Golden Eagle Danube Express, Hungary
The Golden Eagle Danube Express train offers railway travellers the chance to enjoy some of the most picturesque parts of Eastern Europe whilst enjoying all the joys of travelling on a luxurious hotel-on-wheels. On five specially chosen journeys guests get to enjoy some very special ‘rail cruises’ under the supervision of an on-board tour guide. Guests can enjoy vacations that take them to the heart of some of the most famous destinations in the world, including Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Venice and Istanbul.
These special journeys provide the ultimate in European rail experiences. The first-class Bar Lounge car and two restaurant cars offer those on board the chance to eat and drink local delicacies in style alongside their fellow passengers. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff on this train, with cabin attendants on hand to look after guests’ needs.
Prices from: $9,495
Departing from: Various departure stations including Budapest and Venice
Journey length: 6 to 10 nights
The Golden Eagle Danube Express route
The Golden Eagle Danube Express operates five journeys – The 10-day Balkan Odyssey from Budapest to Vienna; the 11-day Balkan Explorer from Venice to Istanbul; the 8-day Central European Classics trip from Budapest to Prague; the 7-day Castles of Transylvania trip from Istanbul to Budapest; the 9-day New Year in Vienna round trip from Budapest via Vienna and Prague.
The cheapest trip is the Castles of Transylvania journey at $9,495 and the most expensive, the Balkan Odyssey journey at $13,695. Each day under the supervision of your tour guide, you will be treated to trips to famous landmarks, guided walking tours and meals at local restaurants. Some of the trips include stays at hotels too.
The Golden Eagle Danube Express train
The Golden Eagle Danube Express consists of eight carriages. Whilst guests can relax in the lounge area of their own cabins in the daytime the real centre of activity takes place in the Lounge Bar Car, which seats 30 passengers. This is the perfect spot for a pre or post dinner drink and in the evening a pianist is on hand to entertain guests. There are also talks from visiting lecturers on history and local culture. Every night the bar stays open until the last person leaves and it’s here that you’ll find your on-board Tour Guide who will give you advice on your journey and daily activities.
The design of the cabins on the Golden Eagle Danube Express is very clever. Each cabin has two lower beds in an L-shape configuration which converts to seating in the day. There are seven sleeping cars. Four contain Deluxe cabin (83 sq. ft including the bathroom) and the other three contain 12 elegant new Superior Deluxe cabins (93 sq. ft including the bathroom). The Superior Deluxe Cabins feature a large double bed which converts into a full-length sofa in the day. All cabins are ensuite and air-conditioned. They are furnished with robes, slippers, towels and luxurious L’Occitane toiletries. You will get free Wi-Fi on the train and there are two USB ports in every cabin. One attendant manages each car, making up the beds in the evening and providing morning tea/coffee on request.
Food and drink
Both the roomy dining tables are attractive and comfortable, offering tables for two or four people. The train operates an open-seat policy so you can dine with whoever you choose to. From breakfast to dinner, you will be served on tables set with white tablecloths, crystal glassware and china decorated with the double-headed eagle logo of Golden Eagle Luxury Trains.
You can choose from a continental buffet breakfast or a hot breakfast made to order. On-board meals, both lunch and dinner, consist of three courses (with all dietary options catered for) and the chef likes to serve as much locally sourced produce as he can to reflect the cuisine of the places you are visiting. The food is plentiful and delicious, as are the paired wines from around the world. Bottled water, beers and soft drinks are also complementary.
There is no formal dress code on board the Golden Eagle Danube Express, but guests are encouraged to bring comfortable clothes with them for their excursions, including flat walking shoes. This is a train where it is easy to relax and not feel that you have to dress to impress your fellow passengers.
Running journeys that are longer in length than many other train trips, you’ll soon get to know your fellow passengers and many guests end up with friends for life. There are lots of nationalities on board – English is used as the common language.
Journeys on the Golden Eagle Danube Express are fully inclusive of transfers, food, drinks (all alcohol except premium wines), gratuities and all touring. Some journeys offer guests overnight stays in some of the finest 5-star hotels in Europe.
Pros and cons
Taking a journey on the Golden Eagle Danube Express you’ll enjoy carefully curated trips and first-class service, both on and off board. The only con is that some of the staff struggle with English, but this is a minor point and the train’s Tour Guide is always on hand to help out.