Embark on a memorable summer holiday to the Bavarian town of Lindau, one of the most beautiful lakeside resorts in Continental Europe.
Located on an island within Lake Constance, Lindau is shaped by its landmark harbour, replete with ornate white lighthouse and imposing lion statue. In the shadow of the Alps you’ll enjoy languid cruises on vintage vessels as well as thrilling railway journeys. This includes the regally appointed paddle steamer ‘Hohentwiel’ on Lake Constance and the iconic “Diessen” on the Ammersee. Mountain top adventures await as you ascend Mount Pfänder in Austria and Mount Säntis in Switzerland. A private steam charter at the Bezau railway and a visit to the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen round out the exciting yet relaxing programme. The refinement of included buffet lunches, privately chartered heritage excursions and a top quality, lake-side hotel make this holiday quite luxurious.
Wednesday 23rd May
London to Lindau
Your special holiday starts by train as you travel from London St. Pancras International to Lindau via Paris and Stuttgart, using Eurostar and Deutsche Bahn (DB) Intercity-Express (ICE) services. You’ll arrive in Lindau in the evening and check into your comfortable 4-star hotel just a few steps from the island railway station, along the town’s attractive promenade.
Thursday 24th May
Scenic cruise to Meersburg and Mainau
This morning after breakfast you’ll have a panoramic cruise on the majestic MS Austria, a red-and-white funnelled vintage motor vessel from 1939. With its well-appointed lounges and spacious outdoor decks, this fabulous ship takes you on a leisurely cruise along the north shore of Lake Constance. You’ll glide past the vineyards and hilltop castle of Meersburg, before arriving at the garden island of Mainau. There you’ll enjoy a buffet lunch at the lakeside beer garden before taking a couple of laid-back leisure hours to explore the island’s tropical greenhouse and historic palace. In the late afternoon, you sail back to Lindau via Friedrichshafen and Langenargen. (B L)
Friday 25th May
Steam in Vorarlberg at Bezau and ascent to Mount Pfänder
Today you explore Vorarlberg, Austria’s westernmost state, close to Lindau and bordering Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. You’ll visit the 5km long Bregenzerwald 760 mm narrow gauge railway, which runs through pristine Alpine scenery from Bezau to Schwarzenberg. This is actually one of the best preserved railways in all of Austria and the line passes over two impressive viaducts. To maximize attractive photo opportunities, your private charter train will pause for several run-pasts. You have lunch at the quaint railway station in Schwarzenberg, before your U.25 type steam locomotive runs back to Bezau. On the return to Lindau you stop in Bregenz, Austria’s principal city on the shores of Lake Constance and ascend nearby Mount Pfänder by aerial cableway to enjoy splendid views. Alternately, you can spend the afternoon in the city’s lovely old town and take a stroll along the lakeside promenade. You return to Lindau in the late afternoon. (B L)
Saturday 26th May
Mountain Railways in Switzerland
Today is dedicated to magnificent mountain top adventures in Switzerland, on two of the country’s iconic rack railways and aerial cableways. First you take the direct ferry from Lindau to Rorschach Hafen on the Swiss side of Lake Constance. There you board a private charter train hauled by a vintage electric locomotive dating from 1930. Traveling over the rack and pinion line up to the mountain resort of Heiden, you’ll enjoy grand views of Lake Constance down below. The 5.6 km long railway dates from 1875 and features half-open panorama coaches. After the round-trip you have lunch at a lake-side restaurant in Rorschach before continuing by coach the short distance to Schwägalp. Here you take Switzerland’s first aerial cableway to the summit of majestic Mount Säntis. Built between 1933 and 1935, this impressive engineering achievement overcomes an altitude differential of 1123 metres over its 2307 metre length. From the top, there are breath-taking views of distant mountain peaks. Where else can you see Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, France and Italy all at the same time? You can choose to skip the cableway journey and opt instead to stay at Schwägalp, surrounded by Swiss chalets, lush farm fields and grazing cattle herds, so typical of the enchanting Appenzell region. After this round-trip to one of Switzerland’s finest panoramic peaks, you return to Lindau by coach in the late afternoon. (B L)
Sunday 27th May
Paddle steamer cruise on the royal ‘Hohentwiel’ and Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen
Another tour highlight awaits today as you experience Europe’s most elegant and opulent genuine steamboat, the luxurious Hohentwiel from 1913. Originally built for the royal rulers of the German state of Schwabia, it boasts teak decks, mahogany-panelled lounges and an impressive 2-cylinder compound engine built by Escher Wyss in Zurich. Hohentwiel is truly refined with its tall white funnel and elegant sun awning, echoing luxuries of the early 20th century. Enjoy true glamour and steam glory on a vessel that featured in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace. You’ll sail aboard Hohentwiel on the eastern end of Lake Constance, along the Rhine River estuary and the Swiss and Austrian shoreline. After the cruise, you transfer to the nearby Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen, and visit the unique collection there that includes an exact, fully accessible replica of the ill-fated Hindenburg. In the late you return once again to Lindau. (B L)
Monday 28th May
Ammersee cruise and historic Memmingen
Today you experience more of the fairy-tale landscape and diverse culture of Bavaria. After a leisurely breakfast and a quick coach transfer, you set off on another scenic cruise, this time on the idyllic Ammersee lake. Your vessel today is the historic paddle-wheeler Diessen from 1908, beautifully refurbished with tall funnel, elegant saloon, wooden decks and a large upper deck sun awning. Without doubt, the Diessen is one of the finest vintage vessels in Germany and an icon of Bavarian lake navigation. During your tranquil cruise a lunch buffet will be served on board, with the Bavarian Alps in full view to the south, as you glide by local villages and bird refuges along the lakeside. On your return to Lindau in the afternoon, you take a welcome break in the historic, medieval town of Memmingen, to visit its spacious squares and ancient fortifications. And while you’re there, why not visit a Bavarian Brauhaus or have an ice cream al fresco in one of the medieval courtyards? (B L)
Tuesday 29th May
Return to London
Today you return to London St Pancras by rail, once again travelling on high speed services through Stuttgart and Paris.
All prices shown are per person.
Meals included each day are shown as:
B = Breakfast - L = Lunch - D = Dinner