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Sustainable Ways to See the World

Exploring the World by Rail

Exploring the World by Rail

Reducing the carbon impact of travel

Protecting our Planet

Protecting our Planet

Making a positive impact in the destinations we visit

Helping Communities Thrive

Helping Communities Thrive

Celebrating local cultures and supporting independent businesses on every holiday

What is Sustainable Travel and Why is it Important?

We love nothing more than helping our guests enjoy rail and river cruise adventures. From panoramic mountainscapes to pristine waters, our rail and river cruise holidays allow you to savour every moment of the journey, with cultural experiences bringing to life the destinations we visit.

As travellers, it's important to take care of the places we visit so they can continue to be enjoyed by generations to come, which is why sustainable travel aims to minimise the environmental impact of a holiday while maximising the positive impact for communities we visit. Sustainable travel and tourism is a shared responsibility, a way to help protect our beautiful world for the future.




Our Commitment to Sustainable Travel

Choosing a rail or river cruise holiday is a great first step to travelling more sustainably. For us, the journey is a very special part of the experience and choosing to travel by rail has the added benefit of reducing your carbon-footprint, with rail widely considered to be one of the greenest ways to travel.

Our excursions are led exclusively by local guides and where we can, we include walking tours, a more environmentally-friendly way of getting to know the places we visit. Your itinerary includes experiences and activities run by locals and we'll often choose family run establishments, rather than large-scale hotel and restaurant chains, making sure our holidays financially benefit our local community hosts.

Rail is widely considered to be one of the greenest ways to travel. When it comes to river cruising, our stylish Amadeus river cruise ships use the latest fuel-efficient technology, with water and energy saving practices as standard, providing eco-friendly luxury. We embrace the best waste management practices to ensure we're reducing plastics and recycling, and when it comes to dining, we are committed to serving local produce, brought onboard at each port of call.

The environmental, social and economic benefits of sustainable travel are just a small part of a bigger aim, we believe tourism is a great way to promote new habits and learn about new approaches.

Bernina Express

Environmental benefits

Research commissioned by our partners at Eurostar found that travelling from London to Paris by train instead of plane reduced carbon emissions by up to 92% per passenger.

Read our Travel Responsibly and Sustainably by Rail blog for more information about the environmental benefits of rail travel.

Read more

Social Benefits

Escorted tours by rail and river provide the space and time to meet people with different perspectives, with many forming long-lasting friendships. 

Our friendly local guides will help you to uncover the history and stories of the places you visit and join you in celebrating local customs and communities so you can help spread the word.

French Riviera

Economic benefits

We work closely with local experts, experienced providers, hotel partners and rail operators to create the perfect inclusions for each destination we visit.

Whether dining in local restaurants or visiting independent wine growers, our tours make a positive contribution to local incomes and tourism economies.

Travel More Sustainably with Great Rail Journeys

We've worked hard and are proud to incorporate as many of the principles of sustainable travel in our tours as possible. Supporting communities and cultures is at the heart of any travel experience, and it's with this philosophy in mind that we invite you to think sustainably too.

  • Stay longer; think about alternatives to short flights and choose rail 
  • Reduce your waste; avoid single-use plastic and save trees of paper by using digital travel documents, every little thing will help
  • Eat local; look out for local restaurants and try to eat seasonal produce - we try to serve lots of this aboard our river cruises!
  • Shop local; seek out and support small businesses - you'll learn more about the destination and take home some lovely keepsakes
  • Do your research before you travel, perhaps follow sustainable projects in the destination you're visiting, such as those initiated by our partners Switzerland Tourism and Visit Scotland
  • offset your carbon footprint; there are plenty of charities which allow you to calculate the carbon footprint of your holiday and donate to renewable energy projects
  • explore on foot; It's easy to plan your route using your phone and you'll get a much more authentic experience. If it's just too far to walk, the second best option is to use public transport

Top Tips for a Sustainable Holiday


Inspiration for Sustainable Holidays

Looking for inspiration? Our Tour Managers and teams have shared some of their favourite holidays to help you find your next adventure with sustainability in mind. Discover lots of ideas for your next rail tour or river cruise holiday, from staying at an award-winning eco hotel to visiting world-class conservation projects.