Snow and Steam in Austria and Bohemia

Monday 10th February to Monday 17th February 2020
8 - Days


Prices from: £2100


The serene winter landscapes of Austria and the Czech Republic are the backdrop to this tour, packed with beautiful cities, wonderful countryside locations and of course memorable steam highlights.


Departure Date: 10-Feb-2020
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  • Discover the ‘Golden City’ of Prague on private charter trips by luxury tram, vintage boat and the streamlined 1939 ‘Silver Arrow’ railcar.
  • Be among the first to travel behind the vintage 0-8-0 tender locomotive 414.096 ‘Heligon’ after it returns to the Czech main line after more than 50 years.
  • View winter wonderland landscapes first hand in the Giant Mountains of North Bohemia, on a private charter train past hilltop castles to the ski resort of Vrchlabi.
  • After transferring to Gmünd, experience the best of Austrian narrow-gauge steam in rural scenery, with a private charter trip to Litschau behind the articulated 0-8+4 type Mh steam locomotive.
  • Travel steam hauled on the Austrian main line over the recently re-opened but heritage-only branch line to Waidhofen an der Thaya, in the remote but scenic Northwest of the country.
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Monday 10th February
Arrival in Prague; Sunset cruise on River Vltava aboard a classic ship
Following a direct flight to Prague you book in to an elegant city centre hotel for a welcome lunch. After a look around the Old Town, you enjoy a private chartered sunset cruise on the River Vltava aboard an historic motor vessel. (L)

Tuesday 11th February
Classic Prague by luxury tram and vintage sightseeing cars
This morning you are picked up by a smart luxury tram for a sightseeing tour of Prague, with complimentary drinks served aboard. See the city’s premier landmarks while criss-crossing the River Vltava on its famous bridges. The tour concludes near the hilltop Prague Castle, looking down on the rooftops and spires of the city, before you have lunch at an elegant Grand Café. After an early afternoon break, you continue sightseeing with rides aboard classic heritage cars. Sunshine permitting, open-top convertibles will be used, with complimentary winter blankets keeping you warm! The evening is spent at leisure in the city, making good use of your complimentary public transport rover ticket. (B L)

Wednesday 12th February
Main line steam in the Czech Giant Mountains
Main line steam takes centre stage today, as you first steam through the rolling hills of North Bohemia past hilltop castles and impressive rock formations, before eventually reaching the heart of the Giant Mountains along the frontier with Poland. Travelling behind the vintage 1913 0-6-0 tank engine 310.0134, you race from Turnov to Stara Paka, before changing direction to traverse rare track through snow-drenched landscapes to the ski resort of Vrchlabi. Warm drinks, mulled wine and other refreshments will be served on board. You return to the junction station of Turnov by late afternoon before returning to Prague on a Czech Railways service train, capping a fabulous day out. (B L)

Thursday 13th February
Main line steam in Central Bohemia with 414.096
A true highlight awaits, as you experience the return of a legend! After breakfast you take a loco-hauled service train via Kladno to Luzna u Rakovnika before transferring onto a special private charter hauled by the iconic 0-8-0 tender locomotive 414.096, for a run on the remote and rural branch line to Kolesovice. Originally built in 1906 during the Austro-Hungarian era, 414.096 only returned to steam after more than 50 years in 2019, following restoration at the Czech railway museum in Luzna. As there are no other regular services on this pretty countryside line, your train will stop for numerous photo-stops and staged run-pasts. Lunch will be served at a typical Czech restaurant, before you return to Prague by service train in the late afternoon. (B L)

Friday 14th February
‘Silver Arrow’ over the Prague Semmering and through the Vltava Valley; Prague to Gmünd
In the morning you enjoy a trip on one of the most stylish railcars in the world, the 1939 ‘Silver Arrow’. Your tour starts at the grand 1909 main station building and traverses the scenic lines around Prague, including the panoramic Prague Semmering, with its steep inclines, stone-arched viaducts and horseshoe curves. You’ll also travel over the many railway bridges that span the River Vltava and venture north through the Vltava Valley as far as Kralupy. With numerous photo stops included en route, your train winds through the hills of Central Bohemia, before returning to Prague for lunch at another Grand Café. You then catch a service train to South Bohemia and neighbouring Austria. You arrive in Gmünd, Austria in the early evening and check into the 4-star Hotel Goldener Stern, where a buffet dinner is served tonight. (B L D)

Saturday 15th February
Austrian main line steam over scenic bylines
After breakfast you transfer from Gmünd to nearby Zwettl, where the locally-based 0-8-0 tank engine 99.2271 will make several photogenic run-pasts southbound over the viaduct, before venturing over rare track northbound to the junction station Schwarzenau. You then travel on to Waidhofen an der Thaya, on the remote, closed-off line that only re-opened to heritage trains in 2019. There will be run-pasts staged en route, with lunch refreshments and apple strudel served in the bar car. From Waidhofen your steam train returns to Schwarzenau, posing for photographs next to the local palace. After a great day out with steam in the snow, you return to Gmünd in the late afternoon for another welcome buffet dinner at your hotel. (B L D)

Sunday 16th February
Narrow-gauge steam from Gmünd to Litschau with Mh.1
Gmünd is home to an extensive narrow-gauge network and today you take a private charter hauled by the classic Austro-Hungarian 0-8+4 type articulated steam locomotive Mh.1 over the idyllic branch line from Gmünd to Litschau, deep in the Austrian hinterland. Framed by rolling fields and dotted small towns, the line meanders north towards the Czech border. Along the way your train poses for photos, with run-pasts added for extra fun. After lunch in Litschau and a chance to sightsee the historic village centre there, you return to Gmünd by steam train in the afternoon. Later, dinner will once again be served at your hotel. (B L D)

Monday 17th February
Return to London
After breakfast, you have a direct transfer from Gmünd to Vienna airport, for a mid-day flight back to London. (B)


Details

Price

  • Tour price £2225
  • Single supplement £195
  • Ground only (Prague - Vienna) £2100

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

Price Includes

  • Flights from London to Prague and Vienna to London
  • 7 nights hotel accommodation with breakfasts
  • 7 lunches and 3 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!