All aboard the newest travel trend of cruise trains. The oceans have monopolised the luxury cruise market for far too long. Now it is time for the railways to take a shot.

cruise trains - verdict
Credit: Izukyu Corporation


When you think of Japanese trains, your mind immediately flicks to the bullet trains — slick, speedy and super-efficient.

Grandiose, luxurious and lavish are not usually the adjectives that come to mind.

That is, until now.

Take the railroad less travelled in the lap of luxury

The Royal Express is the newest luxury train to be jointly launched by Japanese travel companies Izukyu and Tokyu.

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cruise trains - verdict
Credit: Izukyu Corporation


The striking Royal Blue, eight car train will depart from Yokohama a city around 30 minutes south of capital Tokyo and will travel the 100-mile journey down to Shimoda City at the base of the Izu Peninsula.

Tours on the Royal Express offer a variety of cabins and itineraries, just like a cruise ship.

However, even the one-way day trip will still take passengers on a three-hour journey through some of Japan’s most beautiful and understated landscapes.

This will still allow guests time to enjoy a delicious meal created by renowned chefs Chikara Yamada and Michiyo Kawano. The train also boasts a space for concerts and hired for private functions and weddings.

cruise trains - verdict
Credit: Hiroyuki Mayuzumi


The one-way trips start at £172 and are available to families with children who can ride in the family carriage. The carriage is complete with a ball pit, children’s library and extra wide seats to accommodate families sitting together.

The famed so-called Cruise Plan will start at around £930 per person, based on 4 people sharing a cabin.

Cruise Plans provide guests with a round train trip, overnight accommodation in Izu, along with spectacular sightseeing activities at the destination.

cruise trains - verdict
Credit: Don Design Associates / Via Kyodo


The train pulls off, packed with paying passengers for the first time on 1 September.

Currently, the bookings to take a spectacular trip on the Royal Express are only available through the Japanese language website.