Synonymous with luxury travel experiences, Belmond’s famed Eastern & Oriental Express train is all set to return after a four-year pandemic-related hiatus. During its time off, the train received quite the makeover, taking it from chic and sophisticated to opulent and extravagant.
A historic renovation
The Eastern & Oriental Express is a historic train that dates back to the ’90s when a British businessman named James Sherwood found and transported the carriages from Japan to Singapore for renovations. Fully transformed and decked up, the train made its first trip from Bangkok to Singapore in 1993, quickly becoming a favourite among travellers.
Since its halt during the pandemic in 2019, the train has undergone impressive renovations across the 15 carriages with traditional Malaysian details like ornate marquetry, cherry wood panelling, and lavish furnishings that give it an oomph of opulent old-world charm. The cabins on board are divided into three categories — Pullman, State and Presidential rooms.
The rooms are decorated in shades of blue and red, a perfect complement to the wooden details of the train, and are all fitted with en-suite bathrooms. The Presidential room is the superior room where guests are treated to a fruit basket, caviar, and flowers upon boarding, with free-flowing Champagne throughout the trip.
Travellers on board will be treated to fine-dining meals with two dining carriages, Adisorn and Malaya serving delectable Southeast Asian cuisine. A swanky Piano Bar and Observatory will ensure guests and entertained throughout their journey, meeting musicians, storytellers and artisans providing a memorable experience.
Singapore to Malaysia
The train will be active between February and November and will offer two new seasonal journeys from Singapore to Malaysia. The first package is called Essence of Malaysia and will begin from Woodlands station in Singapore moving towards Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi, finally halting at the island of Penang. The second package, called Wild Malaysia takes a similar albeit a more rural route, through areas of the “Jungle Railway”.
Depending on the package, guests will get to enjoy wildlife excursions in Taman Negara National Park, one of the world’s oldest tropical rainforests with hundreds of species to look at or photograph. Guests can also choose to snorkel or unwind at Pulau Payar Marine Park in Langkawi, explore some century-old UNESCO World Heritage sites in George Town, and partake in a cooking class and tea ceremony at a private hillside residence in Penang. When in Penang, meanwhile, travellers can choose any three activities to take part in which highlight the local culture.
Tickets for both itineraries start at US $3,410 per person and are inclusive of all meals, a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, onboard entertainment and other activities.