Why book with the Society of International Railway Travelers?

We have an entire page dedicated to this question! Why Book with Us

How do I charter a train?

All of our luxury trains can be chartered. If you want the exclusivity and privacy of a completely private departure, email us at tourdesk@irtsociety.com, or call us.

Can I travel on your trains if I use a wheelchair or have other mobility restrictions?

Due to the historic design of many of our luxury trains, most are not equipped to accommodate wheelchairs. Trains that can accommodate wheelchair users are the Rocky Mountaineer, Canadian, The Ghan, Indian Pacific, and Belmond Royal Scotsman.

Prior to booking, please contact us to have a conversation about your specific mobility restrictions so that we can ensure you have an enjoyable and safe journey.

What is sleeping on a train like?

Some of our trains stop at quiet sidings for the night, so there is no movement while you are sleeping. Other trains keep traveling at night, and an occasional bump or lurch should be expected. If you have serious back trouble or balance problems, contact us prior to booking so we can ensure the journey you are considering is right for you.

Can my dietary restrictions and allergies be accommodated?

Yes, all of our trains can accommodate dietary needs, restrictions and allergies; however, meals requiring strict religious observance in the preparation cannot be guaranteed. Please let us know at time of booking if you have any dietary restrictions or allergies.

What is Virtuoso and what does it mean for me?

Virtuoso is an invitation-only luxury travel consortium — the largest and most prominent in the world. Our Virtuoso membership affords our travelers many exclusive and valuable benefits. Click here to read more.

What are your terms and conditions of booking?

Click here to read our terms and conditions.

Can IRT help me with more than just my train trip?

Yes! We are expert travel planners and can help you with basic arrangements — hotel arrangements before and after your journey, private transfers to and from the airport — or entirely custom standalone itineraries, even those that do not involve a train. In addition to being luxury train experts, we are also especially well-versed in safari planning and management.

Are there any luxury trains in the U.S.A.?

There are currently no luxury trains with regular service in the USA. We do not book Amtrak at this time.

Are there age restrictions on your trains?

Although we have no age restrictions on our tours, the majority of our travelers are aged 50 and older. The average age is 64. Most of our tours are not suitable for young children. Please check with us prior to booking if you will be traveling with anyone younger than 14.

I’m taking this trip to celebrate a special occasion. Is there anything special you can do?

Please let us know if you are celebrating a special occasion at time of booking. We are happy to help you celebrate!

Can I use my cellphone on board? Is WiFi available (and included)?

Most trains do offer WiFi (at no cost), but the signal is often inconsistent and/or intermittent. If you need to be reached, or have access to the internet, this is best done using a smartphone. However, rates for international data plans can be very high, so we recommend checking with your mobile carrier for information. In some remote destinations, your cell phone may not get a consistent signal.

How do you determine the “World’s Top 25 Trains”?

The ‘World’s Top 25 Trains’ are, as determined by us, the world’s most luxurious, most fun, and most interesting train experiences in the world. Trains cannot pay to be on the list. We personally vet and periodically review every train on our ‘World’s Top 25’ list. We also take our travelers’ experiences into account.

What do I need to know about traveling on one of your train journeys if I am a single traveler?

Luxury trains lend themselves to a convivial social atmosphere in the lounges and dining cars, so it’s easy to get to know your fellow travelers.

Even better, consider one our trains that has accommodations purpose-built for single travelers and thus no single supplement, such as the Royal Scotsman.

Do you offer group discounts?

We offer incentives to groups of 10 or more. Please contact us for details.

Are flights included? Do you book flights?

International flights are not included in our prices unless specifically noted. We will send you details of our air booking partner after you have booked your train journey.

Is insurance included, required or and/or offered?

Insurance is not included. We offer Travelex and RoamRight insurance and will send you details upon booking. A minimum of medical and evacuation insurance is required for some journeys and destinations.

Are visas required for your journeys?

Some of our journeys require visas. We will send you detailed instructions on how to obtain your visas at the appropriate time.

What vaccinations are required?

It is recommended that you obtain vaccinations prior to travel on some of our journeys. However, we are not licensed to give medical advice. We recommend you make an appointment with your doctor or a local travel clinic several months before travel to get medical advice that is tailored to your history.

Certain countries require you to be vaccinated against yellow fever (or, if vaccination is not advised by your doctor, you will be required to carry an official letter of exemption).

We will send you destination-specific advice on vaccinations and special medications before you travel.

Are toiletries provided on board?

Yes, basic toiletries similar to what you would receive in a nice hotel — shampoo, conditioner, and soap — are provided.

What language are tours conducted in?

Tours are conducted in English. El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo and Al Andalus — also conduct tours in Spanish. Please contact us to request a translator or guide who speaks a language other than English (at cost).

Is smoking permitted on your trains?

Smoking is permitted on the Blue Train in the smoking lounge car, and on Rovos Rail in the smoking lounge. Smoking is not permitted on any other trains. Some of our trains allow for an occasional opportunity to step out onto the platform to smoke. Contact us for more details.

Can I book through my travel agent?

Yes, we are happy to work with your travel agent. Please have your agent contact us directly to get started.

How fit must I be to join the excursions?

Our general rule is that you must be able to walk at least one mile unassisted in order to enjoy the excursions. Many cities have uneven terrain, cobblestones, and occasional steep steps. Please contact us prior to booking if you have questions or concerns about your fitness level. Some journeys entail more walking than others. We can likely point you in the right direction for your fitness level.

Is it possible to arrange private off-train tours?

Yes, this is possible on all of our journeys at additional cost.

Do cabins have a private bathroom/shower?

Some do, some don’t. Please see the individual train pages for more details.

Is there entertainment on board?

Yes. Most trains have nightly entertainment.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We recommend booking as far in advance as possible. Unlike certain cruise lines, many of our train journeys become more expensive as space becomes more limited (i.e., there is a price advantage to booking early). We take reservations as far as three years out.

If it is too early to book your desired journey, please contact us. We can add you to a ‘first notice list’ and contact you when booking opens.

Do you offer any discounts?

None of our trains offer an AARP, senior, or military booking discount.