Poland: Steam, Trams & History

Auschwitz-Birkenau - © The Polish Tourist Office
Chabowka
Krakow, Poland - © Ramona Cazacu
Krakow, Poland - © Ramona Cazacu
Wieliczka Salt Mine - © The Polish Tourist Office
Wolsztyn
Wolsztyn - © Bob Cable

Holiday Highlights

  • 5-day steam hauled tour with the Wolsztyn Experience in first class
  • Visit some of Poland's best railway museums
  • Explore the tram networks of Warsaw & Krakow
  • Journey by steam on freight only lines with photographic opportunities
  • Chabówka Heritage Park
  • Visit Auschwitz and the Wieliczka Salt Mine
  • 15 Days from £2,620pp
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Tour Dates:
Wednesday 6 May to Wednesday 20 May 2020

By rail to Poland for an unforgettable 5-day steam hauled tour with the Wolsztyn Experience to Olsztyn, exploring various branch lines along the way. Ride on Warsaw's trams, visit Chabowka Heritage Park and take a 1-day tour from Krakow to Auschwitz and the Wieliczka Salt Mines.

ITINERARY

Day 1 – To Cologne

Lunchtime Eurostar to Brussels and then on to Cologne for a 1-night stay.

Day 2 – East to Western Poland

Travel east by rail, via Berlin, to Zbąszynek in western Poland. On arrival, we have a bus transfer to Wolsztyn for a 1-night stay. Our hotel is located within walking distance of the railway station.

Day 3 – Wolsztyn Experience

Join the Wolsztyn Experience this morning for a 5-day steam hauled tour. Our trip ventures as far Łódź on the line between Leszno and Ostrów. As we travel in first class compartments which seat up to 6 people. Transfer to a centrally located hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 4 – Steam to Masuria

Departing Łódź, we steam our way along the line to Warsaw, en route to Olsztyn in the beautiful Masurian Lake District. This city, which is the capital of the region, is our base for the next 3 nights. It boasts a castle, a charming walled old town and a leafy, tranquil park. Our hotel is located on the outskirts with public transport options into the nearby city centre.

Days 5 & 6 – Mazury Branch Lines

Over the next 2 days we cover most of the railway lines in Mazury. This will include the mainline to Elk, as well as the freight-only branches to Bartoszyce, Skandawa, Wielbark and Chorzele. For those who would prefer to explore some of the sights of this enchanting region, there will be optional sightseeing tours and stop-offs. There will also be ample photo opportunities over the course of this trip.

Day 7 – West to Malbork

On our final day, we head west to Malbork, with its remarkable redbrick Medieval castle. This will be followed by a long run along the Ostbahn from Tczew to Pila, before turning south to Poznan and finally, Wolsztyn for another 1-night stay.

Day 8 – Warsaw's Trams

Transfer to Zbąszynek for a direct train to Warsaw. Arriving at lunchtime allows time to explore the extensive tram network with your 24-hour public transport ticket (included). There are 27 lines in operation, forming a rail network of 75 miles. For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, there are regular boat cruises on the Vistula River.

Day 9 – Warsaw's Railway Museums

Travel west by rail to Sochaczew to visit the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum. It has a fleet of historic 750mm-gauge steam, diesel and electric locomotives, goods wagons, passenger cars and draisines. This afternoon, we travel back to the city where we visit the Warsaw Railway Museum.

Day 10 – Rail to Krakow

Morning departure from Warsaw on a direct service to Krakow. Lunchtime arrival for a 3-night stay and an afternoon at leisure. Once again we have a 24-hour travel ticket for use on the city's buses and trams. The tram network here is made up of 27 lines covering over 50 miles.

Day 11 – Chabówka Heritage Park

This morning we have a private bus transfer to Chabówka Rolling-Stock Heritage Park. This open air museum has around 90 exhibits, including a growing number of interesting steam locomotives, electric and diesel locomotives, snow ploughs and rail mounted cranes plus a selection of heritage carriages and freight wagons. Some of the steam locomotives have been restored to working order and are now available for use with heritage rolling stock. If heritage trains are not operating today, we hope to be able to charter one. A packed lunch will be included today.

Day 12 – Wieliczka Salt Mine & Auschwitz

A private coach takes us to the Wieliczka Salt Mine today, which is often referred to as the "Underground Salt Cathedral of Poland". Carved into the salt rock are chapels, statues, monuments and even underground lakes. Every element here, from chandeliers to altarpieces, is made of salt and it took three men over 30 years to complete. After a break for lunch, we continue to Auschwitz Birkenau, the largest concentration camp in occupied Europe during 1940-1945.

Day 13 – Rail to Berlin

We say goodbye to Poland and head back to Germany for a 1-night stay in Berlin. Our hotel is located close to the railway station and a public transport pass is included.

Day 14 – Berlin Technology Museum

Morning visit to the Berlin Technology Museum which has a large permanent railway exhibition. This afternoon, we take a direct train to Cologne for a 1-night stay.

Day 15 – Homeward Bound

After breakfast, we travel by rail to Brussels for the Eurostar back to London, arriving early afternoon.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Ibis Köln Am Dom, Cologne

Hotel Kaukaska, Wolsztyn

Hotel Ambassador, Łódź

Hotel Park, Olsztyn

Hotel Metropol, Warsaw

Ibis Krakow Stare Miasto, Krakow

InterCity Berlin HBF, Berlin

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • All rail travel as stated in standard class
  • All transfers as stated
  • Public transport tickets for Warsaw, Krakow and Berlin
  • 5-day Wolsztyn Experience steam-hauled trip in first class
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • 1 packed lunch
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £2,620
Single room supplement: £460
Deposit for this holiday: £100

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