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Ffestiniog Travel steams towards 2017 with new escorted tours to Uzbekistan, Cambodia and Vietnam 

South Africa & the famous Stars of Sandstone Heritage Steam Festival also feature, alongside fascinating new rail travel itineraries in the UK and Europe


Without seeking to wish the summer away, now’s the perfect time to start planning a 2017 escape… particularly if you’re keen to venture further afield or to try something a little bit different. Rail travel enthusiasts already researching next year’s adventure are in for a particular treat, with specialist tour operator Ffestiniog Travel’s latest release of escorted tours – a record 38 in total – some aimed at train aficionados, while others will appeal to those who simply enjoy sitting back and exploring the world from the comfort of their carriage.

Ahead of the publication of its main Rail Holidays of the World 2017 brochure in mid-August – when prices not yet available for some of the itineraries below will be confirmed – Ffestiniog Travel has released a preview of some of its new tours as well as departure details for several established favourites, such as Switzerland’s Snow on the Alps (departs 22 February 2017, nine nights from £1,699 pp*) and Indian Hill Railways (departs 19 February 2017, 20 nights from £4,645 pp*).

NEW escorted tours for 2017 include:


  • ‘South Africa & Stars of Sandstone’: Aimed at clients with a specific passion for railways, this wonderful 15-night Cape Town by Gilt-edge ZA
    tour ticks off many of South Africa’s key sights including Cape Town, Robben Island, Shamwari Private Game Reserve, Knysna and Johannesburg. Three days of the holiday are spent enjoying the myriad of steam-driven vehicles and machines at the famous Stars of Sandstone Steam Festival. More details here. Departs 22 March 2017, price is from £3,995 pp*. 
  • ‘The Magic of Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong Delta’: Brimming with cultural experiences in both countries, this 15-night general interest itinerary combines scenic landscapes, colonial architecture and cruising in Vietnam – exploring Ha Long Bay and the Perfume Halong Bay, Vietnam - Footprint Vietnam Travel
    River – before venturing through the Mekong Delta’s water villages to Cambodia. Here, Phnom Penh’s opulent Royal Palace and dazzling Silver Pagoda await discovery, as does the ancient wonder of Siem Reap. Departs 22 October 2017, price tbc.


  • ‘Danube from Sea to Source’:  Follow the course of the Danube – by train and on the river – on this 15-night escorted tour that begins in the Romanian city of Constanta. A lunch cruise through the Danube Gorge, a hydrofoil trip in Budapest, an evening cruise in Vienna and visits to Grinzing (renowned for its wine) and the Donaueschingen source fountain in Germany’s Black Forest are among the many lovely experiences included in the tour. Departs 30 June 2017, price tbc. 
  • Uzbekistan and the Silk Road’: Joining Ffestiniog Travel’s ‘Small & Traditional’ selection of tours – each limited to a Registan Square, Samarkand, Uzbekistan (Ramona Cazacu)maximum group size of 20 people (usually fewer) with an emphasis on uncovering the true nature, history and culture of a destination – this 11-night tour travels between Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara by rail, whilst clients learn more about how this intriguing small republic once governed most of Central Asia. Departs 31 March 2017, price tbc. 
  • ‘Romania’s Danube Delta & the Carpathians – a wildlife paradise’:  Combining spectacular scenery with insight into a traditional way of life in rural Romania, this 11-night ‘Small & Traditional’ tour adds the opportunity to observe local birdlife from close quarters, whilst staying at a small guesthouse reached by boat. Visits to the annual shepherds’ festival in Vrancea and

a bear sanctuary near Zarnesti, as well as the option to go on a night watch for bears, are also among the highlights, as is a ride on a special steam train on the Covasna and Comandau railway. Departs 15 May 2017, price tbc. 

Also NEW to Ffestiniog Travel’s range of European Connoisseur Tours – designed to appeal to those with a specific passion for railways – are:

  • ‘Dresden Steam Festival’: Now in its ninth year, enjoy Dresden’s annual steam festival in the company of like-minded Dresden Steam Festivalrail enthusiasts on this seven-night tour that also includes rides on the Lossnitzgrundbahn narrow gauge steam line and Schwebebahn’s Kaiser Saloon at Wuppertal’s famous ‘hanging railway’, and visits Mortizburg Castle. Departs April 2017, price tbc. 
  • Bulgaria by Steam’: Explore the cultural and historical highlights of Sofia, Kazanlak and Plovdiv on this eight-night itinerary that also features travel on the privately chartered Bulgarian Royal Train and on the spectacular narrow gauge line through the Rhodope Mountains between Septemvri and Bansko. Departs May 2017, price tbc. Mighty Bulgarian 2-12-4T No. 46.03
  • ‘Trams of Central Europe’: The tram networks of the Czech Republic and Bratislava await discovery on this 15-night tour that also includes a ride on the Mariazell Railway, visits to the railway museum at Vasuttorteneti Park and the Children’s Railway in Budapest, plus a historic tram ride in Vienna. Departs June 2017, price tbc. 
  • Southern Sweden – Steam, Trams & Trains’: Scandinavia’s largest narrow gauge railway, Smalsparet, is among the many memorable experiences on this 11-night tour, as are visits to Hamburg’s Miniatur Wunderland, a guided tour of Stockholm’s famous subway station, Lennakaten Railway - SwedenSkansen open-air museum, and plenty of opportunities to travel by steamboats and steam trains. Departs July 2017, price tbc. 
  • Trams & Trains of Northern Germany’: Take a comprehensive look at the tramways and trains of Germany’s industrial heartland, visiting Wuppertal, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg and Bonn. This 13-night tour includes plenty of free time to explore and ride the local tram and rail systems, as well as an InterRail pass, making independent exploration a must. Departs September 2017, price tbc. 
  • English Trams & Trolleybuses’: Travelling the length and breadth of England, this 13-night itinerary visits tram networks both heritage and modern, offering driving opportunities on both trams and Puffing Billy in the Georgian landscape at Beamishtrolleybuses. Enjoy expertly guided tours of the Docklands Light Railway and the Croydon Tramlink, visits to depots at the Manchester Metrolink and Sheffield Supertram, the Beamish Living Museum and Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum, a private ride around Blackpool’s famous tram system and more. Departs May 2017, price tbc.

*Depending on the itinerary chosen, prices include rail travel and transfers, flights (non-UK tours), accommodation on a B&B basis, excursions and the services of a tour leader throughout. All prices are/will be based on two people sharing – single supplements apply.

For more details about these itineraries, as well as Ffestiniog Travel’s selection of escorted tours for Christmas 2016, please click here. Ffestiniog Travel’s full 2017 Rail Holidays of the World brochure will be available (online and in hard copy) from mid-August.

It has never been so easy to book with Ffestiniog Travel. All of its escorted tours can now be booked online via the website at the touch of a button.


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