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Europe | East Asia | India | Central Asia | Latin America | Africa

Choose the railway over the runway

A journey by rail is one of the most romantic ways to travel, offering glimpses into rural life and scenic views that no other mode of transport can compete with. Cox & Kings offers a huge variety of classic rail holidays around the world, from the Eastern & Oriental Express in south-east Asia, to India’s Deccan Odyssey and the Trans-Siberian Express in Europe.

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Benefits of train travel

Sustainability The sustainable choice: by taking the train over the plane, you can reduce your carbon footprint and so travel the world more kindly.

Journey in style Journey in style: luxury trains chauffeur you in elegant carriages through cinematic landscapes, while heritage trains reveal the history of your destination. Both regularly feature on our tours, and are often a major highlight for our guests.

Travel in comfort Travel in comfortwhile being free from the stresses of the airport and the congestion of the roads, maximise your comfort by choosing your preferred class of train ticket. Our destination experts can advise on the best options for each rail.

No flying involved No-fly holidays: we can arrange for you to join any of our Europe group tours by rail, so you need never step foot in an airport. We can also design a private holiday anywhere in the world that prioritises travel by train over air or road.

Scenery See more scenery: through a plane porthole, one cloud looks much like another, but from a train carriage, you can see your destination in detail as each pastoral scene and romantic cityscape rolls by.

Luxury and high-speed trains

Luxury trains

Rail travel at its most romantic

The world’s best luxury trains evoke the golden age of rail travel, when the well-dressed and well-heeled journeyed between grand cities under towers of steam. Expect vintage carriages decked out in art-deco detail, on-board dining to satisfy the most discerning palates, and private cabins as sumptuous as five-star suites. Luxury trains we recommend include:

Belmond Andean Explorer: South America’s only luxury sleeper train takes passengers between Peru’s celebrated sights, and features stylish en-suite cabins, a restaurant, an observation carriage, and even a spa. Experience this on our Train to Machu Picchu group tour.

Maharajas’ Express: complete with comfortable overnight cabins and vintage interiors, this luxury train reveals North India in all its multicoloured finery. Experience this on our Indian Splendour private holiday.

Al Andalus: glamorous 1920s interiors combine with 21st-century luxuries aboard this ‘hotel on wheels’, which navigates the UNESCO-listed attractions of Spain’s Andalucía region. Experience this on a tailor-made holiday to Spain.

High-speed trains

From A to B in the blink of an eye

In the age of high-speed rail, you can cross countries lightning-fast without compromising on comfort. Europe’s integrated network features several high-speed services, making multi-country tours of the continent easier than ever. Meanwhile, pioneering bullet and maglev trains link East Asia’s major cities. Highspeed services we recommend include:

Shinkansen: Japan was the first to build a high-speed rail network, cementing its reputation as a nation living in the future. Its bullet trains – or shinkansen – have been whisking people between the largest metropolises since 1964. Experience this iconic mode of travel on our Japan in Style private holiday.

Frecciarossa: Italy’s modern, comfortable ‘Red Arrow’ trains zip between popular destinations including Naples, Florence and Rome at up to 300km per hour.

HSR: No high-speed rail service carries more people as far as China’s HSR, developed at break-neck speeds worthy of the trains themselves. It features the world’s first commercial maglev line, on which Shanghai’s trains float free of friction. Experience the HSR on our China in Style by Rail private holiday.

Rail tours and holidays

Europe

Europe’s integrated rail network allows you to cross the continent seamlessly. Here, too – right on your doorstep – are some of the world’s most scenic and luxurious rail journeys. Furthermore, thanks to the Eurostar, you can travel from the UK to the mainland without ever leaving the ground.

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Andalucía by Train

Using Spain’s fast and efficient AVI rail service, this journey takes in the Roman, Moorish and Catholic heritage of Andalucía.

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Sarajevo to Split: Road & Rail

Visit Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Dalmatian Coast on this private journey by road and rail, staying in superior accommodation throughout.

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Lisbon to the Algarve by Rail

Tour Portugal’s alluring capital, Lisbon, before a scenic rail ride delivers you to the Algarve coast and the attractive towns of Faro and Albufeira.

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Treasures of Tuscany

Revel in the Renaissance treasures of Tuscany on this tailor-made holiday, visiting Florence, Lucca and Siena.

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East Asia

Home of the first bullet trains, East Asia is a destination of tea, temples and pioneering technology. Choose rail travel to explore the major cities of Japan and China in comfort and at speed.

China Experience

 Enjoy a taste of China on this outstanding tour of the country’s principal sights. Highlights include Beijing’s Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, excursions to the Great Wall, and Xian’s famous Terracotta Warriors. Explore the vibrant cities of Shanghai, Beijing, and Nanjing.

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Japan's Cultural Treasures

Discover the cultural heritage of Japan on this exciting journey through the country’s main island of Honshu. Begin with exploring Tokyo and the nearby Hakone National Park, before exploring the imperial city of Kyoto, with its many temples and shrines. Experience the history of Hiroshima and the island of Miyajima, finishing with a visit to Himeji.

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Japan in Style

Discover the best of Japan on this luxurious private journey from Tokyo to Osaka. Throughout you will be staying in some of the country’s finest accommodation, and travelling by private car or first-class train carriage.

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China in Style

Experience the comfort and efficiency of China's rapidly expanding high-speed rail network as you travel around the major cultural centres of China. Learn about various aspects of Chinese history in the key museums of each city.

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India

For more laidback sightseeing, India’s heritage ‘toy trains’ ease along metre-gauge tracks through mountains and old hill stations. Meanwhile, India’s luxury rail services promise to treat you like a maharaja.

Journey through the Himalayan Foothills

Travel to the holy city of Amritsar and McLeod Ganj, home to the Tibetan government-in-exile. Continue through the foothills of the Himalaya to Shimla.

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Passage through Kerala

Southern India offers lush greenery and waterside tranquility that contrasts with the arid north.

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Indian Splendour

Ride the Maharajas’ Express on a whistle-stop tour of North India, encompassing the Golden Triangle and beyond.

 

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Golden Triangle & Ranthambore

Combine the iconic sights of India’s Golden Triangle, from the Amber Fort to the Taj Mahal, with safaris in Ranthambore National Park – home of the Bengal tiger.

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Central Asia

Where once Silk Road merchants crossed the Central Asian steppe by hoof, today you can explore this storied region without a saddle. Journey by train between Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to discover the wealth of history and natural beauty in this oft-overlooked region.

Silk Road Adventure

Discover the rich history of the Silk Road and the dramatic scenery of Central Asia on this 22-day journey through Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

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Latin America

Latin America encompasses a dazzling variety of landscapes, and rail travel is one of the best ways to admire them. Drink in Peru’s Andean vistas from observation carriages and luxe sleeper cabins, be captivated by Mexico’s plunging Copper Canyon aboard the Chepe Express, and much more.

Train to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is perhaps the most breathtaking archaeological site in the world. Yet Peru also offers a wealth of other magnificent ancient, colonial and scenic sights.

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Grand Tour of South America

This tour focuses on South America's cultural and natural highlights, revealing the continent's diversity, and passing from high Andean scenery down to the thundering Iguazú Falls.

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Peru in Luxury

This private journey offers the chance to explore Peru in ultimate style and comfort, staying in the country's finest hotels and travelling to Machu Picchu aboard a first-class train.

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Baja & the Copper Canyon

Combine the dramatic scenery of the Copper Canyon train ride with Baja peninsula’s spectacular desert and coastal scenery.

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Africa

From the peaks to the plains, and the cities to the coast, Africa’s ever-changing scenery is a compelling reason to take the train. You can choose adventure at scale aboard the likes of the cross-country Rovos Rail, or opt for small-scale charm, such as the hop-on hop-off wine train in South Africa’s vineyards.

Rovos Rail: Southern Cross Adventure

This panoramic rail journey with Rovos Rail offers an exciting alternative to a self-drive or privately guided safari tour.

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Genuinely small groups

Small groups promise a more personal touring experience. That’s why Cox & Kings maintains a maximum group size of 18 guests on most tours, and an average of just 14.

Worldwide support

Enjoy round-the-clock support – in person, over the phone and online. This is made possible by our well-travelled staff and unrivalled network of offices in destinations across the world.

Your money is protected

Cox & Kings is ABTA bonded and ATOL protected. When you arrange a holiday with us, rest assured that your booking is secure and your money is protected.

Experts since 1758

Cox & Kings is a name you can trust. We’ve been helping the curious traveller explore for more than 265 years – longer than any other travel company.

Begin your journey

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Order a brochure

For more travel inspiration, request a copy of the latest Cox & Kings brochure – a comprehensive collection of our group tours.