The Golden Age of Travel: A ride on Sri Lanka’s luxury tea train
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Named “one of the world’s most scenic train rides” by Lonely Planet, the railway lines that stretch out across Sri Lanka’s highlands were originally built to transport coffee across the island’s most treacherous terrain. Following both the coffee blight and the birth of the tea cultivation in Sri Lanka, the railway system became intrinsically entwined with the tea industry, facilitating the transportation of both labor and produce across these mountainous regions. The railway system remains much the same today, with one main line running right the way from Colombo through to major destinations such as Kandy, Hatton, Nuwara Eliya, Ella and finally Badulla – a ten hour trip in total, stopping at every station along the way. Teetering on the top of tea-coated mountains, the daily scheduled trains weave their way slowly through some of Sri Lanka’s finest landscape, offering breathtaking views that you just won’t see from the road. The luxurious Viceroy carriage only runs during the peak season months of December and August, but it offers a chance to step back in time to the days of the British Raj. Expect wooden paneling, butler service, a well-stocked bar, and hearty Sri Lankan dining along with scenery that will take your breath away. A ride on the Viceroy is a step back into the golden age of travel.
EXPERIENCE DESCRIPTION: Experience timeless colonial charm on the most luxurious train carriage in the country. You’ll be warmly greeted as you enter the carriage and you will be shown to your seat by the concierge. Dressed to the nines in vintage décor, the carriage includes a lounge area, a bar, a toilet and plush upholstered seating with plenty of leg space and room to move around. Tea will be served at eleven and a Sri Lankan-style lunch will be given at around 1pm. Take the time to savor the surrounding scenery as the train slowly chugs through one of the world’s most scenic rail routes.
includes: train tickets, lunch, snacks, water
excludes: alcohol or soft drinks purchased at the bar
Timings: Timings depend on which leg of the journey you decide to take. Your travel consultant will advise you on this.
duration: Speak with your travel consultant regarding the duration of your chosen trip.
suitable for children: Yes, absolutely!
Important to know: The Viceroy is a carriage that attaches to the regular scheduled train. Trains can often be delayed in Sri Lanka, so it’s best to be aware that you might not always arrive on time. This train only operates in August and December, although the entire carriage can be rented out for larger groups at any time of year.
what to wear or bring along: There is no need to take any specific clothing.
private or not? This experience is not private, however the Viceroy carriage can be rented out for private functions if you are traveling with a large group. Your travel consultant can advise you on this.