South American Trains Strike Gold, says The Society of International Railway Travelers®

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South America’s first overnight luxury train, the Belmond Andean Explorer, and Ecuador’s plucky day train, the Tren Crucero, are the newest members of a select club: the Society's World’s Top 25 Trains®.

"Both trains boast fantastic open-air decks...and caring, competent, polished service."

That’s the word from Owen & Eleanor Hardy, co-owners of The Society of International Railway Travelers®, the world’s oldest travel agency specializing in luxury train travel.

“We were expecting the Belmond Andean Explorer to earn our seal of approval,” said Mr. Hardy, Founder & CEO. “Instead, it absolutely knocked our socks off.”

The Hardys praised the train’s “outstanding chef, warm and professional on-board staff and excellent guides.”

They also praised the train’s amazing outings, lovely décor and spectacular scenery.

“We didn’t know what to expect of the Tren Crucero,” Hardy continued. “But we were thrilled with what we found.

"Its dedicated staff, seamless operation, and fascinating itinerary” — plus the bright, red day train itself, occasionally hauled by a mighty steam engine, put the train over the top.

Both trains boast fantastic open-air decks in the rear lounge car, great for viewing the incredible Andes scenery. Caring, competent and polished service are additional attributes both trains enjoy.

In other respects, the two trains are quite different. The Belmond Andean Explorer is a classic overnight luxury train, offering lavish meals in its two dining cars. Passengers have a variety of sleeping options – from bunk beds to posh suites taking up to a third of a train car.

The Tren Crucero serves tasty food in its dining car. But passengers take most meals – and spend the night — off-train at historic haciendas or hotels. In addition, the Ecuadorian train just announced “Tren Crucero Gold,” a luxury-class option for especially discerning travelers.

The two South American deluxe trains enjoy their new “Top 25” status with such luxury rail legends as Europe’s Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, The Pride of Africa, and the Golden Eagle, which operates in Russia and Central Asia.

For more information, or to book a tour including any of “The World’s Top 25 Trains,” call (800) 478-4881 or (502) 897-1725; email tourdesk(at), or go to the Society website:

The World’s Top 25 Trains®
1. The Pride of Africa-Rovos Rail (Africa)
2. The Blue Train (Africa)
3. Cruise Train Seven Stars in Kyushu (Asia)
4. Eastern & Oriental Express (Asia)
5. Maharajas’ Express (Asia)
6. Shangri-La Express (Asia)
7. Deccan Odyssey (Asia)
8. Golden Eagle (Europe, Asia)
9. Belmond Royal Scotsman (Europe)
10. Belmond Grand Hibernian (Europe)
11. Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (Europe)
12. Belmond British Pullman (Europe)
13. Al Andalus Express (Europe)
14. El Transcantábrico (Europe)
15. Golden Eagle Danube Express (Europe)
16. Glacier Express (Europe)
17. Bernina Express (Europe)
18. Golden Pass Panoramic Express (Europe)
19. Canadian (North America)
20. Rocky Mountaineer (North America)
21. Belmond Hiram Bingham (South America)
22. Belmond Andean Explorer (South America)
23. Tren Crucero (South America)
24. Indian Pacific (Australia)
25. Ghan (Australia)

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Eleanor Hardy
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