If you need to arrive quickly - you fly, if you wish explore the seven seas - you sail but if you want to really enjoy a country - let the train take the strain.
Since the 19th century, and well before the onset of air travel, tourists have relied on the railways. Today, affluent travellers can take epic journeys across continents in style, where the accommodation and facilities mirror that of the finest luxury hotels. BusinessClass.com looks at some of these great railway expeditions - where the journey is much more important than the final destination.
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Europe
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is the world’s most famous train service. Passengers can enjoy an exciting, relaxing and luxurious journey in the original Orient-Express carriages - that date back to the 1920s. The lucky few are transported back to an era when train travel was the most stylish way to explore the world. The London to Venice route is legendary. Onboard, passengers receive an exceptional culinary experience and faultless personal service in a glamorous environment.
The Andean Explorer, Peru
This unique rail service offers travellers the chance to see the stunning Peruvian countryside while enjoying the very best in hospitality. The sleeper train offers ensuite private cabins and delicious local cuisine designed by Michelin-starred chefs. The train passes through some of the most beautiful Peruvian scenery with four different routes available including: the Peruvian Highlands, Andean Plains and Islands of Discovery, Spirit of the Water and Spirit of the Andes. Depending on the route chosen, you will experience Cusco, the capital of the ancient Inca Empire, the legendary Lake Titicaca, Puno or Arequipa.
Cruise Train "Seven Stars in Kyushu", Japan
This is the most luxurious sleeper train service in Japan. A four-day journey takes passengers around the beautiful island of Kyushu - offering unparalleled views of its mountains and the sea. The elegant interior is defined by a modern Japanese style of classic luxury. With only 14 cabins for a maximum of 30 passengers, flawless service and superb facilities, this journey is so popular than you have to win a berth via a lottery system. The seven stars refers to the number of prefectures in Kyushu, the number of major tourist attractions on the island and the number of carriages on the train.
Rovos Rail, South Africa
Billed as the most luxurious train in the world, Rovos Rail primarily takes passengers on a fascinating 3-day journey between Pretoria and Cape Town. Affluent railway explorers experience South Africa’s magnificent landscapes, from the Highveld grasslands to the Great Karoo desert. These can be enjoyed in the fresh air from the outside balcony onboard the train. Numerous other itineries are also offered throughout southern Africa, with an epic 15-day Cape Town to Dar es Salaam journey (Tanzania) being the longest. Onboard, travellers enjoy suberb cuisine in combination with South Africa’s finest wines - all in a truly remarbakle setting.
The Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express, Russia
One of the most famous railway journeys in the world, the Trans-Siberian Railway is 9,289 kilometre (6,000 miles) long, running from the shores of the Baltic Sea to the the Pacific Ocean. The Golden Eagle is the most luxurious way of enjoying this epic journey - the world's longest - which covers eight times zones and two continents. The two-week expedition takes travellers from Moscow through Mongolia to Vladivostok and was made for adventurous rail passengers wishing to visit these distant destinations in style and comfort. Onboard, passengers are offered ensuite accommodation, excellent cuisine and - as you would expect - first-class service. Passengers toast with Champagne at the Euro-Asian border and are offered cooking classes in Russian cuisine.