Holidays that combine cruising and rail travel are set to be all the rage this year.
Rail and sail holidays are twice the fun, with two wonderfully relaxing and luxurious types of holiday combined, allowing you to see and experience so much.
Rail and sail touring combines the exciting romance of train travel with the luxury of cruising, and the combinations are almost endless. Here is a selection of some of the best rail and sail packages on offer.
Amsterdam to Venice
APT offers rail journeys aboard the privately-chartered Golden Eagle Danube Express that connect with the line’s Magnificent Europe river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. The 24-day Amsterdam to Venice package is a remarkable way to take in much of Europe at a relaxed pace. The first 15 days are spent sailing down the Rhine from the Netherlands, through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, before connecting up with the rail leg of the journey in Budapest and travelling the rest of the way back through Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Italy. This trip even includes a bonus rail journey in the first 15 days from Passau to Linz on board the fabulous Majestic Imperator train. This is a faithful recreation of the train used by Emperor Franz Joseph I and his wife at the height of the Austro-Hungarian empire, complete with ornate carriages, white-gloved service and singing waiters.
Rockies by rail to humpback whales
The famous Rocky Mountaineer rail company has been operating train journeys in the spectacular Canadian Rockies for 25 years. It teams up with Holland America Line to offer more than 50 rail-sail itineraries that take in Alaska by sea and the mountains by train. You can combine a three-day Rocky Mountaineer trip from Banff to Vancouver; a separate day by train to Seattle via the coast; and a seven-night Alaska round-trip cruise from Seattle. More details at rockymountaineer.com.
The local options
Two iconic rail journeys of the world – The Ghan and The Indian Pacific offer exciting off train experiences and can link into cruises from the ports of Fremantle, Sydney, Adelaide and Darwin with cruise lines including Royal Caribbean International, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines and P&O Australia. Some of these cruise lines sail Australian waters while others head to Asia. For just a taste of what you can see on an Australian-based rail and sail adventure – how about Katherine, Kakadu, Kuta, Kota Kinabalu and Hong Kong all in the one holiday itinerary? For more information visit holidaysofaustralia.com.au.