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The Golden Eagle Danube Express - Grand Alpine Express

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Traverse some of the most scenic railway lines in the world as the Golden Eagle Danube Express weaves its way through tunnels, across viaducts and over mountain passes.

Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager

2024 Tour code: GE-GAEW-24

About the tour

From the classic capital cities of Budapest and Vienna, we venture deep into the Austrian Tyrol before heading across the valleys of the Swiss Alps and onwards through the Italian Lake District as we visit Como and Garda before heading into the lesser-known but equally beautiful country of Slovenia and its jewel in the crown, Lake Bled. Journeys end will be in the stunning maritime city of Venice, an outstanding mix of Gothic and Renaissance palaces perched on the edge of the Italian coast. A perfect end to a memorable journey of alpine discovery

What’s included


Day 1 - Budapest

On arrivals day in Budapest, you will be met at the airport, train station or river ship landing stage and transferred to the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace for a two-night stay. Enjoy a welcome reception dinner in the elegant surrounds of this art nouveau landmark, with its panoramic views across the River Danube, where you can meet your fellow travelers on this highly-anticipated journey.

Day 2 - Budapest

Budapest is two cities separated by the Danube. The old city of Buda and the imposing Royal Palace dominates the city with stunning views across the Danube to the commercial heart of Pest. Our city tour includes the Royal Palace, St. Mathias Church and a panoramic view of the city from Gellert Hill. We will also see the Citadel, the Opera House, St Stephen's Cathedral, Heroes Square and the City Park.
The rest of the day is at leisure where you can stroll along the banks of the Danube, visit the historic Great Market Hall with its endless variety of delicious foods and wines or head to one of the city's famous thermal baths for a rejuvenating dip. Alternatively, you can relax at the hotel and indulge in the hotel's luxurious spa with infinity-edge pool or make use of the state-of-the-art fitness center.

Day 3 - Vienna

We enjoy a morning drinks reception in the impressive Royal Waiting Room at Budapest Nyugati station before boarding the Golden Eagle Danube Express for our morning departure. Settle in to your cabin and later enjoy lunch as the train heads to Vienna.
The stunning capital city of Austria enthralls visitors with its rich heritage. A seductive metropolis of elaborate palaces, renowned coffee houses, classical music and enchanting opera. Today's program will allow you to sample the lively Naschmarkt, home to over 100 food and antique stalls, the famous Schönbrunn Palace, or free time to explore yourself.

This evening, we will enjoy a private concert at the House of Mozart, featuring the Vienna Supreme Orchestra.

Day 4 - Semmering Pass, Lake Achen & Innsbruck

Today will be one of the real highlights of the journey as we depart from Vienna in the morning and travel across central Austria and into the Alps on an incredibly scenic morning.
Cameras at the ready as we climb over the Semmering Pass with its 16 viaducts and 15 tunnels, through the famous skiing village of Kitzbuhel to Jenbach, where after lunch we take a scenic drive to the picturesque Lake Achen (Achensee) for a cruise on the water.

From here we will visit the Swarovski Museum and Gardens before travelling on by bus the short distance to Innsbruck, capital of Austria's western state of Tyrol, a city in the Alps that's long been a destination for winter sports. Innsbruck is also known for its Imperial and modern architecture. The Nordkette funicular, with its futuristic stations designed by architect Zaha Hadid, climbs up to 2,256m from the city centre for stunning bird eye views of the surrounding Alpine terrain.

Day 5 - Zürich

Another fantastic morning on board the Golden Eagle Danube Express to simply sit back, relax and watch the scenery of the Vorarlberg unfold in front of your eyes as we pass through St. Anton before crossing through Liechtenstein and then into Switzerland where we run along the whole of the Lake of Zürich before arriving in the city itself.
The city of Zürich, a global center for banking and finance, lies at the north end of Lake Zürich in northern Switzerland. The picturesque lanes of the central Altstadt (Old Town), on either side of the Limmat River, reflect its pre-medieval history. Waterfront promenades like the Limmatquai follow the river toward the 17th-century Rathaus (Town Hall).

Day 6 - St Gotthard Pass & Lake Como and Milan

After leaving Zürich, we pass along the Lake of Zug and the Vierwäldstattersee (Lake Lucerne), literally Lake of the Four Forested Settlements, before starting the very scenic climb to the St Gotthard Pass. Once through the old St Gotthard tunnel, we descend through Lugano to Lake Como in Italy, where we stop for lunch on the Lake.
Lake Como is surrounded by high mountains and dramatic cliffs, so it's quite different from the other Italian lakes. A narrow road runs up its western coast towards Switzerland and sits up high above the water, with the towns dropping down beneath it. Renowned for its beautifully kept public gardens and historic villas, it's easy to see why so many celebrities love Lake Como.

From Como, we travel to nearby Milan, Italy's business capital, for a short visit of this city famous for fashion and football but also its magnificently restored Gothic Duomo and the Teatro La Scala.

Day 7 - Lake Garda, Verona & Trieste

This morning after running along the south shore of Lake Garda we arrive in Verona. Famous for being the setting of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet,' we enjoy an informative walking tour of Verona's famous sites, followed by a cellar visit to sample some of the region's famous Soave wines.
We lunch on board and later in the afternoon we arrive into Trieste, the Italian port for a short tour. We stop at the vast Piazza Unita d'Italia, the main town square, and can climb the hill to the famous Church of San Giusto built around a medieval complex that dates backs to the 13th century. We will go inside the church for a close-up view of the splendid Byzantine-style architecture enriched with precious mosaics.

Day 8 - Lake Bled & Ljubljana

This morning be awake early as our train climbs away from Trieste and heads over the border into Slovenia and continue climbing through the Julian Alps to Lake Bled which, with its island, church and castle is an incredibly picturesque alpine lake situated at the foothills of the Alps in north-western Slovenia.
From here we travel onto Ljubljana as we have lunch on board and discover a delightful combination of ancient architecture and a youthful culture. Our afternoon tour includes visits to Preseren Square, Three Bridges, and Dragon Bridge.

Day 9 - Venice

As the train stays overnight in Postojnia, we include a private visit to Postojnia Caves in the morning. We then head south towards Mestre where our train curves to the left onto the 3-mile causeway across the Venice Lagoon and into Venice Santa Lucia station located on the Grand Canal, arriving after lunch.
We say farewell to our train crew and transfer by boat to the five-star Danieli hotel for a two-night stay. The hotel enjoys a spectacular location and is only a short stroll from St Mark's Square, the Doge's Palace and the Bridge of Sighs.

Day 10 - Venice

Venice is a truly captivating and romantic city; its unrivaled beauty takes away the breath of first-time visitors and regulars alike. We have the opportunity to take a walking tour around the highlights of this spectacular city. Walk through the winding lanes beside the Grand Canal to St. Mark's Square, which for 1,000 years was the heart of Venetian life. We also see St. Mark's Basilica and stroll through the Rialto Market.
Alternatively, enjoy the city at your own pace today. Perhaps take an iconic gondola ride in the Basin of St. Mark's and along the Grand Canal or stroll through the artists' district of Dorsoduro, stopping to take in the city's most breath-taking views from the Accademia Bridge. Simply enjoy the city at your leisure. In the evening we will enjoy a farewell reception dinner, giving you the opportunity to reflect on your journey through this beautifully scenic part of Europe.

Day 11 - Venice

On the final morning following breakfast in the hotel, you will be transferred to the airport for onward departures. There is also an option to extend your stay in Venice for additional nights to explore more of this fascinating city.

Additional information

Pricing Plans

Deluxe Class

Deluxe cabins are 83 square foot private compartments that include a private en suite bathroom with cubicle shower, two armchairs and a free standing chair for daytime seating (converting to two beds for the evening), a large picture window, full-length wardrobe and power outlets, and remote controlled air-conditioning.

Superior Deluxe Class
Superior Deluxe cabins, with private en-suite facilities, offer the ultimate in European rail accommodation regarding space, facilities and comfort. Limited to just 4 cabins per departure, each cabin offers comfortable daytime seating with a full-length sofa and two additional chairs. The large cabin also benefits from two full-size picture windows, one of which is openable to add to the bright and airy feel of the interior. Each evening the cabin is transformed into a luxurious bedroom with a UK-standard King Size bed. All cabins have, as standard, a large double wardrobe with excellent storage space, individually controlled air-conditioning, lighting with dimmer switches, individual reading lights, in-cabin Wi-Fi and USB ports, power sockets and a safe.

Please Note
Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, Budapest

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, Budapest

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Hotel Danieli, Venice

Hotel Danieli, Venice

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