Skip to main content

New train ticket offers 53-day rail trip around the world

By CNN Staff
updated 10:16 AM EDT, Mon March 31, 2014
After departing London (by plane), the first stop on the 53-day, round-the-world trip offered by Great Rail Journeys is New York, where passengers board trains to Washington, then Chicago and on to Denver. After departing London (by plane), the first stop on the 53-day, round-the-world trip offered by Great Rail Journeys is New York, where passengers board trains to Washington, then Chicago and on to Denver.
HIDE CAPTION
New York
Rocky Mountains
Monument Valley
San Francisco
Shanghai
Great Wall of China
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia
Lake Baikal, Russia
Moscow
Warsaw, Poland
Prague
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Round-the-world ticket offered by Great Rail Journeys begins and ends in London
  • Travelers will spend two weeks crossing the United States before transferring to China by air
  • From Beijing, passengers travel to Mongolia then Russia via the Trans-Siberian Railway

London, England (CNN) -- A 53-day journey by train might sound like murder on the Orient Express, but one enterprising British travel company is offering rail tickets that take nearly eight weeks to circumnavigate the globe.

As you'd expect for the $36,500 price tag, you won't be spending six weeks cooped in the cheap seats listening to other people yammering into their cell phones.

The ticket offered by Great Rail Journeys is first class most of the way, crossing three continents in the kind of style you'd associate with a golden age of rail travel -- albeit without the top hats and tailcoats.

En route, passengers get to experience some of the world's most luxurious trains, including the Tsar's Gold Private Train from Mongolia, the Venice Simplon Orient-Express and the British Orient Express Pullman.

The itinerary begins in London on May 18, 2015.

"We've got some pretty long journeys in our portfolio, but we've never done the full circumnavigation," Julian Appleyard of Great Rail Journeys said.

The itinerary includes a trip to Monument Valley in the American Southwest.
The itinerary includes a trip to Monument Valley in the American Southwest.

Passengers will fly to New York and then spend 20 days crossing North America by train.

They call in at Washington, Chicago and Denver and then sample a few classic rail rides such as Colorado's scenic Royal Gorge route and the steam-powered Durango & Silverton line.

Ten epic train journeys

There's a side trip to the Grand Canyon, a sojourn in Los Angeles and a boat ride to San Francisco, where passengers take to the air once again to reach Shanghai.

The trip sticks firmly to the rails from then on, taking passengers from Xian, home of terra cotta warriors, to Beijing and then on to Russia via Mongolia.

The journey links up with the epic Trans-Siberian line to reach Moscow before pressing on into Europe.

After calling at Warsaw, Prague, Vienna, Innsbruck and Venice, it heads back to London.

Appleyard says the company had sold its first tickets but is planning to limit numbers to about 25 to "keep it fairly exclusive."

"There is a huge number of people who are interested in rail as a method of travel," he said.

Neither oceans nor the Great Wall will get in the way of the round-the-world train trip.
Neither oceans nor the Great Wall will get in the way of the round-the-world train trip.

"This is quite clearly the longest and most expensive trip we've ever done so it's going to appeal to the wealthy and, at 53 days, people with time on their hands."

If 53 days sounds a little on the slow side, another company offers a similar journey in reverse, via Canada, that takes a mere 40 days.

Ffestiniog Travel, based in Wales, charges $32,765 for its escorted tour starting May 3.

Or you could just catch a plane.

Amtrak officially rolls out writers' residency

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:17 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Scrap all those other bucket lists you've been compiling and start saving -- these memorable-for-a-lifetime trips don't come cheap, or easy.
updated 9:40 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
A squabble over a device that limits how far a seat can recline has brought inflight etiquette into the spotlight again.
updated 6:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Thirst for victory competes with thirst for booze in event where competitors raise their glasses long before they cross the finish line.
updated 5:57 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
At these fun Los Angeles bars, the the drinks come with a chaser of kitsch.
updated 4:41 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
From dining next to massive predators to drinking atop a rock in the middle of the ocean, Africa boasts some of the most interesting places to eat.
updated 1:12 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Just weeks after Bill HIllman, known as a veteran, expert bull runner, was badly gored in Pamplona, he's back at other smaller bull runnings in Spain, but walking with a cane.
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Don't like the country you live in? Why not create your own, as many people have done. We uncover the parallel world of "micronationalism."
updated 9:41 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
LUSAIL CITY, QATAR: In this handout illustration provided by Qatar 2022, the Qatar 2022 Bid Committee today unveiled detailed plans for the iconic Lusail Stadium. With a capacity in excess of 86,000 and surrounded by water, the stadium would host the World Cup Opening Match and Final if Qatar wins the rights to stage the 2022 FIFA World Cup. If Qatar is awarded the honour of staging the 2022 FIFA World Cup, construction of the Lusail Stadium will start in 2015 and be completed in 2019. It will retain its full capacity after 2022.
Grab a glimpse of the near future. Plans for the desert city of Lusail include man-made islands and a host arena for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
updated 9:24 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
A CNN producer experiences China's poor on-time flight record firsthand as his plane takes off eight hours late.
updated 2:00 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
New Yorker Kerrin Rousset's exploration of Swiss city aims to lure cocoa fans over to the dark side.
updated 4:39 PM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Some things are just better after dark. These experiences around the world prove it.
updated 11:59 AM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Lebanon's winemakers are adopting new tactics to get their products noticed.
updated 2:26 AM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
the Teufelsberg or
Spooks have left their mark on a once-divided city still thought to be an espionage hotbed.
updated 6:06 PM EDT, Sun August 24, 2014
nanjing, handicrafts
With more than 6,000 years of history, Nanjing is one of the few cities in China still practicing the country's endangered traditional crafts.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT