A new-for-2020 Tauck itinerary, “A Grand Rail Adventure: Vienna, The Alps & Milan,” will combine the timeless romance of travel by luxury train with the spectacular landscapes, rich culture and historic cities and towns of Central Europe’s Alps.
The eight-day, four-country itinerary will be highlighted by a three-night rail journey aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express train, book-ended by a pair of two-night hotel stays in Vienna and Milan. (Select departures will operate in the reverse direction, from Milan to Vienna.)
“It seems fitting to be introducing this new journey during our 95th anniversary year,” said Tauck CEO Dan Mahar. “Since 1925, we’ve been dedicated to expanding the various ways in which our guests can experience the world. We pioneered helicopter-assisted exploring in the Canadian Rockies, we continue to grow our river cruising and small ship ocean cruising portfolios, and our Tauck Bridges itineraries continue to break new ground in multi-generational family travel. It’s wonderful to add this incredible new alpine train journey to our offerings. We’ll be 95-years-young next year, and our passion for innovation is stronger than ever.”
Guests will begin the westbound itinerary with two nights at the Hotel Bristol in Vienna, where they’ll enjoy city sightseeing including visits to Belvedere Palace, the Hofburg and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. A private, after-hours tour of Schönbrunn Palace is on-tap for that evening, followed by dinner inside the palace at the Café Residenz. The following day, guests will sip sparkling wine while attending a private concert in a historic Viennese venue before boarding the Golden Eagle Danube Express for the first of three overnights on the train.
Travelling west toward Austria’s Semmering Pass, guests will pass through incredible mountain landscapes before arriving at the Tyrolean village of Jenbach, where they’ll board a local steam-powered train for an excursion to scenic Lake Achen. After a boat cruise on the lake, guests will reboard the Danube Express and continue on to Innsbruck where a walking tour of the city’s historic district awaits.
The next day, the Danube Express will traverse Austria’s picturesque Vorarlberg province, cross into Liechtenstein, and continue on to Zurich, where guests will explore the city’s old town on a walking tour and visit the Kunsthaus Museum of Art. After a final overnight on the train, and after crossing the rugged Gotthard Pass into Italy, guests will arrive in the beautiful lakeside town of Como. There, the group will enjoy a walking tour and an organ concert in the city’s 14th-century marble cathedral, before reboarding the Danube Express, travelling to Milan, and disembarking a final time.
While in Milan staying at the Excelsior Hotel Gallia, guests will visit the Duomo and a 19th-century shopping arcade, the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle II, during a walking tour, and have time to explore the city’s bohemian Brera District on their own. Guests will also visit a cascina, or working farm, outside of the city, where they’ll learn about sustainable farming and participate in a hands-on cooking lesson highlighting authentic regional cuisine. After a farewell reception in their hotel, guests will travel to a nearby restaurant for their farewell dinner with local entertainment.
All six departures of Tauck’s “Grand Rail Adventure” will operate next September and be exclusive to the company (with no non-Tauck guests travelling aboard the Danube Express). Accommodations on the train are a choice of either Superior Deluxe or Deluxe cabins. Superior Deluxe accommodations feature 93 sq.-ft. of living space, with two full-size picture windows and a full-length sofa that converts to a UK-standard king size bed. Deluxe cabins (83 sq. ft.) have two armchairs for daytime seating that convert into two comfortable beds.
Both cabin classes feature private, en-suite bathrooms with shower, sink and toilet, individually controlled air conditioning, WiFi access, safe, generous storage space, and dimmer-equipped lighting. The train also features a Bar Lounge Car with nightly performances by a pianist, two restaurant cars that can accommodate all guests in a single seating, and an attendant assigned to every car who reconfigures each cabin from its daytime set-up to nighttime use while guests are enjoying dinner.
Guests (a maximum of 58 travellers) will be accompanied throughout the journey by two professional Tauck Director guides. Pricing is from $15,290 per person, double occupancy, plus airfare. Included in the price are the two-night hotel stays in Vienna and Milan, the three-night train journey aboard the Danube Express, all sightseeing and excursions, most meals and gratuities, all ground transportation (including airport transfers), luggage handling, special events and receptions, and much more.