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Ffestiniog Travel launches 2014 Rail Holidays of the World

5th September 2013 Print

Specialist rail operator Ffestiniog Travel celebrates its 40th anniversary next year and, to mark the milestone, has issued a special 2014 edition of its popular escorted tours brochure. Featuring nine new itineraries, as well as a commemorative 40-day ‘Around the World’ trip, Rail Holidays of the World offers tempting train holidays from the Far West of Cornwall to the Old West of the USA, and from Ireland to India.

Vietnam features in the brochure for the first time in many years, whilst perennial favourites such as Switzerland and Spain prove their place in clients’ hearts once again by appearing in the 2014 programme. Renowned for its expertise in Romania, Ffestiniog Travel maintains its reputation as one of the UK’s leading operators to this intriguing and unspoilt destination with two departures (in June and September) of ‘Rural Romania – Where Time Stands Still’, whilst the centenary of the start of World War I – and 70 years since the start of World War II - are reflected upon during ‘Railways & War – Northern France’, a ten-day tour that departs on 30 June.

Marking 40 years since its inaugural overseas tour to Switzerland in 1974, Ffestiniog Travel is celebrating its ruby anniversary with an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime holiday. After a Welcome Dinner and overnight stay at London’s five-star St Pancras Renaissance Hotel on 3 May 2014, the 40-day ‘Around the World Anniversary Tour’ journeys across the Northern Hemisphere, encompassing highlights that include:

European city visits to Brussels, Frankfurt, Vienna, Budapest and Moscow. 

An 11-day journey on the privately-owned Tsar’s Gold Luxury train with escorted experiences that include lunch in a typical nomadic herdsmen’s settlement, a Mongolian horseback riding show and a scheduled stop in the Gobi Desert. 

Escorted excursions to the Great Wall of China, Tian’anmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Terracotta Warriors (in Xi’an). 

Full-day tour of Shanghai. 

Flight to Vancouver with time to explore the city before boarding the Rocky Mountaineer for a GoldLeaf journey to Kamloops. 

Visits to the national parks of Banff and Jasper, with optional Ice Explorer tour to the Athabasca Glacier. 

A three-night journey on Via Rail’s ‘Canadian’ through the Prairies, Saskatoon and Winnipeg to Toronto. 

Maple Leaf service to New York - the tour’s final destination - where a three-night stay, ‘Big Apple’ sightseeing and Farewell Dinner awaits.

The price of £19,695 per person (two sharing) includes first-class rail tickets (whenever possible), journeys on the Tsar’s Gold Luxury Train, Rocky Mountaineer and The Canadian, economy class flights (Beijing to Vancouver/New York to London), hotel and on-board accommodation as per the itinerary, excursions, transfers, welcome & farewell dinners, and the services of a tour leader from London and throughout. Shorter duration itineraries can also be created within the framework of the full tour – prices on request.

Also NEW for 2014 are six Grand Tours and three Connoisseur Tours:

Grand Tours
Ideal for those seeking to explore the world by rail and enjoy a fulfilling mix of culture, leisure, like-minded company and comfortable accommodation.

UK: Enjoy ‘West Country Wanderings’ on a ten-day tour that blends rail travel, river cruises and the renowned gardens and stunning scenery of Devon and Cornwall.
Departs 12 May 2014, price is £1,140 pp*.

UK: Sample Scotland’s Highland delights on ‘Orcadian 2’, a 14-day rail odyssey riding the spectacular Kyle Line and The Road to the Isles, marvelling at the northern moors en-route to Wick and Orkney, steamer sailing on Loch Katrine and visiting Balmoral Castle. Departs 1 July 2014, price is £2,295 pp*.

UK: Fittingly for a company with its roots firmly embedded in the Principality, ‘Wales: from North to South’ is a 13-day trip through the stunning Snowdonia National Park to the capital, Cardiff, with visits to many of the country’s famous independent railways, castles and museums along the way. Departs 12 September 2014, price is £1,415 pp*.

Europe -The Balkans: With Kosovo’s independence finally recognised by the majority of UN states in late 2012, Ffestiniog Travel completes its ‘jigsaw’ of the beautiful Balkans with ‘Pushing the Boundaries – Kosovo, Macedonia & Albania’, a fascinating 13-day tour that’s perfect for travellers seeking a more adventurous experience. Departs 7 May 2014, price is £1,650 pp*.

Europe - Netherlands/Germany/Switzerland: Follow the ‘Rhine from Sea to Source’ on a 13-day journey following the route of this important waterway from the North Sea to the Swiss Alps, via Holland and Germany. There are free days to travel to St Moritz and Zermatt plus rail experiences that include the Glacier Express and UNESCO World Heritage Rhaetian Railways network, which celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2014. Departs 6 June 2014, price is £1,985 pp*.

Worldwide - Vietnam/ Malaysia: Rail and sail through a sublime 22-day holiday that blends exotic landscapes and culture with an unforgettable journey along the full length of the North Borneo Railway. As well as a stopover for acclimatisation and city sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur, ‘Explore Vietnam’ includes full-day tours of Hanoi and Saigon, visits to Hue and Hoi An, coastal cruising, a ride on a section of Dalat’s Rack Railway, and much more. Departs 24 October 2014, price is £3,375 pp*.

Connoisseur Tours
Created for those with a specific passion for railways, Connoisseur Tours indulge this enthusiasm within the framework of a refined and relaxing holiday.

UK: Experience some of the most scenic parts of the English railway network on a ‘Railways of the North’ tour. Visiting three preserved railways, this week-long itinerary also journeys on the Settle & Carlisle route through remote regions of the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines, and visits the Beamish Open Air Museum. Departs 12 September 2014, price is £850 pp*.

Europe – Austria: Based in the beautiful Baroque city of Salzburg throughout, ‘Behind the Scenes in Salzburgerland’ is a ten-day trip that encompasses an array of transport – from trolley bus to funicular, cable car to paddle steamer. Also included is superb behind-the-scenes access to the Salzburger Lokalbahnen railway and a chartered steam train ride to the summit of St. Wolfgang. Departs 26 August 2014, price is £1,780 pp*.

Worldwide - Eritrea & Cairo: With spectacular scenery and a southern Italian culture, Eritrea is an intriguing destination that remains endearingly untouched by tourism. Ffestiniog Travel’s 13-day ‘Eritrea & Cairo’ tour travels by chartered steam train on the ‘Darjeeling of Africa’, a 950 mm narrow gauge railway that climbs over 7,500 ft. from the Red Sea to the Eritrean capital, Asmara, before returning via Cairo and Alexandria to sample the cities’ transport systems**. Departs 28 October 2014, price is £3,570 pp*.

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

**In the event that the political situation in Egypt does not improve, the Eritrea & Cairo tour will end on Day 9, with a reduction in price.

Ffestiniog Travel also offers Signature Tours – designed for the independent train traveller who has a special rail journey in mind. Expert consultants can adapt an existing escorted tour, emulate an itinerary featured in books, films or TV series - such as Michael Portillo’s ‘Great Continental Railway Journeys’ - or create a unique rail trip for individuals, couples or groups.

For further information, or to request a copy of the 40th anniversary edition of the Rail Holidays of the World 2014 brochure, visit