Las Vegas, NV — Just back from Virtuoso Travel Week, and here’s the scoop:
- It’s “one-week-and-counting” for the launch of Ireland’s Belmond Grand Hibernian;
- May, 2017 sees the opening of Japan’s ultra-modern Train Suite Shiki-Shima;
- Also in May: Peru’s enticing Belmond Andean Explorer luxury overnight service debuts;
- The Golden Eagle Danube Express’ exciting new Venice-Sicily tour runs next September.
IRT’s Rachel Hardy and I learned much during our whirlwind meetings with the world’s top luxury travel professionals: in formal sit-downs, hallway talks — even an interview with a Wall Street Journal reporter.
- The Belmond Grand Hibernian debuts Aug. 30 with a sold-out train, chartered by yours truly: The Society of International Railway Travelers®! It’s sold out the rest of the year as well. Click here for 2017 dates.
Beginning service next May, the Train Suite Shiki-Shima departs Tokyo’s Ueno station to Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. Sporting a totally modern, almost space-age look, it’ll be a stark contrast to Japan’s Cruise Train Seven Stars in Kyushu, a veritable rolling display of the island’s natural beauty and traditional crafts.
- The Society of IRT is constructing a dream tour comprising both of Peru’s luxury trains: the Cusco-Macchu Picchu Belmond Hiram Bingham and the Cusco-Lake Titicaca / Arequipa Belmond Andean Explorer. Click here to get on the wait list.
- Just one Sicily trip next year: Sept. 14-25. But it will be memorable. Running along the Adriatic coast, the Golden Eagle Danube Express will offer guests an awe-inspiring, panoramic view of Mt. Vesuvius. More info, click here.
South Africa: The classy Blue Train makes luxurious overnight trips between Pretoria and the famed Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves. There’s one more round trip this year; three next year. Click here.
Switzerland: Attention all beer-lovers: the Appenzell Railway offers the new Quöllfrisch-Express service. It runs every Sunday next month, Gossau-Wasserauen. The beer car serves specialties from the Quöllfrisch brewery. The first glass is on the house.
Also: the world’s longest rail tunnel, the Gotthard, is scheduled to open this December. Plus a new end-point to end-point luggage service makes it easier than ever to ride Switzerland’s rails. Click here.
Finally: We think Ecuador’s Tren Crucero looks fabulous, and our clients have raved about it. We at IRT hope to ride it in November. The four-day trip — including a ride across the acclaimed “Devil’s Nose” — is part of our 11-day Ecuador package. Click here.