WHITE PLAINS, NY — (MARKET WIRE) — 04/08/2005 — A new Austria and Czech Pass, available from Rail Europe, is the latest addition to the many railpass options for touring the former Communist countries of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. This is the first railpass linking the Czech Republic to one of its Western neighbors.
Rail Europe’s new Austria and Czech Pass provides four days of unlimited 1st class rail travel within a 2 month period, starting at $200 US/$262 CAD per person when two or more people travel together, $230 US/$302 CAD for a solo traveler. A discounted version for young people under 26 traveling in 2nd class sells for $167 US/$219 CAD. Additional days may be purchased.
“Off-the-beaten-path” destinations best discovered by rail
For American travelers looking for an “off-the-beaten path” destination that’s a good buy for the shrinking dollar, with plenty of culture, history and scenery as well as fewer tourists, the newly democratic countries of Central/Eastern Europe are the right choice: Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia & Montenegro, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
Rail is the easiest and most cost-effective way to tour the area. Low-cost rail passes from Rail Europe give travelers even more for their dollar, since a pass lets you ride as many trains as you can squeeze into each rail day. Not available in Europe, these passes must be purchased here before leaving for Europe. Rail Europe is the leading North American distributor of European rail products.
Two “big” passes for Eastern Europe and the Balkans
Two other railpasses available from Rail Europe provide the widest range of countries:
– European East Pass – valid throughout the Czech Republic, Hungary,
Poland, Slovakia and Austria for $162 US/$213 CAD (2nd class), $230 US/$302
CAD (1st) for 5 days of rail travel within 1 month, and extra days may be
– Balkan Flexipass – for 1st class travel throughout southeastern
Europe: Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Greece and
Turkey. Available for 5, 10 or 15 rail travel days within 1 month,
starting at $189 US/$248 CAD. Discounted versions are available for
seniors (60 and over) and youth (under 26).
Three more new-for-2005 railpasses
In addition to the new Austria and Czech Pass, Rail Europe offers three other new passes combining countries in Central/Eastern/Balkan Europe:
– Eurail Austria ‘n Slovenia/Croatia Pass – 4 days of rail travel within
2 month period, starting at $200 US/$262 CAD per person when 2 or more
travel together; additional days available.
– Eurail Hungary ‘n Slovenia/Croatia Pass – 5 days of rail travel within
2 months, starting at $170 US/$223 CAD per person when 2 or more travel
together; available for 6-10 days.
– Eurail Hungary ‘n Romania Pass – 5 days of rail travel within 2
months, starting at $170 US/$223 CAD per person when 2 or more travel
together. Available for 6-10 days.
This year and last saw new options for the Balkans added to the Eurail Selectpass, which is a customizable pass, allowing purchasers to choose any 3, 4 or 5 connected countries. Originally offered for the 17 Eurailpass countries, the Eurail Selectpass was expanded in 2004 to include Romania as an option. In 2005, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro have been added (counted as one country), likewise Slovenia and Croatia (counted as one). A 3-country Eurail Selectpass starts at $316 US/$414 CAD per person for 2 traveling together.
Inexpensive single-country railpasses for the “New Europe” — most under $100
– Bulgarian Flexipass – 3 days within 1 month in 1st class for $70
– Czech Flexipass – 3 days of rail travel within 15 days in 1st or 2nd
class, starting at $52 US/$69 CAD. Additional days may be purchased;
– Hungarian Flexipass – 5 days of 2nd class rail travel within a 15-day
period for $52 US/$69 CAD (2nd class) or $79 US/$104 CAD (1st); additional
– Romanian Pass – 3 days of 1st class rail travel within 15 days for $99
US/$130 CAD, and additional days may be purchased.
For more information on rail products throughout Europe — both Old and New — contact a travel agent or Rail Europe at 1-888-382-7245 (in the U.S.) or 1-800-361-7245 (in Canada). Or log on to Rail Europe’s web site, www.raileurope.com (in Canada www.raileurope.ca).