Cruising around the Austrian Lakes

Wednesday 24th June to Wednesday 1st July 2020
8 - Days

Prices from: £1995

Paddle steamers, steam trains, mountain railways and, best of all, fantastic Alpine landscapes all feature on this wonderful holiday tour of the Austrian Lake District.

Departure Date: 24-Jun-2020
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  • Conveniently based in Salzburg throughout, you’ll enjoy a truly relaxed and refined tour itinerary, with ample time for personal leisure and travel exploration in the city included.
  • Experience no less than six of Austria’s finest and most tranquil mountain lakes on private charter cruises featuring genuine paddle steamers, vintage motor vessels and elegant salon ships.
  • Enjoy a fantastic river cruise aboard the Danube’s last operational paddle steamer, the majestic ‘Schönbrunn’ from 1912.
  • Combine scenic journeys by water with mountaineering excursions on steam-powered rack railways, steep funiculars and panoramic gondolas, taking you to some of Europe’s most spectacular peaks.
  • The iconic ‘little trains’ of Austria feature prominently on this holiday, and journeys on the idyllic Taurachbahn and Zillertalbahn narrow-gauge railways let you sample both ‘Plandampf’ and private charter travel with plenty of run-pasts and photo stops.

Wednesday 24th June
Arrive to Salzburg; leisure in the city with rover ticket
After a direct morning flight from London to Salzburg you arrive in the birth city of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by mid-day. After a quick transfer to your comfortable centrally located hotel, you enjoy a light lunch and receive a Salzburg Card local transport rover ticket, allowing full access to the city’s local train and trolleybus network, as well as the popular fortress funicular and vertical elevator to the top of the Mönchsberg, from where you can enjoy some of the fine views of the spires and rooftops of this UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as the nearby mountains. The rest of the afternoon and evening are yours to spend at leisure before returning to your hotel for a welcome dinner.

(L D)

Thursday 25th June
Paddle cruise on Wolfgangsee and steam at the Schafberg rack railway
After breakfast you transfer by coach to Wolfgangsee, for an enchanting charter cruise on this serene Alpine lake aboard the historic 1873 paddle-wheeler Kaiser Franz Josef. You then ascend to the summit of nearby Mount Schafberg by steam locomotive on its famed rack and pinion railway, the steepest steam-powered rack railway in Austria. From the top you’ll have stunning views of a myriad of glistening lakes and distant glaciers. You descend back down the mountain by steam train and then return to Salzburg in the afternoon, where dinner is served in the hotel restaurant. (B L D)

Friday 26th June
Private charter cruises on the Mondsee and Hallstättersee
More cruises on tranquil lakes await today, as you venture south from Salzburg to the so-called Salzkammergut region. You first have a cruise on the idyllic Mondsee, including lunch aboard the ship, before venturing to Hallstatt for a private cruise on the namesake Hallstättersee. With its tall church spire and colourful houses, Hallstatt is a picture-perfect mountain village, probably the most-photographed small town in Austria. You get the best of views of Hallstadt from the boat, but also have time to look around the town centre of this UNESCO World Heritage site. In late afternoon you return to Salzburg with a scenic drive over pretty mountain roads. Dinner is served tonight in the hotel restaurant. (B L D)

Saturday 27th June
Tauernbahn scenic railway, cruise on Millstättersee, steam at Taurachbahn
After breakfast you board an OBB service train for the scenic southward journey on the Tauernbahn main line, comfortably accommodated in First Class. This is one of Austria’s most spectacular railway corridors and from the train windows you’ll have fabulous views of deep valleys, hilltop castles and long viaducts. After two hours, you arrive in Spittal to enjoy another privately chartered lunch cruise on the nearby Millstättersee. This rural lake is especially popular for water sports and is framed by several mountain ranges. After the cruise, you drive north to Mauterndorf, base of the narrow-gauge Taurachbahn. On this pretty heritage railway, an ancient tank engine hauls your private charter train from Mauterndorf to Tamsweg, pausing for photos and run pasts along the way. Enjoy the very best of Austria’s famed ‘little trains’ on this enchanting line. After returning to Mauterndorf there’s time to have a look around the historic town centre and the local castle, before making the coach transfer back to the Tauernbahn and the Bischofshofen main line station. From there it’s just a short train ride on the Intercity back to Salzburg, capping another great day out on land and lake. (B L)

Sunday 28th June
Paddle steamer cruise on the Traunsee, vintage electric railcar charter
This morning you travel to the beautiful lakeside town of Gmunden in the heart of the Austrian Alps, to enjoy a genuine paddle steamer cruise on Lake Traunsee aboard the iconic Gisela of 1871, one of the oldest operational steamboats in the world. You’ll enjoy a buffet lunch aboard the ship surrounded by incredible scenery with amazing Alpine views. On returning to Gmunden there’s time for a stroll around town before making a mountain-top excursion on the aerial gondola to the summit of Mount Grünberg. At an altitude of 987 m above sea level, this panoramic vantage point affords fantastic views of the mountains to the south and Austria’s plains along the River Danube to the north. After descending back down to Gmunden, you return to Gmunden railway station on Austria’s shortest urban tramway and then take an OBB service train onward to Salzburg. (B L)

Monday 29th June
Paddle steamer cruise on the Danube aboard the majestic ‘Schönbrunn’
Another tour highlight awaits today, as you travel on Austria’s last preserved Danube paddle steamer. Built in 1912, the ‘Schönbrunn’ is named after the royal summer palace in Vienna and is truly regal. Driven by a huge, inclined marine steam engine, the ship has spacious decks and elegantly appointed lounges and saloons. You’ll cruise on the Danube from Linz, the historic city where the paddle steamer is based, and lunch will be served aboard the steamer. (B L)

Tuesday 30th June
Steam in Tyrol at the Zillertalbahn and steam at the Achenseebahn
Your tour concludes with double steam highlights as you travel in First Class on an OBB service train from Salzburg to Jenbach, where you first ride on the narrow-gauge Zillertalbahn to the mountain terminus of Mayrhofen. The Zillertalbahn is renowned around Europe for its regular ‘Plandampf’ trains in summer and offers beautiful views of the typical Tyrolean landscape. Once back in Jenbach, you travel on the other local line, the antique rack railway, for the ascent up to the Achensee. At the Achensee, you board a vintage motor vessel dating from the early 20th century for a private charter cruise, capping your memorable holiday in fine fashion. You return from Achensee to Jenbach on the rack railway, and then travel back to Salzburg once again in First Class on an OBB service train. A farewell dinner will be served at your hotel this evening. (B L D)

Wednesday 1st July
Return to London
After breakfast, you have a direct transfer to Salzburg airport, for a morning flight back to London. (B)



  • Tour price £2095
  • Single supplement £295
  • Ground only £1995

All prices shown are per person based on two persons sharing.

Price Includes

  • Flights from London to Salzburg and back to London
  • 7 nights hotel accommodation with breakfast
  • 7 lunches plus 4 Dinners
  • All specially chartered steam trains as detailed in the itinerary
  • All specially chartered trips on heritage trams and vintage ships
  • All train and road coach travel as detailed in the itinerary
  • All transfers and visits as detailed in the itinerary
  • The services of a tour manager

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


Map feature coming soon!