Slow train coming from the States to the steppes

The 12 best rail journeys


1 Blue train A 19-day luxury-train tour of South Africa along the famous Garden Route, visiting Cape Town, Pretoria and Pilanesberg Game Park. Experience the comfort of the world-renowned Blue Train and the steam-hauled Union Limited as the African landscape unfolds around you. Great Rail Journeys (tel: 01904 521900; net: www.greatrail.com) offers an all-inclusive package leaving London on 23 March 2001 for £2,450 per person, based on two sharing.

1 Blue train A 19-day luxury-train tour of South Africa along the famous Garden Route, visiting Cape Town, Pretoria and Pilanesberg Game Park. Experience the comfort of the world-renowned Blue Train and the steam-hauled Union Limited as the African landscape unfolds around you. Great Rail Journeys (tel: 01904 521900; net: www.greatrail.com) offers an all-inclusive package leaving London on 23 March 2001 for £2,450 per person, based on two sharing.

2 Great South Pacific A five-star hotel on wheels through Queensland and along Australia's east coast. Orient Express Trains and Cruises (tel: 020-7805 5100; net: www.orient-express.com) organises 16-day all-inclusive trips from the UK for £2,600 per person, based on two sharing. The price includes return flights from Britain, two nights aboard the train, four nights' accommodation in the Sanctuary Cove resort near Brisbane and two nights in the Blue Mountain resort.

3 Desert Express A two-day trip across the world's oldest desert in the air-conditioned comfort of the Namibian Desert Express. The train makes two return overnight journeys each week between the capital Windhoek and Swakopmund on the coast. Tickets on the Desert Express (tel: 00 264 61 29 82 600 net: www.transnamib.com.na/dx) cost N$1,330 (£160) one way and include everything except alcohol. Travelbag (tel: 020-7287 5556) offers daily flights with South African Airways to Windhoek via Johannesburg for £672 per person.

4 Reunification express So called after the reunification of Vietnam in 1975, this train journey stretches from Hanoi in the north to Saigon in the south. There are frequent cultural stops and accommodation is often in interesting towns en route. Guerba (tel: 01373 826611; net: www.guerba.co.uk) offers 15-day trips from £630 per person. The price includes accommodation and most meals. Flights cost extra.

5 Eastern and Oriental Journey through South-East Asia aboard this famously stylish luxury train. Kuoni (tel: 01306 741111; email: worldclass@kuoni.com) offers a nine-day tour from Singapore to Bangkok via Kuala Lumpur, including a trip on a floating barge down the river Kwai. The price is from £1,743 per person, based on two sharing, including all flights and accommodation.

6 Trans-Siberian Express The Trans-Siberian Express travels across the vast expanse of the Russian steppes from Europe to Asia on a seven-day journey. Trains depart regularly from Moscow and there are several routes available via Russia and Mongolia and Siberia to Peking. Steppes East (tel: 01285 651010) offers tailor-made all-inclusive trips, with regular departures, from £1,800 per person, based on two sharing.

7 Trans-Canadian Rail From Toronto in the east to Vancouver on the west coast. The first half of the journey is aboard the Canadian through Saskatchewan and Manitoba and into the Rockies to Alberta. Here you transfer to the Rocky Mountaineer to continue to Vancouver through the most dramatic scenery. The journey includes stop-overs for shopping or touring. Kuoni (tel: 01306 742888, net: www.kuoni.co.uk) offers a 12-day tour with prices from £1,498 per person.

8 Orient Express The classic five-day, 1920s-style rail journey from Paris to Istanbul. Orient Express Trains and Cruises (tel: 020-7805 5100, net: www.orient-express.com) runs the original route from Paris once a year departing 31 August 2001 for £3,860 per person, based on two sharing. The price includes travel, all transfers and accommodation with overnight stays in Bucharest and Budapest and three nights in Istanbul. Shorter all-inclusive itineraries are available from London to Venice for £1,200 per person.

9 Arctic Circle Great Rail Journeys (tel: 01904 521900; net: www.greatrail.com) offers a 14-day trip from Stockholm across the Arctic Circle and the fjords of western Norway. Prices from £1,690 per person, based on two sharing, departing 18 May.

10 Pride of Africa The Pride of Africa travels from Cape Town through South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania on a 12-day luxury safari. The carriages are restored Edwardian originals and are still steam-run for part of the journey. Southern Africa Travel (tel: 01904 692269; net: www.southafricatravel.co.uk) offers the trip for £5,995 per person, based on two sharing, including return flights and three nights' accommodation in Cape Town before embarkation. Departs London 25 June.

11 Copper Canyon Mexico's Copper Canyon Railway winds and twists its way from the desert city of Chihuahua to Los Mochis on the coast above one of the deepest canyons in the world. The journey takes 14 hours with breaks to explore the canyon. The trip costs £1,360 per person, based on two sharing, with Mundi Color (tel: 020-7828 6021), including return flights from Chihuahua via Mexico City, transfers, the rail journey and accommodation in Mexico City and Los Mochis.

12 Palace on Wheels Travel through Rajasthan aboard the Palace on Wheels. The train visits the fortress at Jodhpur and stops for tiger spotting in the Ranthambore National Park. British Airways Holidays (tel: 01293 723212) offers a seven-day all-inclusive tour from £2,505 per person, based on two sharing, from 9-22 December.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Graduate Sales Executive / Junior Sales Exec

    £18k + Uncapped Commission (£60k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Sales Exe...

    Web Developer / Software Developer

    £25 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Web Developer / Software Developer is needed ...

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Day In a Page

    Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

    The phoney war is over

    Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
    From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

    Salomé: A head for seduction

    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
    From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

    British Library celebrates all things Gothic

    Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
    The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

    Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

    The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

    In search of Caribbean soul food

    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
    11 best face powders

    11 best face powders

    Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
    England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
    Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone