Trains & Travel

P.O.Box 312

Portola CA 96122

chris@traintrips.biz (Rail Tour Manager)

1-800-359-4870 (USA)

1-800-752-1836 (Canada)

1-800-266-8751 (Fax)

1-530-836-1944

Europe

 

Balkan Odyssey

tourist tour

June 9 - 19, 2017 sure go

september 7 - 17, 2017 sure go

 

Balkan Odyssey

 

Relaxing and sophisticated, you'll relish the leisurely pace as you're transported to some of Europe's most intriguing destinations, whilst enjoying the intimacy of your private carriage

 

DAY 1: BUDAPEST, Hungary

 

Balkan Odyssey

 

Arrivals day in Budapest, where you will be met and transferred to the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace for a two-night stay. Enjoy a welcome reception dinner in the elegant surrounds of this art nouveau landmark where you can meet your fellow travellers on this highly anticipated journey.

 

DAY 2 BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

 

Budapest is actually two cities separated by the Danube. The old city of Buda and the imposing Royal Palace, dominates the city with stunning views across the Danube to the commercial heart of Pest.

 

Our city tour includes the Royal Palace, St. Mathias Church and a panoramic view of the city from Gellert Hill. We will also see the Citadel, the Opera House, St Stephen's Cathedral, Heroes Square and the City Park.

 

The rest of the day is at leisure where you can stroll along the banks of the Danube, visit the historic Great Market Hall with its endless variety of delicious foods and wines or head to one of the city's famous thermal baths for a rejuvenating dip. Alternatively you can relax at the hotel and indulge in the hotel's luxurious spa with infinity-edge pool or make use of the state-of-the-art fitness centre.

 

This evening we will enjoy a beautiful dinner cruise along the Danube.

 

DAY 3 LAJOSMIZSE & KECSKEMET, HUNGARY

 

We enjoy a morning drinks reception in the impressive Royal Waiting Room at Budapest Nyugati station before boarding the Golden Eagle Danube Express. Settle in to your cabin and later enjoy lunch as the train heads to Lajosmizse for a spectacular 'Puszta' horse show. Afterwards there is free time to explore Kecskemét, a fascinating city at the geographical centre of Hungary.

 

Back onboard, enjoy a pre-dinner drink in the Lounge Car as the train continues across the Great Hungarian Plain and dine as we head towards Transylvania.

 

DAY 4 BRASOV & SIGHISOARA, ROMANIA

 

Balkan Odyssey

 

Today we arrive in Sighisoara for a walking tour of the town's main highlights. A World Heritage site rumored to be the birthplace of Dracula, it is one of the best-preserved fortified medieval towns in Europe. Burgher houses and ornate churches line its cobbled streets.

 

We return onboard for lunch as we continue onto Brasov for a tour of Bran Castle. Popularly known as Dracula's Castle, this beautiful 14th century building is situated amongst stunning mountain scenery.

 

Back onboard later this evening, the train twists and turns as it climbs over the Carpathian Mountains and threads its way through the dramatic landscape with crystal clear mountain streams. Dinner is served as our train continues onto Bulgaria.

 

DAY 5 VELIKO TARNOVO, BULGARIA

 

We arrive after breakfast in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria's ancient capital. Nestled in a magnificent mountain setting, the stone houses seem perched, one above the other, on the steep banks of the Yantra River. A tour includes the superbly preserved medieval Tsarevets Hill and Castle and there is free time to wander through the streets of the ancient city.

 

DAY 6 PLOVDIV & SOFIA, BULGARIA

 

Balkan Odyssey

 

The second largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia, 'The City of Seven Hills' is one of the oldest cities in Europe with more than 200 known archaeological sites. We spend the morning here exploring the many sights in the charming Old Town including its ancient theatres, medieval walls and Ottoman baths.

 

The sight of Bulgaria's modern capital, Sofia, at the foot of Mt Vitosha, was first occupied by the Thracian tribe of Serdi. On our afternoon tour we will spot sections of Roman wall, admire the ancient church of St George, the golden-domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Turkish Bashi Mosque.

 

DAY 7 BELGRADE, SERBIA

 

Balkan Odyssey

 

Arrive this morning in the Serbian capital, Belgrade. Located at the strategic meeting point of the Danube and Sava Rivers, this truly cosmopolitan city has fortifications from Celtic times, medieval tombs and Turkish baths. We spend a full day here and our city tour includes Tito's memorial, the Town Hall, Republic Square and Knez Mihajlova Street; as well as 'Varos' Gate and a visit to the mighty Kalemegdan Fortress.

 

DAY 8 MOSTAR & SARAJEVO, BOSNIA

 

This morning we tour the historic city of Mostar, the crossroads of many civilizations, cultures and three religions. Mostar was one of the most important cities of the Ottoman Empire. The town's renowned stone arch bridge linking the Christian and Muslim areas was re-built in the summer of 2004. We also visit Turkish House and the mosque before walking through the narrow, bazaar streets, where you can shop for traditional souvenirs and handicrafts.

 

An early afternoon arrival into the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo which is an intriguing blend of Eastern and Western culture; it has mosques and minarets, an ancient bazaar and an atmospheric old Turkish quarter. Discover the city's poignant history through a truly absorbing tour detailing the horrors of the Balkan War. Sarajevo suffered from the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare. The scars of war are still evident as we travel past war-torn buildings and we make a special visit to the Tunnel Museum under Sarajevo Airport. Your guide, who lived through the 1992-1996 conflict, brings to life in touching fashion the struggles the citizens of Sarajevo faced during the siege of the city.

 

DAY 9 ZAGREB & LJUBLJANA, CROATIA & SLOVENIA

 

Balkan Odyssey

 

This morning we will tour Zagreb, a central European city with over 900 years of documented history. We will take a walking tour of the upper town and 'Kapitol' (the ancient town centre), which abounds in Baroque atmosphere and cultural monuments. We will also see the ornate buildings of the lower town and its wide boulevards.

 

We enjoy lunch back onboard the train as we travel onwards towards Slovenia. Ljubljana is a delightful city, a combination of ancient architecture and a youthful culture. Our morning city tour includes visits to Preseren Square, Three Bridges, Dragon Bridge and Plecnik Market.

 

DAY 10 TRIESTE & VENICE, ITALY

 

This morning our private train, the Golden Eagle Danube Express, arrives into Trieste, the Italian port for a short tour. We stop at the vast Piazza Unita d'Italia, the main town square, and can climb the hill to the famous Church of San Giusto built around a medieval complex that dates backs to the 13th century. We will go inside the church for a close-up view of the splendid Byzantine-style architecture enriched with precious mosaics. We also offer a Freedom of Choice option to visit the Museum of the Risiera di San Sabba. This former rice-husking facility became the site of the only extermination camp in Italy.

 

We enjoy our farewell lunch onboard as we leave Trieste and follow the Adriatic coast towards Mestre where our train curves to the left onto the 3-mile causeway across the Venice Lagoon and into Santa Lucia station on the Grand Canal. We say farewell to the train and train crew and transfer by boat to the five-star Danieli hotel (or similar) for a two night stay. The hotel enjoys a spectacular location and is only a short stroll from St Mark's Square, the Doge's Palace and the Bridge of Sighs.

 

This afternoon we have the opportunity to take a familiarization walking tour around the highlights of this spectacular city. Walk through the winding lanes beside the Grand Canal to St Mark's Square, which for 1,000 years was the heart of Venetian life. We also see St Mark's Basilica and stroll through the Rialto Market.

 

DAY 11 VENICE, ITALY

 

Balkan Odyssey

 

Venice is a truly captivating city of romance; its unrivalled beauty takes away the breath of first time visitors and regulars alike. Enjoy the city at your own pace today. Take an iconic gondola ride in the Basin of St. Mark's and along the Grand Canal or stroll through the artists' district of Dorsoduro, stopping to take in the city's most breathtaking views from the Accademia Bridge.

 

This evening we will enjoy a farewell reception dinner at a local restaurant, giving you the opportunity to reflect on your journey through this fascinating part of Europe.

 

DAY 12 VENICE, ITALY

 

Following breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for onward departures. There is also an option to extend your stay in Venice for additional nights to explore more of this fascinating city.

 

 

all prices are per person

 

 

july 9 - 19

heritage classtwin$9,195 

heritage classsingle$13,695 

deluxetwin$14,695 

deluxesingle$24,695 

deposit to hold space confirmed$2,000 

FINAL PAYMENT DUE 90 days prior to start of tour.

 

semptember 7 - 17

heritage classtwin$9,195 

heritage classsingle$13,695 

deluxetwin$14,695 

deluxesingle$24,695 

deposit to hold space confirmed$2,000 

FINAL PAYMENT DUE 90 days prior to start of tour.

 

Deluxe Sleeping Cars

Travel in some of the finest rail accommodation available in Europe. Each deluxe sleeping car has just five spacious yet intimate en-suite cabins offering every convenience and comfort so you may sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery as it rolls by. Private bathrooms feature a shower with constant hot water, washbasin and toilet. There is a heated towel rail, shaver socket and hairdryer and a range of toiletries are provided. Bedrooms have individually controlled air-conditioning, lighting with dimmer switches, individual reading lights, power sockets and a safe. Co-ordinated fabrics complement wood panelled walls and brass fittings. Two comfortable armchairs provide daytime seating and a free-standing chair adds flexibility. Cupboards and a full length wardrobe provide ample storage whilst the large picture window and full length mirror enhance the spacious feel. A second window will open for fresh air and for that perfect photo opportunity. During dinner each evening the living room is converted into two comfortable lower beds by your attendant who is also on hand to bring early morning tea or coffee or perhaps later, a glass of wine.

Heritage Class Sleeping Cars

Each carriage has eight sleeping cabins with an upper and lower bed. A toilet is available at one end of the carriage and a shower at the other end. Each cabin has wood panelled walls, remote controlled air-conditioning, power sockets and hanging space. A full length couch provides daytime seating. The large picture window will open for fresh air and for that perfect photo opportunity. During dinner each evening the cabin is converted into two comfortable beds by your attendant who is also on hand to bring early morning tea or coffee or perhaps later, a glass of wine.

Saloon Cars

For this journey we will be taking two managers saloon cars which, as well as providing two additional seating areas, incorporate four single cabins and one large cabin with small double bed and en-suite toilet and shower. The single cabins have access to a toilet and shower at the end of the carriage. These two carriages are not air-conditioned but we do not consider this will be a requirement at this time of the year.

Restaurant and Bar Cars

There will be two restaurant cars and one bar car included in the train formation which we expect to be 12 carriages in total.

 

TOUR CONDITIONS FOR 2017 **PLEASE READ CAREFULLY**

Tour Price: All tour prices are subject to change without notice, at any time. All prices based on double room occupancy. We reserve the right to change tour prices if necessary without prior notice.

 

Prices do not include:Personal items, meals not listed in the itinerary, laundry, phone calls, excess baggage charges, rental cars, side tours, insurance, passport fees including visas, vaccinations, gratuities, medical costs, tips to train or motor coach staff, extra tour costs due to unanticipated changes in the itinerary for reasons beyond our control, including weather, travel conditions, or cancellations, government intervention, sickness, political disputes, and failure of transportation or other causes beyond our control.

 

TRAVEL AND HEALTH DOCUMENTS:A valid passport is required for our international tours. In some cases a visa is also needed. Consult your health professional for the recommended immunizations and documents. Trains and Travel , here on referred to as TT, assumes no other responsibility if a client is refused entry into a country. Cost and cancellation fees will be paid by the client in the event they do not have valid documents.

 

CHANGE OF ITINERARY:We reserve the right to substitute, alter or modify the tour if any unexpected and unforeseen conditions beyond our control preventing the completion of such. Conditions can include weather, train schedules, equipment, motive power, revision of train consist, train delays, labor strikes, political disputes, derailments, closure of a rail line, break down of railroad or motive power equipment, railroads not honoring contracts and bus equipment problems. We will always endeavor, in each case, to provide substitutes, if any changes take place. TT is not responsible for canceled trains, delays, hotel rooms, route changes or missed connections, for any reason whatsoever. We will not give refunds if such conditions or cancellations take place.

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE:Travel insurance is strongly suggested. Insurance will cover and give tour members many benefits and protection. Benefits include baggage loss, accident, life, trip cancellation, sickness, bankruptcy, strike, weather conditions, employer termination or layoff effecting you or a person sharing the room with you, terrorist incident in your departure city or city of destination, jury duty, you are subpoenaed, hijacked, or quarantined, your residence or traveling companion residence is rendered uninhabitable, emergency military duty, traffic accident, single supplement upgrade when your room- mate cancels their trip, trip interruption, trip delay, missed connections, itinerary change, emergency medical benefits, medical evacuation, pre-existing medical conditions if enrollment is within 21days of your invoice date, assault of you or your traveling companion before departure, burglary of you or your companion before departure 24 hour hotline emergency assistance, emergency cash transfer and more .

 

RESPONSIBILITY AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY:Accepting your payment represents an agreement that you understand all the conditions, to be a member of our tours. TT gives notice that they are acting agents for the owners, contractors and suppliers, providing the transportation and all related travel services and assume no responsibility for equipment problems, mechanical failures, injury, sickness, damage, loss, additional expenses accidental delay or irregularities which may be caused through willful and or negligent acts or omissions on the part of the companies providing or engage in transportation, accommodations or services related to the accomplishment of the tour. Nor do we assume responsibility for natural disasters, social or political upheaval, acts of terrorism or acts of nature. TT reserves the right to substitute hotels, tour leaders, equipment, motive power, trains, onboard accommodations, routes and to alter the itinerary when deemed necessary without notice. The right is also reserved to cancel any trip or train prior to departure for any reason . TT is not responsible for expenses incurred by tour members in preparing for the tour, including non-refundable airline tickets, visa fees, planning, phone calls, or any other expenses. TT reserves the right to decline to accept, or ask to leave a tour, any person whose actions impede the daily operations of a tour, welfare or or enjoyment of other tour members. TT cannot give any refunds for any unused services. The terms contained herein shall serve as a waiver of liability to TT . Assumption of risk on behalf of the client, their heirs, executor, administrators, successors, and assigns for any and all known persons injuries. In many cases it is not possible to advise the passengers on reasons for train delays if beyond our control.

 

RESERVATIONS: A deposit is due in our office within 14 days after you make your bookings. Full payment is due 90 days before departure except for the Grand Canyon Limited in which full payment is due on a different schedule. You will receive an invoice, reservation form and current tour bulletins with your confirmation and travel insurance forms. No notice for final payment will be sent to you. It is your responsible to make the final payment on-time.

 

CANCELLATIONS:TT does not accept cancellations on the phone. Cancellations must be received by postal mail, email or fax before any refunds will be considered. Allow enough time if sending your written notice by US mail postal system. When a written cancellation is received in the Trains and Travel office this will be the effective date of the cancellation. Please take note that it can take up to 60 days to to process some refunds. Cancellation refund rules: 120 days prior to the start of any tour you will receive a refund less a $200 per person administration fee. 119 to 61 days before the departure of any tour there will be a 80% cancellation penalty based on the full cost of the tour. Cancellations received 60 or less days before the start of any tour will not receive any refund. GW Travel Ltd has their own cancellation rules and these will apply. If booking on GW Travel Ltd ask for cancellation rules.

 

PRE-DEPARTURE TOUR BULLETINS:Tour bulletins will be sent to clients that have booked on tours operated by TT . Bulletins include travel info related to the tour. Final documents will be sent out about two to three weeks before a tour begins. We offer tours operated by other companies and they may or may not send out tour bulletins and updates and most send out final documents only one to two weeks prior to the start of their tours.

 

PAYMENTS: Payments can be made with personal check drawn on a U.S. Dollar account, money order for U.S. Dollars, bank wire transfer, or credit card. We accept Visa, Master Card, Discover or American Express. Final payment for all tours is due 90 days prior to departure and we will charge your credit card on file unless you have given us other instructions. If final payment has not been received 7 days after the due date, a late fee of $50 per week will apply.

 

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:All prices are based on double room occupancy. We will try and match you with a roommate if one is available. If not, you may be charged the single room supplement listed for the tour you are booked on. Single rooms may not be available in some remote locations and on some trains.

 

TOUR REFUNDS:If for any reason tour members amend or delete any arrangements during travel, and leave the tour on their own, we cannot give any refunds on unused portions of the tour. If buses and trains are cancelled by the carrier or there is a labor strike or they go out of business, we cannot be held responsible and we cannot give refunds. Travel insurance will protect you for any of these reasons. If TT needs to cancel any tour everyone will receive a full refund. Please take note that in some cases refunds can take up to 60 days to process.

 

PARTIAL TOURS:We will allow passengers to join or leave a tour at certain points. Give us a call and we will try and work up a custom option for you.

 

MILEAGE COLLECTORS:Mileage collectors please take note that TT does not cater just to mileage collectors. We cater to all folks that enjoy trains and Rail journeys. We give strong warning that itinerary and route changes do happen and this is totally beyond our control when it does. If the only reason that you would want to book a tour is to collect the rare mileage, you need to understand that possible route changes do happen.

 

Questions? Send Email To: Chris@traintrips.biz

Trains & Travel

P.O.BOX 312

Portola CA 96122

1-800-359-4870 USA or (530) 836-1944

1-800-752-1836 CANADA