Sceptre Tours is reporting a significant increase in rail travel in 2013 — as much as 49 percent as compared to 2012, according to Chris Accomando, president of Sceptre.
Accomando notes that over the past few years, agents selling Ireland had been inquiring about other options for travelers who didn't want to take an escorted motor coach tour and were a bit concerned about driving on the other side of the road in Ireland.
Sceptre says it tested the waters earlier this year by creating luxury first class rail vacations in Ireland and pairing them with chauffeur-driven cars in order to get travelers out into the more remote areas of the countryside which are not always accessible by public transportation.
The result was that sales for Sceptre's Ireland rail product just took off, noted Accomando. "The fact that we were able to bridge the gap between a fully escorted motor coach tour and a self-drive vacation was unbelievably appealing to agents and their clients. As a result, we also expanded our rail product in Italy and it has grown so tremendously that we have increased available capacity for both Ireland and Italy for the remainder of 2013."
Sample rail product from Sceptre Tours includes:
• Ireland By Rail and Private Chauffeur
• Italy In Luxury
• Ireland By Rail: 6 Nights Dublin & Killarney w/air, hotels, and rail
"Sceptre Tours can customize any vacation to incorporate rail product so an agent just needs to call us and tell us where their clients want to go, and we can incorporate the rail element into that vacation — or also add in private chauffeur-drive elements as well. We have increased capacity for 2013 so those who have not yet planned a vacation for this year can still be accommodated," Accomando said.