choose from. The 24-hour journey between Cape Town and George, or the 48-hour meander between Pretoria and Victoria Falls, the 55-hour Safari train from Pretoria to Durban, the two-day trip between Cape Town and Pretoria, the seven-day Namibia special, the nine-day Collage between Pretoria, the 13-day Dar Es Salaam sojourn. There are many to choose from. One thing is for sure: Rovos Rail is a train-hotel that travels throughout Southern Africa, from South Africa to Namibia and Tanzania. Rovos Rail covers some of Africa greatest destinations such as Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, desert scenes of Nambia, the stark beauty of the Karoo, Cape Town, and Dar es Salaam. Journeys can last from twenty-four hours to 14 days, starting in Cape Town, at the tip of Africa, to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.  Rovos Rail allows passengers to experience the region's spectacular scenery and some of the amazing animals that inhabit it.



Rocky Mountaineer

Founded in 1990 by the Armstrong Group, this family-owned business is based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Rocky Mountaineer has grown up to become one of the best tourist train companies in the world. After more than twenty years in service, the goal of the company remains the same: provide the most spectacular travel experience in the world. In 1991 and 1998, Rocky Mountaineer was named one of the “World’s 20 Best Rail Experiences” by The International Railway Traveler magazine. In 2007, it was recognized by National Geographic Magazine as one of the World's Best Journeys. In 2009, the Society of American Travel Writers rated the Rocky Mountaineer as the world's top train ride. And Rocky Mountaineer has been awarded the "World's Leading Travel Experience by Train" at the World Travel Awards seven times.

Rocky Mountaineer

Rocky Mountaineer offers four routes:

  • First Passage to the West
    Vancouver - Kamloops - Lake Louise – Banff offers: This route unites the east and west of Canada. You will travel through spectacular mountains and dramatic canyons. You will travel through Canada's Rocky Mountains. You will see monumental landmarks from the early days of the National Railway, the great Spiral Tunnels. You will pass by the spot where the last spike on the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven. If you like history, this train journey is for you.
  • Journey through the Clouds
    Vancouver - Kamloops – Jasper Offers: a unique view of the Canadian Rockies, scenic valleys, the Fraser Canyon, sweep by the Albreda Glacier and the splendid Pyramid Falls. The main attraction of this route is Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.
  • Rainforest to Gold Rush
    Vancouver - Whistler - Quesnel – Jasper Offers: stunning lakes, a view of the largest temperate rainforest in the world, the Fraser Canyon, the vast ranchlands of the Cariboo Plateau,  the highest peaks in the Canadian Rockies, and the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies.
  • Coastal Passage Seattle - Vancouver - Canadian Rockies
    Offers: the best of Western Canada, and it starts in Seattle, WA, so you will also get a glimpse of the United States. Witness the landscapes of the Canadian Rockies, beautiful coastal cities, mountain towns
  • Circle Journeys Vancouver - Canadian Rockies – Vancouver
    Offers: vast wildlife, soaring mountain peaks, UNESCO World Heritage sites of Banff and Jasper, iconic Lake Louise.
Read 61232 times Last modified on Friday, 07 October 2016 02:53