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EXPLORE REPORTS POPULARITY SURGE FOR RAIL TRAVEL

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Recent research from Explore worldwide shows that 52% of adults want to travel more sustainably, and 67% would consider it if they had additional leave to do so.
 
  • Explore announces a new low-carbon travel policy for staff, awarding extra travel days to employees that travel more slowly and sustainably
  • New London2 rail tours show operator’s commitment to slower, lower-carbon travel



Recent research by adventure travel specialist Explore Worldwide shows that more than half (52%) of adults want to travel more sustainably with 45% liking the idea of slow travel to do so. 40% of those that like the idea of slow travel say it allows them to learn more about their destination, while 34% love the romance of rail travel.
 
Managing Director at Explore, Michael Edwards, says: “rail has long held appeal for adventure travellers. Getting closer to the destinations you’re travelling through, watching countries as they blend into one another, and travelling with all sorts of people – locals, commuters and international travellers – mean these are journeys packed with life and colour. But it’s also a more sustainable way to travel, and one that has extra draw at the moment as we become increasingly aware of the importance of making lower-carbon choices.”

Explore has a leading sustainable travel strategy. Of those interviewed in Explore’s survey, a huge 67% said they would consider more sustainable travel options if given additional annual leave to do so. Today, the company has announced a new Sustainable Travel policy to all employees, enabling them to take additional time to travel when they choose lower-carbon transport options for their leisure travel. Staff can take half a day for journeys up to 450 miles, and an additional full day for journeys over 450 miles. 

“We believe it’s important to lead by example” says Edwards, “both within the business, with our senior leaders travelling more sustainably for business and pleasure, and within the industry, showing how it is possible to encourage lower-carbon choices.”

Also included in the policy are recommendations and incentives for more sustainable business travel and daily staff commutes, from cycle-to-work scheme and season ticket loans to flexible working, remote meetings and using public transport. 

Explore recently launched a new programme of London2 rail journeys for 2022, which travel overland through Europe. The six new iitneraries include iconic journeys between London and Istanbul and London and Athens, and a three-week cross-Europe rail journey to Morocco. Travelling in a small group, with an Explore tour leader, the new tours have the same cultural discovery ingredients as other Explore tours. They all start in London, and travel by train to each destination, visiting multiple European countries along the way. 

“This is a truly immersive way to travel – not a race to get to your destination so the holiday can start, but rather an appreciation of the journey” says Edwards. “These new trips address all the senses, and really reignite that passion for slower, overland travel.” 

A few of Explore’s popular rail trips

Rome to Venice by Rail - Travel across Italy by train on a fast-paced adventure taking in the sights and delights of some of Italy's most iconic cities. Stroll and sip a spritz alongside the canals of Venice, wander the food markets of Bologna, gaze out over the breath-taking beauty of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo and people watch in the piazzas of Rome. 7 days from £1,295 per person. Price includes accommodation with breakfast, transport and excursions and activities, and a local Explore tour leader throughout. Flights not included, but cost from £204 per person.

Barcelona, Provence and the Italian Riviera - A Grand Tour through Spain, France and Italy that arcs around the Mediterranean coastline. Kick things off in Barcelona, track north to France to Languedoc's vineyards, walk in the Camargue, and marvel at Avignon's Popes Palace. Then it's into Italy, for a tour of the postcard-pretty Cinque Terre fishing villages, a chance to prop up the leaning tower of Pisa and a grand-finale stroll along the famed Ponte Vecchio in Florence. 12 days from £2,399 per person including accommodation with breakfast, transport and excursions and activities, and a local Explore tour leader throughout. Flights not included, but cost from £199 per person.

London2 Istanbul Rail Adventure is perhaps the most iconic of all rail journeys. This fast-paced take on the classic Orient Express tour traverses Central Europe over two weeks, passing through the iconic cities of Venice, Zagreb and Belgrade, but also the lesser-known, off-the-beaten-path attractions of Croatia and Serbia. Highlights include crossing the Venetian Lagoon, a steam train through the Serbian mountains, and going to sleep in Bulgaria to wake up in Turkey. 14 nights from £2,245 per person including 13 nights’ accommodation in a comfortable hotel with breakfast, one night on a simple overnight train, all excursions and a tour leader throughout. Return flight not included, but costs from £172 per person. 

Balkans Rail Adventure – explore Europe’s newest countries; travelling by rail through some of the Balkan’s most inspiring scenery. This fast-paced trip gets right under the skin of Tito’s Yugoslavia to experience thriving cities that remain undiscovered by most travellers. A highlight is the Bar to Belgrade line –one of the most stunning rail journeys in Europe. From £2030 per person including 15 nights’ accommodation in a comfortable hotel with breakfast and some additional meals, all excursions and a tour leader throughout. Flights from £317 per person. 

For more information on these trips, and more iconic rail journeys, visit Explore.co.uk/rail 



For more media information, interview requests, statistics or images, please contact:
Laura Dewar –
laura.dewar@explore.co.uk / 07725 746 847
 

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