Three ways to travel in style

By land, sea and air, Chris Carter looks at the poshest, most exclusive ways to get around.


The Grand Hibernian: a country house on wheels
(Image credit: Copyright © Richard James Taylor.)

By land

Ireland's Belmond Grand Hibernian luxury train is from the same stable as the Royal Scotsman and Europe's Venice Simplon Orient-Express. So travelling onboard is a "polished affair", says Andrew Eames in the Financial Times.

Its handsome exterior, silver-roofed and liveried in midnight blue, betrays a family resemblance to the Venice Simplon, and its onboard philosophy of being a country house hotel on wheels makes it a close cousin of the Royal Scotsman.

"Its interiors of muted walnut and greys, soft furnishings of restrained tartan and the Donegal tweed uniforms of its crew all have a contemporary elegance." The traditional Celtic knot has been "reinterpreted" in the carpets, curtains and ceilings, "turning discreet cartwheels underfoot and overhead", while modern Irish art hangs on the walls of the en-suite cabins. There are two dining carriages, but the "social centre" is to be found in Kildare, the name of the bar at the back of the train, which has a large rear-view window for admiring the view.

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A six-night grand tour of Ireland with Belmond costs from 8,108 per person.


(Image credit: Graham Copeland 2016)

By sea

The Seven Seas Explorer is the most exclusive address at sea. The cruise liner was christened this summer by Princess Charlene of Monaco and the ship's owner, Regent, claims it is the "most luxurious ship ever built", a proclamation it has gone so far as to trademark, says Teresa Machan in The Daily Telegraph, who clambered aboard in July for a five-night cruise from Barcelona to Monte Carlo.

The Explorer doesn't come cheap. No expense has been spared on the "inventively glamorous restaurants, statement suites and luxe interiors". You will even find a Picasso or two adorning the entrance to the Regent Suite, which features a balcony that loops around the front of the ship. It even has its own therapy room with ocean-view shower, a steam room and a sauna.

A ten-night cruise in the Regent Suite will set you back £27,509.


By air

From next September Crystal Cruises are taking to the skies as Crystal AirCruises. By then, a Boeing 777-200LR will have been fitted out with seats in which you can lie flat, dining tables, divans and a bar, with room for 84 guests. Its maiden voyage will be from New York to Los Angeles via Chicago, before venturing on to Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok, and Paris, and then back to New York all within a month.

When not in the air, guests will stay in luxury hotels along the way. Crystal is reportedly planning themed flight cruises, featuring Michelin-starred chefs, says Laura Chubb in The Independent. Cabaret acts are unlikely to feature, but still, there's no fear of getting bored. There will be a "sophisticated entertainment system", according to Crystal, along with 24-inch screens and Apple iPads. At $159,000 per guest for the inaugural voyage, however, a flight doesn't come cheap.

Bookings are available from this week.

A penthouse in the sky

What is the height of luxury? About 30,000 feet. That's if you were to find yourself aboard the Dream Jet a cross between a £250m Boeing 787 Dreamliner and a private jet. The Dreamliner's 335 passenger seats have been stripped out to provide 6,500 square feet of luxury accommodation for up to 40 guests. There's a master bedroom with an en-suite oversized shower, a soundproof living area with state-of- the-art entertainment systems, dining and conference tables, and 16 convertible day beds.

The Dream Jet, commissioned by an anonymous Asian businessman, and designed by Kestrel Aviation and Parisian yacht aircraft design specialists Pierrejean Design, features hardwood trimmings, silk-accented carpets and tablets with which to control everything from lamps to music to the shades on the windows. There's no word on how much it would cost to charter this penthouse in the sky, says the MailOnline's Annabel Fenwick. Suffice it to say, "the figure will be eye-watering".

Chris Carter

Chris Carter spent three glorious years reading English literature on the beautiful Welsh coast at Aberystwyth University. Graduating in 2005, he left for the University of York to specialise in Renaissance literature for his MA, before returning to his native Twickenham, in southwest London. He joined a Richmond-based recruitment company, where he worked with several clients, including the Queen’s bank, Coutts, as well as the super luxury, Dorchester-owned Coworth Park country house hotel, near Ascot in Berkshire.

Then, in 2011, Chris joined MoneyWeek. Initially working as part of the website production team, Chris soon rose to the lofty heights of wealth editor, overseeing MoneyWeek’s Spending It lifestyle section. Chris travels the globe in pursuit of his work, soaking up the local culture and sampling the very finest in cuisine, hotels and resorts for the magazine’s discerning readership. He also enjoys writing his fortnightly page on collectables, delving into the fascinating world of auctions and art, classic cars, coins, watches, wine and whisky investing.

You can follow Chris on Instagram.