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 - Budapest - Venice

 

BALKAN ODYSSEY

TOURIST TOUR

JUNE 17-26, 2020

 

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.

 

cities visited

 

BUDAPEST - LAJOSMIZSE - KECSKEMET - SIGHISOARA - BRASOV - VELIKO TARNOVO - PLOVDIV - BELGRADE - MOSTAR - SARAJEVO - LJUBLJANA - TRIESTE - VENICE

 

Day 1 Wednesday June 17 Budapest:

Arrivals day in Budapest, where you will be met and transferred to the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace for a one-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.

 

BALKAN ODYSSEY

 

Day 2 Thursday June 18 Lajosmizse & Kecskemet:

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

 

Day 3 Friday June 19 Brasov & Sighisoara:

Today we arrive in Sighisoara for a walking tour of the town’s main highlights. A World Heritage site rumoured 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. 

 

BALKAN ODYSSEY

 

Day 4 Saturday June 20 Veliko Tarnovo & Plovdiv:

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

 

BALKAN ODYSSEY

 

Day 5 Sunday June 21 Belgrade: Arrive

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.

 

BALKAN ODYSSEY

 

Day 6 Monday June 22 Mostar & Sarajevo:

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 a local 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.

 

BALKAN ODYSSEY

 

Day 7 Tuesday June 23 Ljubljana:

Today we enjoy a visit to the beautiful capital city of Ljubljana, a delightful combination of ancient architecture and a youthful culture with visits to Preseren Square, Three Bridges and Dragon Bridge.

 

We then travel out of the city to visit Predjama Castle, perched on a cliff high above the beautiful Inner Carniola region. Explore the chambers and stairwells and learn about the castle’s most famous resident, Erazem of Predjama. Then, we continue to Postojna Cave as we ride a mini-train deep into the famous cave and tour the ethereal network of stalactites, stalagmites and caverns.

 

Day 8 Wednesday June 24 Trieste & Venice:

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.

 

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.

 

BALKAN ODYSSEY

 

Day 9 Thursday June 25 Venice:

Venice is a truly captivating city of romance; its unrivalled beauty takes away the breath of first time visitors and regulars alike. We have the opportunity to take a 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. 

 

BALKAN ODYSSEY

 

Alternatively enjoy the city at your own pace today. Perhaps 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. Simply enjoy the city at your leisure.

 

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 10 Friday June 26 Venice:

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 per person

 

Heritage Classtwin$8,595 

Heritage Classsingle$12,795 

Heritage Classdeposit$1,500 

 

Deluxe Classtwin$13,695 

Deluxe Classsingle$22,995 

Deluxe Classdeposit$2,000 

 

Superior Deluxe Classtwin$16,295 

Superior Deluxe Classsingle$27,495 

Superior Deluxe Classdeposit$2,500 

FINAL PAYMENT DUE BY MARCH 17, 2020

 

tour includes:

 

As far as possible our tours are all inclusive with no hidden extras. What follows are those elements which are included in the tour price. The only extra items you will need to budget for include personal expenses such as international and internal flights, visa costs, travel insurance, drinks from the Bar Lounge Car and laundry.

 

EXPERIENCED TOUR MANAGERS

Our experienced tour managers and their assistants are selected for their travel knowledge and organizational abilities allowing you to relax and enjoy your voyage of a lifetime. We receive many exceptional passenger comments about our Tour Managers and their aim is to ensure you enjoy every minute of your holiday.

 

ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE TRANSFERS

Arrival and departure transfers are included.

 

HOTEL AND ON BOARD ACCOMMODATION

Although you will spend much of your time sightseeing or relaxing in the train’s public areas, you will find you hotel room or cabin a welcome retreat at the end of a rewarding day. Hotel and on board accommodation as described in your individual tour itinerary are included in the tour price. All hotels are of 5 star standard or, in certain locations, the best available. Room upgrades are available on request and at extra cost.

 

WELCOME AND FAREWELL DINNERS

Each tour begins with a Welcome Dinner, an ideal opportunity to get to know your fellow passengers; for the Tour Manager to brief you on the trip; and introduce you to the Golden Eagle Luxury Trains team and the Tour Doctor. The Farewell Dinner is the perfect end to your adventure by private train where you can relive the journey and look ahead to future tours.

 

ROUTE GUIDE, ITINERARY AND INFORMATION PACK

When you board the train there will be a brochure in your cabin detailing more about your journey and the places en-route. Our Tour Manager will organize a program of briefings on the cities or places we visit and, each evening, will issue a program for the next day’s touring schedule.

 

BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER DAILY

All departures feature one or two uniquely designed restaurant cars where you can enjoy the excellent waiter-served food and wine (except in Iran). Several times during the tour we will also sample authentic local cuisine off the train.

 

DRINKS WITH MEALS

All meals are served with wines at lunch and dinner - except in Iran where soft drinks and non-alcoholic beer will be available. Drinks from the Bar Lounge Car are also included with the exception of drinks from the Premium Wine List.

 

ON BOARD SERVICE

Throughout your tour you can expect service which is attentive, friendly and unintrusive. The high ratio of staff to passengers means there is always someone available should you need assistance.

 

GUIDED OFF-TRAIN EXCURSIONS

All our tours include a wide-ranging sightseeing schedule to make the most of the time you have off the train and bring you closer to the culture, people and history of your destinations.

 

FREEDOM OF CHOICE TOURING

Customize your journey and enjoy the opportunity to select from an array of Freedom of Choice Touring options that best suits your interests. Your off-train excursions will still take in all the major attractions of the places we are visiting but, in featured locations, you will be presented when you are onboard the train with a variety of activities from which to choose, and enjoy a tailor-made experience. Look at the individual itineraries where we are operating Freedom of Choice Touring. Freedom of Choice Touring options may be subject to variations dependent on finalized train timings and local charges. Touring options available will typically be advised in the evening prior to the day’s tour.

 

PERSONAL HEADSETS

On all the off–train excursions, to enhance your enjoyment and comprehension of the places you visit, you will be provided with a lightweight personal headset on which to listen to your tour guide as you take in the sights. So you do not need to worry about missing any of the interesting details on your excursions.

 

ON BOARD DOCTOR AND MEDICAL FACILITIES

To give you peace of mind our tours are accompanied by a doctor who usually travels with us for the entire journey; so you can rest assured that medical assistance is always available. On call 24 hours a day, the doctor is on hand to give primary care as required. Normally, the doctor will be English speaking and be registered with the General Medical Council in the UK.

 

CABIN ATTENDANT SERVICE

Your car attendants provide housekeeping and bedding turndown services. Complimentary tea, coffee and bottled drinking water are available in your cabin at selected times.

 

PORTERAGE

Porterage is included between the hotels and stations.

 

ALL GRATUITIES

We operate a strict No Tipping Policy. All gratuities are already included in the tour price.

 

SUPERIOR DELUXE CABINS

 

BALKAN ODYSSEY
BALKAN ODYSSEY
BALKAN ODYSSEY

 

Our new Superior Deluxe cabins, with private en-suite facilities, offer the ultimate in European rail accommodation in terms of space, facilities and comfort. Limited to just 12 cabins per departure, each cabin offers comfortable daytime seating with a full length sofa and two additional chairs. The large cabin also benefits from two full-size picture windows, one of which can be opened to add to the bright and airy feel of the interior. Each evening the cabin is transformed into a luxurious bedroom with a standard King Size double bed. All cabins have, as standard, a large double wardrobe with excellent storage space, individually controlled air-conditioning, lighting with dimmer switches, individual reading lights, in cabin Wi-Fi and USB ports, power sockets and a safe.

 

DELUXE CABINS

 

BALKAN ODYSSEY

 

Each Deluxe sleeper carriage has just five spacious yet intimate ensuite 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. A range of toiletries and a dressing gown are provided. Cabins have individually controlled air-conditioning, lighting with dimmer switches, individual reading lights, power sockets and a safe. Cordinated fabrics complement wood paneled 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 enhances 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 you early morning tea or coffee.

 

BALKAN ODYSSEY

 

Heritage cabins

 

Each Heritage sleeper carriage has eight sleeping cabins with an upper and lower bed. A shared toilet is available at one end of the carriage and a shared shower at the other end. Each cabin has wood-paneled walls, air conditioning, power sockets and hanging space. A range of toiletries and a dressing gown are provided. 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.

TOUR CONDITIONS FOR 2020 **PLEASE READ CAREFULLY**

Tour Price: All tour prices are subject to change without notice, at any time. All prices based on double room occupancy. Those people that use a credit card for payments a 3% conveyance fee will be added to the tour price. We reserve the right to change tour prices if necessary without prior notice.