The Silk Road: Beijing to Moscow by Private Train

21-day Escorted Tour
Asia,Europe
Luxury

The Silk Road rail adventure is one of the most exotic, storied, and best-loved by Society of IRT members, taking travelers to places few Westerners have ventured.

It’s no wonder IRT co-owners Owen & Eleanor Hardy chose this epic adventure to celebrate IRT’s 30th anniversary in 2013!

This two-train tour follows in the footsteps of Marco Polo along one of the world’s oldest and most historic trade routes. The luxurious Golden Eagle and the first-class Shangri-La Express train will transport you back in time through five countries.

This great caravan road linked the kings of Europe with the luxuries of Asia—most significantly, its silks and spices. It is preserved to a remarkable degree.

Tour the Gobi Desert on camel, and see the Terracotta Warriors of Xian. Marvel at the architecture and artistry on display in the mosques and buildings of Central Asia’s most important medieval cities.

Wander through local markets offering Uzbek textiles and ceramics. Explore the history-rich cities of Beijing and Moscow. And do it all from the comfort of your “hotel-on-wheels!”

This is truly a “trip of a lifetime.”

Bangkok-Singapore by Luxury Eastern & Oriental Express Train

4-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Linking Bangkok and Singapore, the Eastern & Oriental Express provides a satisfying introduction to four great cultures, as revealed by the glittering Thai temples of Bangkok and Singapore’s exciting mix of Chinese, Indian, and Malay architecture and cuisine. The mid-journey sightseeing choices include the famed bridge over the River Kwai, a cycle tour to a village, or a culinary tour to a market and an ancient noodle factory. Each are fascinating and well-received already this season.

New in 2018: A much smaller group of guests on board — 82 maximum, a significant drop from the earlier max of 132. All guests enjoy the above-mentioned amazing touring choices as well as complimentary house wines and well drinks. (Specialty wines, cocktails, and spirits are billable.) Guests in Presidential Suites enjoy a host of new amenities, including complimentary and exclusive in-cabin wi-fi and complimentary private limousine transfers to/from train stations in Bangkok & Singapore. Presidential Suites also include:

– A bottle of champagne and fruit basket in cabin on arrival
– Complimentary mini bar – stocked with a selection of spirits, local beer, soft drinks and chocolate
– Complimentary on board pressing service
– Wireless speaker in cabin

Singapore-Bangkok by Luxury Eastern & Oriental Express Train

3-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Linking Singapore and Bangkok, the Eastern & Oriental Express provides a satisfying introduction to four great cultures, as revealed by Singapore’s exciting mix of Chinese, Indian, and Malay architecture and cuisine, and the glittering Thai temples of Bangkok. The mid-journey sightseeing choices include the famed bridge over the River Kwai, a cycle tour to a village, or a culinary tour to a market and an ancient noodle factory. Each are fascinating and well-received already this season.

New in 2018: A much smaller group of guests on board — 82 maximum, a significant drop from the earlier max of 132. All guests enjoy the above-mentioned amazing touring choices, as well as complimentary house wines and well drinks. (Specialty wines, cocktails, and spirits are billable.) Guests in Presidential Suites enjoy a host of new amenities, including complimentary and exclusive in-cabin wi-fi and complimentary private limousine transfers to/from train stations in Singapore & Bangkok. Presidential Suites also include:

– A bottle of champagne and fruit basket in cabin on arrival
– Complimentary mini bar, stocked with a selection of spirits, local beer, soft drinks, and chocolate
– Complimentary on-board clothes pressing service
– Wireless speaker in cabin

China and Tibet Rail Discovery

12-day Escorted Tour
Asia
First-class

This intriguing rail journey through China ends in one of the world’s most fascinating places: Lhasa, the mystical capital city of Tibet.

In the shadow of the Himalayas and known as the ‘Roof of the World’ due to its breathtaking average height of 13,200ft (4,060m) above sea level, Tibet is home to more Himalayan peaks than anywhere else in the world. And Lhasa is home to an amazing collection of UNESCO palaces and temples.

Tibet has historically been virtually inaccessible by land. That changed with the opening of the Golmud to Lhasa railway in 2006. More than 600 miles (965kms) of the line is at an altitude of over 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) and much of it runs over permafrost.

With the summit, the Tangula Pass, at 16,640ft (5,072m) it is also the world’s highest railway. To travel on this line is a true pioneering adventure, an experience as unique as the destination itself.

The Shangri-La Express, the best passenger rail experience in China, has been newly outfitted in 2017 with en-suite cabins. Read more about the Shangri-La Express here.

 

A Caspian Odyssey Along the Ancient Silk Road

16-day Escorted Tour
Asia,Europe
Luxury

Begin the captivating Caspian Odyssey journey in Yerevan, Armenia, where the skyline is dominated by snow-capped Mount Ararat towering in the distance. Then, board the luxurious all-ensuite Golden Eagle train and begin your adventure through the South Caucasus region.

Visit the Georgian cities of Tbilisi, Telavi, and Gori, all steeped in history both modern and ancient. Then make your way to Baku, Azerbaijan on the western shore of the Caspian Sea.

After an adventurous crossing on the Caspian Sea, you’ll join the ancient Silk Road trading route and visit Ashgabat, the gleaming capital of Turkmenistan. Then, visit Uzbekistan, with tours of Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, and Tashkent, before arriving at your final destination of Almaty, Kazakhstan.

This once-a-year tour takes you to places few western travelers have ever seen – and on one of the most luxurious trains in the world, the stunning Golden Eagle. There’s no better way to see these historic and otherworldly places!

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.

The Caucasus by Luxury Rail

9-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

This fall, join our captivating 9-day rail adventure from Yerevan to Baku, experiencing the remarkable and culturally diverse countries of the Caucasus.

Discover the western shores of the Caspian Sea as we weave our way through Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Home to fascinating modern culture, as well as some of the world’s most ancient and timeless architecture, this journey promises to be a unique adventure.

Only a few cabins remain on this breathtakingly beautiful journey, so book your place now to avoid disappointment. Travel in comfort and luxury aboard the fully en-suite Golden Eagle luxury train.

Note: Map shows entire Caspian Odyssey journey, whose opening Yerevan-Baku section comprises this tour.

Maharashtra Splendor by Luxury Deccan Odyssey Train

8-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Welcome to a fascinating 8-day journey aboard the Deccan Odyssey through the hinterlands of Maharashtra, the majestic Western Ghats, and into the Deccan and Konkan regions of a vast and diverse continent. This itinerary includes visits to some of the most prominent & unexplored destinations of western-central India, such as the holy city of Nashik, now also India’s wine capital; the unrivaled Ajanta & Ellora Caves; the historical city of Kolhapur, with its many experiences; Goa, India’s most popular holiday destination; and the holy city of Sindhudurg. A railroad journey like no other, in a land like no other, we welcome you aboard the Deccan Odyssey.

Extend your journey in Mumbai with a stay at our fabulous Virtuoso partner hotel: Taj Mahal Palace.

Indian Odyssey: Delhi to Mumbai by Luxury Deccan Odyssey Train

8-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Relax in supreme comfort aboard the Deccan Odyssey while visiting some of India’s most iconic landmarks on this Indian Odyssey itinerary, including multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Soak in the beauty of Udaipur, the “City of Lakes,” the colorful city of Jaipur, and search for tigers in Ranthambore National Park. The breadth of India’s culture, history and ineffable spirit come alive as you travel from Delhi to Mumbai. This tour is great for experiencing a large swath of Rajasthan in a relatively short time. For more information about the train itself, click here.

Indian Sojourn: Mumbai to Delhi by Deccan Odyssey Train

8-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Explore Rajasthan aboard the Deccan Odysseytaking in some of India’s major highlights. Begin in bustling Mumbai, continuing through northern India, with stops in Vadodara, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Agra and Jaipur, before arriving into Delhi. This is a perfect introduction to India, with the staff of the Deccan Odyssey tending to your every need along the way.

Jewels of the Deccan by Luxury Deccan Odyssey Train

8-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Welcome to Jewels of the Deccan, an 8-day journey through India’s Deccan plateau on India’s premier luxury train, the Deccan Odyssey. This journey takes you through tales and architectural wonders of the Adil Shahi dynasty in Bijapur, the Chalukyan in Aihole & Pattadakal, the powerful Vijayanagara kingdom in Hampi, the contrasting styles of the Qutb Shahi dynasty of Golconda and the Asaf Jahi, and visits to some of the most prominent and unexplored destinations of west-central India, with a trip to the unrivaled Ajanta & Ellora Caves. Sprinkled among these stories and fables are visits to quaint little towns, famed for hand-operated looms that weave vast quantities of beautiful fabric, and samplings of some of the best Dakkhani cuisine. A rail journey in a land like no other, we welcome you aboard the Deccan Odyssey.

Extend your journey in Mumbai with a stay at our fabulous Virtuoso partner hotel: Taj Mahal Palace.

Hidden Treasures of Gujarat by Luxury Deccan Odyssey Train

8-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Welcome to Hidden Treasures of Gujarat, a spellbinding railroad journey aboard the iconic Deccan Odyssey, one of India’s most luxurious and opulent trains. On this exciting journey through Gujarat, India’s most western state, explore the medieval capital of Vadodara and the pilgrim town of Palitana. Discover the footprints of history at the only sanctuary of Asiatic Lions in the Subcontinent, marvel at the unique featureless landscape of the Little Rann, wander through the architectural wonders of Modhera, and visit the holy city of Nashik, before culminating your journey in the financial city of Mumbai.

Extend your journey in Mumbai with a stay at our fabulous Virtuoso partner hotel: Taj Mahal Palace.

Maharashtra Wild Trail by Luxury Deccan Odyssey Train

8-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Welcome aboard the Deccan Odyssey on the Maharashtra Wild Trail, an 8-day journey through the hinterlands of Maharashtra, the majestic Western Ghats, and the Deccan region located in the vast and diverse expanse of central India. This exciting journey includes the thrill of chasing tigers at two reserves with the highest density of tigers in Maharashtra, the awe-inspiring beauty of the art of Ajanta, exquisite sculptures in Ellora, and the holy city of Nashik, now also India’s wine capital. A railroad journey like no other, in a land like no other, we welcome you aboard the Deccan Odyssey.

Extend your journey in Mumbai with a stay at our fabulous Virtuoso partner hotel: Taj Mahal Palace.

Darjeeling Mail: Mumbai to Kolkata by Luxury Deccan Odyssey Train

15-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Darjeeling Mail on the Deccan Odyssey luxury train is one of the best ways to travel through India. Experience the breathtaking views of the Himalayas from the hill plantations, explore the vibrant bazaars of Delhi, watch the sunrise on the sacred Ganges at Varanasi, and visit the amazing sights of Agra, including, of course, the incomparable Taj Mahal. A trip to India will change the way you view the world forever.

Join us in February 2019 on board the Deccan Odyssey and embark on a stunning journey by private train across Northern India, coast to coast, from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal. From the warm-heartedness of the people to the scenery and wonderful sights and sounds, a private rail journey through India is a memorable experience.

 

Madras Mail: Mumbai to Hyderabad by Luxury Deccan Odyssey Train

15-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Carefully designed to take in the best of Southern India, the Madras Mail covers everything from India’s most important cities to spectacular World Heritage Sites and stunning coastlines — all from the comfort of the luxurious Deccan Odyssey. The gateways of Mumbai (Bombay) and Chennai (Madras) are key ports of call, as they open the door to a more tropical India: slower, tranquil, and even more exotic.

When you’re not on the Deccan Odyssey, spend nights at some of the most exclusive 5-star hotels in India: Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, Taj Fisherman’s Cove Resort and Spa Chennai, and Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad.

Ulaan Baatar Express: Moscow to Ulaan Baatar

11-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Think of this as a compilation of some of the most intriguing and stimulating elements of the world’s greatest railway journey and you will understand the appeal of the Ulaan Baatar Express.

 

Maharajas’ Express Indian Panorama, Delhi-Delhi

8-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Explore the hidden treasures of India by luxury train. Embark on the Maharajas’ Express and join an unforgettable adventure that begins in the capital city of Delhi. Make your way through the sacred city of Varanasi and cruise on the River Ganges to observe ancient spiritual rites. Witness the immortal beauty of the Taj Mahal in Agra, the sensuous moods of the temples of Khajuraho, the elegance and imperial splendor in Lucknow and the wilderness of the Ranthambore National Park, known for its large population of Bengal tigers.

A Taste of the Silk Road: Almaty to Moscow

13-day Escorted Tour
Asia,Europe
Luxury

The Taste of the Silk Road rail adventure offers travelers unparalleled access to places few Westerners have ventured, and is one of the most exotic and best-loved by Society of IRT members.  This abbreviated version of the journey allows you to visit the storied sites of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Russia in only 13 days. For the classic 21-day Silk Road journey, please visit our website here.

The luxurious Golden Eagle will transport you back in time.  Follow in the footsteps of Marco Polo along one of the world’s oldest and most historic trade routes. This great caravan road linked the kings of Europe with the luxuries of Asia—most significantly, its silks and spices. It is preserved to a remarkable degree.

 

Persia & Silk Road: Almaty to Tehran

17-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

This unique journey on the Golden Eagle luxury train traverses along the Silk Road and into Persia, taking in destinations rarely experienced by Western visitors.

Golden Eagle: Heart of Persia

14 Days
Asia
Luxury

Our ‘Heart of Persia’ tour is aimed at those who display true pioneering spirit; a distinctive adventure that may not always follow the itinerary step-by-step, but will delight and enthrall with the potential for a surprise or two along the way.

Travelling in the ancient land of Persia, this unique journey by rail on board the fully en-suite Golden Eagle takes in destinations that have been off the tourist map for many years and therefore have rarely been experienced by the Western visitor, which makes it all the more special.

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.

Maharajas’ Express Indian Splendor, Delhi-Mumbai

8-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

The Maharajas’ Express “Indian Splendour” journey is a fabulous way to discover India’s heritage and exquisite architecture. A few highlights: sipping champagne as you admire the legendary Taj Mahal; stalking the elusive tiger in Ranthambore National Park; indulging in traditional barbecue delicacies prepared on the sand dunes. Feel like royalty as you participate in an Elephant Polo Match followed by dinner. Soak up the spectacular regal heritage of Rajasthan, with its landscape of hilltop forts and palaces. This extraordinary journey is full of special touches and delights—not the least of which is the train itself, the Maharajas’ Express.

Click here to read an in-depth review of the Maharajas’ Express by Society VP Angela Walker on our blog, Track 25.

Japan Grand Rail Tour

14-day Private Tour
Asia
Luxury

Important Note: For the Japan Grand 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 (although limited) space on selected journeys.

• • •

Our Japan Grand 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!

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.

Singapore-Bangkok Extended Tour: Fables of the Peninsula

7-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

Fables of the Peninsula is a leisurely, luxury rail journey, where guests gain unique insights from local people, including sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur, the Highlands of Malaysia, Penang, and Hat Wanakon Beach. For more information about the Eastern & Oriental Express itself, please click here.

Includes one night at the stunning Raffles Hotel Singapore, and one night at the Cameron Highlands Resort.

Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok by Luxury Train

2-day Escorted Tour
Asia
Luxury

New for 2018: House wine, house spirits, and local beer are now included in the tour price aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express.

Journey on board the Eastern & Oriental Express from Kuala Lumpur to exciting Bangkok through the heart of South-East Asia. Visit a Malaysian village and choose from several different options for touring in Kanchanburi – visit the infamous River Kwai Bridge, or enjoy a biking tour or cooking class.

This itinerary is also available in the reverse direction: Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur. Click here for details.