Luxury Trains of Central Europe

Thursday 9th May to Friday 17th May 2019
- Days


Prices from: £2595


Prague, Vienna and Budapest. Discover the Grand Imperial Cities of Central Europe in luxury rail and boat accommodation on this stunning holiday tour to Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic.


Departure Date: 09-May-2019
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You’ll travel on Europe’s most iconic trains and ships to Prague, Vienna, and Budapest, exploring the cities and the stunning landscapes around them. Privately chartered trains take you to the hills of Bohemia, the pinnacles of the Austrian Alps, the shores of Lake Balaton and across the vast plains of the Hungarian Puszta. Riding on streamlined railcars from the 1930s and 40s, including the Czech ‘Silver Arrow’ and the Austrian ’Blue Flash’, you’ll be hauled by vintage locomotives like the ever-popular NOHAB diesels in Hungary. Ornate First-Class teak-bodied coaches with deep-cushioned armchairs, including Orient Express dining cars, all add to the rich appeal of this tour. There’ll be photo stops and run pasts aplenty and ample time to sightsee historic and cultural attractions along the way, including the famous Prater Ferris Wheel in Vienna. Your tour is rounded out by convivial lunch and dinner cruises on vintage paddle steamers and historic motor yachts. So, book now to experience iconic European luxury trains, historic railcars and vintage vessels on this refined nine-day tour that costs considerably less than a two-day trip on the Orient Express!

Thursday 9th May
Arrive in Prague; city sightseeing in vintage cars
After a direct flight to Prague you book in to your elegant city centre hotel for a welcome lunch at a traditional Czech beer hall, followed by an afternoon sightseeing drive through the Old Town in a vintage car or open-top convertible. (L)

Friday 10th May
The Prague Semmering on the ‘Silver Arrow’ railcar; vintage paddle steamer dinner cruise
Today you experience a nostalgic trip on one of the most stylish semi-streamlined railcars in the world, the glamorous 1939 ‘Silver Arrow’. Recently refurbished, it’s the most exclusive railway vehicle available for private charter from Czech Railways. Your tour starts at the grand main station building from 1909 and goes over the most scenic lines around Prague, including the steeply graded, panoramic Prague Semmering, with its stone-arched viaducts and horseshoe curves. You’ll also travel over the countless railway bridges that span the River Vltava. With numerous photo stops along the way, your train winds along on photogenic routes through the hills of Central Bohemia. After lunch at a typical Czech restaurant, there’ll be free time in the afternoon for you to explore Prague. In the evening you can look forward to a relaxing dinner cruise on the genuine 1940 paddle steamer ‘Vltava’. Highlights include cruising beneath Prague Castle and through the stone arches of the Charles Bridge. (B L D)

Saturday 11th May
Steam at the Kolin Sugar Beet Railway and leisure in Prague
After breakfast you travel in First Class comfort on a Czech service train from Prague to nearby Kolin. Here an elegant and luxurious 1960s vintage coach transfers you to the attractive narrow-gauge railway at the other side of town. The 600 mm Kolin Sugar Beet Railway has been rebuilt from scratch during the past 15 years and now follows much of the originally 10.6 km long length of the former industrial railway on the same site. Lush farmland dotted with quaint villages rolls by as your privately chartered steam train travels the full length of the line, with numerous run-pasts along the way. On your return you’ll enjoy an al fresco lunch at the railway’s rebuilt station at Kolin-Sendrazice and visit the depot there. Afterwards, the coach heads into the historic Old Town of Kolin, before you are back at Kolin station, where another service train takes you the short distance to Prague. You may then spend the rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure in the capital and enjoy all the city has to offer. (B L)

Sunday 12th May
To Vienna by Railjet; Hotel Sacher, Prater Ferris Wheel & Evening Danube Cruise
This morning you journey in First Class on a comfortable direct Railjet train from Prague to the Austrian capital, Vienna. You then check into your centrally located hotel next to Vienna’s main station and nearby Belvedere Palace, before a light lunch at the famed Hotel Sacher with its world-famous namesake chocolate cake for dessert! In the afternoon you’ll experience an epic ride on the landmark Prater Ferris Wheel dating from 1897. Made famous by the legendary British film from 1949, ‘The Third Man’, this giant wheel stands next to the Wien Praterstern railway station and offers stunning views of the city centre, adjacent rail yard and the Danube. For 65 years until 1985 it was the world’s largest Ferris wheel. There’ll be time then for a short exploration of the city centre or a rest at your hotel, before you cap the day with another memorable river cruise, replete with dinner buffet. Discover the wide, languid Danube and see Vienna’s impressive skyline illuminated at dusk. (B L D)

Monday 13th May
Vintage luxury train through the Austrian Alps
Yet another tour highlight awaits today as you set off on a timeless journey to the heart of the Austrian Alps in the spectacular Admont region. Your luxury train is formed of First Class Swiss Schlieren coaches, specifically designed for running over scenic lines in the Alps. The coaches feature panoramic windows and deep-cushioned seats and your train will be hauled by an historic electric locomotive in traditional red OBB livery. You first venture west of Vienna on the line through the Wienerwald, before turning south after Amstetten. You then pass through the tranquil Gesäuse and Admont regions before travelling over some rare track to Selzthal. After reversing in Selzthal you take a different rural route via Steyr, returning to Vienna via St. Pölten, Tulln and then along the River Danube, once again covering some rare track, replete with remarkable views. (B L)

Tuesday 14th May
With ‘Blue Flash’ around Lake Neusiedl; Arrival in Budapest, Evening Dinner Cruise
After breakfast, a road coach ensures your luggage is directly transferred to the next hotel in Budapest, while another luxurious railcar awaits for your next privately chartered train ride. The stylish Austrian ‘Blue Flash’ dates from the 1950s and will take you first through the city and then over rural lines to the wine country southeast of Vienna. This includes a circular loop around Lake Neudsiedl and along the border with Hungary. You pause for photo stops along the way and to have lunch in the pretty town of Eisenstadt, famed for the Baroque Palace of Count Esterhazy. After visiting the Old Town and the Palace Grounds, you transfer directly to Budapest, arriving there in the late afternoon. Following the check-in to your centrally located hotel near the Opera House and Basilica, you can look forward to another splendid dinner cruise. This time you pass by Buda Castle and underneath the famed Chain Bridge from 1848. See for yourself why Budapest is rated one of the very best travel destinations worldwide by Condé Nast Magazine. (B L D)

Wednesday 15th May
By NOHAB over scenic bylines to Lake Balaton
The Hungarian State Railways MAV operate some of the most ornate and luxurious ‘Belle Epoque’ rolling stock in Europe. This includes plush coaches dating from the imperial Austro-Hungarian era, teak-bodied dining cars that used to run on the Orient Express and elegant compartment cars. Your train today is formed of these vintage vehicles and will be hauled by a powerful NOHAB-type diesel locomotive over some of the most scenic routes in Western Hungary, all the way to Lake Balaton. An itinerary highlight is the 70 km long secondary line from Gyor to Veszprem, framed by attractive rock-formations and unspoiled natural landscapes. Lunch will be served in your Orient Express dining car before you arrive in Veszprem for a direct coach transfer to the shores of nearby Lake Balaton, to board a traditional motor yacht. Sit back and sip a cocktail as the scenery unfolds to reveal neat orchards, rolling vineyards and steep volcanic hills. After the cruise you return to Veszprem and from there enjoy a fast run on the main line back to Budapest while dinner is served on the train. (B L D)

Thursday 16th May
By NOHAB to the Plains of the Hungarian Puszta
You depart in the morning from Budapest’s landmark Nyugati Station, built by French architect Gustave Eiffel in 1877, after a champagne reception at the Royal Waiting Room. MAV Nosztalgia has several preserved GM-designed NOHAB locomotives and today you’ll be hauled by a different Class M61 locomotive to yesterday, heading east to the great plains of the vast Hungarian Puszta. Your destination is Hortobagy National Park and there you’ll enjoy a traditional folklore demonstration, with the ‘Hungarian Cowboys’ displaying their formidable horse-riding skills. Lunch and dinner are again served in the historic dining car of the train, formed of the same luxurious coaches as yesterday. You take a grand circular route, returning to Budapest Keleti station, the other grand terminal in the city, dating from 1884. (B L D)

Friday 17th May
At leisure in Budapest; return to London
Today you have an evening flight back to London, which gives you the benefit of a full day to further explore all the wonderful delights Budapest has to offer. With museums, historic buildings, great restaurants and thermal baths among many other sights, it’s sure to be an compelling last day! (B)


Details

Price

  • Tour price £2745
  • Single supplement £295
  • Ground only (Prague – Budapest) £2595

All prices shown are per person.

Price Includes

  • Flights from London to Prague and
 Budapest to London
  • 8 nights hotel accommodation with breakfast
  • 8 lunches and 4 dinners
  • All train travel, steam charters and 
transfers as detailed in the itinerary
  • Dinner cruises
  • The services of a tour manager

Meals included each day are shown as:
B = Breakfast - L = Lunch - D = Dinner

 


Map feature coming soon!