Glorious and Grand: A Private House and Garden Tour

5-day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

Belmond Royal Scotsman‘s Glorious and Grand: A Private House and Garden Tour is a discovery of outstanding autumnal gardens as you venture on a scenic rail journey into the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, and Southwest Scotland. 

Gems of the Greek and Dalmatian Coasts on the Legendary Sea Cloud

11-Day Escorted Tour
Europe
Cruise

Sail on the historic Sea Cloud — a gift from millionaire businessman E.F. Hutton to his wife, heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post — from the ancient temples of Olympia in Greece to the medieval walled city of Hvar, Croatia. Even our most fervent rail travelers were ecstatic with this ship, the service, the crew, the dining and excursions.

Immerse yourself in the history and culture of some of Europe’s most delightful coastal gems. Discover the remarkable sites of Albania, cut off from the modern world for decades, and explore Montenegro, Corfu, and incomparable Dubrovnik.

Built in Germany in 1931, the Sea Cloud carries 30 sails and measures a total of 32,000 square feet.

Read Owen Hardy’s report of the Society’s October, 2015 voyage by clicking here. Click here to see our short Sea Cloud photo album.

The Society of International Railway Travelers and Lindblad Expeditions, both Virtuoso partners, are delighted to join in offering this fabulous journey.

Add a fabulous pre-cruise extension in Athens (details below): See the Acropolis on an early morning walk, visit renowned museums, see the landmarks of the city, and dine on regional specialties—all in the company of guides who weave the narrative of life of this ancient city. IRT guests rated this pre-tour as excellent.

Add a fabulous, also IRT-tested post-cruise extension (details below): Begin in the Old Towns of Split and Trogir, whose cobblestones, ancient buildings and narrow lanes combine the richness of the past with the vibrancy of the present. Then, visit historic Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where you’ll visit the beautiful, renowned Old Bridge, whose rebuilding has come to symbolize the rebirth of the Balkan States. IRT guests rated this pre-tour as excellent.

The following itinerary is westbound, from Athens, Greece to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Trip is also offered eastbound, from Dubrovnik to Athens.

Rocky Mountaineer: First Passage to the West Highlights

7-day Independent Tour
North America
First-class

This 7-day tour is a fabulous introduction to the Canadian Rockies and includes a two-day trip on the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Lake Louise (or vice versa). Enjoy gourmet meals on board while spotting Canadian wildlife from your seat and experience the sharp climb over Roger’s Pass and the engineering feat of the Spiral Tunnels. Ride the the Banff Gondola, visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain in Vancouver, and see the Rockies from a bird’s eye view on a Panoramic Helicopter Tour. Overnight in fabulous hotels like the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, the Fairmont Palliser in Calgary, and the Fairmont Vancouver.

Sailing the Caribbean on the Legendary Sea Cloud

8-Day Escorted Tour
Europe
Cruise

While there are many ways to travel the Caribbean, you’ll find that exploring aboard an authentic square-rigger tall ship offers an unrivaled experience and guarantees you an in-depth encounter with all its wonders. The 58-guest Sea Cloud is an extraordinary, historic yacht that will enable you to:

  • Experience the power of sailing aboard a four-masted, 30-sail tall ship
  • Sail into smaller, lesser-known ports and anchorages of the “old Caribbean”
  • Explore the islands’ wildlife, cultures, and the undersea, too
  • Enjoy the relaxed pace of Caribbean life and traveling by private sailing yacht

Built in Germany in 1931, the Sea Cloud carries 30 sails and measures a total of 32,000 square feet.

Read Owen Hardy’s report of the Society’s October, 2015 voyage by clicking here. Click here to see our short Sea Cloud photo album.

The Society of International Railway Travelers and Lindblad Expeditions, both Virtuoso partners, are delighted to join in offering this fabulous journey.

Mediterranean Gems: From Dubrovnik to Naples on the Legendary Sea Cloud

11-Day Escorted Tour
Europe
Cruise

Beginning in the enchanting Croatian city of Dubrovnik, take one of our Dubrovnik to Naples cruises on the alluring Sea Cloud and wind your way down the southern part of Italy’s “boot,” calling on vibrant and welcoming places steeped in ancient history. Marvel at ornate cathedrals and remarkable baroque buildings, explore great sites of antiquity—from renowned Pompeii to the less-visited Greek temples of Paestum—and meander through unspoiled clifftop towns, soaking up breathtaking views. Plus, with a little luck, witness the orange glow of eruptions from the Stromboli volcano.

Built in Germany in 1931, the Sea Cloud carries 30 sails and measures a total of 32,000 square feet.

Read Owen Hardy’s report of the Society’s October, 2015 voyage by clicking here. Click here to see our short Sea Cloud photo album.

The Society of International Railway Travelers and Lindblad Expeditions, both Virtuoso partners, are delighted to join in offering this fabulous journey.

Sailing the Greek Isles aboard the Sea Cloud

8-Day Escorted Tour
Europe
Cruise

This eight-day exploration of the iconic Cyclades Islands. Here fishing boats cast colorful reflections in azure waters, whitewashed villas cascade down lavender-scented slopes, and craggy headlands are punctuated by ancient ruins. Voyage aboard the mighty Sea Cloud to sun-drenched Santoríni, the mystical isles of Delos and Naxos, beautiful Tinos, and more.

Built in Germany in 1931, the Sea Cloud carries 30 sails and measures a total of 32,000 square feet.

Read Owen Hardy’s report of the Society’s October, 2015 voyage by clicking here. Click here to see our short Sea Cloud photo album.

The Society of International Railway Travelers and Lindblad Expeditions, both Virtuoso partners, are delighted to join in offering this fabulous journey.

Japan Luxury Rail Tour

14-day Private Tour
Asia
Luxury

Important Note: For the Japan Luxury Rail Tour, The Society of International Railway Travelers® is honored to offer advance space on the ultra-exclusive Seven Stars, the “grand finale” of our luxury tour. This exquisite train — an art museum on wheels — typically sells out months in advance. We’re proud to offer confirmed space on selected journeys in 2020.

• • •

Our Japan Luxury Rail Tour is an exquisite jewel of a journey. Imagine enjoying pre-trip canapés and drinks in the Seven Stars’  beautiful private waiting room in Fukuoka’s Hakata Station. Suddenly, the President of JR Kyushu drops by to welcome you. (This happened to our 2016 group!)

Imagine boarding this spectacular new train, the first luxury sleeper train in Japan. As you leave the station, you see dozens of locals waving the flags of the U.S. and other nations (depending on who’s on board) to send you off.

This train astounded our guests in 2016 — its first Western group. We are honored to present our luxury Japan tour, featuring the Cruise Train Seven Stars in Kyushu. We’ve designed this stellar Japan tour with one of our outstanding Virtuoso partners for guests wishing to travel privately in luxury.

If you’ve visited Japan before, but want to return to sample its unique charms as well as its little-known—but incredible—places, and you want to do it in privacy and luxury, our Japan Grand Rail Tour is for you.

Latest News: Click here for owner Owen Hardy’s blog about his Japanese adventure on the Kyushu Seven Stars. Spoiler alert: He loved it!

Rocky Mountaineer: Journey through the Clouds Explorer

8-day Independent Tour
North America
First-class

Experience the west on this 8-day Rocky Mountaineer tour, starting from either Vancouver or Calgary. Explore the mountain towns of Jasper, Lake Louise, and Banff. Enjoy a two-day trip on the fabulous Rocky Mountaineer, with gourmet meals served on board while spotting Canadian wildlife from your seat.

Rocky Mountaineer: Grand Rail Circle

13-day Independent Tour
North America
First-class

This 13-day journey combines three rail routes that are sure to bring on sigh-triggering sights of the Rockies. Also included: one fun-filled night in Whistler, Canada’s fab resort town, overnights and sightseeing in Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper, the Banff Gondola, and the Athabasca Glacier of the Columbia Icefield, one of the largest accumulations of ice and snow south of the Arctic Circle. Enjoy four luxurious and exciting days on the all-daylight Rocky Mountaineer. All told, visit seven cities in British Columbia and Alberta.

Swiss Trains & the Italian Lake District

10-day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

Climb aboard Switzerland’s legendary trains to experience some of the most spectacular scenery in the Swiss Alps, from the twisted peak of the Matterhorn to the breathtaking vistas of the Bernina Pass.

Soar high above Zermatt in a gondola, and enjoy a choice of hikes, walks, and tram rides through beautiful mountain landscapes. Then cross the Alps into Italy and cap off the trip on the shores of stunning Lake Como.

Western Scenic Wonders

4-day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

Belmond Royal Scotsman‘s Western Scenic Wonders Tour runs on Scotland’s West Highland Line, one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys. The deluxe, private train passes through gorgeous glens, lochs and mountains, steeped in the lore of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

The all-inclusive fare features off-train visits to such treasures as Mount Stuart House, Britain’s most spectacular Victorian Gothic house. Pair this itinerary with Belmond Royal Scotsman’s Classic Splendours Tour for a full week of luxurious touring through Scotland.  This trip — especially when paired with Scotland’s Classic Splendours tour — is a Society of IRT favorite. There is no doubt, once you board, why this train is one of our World’s Top 25 Trains: the decor, the ambiance, the dining, the off-train excursions, and the service are consistently high throughout. If you want a great way to see the best of Scotland, choose The Belmond Royal Scotsman.

New to the Belmond Royal Scotsman in 2017: full-service spa car. Inquire when you book your journey!

IRT Exclusive: Click here to see our award-winning video of Society President Eleanor Hardy’s trip on the Belmond Royal Scotsman.

Australia Rail Extravaganza: Luxury Down Under

17-day Independent Tour
Australia & the Pacific
First-class

Our exclusive ‘Australia Rail Extravaganza: Luxury Down Under’ itinerary allows you to experience the joys of two cross-continent World’s Top 25 Trains — the famous Ghan, and the Indian Pacific. The great Platinum service on board the trains allows you plenty of time to be pampered — but also lots of time exploring off the train on included sightseeing excursions. The trains have added fantastic off-train experiences. Experience Sydney, Perth, Darwin and fantastic sites in between including rain forests, deserts and outback mining towns. This program abounds in UNESCO World Heritage sites, from Kakadu National Park to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas).  All of our Society of International Railway Travelers guests who have taken this independent journey loved it. Now it’s your turn to try the Australia Rail Extravaganza. We can still remember what it felt like to wake up in the middle of the desert on the Ghan, with the fine orange glow of the sand, coffee in hand, as the world passed us by.

 “Thank you for encouraging us to go Platinum, because it made all the difference in the world. I loved it. It reminded me a lot of the Rovos Rail and the Orient Express, but the wood was oak. It was very nice. Their service was impeccable. They went out of their way to please you. It was really a nice trip. I’m really glad we could do it.” — C & R Gambrel

Rocky Mountaineer: Canadian Rockies Getaway Circle

9-day Independent Tour
North America
First-class

This 9-day circular route starts and ends in Vancouver. In between, visit Jasper, Lake Louise, and Banff. Enjoy a four-day trip on the fabulous Rocky Mountaineer dome train. Experience the engineering feat of the Spiral Tunnels and the beauty of Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the glacial-fed aquamarine lakes of Lake Louise and the majesty of the natural bridge over Kicking Horse River. Get an incredible view of Mount Robson, the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies at 13,000 feet, as you cross the Continental Divide.

Ride the the Banff Gondola and tour the Athabasca Glacier — one of the largest accumulations of ice and snow south of the Arctic Circle — on an Ice Explorer.

An Odyssey in Ecuador featuring Tren Crucero

11-day Independent Tour
South America
First-class

Want adventure and drama? Tren Crucero is for you. When IRT visited Ecuador in the spring of 2017, we fell in love with the food, the people, the accommodations and the trains.  The scenery — mountains, volcanoes, rain forests and coastal areas — is some of the most spectacular in the world. Stand on the spacious outdoor deck of the Tren Crucero and prepare to be amazed at every turn. To read more about it, please read our blog post.

This tour features some amazing new offerings in Ecuador: chief among them is the Tren Crucero Gold, a 4-night adventure from the mountainous landscape of the Andes to the coastal plains, including a journey along the famed “Devil’s Nose.” In the Gold program, with availability for only 10 passengers, you stay at the finest haciendas along the route. It’s no wonder this new train program, with its upgraded offerings, has earned The Society of IRT’s prestigious World’s Top 25 Trains status, announced in June 2017.

The new Gold program includes the fabulous Plaza Grande in Quito, the Hosteria La Andaluza in Riobamba, the Hacienda La Danesa in Bucay and the Hotel del Parque, Guayaquil. Availability is very limited – just for 10 guests — so book early! Also, the order of our tour may change, due to availability.

Your tour begins in Quito, Ecuador’s colonial capital. You then travel to the Andes rain forest for a two night, three-day stay at the fabulous Mashpi Lodge, a must-do for anyone who loves nature and the outdoors. Finally, watch the beautiful scenery unfold as you travel aboard the Tren Crucero to Guayaquil with overnights at the great hotels that are part of the package. You will especially love the new Hotel del Parque, which blew us away!

Also, you can extend your journey with a Galapagos cruise that includes all transfers, flights, meals and a stay at an eco-lodge on the islands.

Great new video shared by Tren Crucero.

Venice-Paris-London

2 days
Europe
Luxury

Take a step back in time on this overnight trip from Venice to Paris (or on to London) aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Luxuriate in the train’s ambience, gourmet meals and superior service while taking in the beautiful scenery of the Italian Dolomites and the Swiss Alps. Disembark in Paris. Or, we highly recommend you extend the experience as you continue your journey to London on another of our World’s Top 25 Trains, The British Pullman. On the other end, extend your journey from Venice to Rome.

Southbound tour also available. Click here for details.

London-Paris-Venice

2 days
Europe
Luxury

Take a step back in time on this overnight trip from London (or Paris) to Venice on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Depart London mid-morning (or Paris just before dinner) for your luxurious overnight journey to Venice, where you arrive late afternoon the next day. Luxuriate in the train’s ambience, gourmet meals, and superior service while taking in Europe’s beautiful and historic scenery.

This is the centerpiece of our wonderful Romantic Italian Holiday itinerary. If you’re celebrating an anniversary or any special occasion, IRT can customize your luxury rail journey with iconic hotels, special sightseeing, and private transfers. Call or email us for details. And if you’re thinking of the grandest celebration of all, check out the Grand Suites — info on our blog.

“We are having a fabulous time! Hotel Cipriani is such a great location to have a relaxing start to our trip.” – IRT guest B. Merkely, writing from Venice, May 2016.

South Georgia & the Falkland Islands aboard the National Geographic Explorer

18-day cruise
South America
Cruise

Steeped in Shackleton and whaling lore, covered mostly in glaciers, South Georgia explodes with life: king, gentoo, and macaroni penguins, enormous elephant seals and a thriving fur seal population. On South Georgia you can observe one of the world’s great wildlife spectacles: literally 200,000 stately king penguins on a single beach. See the human face of the region in the Falklands, reminiscent of Great Britain, with grazing sheep, tea and crumpets. And in this privileged place, the albatross reveal the beauty of their mysterious lives. All aboard your luxurious vessel, the National Geographic Explorer.

Grand Taste of the Highlands

6-day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

Join the Grand Taste of the Highlands tour aboard Scotland’s premiere luxury train: the Belmond Royal Scotsman. It’s always hard to say farewell to the Scottish Highlands. That’s why we’ve made it possible for you to join us for a much longer journey.

Enjoy the magnificent scenery of the West Highland Line and an exclusive view of Mount Stuart, a spectacular Victorian Gothic house. Then after some free time in Edinburgh experience the wild beauty of the Scottish Highlands as you head north, enjoying a leisurely journey up the east coast through Aberdeen to Keith.

Try your hand at some outdoor activities on the Rothiemurchus Highland estate and enjoy a visit to Strathisla Distillery.

IRT Exclusive: Click here to see our video of Society President Eleanor Hardy’s trip on the Belmond Royal Scotsman.

Clans, Castles & Isles

6-day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

Belmond Royal Scotsman‘s Clans, Castles & Isles Tour is an exploration of the wild and rugged west coast of Scotland, including Oban and the Isles of Mull and Bute. New to the Belmond Royal Scotsman: full-service spa car. Inquire when you book your journey!

IRT Exclusive: Click here to see our video of Society President Eleanor Hardy’s trip on the Belmond Royal Scotsman.

Galápagos Islands: National Geographic Endeavour II

10-Day Escorted Tour
South America
Cruise

Lindblad Expeditions takes a 360º approach to their Galápagos expeditions — and guarantees guests have an in-depth encounter with all the wonders the Galápagos Islands have to offer. The newly-refitted 96-guest National Geographic Endeavour II is fully equipped with tools for exploration that will enable you to see more of the archipelago’s varied islands and habitats, have up-close encounters with incredible wildlife, experience the Galápagos undersea,and benefit from Lindblad Expeditions’ 50 years of experience and relationships in Galápagos.

Encounter abundant wildlife
Blue-footed boobies. Flightless cormorants. Darwin’s finches. Pink flamingos. Sea lions on beaches or gamboling underwater. Giant tortoises grazing in the highlands. The wildlife of Galápagos is legendary for its uniqueness and lack of fear, allowing you the rare experience of being treated as an equal in the wild world. Each island contains endemic species, and you’ll have the opportunity to see a panoply of Galápagos’ creatures in their native habitats—on land and in the sea.

Every day is active and engaging
You’ll be able to snorkel nearly every day, sometimes twice a day (SCUBA opportunities are also available at charge on select departures). For those who prefer to stay dry, there’s the adventure of Endeavour II’s glass bottom Zodiac. And each day you’ll have the option to walk, hike, kayak, paddleboard or Zodiac cruise, and to join a different naturalist as you choose: there are no assigned groups.

Travel in excellent company
Explore under the sure guidance of an expedition leader, four handpicked naturalists, including a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, and an undersea specialist, plus a wellness specialist. Their knowledge and passion for the islands is your key to this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The Arctic Explorer: Quest for the Northern Lights journey takes you through stunning St. Petersburg and Moscow before exploring far north in search of the magnificent Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).

Travel aboard Russia’s premier train, the incomparable Golden Eagle.

Note: The Golden Eagle train includes three Imperial Suites on all departures. These luxurious compartments are the most spacious – 120 square feet – and feature a fixed king-sized bed, a dressing table and lounge area, and more. For details about this and other upgrades, click here.

Romantic Italian Holiday

6 days
Europe
Luxury

Try this for Romance: two nights in Florence at the Belmond Villa San Michele, a former monastery turned five-star hotel; two nights in Venice at the Belmond Hotel Cipriani, iconic waterside pleasure palace overlooking the Grand Canal; two days and a night on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, capped off by afternoon tea on the British Pullman into London.

Perfect for honeymoons, anniversary celebrations, or any other occasion demanding over-the-top luxury and romance. Package includes hotels, breakfast daily, railway station/airport/hotel transfers, tours, Florence-Venice high-speed rail transfer, and more. Extend your celebration: add London’s romantic Milestone Hotel for a two-night stay and enjoy complimentary afternoon tea for two.

Special Report: Click here for travel notes by Society owners Owen & Eleanor Hardy, who celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary on the Orient-Express Venice-Paris-London.

Switzerland’s Classic Trains

15 or 8-day independent Tour
Europe
First-class

If you’ve been waiting to take some of the most scenic train trips in the world, wait no longer! This independent journey includes the Glacier Express and Bernina Express, as well as the Centovalli Railway and Golden Pass line—four of Switzerland’s most scenic routes possible by train. The Furka Steam adds a historic element, and the mountain railways are impressive engineering feats. Plus an optional trip on the Jungfrau Railway, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012. You’ll never stop looking out your train window or taking photos!  Available as an 8-day or a 15-day tour.

French Country Waterways: Through the Heart of Burgundy

7-Day Escorted Tour
Europe
Cruise

Discover picturesque central Burgundy with French Country Waterways on the luxurious Nenuphar and pass through a region rich in history, wine, and art.

Situated in the heart of France, the tranquil Burgundy region is interlaced with a network of over 600 miles of waterways. A truly timeless place, Burgundy has been at the crossroads of France since the prehistoric age, and each subsequent culture has left behind its distinctive imprint.

The rich legacy of art, architecture, and commerce recalls an age when the Dukes of Burgundy were more powerful than the French kings. Today, Burgundy’s renowned vineyards produce some of the world’s most prized wines, and an abundance of superb ingredients makes it one of the great gastronomic centers.

The Society of International Railway Travelers highly recommends this Virtuoso partner. No, it’s not a train! But it’s the next best thing: a luxury barge that will take you back in time and steep you in relaxation and beauty.

Tours run April to October and departs every Sunday.  We will happily book your Paris stay pre- and post-tour at our favorite boutique hotel.

Trans-Mongolian Express: The Naadam Festival

13-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

The Naadam Festival is the big event in Mongolia—a lively national celebration, held every year. Naadam means “three manly games.” Known as the world’s second-oldest Olympics, it celebrates what defined civilization in the Steppes eight centuries ago—archery, wrestling, and horse riding. The competitors in the riding events are all children aged between 5 and 12, many of whom have been in the saddle since the age of one. It is claimed that such equestrian skills won Genghis Khan an empire that stretched from the Sea of Japan all the way to Europe. Once a religious ceremony, the festival now formally commemorates the 1921 revolution when Mongolia declared itself a free country. This tour is a unique opportunity to be among the few non-Mongolians to experience this spectacular, colorful, but little-known festival and soak up the exciting atmosphere of this national holiday. Our tour combines the Naadam Festival with an amazing overland journey from Moscow on board the Golden Eagle private luxury train.

Note: The Golden Eagle train includes three Imperial Suites on all departures. These new compartments are the most spacious – 120 square feet – and feature a fixed king-sized bed, a dressing table and lounge area, and more. For details about this and other upgrades, click here.