VSOE Venice-Budapest-Paris-London

5 days
Europe
Luxury

We love departing from Venice on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express in the late afternoon for your overnight journey to Budapest, where you arrive the following morning for a two-night stay. After your stay in Budapest, rejoin the train in the morning for your overnight journey to London, where you arrive the following evening.

World-class cuisine, fine wines, spectacular scenery, faultless service, and old-world elegance combine to make this journey on the Venice Simplon-Orient Express one to remember.

Caucasian VI Steam Journey

15 Day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

Join this brand new Caucasian VI departure, on which the Golden Eagle is hauled by 21 different Soviet Era steam locomotives. The journey travels to the North Caucasus and Black Sea coast.

Highlights include a tour of Moscow’s Kremlin & Lenin’s tomb, a ride on the famous Gagarin Children’s Railway in Rostov-on-Don, the Radishchev Museum in Saratov, a boat trip on the Volga River in Saratov, the Akhmad Kadyrov Mosque in Chechnya, a ride on the steep branch line from Mineralnye-Vodi to Kislovodsk, the restored 1930s narrow-gauge railroad through Guamsky Canyon, journey on the “Russian Riviera” line to Sochi, and, best of all, 12 nights aboard the luxurious Golden Eagle train. Almost everything is included in this tour — gratuities, meals, sightseeing per itinerary, transfers, and a generous drinks allowance.

Norway’s Trains & Fjords

10-day Escorted Tour
Europe
First-class

In western Norway, deep fjords cut through snowcapped mountains, and remote valleys are only accessible by railways and roads that are masterworks of engineering. Climb aboard five different trains to experience the country’s astonishing natural beauty from Oslo to Bergen. Cruise the waters of the Sognefjorden and the Geirangerfjorden and delve into a rich seafaring history as you encounter Viking longships and medieval churches.

Trans-Siberian Winter Wonderland

15-day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

The Trans-Siberian Express “Winter Wonderland” is a voyage through a shimmering sea of winter white. This epic journey spans two continents and seven time zones. Spend two weeks traveling on the world’s most famous railway on board the private, cozy Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express. This unique winter journey includes a  trip to frozen Lake Baikal, deepest fresh-water lake in the world, and the opportunity to experience a snowmobile or dog-sled ride across the rock-solid lake. For those who were dazzled by the sunlit snow in “Doctor Zhivago,” this will be the answer to your “Winter Dreams.”

Belmond Royal Scotsman: Heritage Homes & Gardens

5-day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

Join respected British gardening writer Sue Chivers and photographer Patsy Floyd on a memorable rail journey around some of Scotland’s finest country homes and gardens. Enjoy personal tours given by members of the family, as well as welcome drinks in their homes and walks through their beautiful gardens.

With the Belmond Royal Scotsman luxury train as your rolling, five-star hotel, visit Edzell Castle and Gardens, Foulis Castle of Clan Munro, Attadale, Logie House, Rothiemurchus Estate, Pitmuies Garden, among other stops. Journey length: 720 miles.

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

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.

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. (To download more information on the Sea Cloud, click here.)

Read Owen Hardy’s report of the Society’s October, 2015 voyage by clicking here. Click here to see our short Sea Coud photo album.

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. (To download more information on the Sea Cloud, click here.)

Read Owen Hardy’s report of the Society’s October, 2015 voyage by clicking here. Click here to see our short Sea Coud photo album.

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.

Midwest High Speed Rail Association Study Tour to Italy

9-Day Escorted Tour
Europe
First-class

Midwest High Speed Rail Association Study Tour to Italy is designed to offer the best in high speed trains, unique rail station and behind-the-scenes visits, and meetings with important players in the Italian high speed rail world. But it will also offer unique cultural visits to the famous spots in Italy from the Vatican to Florence, Pompeii to Milan. Rick Harnish, executive director the MHSRA, will welcome you in Rome and accompany the entire journey plus the extension. He and our professional English-speaking guide will manage the journey — offering our guests the best of both worlds: the expertise and personal connections of Rick Harnish and the wonderful points of local culture, history and art  of our Italian guide. The Society of International Railway Travelers is honored to organize this 7th Midwest High Speed Rail Association study tour.  What a great way to celebrate 25 years of this amazing organization. The Society of IRT has organized many study tours for Mr. Harnish and the association to Germany, France, Japan, China, Spain and more to study the best in high-speed trains. They have visited so many behind-the-scenes rail facilities, met the movers and shakers for high speed rail around the world. Now it’s time to head to Italy to discover what is new — and amazing — in Italy. Every journey has received high acclaim: In 2018, it’s your turn!

Belmond Royal Scotsman: Western Scenic Wonders

4-day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

Belmond Royal Scotsman‘s Western Scenic Wonders 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 Belmond Royal Scotsman’s Classic Splendours Tour for a full week of luxurious touring through Scotland.  This trip — especially when paired with Scotland’s Classic Splendours 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 ambiance, 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.

New to the Belmond Royal Scotsman in 2017: full-service spa car. Inquire when you book your journey!

IRT Exclusive: 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 Taste of the Highlands

6-day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

Join the Grand Taste of the Highlands tour aboard Scotland’s premiere luxury train: the Belmond Royal Scotsman. 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 Exclusive: Click here to see our video of Society President Eleanor Hardy’s trip on the Belmond Royal Scotsman.

Belmond Royal Scotsman: Clans, Castles & Isles

6-day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

Belmond Royal Scotsman‘s Clans, Castles & Isles Tour is an exploration of the wild and rugged west coast of Scotland, including Oban and the Isles of Mull and Bute. New to the Belmond Royal Scotsman in 2017: full-service spa car. Inquire when you book your journey!

IRT Exclusive: 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
First-class

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: Taste of the Highlands Tour

3-day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

There is simply no better way to experience the drama and wild beauty of 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 with no single supplement. Great for a family of couple and solo travelers. Call early to book!

New to the Belmond Royal Scotsman in 2017: full-service spa car. Inquire when you book your journey!

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

The Belmond Royal Scotsman 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: The Grampians & Beyond

5-Day Escorted Tour
Europe
Luxury

Belmond Royal Scotsman Grampians & Beyond is five glorious days enjoying some of the most remarkable scenery of Scotland — the Northeast’s Grampian Mountains. Take the five-star Belmond Royal Scotsman. Add in the remarkable mountains, towns, gardens, and castles of the region, and you have a stunning tour. It includes a visit to Glenmorangie Distillery, the romantic Ballindalloch Castle, and the marvelous Pitmedden Garden — not to mention traveling over the Firth of Forth Railway Bridge. If you have never heard of the Grampians, then it’s time to get familiar!  Please call us to go over this trip – and find out why it might be perfect for you.

Take this tour — or any of the Belmond Royal Scotsman tours — and you will discover without a doubt why this is one of our all-time favorite trains. The food, the service, the outings, the scenery: it all adds up to a spectacular journey. The train itself, with its intimate setting for only 40 people, is amazing enough.It long ago earned its place as one of our World’s Top 25 Trains, and has held its place for decades. Well done!  But couple this train with this fabulous itinerary, and you have a winning combination.

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

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.