Some Foreign Lines
A Hotel on Wheels: Francisco de Goya
Route: Paris to Madrid
Duration: 13 hours, 30 minutes
Leave Paris in the evening, enjoy a three-course dinner and the increasingly rural scenery, slumber to the soothing rhythm of the rails, and wake the next day as you arrive in Madrid, rested and ready to tour the third-most-populous city in the European Union. Grand class includes a welcome drink, gourmet dinner, breakfast, and an in-room bathroom with shower.
Reliving the Age of Chivalry: The Castles of Britain
Route: Inverness, Scotland, to Gwynedd, Wales
Duration: 15 days
Discover the United Kingdom’s historic fortresses on this itinerary combining a two-week BritRail pass with the Great British Heritage pass. You’ll get entry to 580 attractions, as you hop off for local touring. Start in Inverness, Scotland, near Loch Ness, to tour Urquhart Castle. Continue south to Stirling Bridge, where William Wallace triumphed over the English in 1297, and on to Edinburgh Castle. English sights include Dover Castle, with its wartime tunnels. In Gwynedd, Wales, tour Caernarfon Castle, a World Heritage site where the investiture of Prince Charles was held.
The Epic Journey: Trans-Siberian Railway
Route: Moscow to Vladivostok, Russia
Duration: 19 days
This fabled route, an icon of Russian culture, crosses eight time zones to connect the Russian capital with a port on the Pacific Ocean. On board, poor mingle with rich, young with old, foreigners with locals. Social barriers disappear as passengers share a unique rail experience and shots of $3-a-liter vodka. You can book a private car via a tour operator for added comfort; schedule any number of side excursions from trekking and scuba diving to city tours.