Rail-inclusive packages to Austria
A wonderful country for skiing. Convenient by train. So why are their no ski holidays by train to Austria, on Snowcarbon's rail-ski packages section?
It's a good question you ask. Why indeed?
Firstly, you can travel to Austria by train with a scenic, comfortable overnight journey. It takes a bit longer than to France, for example, but it's quality all the way. You travel from London to Brussels by Eurostar. On the adjacent platform from where your Eurostar arrives, an ICE will depart 20 minutes later. That's a wonderful train with an onboard restaurant too. Then you arrive in Cologne, have time for more food or drink in a restaurant/bar across from the station (I forget the name) and then take a sleeper train from Cologne to Kufstein, Worgl or Innsbruck, in the heart of the Tirol close to plenty of excellent resorts.
From there, you can also get connecting trains or transfer to other resorts too.
So why no packages?
The problem really comes down to the way that train companies and the ski industry operates, a problem which applies to ski holidays in France, Italy and Switzerland too.
Firstly, train companies don't work together enough. There should be one simple ticket: Eurostar + ICE train + Nighjet. At Snowcarbon we are helping to get train operators talking to each other. Sometimes it feels like trying to get pandas to mate. It really shouldn't be this difficult, but there is too little grand vision by the operators.
Secondly, the ski travel industry is an industry with lots of great people working in it. But many companies are creatures of habit, wedded to holidays where flights are included or assumed, because the lack of information and lack of overtures by train companies mean that the tour operator doesn't have a simple rail product and pricing system around which to create packages. This is frustrating for everyone, because the ski industry knows that lots of skiers would prefer to travel by train for all kinds of reasons. And that the environmental emergency facing the planet needs us to begin transforming the way we travel.
But it's always 'next year's problem' because there is too little initiative in terms of effecting change and no individual company seems to have the resources to put to really going for it.
We at Snowcarbon are trying to move the dial on this, but it's not easy.
However, tailor made holidays to Austria by train can be created. It takes a little more work and co-ordination, but it is something that we can help with. It won't be a 'package' as such, but accommodation and train travel booked separately. In the future, we hope to change this.
So if you are interested in help creating such a holiday, do get in touch.