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IRT “Virtuosos” Bond With Luxury Travel Pros in Vegas

10 Aug
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IRT President Eleanor Flagler Hardy hams it up — and plugs Virtuoso’s newest travel-planning tool, Wanderlist — at the annual Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas. IRT Photo

Sometimes it pays to be friendly.

One night at the annual Virtuoso Travel Week convention in Las Vegas, IRT Society President Eleanor Hardy was dining with Elizabeth, an old friend and partner from London in the Bellagio’s specialty Italian restaurant.

Admiring the hotel’s famous fountains, Eleanor turned to the next table and, with her usual Southern friendliness, introduced herself to a fellow diner.

As it turned out, he was sales manager for one of Canada’s top hotels, Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec — the very hotel she had just booked for two top clients.

And this is where the Virtuoso magic happened.

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African safaris are another IRT specialty and are easily combined with luxury rail trips.

“That lovely man took out his pad and pen,” Eleanor continued, “made notes about my clients, who were celebrating a milestone birthday, and promised to wow them.”

The result?

Eleanor’s clients received a courtesy upgrade to a fabulous specialty suite, a value of over $1,000, with a fabulous view, fabulous complimentary wine and of course all the usual amenities.

“I feel like a princess in a tower!” the wife exclaimed when she called Eleanor from her room.

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Fellow Virtuoso member and partner Rocky Mountaineer Railtours offers spectacular rail cruises through the Canadian Rockies. The company operates the world’s largest dome cars. IRT Photo

Indeed, Eleanor and the entire IRT staff (sans yours truly) are in Las Vegas right now, attending our luxury travel consortium’s annual convention.

They’re meeting with representatives from the world’s top luxury travel providers: cruise lines, hotels, adventure travel companies, safari companies, ground operators and more. (And of course rail companies!)

They’re connecting with the top people in the luxury travel business to make sure you, our customers, get the very best.

And this year, we’re proud to report that The Society of International Railway Travelers is up for a special Virtuoso award.

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Belmond, a fabulous luxury hotel, rail and cruise specialist, works closely with IRT. Here, a bartender prepares drinks for passengers on Ireland’s first luxury train, the Belmond Grand Hibernian. IRT was the first company in the world to charter the train. IRT photo by Rachel Hardy

“We’ve been selected as one of the Virtuoso travel agencies with the highest percentage growth, year over year, in sales and revenue.” Eleanor said. “We are thrilled to be nominated.”

“Also, staff member Nora Elzy has been nominated as a “rising star” for cruise sales,” Eleanor continued. Although we specialize in luxury trains, Eleanor said, “we book cruises for repeat clients, because we know what our customers want.”

In addition, IRT’s Rachel Hardy will be interviewed for a Virtuoso video about our agency’s great relationship with our adventure partners. 

 

And Eleanor herself will be interviewed by Virtuoso for a special video concerning the consortium’s latest planning tool: “Wanderlist.” (She is one of only about 100 advisors in the world specially trained to use this program.)

“Wanderlist is way more than a computer program. It is just one part of a dynamic planning tool we can use — to leverage my 36+ years of travel experience and knowledge and our great personal relationships with our Virtuoso partners around the world to develop a three- to five-year plan for travel. I love that people will be able to plot out which of the World’s Top 25 Trains they will do next — and next, and then next. Our most popular venues sell out so quickly; planning far ahead is a must.”

Need personal, professional attention when planing your next luxury train trip or other luxury travel?

Want all the fab extras we can get for you through our great Virtuoso personal relationships?

Email us, or call us at (800) 478-4881 (U.S. and Canada), (502) 897-1725 (elsewhere).

And be sure to ask about our new “Wanderlist” long-range trip-planning service. We will be accepting a limited number of Wanderlist clients for the rest of 2019.

IRT Founder’s Ardent Wish? Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Vienna Next Year with Golden Eagle Danube Express

12 Jul
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Viennese dancers on New Year’s Eve at the Rathaus, Vienna’s lovely City Hall.

Prologue: We first published this interview in December, 2018. Since then, we’ve gotten glowing reports from IRT travelers who were on the last departure:

“This was a fantastic trip that we thoroughly enjoyed.  The food, accommodations, and service were all great.  Everything was well-planned and ran on time. We loved the special private concerts: the opera singers in Prague, the string quartet at Municipal House, a trio playing at Cafe Slava.  The Four Seasons hotel was beautiful and at a great location in the city. And, we had plenty of time to eat, sleep, tour, and shop… I highly recommend this trip.” – IRT Traveler R. Stewart, January, 2019.

“We really, really, really enjoyed the trip. All of the staff are fabulous. They all go out of their way to make life easier and nicer. And New Year’s Eve was great — the food, dancing, everything. We would recommend it to anyone.” – IRT Travelers R. & P. Wynhoff, January, 2019.

So, take it from them, and from the following conversation with IRT CEO & Founder Owen Hardy. This is one spectacular itinerary!

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Excellent service on the Danube Express. IRT Photo by Angela Walker.

We sat down with The Society of International Railway Travelers’ founder and CEO, Mr. Owen Hardy, to discuss his ardent desire to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Vienna with the Golden Eagle Danube Express. Tour dates are December 28, 2019 – January 5, 2020. Click here for itinerary details.

Mr. Hardy, please tell us why you “simply must” go on the “New Year in Vienna” trip on the Golden Eagle Danube Express?

Officially, I have four reasons: Budapest, Vienna, Prague and the Viennese New Year celebration.

Unofficially, movies. Specifically, Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and Orson Welles’ “The Third Man.”

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Pictured left: diners enjoy New Year’s Eve gala dinner at Rathaus City Hall in Vienna.         Pictured right: a festive, snow-capped Vienna.

Say that again? These films aren’t your typical happy tourist fare.

I know, I know. But they exude a delicious atmosphere of romance, love and artistic grit that I project onto their respective cities.

Plus, I love music of all kinds, especially classical, and these cities overflow with it – even on the street corners.

And I love Vienna’s Secessionist or Wiener Werkstaette art movement, examples of which can be found not only in Vienna but also in Budapest and Prague.

What about the train itself?

In my student years, I crisscrossed Europe with a Eurailpass, sleeping next to strangers in couchettes night after night. But these days, I like my creature comforts.

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Brand-new Superior Deluxe cabins aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express feature a private bathroom and shower with all the amenities, large double bed, and sitting area. Not pictured: private Wi-Fi that comes with every Superior Deluxe cabin.

A Superior Deluxe cabin (click here for full cabin details) with large double bed, fully en-suite bathroom and shower, and sitting area would do quite nicely — and the three included nights at Budapest’s palatial Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace would not disappoint, either. (Tip: don’t miss the top-notch spa at the Four Seasons Gresham Palace.)

Another highlight from the itinerary, in your opinion?

Prague! I love Prague because it overflows with stunning architecture. My last tour guide in Prague said she’d lived her whole life in the city but had only scraped the surface of its wonders. I believe her.

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Prague’s Charles Bridge at dawn.

More thoughts?

Already seen Schönbrunn Palace? Try a joy ride on Vienna’s trams instead. It’s a great way to meet people and — if you have time — to visit Vienna Central Cemetery, whose “honored guests” include Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Johann Strauss II.

So what should our guests do now?

Call us (if you’re a Luddite like me) at (800) 478-4881  — +1 502-897-1725 if outside the US / Canada. Everyone else, please email us at tourdesk@irtsociety.com.

Anything else you want to say (and make it short!)?

Life is short. Old age creeps up on you. Go waltzing in Vienna at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

I guarantee you won’t regret it!


Owen C. Hardy is the CEO, founder, and co-owner of The Society of International Railway Travelers.

The New Year’s in Vienna tour runs December 28, 2019 – January 5, 2020. Click here for full itinerary details and pricing. Click here for details of the Golden Eagle Danube Express train.

To book your space on the New Year’s in Vienna tour, call (800) 478-4881 or +1 502-897-1725, or email us at tourdesk@irtsociety.com.

 

Spain’s Luxury Trains Announce 2020 Calendar

5 Jul

Big news: Spain’s incredibly popular luxury trains — El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo & Al Andalus — have just announced their 2020 schedule.

El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo plies the coastal “Green Spain” route on 8-day, 7-night tours between Santiago de Compostela and San Sebastian. The seasons runs from early May through October.

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Twin-bedded cabin on El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo. IRT Photo by Angela Walker.

IRT guests love the exceptional service, the intimate vibe (only 28 guests on each departure), the off-train excursions, and the luxurious cabins, all equipped with private bathroom with shower and toilet, roomy double or twin beds, and separate sitting area with couch, desk, and chair.

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Four course lunch paired with fine local wine on El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo. IRT Photo by Angela Walker.

But the real star is the gastronomy — and the fine Spanish wine. The itinerary is dotted with meals at Michelin-starred restaurants in sleepy, picturesque villages along the way. The on-train meals are also exceptional. And all meals (plus wine with lunch and dinner), are included.

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Al Andalus in Granada Station. The Alhambra is just visible on the hill behind the train.

Al Andalus travels through a fascinating swath of Southern Spain on 7-day, 6-night jaunts. Highlights include the ancient port city of Cádiz, the natural wonders of Doñana National Park, and the UNESCO Site of Alhambra, the sweeping palace complex built by the Nasrid rulers of Granada.

Departures are strategically offered only in the relatively cooler months of May & June, and September & October.

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Enjoying a glass of fine wine on Al Andalus. IRT Photo by Angela Walker.

The all-ensuite cabins are also on the roomy side, as far as trains go (choose a Deluxe Suite for even more space), and the food and wine are just as exceptional in the south as they are in the north.

One change: El Transcantabrico Clasico, El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo’s little sister, has been re-christened the Costa Verde Express. Beginning in 2020, the Costa Verde Express will travel on a 6-day route between Bilbao and Gijón.

Stay tuned for feedback on this “new” train and route. Once we have had a chance to inspect the Costa Verde Express firsthand, we’ll tell you how we think it stacks up against Spain’s other two powerhouse luxury trains (the competition is pretty stiff).

Meanwhile, to read IRT VP, Operations Angela Walker’s in-depth review of El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo, click here. To read Angela’s review of Al Andalus, click here.

Click here for more information, dates, and prices for El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo; here for more information, dates, prices for Al Andalus.

Ready to book your own Spanish adventure?

Extremely limited availability remains in 2019.

Call us at (800) 478-4881 (+1 502-897-1725 if outside the US / Canada), or e-mail us at tourdesk@irtsociety.com.

2020 departures and prices have been published but are not yet open to book. Call or e-mail us to get on the “first notice” list.

 

Rachel M. Hardy is Vice President, Sales & Marketing, and Virtuoso luxury travel advisor for The Society of International Railway Travelers®. She specializes in luxury rail and adventure in Europe, South America, Africa (rail & safaris) and Canada.  She was the first advisor from the Americas invited to see the new Grand Suites on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Our agency is a proud member of Virtuoso and the exclusive Belmond Bellini Club.

 

All Tracks Lead to Istanbul on These World’s Top 25 Trains®

24 May
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Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

Two highly-coveted rail tours run from Western Europe to Istanbul.  Which to choose?

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE) is world-famous, with its historic collection of restored 1920s and 1930s era cars. Its high prices are worth every penny, given the train’s history, stellar service, cuisine, off-train tours and all-round attention to detail.

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Venice Simplon-Orient-Express in Innsbruck, Austria. IRT Photo by R. Hardy

Plus, it oozes romance and glamour.

But the cost for a twin cabin on its most iconic departure, the once-a-year Paris-Istanbul journey, is about £15,500 per person in 2020. You don’t even want to know what that is in US dollars!

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Golden Eagle Danube Express. IRT Photo by Eleanor Hardy.

Enter Golden Eagle Danube Express, based in Budapest. It’s a very different train — and also on our World’s Top 25 Trains® list. Its style is more laid-back and comfortable. No tuxes required.

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Lounge car in the Golden Eagle Danube Express. IRT Photo by Angela Walker.

It offers a generous drinks allowance, including wine with lunch and dinner. It also features intimate, behind-the-scenes sightseeing off the train. What’s more, most cabins on the GEDE feature private bathroom and shower (something that all but 3 of the priciest suites on the VSOE are lacking).

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Superior Deluxe Cabin on the Golden Eagle Danube Express.

And, on its Balkan Explorer itinerary (running June 23-July 3, 2020) the Golden Eagle Danube Express covers nine countries in 11 days as it meanders from Venice to Istanbul. (The countries are Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Boznia & Herzegovena, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey.)

Pricing for the 2020 Balkan Explorer journey starts at $9,395 per person — $17,995 per person for the largest and most luxurious accommodation, the Superior Deluxe cabin, pictured above.

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Stari Most, or Mostar Bridge, in Bosnia & Herzegovina, a highlight on the Balkan Explorer itinerary. IRT Photo by Angela Walker.

Nothing breathes “romance” like the famous Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

But if you prefer to kick back and relax in between high-octane “off-shore” touring — go for the Golden Eagle Danube Express.

Whichever tour you choose, know that the best spots go up to a year in advance, or more.

The Balkan Explorer journey runs June 23-July 3, 2020. Click here for full itinerary, details and pricing. Click here for details of the Golden Eagle Danube Express train.

The Paris-Istanbul journey runs August 28-September 2, 2020. Click here for full itinerary details and pricing. Click here for details of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train.

To book: call us at (800) 478-4881, +1 (502) 897-1725 outside of USA / Canada. Or e-mail us at tourdesk@irtsociety.com.

Owen C. Hardy is CEO, founder, and co-owner of The Society of International Railway Travelers.

 

 

Deccan Odyssey’s New Itineraries Break the Mold, Showcase India’s Rich Diversity

14 Sep

 

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The Deccan Odyssey luxury train.

India —  the world’s largest democracy, the most linguistically diverse country in the world, and home to wildly varying terrain, from the Thar Desert in the west to the Ganges Plain in the north, from the Himalayas to the shores of the Arabian Sea– is anything but a monolith.

How, then, could any traveler visit once and see the entire subcontinent?

The Deccan Odyssey luxury train has the perfect answer, in the form of four new journeys for those second- or third-time visitors to India looking to move beyond the traditional ‘highlights reel’.

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Presidential Suite on the Deccan Odyssey. Each Suite has a large double bed, dedicated sitting area, and two private bathrooms.

Something all four trips have in common: the stunning Deccan Odyssey itself. All cabins are fully ensuite with private bathroom and shower (ask for a Presidential Suite if you want extra-palatial surroundings). The train also features two dining cars that serve both Indian and Continental options at every meal, a lounge, a spa car with steam bath, exercise facilities, and a massage room.

We asked our friends at Cox & Kings — sole operators of the Deccan Odyssey — to share a few highlights with us from each of the new itineraries:

Hidden Treasures of Gujarat: Visit Gir National Forest — the only place in the world where you can spot Asiatic lions in the wild. Explore the otherworldly landscape of the Little Rann of Kutch — the largest saline desert in the world. Visit Palitana, the most sacred pilgrimage site of the Jain religion, where spectacular clusters of temples are exquisitely carved in marble. Click here for full itinerary details, dates, and pricing.

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Little Rann of Kutch.

Maharashtra Splendor: Tour Fountainhas in Panjim, capital city of Goa, with its winding alleyways and bright red and blue tile-roofed houses. Ride on the Konkan railway route, bound by the Arabian Sea to the west and the Sahyadri Hills to the east. Wonder at the majesty of both Ajanta and Ellora Caves (both UNESCO Heritage sites). Click here for full itinerary details, dates, and pricing.

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Ajanta Caves.

Jewels of the Deccan: Tour Bijapur, historic capital of the Sultans of Deccan, and visit Ibrahim Rouza — the supposed inspiration for the Taj Mahal.  Wander through the weaving village of Guledgud, renowned for producing stunning fabrics by hand loom. Visit Aihole — the cradle of Indian architecture — where more than 70 unique rock-cut temples were constructed by the Chalukyan kings. Explore the bustling bazaars in the old city area of Charminar in Hyderabad. Click here for full itinerary details, dates, and pricing.

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Ibrahim Rouza

Maharashtra Wild Trail: Take a thrilling sunrise game drive in Tadoba Tiger Reserve, where it is not uncommon to see both tigers and wild dogs. Leopards, sloth bears, gaur (Indian bison), and rusty spotted cat can also be seen here. Enjoy another full day of game drives in Pench National Park, a biodiverse forest home to Malabar pied hornbills, Indian pittas, ospreys, grey-headed fishing eagles, and the green pigeon — the State Bird of Maharashtra. Visit the holy city of Nashik, now India’s premier wine-producing locale, and enjoy a lunch and tasting at a vineyard. Click here for full itinerary details, dates, and pricing.

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Tadoba Tiger Reserve.

And if you’ve never been to India before and want a more traditional first-time itinerary, we’ve got options. The Indian Sojourn — an 8-day itinerary from Mumbai to Delhi that visits many of India’s most iconic landmarks — is a great place to begin exploring. Click here for full itinerary details, dates, and pricing.

 

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Mumbai’s Gateway of India.

 

Ready to begin planning your next trip to India?

Call us at (800) 478-4881 (+1 502-897-1725 if outside the US/Canada), or e-mail us.

We look forward to welcoming you aboard!

Rachel M. Hardy is Vice President, Sales & Marketing, and Virtuoso luxury travel advisor for The Society of International Railway Travelers®. She specializes in luxury rail and adventure travel in Europe, South America, Africa (rail & safaris) and Canada — and she is about to embark on her second trip to India. She was the first advisor from the Americas invited to see the new Grand Suites on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Our agency is a proud member of Virtuoso and the exclusive Belmond Bellini Club.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IRT Wins Big at Virtuoso Travel Week, Leads Luxury Rail Competition

17 Aug
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IRT’s Nora Elzy, Angela Walker, and Rachel Hardy with Lucy Clark, Director of Sales for the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and Eastern & Oriental Express trains, enjoying the Bellini Club party with Bellagio’s famous fountains as a backdrop.

We at IRT just returned from the most exclusive luxury travel show on earth — Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas at Bellagio Hotel & Casino.

We met with many of our top travel partners over the course of the last six days, and now we are brimming with exciting news, IRT accolades, and fresh travel ideas to share with you.

First, a brief primer for those who don’t know: Virtuoso is the world’s foremost luxury travel network, with about 25 billion dollars a year in buying power. IRT’s membership in Virtuoso expands our reach and capability when planning your journey by connecting us to the best luxury travel partners all around the world.

Also great for you, the traveler: exclusive amenities at all Virtuoso hotels, and special access to unique travel experiences through our other partners. Virtuoso amenities and complimentary upgrades resulted in an average of $450 in added value per booking last year.

Now, a few highlights from our week…

IRT Top Seller (yes, in the world!) for VSOE Grand Suites

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Belmond staff present IRT with our very special award — a vintage VSOE sign with plaque in recognition of our Grand Suite and overall astounding 2018 sales.

We met with our great travel partners at Belmond  — owners of several of our World’s Top 25 Trains®, including the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Belmond Royal Scotsman, Belmond Grand Hibernian, Belmond Andean Explorer, & Eastern & Oriental Express.

We were thrilled to receive special recognition as the top agency in the world for sales of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express‘ new ultra-luxe Grand Suites!

IRT was the only agency in the Western Hemisphere to be invited to the unveiling of the Grand Suites earlier this year (read Rachel Hardy’s blog post here describing her first impressions).

In short: Grand Suites are the only accommodations aboard the train that are entirely en-suite with private bathroom and rain shower. They also feature a large double bed, separate sitting area, and many other exclusive amenities.

Interested in booking your very own Grand Suite? E-mail us at tourdesk@irtsociety.com, or call 1-800-478-4881 (+1 502-897-1725 if outside the US/Canada).

A list of departures on the VSOE can be found here. Space is very limited! Only 3 Grand Suites are available per departure.

Rachel Hardy Nominated for Cruise Award

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Rachel Hardy honored as a ‘Virtuoso Rising Star’ for luxury cruises.

Rachel Hardy, our Vice President of Sales & Marketing and a luxury travel advisor, was nominated for the ‘Rising Star’ award for luxury cruises.

While our niche is luxury rail travel, we do have a few particularly enticing cruise offerings that we think have great parallels with luxury train travel.

One example: the stunning Sea Cloud sailing yacht that plies the Dalmatian Coast between Athens and Dubrovnik, among other itineraries. IRT CEO Owen Hardy calls the Sea Cloud the ‘Orient Express of the Ocean.’ Read Owen’s blog post here, or find itinerary details, dates, and pricing on our website here.

 

IRT President and co-owner Eleanor Hardy Inspires as Featured Speaker

Our very own Eleanor Hardy was a featured speaker at this year’s Virtuoso Travel Week. The aptly-named panel was called “Excellence is no Accident.” The room was packed! Watch a short clip below:

 

Exciting New Rail Destinations in the Works!

We aren’t at liberty to give you details now, but two of our valued rail partners are planning exciting new rail destinations that will be unveiled in the near future. We will update you as soon as we are allowed, so please stay tuned!

If you are ready to book your trip, or if you have questions, please call us at (800) 478-4881 or (502) 897-1725 if outside the US / Canada — or e-mail us at tourdesk@irtsociety.com.

We look forward to welcoming you aboard!

Rachel M. Hardy is Vice President, Sales & Marketing, and Virtuoso luxury travel advisor for The Society of International Railway Travelers®. She specializes in luxury rail and adventure in Europe, South America, Africa (rail & safaris) and Canada.  She was the first advisor from the Americas invited to see the new Grand Suites on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Our agency is a proud member of Virtuoso and the exclusive Belmond Bellini Club.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canadian & Rocky Mountaineer: Society of IRT Inspection Journey

28 Apr
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VIA Rail’s Canadian passes Moose Lake. Photo courtesy of VIA Rail.

As I write this, IRT’s Nora Elzy just stepped aboard VIA Rail’s Canadian for a two-night trip from Winnipeg to Vancouver.

Nora’s mission over the next ten days: review two of The Society of International Railway Traveler’s World’s Top 25 Trains® — after she disembarks the Canadian, she’ll be boarding Rocky Mountaineer —  being sure to test all the beds, enjoy all the food, and luxuriate in the scenery.

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Rocky Mountaineer‘s covered, rear outdoor observation platform affords guests a chance to take photographs and enjoy the breeze. IRT Photo by Rachel M. Hardy.

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

We checked in with Nora before she left to ask what she was most looking forward to during her inaugural journey for IRT.

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Nora will get a chance to inspect the fabulous Prestige Class cabins on the Canadian. Photo courtesy of VIA Rail.

What is the destination you are most excited about visiting? I’m extremely eager to see the Canadian Rockies. The furthest west I’ve been in the United States is Wyoming – so these mountains will dwarf my previous experiences! And I can’t wait to see the natural beauty of Lake Louise.

One thing on both the Canadian and Rocky Mountaineer that you are curious to see in person? I’ve traveled on local trains in England and France but not on any of our World’s Top 25 Trains®. Getting the chance to sleep on the Canadian will be an excellent opportunity to acquire some foundational knowledge about our specialty. I am going to pay special attention to the Prestige Class sleeping accommodation on the Canadian, which most of our clients book, and the domed observation cars on both the Canadian and Rocky Mountaineer.

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Panoramic Gold Leaf dome car on Rocky Mountaineer. IRT Photo by Rachel M. Hardy.

Which aspect of the trip will make much more sense once you’ve seen it in action? After this trip, I think I’ll have a keen sense of how all the puzzle pieces of flights, trains, transfers, hotels, and sightseeing fit together. Our goal at IRT is to create seamless, worry-free and memorable travel — and I think my time in Canada will translate directly to my ability to make all of these things a reality for our clients.

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Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff.

Which hotel are you most interested to visit in person and why? The Rimrock Resort Hotel​ in Banff sounds captivating. I look forward to seeing how architecture and luxury combine — since it’s built into the side of a mountain to take special advantage of fantastic views. And I will be able to advise our clients my favorite room type there — and why.

Which general aspect of the trip excites you most (ie wildlife, scenery, food)? I’ve been told by so many people that Canada is unbelievably ​beautiful, so to experience it in  spring will be incredibly memorable. My only regret is that my little dog, Pico, won’t be on the trip with me to sniff all the new smells!

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IRT’s Nora Elzy & Pico. Photo courtesy of Nora Elzy.

Check back for Nora’s full report on the Canadian and Rocky Mountaineer in the next few weeks.

And in the meantime, call or email us when you are ready to start planning your own Canadian rail adventure! Call us at 800-478-4881 (502-897-1725 if outside the US/Canada), or e-mail us: tourdesk@irtsociety.com.

Or, visit our website here for a list of our favorite Canadian rail journeys.

Nora Elzy, of Louisville, KY and a graduate of Centre College, joined IRT in 2016. Among her international travels was her study abroad in Japan. She is a luxury advisor in training and will soon begin the Virtuoso Certified Travel Advisor educational program. Pico is our IRT mascot, who meets and greets all visitors to our office with a friendly wag of his very fluffy tail.

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