Celebrating 50 Years of Rail Holidays where the Journey Began
Fifty years on and history could repeat itself with the October 2024 celebratory tour already fully booked! Alan, who is now a Ffestiniog Travel Board Director and still an active tour leader, will escort travellers on the Swiss celebratory tour alongside fellow original tour leader Liz Turner.
He comments: “We felt it was fitting to return to the place where it all began. Switzerland continues to be one of our most popular rail holiday destinations as it’s amazing railways, that travel through stunning Alpine scenery, never disappoint. I feel very fortunate and privileged to have been able to share my passion for rail travel with thousands of travellers who have joined me on so many wonderful train journeys around the world since 1974.”
Ffestiniog Travel is now a separate company from the Ffestiniog Railway (FR), but it is still owned by the Ffestiniog Railway Trust and has remained loyal to its roots, with profits donated to the Trust for preservation work on the FR which now includes the Welsh Highland Railway too. To date Ffestiniog Travel has donated over £1 million to help finance new carriages, a locomotive and various infrastructure projects.
Alan added; “Ffestiniog Travel, still a small independent tour operator, was one of the first UK rail holiday companies and has remained true to its specialism, creating quality rail holidays, for 50 years. Nowadays our destinations are worldwide and we embrace tailor made individual customers and private groups as well as our traditional escorted rail holidays.
“What we are also proud of is our commitment to promoting rail travel and supporting heritage railways around the world, from financial support to the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways to escorting travellers to the many vintage, steam and narrow gauge lines around the world that continue to provide inspiration for our rail holidays.”
The company continues to create new and interesting tours with a bumper 14 additional new escorted rail holidays departing in 2024 alongside regular favourites. Alan shares his top picks of new tours for the special year ahead:
This new tour gives travellers the chance to spend a few transport-themed days in Brontë Country including behind the scenes access to the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway KWVR). Journey on the Settle-Carlisle Railway, travel by vintage bus and learn more about the industrial history of the area. Price includes all rail travel, B&B hotel accommodation, guided tours, travel on the KWVR and the services of a tour leader throughout.
Journey with Ffestiniog Travel through Northern France, a destination known for its history, cuisine and spectacular coastline. With stays in historic cities including Amiens, Rouen, Quimper and Nantes, excursions to rivers, coast and heritage railways there is something for everyone on this tour. The price includes all rail travel, excursions, B&B hotel accommodation, transfers and the services of a tour leader throughout.
This tour offers travellers the opportunity to enjoy Switzerland’s breathtaking scenery – by rail and on foot. With stays in Chur and Interlaken, the itinerary combines rail journeys with stops at various points in the Swiss Alps to enjoy some easy scenic walks. The price includes rail travel, a First Class Swiss Travel Pass, excursions, B&B hotel accommodation, a welcome dinner and services of a tour leader.
Travellers can spend two weeks touring and ascending the famous peaks of the Swiss Alps – by train! A chance to experience stunning views as you reach mountain summits courtesy of Switzerland’s engineering excellence and gravity defying trains including First Class travel on the Glacier Express and journeys on steam and rack railways. The price includes rail travel and a First Class Swiss Pass, excursions, B&B hotel accommodation and services of a tour leader.
The enchanting coastal scenery of Northern California, Oregon and Washington State combine with the exciting cities of Seattle, Portland and San Francisco and some truly memorable rail journeys to make this a classic holiday. Travel by modern train along the scenic Pacific coast, ride historic railroads and enjoy a Napa Valley wine train dining experience. The price includes return flights in Economy Class, all rail travel, excursions, B&B hotel accommodation and services of a tour leader.
An incredible rail holiday that showcases the best of Argentina, Bolivia and Peru. Spectacular train journeys including the Tren a las Nubes, Tren de las Sierras, Expreso del Sur and Titicaca Train and the famed train to the wondrous Inca site of Machu Picchu. A great way to experience South America, mostly at ground level with only two internal flights. The price includes flights in Economy Class, all rail, road and boat travel, B&B hotel accommodation, six lunches, excursions, services of a tour leader and local English speaking guides.
Small & Traditional Tour Range
An in-depth visit to this beautiful country, travelling from the coastal villages on the Gulf of Venice through the high mountains of the north to the vineyards in the east. Includes the stunning rail line from Nova Gorica to Bled. Stay in village accommodation with locally produced food and wine. This tour is limited to just 15 people. The price includes flights in Economy Class, all rail and road travel, B&B accommodation in private hotels or guest houses, nine additional meals, excursions and the services of a tour leader and local professional guide.
Visit two countries at the extremities of Europe and be rewarded with snow-clad mountains, meadows teeming with wildflowers and a rich and interesting history. Travel by rail and road and visit historic sites, amazing landscapes and stay in remote villages and enjoy friendly hospitality. The price for this small group tour (maximum 12 travellers) includes flights in Economy Class, all rail and road travel, B&B accommodation in hotels and guest houses with ensuite facilities, excursions and the services of a tour leader and local professional guides.