Anna Davies, sales and marketing manager for the UK, Railbookers

E Consider targeting your cruise database with rail holidays – these

offer a ‘cruise by land’ option combining multiple destinations seamlessly.

E Emphasise that travelling by train isn’t just about getting from A to B, but is an effortless and scenic way for customers to enjoy an ever-changing view.

E Stay on top of the trends. We are seeing a lot of interest in our Scottish holidays for those wanting to stay close to home, and equally strong interest in Italy, France, Spain and Switzerland.

E Wise up on new Covid protocols, such as new seating configurations,

The Jacobite steam train, Scotland

the removal of food and drink services, requirements for passengers to wear

face coverings, deep-cleaning between journeys and contactless ticket control.

THE NETHERLANDS With Eurostar whisking passengers to both Amsterdam and Rotterdam in less than four hours, the Netherlands is an obvious choice for a quick getaway that blends laid-back vibes with cycle-friendly countryside and colourful coastal resorts. The beaches of The Hague can be reached in less than 30 minutes by train from Rotterdam, while cultural attractions aplenty can be found in Utrecht, a 20-minute ride from the capital – so you needn’t only limit it to the ‘dam. Book it: If clients are interested in combining the Netherlands with neighbouring countries, suggest Insight Vacations’ 11-day Country

Roads of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands tour, which can be accessed by Eurostar. Prices start at £2,695 (excluding Eurostar, with departures from September).

THE SWISS ALPS With its snowy peaks, pine-forested slopes and timber-chalet villages, Switzerland seems to have been made for slow, serene rail trips. Great Rail Journeys has an eight- day itinerary from London, with highlights including three nights in Chur, Switzerland’s first settlement; a ride on the 100-year-old Bernina Express through the Engadine Valley; and a trip on the Glacier

Express, where rolling vineyards, dramatic peaks and traditional mountain villages flash past the window pane. Book it: Great Rail Journeys’ Traditional Glacier Express trip costs from £1,496 including accommodation, some meals and all transport, departing October 3.


If you thought a trip to Greece required flights both there and back, think again. Sunvil has introduced independent rail itineraries to Corfu, Paxos, Lefkas, Parga and Sivota. Clients opting for one of the itineraries will travel from London St

Pancras through France, the Alps, Milan and Bari, where they’ll catch a ferry to Igoumenitsa or Corfu (both around eight hours) for a week-long dose of cerulean sea and deserted beaches. “The journey is a mini adventure in itself, with an opportunity to explore multiple places en route,” says Dudley der Parthog, Sunvil director for Greece. Book it: A nine-night Corfu by train itinerary costs from £1,500, including one night’s B&B at the De La Ville Hotel, Milan, and seven nights’ self-catering at the Kalami Bay apartments, Corfu, plus Eurostar, rail journeys, overnight ferry and a flight for the return.


30 JULY 2020










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