Railway travel packages offer Mongolian, Indian, Scottish and Asian delights.
Travel Deals: All aboard for the scenic route
Join an epic railway journey traversing three great nations on the eastbound Trans-Mongolian Express. From the riches of Moscow to historic imperial Beijing, experience one of the most famous trains in the world through the heartland of Siberia and the vast grassy steppe of Mongolia. The first stop is St Petersburg, where travellers can enjoy the State Hermitage Museum, a must-see for its huge collection of cultural treasures. The city's Baroque architecture and European atmosphere is guaranteed to inspire. After a three-day break in Moscow, enjoy long treks down the famous Trans-Siberian and Irkutsk/Trans-Mongolian railways, stopping in Irkutsk and through the grasslands of Genghis Khan to Ulaanbaatar, before Beijing. Prices for 21-day excursions start at £2,500 (Dh15,000), land-only. Contact Intrepid Travel at www.intrepidtravel.com
The Maharajas' Express
Embark on a luxurious voyage through imperial India discovering its fascinating heritage and architecture: pay tribute to the world's greatest monument to love, the legendary Taj Mahal; chase the elusive tiger in Ranthambore National Park; feel like royalty as you participate in an exhibition Elephant Polo Match followed by dinner; soak up the spectacular landscapes and heritage of Rajasthan, with its hilltop forts and palaces; discover Champaner, the medieval capital of Gujarat and the frenetic modern city of Mumbai. For the eight-day journey, deluxe twin cabins with en suite bathrooms cost US$7,160 (Dh26,300) which includes all meals and most beverages, plus butler service; guided excursions inclusive of entrance fees, domestic transport and services of a guide. International airfares are not included. Visit www.maharajas-express-india.com to book departures in October, November and December.
The Royal Scotsman
Enjoy the ultimate Royal Scotsman experience on this "Classic Journey", a four-night excursion travelling through some of the UK's finest scenery. The 1,158km journey includes visits to Dundee, Montrose, Aberdeen, Keith, Inverness, Plockton, Dalwhinnie and Perth. Optional activities include fishing, clay- pigeon shooting, golf, woodland walks and a boat trip. Those who book trips departing in September, October or April will receive a complimentary night at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh by registering online with promotion code TEB1. The trip costs $6,820 (Dh25,000) per person, including all table d'hôte meals, all beverages, all planned sightseeing excursions and accommodation on board based on two people sharing a twin compartment or one person in a single. Contact the Royal Scotsman at www.royalscotsman.com.
"Fables of the Hills" is a six-night journey through some of Asia's major sights from Singapore to Bangkok, including visits to Kuala Lumpur, the Cameron Highlands, Penang, Tham Kasae Viaduct, and the River Kwai. To celebrate the launch of its new brochure, the Chronicles of South East Asia, passengers who travel on six-night journeys receive a complimentary one-night stay at the legendary Raffles Hotel in Singapore, and the five-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, including breakfast and railway transfers. The price of a Pullman Superior/Single State cabin is $8,900 (Dh32,700) for departure in October. Visit www.orient-express.com.
Europe by rail
The specialist UK rail tour operator Great Rail Journeys has released details of its holidays for 2012. Trips include a 13-day "grand tour" of Italy departing from St Pancras International, London, by Eurostar train for dates from mid April to the end of August, taking in Rome, Florence, Lucca, and Venice. It costs from £2,375 (Dh14,345) per person based on two people sharing, with first-class rail travel between destinations and half-board hotel accommodation. Visit www.greatrail.com to book.