A new luxury train itinerary has us dreaming of the Orient Express. "Jewels of Persia," on Golden Eagle’s Danube Express, will run from Budapest to Tehran, beginning in October.
And while Orient Express trains could transport passengers from London to Baghdad in eight days, the Danube Express will take its time, covering a far shorter route in almost double the time.
For fifteen days, passengers will traverse Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and, finally, Iran, ending in Tehran after a southern loop to the famed southern city of Shiraz. Along the way, they'll visit four UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Transylvania's Sighișoara and the ruins of Persepolis in Iran.
The twelve-car train has two dining cars and a bar car, and passenger cars have ensuite sleeper cabins with dark wood paneling, convertible beds, and, of course, huge windows.
Not one for the faint of heart—the US has a travel warning to Iran—or of wallet, the Jewels of Persia starts at around $15,000 per person. Included in the rates are all meals (with beverages at lunch and dinner), excursions, hotel stays (there are two nights in Istanbul’s Pera Palace), and gratuities.
For more information, visit Golden Eagle’s website.
Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure and a member of the Trip Doctor news team. You can find him on Twitter at @pschles08.