Luxe Locomotive: Asia's Eastern Oriental Express All Set To Return

After a pandemic-induced four-year hiatus, the ultra luxury train is getting back on track next year in Southeast Asia
The Eastern Oriental Express
The Eastern Oriental ExpressShutterstock

Luxury train travel enthusiasts, mark your calendars for a remarkable event in 2024. After a hiatus of four years, the Eastern and Oriental Express is all set to make a grand comeback, offering travellers an unparalleled journey in opulent luxury. This iconic train service will unveil two new routes, traversing from Singapore to Malaysia, marking its official return to Southeast Asia after the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Luxe On Wheels

The Eastern and Oriental Express, renowned as one of Asia's most extravagant trains, will return with a rejuvenated look and enhanced onboard experiences. The train's signature dark green exterior will remain a symbol of luxury and sophistication, while the interiors will receive a splendid makeover.

Expect to be mesmerised by the intricate marquetry, exquisite Malaysian embroidery, and lavish oriental silks that adorn the train's cars. The choice of cherry wood panelling further enhances the ambience, creating an aura of timeless elegance.

The train will comprise eight sleeping cars, two restaurant cars, a Piano Bar car, and an open-air Observation Car. Each car is a testament to exquisite craftsmanship and design, ensuring passengers experience the epitome of luxury throughout their journey.

Each car is a testament to exquisite craftsmanship and design
Each car is a testament to exquisite craftsmanship and designShutterstock

Luxurious Cabins

The Eastern and Oriental Express offers three distinct cabin categories, each meticulously designed to cater to the desires of discerning travellers.

Pullman Cabins: Inspired by the radiance of Kuala Lumpur, these cabins feature red sofas, blue cushions, and drapery that reflect the city's dramatic skies. The design evokes a sense of warmth and comfort, creating a haven for passengers to unwind and enjoy the scenic views.

State Cabins: These cabins draw inspiration from Penang's vibrant marine life, boasting a bright blue and green colour palette. Passengers will feel like they are embarking on a journey beneath the sea, surrounded by marine hues and oceanic motifs.

Presidential Cabins: For those seeking the pinnacle of opulence, the presidential cabins offer a taste of regional splendour. Decked out in rich gold tones and embroidered pieces, these cabins radiate luxury and elegance.

These cabins radiate luxury
These cabins radiate luxuryShutterstock

The Journey

Operated by Belmond, the Eastern and Oriental Express will introduce two seasonal journeys starting in February 2024.

Essence of Malaysia (November to February): This three-night journey takes passengers on a spellbinding adventure from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, and the colourful island of Penang. You can indulge in the train's luxurious offerings as you journey through stunning landscapes. Upon reaching Alor Setar, travellers embark on a private cruise to Langkawi. Here, snorkelling at the Pulau Payar Marine Park promises unforgettable underwater experiences. The journey continues with explorations of Penang's cultural and culinary treasures, including art galleries, ancient temples, local markets, and Peranakan cooking classes.

Taman Negara National Park in Malaysia
Taman Negara National Park in MalaysiaShutterstock

Wild Malaysia (March to October): For adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts, this itinerary explores the untamed regions along the 'Jungle Railway' on the peninsula's eastern side. It also includes a visit to the Taman Negara National Park, a collaboration with the conservation organisation Save Wild Tigers. Travellers will have the chance to learn about protecting the Malayan Tiger, enjoy a photography masterclass, forage in the jungle, and encounter diverse wildlife. The journey concludes with explorations of Penang's art, history, and culinary delights.

The Cost

Both the 'Essence of Malaysia' and 'Wild Malaysia' itineraries, spanning three nights, start at USD 3,410 (INR 2,83,472) per person for the Pullman cabin. You can find more information here.

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