Spring in Saxony, Bohemia and Berlin

Tuesday 23rd April to Sunday 5th May 2019
13 - Days


Prices from: £1625


Discover Eastern Germany and the Czech Republic by train and boat on this exhilarating steam tour to Saxony, Bohemia and Berlin.


Departure Date: 23-Apr-2019
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Centred around the historic cities of Leipzig, Dresden, Görlitz and Berlin, you’ll travel steam-hauled on many of Saxony’s famous narrow-gauge lines as well as experience the thrill of main line steam in North Bohemia. Tour highlights include travel over the re-opened section of the Weisseritztalbahn from Dippoldiswalde to Kipsdorf and private charters at the Muskau Forest and Mansfeld Railways. At the Lössnitzgrundbahn a mighty 2-10-2 tank engine will haul you past vineyards and the famed Moritzburg Castle, while the spectacular river landscapes and steamboats of Saxony are sure to impress. Complimentary public transport rover tickets issued in Dresden and Berlin give you the ultimate freedom to explore the local tramways, architecture and cuisine of these famed destinations. With ample photo opportunities and staged run-pasts provided, against a heady backdrop of towering mountains, wild forests and impressive castles, be sure to book early for your place on this once-in-a-lifetime touring holiday.

Tuesday 23rd April
London to Leipzig
You travel from London St Pancras via Brussels and Frankfurt to Leipzig, including the new Erfurt to Leipzig high speed line in Central Germany. On arrival in Saxony’s largest city, you check in to your 4-star city centre hotel.

Wednesday 24th April
Steam at the Mansfelder mining railway; Wippra branch line excursion
Today you visit the 11 km Mansfelder narrow-gauge mining railway, just northwest of Leipzig, for a private charter hauled by an 0-8-0 steam locomotive. Numerous run-pasts will be staged, including a stop at Hettstedt terminus by the landmark clock tower. The return to Benndorf also features plenty of photo stops, before you lunch at the historic 1876 station building and visit the locomotive works. Afterwards you’ll enjoy a vintage diesel railcar trip over the scenic 20 km standard gauge branch line to Wippra, including the breath-taking run over Mansfeld Viaduct. Later you return to your Leipzig hotel by coach before a buffet dinner at the magnificent 1842 Bayerischer Bahnhof, one of the oldest preserved stations in Germany. (B L D)

Thursday 25th April
On to Dresden and steam at the Dresden Park Railway
After breakfast you take a DB IC from Leipzig to Dresden, Saxony’s provincial capital. After checking into your centrally located 4-star hotel opposite the station, you’ll have free time to explore the city centre before visiting the magnificent Dresden Park Railway, Germany’s longest and premier 15 inch (381mm) railway. You’ll be hauled by a 4-6-2 Pacific locomotive over the impressive 5.6 km long circuit through the formidable Baroque-style ‘Großer Garten’. Run-pasts and photo opportunities again feature before you visit the locomotive depot. Afterwards you can use your complimentary public transport rover ticket to see more sights or explore Dresden’s vast tram network. (B)

Friday 26th April
Vintage Monorail in Loschwitz; Steam to Radeburg with a Saxon VII K locomotive
After a tram transfer this morning you have rides on both the unique ‘dingle dangle’ style 1901 mountain monorail in Loschwitz, overlooking the River Elbe, and the adjacent 1895 funicular. Then you visit the local narrow-gauge railway at Radebeul, where a mighty 2-10-2 Saxon VII K tank locomotive takes you down the 16.5 km long line to Radeburg, stopping at the famed Moritzburg Castle en route. Running through busy streets, and past serene ponds and local vineyards, you pause for photos at the terminus. Eventually, the train returns to Radebeul, from where you return to Dresden on a DB service train with the evening free to explore the city at leisure using your public transport rover ticket. (B)

Saturday 27th April
Leisure in Dresden and steam at the at the Weisseritz Valley Railway
After some late morning sightseeing today, you have an afternoon excursion to one of Saxony’s most impressive narrow-gauge railways, the re-opened Weisseritz Valley Railway. You’ll be steam-hauled through Saxony’s ‘canyon landscape’ from Freital-Hainsberg via Dippoldiswalde to Kurort Kipsdorf, along the powerfully running River Weisseritz and past craggy cliffs, narrow bridges and glistening lakes. Enjoy the panoramic views from the vantage point of your open-top observation car. You return to Dresden in the early evening, to again enjoy and explore the city at leisure. (B)

Sunday 28th April
Paddle Steamer Cruise on the River Elbe through Saxon Switzerland
After a free morning you’ll explore Saxony by water on an authentic late nineteenth-century paddle steamer, replete with oscillating steam engine. You cruise from Königstein in the heart of Saxon Switzerland through the national park and past hilltop fortresses, quaint villages and historic churches. Back in Dresden, you steam past the ornate castle at Pillnitz, former summer residence of the Saxon kings, before passing under the ‘Blue Wonder’ cantilever bridge. The city’s famed ‘Canaletto’ panorama unfolds with the rebuilt Frauenkirche cathedral, Academy of Arts and the Baroque Chateau overlooking the river. Your evening is again free for exploration of the city sights, restaurants and bars. (B)

Monday 29th April
Steam at the Muskau Forest Railway and Pückler Park Visit
Today an exciting private steam charter trip awaits on the little known 600mm gauge Muskau Forest Railway near the Polish frontier, covering all three branch lines from its base in Weisswasser. This includes the recent 3 km extension to Schwerer Berg, along the edge of one of the world’s largest lignite mining areas and its unique ‘moon’ landscape. Arriving at the spa town of Bad Muskau, with its charming local chateau and the engaging UNESCO World Heritage Pückler Park, there’ll be plenty of time to sightsee or stroll across the River Neisse to Poland. You continue to the fascinating city of Görlitz in late afternoon, a popular location for Hollywood film productions. A buffet dinner will be served at your hotel in Görlitz this evening. (B L D)

Tuesday 30th April
Main line steam in the Czech Republic
Today you’ll discover the scenic secondary lines of North Bohemia on a privately chartered main line steam train from Turnov station in the Czech Republic, hauled by the ornate 1913 tank engine 310.0134 ‘Coffee Mill’. Your journey starts in the shadow of Mount Jested and proceeds to Liberec, before continuing over the spectacular, stone-arched Novina Viaduct to Ceska Lipa. You return on a different line to Turnov via Bakov nad Jizerou, completing a large circular route past imposing hilltop castles, bizarre sandstone rock formations and dense pine forests. Lunch will be served in the buffet car, while several photo stops will be staged. You return to Görlitz in early evening in time for a delicious dinner at your hotel. (B L D)

Wednesday 1st May
Steam in Zittau
Another narrow-gauge highlight awaits today on the Zittau steam railway in Saxony, in the south easternmost corner of Germany along the frontier with Poland and the Czech Republic. From the quaint city of Zittau the 12.2 km branch line proceeds to the resort town of Kurort Oybin, sited among picturesque hills and impressive rock formations. There’s also a short 3.8 km long stub from the junction station of Bertsdorf to Kurort Jonsdorf to enjoy. You’ll receive a day-long rover ticket to explore both lines and film the exciting double departure from Bertsdorf. Impressive 2-10-2 tank engines run every day on the Zittau network with normally two or three in steam. In the evening you return by service train to Görlitz, crossing twice into Poland. A buffet dinner will be served at your hotel tonight. (B D)

Thursday 2nd Mary
Sightseeing in Görlitz and on to Berlin
After leisure time in the preserved Old Town of Görlitz, you cross the pedestrian bridge over the River Neisse to the sister-city of Zgorzelec, Poland, for fine views of Görlitz’s landmark cathedral towering right over the river. After a light lunch in an historic brew house, you can either transfer to Berlin collectively by coach or individually by train, in the latter case changing in Cottbus. In late afternoon you check into your hotel in the historic heart of West Berlin, near its landmark Memorial Church and close to Berlin Zoo station. You’ll spend the next three nights here and receive a complimentary Berlin Travel Card for travel on all public transport vehicles, with free or discounted admission to a number of attractions. You then have the whole evening to start exploring this fine city. (B)

Friday 3rd May April
Scenic Cruise in Potsdam, at leisure in Potsdam and Berlin
After breakfast you take the DB double-decker from Berlin Zoo station to nearby Potsdam, for a private charter on the local lakes and rivers, cruising past historic sites such as the Cecilienhof Place and the famed ‘Bridge of Spies’. Your ship is a refined 1920s vessel, and late morning coffee and cake will be served on board while you enjoy the city views. Afterwards you’ll visit the historic centre of Potsdam, with its elegant pedestrianized streets, Dutch Quarter, Russian district and UNESCO-designated Sanssouci Park. On returning to Berlin there’ll be more free time to explore. (B L)

Saturday 4th May
Berlin Technical Museum and at leisure in Berlin
Today is devoted to sightseeing in Berlin, with the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate and the Museum Island just some of the world-famous landmarks to visit. Admission to the Museum of Technology to view the steam exhibits there is also free with your Travel Card and your tour manager will be happy to advise you of other options. Your Berlin Card also lets you ‘hop-on and hop-off’ the yellow city centre double-decker buses at ease. (B)

Sunday 5th May
Return to London
You return to London by high speed rail, travelling on DB ICE and Eurostar trains via Hannover, Cologne and Brussels. (B)


Details

Price

  • First Class £2195
  • Standard Class £1895
  • Single supplement £235
  • Ground only (Leipzig – Berlin) £1625

All prices shown are per person.

Price Includes

  • 12 Nights accommodation in 3 and 4-star hotels with breakfast included
  • 4 lunches and 4 dinners
  • All railway and steam boat excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Public transfer rover tickets
  • The services of a tour manager

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

 

Map feature coming soon!