Belmond Grand Hibernian: Taste of Ireland

Three-Day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

Travel from central Dublin to the historic Viking port of Waterford, where you explore Curraghmore House and the crystal factory.  This tour offers a brief taste of Ireland and its beauty aboard the fabulous Belmond Grand Hibernian train. Enjoy two nights in your private cabin, with meals on board, as well as traditional entertainment in the bar car.

Important Note: The Society of International Railway Travelers® is sponsoring a special group departure of the seven-day Grand Tour of Ireland Aug. 29, 2017. Please inquire for details.

Click here to read IRT Owner & CEO Owen Hardy’s blog review of the Belmond Grand Hibernian after taking the Grand Tour with an IRT group charter.

Sicilian Odyssey on the Danube Express: Taormina to Venice

12-day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

New for 2017: Sicilian Odyssey. Experience the allure of Italy by private luxury train on the Golden Eagle Danube Express. Please note: trip is also available southbound (Venice-Taormina).

The Sicilian Odyssey begins with two nights at the iconic five-star NH Collection Hotel Taormina with stunning views of Mount Etna and the Gulf of Naxos. From there, you’ll board the luxurious and comfortable Danube Express, your “five-star hotel on wheels” for the next eight days and seven nights. Wend your way through 13 cities and provinces of Sicily and Southern Italy, stopping along the way to soak up the history and local culture with guided tours and experiences. Then, spend two nights at the five-star Hotel Danieli in Venice.

Enjoy guided city tours of  Syracuse, Ragusa, Palermo, Rome, San Gimignano, Siena, Florence, and Venice. Tour Mount Etna with a local volcanologist and enjoy the sight of the beautiful Gulf of Naxos from the heights of Taormina. Enjoy a special dinner deep in the countryside of Caltagirone at the Michelin-starred Al Fogher restaurant. Take a private cruise from Salerno along the iconic coastline to Amalfi.  Tour Rome by private golf buggy, making your way to many of the city’s UNESCO sites. Indulge in a wine-tasting in Chianti. Learn about authentic Sicilian cooking through watching a demonstration and participating in pastry making.

The all-inclusive itinerary and the comfortable luxury of the Danube Express will whisk you from location to location in a way not possible by any other means of travel.

Journey is also available southbound. Click here for full southbound itinerary details.

Gems of the Greek and Dalmatian Coasts on the Legendary Sea Cloud

11-Day Escorted Tour
Europe
Cruise

Sail on the historic Sea Cloud — a gift from millionaire businessman E.F. Hutton to his wife, heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post — from the ancient temples of Olympia in Greece to the medieval walled city of Hvar, Croatia.

Immerse yourself in the history and culture of some of Europe’s most delightful coastal gems. Discover the remarkable sites of Albania, cut off from the modern world for decades, and explore Montenegro, Corfu, and incomparable Dubrovnik.

Built in Germany in 1931, the Sea Cloud carries 30 sails and measures a total of 32,000 square feet. (For more information on the Sea Cloud, click here to download a 1-page PDF.)

Or read Owen Hardy’s report of the Society’s October, 2015 voyage by clicking here.

The Society of International Railway Travelers and Lindblad Expeditions, both Virtuoso partners, are delighted to join in offering this fabulous journey.

Add a fabulous pre-cruise extension in Athens: See the Acropolis on an early morning walk, visit renowned museums, see the landmarks of the city, and dine on regional specialties—all in the company of guides who weave the narrative of life of this ancient city. IRT guests rated this pre-tour as excellent.

Add a fabulous, also IRT-tested post-cruise extension: Begin in the Old Towns of Split and Trogir, whose cobblestones, ancient buildings and narrow lanes combine the richness of the past with the vibrancy of the present. Then, visit historic Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where you’ll visit the beautiful, renowned Old Bridge, whose rebuilding has come to symbolize the rebirth of the Balkan States. IRT guests rated this pre-tour as excellent.

The following itinerary is westbound, from Athens, Greece to Dubrovnik, Croatia. For the eastbound itinerary, please click here.

Gems of the Dalmatian and Greek Coasts on the Legendary Sea Cloud

11-Day Escorted Tour
Europe
Cruise

Set sail on the historic Sea Cloud — a gift from millionaire businessman E.F. Hutton to his wife, heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post — from the ancient temples of Olympia to the medieval walled city of Hvar.  Even our most fervent rail travelers were ecstatic with this ship, the service, the crew, the dining and excursions. Don’t miss out: We have space for 2017 for a limited time.

Immerse yourself in the history and culture of some of Europe’s most delightful coastal gems. Discover the remarkable sites of Albania, cut off from the modern world for decades, and explore Montenegro, Corfu, and incomparable Dubrovnik.

Built in Germany in 1931, the Sea Cloud carries 30 sails measuring a total of 32,000 square feet. (For more information on the Sea Cloud, click here to download a 1-page PDF.)

Or read Owen Hardy’s report of the Society’s October, 2015 voyage by clicking here.

IRT is delighted to partner with Lindblad/National Geographic Expeditions, both Virtuoso members, to offer this journey.

For the westbound itinerary, please click here.

Swiss Trains & the Italian Lake District

10-day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

Climb aboard Switzerland’s legendary trains to experience some of the most spectacular scenery in the Swiss Alps, from the twisted peak of the Matterhorn to the breathtaking vistas of the Bernina Pass.

Soar high above Zermatt in a gondola, and enjoy a choice of hikes, walks, and tram rides through beautiful mountain landscapes. Then cross the Alps into Italy and cap off the trip on the shores of stunning Lake Como.

Belmond Royal Scotsman Western Tour

4-day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

Belmond Royal Scotsman Western Tour runs on Scotland’s West Highland Line, one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys. The deluxe, private train passes through gorgeous glens, lochs and mountains, steeped in the lore of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

The all-inclusive fare features off-train visits to such treasures as Mount Stuart House, Britain’s most spectacular Victorian Gothic house. Pair this itinerary with the Royal Scotsman’s Classic Tour for a full week of luxurious touring through Scotland.  This trip — especially when paired with the Classic tour — is a Society of IRT favorite. There is no doubt, once you board, why this train is one of our World’d Top 25 Trains: the decor, the ambience, the dining, the off-train excursions and the service are consistently high throughout. If you want a great way to see the best of Scotland, choose The Belmond Royal Scotsman.

IRT Exclusvie: Click here to see our award-winning video of Society President Eleanor Hardy’s trip on the Belmond Royal Scotsman.

VSOE Venice-Paris-London

2 days
Europe
Luxury

Take a step back in time on this overnight trip from Venice to Paris (or on to London) aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Luxuriate in the train’s ambience, gourmet meals and superior service while taking in the beautiful scenery of the Italian Dolomites and the Swiss Alps. Disembark in Paris. Or, we highly recommend you extend the experience as you continue your journey to London on another of our World’s Top 25 Trains, The British Pullman. On the other end, extend your journey from Venice to Rome.

Southbound tour also available. Click here for details.

VSOE London-Paris-Venice

2 days
Europe
Luxury

Take a step back in time on this overnight trip from London (or Paris) to Venice on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Depart London mid-morning (or Paris just before dinner) for your luxurious overnight journey to Venice, where you arrive late afternoon the next day. Luxuriate in the train’s ambience, gourmet meals and superior service while taking in Europe’s beautiful and historic scenery.

This is the centerpiece of our wonderful Romantic Italian Holiday itinerary. If you’re celebrating an anniversary or any special occasion, IRT can customize your luxury rail journey with iconic hotels, special sightseeing, and private transfers. Call or email us for details.

“We are having a fabulous time! Hotel Cipriani is such a great location to have a relaxing start to our trip.” – IRT guest B. Merkely, writing from Venice, May 2016.

Belmond Royal Scotsman Grand West Highland Tour

6-day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

It’s always hard to say farewell to the Scottish Highlands. That’s why we’ve made it possible for you to join us for a much longer journey.

Enjoy the magnificent scenery of the West Highland Line and an exclusive view of Mount Stuart, a spectacular Victorian Gothic house. Then after some free time in Edinburgh experience the wild beauty of the Scottish Highlands as you head north, enjoying a leisurely journey up the east coast through Aberdeen to Keith.

Try your hand at some outdoor activities on the Rothiemurchus Highland estate and enjoy a visit to Strathisla Distillery.

IRT Exclusvie: Click here to see our video of Society President Eleanor Hardy’s trip on the Belmond Royal Scotsman.

Danube Express Budapest-Athens: Hellenic Treasures

11-day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

New for 2017:  Danube Express Athens-Budapest. The train is the Golden Eagle Danube Express. The trip is called Hellenic Treasures. You could not dream up a better way to see this region than on this new luxury rail itinerary. It is the first time IRT has offered a journey to Greece by train. (We went to the region via sailing ship Sea Cloud — fabulous.) But now you’ll have the chance to enjoy historic medieval settlements by land. You’ll revel in the architectural splendor of some of Europe’s most beautiful cities. And you’ll do it all from a great luxury train which is your “hotel on wheels.”  For more information about the train, visit our website here: Golden Eagle Danube Express.  The train is fully air-conditioned, has fully en-suite shower, sink and toilet. And this year, the Golden Eagle is adding two superior deluxe cabins which are double the size of the deluxe compartments. We are proud to call the Golden Eagle Danube Express one of The Society of International Railway Travelers’ World’s Top 25 Trains.

The all-inclusive Danube Express Athens-Budapest itinerary and the comfortable luxury of the train will whisk you from location to location in a way not possible by any other means of travel. From the famed Hotel Gresham Palace Four Seasons in Budapest to the Acropolis, or vice versa, this sweeping journey will take you places many Western travelers never venture — because of the difficulty of travel. But you will luxuriate in your train itself —  gliding from Hungary to Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and on to Greece, through 6 countries — ending up at lively Athens and the marvel of the Acropolis.  This is a journey you will never forget.

Northbound itinerary — Athens-Budapest — is July 1-11, 2017. Call or e-mail us for more details.

Romantic Italian Holiday

6 days
Europe
Luxury

Try this for Romance: two nights in Florence at the Villa San Michele, a former monastery turned five-star hotel; two nights in Venice at the Cipriani, iconic waterside pleasure palace overlooking the Grand Canal; two days and a night on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, capped off by afternoon tea on the British Pullman into London.

Perfect for honeymoons, anniversary celebrations, or any other occasion demanding over-the-top luxury and romance. Package includes hotels, breakfast daily, railway station/airport/hotel transfers, tours,

Florence-Venice high-speed rail transfer, more. Extend your celebration: add London’s romantic Milestone Hotel for a two-night stay and enjoy complimentary afternoon tea for two.

Special Report: Click here for travel notes by Society owners Owen & Eleanor Hardy, who celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary on the Orient-Express Venice-Paris-London.

Switzerland’s Classic Trains

15 or 8-day independent Tour
Europe
Luxury

If you’ve been waiting to take some of the most scenic train trips in the world, wait no longer! This independent journey includes the Glacier Express and Bernina Express, as well as the Centovalli Railway and Golden Pass line—four of Switzerland’s most scenic routes possible by train. The Furka Steam adds a historic element, and the mountain railways are impressive engineering feats. Plus an optional trip on the Jungfrau Railway, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012. You’ll never stop looking out your train window or taking photos!  Available as an 8-day or a 15-day tour.

French Country Waterways: Through the Heart of Burgundy

7-Day Escorted Tour
Europe
Cruise

Discover picturesque central Burgundy with French Country Waterways on the luxurious Nenuphar and pass through a region rich in history, wine, and art.

Situated in the heart of France, the tranquil Burgundy region is interlaced with a network of over 600 miles of waterways. A truly timeless place, Burgundy has been at the crossroads of France since the prehistoric age, and each subsequent culture has left behind its distinctive imprint.

The rich legacy of art, architecture, and commerce recalls an age when the Dukes of Burgundy were more powerful than the French kings. Today, Burgundy’s renowned vineyards produce some of the world’s most prized wines, and an abundance of superb ingredients makes it one of the great gastronomic centers.

The Society of International Railway Travelers highly recommends this Virtuoso partner. No, it’s not a train! But it’s the next best thing: a luxury barge that will take you back in time and steep you in relaxation and beauty.

Tours run April to October and departs every Sunday.  We will happily book your Paris stay pre- and post-tour at our favorite boutique hotel.

Belmond Royal Scotsman Highland Tour

3-day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

There is simply no better way to experience the drama and wild beauty of the Scotland than aboard the Belmond Royal Scotsman luxury train.

This short introduction to the Scottish Highlands is ideal for those who like outdoor activity. At Rothiemurchus Estate, for example, there will be the opportunity to try your hand at clay pigeon shooting, venturing out with the Estate’s rangers on a Highland safari or just enjoying a Highland walk. We love this train for all of its great dining, service, beauty within the train — and without. The scenery is spectacular, of course. And one great thing about this train: there are 4 cabins for solo use and there is no single supplement. Great for a family of couple and solo travelers.

IRT Exclusvie: Click here to see our video of Society President Eleanor Hardy’s trip on the Belmond Royal Scotsman.

Belmond Royal Scotsman Scottish Golf Tour

5-Day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

Royal Scotsman Classic Scottish Golf Tour features among the very best of golf in the highlands. Golf was invented in Scotland in the 15th century, so where better to enjoy this delightful sport? And having the Belmond Royal Scotsman as your traveling five-star hotel and restaurant just adds to the pleasure. This new tour includes an alternative itinerary for the non-golfing companion.

IRT Exclusive: Click here to see our video of Society President Eleanor Hardy’s trip on the Belmond Royal Scotsman.

Belmond Royal Scotsman Edinburgh to London Majestic England Tour

4-Day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

Experience a journey of history, culture and heritage taking in some of England’s finest sights.

See Alnwick Castle (of Harry Potter fame) in Almouth, the cathedral and medieval city of York and the royal residence and gardens of Sandringham. Visit the world-famous University of Cambridge, with the opportunity to experience traditional ‘punting’ on the River Cam.

Arrive into London’s Victoria Station in the morning of day four.

Note: Want more days on the Royal Scotsman? Book an overnight return trip to Edinburgh and you’ll get the entire Majestic England/Edinburgh return package for 15% off the full price. Add a Classic tour from Edinburgh, and take 15% off that fare as well. Call us for details.

IRT Exclusvie: Click here to see our video of Society President Eleanor Hardy’s trip on the Belmond Royal Scotsman.

Land of the Midnight Sun: Russia & the Arctic Circle by Luxury Train

12-day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

Embark on this “Land of the Midnight Sun” journey on one of Europe’s most luxurious trains, the Golden Eagle, and explore the dramatic beauty of Russia, Norway, and the Arctic Circle. Your journey’s finale will take place in St. Petersburg, where you’ll have a chance to revel in the spectacle of the White Nights Festival and take in a world-class ballet, opera, or orchestral performance.

Incomparable cities, remote communities, dramatic fjords, abundant wildlife, and serene forests await you on this journey into the “land of the midnight sun.”

Two Imperial Suites will continue to be available on all Golden Eagle departures. These new compartments are the most spacious – 120 square feet – offered on the train and feature a fixed king-sized bed, a dedicated dressing table and lounge area, and more. For details about this and other upgrades, click here.

Persian Odyssey: Moscow-Tehran

18-Day Escorted Tour
Asia,Europe
Luxury

As rail tours go, experiencing Persia and the Silk Road on board the Golden Eagle is truly stunning. Combining one of the most important trading routes of ancient civilisation with the remarkable treasures of Persia, this unique journey takes in destinations that are rarely experienced by the Western visitor which makes it all the more special. These tours are operated by Australian Pacific Touring.

VSOE London-Paris-Verona & v.v.

2 days
Europe
Luxury

From the cobbles of fashionable Carnaby Street to the romantic arches of Piazza dei Signori, travel between two historic cities aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Tour is also available between Paris-Verona and Verona-Paris.

Your time aboard the train promises to be as enchanting as the destination. Whether sampling world-class cuisine, listening to the resident pianist or admiring the passing scenery, every moment promises multi-sensory delight.

 

VSOE London-Paris-Berlin & v.v.

2 days
Europe
Luxury

Located in northeastern Germany on the banks of the River Spree, Berlin is the country’s capital as well as its largest city, covering approximately 550 square miles. It is a city of culture, politics, media and science.

Berlin is home to renowned universities, orchestras, museums and is well-know for its festivals, diverse architecture and contemporary arts. Dramatic history, eclectic architecture and a thriving social scene await in Berlin.

The VSOE makes its first-ever visit to this thriving metropolis in the heart of Europe. Be a part of this historic journey in June, 2016!