Has your week been derailed in some way? Well, as luck would have it, Travel Weekly’s road and rail wrap is here to get you back on track.
Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer waves off first passengers for 2019 season
Rocky Mountaineer has kicked off its 2019 season, leaving its station in Vancouver bound for the Canadian Rockies.
A live piano player provided a classical soundtrack as the service team welcomed Rocky Mountaineer’s first passengers, who then walked a red-carpet entry that led them aboard.
Guests on this first departure are travelling Rocky Mountaineer’s iconic First Passage to the West route.
The upcoming season brings with it many exciting developments, key among them being the addition of seven newly built GoldLeaf Service glass-domed rail cars to its fleet.
To meet the growing demand from travellers worldwide, the company have added four rail cars to its fleet, with three additional cars coming later in the season, thus bringing the company’s total to 26 bi-level GoldLeaf rail cars and 16 single-level SilverLeaf rail cars by 2020.
This year also sees Rocky Mountaineer introduce four new destinations to its holiday packages: Canmore, Kananaskis, Sunshine Village and the Cariboo Mountains. Further information on the new destinations can be found here.
Railbookers announces flash sale, offering $300 in savings
For a limited time, travellers can save $300 per couple during Railbookers’ flash sale on any reservation that’s seven nights or longer.
Bookings must be made by 3 May 2019, and offer is valid for new travel reservations in 2019 only.
Featured trips include Berlin, Prague, Vienna, and Budapest, Scenic Switzerland from Zurich, and Canadian Rockies Discovery Eastbound.
Click here for more info.
Agents take Great Train Journeys through Canada
Nineteen lucky agents have just returned from an eight-day trip to Canada, where they enjoyed the picturesque countryside and cityscapes on board two of the country’s most spectacular train journeys.
While one group started in Winnipeg, taking the VIA rail to Vancouver via Jasper, the other group started in Vancouver and took the Rocky Mountaineer to Banff and Calgary.
Both groups then reconvened in Vancouver for two days of sightseeing and a Gala dinner at Glowball.
Apart from the sights, another major highlight for the group was to experience firsthand the tailor-made itineraries available via Great Train Journey’s Canadian offering.
Hosted by Nicki De Jager and Clement Tringale from Rail Europe, and Kieran Murphy from Tourism Vancouver, participating agents were: Toby Bradshaw, Kate Tremlettt-Johnstone, Kyle Atkins, Michelle Grogan, Damia Carr, Andrea Reyes, Kelly Warwick, Michael Dalton and Jake McGrane from Flight Centre; Kerr-Lee Mew, Rebecca Watt, Christopher James and Connie White from Travel Associates, Karen Toule of Landmark Travel; Joan Lawrence and Peta Aberhart from House of Travel; Heidi Kervinen from Global Village Travel; Johanna Dodds from Where2Travel; and Anthony Allardyce from Travel Makers.
Amtrak Vacations releases new travel agent reference guide
Amtrak Vacations has released its new Travel Agent Reference Guide (TARG), a six-page easy reference highlighting information about North American rail vacations and the Amtrak onboard experience.
The guide features a selection of Amtrak Vacations most popular destinations, including New Orleans, Chicago, the Grand Canyon and San Francisco.
It also includes a ‘System Map’ detailing Amtrak’s long-distance routes and train stations across the United States and Canada, as well as helpful pointers to aid agents in booking North American rail vacations for their customers.
Click here or call 1300 650 257 to order your copy.
International Rail’s global booking system reaches 10K milestone
International Transfer, the global booking system of International Rail, has just reached a milestone of 10,000 bookings since launching 18 months ago.
Managing director Jonathan Hume said the response from agents has been overwhelming and significantly stronger than the company could have ever expected in International Transfer’s first year of operation.
“Figures for 2019 so far will see us reach double the volumes booked in 2018,” he said.
“We discovered a need in the market, and we filled it. Agents were consistently telling us that transfers were frustrating to book and often proved to be terribly unreliable.
“Our pick-up rate is also very impressive, with over 98 per cent of transfers successful, and the ones that were not were found to be mostly caused by major flight delays or passengers not being contactable on the ground.”
Great Train Journeys’ two-for-one luxury India deal
Until 31 May, agents can pass on to their clients Great Train Journeys’ generous two-for-one deal on the Deccan Odyssey in India.
With prices starting at $7880 per cabin for two adults, agents can offer clients the 8D/7N Maharashtra Splendour for selected departure dates between September 2019 and April 2020; or the 8D7N Maharashtra Wild Trail for the 2 May 2020 departure.