Rail Journeys of Britain with Tim Fischer

June 27
Including flights, accommodation,
guided sightseeing, tours, meals

A unique opportunity to travel to the UK, cruise in luxury aboard MS Prinsendam around the British Isles and experience rail travel on some of the most iconic railways in Britain. The birth of the Industrial Revolution in the UK created a plethora of railway lines around the country, many of which are today supported by volunteer organisations and government bodies for the enjoyment of rail enthusiasts. A unique experience of a lifetime.

Visiting Amsterdam, Netherlands; Isle of Skye, Edinburgh, Inverness, Kirkwall, Oban, Scotland; Dublin, Ireland; Liverpool, Plymouth, Weymouth, England; Holyhead, Milford Haven, Wales; St Peter Port, Guernsey

Highlights Include

  • Hoorn–Medemblik heritage railway
  • A welcome drinks party
  • Take a steam train ride on the Borders Railway, the longest new domestic railway to be built in the UK for over 100 years
  • The Strathspey Railway, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands
  • Keith & Dufftown Railway (The Whisky Line)
  • Sightseeing tour of Kirkwall
  • The 5,000-yearold chambered tomb of Maeshowe, the mysterious Standing Stones of Stenness and the Stone Age Ring of Brodgar
  • A sightseeing tour of the Isle of Skye
  • A spectacular train ride past lochs and mountains to Garve
  • Travel along the Glenfinnan viaduct, famous from the Harry Potter films
  • East Lancashire Railway
  • Bury Transport Museum
  • Snowdon Mountain Railway
  • Welsh Highland Railway
  • Vale of Rheidol Railway
  • South Devon Railway
  • Launceston Steam Railway, which links the historic Cornish town with the hamlet of Newmills
  • West Somerset Railway, the longest heritage line in the United Kingdom
  • Sightseeing tour of Guernsey
Rail Journeys of Britain with Tim Fischer Map


  • Economy-class return air travel from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth to Amsterdam
  • Travel on MS Prinsendam in the selected cabin category
  • All meals, entertainment and service charges on MS Prinsendam
  • First-class rail travel as listed in the itinerary
  • 2 nights’ accommodation including breakfasts in Amsterdam
  • Sightseeing tours as listed in the itinerary
  • Leadership by Tim Fischer
  • Rail journeys, entry to museums and attractions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Ship gratuities and air taxes
  • Tour management by Travelrite International Pty. Ltd.
  • A Travelrite travel bag
Tim Fischer

Tim Fischer

The Honourable Tim Fischer AC is the former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and was the Australian Ambassador to the Holy for 3 years until January 2012. A former Australian Army Officer, Leader of the National Party and Minister for Trade, Tim Fischer is also a well-known author and rail enthusiast. Previously he was Australia’s Special Envoy to the Kingdom of Bhutan, Eritrea and South Sudan. Tim Fischer and his family live on the family beef property ‘Grossotto Poll Hereford’ near Albury Wodonga and has a range of agricultural, export and transport business interests. He was Chairman of Tourism Australia 2004-07, and of the Australia Thailand Institute 2005-08. Tim Fischer has written several books, including two about trains and one on East Timor. He also co-authored Bold Bhutan Beckons with Tshering Tashi and co-authored Outback Heroes with Peter Rees. His next book is on Steam Australia. He has also hosted a popular radio series on his great passion The ABC Great Train Show. His knowledge and experience of railways make him the ideal person to lead this tour. He has many great tales to tell about the locations on this great adventure!

MS Prinsendam Deck plans

MS Prinsendam

Designed to explore the remote corners of the world in elegance and style, MS Prinsendam is a most intimate ship. Accommodating just 835 passengers, she gives guests the feel of a classic yacht with the spaciousness of a cruise ship. Prinsendam offers many cozy areas in which to find your favourite spot. Prinsendam, or ‘Princes’ ship, is truly a classic worthy of her name. Luxuriously appointed and uniquely refined, Holland America Line’s MS Prinsendam ensures you the ultimate on-board experience with her graceful combination of classic cruise ship features, state-ofthe- art amenities, and sophisticated ambiance.

Day 1
Wednesday, June 27, 2018


This morning we depart on our flight to Amsterdam.

Day 2
Thursday, 28 June, 2018

Amsterdam, Netherlands

This morning we arrive at Amsterdam airport. After clearing customs, we will be met by our private coach and we travel to Hoorn to ride on the Hoorn–Medemblik heritage railway, operated by the Museumstoomtram Hoorn Medemblik, a distance of about 12 miles. The engine whistles and the fireman shovels coal into the firebox. Wooden partitions creak, wheels sing and steam hisses. You will experience a story from a different era. Between the historic Zuiderzee towns of Hoorn, Medemblik and Enkhuizen, steam trams meander from village to village across the Westfrisian. Later we are transferred to our hotel.

Day 3
Friday, June 29, 2018


TA free day in Amsterdam. You might want to visit Anne Frank’s house or one of Amsterdam’s fantastic museums.

Day 4
Saturday, June 30, 2018


The morning will be free for last-minute sightseeing or shopping. This afternoon we are transferred to the docks to board the Prinsendam. Be up on deck as Prinsendam slips her moorings for the start of our fabulous cruise around the British Isles.

Day 5
Sunday, July 1, 2018

At sea

A day at sea to explore and try the fabulous facilities of the ship. This afternoon Tim will give a talk about his life in politics and his passion for trains. This evening join Tim Fischer for a welcome drinks party to celebrate the start of our Rail Journeys of Britain cruise.

Day 6
Monday, July 2, 2018

Edinburgh, Scotland

Today we visit Edinburgh, the royal and ancient capital of Scotland. This morning we travel on the Bo’ness 10-mile heritage railway and visit the Scottish Railway Museum. Later we will take a steam train ride on the Borders Railway, the longest new domestic railway to be built in the UK for over 100 years. The 30 miles of track sees passenger trains running from Edinburgh, through Midlothian and into the Scottish Borders to Tweed Bank for the first time in almost half a century.

Day 7
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Inverness, Scotland

Today we arrive at Inverness, near the famous Loch Ness. We will enjoy two rail journeys today, the first being the Strathspey Railway, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Our steam service takes us through the stunning Cairngorms National Park, the home of Britain’s highest mountain range and an area of outstanding natural beauty, boasting an impressive culture and heritage. We will be taken back in time to a ten-mile-long 1950s branchline between Aviemore, Boat of Garten and Broomhill, where remarkably little has changed since 1863, when the Victorians brought a railway to this splendid area of the Highlands. Later we travel to Dufftown to ride the Keith & Dufftown Railway (The Whisky Line), a heritage railway running for 11 miles from Dufftown railway station to Keith Town via Drummuir. Originally part of the former Great North of Scotland Railway line linking Aberdeen with Elgin, the line, reopened by volunteers during 2000 and 2001, passes through some of Scotland’s most picturesque scenery, with forest and farmland, lochs and glens, castles and distilleries.

Day 8
Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

Today we call in to the Orkneys. Kirkwall, located on Mainland, the largest of the Orkneys. On our sightseeing tour today we will see the striking 12th-century sandstone Norse-inspired St Magnus Cathedral. We also see some of Europe’s finest archaeological sites, including the 5,000-yearold chambered tomb of Maeshowe, the mysterious Standing Stones of Stenness and the Stone Age Ring of Brodgar. Touring around the island, we see the dramatic natural scenery, including the rugged cliffs and the prolific birdlife.

Day 9
Thursday, July 5, 2018

Portree, Isle of Skye

This morning we enjoy a sightseeing tour of the Isle of Skye. We will see the magical landscape of Fairy Glen, and drive over the Quiraing Pass, which defines northern Skye, before arriving at Neist Point, the most westerly point on Skye, then walk to the isolated lighthouse. We see the Old Man of Storr, a rocky pinnacle on Trotternish Ridge and the Cuillin Mountains. We then travel across the bridge to Kyle of Lochalsh on the Scottish mainland, for a spectacular train ride past lochs and mountains to Garve, one of the most scenic towns in Scotland, where we have some free time before returning by train to Kyle of Lochalsh and the ship.

Day 10
Friday, July 6, 2018

Oban, Scotland

Today we arrive in the lovely port town of Oban in the western Scottish Highlands and take the Jacobite Steam journey from Fort William to Mallaig. On one of the greatest railway journeys in the world, we travel along the Glenfinnan viaduct, famous from the Harry Potter films. We continue north, near the coast, from where, on a clear summer’s day, we can see the ‘Small Isles’ of Rum, Eigg, Muck, Canna and the southern tip of Skye.

Day 11
Saturday, July 7, 2018

At sea

A day at sea to explore and enjoy the fabulous facilities of the ship. This afternoon Tim will lead a discussion on the evolution of trains through the ages and recount stories of his train adventures.

Day 12
Sunday, July 8, 2018

Liverpool, England

Arriving in Liverpool early today, we travel to Bury to board our heritage train on the East Lancashire Railway, travelling from Bury Bolton to Rawtenstall. Passengers can enjoy a blast of nostalgia as steam trains whistle through the stunning Irwell Valley, stopping at Heywood, Bury, Summerseat, Ramsbottom, Rawtenstall and Irwell Vale. We then visit the Bury Transport Museum. Housed in a beautifully restored 1848 goods warehouse, this fascinating museum brings the history of early 20thcentury transport to life. Later we drive to Skipton in Yorkshire, to the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, which runs 4 miles between the award-winning station at Bolton Abbey and Embsay station, built in 1888. Most trains are hauled by magnificently restored steam tank engines, the oldest one dating back to 1908.

Day 13
Monday, July 9, 2018

Dublin, Ireland

Today we arrive in Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, wellknown as being a place of friendliness and ‘craic’, and a city that is over 1000 years-old. We are transferred to Heuston station to board our train for Galway on the west coast of Ireland. Towns serviced on the route include Kildare, Tullamore, Athlone, Ballinasloe and Athenry. After lunch, we travel to Limerick and board our train for the return trip to Dublin. It will be a fabulous journey through the emerald-green countryside of Ireland.

Day 14
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Holyhead, Wales

Today we arrive at Holyhead on the Isle of Anglesey, off the north-west coast of Wales. Today we will enjoy two exceptional rail experiences. We first travel by coach to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, the Welsh town with the longest name in the world. We will stop for photos before travelling to Llanberis, to ride on the Snowdon Mountain Railway. Soon after the train leaves Llanberis station, the track crosses the first of two viaducts across the Afon Hwch river and a wonderful view of the waterfall plunging into the gorge below can be seen. As the train emerges onto open ground, we will have a first glimpse of the peak of Snowdon. The train starts climbing before one of the world’s great panoramas is finally revealed at the summit of Snowdon. Returning to Llanberis, we drive into Caernarfon for lunch, before boarding our train on the Welsh Highland Railway, which runs through some of the most stunning scenery in Britain. Starting near the quayside at the ancient port of Caernarfon, the route climbs on the old standard gauge track-bed to the old junction with the original WHR at Dinas. Rejoining the track-bed of the original WHR, the line climbs into the heart of the Snowdonia Mountains, travelling past lakes, then down through a forest and a spectacular rocky gorge to the sea at Porthmadog, having crossed Snowdonia from sea to sea in the course of its 25 miles. We are then transferred by coach back to Holyhead.

Day 15
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Milford Haven, Wales

Today we travel to Aberystwyth, a university town on the west coast of Wales, to travel on the Vale of Rheidol Railway. Opened in 1902, the railway has been delighting passengers young and old for over a century. Feel the wind in your hair in one of the Open Summer Carriages or watch the scenery passing by from the comfort of the First Class Observation Saloons. See the countryside change as you travel through wide open fields and meadows, woodland and rugged mountain scenery, the line twisting and turning as it clings to the hillside. Listen to the sound of a powerful narrow gauge steam locomotive working hard to climb 700ft (200m) in the 11¾ miles from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge. The line is a masterpiece of engineering, opened in 1902 to carry lead ore, timber and passenger traffic. The narrow track gauge allows the railway to follow the contours of the terrain with many sharp curves and steep gradients, which add to the railway’s charm. After lunch in Aberystwyth, we travel to Carmarthen to ride the Gwili Steam Railway from the Bronwydd Arms Station, to the end of the line at Danycoed Halt. We then travel back to Milford Haven to board the ship.

Day 16
Thursday, July 12, 2018

Plymouth, England

Plymouth is best known for its association with Sir Francis Drake. Today we travel on the South Devon Railway, the longest established steam railway in the south west of England. The South Devon Railway, or SDR, is a sevenmile former Great Western Railway branch line, built in 1872, which runs along the stunning valley of the River Dart between Buckfastleigh and Totnes (Riverside). After lunch we travel to Launceston, to travel on the Launceston Steam Railway, which links the historic Cornish town with the hamlet of Newmills, running for two and a half miles through the glorious Kensey Valley, along the track-bed of the old North Cornwall Railway, where express trains from London Waterloo once thundered along.

Day 17
Friday, July 13, 2018

Weymouth, England

Arriving in Weymouth on the south coast, we travel to Taunton to travel on the West Somerset Railway, the longest heritage line in the United Kingdom. The line is situated four miles outside the county town of Taunton, starting at Bishops Lydeard and finishing at Minehead. The line meanders through the Quantock Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty, and along the Bristol Channel coast. There are 10 stations along the line, each having something different to offer. There are various historic sites, including Crowcombe Heathfield station, the location for the filming of the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night and scenes from The Land Girls.

Day 18
Saturday, July 14, 2018

St Peter Port, Guernsey

This morning we arrive at St Peter Port, Guernsey’s main town, built into a steep valley leading down to the harbour, with spectacular views across to Alderney and the other islands. We have a comprehensive sightseeing tour of the island, and see the delightful rural and coastal scenery. The granite buildings now occupied by shops were once the homes of the town’s wealthy and the High Street still has its original cobbles. The town was put on the map in 1855 when Victor Hugo, exiled from France, made his home at Hauteville House, where he wrote Les Miserables.

Day 19
Sunday, July 15, 2018

At sea

A day at sea to explore and enjoy the fabulous facilities of the ship. This afternoon Tim will lead a Q&A session on a variety of subjects including the rail journeys we have experienced on this cruise.

Day 20
Monday, July 16, 2018

Amsterdam, Netherlands

This morning we arrive in Amsterdam. After disembarking, we travel to the city, where there will be time for some last-minute shopping or sightseeing before we are transferred to the airport to board our flight back to Australia.

Day 21
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

In flight

Day 22
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Arrive Australia

Cabin Cabin Category Deck Twin Fare Single Fare
K Inside 7, 8 $12,485 $19,850
I Inside 9 $12,500 $20,000
E Oceanview 6, 7, 9 $12,925 $21,200
D Oceanview 5 $12,960 $21,260
C Oceanview 6 $13,025 $21,395
AB Balcony 8 $15,450 $25,960
AA Balcony 8, 9 $15,695 $30,815
A Balcony 9 $15,995 $31,385
SY Signature Suite 10 $18,850 $35,900
SS Signature Suite 10 $19,250 $36,810
Included port and handling charges $1,205 $1,870
Included on-board gratuities $278 $278
Included air taxes as at 1/7/17 $995 $995


  • Economy-class return air travel from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth to Amsterdam
  • Travel on MS Prinsendam in the selected cabin category
  • All meals, entertainment and service charges on MS Prinsendam
  • First-class rail travel as listed in the itinerary
  • 2 nights’ accommodation including breakfasts in Amsterdam
  • Sightseeing tours as listed in the itinerary
  • Leadership by Tim Fischer
  • Rail journeys, entry to museums and attractions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Ship gratuities and air taxes
  • Tour management by Travelrite International Pty. Ltd.
  • A Travelrite travel bag


  • Passport and visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals unless specified in the itinerary
  • Sightseeing and general expenses unless specified in the itinerary
  • Additional travel arrangements not in the detailed itinerary. These will be quoted for separately


International touring can involve a considerable amount of walking and stair climbing in the places visited and it is important that all tour participants have a level of physical fitness that allows them to take part in this activity without the need of assistance from others.

Tour Operator

Travelrite International Pty Ltd (ABN 64 005 817 078) is the tour operator

Deposit and Payment

A deposit of $900 per passenger is required at the time of booking. Full payment will be required 90 days before departure for the tour. A 1.5% administration fee will be charged on payment by Visa or Mastercard and 3% on payment by AMEX or Diners Club cards.

Air Taxes

From Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane as listed in the itinerary. Please contact us for air taxes from different cities. Air taxes are as at 1/4/17. If they change due to government and airline charges and currency variations, Travelrite International reserves the right to charge additional amounts.

Cancellation Charges

Days prior to Departure Cancellation Fee
91 days or more $900
90 - 66 days 50% of full fare
65 days or less 100% of full fare
Non appearance/no written notice 100% of full fare


The tour is based on arrangements that do not allow for any refunds in respect to sightseeing, accommodation, meals, airfare or other services not utilized after the tour has commenced.

Travel Documents

All passengers will require a valid passport. Visas for countries visited are not required for Australian passport holders. If you hold another passport please check with Travelrite.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is recommended to cover the costs of cancellation fees due to illness, death in family, etc.


All passengers qualify for the 30kg free baggage allowance on Singapore Arlines

Minimum Tour Numbers

The tour has been priced on the basis of a minimum number of passengers having booked 90 days prior to departure. Travelrite reserves the right to cancel the tour, giving a full refund of all monies paid or offer arrangements to proceed with the tour at a modified cost. Travelrite reserves the right to change advertised entrances if necessary for the smooth operation of the tour

Tour Costs

The tour costs are based on airfare, general transport, accommodation costs and foreign exchange rate at 1/4/17. Travelrite reserves the right to alter the costs if any of these factors change, giving any passenger that has booked the right to withdraw with full refund of monies paid or modify arrangements. No alterations to price will be made within 60 days of departure from Australia.

Tour Organisation

Travelrite reserves the right to change the itinerary for the smooth operation of the tour. In the unlikely event that the tour host is unable to lead the tour Travelrite will use its best endeavours to find a replacement host.


Travelrite International Pty Ltd. (ATAS No A10538) is the tour organiser. Neither Nationwide News Pty Limited nor any of its subsidiaries, nor any of its newspapers have any involvement in the tour, and have no liability of any kind to any person in relation to the tour. Travelrite acts only as an agent in the making of arrangements for hotels, transportation, restaurants or any other service and do not assume any liability whatsoever for any injury, damage, death, loss, accident or delay to person or property due to an act of negligence or a default of any hotel, carrier restaurant company or person rendering any services included in the tour, or by act of God. Further no responsibilities are accepted for any damage or delay due to sickness, pilferage, labour disputes, machinery break-down, quarantine, government restraints, weather, terrorism or other causes beyond their control. No responsibility is accepted for any additional expense, omission, delays, re-routing or acts of any government authority. The passage contract between the carriers concerned, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the carriers and the purchasers of this tour and/or the passengers. The right is reserved to withdraw any tour and/or make such changes in the tour as may be found desirable or necessary for the convenience of the parties and the proper carrying out of the tour. This contract shall be construed in accordance of the laws of the State of Victoria, Australia and any action must be taken in the State of Victoria.

How to Book

Bookings can be made by sending full names and addresses of intending tour members with a deposit of $500 for the tour. Please send to:

Postal Booking
Travelrite International Pty Ltd
423 Whitehorse Road Balwyn, Victoria 3103.

Online Booking
Book Online Now

Further information can be obtained by telephoning
Toll Free:1800 630 343
Telephone (03) 8803 6868
Fax (03) 9836 8068
Email balwyn@travelrite.com.au

About Travelrite International

Travelrite International Pty Ltd (ABN 64 005 817 078) is a well-established travel company which has been marketing throughout Australia for over 30 years. It has two fully ATAS accredited (No. A10538) offices at Balwyn and Heathmont. As such they directly represent the major airlines of the world and all major domestic and international hotel, tour and transport operators. Travelrite International Pty Ltd is a full member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents – AFTA.


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