The Tui Group has partnered with Green City Trip, a Dutch startup offering rail travel across Europe, to create the Ski Express nigh train, connecting the Netherlands to ski destinations in the Austrian Alps.
The service will start right on time for Christmas holidays, on 23 December, and will run until 31 March. The train will depart every Friday at 17:30 from Amsterdam, stop in Utrecht, and reach Austria on Saturday morning. In Wörgl, a small border city, the route splits into two, one heading to Tirol and the other to Salzburg, both stopping at popular winter sports resorts on the way, like Gerlos, Kirchberg, Niederau, Soll, Zell Am See and Westendorf.
Sustainability and innovation are very important to all of us and the Netherlands are quite often pioneers. I’m curious about the experience.Sebastian Ebel, CEO of Tui Group
“Offering our customers a choice of transport is a great approach. We have this first pilot test at Tui Netherlands and I look forward to learning from the experience. What is successful in one market, we at Tui can quickly roll out to other markets”, Tui Group’s CEO said.
Tickets for the Ski Express are available on the Tui Netherlands website, but they can only be booked by people purchasing a Tui holiday package of at least 10 days. The ticket also includes a ski pass and luggage allowance, as the travel operator said it does not want customers to pay extra for their winter gear like they would if taking a plane.
The trains have 3 types of sleeping cars: 3 bed compartments, with have fixed beds and 4 and 5 bed compartments with fold-out bunk beds. The 3 and 4 bed cars can be booked by groups who want to sleep together, while for the 5 bed ones, which are the economy version, an additional fee has to be paid for friends to be placed in the same car.
“The train is a great alternative means of transport for a number of destinations. Holidaymakers above all want comfortable and easy travel, it’s up to us to bring that together”, said Arjan Kers, general manager of TUI Netherlands. “After the successful start of our cooperation earlier this summer, we are very happy to bring a winter holiday product to the market with Tui. We are confident of its potential”, added Hessel Winkelman and Maarten Bastian of GreenCityTrip.