September 4, 2017 | Ffestiniog Travel
Rail holiday specialist Ffestiniog Travel has released the 2018 edition of its popular escorted tours brochure. Featuring six new escorted itineraries for next year – from the tramways of south-eastern France to the logging railroads and coastal routes of California – Rail Holidays of the World also tempts travellers to start planning for this year’s festive season, with a new Christmas Markets break to the Swiss city of Basle as well as the chance to see in the New Year in Romania.
NEW for 2018 are:
Ffestiniog Travel’s first-ever dedicated tour to the USA’s ‘Golden State’ is a must for rail aficionados. Travel along the scenic west coast on Amtrak’s ‘Coast Starlight’ train, ride San Francisco’s iconic cable cars and BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit, one of the world’s widest gauge trains), ride behind Shay locomotives on the Redwood Forest Steam Railroad and Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, and hop on the Beach Train, a classic American ‘short line’ along the San Lorenzo River Gorge to Santa Cruz. This two-week rail odyssey also features a journey on the California Western Railroad’s ‘Skunk Train’, a visit to the Sacramento Railroad Museum and a lunch excursion on the Sacramento River Train, as well as sightseeing in abundance and accommodation that includes a two-night stay on board the Queen Mary and three nights on a paddlewheel river boat, the Delta King. Departing 4 September 2018, this 15-day holiday costs from £4,655 pp*.
Joining Ffestiniog Travel’s collection of Small & Traditional tours, this comprehensive 15-day itinerary visits a country that remains charmingly off the radar as a holiday destination. Discover Albania’s rich and varied history on a journey that encompasses some of the remotest scenery in Europe as well as the capital, Tirana. Travel on the Koman Ferry through the Albanian Alps, enjoy cultural enrichment at the archaeological sites of Butrint and Durrës, and experience the famously beautiful views from Montenegro’s main railway line as it stretches from Podgorica to the Serbian capital, Belgrade, where the group has a free day to explore before heading back to the UK. Departing 9 May 2018, this 15-day holiday costs from £1,995 pp*.
A further addition to Ffestiniog Travel’s array of Easy Rail Holidays (one-centre, price friendly European escorted tours), this five-day trip visits the charming German city of Bonn during the annual ‘Rhein in Flammen’ festival, a magical display of lights and fireworks that illuminate the River Rhine as Europe’s largest boat parade sails by. Further highlights include a ride up the Drachenfels on the cog railway, and on the iconic Schwebebahn suspension railway, as well as free time in the historic cities of Trier and Cologne. Departing 3 May 2018, this five-day trip costs from £645 pp*.
Ffestiniog Travel has also added three new itineraries to its range of European Connoisseur Tours. Designed to appeal to those with a specific passion for railways, each tour explores historic and unique railways that are famous for their engineering excellence, history and the interesting routes they take.
NEW for 2018 are:
Visit the tramways of some of the major cities of South East France on a 14-day tour that takes in Grenoble, Marseille and Saint Étienne. The itinerary also includes a stop to visit the trams and the Automatic Metro in Lille and to explore the Paris network, as well as unlimited travel on the public transport systems of each city, making independent exploration a doddle in the ample free time provided. Departing 7 April 2018, this 14-day holiday costs from £1,630 pp*.
Travel on a steam-hauled train along the bank of the picturesque Douro Valley, travel north along the scenic coastal line from Porto towards the Spanish border and ride the seasonal narrow gauge tram from the hills of the Serra de Sintra to the pretty coastal town of Praia das Maçãs on a nine-day exploration of the fascinating trams and railway networks of Portugal. Departing 22 June 2018, this nine-day holiday costs from £1,640 pp*.
Explore the delightful Balearic island of Mallorca on this six-day tour, travelling by rail from the golden beaches of the south to the rugged mountains in the north and visiting the historic towns of Palma, Inca, Sa Pobla, Soller and Manacor, as well as hidden spots off the tourist trail. Departing 12 March 2018, this six-day holiday costs from £765 pp*.
Looking further ahead, Ffestiniog Travel has also used the pages of its latest brochure to give advance notice of its forthcoming Antipodean Tour, for which clients are invited to register their interest now. Departing in February 2019, this fabulous 24-day holiday will journey across Australia and New Zealand, travelling through awe-inspiring landscapes on some of the world’s most famous and iconic trains including the legendary Ghan (in Gold Class), the Puffing Billy Steam Railway, the Overlander (from Hamilton to Wellington) and the TranzAlpine (coast to coast). Price and other details on request.
Back to the present and, bringing 2017 to a festive close, Ffestiniog Travel has added Basle to its popular Christmas Markets programme. Enjoy browsing for gifts and edible goodies at Switzerland’s largest Christmas Market during this eight-day trip, which also visits the 750 mm gauge Waldenburgerbahn, spends a day on the spectactular Rhaetian Railway, takes a lake cruiser to Vitznau and journeys by train up Mount Rigi. Overnight stays in Cologne (outbound) and Bonn (on the return journey) are also included, with time to potter at one’s own pace in both cities. Departing 30 November 2017, this eight-day holiday costs from £1,070 pp*.
Or why not see in the New Year in Romania? When it comes to celebrating in style and tradition, few do it better than the Romanians, and the perfect time to experience this is at New Year, when the mountains are bedecked in snow, and colourful parades and entertainment fill the streets. Visit the Painted Monasteries of Voronet, Sucevita and Moldovita, ride the Moldovita and Vaser Valley Steam Railways, tour Iași by vintage tram charter and view incredible scenery on an unforgettable drive across the Carpathian Mountains, enjoying warm hospitality in rural guest house accommodation en route. Departing 28 December 2017, this nine-day holiday costs from £1,935 pp*.
*Depending on the itinerary chosen, prices include rail travel and transfers, flights, accommodation on a B&B basis, some other meals, excursions and the services of a tour leader throughout. All prices are based on two people sharing – single supplements apply.
Ffestiniog Travel is owned by a Charitable Trust, the profits from which go to support the world-famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways. Established in 1974, the company offers escorted tours and tailor-made itineraries – including short breaks and group holidays for special interest clubs and societies – across the UK, Europe and worldwide.
For more information on Ffestiniog Travel’s tailor-made rail holidays, ticket-only service and escorted tours – in the UK, Europe and worldwide – call 01766 772 030, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ffestiniogtravel.com.
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