Travel in 2013: Holidays for train fans
Kate Simon is the Travel Correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. She was Travel Editor of The Independent on Sunday from 2005 to 2011. Kate is also the co-founder of Little Black Book Creative (www.lbbcreative.co.uk), which offers editorial services, media relations consultancy and travel-writing training.
Sunday 30 December 2012
The vintage carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (0845 217 0799; vsoe.com) head for Scandinavia next year, visiting Stockholm for the first time.
A seven-night package from Venice to Stockholm, including two nights at the Hotel Cipriani, two nights' full board on the train, one night in Copenhagen and two in Stockholm at the Grand Hotel, plus BA flights from Heathrow or Gatwick (into Venice, out of Stockholm) on 6 April is £4,860pp. If that's a little outside your budget, a new trip along the Pembrokeshire coast on the Orient Express's Northern Belle departs Cardiff and Swansea on 2 March, and Bath, Bristol and Cardiff on 9 May, from £340pp, including brunch and a four-course dinner.
Travel back to the days of the Cold War and ride Marshal Tito's Blue Train between Belgrade in Serbia and Bar in Montenegro. The new 12-hour journey in the 1950s carriages will cross the Serbian plains and Montenegrin mountains, with talks by expert guides. A one-week break, featuring the train ride, costs from £699pp, based on two sharing, with Explore Montenegro (020-7118 1002; montenegroholi days.com), including JAT Airways flights from Heathrow into Belgrade, out of Tivat to Gatwick with Montenegro Airlines, two nights' B&B in Belgrade and five nights' self-catering with car hire in Montenegro.
The Rocky Mountaineer (rockymountaineer.com), is launching its first trip starting in the US, the Coastal Passage route, in 2013. The double-decker train with panoramic views will head from Seattle along the shores of the Pacific to Vancouver and on into the Canadian Rockies to Banff. Trailfinders (020-7368 1200; trailfinders.com) is offering a week from £3,099pp, including indirect Delta flights from Heathrow to Seattle and out of Calgary, three nights' half board on the train, six nights' room-only accommodation in Seattle, Vancouver and Banff, and three days' car hire. Departs 21 August.
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