Orcaella: Gorges of the Far North

12-Day Escorted Tour

Enjoy 12 days aboard the luxurious river boat Orcaella and take in the scenic majesty of Myanmar. The boat, the staff, the dining, the visits: it all added up to one of the best IRT journeys ever when we traveled on this ship in 2014.

Any description of this ship or the journey itself comes up short, because it is so much more.

It is, in fact, one of the best trips IRT has ever offered. Read all about it in our blog, Track 25.

For details about Myanmar and its incredible people, click here. For details on life aboard the beautiful ship Orcaella, click here.

Sicilian Odyssey on the Danube Express: Taormina to Venice

12-day Escorted Tour

New for 2017: Sicilian Odyssey. Experience the allure of Italy by private luxury train on the Golden Eagle Danube Express. Please note: trip is also available southbound (Venice-Taormina).

The Sicilian Odyssey begins with two nights at the iconic five-star NH Collection Hotel Taormina with stunning views of Mount Etna and the Gulf of Naxos. From there, you’ll board the luxurious and comfortable Danube Express, your “five-star hotel on wheels” for the next eight days and seven nights. Wend your way through 13 cities and provinces of Sicily and Southern Italy, stopping along the way to soak up the history and local culture with guided tours and experiences. Then, spend two nights at the five-star Hotel Danieli in Venice.

Enjoy guided city tours of  Syracuse, Ragusa, Palermo, Rome, San Gimignano, Siena, Florence, and Venice. Tour Mount Etna with a local volcanologist and enjoy the sight of the beautiful Gulf of Naxos from the heights of Taormina. Enjoy a special dinner deep in the countryside of Caltagirone at the Michelin-starred Al Fogher restaurant. Take a private cruise from Salerno along the iconic coastline to Amalfi.  Tour Rome by private golf buggy, making your way to many of the city’s UNESCO sites. Indulge in a wine-tasting in Chianti. Learn about authentic Sicilian cooking through watching a demonstration and participating in pastry making.

The all-inclusive itinerary and the comfortable luxury of the Danube Express will whisk you from location to location in a way not possible by any other means of travel.

Journey is also available southbound. Click here for full southbound itinerary details.

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

11-Day Escorted Tour

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.

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. (To download more information on the Sea Cloud, click here.)

Read Owen Hardy’s report of the Society’s October, 2015 voyage by clicking here. Click here to see our short Sea Coud 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: 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: 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. For the eastbound itinerary, please click here.

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

11-Day Escorted Tour

Set 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 to the medieval walled city of Hvar.  Even our most fervent rail travelers were ecstatic with this ship, the service, the crew, the dining and excursions. Don’t miss out: We have space for 2017 for a limited time.

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 measuring a total of 32,000 square feet. (To download more information on the Sea Cloud, click here.)

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

IRT is delighted to partner with Lindblad/National Geographic Expeditions, both Virtuoso members, to offer this journey.

For the westbound itinerary, please click here.

Deluxe Rail Journey of Japan

16-day Escorted Tour

Important Note: Join us on this Deluxe Japan Rail Journey! The Society of International Railway Travelers® is the only travel agency in the Western Hemisphere offering advance space on the ultra-exclusive Seven Stars, the “grand finale” of our Deluxe Japan Rail Journey.

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Picture yourself 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. So we are honored to announce this, our fourth IRT Japan tour, featuring wonderful rail and cultural experiences — topped off with the Seven Stars in Kyushu.

The first part of the escorted tour focuses on the intersection of modernity and ancient tradition in some of Japan’s most celebrated cities and regions. The itinerary includes Tokyo, the Hakone nature reserve, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Miyajima. We also include a visit to the Kyoto Railway Museum and a ride on the lushly scenic Sagano Romance Train.

The second week focuses on beautiful Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost island, and its new luxury rail star, the Seven Stars in Kyushu. We also have a trip on another Kyushu favorite, the SL Hitoyoshi steam train, which chugs along the scenic Kuma River at a time when the foliage should be spectacular.

Our guests from the 2016 tour told us that some of the tour’s treasures were unexpected: the lively drumming workshop, Hakone’s amazing outdoor art, the warm, unexpected reception of Americans by local Japanese at the Hiroshima museum and the quiet beauty of the shrine at Miyajima.

Fukuoka was grand, they told us. They also loved exploring Kyushu, overlooked by many Americans. Best of all, they said, was the sincere welcome they received at almost every stop by locals proud of their luxury train, their island and their country.

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

Swiss Trains & the Italian Lake District

10-day Escorted Tour

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.

Belmond Royal Scotsman Western Tour

4-day Escorted Tour

Belmond Royal Scotsman Western 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 the Royal Scotsman’s Classic Tour for a full week of luxurious touring through Scotland.  This trip — especially when paired with the Classic tour — is a Society of IRT favorite. There is no doubt, once you board, why this train is one of our World’d Top 25 Trains: the decor, the ambience, 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.

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

17-day Independent Tour
Australia & the Pacific

This sweep of Australia allows you to experience the continent’s two most famous trains, the Ghan and Indian Pacific, with time to explore Perth, on the west coast, and Darwin in the north and fantastic sites in between. This program abounds in UNESCO World Heritage sites, from Kakadu National Park to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas).

Rocky Mountaineer: Canadian Rockies Getaway Circle

9-day Independent Tour
North America

Latest News: Book a 2018 Rocky Mountaineer journey of 8 days or more and you’ll receive $800 per couple in added value to use towards enhancing your rail adventure. Offer ends August 25, 2017. Blackout dates apply.

Book your 2017 departure by by July 7, 2017, and receive a complimentary hotel night in either Vancouver or Calgary. Blackout dates apply.

New for 2017: Sonora Resort, Canada’s premiere wilderness resort, is the perfect complement to your train journey. Add two (or more) pre- or post-nights at this all-inclusive lodge, accessible only by float plane or boat from Vancouver. Enjoy hiking and biking trails, experience a guided salmon-fishing outing, or go on a grizzly bear viewing tour. Call / e-mail us for details.

Society of IRT Added Value: Get a free, one-way limo transfer (U.S. dollar value +$100) to/from Seattle or Vancouver airports when you book any Rocky Mountaineer trip on our website. Get free limo transfers both ways when you book the Grand Rail Circle tour.)

This fantastic 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. Enjoy gourmet meals on board while spotting Canadian wildlife from your seat. A host of knowledgeable and friendly attendants will keep you engaged with stories and facts about what you see outside your windows. They’ll also make sure that you never go thirsty with around-the-clock beverage service.

Experience the engineering feat of the Spiral Tunnels and the beauty of Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the stunning 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 on an Ice Explorer (one of the largest accumulations of ice and snow south of the Arctic Circle).

Latest News: Click here for Track 25, our blog, for the latest news on this and other of our World’s Top 25 Trains™.

Enthralling Ecuador featuring Tren Crucero

11-day Independent Tour
South America

If you want adventure and drama, this train tour is for you. When Owen & Eleanor Hardy, co-owners of The Society of International Railway Travelers, visited Ecuador the spring of 2017, they 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.

This tour features some amazing new offerings in Ecuador: 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.” 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.

Your tour begins in Quito, Ecuador’s colonial capital. You then travel to the Andes rain forest for a 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 fabulous 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–a perfect add-on. Plus we have shorter Galapagos journeys on offer, as well as a luxury “eco-lodge” on the islands.

Fabulous new video shared by Tren Crucero.

VSOE Venice-Paris-London

2 days

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.

VSOE London-Paris-Venice

2 days

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.

“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

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.

Belmond Royal Scotsman Grand West Highland Tour

6-day Escorted Tour

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

Danube Express Budapest-Athens: Hellenic Treasures

11-day Escorted Tour

New for 2017:  Danube Express Athens-Budapest. The train is the Golden Eagle Danube Express. The trip is called Hellenic Treasures. You could not dream up a better way to see this region than on this new luxury rail itinerary. It is the first time IRT has offered a journey to Greece by train. (We went to the region via sailing ship Sea Cloud — fabulous.) But now you’ll have the chance to enjoy historic medieval settlements by land. You’ll revel in the architectural splendor of some of Europe’s most beautiful cities. And you’ll do it all from a great luxury train which is your “hotel on wheels.”  For more information about the train, visit our website here: Golden Eagle Danube Express.  The train is fully air-conditioned, has fully en-suite shower, sink and toilet. And this year, the Golden Eagle is adding two superior deluxe cabins which are double the size of the deluxe compartments. We are proud to call the Golden Eagle Danube Express one of The Society of International Railway Travelers’ World’s Top 25 Trains.

The all-inclusive Danube Express Athens-Budapest itinerary and the comfortable luxury of the train will whisk you from location to location in a way not possible by any other means of travel. From the famed Hotel Gresham Palace Four Seasons in Budapest to the Acropolis, or vice versa, this sweeping journey will take you places many Western travelers never venture — because of the difficulty of travel. But you will luxuriate in your train itself —  gliding from Hungary to Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and on to Greece, through 6 countries — ending up at lively Athens and the marvel of the Acropolis.  This is a journey you will never forget.

Northbound itinerary — Athens-Budapest — is July 1-11, 2017. Call or e-mail us for more details.

Romantic Italian Holiday

6 days

Try this for Romance: two nights in Florence at the Villa San Michele, a former monastery turned five-star hotel; two nights in Venice at the 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, 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

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

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

Naadam is the big event in Mongolia—a lively national festival, 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.

Singapore-Bangkok Extended Tour: Fables of the Peninsula

7-day Escorted Tour

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.

Belmond Royal Scotsman Highland Tour

3-day Escorted Tour

There is simply no better way to experience the drama and wild beauty of the Scotland than aboard the Belmond Royal Scotsman luxury train.

This short introduction to the Scottish Highlands is ideal for those who like outdoor activity. At Rothiemurchus Estate, for example, there will be the opportunity to try your hand at clay pigeon shooting, venturing out with the Estate’s rangers on a Highland safari or just enjoying a Highland walk. We love this train for all of its great dining, service, beauty within the train — and without. The scenery is spectacular, of course. And one great thing about this train: there are 4 cabins for solo use and there is no single supplement. Great for a family of couple and solo travelers.

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

Rovos Rail African Golf Safari

9-Day Escorted Tour

Rovos Rail has designed a delightful nine-day Golf Safari to entertain the most discerning player with optional excursions for non-playing guests at all venues.

Relax as the train travels northwest towards Sun City in the hills of Pilanesberg for a day at this renowned facility. In the foothills of the imposing Drakensberg Mountains, 18 holes await at the Champagne Sports Resort with a guided tour of the battlefields a further highlight for our non-golfers.

Next the golfers play at the Durban Country Club while non-playing guests enjoy a city tour followed by lunch at the club. Then on to Zululand for game-viewing in the Hluhluwe Reserve before the train heads towards Swaziland. Tee off at the Royal Swazi Golf Club or enjoy a morning game drive in Mkhaya Game Reserve, followed by a visit to Ngwenya Glass with lunch at Guava Galleries.

The train then travels west towards Nelspruit, where golfers play the challenging Leopard Creek course or enjoy a game drive in the world-famous Kruger Park, followed by lunch at Buhala Lodge. Depart for Pretoria where this memorable journey ends.

Latest News: Click here to enjoy IRT’s “just-back-from-Africa” report and photos about safaris that mesh perfectly with a Rovos Rail cruise.

Latest Photos: Click here to see a photo essay of our Cape Town – Dar es Salaam Rovos Rail adventure.

Inside Track: We dined with Rovos Rail’s Alicia Taljaard recently. Her favorite trip? It’s not what you might think. Click here.

Belmond Royal Scotsman Scottish Golf Tour

5-Day Escorted Tour

Royal Scotsman Classic Scottish Golf Tour features among the very best of golf in the highlands. Golf was invented in Scotland in the 15th century, so where better to enjoy this delightful sport? And having the Belmond Royal Scotsman as your traveling five-star hotel and restaurant just adds to the pleasure. This new tour includes an alternative itinerary for the non-golfing companion.

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

Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok by Luxury Train

2-day Escorted Tour

Journey on board the Eastern & Oriental Express from Kuala Lumpur to exciting Bangkok through the heart of South-East Asia. Visit royal Kuala Kangsar and the infamous River Kwai. Trip is also available in reverse direction.