Luxury train service starts in Japan
Seven Stars, Japan’s first luxury sleeper train, launched this week. The service operates exclusively on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, starting from the island’s main city of Fukuoka and visiting key points of interest around the island, including Nagasaki, the hot spring spa town of Yufuin and the volcanic caldera of Mt Aso, which featured in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice. The journey is being called a cruise train as, similar to on a cruise ship, passengers will disembark from the train for excursions along the train’s route.
Kyushu Railway Company spent about 3 billion yen (Dh112m) to manufacture the locomotive, which has seven passenger cars The train’s designer, Eiji Mitooka, has included unique Japanese features such as hinoki cypress wood and Arita porcelain basins in the bathrooms, calligraphy art work and kumiko ramma dividing screens. Master craftsmen from Kyushu produced the woodwork, pottery and art for the train.
Food served on-board is sourced from the seven prefectures of Kyushu and at each station the train stops at there are activities including visits to onsen (hot springs) and nature walks. Passengers can choose a four day and three nights train cruise, which includes one night off the train in a traditional Japanese ryokan inn, or a two days and one night train cruise. Prices start from 155,000 yen (Dh5,800) per person for the two days and one night option, which covers all rail, bus and other transportation costs, meals, sightseeing, entertainment and accommodation.
For booking details visit www.cruisetrain-sevenstars.jp/en/.
Travel company starts tours for singles
The travel company Cox &Kings n has introduced a new range of small-group t ours designed especially for people travelling alone. “Featuring many of Cox & Kings’ most popular destinations, the tours enable single travellers to explore spectacular parts of the world in style, with complete peace of mind and in the company of like-minded people,” said a spokesperson.
Cox & Kings’ Single Travellers tours start from £1,245 (Dh7,300)per person for a seven-day tour of Turkey, which stays in four and five- star accommodation throughout. The tours have no single supplements and accommodation is based on the single occupancy of twin or double rooms in hotels that offer “sensible prices for single travellers”. Every tour includes a welcome dinner to allow travellers to get to know each other, and a farewell dinner at the end. Experienced tour managers will accompany the groups throughout, supported by local guides and drivers. For more information visit www.coxandkings.co.uk/single-travellers.
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