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E&O train resumes trips to Malaysia

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SINGAPORE, 13 July 2023: After a long hiatus, The Eastern & Oriental Express, A Belmond Train Southeast Asia, will return to the rails in February 2024.

The train will launch two new seasonal journeys departing from Singapore’s Woodlands Train station, located close to the causeway border checkpoint with Malaysia. The train takes just five minutes to merge with Malaysia’s rail track, where the journey begins in earnest.

The iconic train’s 15 dark green carriages travel north from the causeway to destinations on two distinct journeys; the Essence of Malaysia (November to February) and Wild Malaysia (March to October). Scheduled months for both trips are determined by the prevailing monsoon seasons.

The Essence of Malaysia: Gateway to Malay Culture

The Essence of Malaysia is a three-night journey on the western side of Malaysia that visits Penang and Langkawi before returning to the Woodlands Train Station in North Singapore. The inaugural trip is scheduled for February 2024 with a lead-in price of USD3,750 per person, according to the E&O website. There are just two departures in February 2024. (Then it’s the end of the season for this particular train journey. It returns on 4 November 2024 for a full season up to February 2025).

The train travels north via Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi and finally to Penang. Guests disembark in Alor Setar and join a private cruise to Langkawi. For the first time, the Eastern & Oriental Express will offer guests the chance to explore the marine life that populates the Pulau Payar Marine Park, Langkawi’s prime snorkelling spot.

The third day is dedicated to discovering Penang, a multicultural island whose capital, George Town, boasts century-old UNESCO World Heritage sites, lively street art and street food markets.

Guests can visit cultural highlights such as local art galleries and ancient temples in George Town’s Old Quarter, shop in the local markets and partake in an authentic Peranakan cooking class in a private hillside residence before rejoining the train and travelling south towards Singapore. Trips begin on a Monday and end on a Thursday.

Wild Malaysia: Exploring sights unseen

A brand new destination for the Eastern & Oriental Express, the Wild Malaysia itinerary covers the untouched areas surrounding the ‘Jungle Railway’ towards the eastern side of the Malay peninsula. The trips power up in early March 2024 and end in October 2024. The first departure is 4 March and flags a lead-in fare of USD3,758. Other departures in March are priced at USD3,410. There are four Monday departures scheduled per month.

The signature experience is the visit to the Taman Negara National Park. Devised in collaboration with a global tiger conservation organisation, Save Wild Tigers, explore one of the oldest tropical rainforests in the world, home to hundreds of species such as tigers, leopards, and Sumatran rhinos. Here, guests can embark on various excursions: from learning about safeguarding the Malayan Tiger to a one-of-a-kind photography masterclass and a foraging experience in the jungle.

On day three, guests travel to the west side to visit Penang to explore the island’s artistic, culinary and historical heritage before returning on the train for their last night, travelling south to Woodlands Singapore. Trips begin on a Monday and end on a Thursday.

Restyling an icon

The Eastern & Oriental will return to the rails with 15 restyled carriages, including eight sleeping cars, two restaurant cars, a Piano Bar Car and the iconic open-air Observation Car. Three different cabin categories – Pullman, State and Presidential- are all air-conditioned with private bathrooms.

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