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Germany By Rail
railfan / tourist tour
September 3-18 2016
Our tour will explore the heritage and railways in Germany. Visit great cities and attractive towns as we travel by rail, road and river through delightful countryside. There is an emphasis on train travel, particularly narrow gauge steam trains. However, the rest of Germany has not been ignored with time in the cities of Frankfurt, Leipzig, Dresden and Berlin. The tour is ideal for steam train enthusiasts, it will be accompanied by a German railway photographer and guide to ensure that your interests are satisfied. Many of the trains pass through attractive scenery and take you to attractive tourist destinations, making the tour equally appealing to anyone who enjoys a well managed tour.
Day 1 Saturday September 3: (D)
Arrive in Frankfurt today. Check in to your hotel and spend the rest of the day exploring the city and its main railway station – the busiest in Germany with over 340 trains daily.
Day 2 Sunday September 4: (B-D)
Spend today exploring Frankfurt with a hosted sightseeing tour by bus and on foot. There will also be steam railway activities, both narrow and standard gauge, with the program finalized later when details are known. End the day with a ride on the Ebbelwoi-tram – a ride on the wine-tram is something one has to do! There will be a number of photo opportunities for enthusiasts. Once schedules are available, we will plan to include the most suitable steam and heritage train services. There will also be an opportunity to see and photograph the regular trains at the main railway station.
Day 3 Monday September 5: (B-D)
Enjoy a train and Rhine river cruise to Koblenz, followed by a sightseeing tour of Koblenz, a city with 2,000 years of history. This afternoon, take a regular train through the Rhine valley back to Frankfurt. There will be a number of opportunities to photograph regular trains today, particularly the frequent trains along both banks of the Rhein River, from the ship.
Day 4 Tuesday September 6: (B-D)
Catch an ICE intercity high speed train to Kassel and a regional DB train from there to Nordhausen for a three day visit to the well-known steam operated Harzbahn, a meter gauge railway in the Harz mountains. The last part of our journey to Wernigerode will be in a chartered railcar. You will see some steam trains on the way and we can stop at interesting points along the line. Luggage will be transferred by bus from Nordhausen to the hotel in Wernigerode Overnight: Goldener Hirsch Hotel, Wernigerode
Day 5 Wednesday September 7: (B-D)
Take a steam train to Brocken and back on the Harzbahn. The Brocken is the highest peak of the Harz mountain range and also the highest peak of Northern Germany; it is located near Schierke in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt between the rivers Weser and Elbe. Although its elevation is below alpine dimensions, its microclimate resembles that of much higher mountains with the peak above the tree line covered in snow from September to May. The Brocken is part of the Harz National Park and hosts a historic botanical garden of about 1,600 alpine mountain plants. We plan to take the first train of the day to Brocken, and the last train back. This will give ample opportunities to photograph trains on the mountain by either staying near the top station, or walking down to Stiege. Our hotel is in walking distance of the station and town, and you can adjust your day to suit your own interests by enjoying free time in Wernigerode, or by returning by an earlier train. This evening, a night photo shoot at the steam depot can be arranged. Overnight Wernigerode
Day 6 Thursday September 8: (B-D)
A day of sightseeing with a railway flavor. First, visit the HSB railway workshop, a chance to see inside a working steam repair shop. This will be followed by a walking tour through the old town of Wernigerode, including the castle. Travel by bus to the Selke Valley secion of the HSB railway, starting with a guided tour of Quedlinberg. There is less steam activity here, and so we will use the bus to explore the railway. A day pass on the railway will allow you to ride any trains you wish, returning to the bus later. The small towns and villages are full of local color, traditional houses, forests and flowers. Again, many photo opportunities. Overnight Wernigerode
Day 7 Friday September 9: (B-D)
Today, travel by coach to Leipzig. Our first stop will be the Mansfeld steam railway (narrow gauge).Next, visit Lutherstadt Eisleben (home of Martin Luther) for a short tour, followed by a drive to the Helfta monastery, over 700 years old, one of the oldest in Germany. Our last stop will be the town of Halle. There is much to see, including old former East German Tatra trams - and a tram museum. Depending on the time we will take at the steam railway, the other visits may have to be adjusted. Overnight Leipzig
Day 8 Saturday September 10: (B-D)
Enjoy a day of sightseeing in the city of Leipzig. Start with a guided tour of the city by bus and on foot, lasting between 3 and 4 hours. Next, ride a tram through the city before having time at leisure. In the afternoon, we can indulge in some regular train spotting if there is any interest. Leipzig is home to the famous Thomas boy choir and the renowned Gewandhaus opera, we can make reservation for these venues if desired. Overnight Leipzig
Day 9 Sunday September 11: (B-D)
This morning, we will ride a steam train on the narrow gauge Oschatz-Muegeln line, an iconic Reichsbahn line with Saxonian steam locomotives. The bus will be available if you prefer to photograph the trains from the line-side. Our next visit will be Meissen - home of the famous porcelain factory, a superb castle, and a nice old town. Continue to Annaberg. Overnight Annaberg
Day 10 Monday September 12: (B-D)
There will be two options today, booked in advance so that we can plan transport. The first option will go railway hopping by bus on the Cranzahl and the Steinbach-Jöhstadt lines. These railway are just a few kilometers apart and we can move between them, depending on their schedules. Plenty of photographic opportunity and time to ride both lines. The second group will go sightseeing. There are more monasteries, churches and castles in the area than can be seen I one day Overnight Annaberg
Day 11 Tuesday September 13: (B-D)
Take a bus to Dresden, stopping en-route at Freital for a narrow gauge steam train ride. There should be time this afternoon in Dresden to relax, or to join us on a visit to the interesting railway museum. We can combine the museum visit with a barbecue dinner at the locomotive shed . Overnight Dresden
Day 12 Wednesday September 14: (B-D)
Enjoy today relaxing and sightseeing in Dresden. The city has so much to offer: the main station (we do trains on this tour), the old town, the Frauenkirche, and not to forget the famous steam ships on the Elbe river. As at Leipzig, Dresden hosts choirs and classical music events. We can offer optional bookings for those events. Overnight Dresden.
Day 13 Thursday September 15: (B-D)
Ride a narrow gauge steam train on the Lössnitz Valley Railway from Radebeul to Radeburg, with time for a visit to the Moritzburg castle, a Baroque palace about 13 kilometers northwest of the Saxon capital, Dresden. The castle has four round towers and lies on a symmetrical artificial island. It is named after Duke Moritz of Saxony, who had a hunting lodge built there between 1542 and 1546. Overnight Dresden
Day 14 Friday September 16: (B-D)
This morning, take a train to Berlin followed by sightseeing in the city. Overnight Berlin
Day 15 Saturday September 17: (B-D)
There will be free time in Berlin, with an option to visit a high-speed train depot and a narrow gauge pioneer railway (steam and diesel). This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner on a ship cruising through Berlin. Overnight Berlin
Day 16 Sunday September 18: (B)
Your tour ends in Berlin after breakfast.
All Prices are per person
|DOUBLE ROOM OCCUPANCY.................................................................................||$4,345|
|SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT.................................................................................||$495|
|CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS DISCOUNT BOOK BY JANUARY 15.......................................||$200|
|DEPOSIT DUE AT TIME OF BOOKING ....................................................................||$900|
|FINAL PAYMENT DUE BY JUNE 8, 2016|
DOUBLE ROOM OCCUPANCY$4,345
SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT$495
CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS DISCOUNT BOOK BY JANUARY 15-$200
DEPOSIT DUE AT TIME OF BOOKING$900
FINAL PAYMENT DUE BY june 8, 2016
*15 NIGHTS LODGING
*ALL EVENTS PER THE ITINERARY