December 2022 Update: The TUI Ski Express has started.
⛷ Big news: The very first #TUI Ski Express hit the rail. 🚆
The special #train is a weekly direct service from The Netherlands 🇳🇱 to the Austrian alps 🇦🇹. In addition to its comfort and cosiness, the big bonus is a more #sustainable transport to winter sports.#feelaustria pic.twitter.com/M9lHcgcVXp
— TUI Group (@TUIGroup) December 27, 2022
TUI has partnered with Green City Trip, a Dutch startup, to offer a new direct train service to the Austrian Alps for winter 2022/23.
This new service is part of a continuing trend of chartered rail services to ski resorts, following the Travelski Express service direct from London to France and services from Denmark to Austria.
Direct from Amsterdam to Austria
The new ‘Ski Express’ night train will connect the Netherlands to Austrian ski resorts and will start service on 23 December, running through to 31 March.
The train will depart every Friday at 17:30 from Amsterdam, reaching Austria early on Saturday. It will then divide, with the two services heading to Tirol and to Salzburg respectively.
It will stop at popular resorts on the way, including Gerlos, Kirchberg, Niederau, Soll, Zell Am See and Westendorf.
“Offering our customers a choice of transport is important. I look forward to learning from this pilot test. What is successful in one market, we at Tui can quickly roll out to other markets”, said Sebastian Ebel, TUI Group CEO
According to TUI, there will be three types of sleeping cars:
- 3 bed compartments, with have fixed beds
- 4 bed compartments with fold-out bunk beds
- 5 bed compartments with fold-out bunk beds
All compartments can be booked by groups, although 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.
Can you take this option from the UK?
This is encouraging for the UK market. It would be great to have an expansion of and/or competition for the current Travelski service.
Currently British skiers could take this new ‘Night Express’ service by buying the package on the TUI Netherlands website and then combining it with a Eurostar ticket from London to Amsterdam.
It would mean a long journey, but it could be broken up with an overnight stay in either direction.