Discover the fascinating history, vibrant culture, and medieval relics of this enchanting region as we venture through the lush landscapes of the Balkan states and their neighboring countries on the Balkan Explorer journey aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express. Meandering through verdant landscapes and along turquoise coastlines, this exclusive rail cruise delivers a captivating exploration of the Balkan nations.  Travel through an incredible nine countries in just 11 days, with the Golden Eagle Danube Express as your comfortable hotel-on-wheels.

Add the 'Castles of Transylvania' tour, a 7-day Istanbul-Budapest extension to your Balkan Explorer journey! Click here for more information.

Balkan Odyssey on the Danube Express: Budapest-Venice

10-Day Escorted Tour
Explore Eastern Europe's Balkans on the Golden Eagle Danube Express' Balkan Odyssey luxury rail journey. This is a region synonymous with history and legend, stunning architecture and colorful people, yet also with war and tragedy. In one glorious sweep, you’ll travel from Budapest, where you'll spend two nights at the famed Four Seasons Gresham Palace, then through Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Slovenia, and on into Venice’s Santa Lucia Station.  And you’ll do so in comfort, aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express. The Danube Express' Balkan Odyssey passes through some of Europe’s most poignant and destructive periods of conflict, complemented by a fascinating insight into the future of modern Europe. The city of Budapest, a remarkable blend of medieval and Baroque style, is our starting point for this remarkable journey. Before boarding our exclusive train, we will take time to discover the absorbing history of the once divided cities of Buda and Pest and explore some of its modern day customs. Settle in to your private compartments aboard the elegant Golden Eagle Danube Express as your rail voyage meanders through stunningly beautiful countryside and awe-inspiring mountain ranges on an exploration of the mythical Transylvania region. We then route westwards though the intriguing countries of the former Yugoslavia.  At the end of this remarkable journey, we reach the stunning maritime city of Venice, a unique mix of Gothic and Renaissance palaces perched on the edge of the Italian coast.

The Grand Alpine Express is a scenic feast for the eyes. From the classic capital cities of Budapest and Vienna, venture deep into the Austrian Tyrol before heading across the valleys of the Swiss Alps and onward through the Italian Lake District as you visit Como and Garda before heading into the lesser-known but equally beautiful country of Slovenia and its crown jewel, Lake Bled. Traverse some of the most scenic railway lines in the world as the Golden Eagle Danube Express weaves its way through tunnels, across viaducts, and over mountain passes. Journey's end will be in the stunning maritime city of Venice, an outstanding mixture of Gothic and Renaissance palaces perched on the edge of the Italian coast. A perfect end to a memorable journey of alpine discovery.


New Year's in Vienna aboard the Danube Express

9-day Escorted Tour
Celebrate New Year in Vienna in style aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express with a special festive departure across Central Europe.  You'll be at the center of the festivities in beautiful Vienna. Our New Year's departure offers a sociable atmosphere combined with sumptuous gala dinners, music, opera, dancing, fireworks and exclusive regional celebrations that you will forever remember. From Budapest, venture through winter-wonderland landscapes. Chug across Central Europe, and glide through valleys beneath Austria's towering Alps. Along the way, encounter beautiful capital cities and hidden gems. Our New Year’s voyage by private train delivers a stylish combination of musical celebration, rich history and architectural treasures. The all-inclusive itinerary and the comfortable luxury of the Danube Express will whisk you from location to location in a manner not possible by any other means of travel. Why go? Because you simply must. Read IRT Founder Owen Hardy's account here.
Experience the alluring Sicilian Odyssey by private luxury train on the Golden Eagle Danube Express. The Sicilian Odyssey begins with one night at the iconic five-star Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace in the romantic city of Budapest. From there, you'll board the luxurious and comfortable Danube Express and travel briefly through Hungary and Slovenia before crossing into Italy. Wend your way through the many cities and and provinces of Southern Italy and Sicily, stopping along the way to soak up the history and local culture with guided tours and experiences. Then, spend two nights at a five-star hotel in Taormina. Enjoy guided city tours of Budapest, Venice, San Marino, Bari, Naples, Palermo, and Taormina. Tour the crumbling ruins of Pompeii in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, and the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Valle Dei Templi in Agrigento. Take an optional tour to Corleone, where you'll learn about the notorious Mafia fame's made famous by Francis Ford Coppola's motion picture, The Godfather. Experience a hands-on cooking demonstration in Ragusa. Visit the historical center of Syracuse by -- the Island of Ortigia -- by boat. Tour Mount Etna with a local volcanologist and enjoy the sight of the beautiful Gulf of Naxos from the heights of Taormina -- and much more! The all-inclusive itinerary and the comfortable luxury of the Danube Express will whisk you from location to location in a way not possible by any other means of travel. Add the 'Taste of Italy' 5-day Taormina-Budapest extension to your Sicilian Odyssey! Click here for details.

Absorb the vibrant cultures, ancient castles, and spectacular scenery on this 7-day "Castles of Transylvania" journey aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express.

Delve into the history surrounding Romania’s most infamous historical figure, Vlad the Impaler – or as he is more commonly known, Count Dracula – on this 7-day rail cruise of Transylvania. Enjoy a walking tour of the beautifully preserved town of Sighisoara where the Count was born, discover Sibiu’s Evangelic Cathedral where Vlad’s son was buried after his assassination, and visit impressive Bran Castle -- the residence of the vampire count, and the setting made famous by Bram Stoker’s novel. This journey is an extension of the 11-day Balkan Explorer tour. Click here for more information. It may also be paired with the 8-day Central European Classics tour.

Central European Classics, Budapest to Prague by Luxury Train, equals excitement and romance. It's a new trip on the Danube Express. What could be more romantic than coursing through the lush landscapes and charming cities by train? Lovely stops along the way allow you to visit  architectural masterpieces and gain insight into modern European culture and traditions. Enjoy dining on board and off this luxe train. This short journey is perfect for those who might want to test out the Danube Express.  Or, it can be combined with the  7-day Castles of Transylvania tour. Click here for more information.

Experience a Taste of Italy by private luxury train on the Golden Eagle Danube Express.

This short tour packs in many highlights in just five days, beginning in beautiful Taormina and ending in Budapest. Take one of the world's few train ferries from Sicily to the Italian mainland; enjoy Bari's charming old town and walk along the cobblestone streets of San Marino. Continue to Slovenia to explore its delightful capital, Ljubljana, and end with a special visit to Budapest's Railway Museum. Travel in comfort aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express.