Despite the popularity of low-cost European air carriers, rail continues to be the preferred way to transport independent travelers between destinations in Europe, reports FIT specialist Avanti Destinations.
To help travel agents understand the advantages of European rail travel for their FIT clients, Avanti has announced a joint informational campaign with Rail Europe, the Swiss Travel System, France’s high-speed TGV, the high-speed Eurostar train (linking England with the continent), Thalys (linking Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam), Italy’s Trenitalia, TGV Lyria service (linking France and Switzerland), the France-Spain High-Speed Train, and Germany’s InterCityExpress.
The new e-brochure, titled “The Best Way To Explore Europe,” discusses 26 customizable multi-destination Avanti itineraries linked by rail throughout Europe; 12 of the itineraries are new. The new rail e-brochure also explains the differences between rail passes and point-to-point tickets, different classes of service, high-speed trains and more leisurely, scenic trains, as well as the latest developments in each rail system. There is also useful information about special services, such as wheelchair assistance and onboard amenities available on many trains.
Rail: The Secret to Seamless Multi-Destination European travel
Avanti executive chairman Paul Barry calls rail travel the “secret sauce” of Europe travel, noting that more than 80 percent of the customized FIT itineraries that Avanti arranges for travel agents use rail. According to Barry, the advantages can include traveling city center to city center, additional legroom and storage, better baggage allowance, guests don’t need to arrive as early before departure, scenic views, free Wi-Fi and the café/bar carts.
New Customizable Itineraries
- Connect the Capitals: London & Amsterdam – A new, seven-day route on the high-speed Eurostar train, which includes three hotel nights in each city, first-class rail, private arrival/departure transfers, Historic Pubs of London Docklands small group tour, Amsterdam as a Local walking tour, pub visit and dinner, and daily breakfast.
- Dutch Culture & Belgian Cuisine: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels – Nine days traveling on the high-speed red Thalys train. Includes hotels, private arrival/departure transfers, first-class rail, Amsterdam as a Local walking tour/dinner, Rijksmuseum ticket, canal bus pass, private Rotterdam & Kinderdijk half-day tour, private Brussels Gourmet walking tour, and daily breakfast.
- Glacier & Bernina Express: Zurich, Bern, Zermatt, St Moritz, Lugano – Nine days; includes hotels, Swiss Coupon Pass (100 discount coupons for 11 tourist destinations), choice of second- or first-class rail, and daily breakfast. For travel April to October only.
- Oberammergau Passion Play 2020 – Nine- or 10-day options; staying in Oberammergau, Wuerzberg, Nuremberg, and Munich. Includes fisrt-class German railpass, ticket for the play, roundtrip transfer between hotel and theater, private walking tour Wuerzberg with optional wine tasting, three-course dinner in Oberammergau, Munich hop-on/hop-off bus tour, evening food and beer walking tour in Munich, two-day Nuremberg and Fuerth card, hotels, and daily breakfast. For travel May 16 to October 4, 2020.
- Riviera Charm: Nice & Cinque Terre – Seven days in Nice and Portovenere. Includes private tour of Monaco and Eze, private tour of Cinque Terre, shared Nice Tastes & History tour, private arrival/departure transfers, hotels, and first-class rail.
- Road to Iberia: Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Seville – 13 days using the France-Spain High-Speed Train. Includes first-class rail, private arrival/departure transfers, gourmet walking tour of Paris’ Latin Quarter, Paris Illuminated/Seine River dinner cruise, Paris Visite Card, private city tours in Madrid, Barcelona and Seville, flamenco show with tapas dinner, Toledo tour from Madrid and one three-course dinner, Barcelona walking tapas tour, and daily breakfast.
- Swiss Panorama: Zurich, Lucerne, Grindelwald, Montreux, Geneva – 11 days visiting German- and French-speaking areas of Switzerland on the GoldenPass scenic train. Includes Jungfraujoch excursion, Swiss Coupon Pass, second-class rail (option to upgrade to first), three-star hotels (upgrade to four-star available), and daily breakfast. For travel April to October only.
- Wonders of France & Switzerland: Paris, Dijon, Lausanne, Geneva – 10 days nights traveling on the Lyria service between the two countries. Includes private arrival/departure transfers, first-class rail, hotels, Paris TripBuilder City Guide, Paris Visite card, small group Versailles tour, private half-day tour with wine tasting from Dijon, private Lausanne walking tour, and daily breakfast.
Bonus Commission for Off-Season Travel
Agents can earn a bonus commission of $50 for each booking of $1,500 or more made before February 28, 2019 for travel taking place by March 31, 2019. More information on rail-linked FIT itineraries in Europe or to book custom-crafted, multi-destination FIT travel 365 days a year in Europe, Asia and Central and South America, log onto www.avantidestinations.com or call 1-800-422-5053 to speak with an expert travel specialist.