American Orient Express
United States - Deluxe Rail Journeys On Americas Premier Train
By Carl Morrison, Carl@TrainWeb.com
‘GOLDEN AGE OF RAIL’ ABOARD NORTH AMERICA’S PREMIERE, DELUXE TRAIN
Not too long ago, the Golden Age of Rail was lost to history.
Gone were the sleek, gleaming trains of the 1940s and ‘50s that
featured elegant, wood-paneled compartments, where travelers relaxed as
they watched the changing scenery from their windows. And, gone
was the camaraderie of new-found friends in the well-appointed club car
and the unique experience of fine dining with linens, china and silver
while enjoying the gentle sway of the dining car.
But that’s all changed. Today, the Golden Age of Rail flourishes
once more on the American Orient Express (AOE) – a monument to a
gentler, less hectic way of life. Aboard the AOE, travelers
return to a bygone era with all the comfort and convenience of the 21st
The 17-carriage train, restored at a cost of over $15 million, is the
picture of elegance and luxury. The stylish appointments include
polished brass in the sleeping cars, inlaid mahogany paneling in the
dining cars, and ebony, brass and leather in the club cars. A
symbol of the AOE’s commitment to providing an authentic experience,
even the tiniest details have not been overlooked. Aboard the
Seattle Club Car, an indigo ceiling reminiscent of the twilight sky is
strewn with 23-karat gold stars.
The AOE rolls into a variety of picturesque regions throughout the
United States and Mexico when landscapes are at their season’s
peak. Eight regional itineraries offer travelers a wide choice of
venues, including the opportunity on some routes to travel over tracks
that have not seen passenger trains in more than a half-century.
These tracks, called “rare mileage” by rail fans, cover some of the
most scenic wilderness areas of North America, many of them accessible
only by rail.
Much like a voyage upon a luxurious cruise ship, getting there is half
the fun. This notion also applies to an AOE rail cruise.
Bringing the new concept of “rail cruising” to life, a trip aboard the
AOE isn’t just transportation – it’s an experiential journey, with the
train serving as hotel, restaurant and entertainment all wrapped up
into one all-inclusive travel experience.
Travelers enjoy time off the train on specially organized day
excursions that explore significant historical, geological and natural
points of interest along the way. Included in the cost of the
trip, these excursions take passengers to visit many interesting sites,
including a renowned winery in California’s Napa Valley, the South Rim
of the majestic Grand Canyon National Park, or a historic, Antebellum
plantation in the South. These carefully planned land tours,
accompanied by regional tour guides, naturalists and historians, add
dimension to the core experience of traveling aboard the AOE.
Gourmet meals, featuring multiple entrée selections for
breakfast, lunch and dinner, are prepared to-order by classically
trained chefs in fully appointed galleys. Fine wines are
available in the club cars, with complimentary selections at
dinner. A pianist provides music during the cocktail hour, which
features complimentary hors d’oeuvres, as historians and lecturers
present in-depth background on the route being traveled.
AOE offers five types of traditional compartments: Vintage Pullman,
with upper and lower berths; Single Sleeper, with a lower berth; Parlor
Suite, with two lower berths and an extra upper berth (can sleep
three); Deluxe Suite, with two lower berths and a private shower; and
Presidential Suite, a double-size compartment with two lower berths and
a private shower. All cabins feature a private toilet and
washbasin, while each sleeping car offers a comfortable shower room
located down the hall. Plush terry robes are provided for
Package prices start at $1,695 per person, double occupancy and vary
according to length of trip, itinerary and compartment selection.
They include most meals, onboard accommodations, excursions,
entertainment and some nights in a hotel as necessary.
Noted for its exceptional service, outstanding cuisine, and deluxe,
vintage furnishings, AOE is North America’s only private vintage train,
operating year-round on regional, three to nine-night itineraries
throughout the United States and Mexico. AOE is owned by Oregon
Rail Holdings, LLC of Portland, Oregon. For more information and
reservations call 800-320-4206, or visit www.AmericanOrientExpress.com.