Intra Express GmbH
0049/30/785 33 91
0049/30/785 92 08
Thomas E. Fischer
Tax Number: 29/10/5481
Finanzamt für Körperschaften III, Berlin
The destination of
this tour is Northern Europe once again. We visit four countries on the
Baltic Sea - Sweden, Finland, Russia, and Estonia - with the cities of
Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg und Tallinn and their tramways.
Even if Intra Express groups have been to all of these cities in recent
years, they are worth another visit as all of the tramways have
introduced new types of low-floor cars since than, and some new lines
have been opened. Visits of tramway depots and museums as well as
charter tours on historic vehicles are part of our programme. A special
feature of this tour is that we spend four nights in comfortable cabins
on the Russian ferry Princess Anastasia - travelling overnight from
town to town, and visiting the trams without changing hotels and
carrying baggage, and without Russian visa application: we take
advantage of a regulation allowing ferry passengers to stay in St.
Petersburg visa free for up to three days.
Saturday, May 13th, 2017.
12:50h departure from Frankfurt (Main) by Lufthansa to Stockholm, arrival 14:55h. Same morning connecting flights available from Berlin Tegel, Hamburg, and Munich at a surcharge. In Stockholm transfer to our hotel for the first three nights of the tour, located conveniently to public transport. Each participant gets a Three-Day-(72 Hour-)Pass for unlimited rides on city buses, trams, and trains.
Sunday, May 14th, 2017.
Stockholm's big tramway system was closed down in
1967 when the country changed its road traffic from left to right hand drive. Only two isolated tramway lines survived, and continued operating as feeders to the Underground network: Nockebybanan (route 12) and Lidingöbanan (route 21). Nowadays the city plans to re-establish a large tramway network as it used to be. Two new lines have already been opened: Tvärbanan (route 22), and the Djurgarden line (route 7). In the morning we visit the Djurgarden line having been transformed from a seasonal tourist operation to a regular service operated daily year-round by modern Flexity low-floor cars, but still run by tramway enthusiasts. Historic trams substitute the modern fleet on weekends. You also have the opportunity to offer the city's (static) tramway museum. The afternoon is dedicated to Lidingöbanan, a scenic suburban line on Lidingö island. When we visited Stockholm last time, it was closed for complete reconstruction. Now it is back in service, and operated by new CAF low-floor cars.
Monday, May 15th, 2017.
Other rail-related sights not to be missed in Stockholm are the extensive underground and suburban train networks, and two more unusual electric railways on our schedule today: Saltsjöbanan is a former suburban tramway nowadays operated by older Underground rolling stock. Roslagsbanan is the country's last remaining narrow-gauge system for public transport. Running on 891 mm gauge (= 3 Swedish feet), formerly very common in Sweden, it comprises a number of suburban lines operated by modern EMUs.
Tuesday, May 16th, 2017.
Tvärbanan (route 22) is a modern city tramway, opened in steps since 2000, and meanwhile more than 17 km long. On our morning programme is the northern part from Alvik to Solna, not yet opened when we visited Stockholm last in 2013, and the neighbouring Nockebybanan. The "older" section of Tvärbanan from Alvik to Sickla Udde might be closed for installation of a new signalling system at the time of our visit, but this is not a big loss as we rode it last time. Afternoon transfer to the harbour where our "hotel" for the next four nights is waiting, the Russian ferry Princess Anastasia, offering space for 2,500 passengers, and the facilities of a cruise ship: small, but comfortable cabins with private bathrooms, a number of restaurants and bars, swimming pool, sauna, a Russian-style show programme every evening, and more. Enjoy the unforgettable scenery of the skerries, thousands of small rock islands, when leaving Stockholm.
Wednesday, May 17th, 2017.
In the morning Princess Anastasia reaches Helsinki's Western harbour, connected to the city centre by tram. One day is not much time for the capital of Finland with its extensive metre-gauge tramway system, underground, and electric suburban railway. However, it should give us sufficient time to ride, and photograph the new low-floor trams built by the Finnish company Transtech, recently taken over bei Skoda, to have short charter tours on two historic trams, and to visit the Töölö and Koskela tramway depots as well as the small tramway museum. In the evening Princess Anastasia sets course for St. Petersburg.
Thursday, May 18th, 2017.
Morning arrival in St. Petersburg, often said to be Russia's most beautiful city. Moreover, former Leningrad had the world's largest tramway system in Soviet times. Unfortunately many lines in the city centre have been closed since then so that Melbourne has become No. 1. Nevertheless the network is still huge, and the fleet most varied, comprising products of the local tramcar factory not to be found anywhere else in Russia, but also several types of low-floor trams of different origin. No less than four new types have entered service since our last visit in 2014: articulated low-floor cars type 71-931 built in Tver and Alstom Citadis 301 CIS plus bogie trams KTM-24 and modernized LM68, both operated in bi-directional two-car trains. Today's full day tramway programme can only give you some impression. Sure we lay stress on showing you the new cars, but a visit to the tramway museum, and a ride on historic trams are also included. Accommodation on board Princess Anastasia anchored in the harbour tonight.
Friday, May 19th, 2017.
Our second day in St. Petersburg is free, giving you several opportunities for further tramway, trolleybus, or metro rides, and photography. Those not having been to the city before are recommended to go on a sightseeing tour, and railway enthusiasts may visit one of the world's hugest open-air locomotive museums. Overnight Princess Anastasia sails back to Helsinki.
Saturday, May 20th, 2017.
Morning arrival in Helsinki where we leave Princess Anastasia, and take an Estonian ferry for the two-hour crossing to Tallinn. Afternoon visit to the tramway depot, and charter tour on Europe's only 1,067 mm-("Cape"-)gauge tramway. We ride two historic trams: a two-axle car built in 1925, and a four-axle articulated Gotha car imported from GDR during Socialist times. During our last visit to Tallinn it had not been possible to ride these trams as the depot was disconnected from the network due to track reconstruction, and the heritage cars were trapped there. Now the section from the railway station to Kopli is under reconstruction, but we have toured it last time... New are the Spanish CAF low-floor trams now in passenger service, and trolleybus enthusiasts have the opportunity to say goodbye to the last old Skoda 14Tr und 15Tr as route 9 where they are running is scheduled to close soon after our tour. For the evening we recommend a stroll through medieval old town, listed by UNESCO as world heritage. Hotel accommodation in Tallinn.
Sunday, May 21st, 2017.
Free morning. Afterwards airport transfer and 13:40h departure by Lufthansa from Helsinki back to Frankfurt (Main), arrival 15:20h. Connecting onward flight to Berlin Tegel, Hamburg, or Munich as booked.
The Tour Price Includes:
* Lufthansa flights Frankfurt (Main) - Stockholm and Tallinn - Frankfurt (Main). Connecting flights from Berlin Tegel, Hamburg or Munich to Frankfurt and back are available at a supplement of € 100.00.
* 4 nights accommodation with breakfast at good hotels in Stockholm und Tallinn, twin rooms with private facilities.
* Coach transfers airport - hotel - port in Stockholm and port - hotel - airport in Tallinn.
* Ferry passage Stockholm - Helsinki - St. Petersburg - Helsinki - Tallinn including four nights accommodation in two-berth inside cabin with private facilities on MV Princess Anastasia.
* Tramway programmes in Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Tallinn including depot and museum visits and charters of heritage trams as per itinerary.
* English speaking tour guide.
€ 1,495.00 per person. Single room supplement (including single accommodation on the ferry) € 320.00. As on all our tours, individual participants wishing to save their money are welcome to book a shared twin. We are sure to find an English-speaking roommate for you.
Connecting Lufthansa domestic flights from Berlin Tegel, Hamburg or Munich to Frankfurt and back available at a supplement of € 100.00. Please state the required airport of departure on your booking form!
Supplements for outside cabins on the ferry: Two-berth cabin + € 50.00, one-berth cabin + € 75.00. The difference is that outside cabins have a window (not necessary needed for sleeping); size and equipment are identical.
We offer connecting 2nd class train tickets from any DB station (including all border stations) to the airport of your departure at a flat return fare of € 120.00 per person. If required, please state the required station of your departure on your booking form.
Regulations of Immigration.
Each participant needs a Passport, valid at least six months longer than the tour lasts. Visas are not required from citizens of the European Union.
Tour Guide: Thomas E. Fischer.
Booking Deadline Date: February 28th, 2017 unless the tour is sold out before this date.
Minimum Number of Participants required to let this tour go: 30.
Tour Operator: Intra Express Hobby- und Studienreisen GmbH, Burgherrenstr. 2, D-12101 Berlin