There’s something undeniably captivating about seeing the world by train. Whether you prefer a fast-paced bullet train ride through rural Japan or a leisurely journey through the snow-covered Swiss Alps, every man has daydreamed of traveling by rail. New for 2019, Planet Rail has announced a new twist on one of the most luxurious and slowest “express” rail rides in the world.
The Luxury Glacier Express vacation takes travelers on a one-of-a-kind ride through some of Europe’s most breathtaking landscapes. This year, Planet Rail is taking the famed railway experience up a notch with a new, ultra-luxe Excellence Class. The exclusive carriage will accommodate just 20 passengers (compared to the typical 36) in a purpose-designed, glass-heavy car that offers panoramic views. Excellence passengers will be provided a private check-in desk with a welcome cocktail, guaranteed window seats for their entire journey, an in-carriage bar, dedicated concierge service, and a five-course lunch with wine and afternoon tea.
The eight-hour Excellence Class ride marks the highlight of a whirlwind eight-day journey. Travelers begin in London to catch the Eurostar to Brussels, then on to a single night in Cologne. In the morning, the trip follows the Rhine Gorge into Switzerland then on to the world-class St. Moritz resort. The day ends at the alpine village of Sils-Maria for a three-night stay at the luxurious Wildhaus Sils Hotel. Here, guests have the opportunity for a relaxing experience at an underground spa, an active hike along the many trails that intersect the hotel property, or a leisurely sightseeing tour aboard the legendary Bernina Express.
The following morning, guests depart St. Moritz aboard the Luxury Glacier Express bound for Zermatt. Here, in the shadow of the iconic Matterhorn, travelers spend three nights at the luxurious Cerve Hotel. Every chalet here has a private wellness center with a sauna, a massage room, and a steam bath. The following day is the “height” of the journey when guests can travel the world’s highest cable car or ride the cogwheel railway to Gornergrat with a panoramic viewing platform overlooking nearly 30 peaks, all over 13,000 feet.
The Luxury Glacier Express tour is available March 2 through October 13, 2019, with ticket prices starting at $3,250 per person (sharing). The once-in-a-lifetime package includes First Class rail travel throughout, plus stays at five-star hotels in Cologne, St. Moritz, and Zermatt, and daily lunch with wine and tea aboard the Glacier Express. Transportation — including private car service across Paris and return Business Class air travel from Geneva to London — is also included.