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Epic 53-day round-the-world train journey launched

26/03/2014 Lizzie Porter
Terracotta Warriors at the Terracotta Warrior Museum on the outskirts of Xian, in China's northwest Shaanxi province. © AFP Terracotta Warriors at the Terracotta Warrior Museum on the outskirts of Xian, in China's northwest Shaanxi province.

It's 27 days shorter than Phileas Fogg's round-the-world attempt in Jules Verne's classic adventure novel, Around the World in 80 Days, but still offers train lovers a rail trip of a lifetime.

Beginning and ending in London, Great Rail Journeys' 53-day escorted trip, which launches next year, covers sites including Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon, Xi'an and the Terracotta Army, and the steppes of the Gobi desert. Trains included on the trip include the Tsar's Gold Private Train from Mongolia, the Venice Simplon Orient-Express and the British Orient Express Pullman.

The price for the trip, which departs on May 18, 2015, is from £21,995 per person ($A39,711, with a single room rate of £26,345, or $A47,565). That works out at £415 ($A749) per day, and the price includes four- and five-star accommodation throughout, all air and rail travel, most meals and the services of a tour manager.

Off-train excursions include a flight over the Grand Canyon and a visit to the Great Wall of China.

Alex Roberts, sales and marketing director for Great Rail Journeys, said: “Our ultimate 53 day round-the-world tour is perfect for the traveller seeking the ultimate experience, or the kind of person who really wants to experience circumnavigating the world... in fantastic luxury and enjoying some of the world's best rail travel along the way."

The full Great Rail Journeys's 53-day itinerary, going from Britain to the USA, China, and Russia before returning to Europe and finally London, is outlined below.

Great Rail Journeys is not the only tour operator offering such epic rail trips. Ffestiniog Travel, another specialist rail operator, is offering a 40-day around the world tour to celebrate its 40th anniversary. The escorted tour departs on May 3 this year. Highlights of the trip, which is slightly cheaper at £19,695 per person ($A35,557, with a single supplement of £3,640, or $A6,572), include travel on the Trans-Siberian Express to Beijing, and accommodation in a traditional Mongolian ger. The price includes first class rail tickets whenever possible, and travel on other popular trains such as the Rocky Mountaineer and The Canadian. The company offers passengers the option to “dip in and out” of the trip at points in the route, and additional onward journeys can be added post the extended tour.

Great Rail Journeys's 53-day itinerary in full:

Day 1 - London to New York

Day 2 - Sightseeing in New York

Day 3 - At leisure in New York

Days 4-5 - New York to Washington DC

Day 6 - Through the Midwest to Chicago

Day 7 - Exploring Chicago

Day 8 - Chicago to Denver

Day 9 - Denver

Day 10 - Royal Gorge Railroad

Day 11 - Through the Rockies

Days 12-13 - The Durango & Silverton Railroad & at leisure

Days 14 - Monument Valley

Day 15 - At leisure in Flagstaff

Day 16 - The Grand Canyon Railway

Days 17-18 - At leisure on the South Rim and to Los Angeles

Day 19 – Los Angeles, Hollywood and RMS Queen Mary

Day 20 - The Coast Starlight to San Francisco

Days 21-22 - Sightseeing in San Francisco

Days 23-24 - San Francisco to Shanghai

Day 25 - Exploring Shanghai and to Xi'an

Day 26 - Xi'an and the Terracotta Warriors

Day 28 - The Great Wall of China

Day 29 - Sightseeing in Beijing

Days 30-31 - Beijing to Mongolia through the Gobi Desert

Days 32-33 - Ulaanbaatar, Gandan Monastery and the Mongolian Alps

Day 34 - Ulan Ude

Day 35 - Lake Baikal

Day 36 - Irkutsk

Day 37 - Across Siberia

Day 38 - Novosibersk

Day 39 - Yekaterinburg

Day 40 - Kazan

Days 41-43 - Moscow

Day 44 - Warsaw

Days 45-46 - Prague

Days 47-48 - Vienna

Days 49-50 - To Innsbruck and Venice

Day 51 - Sightseeing in Venice

Days 52-53 - The Venice-Simplon Orient Express

The Telegraph, London

The Grand Canyon in Arizona. © Provided by The Age The Grand Canyon in Arizona. 26 April 2007, Belorussky Station, Moscow. Opening of Golden Eagle Trans Siberian Express train that travels between Moscow and Vladivostok. Photograph supplied. SHD TRAVEL JUNE 3 TRANS SIBERIAN © Provided by The Age 26 April 2007, Belorussky Station, Moscow. Opening of Golden Eagle Trans Siberian Express train that travels between Moscow and Vladivostok. Photograph supplied. SHD TRAVEL JUNE 3 TRANS SIBERIAN
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