A majestic European rail journey with APT
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A majestic European rail journey with APT

Is there anything in travel more romantic than a train ride?

It is still one of the most enchanting ways to get from point A to point B; especially in Europe.

In centuries gone by Kings and Queens would journey by train to their summer houses in absolute luxury.

On APT's European river cruises guests get a taste of “royal life” on a day trip aboard the “Majestic Imperator Train de Luxe” between Passau and Linz.

The journey on the Majestic Imperator, with its white linen and silver service, ticks all the boxes.

It is a thoughtful recreation of the train Franz Joseph I and Sisi (Elisabeth of Austria) used to travel from Bad Ischl to the seaside town of Opatija on the Adriatic coast.

The original train ceased to operate at the end of the First World War with the collapse of the House of Habsburg and the Austrian Empire.  Thankfully photos and designs were preserved and that was all railway specialist Gottfried Rieck needed to bring the past back to life.

In 1991 Gottfried and Sibylle Rieck rolled out the red carpet for guests to once again indulge in luxury befitting a prince.

The train ride is one of three royal experiences available to APT guests on selected Royal Collection River cruises.

The first is a visit to Namedy Castle, home of Princess Heide von Hohenzollern.  The castle is on the banks of the Rhine River and after a champagne reception in the Knight’s Hall APT passengers are treated to a banquet in the Hall of Mirrors.  You then also get a behind-the-scenes tour of the castle.

The second is an exclusive performance of the Mozart Boys’ Choir at the City Palace of the Liechtenstein family in the centre of Vienna. Even if you are not a lover of Strauss this is a night of romance and excess that will be etched in your memory forever.  This is one of those priceless occasions that you sit back and just take in the sumptuous surroundings.

The train journey, the third and my favourite royal experience, from Passau _ in Germany_ to the Austrian town of Linz takes just under two hours.  Along the way liveried stewards top up wine glasses, deliver delicate treats and entertain with songs and violin performances.

It’s like an exclusive restaurant on wheels, and that’s much of its charm. ...

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