The World’s Most Luxurious Sleeper Trains


Summer 2024

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Introduced in America in 1865, sleeper trains were once considered the best way to travel. Allowing passengers to appreciate the views of the locations they travelled through, partnered with top services and accommodations, this mode of transport quickly spread to Europe and then the rest of the world. 

These trains began to have a romanticised image, being featured in movies and television shows, showcasing their opulence and uniqueness. However, over time, with the rise of high-speed trains and aviation, the sleeper train eventually began to fall out of popularity. 

This brings us to today, where the sleeper train is seeing a newfound rise in popularity. Known for being far more environmentally friendly than travelling by plane, many travellers are choosing to travel by train again. 

Luxury Sleeper Travel 

For the refined traveller who wants to experience the romanticism of the sleeper train while doing so in the lap of luxury, here are six sleeper trains for you to choose from.

Venice Simplon Orient Express

Location: Western Europe

Parent Company: Belmond

Prices: Starting at £3,210/person

Featuring a beautiful train with restored 1920s cabins and sporting the art-deco style, this experience allows you to enjoy the sights and scenes of western Europe, while staying in one of their many luxurious suites or cabins. When not in your personal room, you can indulge in the seasonal menus created by Chef Jean Imbert in any of the 3 dining cars or enjoy music from the resident pianist in the car bar. 

Royal Scotsman 

Location: Scotland

Parent Company: Belmond

Prices: Starting at £4,000/person

Enjoy everything Scotland has to offer while travelling on this world-class sleeper train. Boasting 24-hour steward service and best-in-the-world accommodations, when you are not on your bespoke excursions off the train, you can watch the rolling countryside from either of the two dining cars, or the observation car. Also, if you really need to unwind, you can head over to the Dior Spa Royal Scotsman.

Andean Explorer 

Location: Peru

Parent Company: Belmond

Prices: Starting at $5,638

Experience the height of luxury while riding on South America’s first luxury train. Sporting a total of 35 luxury cabins and suites, you can enjoy everything Peru has to offer. When you are not experiencing the sights and sounds of Peru, you can relax in the spa car, eat at either of the two dining cars, watch the countryside roll by in the observation car, or enjoy some music in the piano bar car. Plus, groups can charter the whole train for a more personalized experience.

The Ghan 

Location: Australia

Parent Company: Journey Beyond Rail

Prices: Starting from $1,485 AUD/person

With plenty of immersive off-train experiences, this train is certainly a unique experience. When on the train, you can enjoy their lounges and restaurants, some of which are exclusive to certain clientele, if you really want to go all out on the luxury feel of your travels. They also offer an accessible cabin with accommodations in place for those in wheelchairs, allowing you to travel with dignity and style.

Maharajas’ Express 

Location: India

Parent Company: The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation

Prices: starting at $4,890/person

With its numerous awards for its luxury services, its no wonder that this train is one that you cannot miss if you really want to experience luxury. When you step on the train you are showered with flower petals and transported immediately to a world of royalty. All 43 cabins come with a personal valet or butler, and those in the suites or presidential suite also have access to a luxury car and guide for off-train excursions. 

Rovos Rail 

Location: South Africa

Parent Company: Independent 

Prices: starting at $2,465

Allow yourself to be transported back to the past while riding on this sleeper train. With its required business attire and formal theme nights, you can really experience what it was like to travel on a sleeper train back in their golden age. Stay in one of their beautiful suites and enjoy the views in their observation cars, while learning about the environment around you from one of the onboard historians.

Lauren Schwartz | Staff Writer

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