GONE ARE the days when travel was an adventure of grand proportions, when guests promenaded on luxury liners and reclined in leather seats in wood-panelled carriages.
But now passengers can relive those days of the 'grand tour' in March next year with A Very Royal Rail and Sail cruising out of Sydney Harbour on March 9 aboard Cunard's luxurious liner Queen Elizabeth bound for Burnie in Tasmania.
Next is two nights in Melbourne, with plenty of time to explore. A highlight will be the champagne high tea on the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant as it tours the city's inner suburbs.
Another grand journey awaits with the day trip by rail back to Sydney. Travellers have exclusive use of the nostalgic gold and blue rail carriages of the Spirit of Progress, which once connected Melbourne and Sydney.
It's then all aboard the chartered heritage train The Cunarder, named after the boat trains that once took Cunard passengers from London to the docks in Southampton. It will be hauled by the 63-year-old Streamliner locomotive 4204.
The train will convey travellers to lunch at the historic Junee Railway Station in the NSW Riverina region and then on for a short stop in Goulburn before canapes on the journey back to Sydney.
The five-night Very Royal Rail and Sail, including the cruise aboard Queen Elizabeth, two nights' accommodation and high tea in Melbourne and all meals during the train journey, is from $2990 per person twin share, for an inside cabin. Bookings made by May 31 will receive a free upgrade from an inside cabin to a balcony cabin.