CASTLES OF TRANSYLVANIA
JULY 1-7, 2020
Absorb the vibrant cultures, ancient castles and spectacular
scenery of Transylvania on this exclusive rail cruise aboard
the Golden Eagle Danube Express.
Day 1 Wednesday July 1 Istanbul:
Arrive into Istanbul where you will be met and transferred to the iconic five-star Four Seasons Sultanahmet hotel for a one-night stay. A century-old neoclassical home located in the tranquil sanctuary of the Old City and steps away from the top historic attractions of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, this boutique hotel offers a calming space filled with charm and sophistication.
This evening we will enjoy a welcome reception dinner, giving you the opportunity to meet your fellow travelers.
Day 2 Thursday July 2 Istanbul:
Istanbul is the fabled city that spans Asia and Europe. Today see how old meets new, east meets west when we visit a selection of Istanbul’s must-see historic sites.
One of the most famous monuments in both the Turkish and Islamic worlds, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque (the Blue Mosque) is a superb creation in the classical Ottoman style and features six towering minarets and 260 windows illuminating its vast main chamber, which is decorated with more than 20,000 Iznik tiles.
Now a museum, Hagia Sophia was built in the 6th century by the Emperor Justinian and was one of the largest basilicas in the Christian world. After the Ottoman conquest, it was converted to a mosque and is today one of the most magnificent museums in the world. Take a moment to linger here to admire the fine Byzantine architecture.
The largest and oldest palace in the world and primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans from 1465 to 1853, Topkapi is the crown jewel of the Ottoman Empire. With its treasury and exotic buildings overlooking the Golden Horn, your visit to Topkapi promises to be a truly fascinating experience.
Late afternoon we join our private train, the Golden Eagle Danube Express, to begin our rail journey through Bulgaria and Romania to Budapest.
Day 3 Friday July 3 Veliko Tarnovo:
This morning we enjoy the views from our private train as we climb over the Shipka Pass and arrive at our first stop 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 narrow alleyways of the ancient city.
This evening relax in the Bar Lounge Car before dinner is served as our train continues through the scenic landscape as we head across the Romanian border.
Day 4 Saturday July 4 Sinaia & Brasov:
Overnight 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.
This morning we arrive in Sinaia for a tour of Peles Castle. The castle is a masterpiece of German new-Renaissance architecture, considered by many one of the most stunning castles in Europe. Commissioned by King Carol I in 1873 and completed in 1883, the castle served as the summer residence of the royal family until 1947. Its 160 rooms are adorned with the finest examples of European art, Murano crystal chandeliers, German stained-glass windows and Cordoba leather-covered walls.
Returing to our private train for lunch we continue onto Brasov in the afternoon for a visit to Bran Castle. Surrounded by an aura of mystery and legend and perched high atop a 200-foot-high rock, the 14th century castle owes its fame to its imposing towers and turrets as well as to the myth created around Bram Stocker's Dracula. Following a tour of the castle and its surroundings we will enjoy a gala dinner tonight inside the castle walls.
Day 5 Sunday July 5 Sighisoara & Sibiu:
This morning we make an early departure from Brasov and arrive after breakfast into 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 to the train for lunch as we continue onto Sibiu, known specifically for its Germanic architecture in the Old Town due to the legacy of 12th-century Saxon settlers. Around the city today can be seen the remains of medieval walls and towers, including the 13th-century Council Tower which connects the two main squares.
Tonight, we enjoy a Farewell Dinner on board our private train as we travel across the Great Hungarian Plain.
Day 6 Monday July 6 Kekskemet & Lajosmizse:
This morning we get the opportunity to explore Kecskemét, a fascinating city at the geographical centre of Hungary before the train heads to Lajosmizse for a spectacular ‘Puszta’ horse show.
We then arrive late afternoon at the romantic and historic Hungarian capital, Budapest, located on the banks of the magnificent Danube, where we will enjoy a one-night stay in the five-star Four Seasons Gresham Palace hotel, a unique art nouveau landmark which combines historical elegance with ultra-modern comforts.
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 7 Tuesday July 7 Budapest:
This morning, after an overnight stay at the Four Seasons Gresham Palace, we enjoy our final breakfast on the tour.
PRICES ARE PER PERSON
Superior Deluxe Classtwin$11,395
Superior Deluxe Classsingle$19,195
Superior Deluxe Classdeposit for twin$2,000
Superior Deluxe Classdeposit for single$2,500
FINAL PAYMENT DUE APRIL 1, 2020
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.
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 is included between the hotels and stations.
We operate a strict No Tipping Policy. All gratuities are already included in the tour price.
SUPERIOR DELUXE CABINS
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.
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.
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.