Best of 2017
The year is ending and it's time for us to look back at the year that was. We have created a list of the most popular train journeys and a list of the best-selling scenic and luxury experiences of 2017. And it's important to look ahead and plan for the future, so we've added a list of the top 5 emerging destinations for 2018. Let's go!
Top A to B Train Journeys
1) London to Paris
There is no surprise that the Eurostar flagship journey is on the top of our list. Not only is the Eurostar one of the most modern, sleek, and efficient trains, it also beats flying in more ways than one. More and more passengers are trying to avoid long lines at the airport, cramped seats, and all the extra charges. It's definitely an experience you have to try at least once and marvel at the underground feat of engineering.
2) New York to Washington
The twin trains that connect the nation's capital with the great New York City are as popular as ever. Acela Express is the closest you can get to a proper high-speed train in the Americas, whereas the Northeast Regional is a budget-friendly option that still offers plenty of comforts while taking only 25 minutes longer than its faster counterpart.
3) Amsterdam to Paris
Thalys - the famous "Red Train" that takes you from Amsterdam to Paris in only 3 hours and 17 minutes. You could have a croissant at Montmartre for breakfast and check out Van Gogh's paintings before lunch - and many of our travellers did so this year, making this our number 3 journey overall.
4) Barcelona to Madrid
The Spanish AVE network is one of the fastest in the world, connecting top-class cities like Madrid and Barcelona in less than 3 hours. This
makes your grand tour of Spain comfortable, scenic and fast! Imagine speeding through the Spanish countryside at more than 300 kph.
5) Venice to Rome
Ah, Italia! Consistently ranking as one of the most popular European countries to visit with cities like Venice and Rome topping the charts. If you are short on time, the Italian high-speed network run by Trenitalia and Italo enables you to make Venice a day trip from Rome.
1) Rocky Mountaineer - Journey through the Clouds Explorer
Rocky Mountaineer is the train that needs no introduction - the king of luxury trains allows you to explore Western Canada in style. If you want the best of the best, choose the Journey through the Clouds Explorer, which takes you through the breath-taking wilderness between Calgary and Vancouver.
2) The Ghan Expedition
You don't have to travel far to embark on one of the world's greatest train journeys. The Ghan travels from Darwin to Adelaide and is easily reachable from across the entire country. The route itself is worth every penny, however, for the ultimate experience make the upgrade to The Ghan Expedition - a 4 day/3 night voyage with off train excursions and outback experiences that you will never forget.
3) The Canadian - Vancouver to Toronto
Embark on a journey across Canada aboard the famous Canadian and enjoy the comfort of the spacious Prestige Class. Exquisite cuisine, a personal concierge and a turndown service - all coupled with the amazing views from the scenic dome. What else could you ask for?
4) Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
The granddaddy of all the luxury trains, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, is a classic journey in the luxurious carriages that date back all
the way to 1920s and 1930s. It's the most extravagant way of travelling between the famous cities, like London, Paris, Venice, Berlin, Budapest and Prague.
5) Grand Train Tour of Switzerland
If you are looking for a scenic experience, Switzerland is the place to go. It packs more scenic train journeys than any other country into one itinerary, and if you want to do them all, the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland is the best way to do it. Glacier Express? Bernina Express? Golden Pass Line? Jungfraujoch? Gotthard Panorama Express? Yes, all there!
The four luxurious train journeys of India have made the destination as hot as it gets. It's a perfect choice for all travellers who seek a unique experience coupled with a traditional and nostalgic luxury of the centuries past.
2) British Columbia & Alaska
The Pacific Northwest has always been on our radar but the enthusiasm is quickly spreading to more remote destinations of British Columbia and to the far reaches of the United States. Take the train from Jasper to Prince Rupert, hop on the White Pass train to reach the remote town of Bennet, or chase the northern lights in Alaska. The region is perfect even for the most intrepid travellers.
When you think of Africa, trains are probably not the first thing that comes to your mind, which might explain why so many experienced travellers are choosing to discover Africa by rail. There is nothing more exclusive than enjoying a safari adventure from the comfort of a lavish train. Check out the Blue Train or the Rovos Rail for something completely off the charts.
The lovers of nature, wildlife, vast forests, fjords and northern lights - rejoice! Norway has plenty of all for you to discover and one of the most popular trips to give you a perfect taste is the Norway in a Nutshell. The tour is becoming increasingly popular and we believe the country will become one of the top choices for Australian travellers in 2018.
Move over, Spain, Portugal is here to stay. More affordable and less crowded than its Iberian neighbour, it definitely doesn't lack in natural and historic treasures. The trains will take you to all the best sights - from Lisbon to Porto, Faro, Braga and Coimbra. We recommend a single country pass to see it all or perhaps combine it with Spain across the border.
There we go - the best of the best, which should give you plenty of ideas to plan your next rail adventure in 2018. If you need extra inspiration, check out the rest of our blog or get in touch to hear about our first-hand experiences.