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The Thrill of the Ride

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Relive the golden age of travel. The roaring ’20s and 1930s saw royalty, nobility, and social butterflies hob-knobbing on the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient- Express – imagine Gatsby-esque parties from one country to another. Today, it is still one of the most opulent train journeys in the world departing the classic route of Paris to Istanbul with stopovers in Budapest and Bucharest once a year. Taste the finer things in life on board, with gourmet dinners (expect Brittany lobsters and saltmarsh lamb from Mont St Michel) and luxe wood-panelled cabins. We recommend the Double Cabin, which during the day is configured as a sumptuous lounge complete with a banquette sofa, footstool, and small table, and come evening is transformed into a cosy bedroom. www.vsoe.com

The Royal Scotsman

The Royal Scotsman

A scenic rail trip is the penultimate getaway, to rejuvenate far away from busy city life. Hop onto the Royal Scotsman and cross Scotland with a glass of champagne in hand, feet up and troubles melting away with every passing minute. The journey begins, heading north towards the impressive Forth Railway Bridge, followed by mesmerising views of Loch Alsh, various enchanting castles, and breathtaking vistas of the Scottish Highlands. The train disembarks in Edinburgh, five days after starting its journey at the very same point. Indulge in all the trimmings and single malt whiskeys that Scotland has to offer in this simple yet resplendent escape. www.royalscotsman.com

Rovos Rail

Rovos Rail

An epic safari on wheels, the Dar es Salaam sojourn begins with the train chugging through the historic South African village of Matjiesfontein, famously known as the diamond town. Continue through Zimbabwe, crossing the mighty Zambezi River, after which is the exciting climb up the Tanzanian border. Then, descend into the Great Rift Valley, meandering through tunnels to finally emerge onto the Selous Game Reserve – the largest on the African continent and one of the largest in the world. www.rovos.com/journeys/dar-es-salaam

Aqua Expeditions

Aqua Expeditions

Highly recommended is the Aqua Amazon Cruise. Check into a five-star hotel on water and cruise the Peruvian stretch of the unchartered waters of the Amazon. Discover a city filled with colourful bazaars and steeped in Mayan mystery. Hike through the lush jungle or go for a swim with friendly pink dolphins; then enjoy your warm welcome back onboard with smiles, cold towels, and exotic fruits. Watch the ever-changing scenery of the world’s last great unexplored region as you wind down on the zen-like open deck or in one of the luxurious designer suites with glorious views. www.aquaexpeditions.com

Windstar Cruises

Windstar Cruises

Sail through the glistening waters of southern Spain in a delicious pursuit of the region’s Culinary & Wine Delights. Start your holiday in thrilling Barcelona with daily wine tastings, luscious food and wine pairings, as well as the alluring magic of flamenco onboard the Wind Surf ship. Once the spirited dancing has worked up your appetite, expand that discerning palate with the rich wine and culinary traditions of regions from Andalucía to Catalonia while soaking up the fascinating workings of vineyards perfected by the gracious people of Spain. This splendid escape for the wine connoisseur in all of us ends its idyllic journey in the exhilarating city of Lisbon, Portugal, where more intoxicating treats await. Quick toasting guide: when in Spain, raise your glass to “cin cin” and when in Portugal, “tchim tchim”. www.windstarcruises.com

Silversea

Silversea

Snow-capped mountains, the icy stillness of the North, mighty icebergs, and glacier-filled bays await you on this magical cruise to the Arctic. Venture away from Bergen, Norway, across the Arctic Circle to otherworldly archipelagos all the way into the northern latitude of Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Don’t get too snug on the luxurious cruise ship; head out in search of reindeer, Arctic foxes, and polar bears, and then kayak your way through one of nature’s masterpieces – and a UNESCO World Heritage site – the Geirangerfjord, the most beautiful fjord in Norway. Get up close to the dramatic cascading waterfalls and spectacular mountains, a splendid setting for that once-in-a-lifetime selfie. www.silversea.com