This year, luxury train travel is making a magical comeback with a handful of elegant new locomotives around the world featuring upscale cabins, gourmet dining, and invigorating journeys. From Peru’s high plains to Japan’s scenic coastlines and beyond, these are the track stars you’ll want to book
Belmond Andean Explorer
This May, South America’s first luxury sleeper train, the 24-cabin Belmond Andean Explorer, will make its inaugural trip across the high plains of the Peruvian Andes. One- and two-night journeys to and from Cusco might include stops at the floating villages of Lake Titicaca, the condor-filled Colca Canyon, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Arequipa. En route, guests can sample local highland cuisine in two dining cars, sip pisco sours in the lounge, and cozy up in hand-woven alpaca wool blankets on the panoramic-view observation deck.
A leisurely departure from Japan’s high-speed bullet trains, the new Train Suite Shiki-Shima will debut in May with rail itineraries through the forests, vineyards, and coastlines of Tohoku and Hokkaido. The 10-car train offers just 17 suites (including a master accommodation featuring a traditional bathroom of Japanese cypress), as well as a lounge, a dining carriage, and two glass-walled observatory cars. One- to four-day journeys allow passengers a deeper look at Japanese culture through visits to villages, shrines, and onsen hot springs.
India’s fabled Deccan Odyssey recently relaunched with plush new interiors and a brand-new exterior painted in colourful Warli art. A spa and salon car will allow riders refresh between stops. Itineraries, which last eight days and seven nights, are available through the travel outfitter Cox and Kings, have also been upgraded to evoke the princely sojourns of decades past. Six immersive circuits departing from Mumbai and Delhi traverse India’s cities and wilderness, with visits to the forts of Agra, the forests of Ranthambore, and the palaces of Udaipur, among other destinations.