Richard Branson's Brightline Train, which will soon be renamed Virgin Trains USA, is due to extend service to Orlando. To kick off the new route, Brightline will debut the Havana Special Rum Train rides, available on select dates from June 14 to 29.
Brightline, an express inter-city rail system, is owned and operated by Fortress Investment Group, with Virgin Group providing branding rights. Virgin Trains USA operates service between Miami and West Palm Beach with a single stop at Fort Lauderdale. The company, which is the only privately owned and operated intercity passenger railroad in the US, recently decided to extend its Miami to West Palm Beach route to Orlando.
The rum rides, which celebrate the historic ties between Miami and Cuba, will feature experts from rum distilleries, musical entertainment, and historical narrators that will provide passengers with information about both destinations. “Told through the lens of the railroad (which played a critical role in the development of Miami) and highlighting the future of South Florida rail travel via Brightline, the Havana Special Rum Train will transport passengers back to a golden era paired with premium rail travel,” reps for Brightline said in a statement.
The boozy rum ride experience will last roughly two and a half hours. An hour before departure, guests who arrive at Virgin Miami Central will have access to a private lounge, where they can enjoy a rum cocktail and Cuban-themed hors d’oeuvres before the hour-and-a-half train ride. Once aboard the train, passengers can partake in three rum tastings, sip two rum cocktails, and sample a dessert shooter while learning about the rum-making process and the link between Cuba, the railroad, and Miami.
The Havana Special Rum Train is understandably only for adults ages 21 and up. Tickets can be purchased on therumtrain.com or by phone at 770-516-3836 and cost $125 per person or $140 for table seats, which are available in groups of two or four. Brightline also plans to launch tasting trains for wines, whiskeys, and other spirits as well.
The Orlando station will be part of the new Orlando International Airport Intermodal Terminal at Orlando International Airport. There are plans to extend the Orlando SunRail commuter rail to the airport that would connect at the terminal. Before Virgin Trains arrive at Orlando Airport, they have also established a station at Walt Disney World.