In April 2018, The Steam Dreams Rail Co. is embarking on an exciting new adventure as it whisks passengers off for a fabulous nine-day steam tour of Germany.
The Harz Mountains Explorer, Steam Dreams’ first nine day steam tour of mainland Europe, sets out from London on Tuesday 17 April 2018, visiting some fabulous locations with spectacular scenery throughout, allowing passengers to sit back and relax in the elegance and comfort of beautifully preserved carriages.
- Three days of mainline steam, plus an optional steam-hauled day trip to Prague from Dresden
- Stays in three of Germany’s most beautiful and interesting cities – Berlin, Cologne and Dresden
- Three nights in the magical Harz Mountains, with a chance to travel along the full 140km long steam operated network
- High quality hotels throughout on a bed and breakfast basis
Day 1 – Cologne to Berlin
We gather in Cologne in the early afternoon to board our vintage coaches and travel diesel hauled across Germany, arriving in Berlin mid evening. This will be our base for the night. Options for travelling to Cologne are outlined in the full itinerary download.
Day 2 – Berlin to Dresden
The morning will be free for passengers to explore the modern, vibrant capital of Germany. After lunch we will depart, steam hauled, and head towards the far east of the country, and the beautiful and fascinating city of Dresden, where we will be staying for 3 nights.
Day 3 – Day at leisure in Dresden
This is the day when passengers will have (and will need) plenty of time to explore the capital of Saxony, known as the Jewel Box, because of its baroque and rococo city centre. For many years much of the city centre was left unrecognisable after the war, but it has undergone significant reconstruction in recent decades with the raw materials of the historic buildings being used to rebuild them.
Day 4 – Optional steam trip to Prague
Today passengers have a choice of spending more time exploring Dresden, or joining an optional day trip by steam to the capital of the Czech Republic – Prague. As we steam west across the border into the Republic we spend much of the journey running along the picturesque Elbe Valley. Prague is of course one of the great tourist destinations of the old Eastern Europe, and our trip will allow us around 4 or 5 hours in this beautiful city. Passengers will have a choice of wandering around the city centre at their own leisurely pace, or joining a tour organised by Steam Dreams.
Day 5 – Dresden to the Harz Mountains
With yet another express steam locomotive in charge, we head west leaving Dresden mid-morning, with our eventual destination being the medieval town of Wernigerode at the foot of the Harz Mountains.
Day 6 – Day at leisure in the Harz Mountains and Optional Visit to Nordhausen
Today the steam options will include an all day trip from Wernigerode right through the heart of the Harz region to Nordhausen on the south side of the mountains. On the return, passengers on this trip will enjoy an exciting diversion when their train takes the scenic route to the summit of the mountains at the Brocken.
For those who wish they can then remain at the mini complex of buildings at the summit and enjoy a rendering of Goethe’s “Faust” and an evening meal (supplement applies).
Day 7 – Day at leisure in the Harz Mountains and Optional Visit to Quedlinburg
Today passengers will be transferred a short journey by coach to the Unesco World Heritage medieval town of Quedlinburg, which has over 1,300 half-timbered houses.
For steam enthusiasts the return to the hotels in Wernigerode will be not by coach but an all-day excursion through the Harz mountains behind a preserved pair of 100 year old Mallet locomotives.
Day 8 – Wernigerode to Cologne
Our time in the Harz is at an end, and we head west from Wernigerode mid-morning for a late afternoon arrival at the beautiful cathedral city of Cologne. Our train will be steam hauled, and like all our trips on the mainline, the locomotives will be allowed to travel at up to 75mph. We will be spending the night in Cologne.
Day 9 – Cologne to London
Passengers have the option of making their own way home from Cologne, or if travelling with Steam Dreams we will be leaving the city around lunchtime in order to give everyone some time to explore the city. After a change of high speed trains in Brussels we should be arriving in St Pancras late afternoon.
On the German and Czech Republic main line trips we will be using a mixture of vintage coaches from the former railways of Germany and Austria. Some of the Pullman Style dining coaches are beautifully restored, and have been used in countless period films. Premier Dining passengers will be seated in compartments with six seats, with two seats left vacant for comfort, and First Class passengers will be seated in compartments of six.
On the Harz Mountains Railway network, passengers will be seated in 1950s passenger carriages with open vestibules at the end of some carriages.
Passengers who book the Pullman Style Dining package will be staying in 5 star hotels, including the only hotel with that rating in the Harz Mountains. Our Premier Dining passengers will stay in 4 star city centre hotels including the Travel Charme Gothisches Haus in the centre of the market square in the historic town of Wernigerode in the Harz Mountains. Passengers travelling in First Class will enjoy some great city centre hotels in good locations, usually 3 star, with access to plenty of places to eat and drink nearby.
For more information, or to book, please call the Booking Office on 01483 209888.