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Vacations By Rails

Vacations By Rails

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Switzerland Train Tours


Bordered by Germany, France, and Italy, Switzerland is a country of juxtapositions where each region reflects the language, culture, and cuisine of its neighbors. Swiss tour packages highlight these unique areas while presenting the majesty of the landscape - the mighty snow-capped mountains, the sparkling lakes, and the vast meadows. Travel through charming alpine towns that epitomize the beauty of Switzerland or set out on adventures into the country’s great cities. Acclaimed destinations, such as the capital city of Bern, with its medieval Clock Tower and Muenster Cathedral; Lucerne and its historic Chapel Bridge; and Geneva, home to international peacekeeping organizations and its renowned Flower Clock; and Zurich, the financial epicenter of the country, are brought to life through thoughtfully crafted tourism packages. Select Swiss rail tours also include time in Switzerland’s quaint resort towns, like the cosmopolitan town of St. Moritz, which is known as the place where winter alpine tourism was popularized; Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva; and the car-free town of Zermatt, located at the base of the Matterhorn.

Switzerland tours often include journeys aboard the country’s acclaimed scenic trains. There is no better way to enjoy the incredible vistas than aboard the Glacier Express, the Bernina Express, or the GoldenPass Panoramic Express. A sightseeing train that travels aboard Europe’s highest rack railway, the Gornergrat Railway offers a shorter ride with an unmatched view of the Matterhorn. A train trip in Switzerland is wonderful on its own; however, some escorted rail vacation packages connect with a cruise along the Rhine River for an even more memorable experience. Perfect for honeymoons and for family adventures in any season, Switzerland holidays are your ticket to some of the most impressive scenery in the world.


Small Group Tours


Find yourself whisked away to some of the most desirable destinations with a Small Group Tour. These thoughtfully planned rail vacations combine all of the valuable inclusions and incredible sightseeing opportunities of our standard tours with unparalleled access to landmark sites, unique tours and other perks that are only possible with limited group sizes. Because our Small Group Tours rarely exceed 20 guests in size, travelers can look forward to an intimate travel experience in which they can connect with each other just as much as the locales on the itinerary.

Imagine discovering little-seen villages in the mountains or staying at boutique hotels that can only accommodate a handful of guests. Think of the memories to be made as you embark on behind-the-scenes tours of remarkable destinations. Uncover all of this and more with some of the most exclusive touring options Vacations By Rail has to offer on a Small Group Tour. 


Spring Vacations



Spring is the perfect time to travel. Climates are temperate, flowers and trees are in bloom, and everything seems brighter and cheerier. Welcome spring with a rail trip through Europe’s capital cities by high-speed and regional trains, to the peaks and valleys of Switzerland aboard the country’s scenic touring trains, across the Canadian Rockies aboard VIA Rail’s Canadian, or a USA rail-cruise vacation to sunny getaways in the Caribbean. 


Fall Foliage Train Tours


Envelop yourself in one of nature’s most delightful annual events: America’s fall foliage season. And what better way to experience it than with a fall foliage train tour, where the only thing more brilliant than the fall colors are the scenic trains that take you through these dazzling displays of nature. With a wide variety of rail vacations from which to choose, the question is not how to see the vivid colors but where. Each region in the United States presents its own unique combination of autumn hues, so no two fall color tours are alike.

New England fall foliage tours take travelers through impressive destinations like Boston, MA; Newport, RI; Montpelier, VT; North Conway, NH, and Bath, ME aboard amazing rail lines, including the Cape Cod Central Railroad, the Conway Scenic Railroad, the Mt. Washington Cog Railway and the Essex Steam Train. Crimson, gold and orange leaves pave the way for each journey, which includes a mixture of history and sightseeing through nature. These fall tours may also venture out of the U.S. to Canada, exploring scenic destinations from Quebec City and Montreal to the lovely Maritime region. 

Travelers may select from fall tours to other parts of the country, as well. Marvel at the warm hues of the Great Smoky Mountains while traveling through Tennessee or explore the colors of the Allegheny Mountains in Maryland and the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia while learning about the birth of railroading in America. Your foliage tour may even take you through the Great Lakes region to places like Door County, Wisconsin, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where the gold and orange colors of fall beckon. No matter which region you choose, each thoughtful itinerary makes all of your travel dreams come true. 


Winter Vacations


Switch up your holiday itinerary this year with a winter vacation. There are many appealing things about traveling during the winter months: Popular attractions are devoid of summertime tourists, trains are less crowded and, of course, the scenery is amazing. Plains and prairies are blanketed with freshly fallen snow, and mountain peaks are dressed in their winter white. All of this paired with ice-encrusted rivers and frozen lakes make for some of the most incredible sights to behold. The best winter vacations highlight the beauty of the landscape while also capturing the spirit of the season. 

Visit alpine towns chock-full of winter activities, such as Banff or Jasper in the Rocky Mountains of Canada or the resort cities of the Swiss Alps. In these destinations, skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and snowshoeing are among the most popular ways to savor the winter scenes. Ride a snow train from Chicago to San Francisco or Seattle for a look at the ever-changing vistas of winter as you travel between states.  Take a train trip past the Arctic Circle to watch the Northern Lights play across the sky in places like Alaska and Scandinavia. A winter holiday may also venture to Europe, where traditional Christmas markets fill the air with spiced aromas and the joyous sounds of festive music. 

Winter holiday destinations do not have to be cold, though. Rather, travelers have the option to escape to warmer havens to soak up the sun and leave the cold far behind them. These trips combine thoughtful train itineraries with ocean cruising to destinations like Hawaii and the Western Caribbean. Winter vacation ideas are as diverse as the travelers that set out upon them.  


Christmas Trips


There is something about the holiday season that brings cities to life. Twinkling lights and yuletide cheer add another level of excitement and splendor to already fascinating destinations. From the United States to Canada and Europe, Christmas vacations are an opportunity to soak in the holiday traditions and winter customs of other destinations all while ringing in the most wonderful time of the year.

Holiday packages traveling to Europe may include time in Germany, home to some of the largest and most impressive Christmas markets in the world. Travel through Bavaria, where the landscapes and cities seemingly spring from the pages of a storybook, to explore the Christmas markets in Nuremberg, Regensburg and the medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Additional holiday getaways in Europe explore destinations like Scotland, where Christmas getaways take guests through the majestic Cairngorm Mountains and the Scottish Highlands on world-renowned rail lines, and Italy for Christmas on the shores of Lake Como. 

Spend Christmas in Canada and celebrate the holiday season in a true winter wonderland. Admire the prairies and plains blanketed in freshly fallen snow, waterfalls frozen in midstream along the mountainsides and snow-capped mountains from the warmth of your train car as you travel to favorite winter destinations throughout Western Canada. Visit Toronto’s Christmas Markets and see Vancouver’s Stanley Park twinkle under holiday lights. Enjoy stays in cozy lodges in Jasper and Banff, bedecked with holiday décor and surrounded by pristine nature. Revel in winter activities like dog sledding, canyon ice walks, skiing and snowshoeing. And connect all of these destinations with a classic overnight train journey aboard VIA Rail’s Canadian. 


Oberammergau Passion Play


The cozy Bavarian village of Oberammergau hosts one of the world’s most extraordinary special events at the start of each new decade: The Passion Play. This epic production retells the story of the last days in the life of Jesus Christ and is performed exclusively by the town’s residents. This work of art has been performed over the past four centuries and welcomes travelers from around the world. Be a part of history when you embark on a European rail vacation featuring Oberammergau Passion Play.  


Popular Train Rides


Vacations By Rail’s most popular vacations span the globe. Visit the top destinations in America and discover the distinct beauty of each region on local and long-distance train trips. Venture to the country’s immense national parks, each of which is chock-full of natural splendor. Join a two-week tour that features Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, as well as many of the other incredible parks of the Wild West. Set out on a journey to remember to the Grand Canyon or immerse yourself in the Colorado Rockies’ mining history with a Colorado rail adventure.  A rail journey that presents New England’s fall colors is one of the most liked for good reason: There is simply nowhere else in the world where the fiery hues of autumn bloom so brightly.  

Ideal for spring break getaways or summer vacations, packages that highlight famous destinations in Canada are incredibly memorable. Canadian Rockies rail tours travel to the charming resort towns that lie between the mountain peaks, such as Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise. These popular types of vacations offer classic sleeper train travel aboard VIA Rail’s Canadian or a daylight-only journey aboard the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer and all the adventurous activities that come with visiting these mountainous towns. You may also traverse across Canada by train, visiting popular cities from the West Coast to the East. Select train vacations highlight one of Canada’s most anticipated annual events, the Calgary Stampede, while other trips join train travel in Canada with cruising through Alaska’s Inside Passage. Each well-crafted journey features must-see destinations, fantastic sightseeing, comfortable overnight accommodations in centrally located hotels and, of course, travel aboard the world’s most iconic trains. 









25 total tours 

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