Spring in Saxony

Wednesday 15th April to Friday 24th April 2020
10 - Days


Prices from: £1795


Inspiring landscapes in glorious spring colour are the backdrop to this enchanting holiday tour to Eastern Germany, which coincides with Dresden’s Steam Locomotive Festival and features lots of other travel by steam train and steamboat.


Departure Date: 15-Apr-2020
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  • Based in centrally located 4-star hotels in the historic cities of Dresden and Görlitz, you’ll explore their stunning landmarks at leisure, using complimentary public transport rover tickets.
  • Enjoy extensive steam travel by land and water in and around Saxony on narrow-gauge trains and genuine paddle steamers, with private sightseeing tours on chartered heritage tramways in both Dresden and Görlitz.
  • Experience German ‘Plandampf’ on three different Saxon narrow-gauge railways, including the re-opened Weisseritztalbahn to Kurort Kipsdorf.
  • Gain full access to the annual Dresden steam locomotive gala and roundhouse festival.
  • Enjoy private steam charters at the 15-inch Dresden Park Railway with an iconic ‘Pacific’ steam locomotive, and at the expansive Muskau Forest Railway, including the new branch line to Schwerer Berg.

Wednesday 15th April
London to Dresden
Travel by train from London St Pancras via Brussels and Frankfurt to Dresden. On arrival you check into a 4-star central hotel. You’ll receive a complimentary public transport ticket, valid on all local trains, trams, buses and ferries for the duration of your stay.

Thursday 16th April
Private vintage tram tour of Dresden; Heritage Monorail and Funicular in Loschwitz; Paddle Steamer Cruise on River Elbe
This morning you’ll tour Dresden on a private sightseeing tour by classic Tatra tram, finishing at the iconic 1893 Loschwitz ‘Blue Wonder’ Bridge. The local funicular then transports you up past old vineyards and stately villas to an open observation point. You then take a ride on the unique 1901 mountain monorail, for breath-taking views of the city and the Elbe Valley from its summit station. Afterwards you lunch at the Schillergarten beer garden before returning to the city centre embankment on one of Dresden’s nine authentic side-wheel paddle steamers, the oldest and largest paddle steamer fleet in the world. The rest of the afternoon and evening are yours to spend at leisure in the city, making the most of your public transport ticket to explore the local sights. (B L)

Friday 17th April
Steam at the Dresden Park Railway and at the Lössnitz Narrow-Gauge Railway
Today you visit Germany’s premier 15-inch line, the Dresden Park Railway. Travelling behind a classic 1920s 4-6-2 ‘Pacific’ steam locomotive you cover the entire 5.6 km long circular line within the ‘Grosser Garten’ park on a private charter, pausing for several run-pasts. The visit concludes with a guided tour of the shed and workshop. After free time in the city you visit the nearby 16.5 km Radebeul-Radeburg steam railway just outside Dresden, which passes the Moritzburg castle. At the Radeburg terminus, your locomotive takes on water and pauses for photos, before travelling back to Radebeul. You then return to downtown Dresden on either the scenic overland tramway route or by DB service train. (B)

Saturday 18th April
Dresden steam locomotive gathering and roundhouse festival
A tour highlight awaits today as you visit Dresden’s famous brick-built roundhouse to enjoy one of Germany’s premier steam gala, one of the largest annual gatherings of main line steam locomotives in Central Europe. From all over Germany and the neighbouring countries, large main line tender locomotives gather at Dresden’s rail yard. Turntable photography, short distance cab rides and lots of railway history displays are some of the attractions. The heritage locomotive depot of Dresden’s Transport Museum is also open, while in the afternoon, several main line steam locomotives will be on display at Dresden’s landmark main station, providing more opportunities for photography in the fun festival ambiance. (B)

Sunday 19th April
Paddle Steamer Cruise on the River Elbe through Saxon Switzerland
Today you explore more of Saxony by water on an authentic 19th century paddle steamer with oscillating steam engine. You cruise from Königstein in the heart of Saxon Switzerland to Pillnitz Palace, the former summer residence of the Saxon kings, where you change paddle steamers to continue your cruise. Eventually you return to the centre of Dresden and its famed ‘Canaletto’ panorama with the rebuilt Frauenkirche cathedral and the Baroque Chateau overlooking the river. (B)

Monday 20th April
Leisure in Dresden and steam at the at the Weisseritz Valley Railway to Kurort Kipsdorf
Today you enjoy more sightseeing before an afternoon excursion to one of Saxony’s most impressive narrow-gauge railways, steam-hauled through a ‘canyon landscape’ over the re-opened Weisseritz Valley Railway. This spectacular journey from Freital-Hainsberg via Dippoldiswalde to Kurort Kipsdorf, takes you alongside the River Weisseritz past cliffs, bridges and lakes. With the re-opening to Kurort Kipsdorf, the full 26 km long branch line will once again be accessible by steam train. Enjoy the superb views and wonderful vantage points from your open-top observation car, before returning to Dresden. (B)

Tuesday 21st April
Steam at the Muskau Forest Railway and Pückler Park Visit
Today you have a trip to the little known 600mm gauge Muskau Forest Railway near the Polish frontier. You’ll cover all three of the forest railway’s branch lines on a private steam charter, including the recent 3 km extension to Schwerer Berg, skirting the edge of one of the world’s largest lignite mining area and with spectacular views of its ‘moon landscape’. Run pasts will be staged for film and photo opportunities. Your steam-hauled special then arrives at the spa town of Bad Muskau, and the UNESCO World Heritage Pückler Park, a famous 19th century English landscape garden. You have time to view the local chateau and gardens and even stroll across the River Neisse to Poland. You continue to Görlitz in late afternoon, with leisure time in this historic city before a dinner is served at your hotel. (B L D)

Wednesday 22nd April
Steam in Zittau
Another narrow-gauge highlight awaits today as you visit the Zittau steam railway in Saxony, in the south-easternmost corner of Germany along the frontier with Poland and the Czech Republic. From Zittau the 12.2 km branch line leads to the resort town of Kurort Oybin. There’s also a short 3.8 km long stub from the junction station of Bertsdorf to Kurort Jonsdorf to savour. You’ll be given a day-long rover ticket and the chance to experience both lines and film the double departure from Bertsdorf. In the evening you return by service train to Görlitz, with the line crossing into Poland twice. Dinner is once again served at your hotel. (B D)

Thursday 23rd April
Vintage Tramways in Görlitz and re-opened railway line to historic Hoyerswerda
After a leisurely start you have a sightseeing tour of the beautifully preserved Old Town of Görlitz scheduled, on a privately chartered vintage 1920s tram. You take the pedestrian bridge over the River Neisse to the sister-city of Zgorzelec, Poland, for fine views of Görlitz’s landmark, white spire cathedral towering over the river. You then continue by service train on the re-opened Lower Silesian main line from Görlitz via Horka to Hoyerswerda. After refreshments in the historic town centre of Hoyerswerda you return to Görlitz in late afternoon, where another buffet dinner will be served at the hotel to cap your tour in fine fashion. (B L D)

Friday 24th April
Return to London
You return to London St Pancras, travelling on high speed trains via Frankfurt, Cologne and Brussels. (B)


Details

Price

  • First Class £2195
  • Standard Class £1945
  • Single supplement £235
  • Ground only (Dresden – Gorlitz) £1795

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

Price Includes

  • First or Standard Class rail travel from London to Dresden and return from Gorlitz to London*
  • 9 nights in 4-star hotels with breakfast
  • 3 lunches and 3 dinners
  • All railway and steamboat excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Public transport rover ticket in Dresden
  • All private steam railway and vintage tram charters as detailed in the itinerary
  • The services of a tour manager

*Please be advised that First Class travel will be allocated in Standard Premier carriages on Eurostar services.

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

 

Map feature coming soon!