To raise awareness of the dwindling population of wild tigers, Belmond is partnering Save Wild Tigers to offer a six-night itinerary onboard its Eastern and Oriental Express, taking guests from Bangkok to Singapore through historic tiger territories in Malaysia and Thailand.
Launching on September 7, the Tiger Express package also includes stays at the Siam Bangkok and Raffles Singapore, as well as a guided visit to the River Kwai and a tour of Kuala Kangsar.
The Belmond-Save Wild Tigers initiative will also be supported by prominent names from different walks. Ping Coombes, MasterChef UK 2014 champion and ambassador for Save Wild Tigers, will cook up a storm for guests. Working on a themed carriage design, artist Jacky Tsai will draw on his love of pop-art combined with Chinese aesthetics to create a train design featuring the fast disappearing wild cats and Asian landscapes. The third generation of the Eastern & Oriental Express’ Art in Motion initiative will remain on the train for a year.
It is a little-known fact that tiger numbers worldwide are now at critical levels with only 3,800 left in the wild globally, on the way to extinction based on the current rates of decline, according to Save Wild Tigers.
Commenting on the return of the Tiger Express, Gary Franklin, vice president, Trains & Cruises, Belmond, said: “It is a sad fact that today there are more tigers in captivity than there are in the wild, our train travels through the heart of the historic tiger territories in Malaysia and Thailand and we are proud to lend our support to this worthwhile cause. We find that our guests are increasingly looking to give back to have an impact on the places they are visiting in a bid to travel more consciously.”
Simon Clinton, founder, Save Wild Tigers, added: “With potentially as few as 10 years left to save this iconic species from extinction, the clock really is ticking… Wild tigers are being hunted for their skins, bones and parts by the illegal poaching trade. The illegal trade in endangered species is worth around £12 billion (US$15.7 billion) every year. Additionally, the tigers’ natural habitat is being decimated by greedy developers, which increases the risk of human/animal conflict points.
“Our mission is to raise awareness levels, targeting the public and all related stakeholders, while providing urgent and ongoing financial support for tiger conservation in a bid to combat and reverse the increasing threat of extinction that wild tigers face.”
Prices start from £3,724 per person based on two people sharing a twin cabin and including all table d’hote meals, one night accommodation at Siam Bangkok, one night accommodation at Raffles Singapore, three nights on board the train with excursions and transfers. Up to 20 per cent of ticket prices for this journey will go directly to Save Wild Tigers.