Arrive in style to Budapest on the Danube Express
If you find an Orient Express-style, luxury train experience appealing or simply love the romance of train travel than the Danube Express is for you. Its founders claim that the Danube Express is the luxury train of the 21st century. This private, 5-star "Hotel on Wheels" is swankier than the Orient Express but without the formality. You will still experience the glamor and the service from the golden age of traditional train travel but the emphasis on the Danube Express is on modern comfort with a traditional atmosphere.
The train itself is based in Budapest's Nyugati station famous for its unique wrought-iron roof planned by Gustav Eiffel's company. Headed by a modern electric locomotive, it consists of up to twelve fully reconstructed or refurbished cars, including Deluxe Sleeping cars, Classic Sleeping cars, Restaurant cars and Lounge cars. The cabins in the Classic Sleeping cars offer a unique feel of history and old-world charm. They were commissioned in the 1950s for dignitaries of the Hungarian government. The VIP cabin was used by János Kádár, Hungary's former communist leader who was afraid to fly and only traveled by train.
Sightseeing and comfort go together nicely on the Danube Express while exploring some of Europe's most beautiful cities. Countries along its diverse route include Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Turkey. Due to the rising demand for these luxurious train adventures, the Danube Express has recently added several new departures and routes. For 2011 the company offers five different journey options for departures between May and September. The itineraries include the Bosphorus to the Baltic Journey, The Transylvanian Journey (Istanbul to Budapest or Budapest to Istanbul), The Polish Explorer and the Istanbul Loop. Each option can be taken either as a fully-escorted holiday or as an independent journey.
The Polish Explorer, a new journey for 2011, takes train enthusiasts for a journey from the Baltics to the Tatras. The trip starts in Warsaw and travels through Malbork, Gdansk and Cracow with sightseeing stops in each city. It also includes a tour to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, before continuing on towards Slovakia through the Tatra Mountains, Poland's most spectacular mountain range. In Slovakia travelers get to enjoy the scenic Hornad River valley and a walking tour of Kosice. On route to Budapest, the final leg of the journey winds through the northern mountains and the Great Plains of Hungary.
The Polish Explorer Journey between Warsaw and Budapest comes in two flavors. A 4-day trip, including three nights' full board with wine, beer and soft drinks and all scheduled sightseeing, costs £2,590 per person based on two sharing a Deluxe twin en suite compartment. The 9-day Fully Escorted trip starts at £3,490 per person and includes British Airways flights (London-Warsaw, Budapest-London), the same route and tours as the 4-day journey, two nights in Warsaw at the 5-star Le Meridien Bristol Hotel (with half board), three nights in Budapest at the 4-star Hotel Astoria (with half board), full sightseeing program, tour manager and all transfers.
For more information on routes and prices visit the Danube Express website at www.danube-express.com.