India’s luxury Maharajas’ Express lures Americans

India’s famed Maharajas’ Express is making select stops on the US West Coast to showcase its luxurious amenities to North American travellers who want to experience Incredible India by stepping back into time.

The Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which owns and operates the luxury train is hosting special events in Los Angeles (Nov 26), San Francisco (Nov 30), and Las Vegas to showcase Maharajas’ Express, according to a media release.

Awarded ‘Best Luxury Train’ by CNBC Travel in 2010 and named 1st runner up in the Readers Choice Award for Conde Nast Traveler in 2011, the train offers a range of five incredible itineraries between the months of September and April.

“The train is designed to transport guests into a more gracious age of train travelling,” said Rakesh Kumar Tandon, managing director, IRCTC.

“Interiors suffused with nostalgia, state−of−the−art amenities, a tastefully−crafted itinerary, and impeccable hospitality enable Maharajas’ Express to present India in a way never seen before.”

Each train carries 14 guest carriages, including one truly classic presidential suite that stretches thelength of an entire carriage. Every cabin has large windows, designed so that guests can savour every bit of magnificent India.

All passenger cars come with independent, cabin−controlled air conditioning, online water filtration systems, environmentally−friendly toilets, pneumatic suspension, live television, Wi−Fi Internet, CCTV cameras, hair dryers, electronic safe deposit boxes, bath tubs in suites and the presidential suite − almost everything one could imagine to travel in luxury.

The Maharajas’ Express features two fine−dining restaurants that each seat 42 people, and everyone on board dines together. For added zest, there is an exotic Safari bar and Rajah Club, with the choicest collection of complimentary, house brand spirits. Each train comfortably fits a total of 88 passengers.

Published in: on November 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Soon, royal train journey within reach

India’s most expensive and one of the world’s most famous luxury trains is all set to go uber posh and may cost less on your pocket. Maharajas’ Express, an 84-seater train, which costs Rs 10,00,000 for a seven-day trip, is will soon get more affordable albeit with a shorter itinerary. It will now be run by the Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

The luxury train has 23 coaches, including presidential suites, with a passenger capacity of 84. It also has two fine dining restaurants and bars. All cabins have LCD TVs, wi-fi access, individual temperature control and full en-suite bathroom. There is one presidential suite, which comprises a full train car — the largest suite in a train across the world.

The royal train is likely to have a three-day itinerary, instead of seven days and the services provided onboard are also going to improve.

The train was earlier operated by Royale Indian Rail Tours Ltd, a joint-venture between Cox & Kings India Ltd and IRCTC. It featured as one of the most luxurious trains in the world in a recent list compiled by a US-based global rail travel society.

“We will be providing better onboard services and the itinerary is also expected to be shorter, making the train more accessible for people,” said a senior IRCTC official, requesting anonymity.

The IRCTC has launched a website for online bookings. “We’ll add new dimensions to luxury trains and bring down the package cost by shortening the itinerary. So, Royal India’s journey from Delhi to Mumbai and Classical India’s round-trip from Delhi with highlights, including the holy city of Varanasi, which cost around R10,00,000 is expected to come down to Rs 5 lakh,” the officer added.

Maharajas’ Express commences first Celestial India Tour

Maharajas’ Express, a pan-India super luxury train was flagged off recently by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee from Kolkata. Sultan Ahmed, Minister of State for Tourism and other ministers were also present on the occasion. The train is being operated by Royale Indian Rail Tours Ltd (RIRTL), a Joint Venture between Cox & Kings (India) Ltd and Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

As per the company release, the itineraries include the Celestial India Tour, the Classical India Tour (the Celestial India tour in the reverse with minor changes), The Princely India Tour (an eight-day itinerary that will follow the Mumbai-Vadodara-Udaipur-Jhodhpur-Bikaner-Jaipur-Ranthambore-Agra-Delhi route) and the Royal India Tour (the Princely India tour in the reverse with minor changes.

The cost per journey on the Princely India Tour and Celestial India Tour starts from USD 6,400 per person on twin-sharing basis to USD 20,000 in a Presidential Suite. The cost per journey on the Royal India Tour and Classical India Tour starts from USD 5,600 per person on twin-sharing basis to USD 17,500 in a Presidential Suite.

Rs 1 lakh a night on Maharajas’ Express

KOLKATA: Get ready to tour India like a Maharaja provided you can pay Rs 1 lakh per night. On Saturday evening, railway minister Mamata Banerjee will flag off the Maharajas’ Express from Kolkata station — the next generation Palace on Wheels.

For the next six days and seven nights, the luxury train will move towards Delhi, stopping at Gaya, Varanasi, Bandhavgarh, Khajuraho, Gwalior and Agra.

This train is a joint venture between Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and Cox and Kings India Ltd. The tour is being promoted as ‘Luxury travel like no other’ and not without reason. The Maharajas’ Express will have 88 passengers (a normal III AC coach packs in 72) living in suites fit for a prince. All food and drinks are complimentary.

The cheapest rate per person per day is a whopping US$ 800 for a Deluxe cabin. The next two slabs are US$ 900 and US$ 1,400. And the Presidential Suite comes for US$ 2,500. The operators are clearly eyeing foreign tourists.

“The initial runs are familiarisation trips for the tour operators. Once they are satisfied with the service, they will sell the idea to their clients. Remember, there is a three-month waiting period for the Palace on Wheels. This train will be much more luxurious. We are sure that it will be a very successful venture,” an official said.

Every cabin has large panoramic windows to allow tourists to get a feel of the country. All cabins have individual temperature control, LCD television sets, DVD players, direct dial telephones, internet and electronic safe-deposit box. There’s even live television on board.

IRCTC to begin advance bookings for RIRTL

The Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is gearing up to open bookings for the Royal Indian Rail Tours (RIRTL) – a joint venture between IRCTC and Cox & Kings to operate and manage the first pan-India luxury tourist train – the Maharaja Express while unveiling it at ITB Berlin. The train is scheduled to roll out towards the end of this year.

Dr Nalin Shinghal, director (Tourism & Marketing), IRCTC, said, “It is a latest state-of-the-art train with pneumatic suspensions, eco-friendly toilets and the largest cabins. Qualitatively, it will be a much better product compared to other luxury trains and we aim to compete with other international luxury trains.” IRCTC will co-market this product with Cox & Kings at ITB Berlin and open advance bookings followed by extensive campaigning for eight to nine months in focus markets of UK, USA, Russia, Australia and Japan.

For the domestic market, IRCTC will continue working on Bharat Darshan, popularly known as ‘Village on Wheels’ – an all-inclusive itinerary for Rs 500 per person per night available for various parts of the country. For the mid-market segment, which is IRCTC’s biggest market, it is tying up with ground partners across the country to offer all-inclusive packages. “We are looking at three times growth than last year with our hotels now being available on the website, launch of Ginger hotel and recently the Buddhist trail winning the National Tourism Award,” he added.

Maharajas’ Express super-luxury train unveiled at ITB Berlin

Maharajas’ Express, India’s first pan-India super luxury train, was unveiled at ITB in Berlin in the presence of Sujit Banerjee, secretary, tourism, Government of India, Rakesh Tandon, MD, IRCTC and Peter Kerkar, MD of Cox & Kings India.

The luxury train has 23 coaches with a passenger capacity of 82. It is the first luxury train that boasts of four distinct configurations. It has five deluxe carriages, six junior suite carriages, two suite carriages and one presidential suite. Dining options include two fine dining restaurants that seat 42 persons at a time, a bar, a lounge with its own bar, game tables and a club.

Got the money, ride Maharajas’ Express

MUMBAI: Maharajas’ Express, one of the world’s most expensive luxury trains, is set to chug out early next year. Priced at Rs 1,29,700 or $2,500 per person per night, this will be the most expensive super luxury train in the country and among the top four luxury trains in the world.

The Maharajas’ Express is a joint venture between Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation and Cox and Kings India Limited (CKIL) called the Royale Indian Rail Tours Ltd. The train has a total of 23 coaches with a passenger capacity of 82.

Tariffs on Maharajas’ Express follow the highest in the business including Rovos, Orient Express and Blue Train. “It would be the world’s fourth most expensive train and offer the most luxurious presidential suites available on a luxury train,” sources said.

Peter Kerkar of CKIL compared this train to the best available internationally.


The Princely India Tour:

This 7-night itinerary will follow the Mumbai-Vadodara-Udaipur-Jhodhpur-Bikaner-Jaipur-Ranthambore-Agra-Delhi route

The Royal India Tour:

This operates as the Princely India journey in the reverse with minor changes

The Classical India Tour:

This six-night trip will follow the Delhi-Agra-Gwalior-Khajuraho-Bandavgarh-Varanasi-Gaya-Kolkata route

The Celestial India Tour:

This operates as the Classical India Tour in the reverse with minor changes

The tariff plan is as follows

Deluxe Cabins |

US $800

Junior Suite |

US $900

Suite |

US $1,400

Presidential Carriage |

US $2,500

(The tariff is on a per-person per-night basis and is valid up to April 2010. The tariffs include cost of travel, accommodation, meals, all house wines/beers/ spirits and sightseeing including entrance fees, guides, tour managers and entertainment)