On May 2, 2015, the Danube Express officially became the Golden Eagle Danube Express. Golden Eagle Luxury Trains of the UK took over operations and held a renaming ceremony, attended by His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent.
Under new operations, the on-board experience has been upgraded (particularly the food and wine) and many new European itineraries are now on offer.
For a report by IRT Society Vice President Angela Walker on the Danube Express’ May, 2015 inaugural trip, plus details of the train, please click here. For additional details on the train’s signature Balkan Odyssey itinerary, please see Ms. Walker’s report here.
There are seven sleeping cars. Four contain Deluxe cabins, and the other three contain the elegant new Superior Deluxe cabins.
All cabins are air conditioned. Robes, slippers, towels and luxurious L’Occitane toiletries are provided for all passengers. One attendant manages each car, making up the beds in the evening and providing morning tea/coffee on request.
Superior Deluxe Cabins
The Golden Eagle Danube Express’ 12 newest cabins are called Superior Deluxe. These spacious cabins (93 square feet including the bathroom) feature a large double bed (5 ft. x 6 ft., 2 in.) which converts to a full-length sofa by day.
Other features include two picture windows, wardrobe, table and two chairs. The en-suite bathroom has a cubicle shower, sink, toilet and towel warmer.
Deluxe cabins are spacious (83 square feet including the bathroom) and comfortable. Each cabin has two lower beds in an L-shape configuration, which converts to seating during the day.
The en-suite bathroom contains a cubicle shower, sink, toilet and towel warmer. Air conditioning and heating are individually controlled in Deluxe cabins.
There is also a small wardrobe, safe, cupboard and luggage rack above one bed. But be advised: storage space is limited, especially in the bathroom.
Two dining cars seat 42 passengers each (much more than the train’s 64-passenger capacity). The dining cars are attractive and comfortable, offering tables for 4 or 2.
One has a green and cream color scheme; the other is crimson and beige. Tables are set with white tablecloths, crystal glassware and china emblazoned with the double-headed eagle logo of Golden Eagle Luxury Trains.
Breakfast is taken on board. Choose from the buffet of fruit, breads, cereal, cold meats and cheeses. Hot breakfast (omelette, French toast, bacon, sausage) is available on order.
On-board meals are usually three courses, with meat and vegetarian choices. A cheese and fruit course is added at dinner.
Sample starters include asparagus with hollandaise sauce; zucchini rolls with ricotta stuffing, served in a char-grilled pepper sauce with basil olive oil; and foie gras terrine with spicy apricot chutney and toasted challah bread.
Sample main course options include Moroccan baked vegetables with prunes and spicy couscous and beer-braised beef cheek with malted onions and ale sauce, served with carrots, green beans and onion mashed potatoes.
Desserts are equally sumptuous.
The lounge/bar car is the social center of the train. The lounge car seats approximately 30 – not enough to accommodate the train’s capacity.
But it is rare, if ever, that all passengers visit the lounge for a pre-dinner drink or nightcap at the same time (all drinks, with the exception of some premium wines, are included in the tour fare).
A pianist entertains outside of meal times.
Service on board is good; the train staff is professional and hard-working.
On our trip several years ago, some staff still were struggling with English, but they are affable and eager to please. The train’s guest relations manager is excellent.
Journeys on the Golden Eagle Danube Express are fully inclusive of transfers, food, drinks (all alcohol except premium wines), gratuities and all touring.to top