Posts Tagged ‘rail travel’

Free Timetable App Launched for European Rail Travel

February 14, 2013

 

Eurail Group GIE, based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, has launched the Rail Planner App designed to assist Eurail and InterRail Pass holders © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Eurail Group GIE, based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, has launched the Rail Planner App designed to assist Eurail and InterRail Pass holders © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Eurail Group GIE, based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, has launched the Rail Planner App designed to assist Eurail and InterRail Pass holders.

Rail Planner App is free and offers everything pass holders need to successfully plan and execute their rail journey by providing offline timetable information for international European trains and connections. As an offline app, an internet connection is no longer necessary once it’s been downloaded, with the exception of accessing some of the special features. This ensures that travelers will always have timetable information at hand, avoiding expensive roaming costs.

Besides timetable information, Rail Planner helps travelers to find their closest train station with the inbuilt augmented reality function, and there is also a feature which specifically benefits pass holders; rail pass holders are entitled to a whole host of extra benefits, offering free and discounted boat and ferry trips, discounts in hotels, museums and more. Information about these discounts is featured on the app, as well as city maps and country facts for all participating countries.

This free and offline app is already available from the App Store or Google Play. Rail Planner has been developed by HaCon, the leading European player in planning, scheduling and information solutions; who has also provided mobile applications to the German Railways (Deutsche Bahn), the Austrian Railways (ÖBB), and the Railteam Alliance among other major railways and transportation companies.

Eurail Group is the organization dedicated to the management of the Eurail and InterRail Passes on behalf of its members; a large number of participating European railways and shipping lines. Eurail Passes are available for non-Europeans through a network of authorized sales agents, and InterRail Passes are available for European residents via the participating railways and InterRail.eu.

Visit www.eurailgroup.org for more information about Rail Planner App and the Eurail Group.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

http://www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Book The Royal Scotsman, UK luxury train, and get free roundtrip flight from US

July 20, 2012

The Royal Scotsman is offering guests who book either a four-night Classic Journey or seven-night Grand North Western journey a complimentary, round-trip economy-class flight from New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Miami, or Chicago into Edinburgh for any 2012 departure date.

Bagpipes, whiskey, Andy Murray – the thought of Scotland conjures a variety of images. There is no better way to see and experience all that the country has to offer than onboard Orient-Express’ The Royal Scotsman, the UK’s only luxury sleeper train. With the feel of a country house party and accommodating just 36 guests per voyage in comfortable, Edwardian-style carriages, it journeys through the heart of the Highlands. The train glides past sweeping glens, towering peaks, and black-mirrored lochs as the welcoming staff serves critically-acclaimed dishes showcasing the finest local ingredients and hand-selected wines.

Now there’s even more incentive to travel on the train: The Royal Scotsman is offering guests who book either a four-night Classic Journey or seven-night Grand North Western journey a complimentary, round-trip economy-class flight from New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Miami, or Chicago into Edinburgh for any 2012 departure date.

For more information on these journeys, please see below. The offer is valid until September 30, 2012. For full details, please visit http://www.royalscotsman.com/web/rs/special_offers.jsp. To book, contact Orient-Express Centre, The Americas, Trains & Cruises at 800-524-2420 or email greatjourneys@oeh.com.

The Classic Journey

  • Duration: 4 nights
  • Highlights: In addition to visiting the most celebrated cities and historic sites of the Scottish Highlands, take part in a range of optional outdoor activities that include fishing, clay pigeon shooting, golf, woodland walks, and boat trips.
  • Price: Rates start at $7,370 per person in a twin cabin.

The Grand “North Western Journey

  • Duration: 7 nights
  • Highlights: With magnificent vistas of the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness, the Grand North Western Journey boasts some of the most beautiful views in Scotland. Travel through the quaint towns of the Scottish countryside while pausing for tours of historic castles, distilleries, and glens along the way. Places of interest include the Bridge of Orchy, Glen Ord Distillery, Glamis Castle, and the renowned gardens of Ballindalloch Castle.
  • Price: Rates start at $11,890 per person in a twin cabin.

Journeys on The Royal Scotsman

Journeys range from a quick two-night trip to a seven-night grand tour of Scotland. Highlights include visits to distilleries such as Dalwhinnie and to historic sites such as Mount Stuart House (Britain’s most spectacular Victorian Gothic house). Itineraries include The Highland Journey, The Western Journey, The Classic Journey, The Grand West Highland Journey, The Grand North Western Journey, and the Grand Tour of Great Britain.

About Orient-Express:

Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. is a luxury hotel company and sophisticated adventure travel operator which seeks to deliver memorable experiences that are the ultimate expression of each destination’s authentic culture. The Company has offered exceptional luxury travel experiences since 1976, when it purchased Hotel Cipriani in Venice and then shortly thereafter recreated the celebrated Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, linking London, Paris and Venice, along with other European cities. Today the Orient-Express brand embraces 46 hotel, cruise and luxury rail businesses in 23 countries, including distinctive properties such as Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Grand Hotel Europe in St Petersburg, Hotel Ritz Madrid, Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro and Maroma Resort and Spa on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. The Company also operates six luxury tourist trains, two river cruise operations and the ‘21’ Club, one of New York’s most iconic restaurants and watering holes. www.orient-express.com

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

http://www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

                                                                               

Vacations By Rail Introduces New Independent Itineraries in Europe

February 7, 2012

Vacations By Rail is adding five new independent rail vacations, including Vienna-Salzburg-Munich. Here, a train at the Munich terminal © 2012 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

Chicago-based specialty travel company Vacations By Rail’s European product line grows this year with the addition of five new independent rail vacations to some of Europe’s most popular cities. New packages include the following city combinations: Berlin-Prague-Vienna, Paris-French Riviera, Prague-Vienna-Budapest, Rome-Florence-Venice, and Vienna-Salzburg-Munich.

Each European rail package includes centrally-located hotels with daily breakfast, city orientation tours, and first-class rail travel and seat reservations connecting each city.

“These packages are a great fit for any vacationer, whether they’re a first-time visitor to Europe or a seasoned traveler,” said Todd Powell, president of Vacations By Rail. “Our well-planned itineraries provide a great overview of some of Europe’s most impressive cities with ample time at leisure, and travelers can tailor any of our independent European rail vacations to better meet their needs.”

New European rail vacations start at $1,215 land-only, per person based on double occupancy. Detailed itineraries for these new packages as well as Vacations By Rail’s complete product line can be found at www.vacationsbyrail.com. Custom European rail vacations are also available upon request.

To book a Vacations By Rail European train vacation, contact a rail specialist at 1-877-929-7245.

For more travel features, visit:

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

Vacations By Rail Announces New Rail Vacations for 2012

January 3, 2012

Rail travel offers a unique perspective; here, a high-speed rail train pulls into Munich station, Germany© 2012 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Chicago-based specialty travel company Vacations By Rail kicks off the New Year with the addition of 20 new rail tours to its collection of worldwide train vacations. New tours range from 8 to 16 days and visit popular destinations and annual events throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

The new Fall Colors and Scenic Trains tour places travelers in the heart of New England’s spectacular autumn foliage, providing a firsthand look at the brilliant colors in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut by coach, charming lake cruises and the region’s most scenic trains including the Maine Eastern Railroad, Conway Scenic Railroad and Cape Cod Central Railroad.

2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede, the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.” Beginning and ending in Chicago, the new Calgary Stampede and the Canadian Rockies tour spends three days at this annual event in addition to touring throughout the Canadian Rockies and travel aboard Amtrak’s legendary Empire Builder train.

Head to Spring Training and root for the home team with Arizona Spring Training by Rail. Combine Arizona’s most popular sights and tickets to one of the most popular springtime activities with roundtrip rail travel aboard the Southwest Chief.

Celebrate the July 4 holiday with a rail-river cruise combination tour brimming with Americana. American Legends includes travel aboard a private rail car from Chicago to St. Louis, the chance to see the nation’s largest fireworks display and a leisurely 6-night steamboat cruise aboard the American Queen from St. Louis to Louisville.

Iconic America can also be discovered in new tours highlighting the music that made America famous; the scenic rail adventures of the Colorado Rockies; and, new tours to some of North America’s most popular National Parks.

New rail tours include outstanding train experiences, hotel accommodations, select meals and comprehensive sightseeing among other package inclusions. Detailed itineraries for new tours as well as Vacations By Rail’s complete product line can be found at www.vacationsbyrail.com.

To book a Vacations By Rail train vacation, contact a rail specialist at 1-877-929-7245.

For more travel features, visit:

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

Travel Like Royalty through India aboard the Opulent Maharajas’ Express with Vacations By Rail

July 22, 2011

Vacations By Rail is intorducing three rail journeys aboard India’s newest luxury train, the Maharajas’ Express, to its global product line. New itineraries take travelers along two popular routes—New Delhi to Mumbai (and reverse) and a circle journey of northeastern India beginning and ending in New Delhi.

The 8-day Princely India and Royal India itineraries showcase India’s colorful culture—and include an opportunity to meet royalty. Highlights of these two rail journeys include visits to the country’s most popular areas from Vadodar and Udaipur to the royal state of Rajasthan and its popular cities of Jodhpur and Jaipur as well as a visit to the acclaimed Ranthambore National Park to catch a glimpse of the elusive tigers. The 7-day Classical India tour highlights India’s rich history with visits to the royal city of Gwalior, Varanasi and the sacred River Ganges, the temples of Khajuraho, and the imperial splendor of Lucknow. All itineraries include a visit to Agra and the renowned Taj Mahal.

“All of our Maharajas’ Express itineraries offer a unique way to see a great deal of India in a short period of time without feeling rushed,” said Todd Powell, president of specialty travel company Vacations By Rail. “The train is a veritable rolling hotel on wheels caring for a traveler’s every need.”

Built in 2010, the Maharajas’ Express is India’s newest luxury train featuring 23 well-appointed carriages including two dining rooms serving Indian and continental cuisines, a lounge car and bar car. The train travels approximately 2,000 kilometers through the duration of each trip. Each rail journey includes accommodations aboard the train in deluxe cabins with en suite bathrooms, all meals, house wine, beer, spirits and soft beverages and all off-train excursions.

Luxury rail journeys aboard the Maharajas’ Express start at $6,265 land-only per person based on double occupancy. Departures are available October 2011 through April 2012.

To book your luxury rail journey aboard the Maharajas’ Express, contact a Vacations By Rail travel specialist at 877-929-7245.

For detailed itineraries and additional information about the Maharajas’ Express or any of Vacations By Rail’s luxury rail vacations, visit www.vacationsbyrail.com.

About Vacations by Rail:
Vacations By Rail is a leading seller of rail travel and tours in North America and around the world. Travelers can choose from the largest selection of independent rail vacations, escorted rail tours, and luxury rail journeys around the world. Vacations By Rail also provides virtually every European rail pass and ticket to meet customers’ European travel needs. For more information on Vacations By Rail and the company’s products, visit www.vacationsbyrail.com or call 877-929-7245.

For more travel features, visit

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

KIDS RIDE FREE AS PART OF AMTRAK 40TH ANNIVERSARY

April 27, 2011

Amtrak's passenger trains offer a unique travel experience; to celebrate its 40th anniveresary, Amtrak is letting kids ride for free, from May 1 - June 9 but you must book by May 6 (© 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com)

In celebration of Amtrak’s 40th anniversary on May 1, America’s Railroadsm is offering several ways the public can join in on the fun, including a special fare promotion, an anniversary website, and a commemorative book and documentary DVD. In addition, the initial schedule of the Exhibit Train is posted online so that those interested can plan a visit to experience this unique travelling display showcasing the railroad’s history.

Amtrak 40th Anniversary Kids Ride Free Fare Promotion

As part of the Amtrak 40th anniversary celebration, children, ages 2 to 15, can ride free of charge for 40 days between May 1 and June 9, when traveling on the same itinerary with an adult who purchased a regular adult rail fare.

Families must make reservations in advance between now and May 6, and a minimum of three (3) days prior to travel in order to take advantage of the Kids Ride Free promotion. This offer is valid for sleeping car accommodations upon payment of a full accommodation charge.

To make reservations, visit Amtrak.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL and use the discount code H859. The discount is not valid in conjunction with any other offers. Some blackout dates and seat restrictions may apply. This offer is valid on all Amtrak service except: Acela Express, Downeaster, Capitol Corridor, and Thruway bus series 7000-8999.

Amtrak 40th Anniversary Exhibit Train and Initial Schedule

The Amtrak Exhibit Train will be touring the country after making its debut at the National Train Day event in Washington, D.C., on May 7. The free exhibit showcases Amtrak

history over the decades, displaying memorabilia like vintage advertising, past menus and

dinnerware, and period uniforms. Most locations also will feature train-themed kids’ activities at Chuggington Kids Depot. In addition, commemorative 40th anniversary merchandise will be available for purchase onboard the train.

The initial three-month schedule of the Exhibit Train for May through July is as follows. Information about each stop can be found on the official website at Amtrak40th.com where upcoming locations and dates also will be posted.

May 7 Washington Union Station*

May 14 – 15 Lorton Auto Train Terminal

May 21 – 22 Baltimore Penn Station

May 28 – 29 Philadelphia 30th Street Station

June 4 – 5 Perryville MARC Station

June 11 – 12 Harrisburg Amtrak Station

June 18 – 19 Strasburg Rail Road*

June 25 – 26 Strasburg Rail Road*

July 9 – 10 Springfield Amtrak Station

July 16 – 17 New Haven Union Station

July 23 – 24 New London Union Station

July 30 – 31 Providence Amtrak Station

*Chuggington Depot is not available at Washington Union Station or Strasburg Rail Road events.

Official Amtrak 40th Anniversary Website and Merchandise

The official website at Amtrak40th.com provides details of the anniversary celebration and tells the Amtrak story by allowing users to explore 40 years of historic photographs and other materials in an extensive and dynamic archive. The site also hosts a blog, provides a link to an online store where a variety of 40th anniversary merchandise can be purchased, and allows individuals to sign up to receive an email alert when the Exhibit Train is coming near their town.

Official Amtrak 40th Anniversary Book and DVD

The 144-page commemorative book, Amtrak: An American Story, chronicles the history of the railroad with archival photographs, a historical timeline and personal narratives for each decade. Chapter introductions are written by former company leaders and the book contains an employee-generated photo essay of 24-hours in the life of the railroad.

The documentary DVD, Amtrak: The First 40 Years, provides an exclusive look inside America’s Railroadsm with hard-to-find photographs and video footage as well as interviews with past and present leaders who have shaped the railroad’s history. A preview of the DVD can be seen here. Both items will be available for purchase online and onboard the Exhibit Train.

 

Amtrak 40th Anniversary Cachet and United States Postal Service Postmark

To mark the 40th anniversary of Amtrak, a commemorative cachet (envelope) was produced featuring an Amtrak train and a silk appliqué of the Amtrak 40th logo. In addition, the envelope bears a special pictorial postmark authorized by the United States Postal Service. This pictorial postmark was created just for this historic event and can be a treasured collectible for years to come.

 

Amtrak Locomotives with Historic Paint Schemes

The first sign of the Amtrak 40th anniversary celebration occurred when the first of four P-42 diesel-electric locomotives with one of four historic Amtrak paint schemes entered regular revenue service in January. The four locomotives represent each of the paint schemes that were introduced in 1973, 1975, 1979 and 1993.

Each of the historically painted locomotives is now in operation helping to move passengers across the Amtrak national network. Photos of these locomotives are available on the Photos tab on the Amtrak Facebook page at facebook.com/Amtrak.

Celebrating 40 years of dedicated service as America’s Railroadsm, Amtrak is the nation’s intercity passenger rail provider and its only high-speed rail operator. A record 28.7 million passengers traveled on Amtrak in FY 2010 on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Amtrak operates trains in partnership with 15 states and four commuter rail agencies. Amtrak also is a strong financial performer achieving an 85 percent cost-recovery ratio in FY 2010. Enjoy the journeysm at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Join us on facebook.com/Amtrak and follow us at twitter.com/Amtrak.

See our story: Amtrak’s AutoTrain is unique way to travel to Florida – old-style of travel gains new appreciation

Eco-Friendly Rail Vacations For Earth Day–And Every Other Day

April 20, 2011

Traveling by rail isn't just good for the environment and the wallet, it also is a unique adventure, giving a special perspective of scenery. Here, Alaska's train, from Denali National Park to Talkeetna © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Go “green” and save with vacations that are kind to the environment and the pocket book

Chicago, Illinois – April 18, 2011 –

With Earth Day around the corner, the environment—and our role in protecting it—is top of mind as we’re reminded of our social responsibility be it in every day activities or in coordinating the annual family vacation. Travelers interested in planning an eco-friendly getaway need not look further than a train package from Vacations By Rail. The Chicago-based travel company specializes in train vacations to popular destinations throughout the world that decrease one’s carbon footprint and the impact of travel on the environment while offering a unique vacation experience.

Within the United States, Vacations By Rail incorporates travel aboard some of Amtrak’s most iconic trains including the legendary California Zephyr, historic Empire Builder, and stunning Coast Starlight. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, domestic travel by train is 20% more efficient than air travel and 28% more efficient than travel by car on a per-passenger-mile basis.

Similarly, train travel within Canada has been made even more environmentally-friendly with the use of greener locomotives along VIA Rail’s transcontinental rail routes as well as eco-friendly maintenance practices among other green innovations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Train travel is also more energy efficient, using less fuel per passenger mile than cars or airplanes. With the price of gasoline expected to reach unprecedented rates per gallon this summer, it is also an affordable mode of transportation for upcoming vacations. Handing over driving and navigation duties to the railroad, travelers can experience parts of the country accessible by no other means of transportation when riding the rails, enjoying a unique perspective of nature and its unspoiled beauty.

Go green with Vacations By Rail. Select from hundreds of vacations that include historic rail routes, eco-friendly trains, breathtaking scenery, unique sightseeing, and National Parks. Visit www.vacationsbyrail.com or speak with a rail specialist at 877-929-7245.

About Vacations by Rail:
Vacations By Rail is the leading seller of rail travel and tours in North America and the trusted authority on rail vacations. Travelers can choose from the largest selection of independent rail vacations, escorted rail tours, and luxury rail journeys around the world.  Vacations By Rail also provides virtually every European rail pass and ticket to meet customers’ European travel needs. For more information on Vacations By Rail and the company’s products, visit www.vacationsbyrail.com or call 877-929-7245.

Vacations By Rail Offers Upgrade to New Silverleaf Service on Select Rocky Mountaineer Rail Trips

April 1, 2011

Vacations By Rail is one of the providers of new Rocky Mountaineer SilverLeaf rail service, available on select routes and vacation dates in 2011. To entice travelers to experience this new class of service, Vacations By Rail is offering customers a $50 per person savings when upgrading from RedLeaf to SilverLeaf service from April 1-30, 2011.

Travelers in the SilverLeaf class of service enjoy panoramic views of Western Canada and the Canadian Rockies through oversized windows in a single-level dome coach, choice of entrees served at their seat, complimentary beverages including a morning toast and wine and beer at lunch, service and commentary from onboard attendants, and GoldLeaf-equivalent accommodations in Kamloops with luggage service.

SilverLeaf service is available on select departure dates through October 2011 on all First Passage to the West rail vacations between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Banff, Alberta as well as two-day rail journeys along the same route.

To book a Rocky Mountaineer rail vacation and save $50 when upgrading to SilverLeaf service, contact a Vacations By Rail travel specialist at 877-929-7245. For more information about Vacations By Rail’s train vacations aboard the all-daylight Rocky Mountaineer train, visit www.vacationsbyrail.com.

Vacations By Rail is a leading seller of rail travel and tours in North America and an authority on rail vacations. Travelers can choose from the largest selection of independent rail vacations, escorted rail tours, and luxury rail journeys around the world.  Vacations By Rail also provides virtually every European rail pass and ticket. For more information on Vacations By Rail and the company’s products, visit www.vacationsbyrail.com or call 877-929-7245.

See our story on riding Amtrak’s Autotrain, the world’s largest passenger train and the only one where passengers and vehicles ride the same train, AMTRAK’S AUTOTRAIN IS UNIQUE WAY TO TRAVEL TO FLORIDA

BRITRAIL PASSES ARE 20% OFF FOR LOW SEASON TRAVEL

October 15, 2010

BritRail’s Low Season Passes offer 20% off retail prices and unlimited travel on the national rail network throughout Great Britain – England, Scotland and Wales – for travel during low season, when savvy travelers can also take advantage of low rates on lodgings and no crowds at major sites.

Low Season fares start at approximately $43 USD per day (based on a Low Season 3 Day BritRail England Consecutive Pass in standard class at 2010 prices) and are valid for travel between November 1, 2010 and February 28, 2011.  Take advantage of this great discount by purchasing a BritRail Flexi or Consecutive Pass or BritRail England Flexi or Consecutive Pass anytime before February 15, 2011.

Passengers appreciate the flexibility that only a BritRail Pass can provide, by hopping on and off the trains and enjoying a number of unforgettable scenic routes that roll by outside the window. What is more, BritRail is the most economical and convenient way for independent travelers to explore Britain, thanks to its fast and frequent service and environmentally friendly advantages. (To browse the full range of rail passes and tickets offered by ACP Rail visit http://www.ACPRail.com.)

Traveling during the low season has other benefits, as well, from big savings on flights and hotel accommodations, to fewer crowds at top tourist attractions.  Loads of cultural and historic highlights of Great Britain are along the route: be sure to visit Stonehenge, Edinburgh Castle, the Roman Baths, Leeds Castle, St. Paul’s Cathedral and countless other museums, castles, gardens, and more.

The Great British Heritage Pass is the perfect BritRail Pass companion, offering entry to these sights, plus nearly 600 other UK heritage properties – just another way to realize great savings during the low season!

Interested in reading other exciting travel stories? Visit http://www.acprail.com/blog to browse what’s new in Great Britain and other top rail destinations.

For more travel features, visit www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate