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A Sustainable Way 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?

From panoramic mountainscapes to pristine waters, our rail and river cruise holidays allow you to savour every moment of the journey, with experiences that bring to life the history, local culture and traditions of the places we travel to. 

As travellers, we need to take care of the places we visit so they can continue to be enjoyed by generations to come. Sustainable travel aims to minimise the environmental impact of a holiday whilst maximising the positive impact for the communities we visit. It's 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 exploring places. To make sure our holidays benefit the local community, we'll often choose family run establishments, rather than large-scale hotel and restaurant chains.

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.

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.

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Social Benefits

Travelling at home and abroad, is a great way to experience different cultures and traditions and we want to play our part in ensuring these are respected. Our local guides are expert story-tellers and help you uncover the history of the places you visit in celebrating local customs and communities.

French Riviera

Economic benefits

Our tours make a positive contribution to local incomes and the wider tourism economy. We work closely with local experts, hotel partners and rail operators to create the perfect inclusions for your holiday.

Whether dining in local restaurants or visiting independent wine growers, our tours seek out experiences that support the local economy.

Travel More Sustainably with Great Rail Journeys

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

  • Stay longer; take the alternative to short flights and choose holidays by rail 
  • Reduce your waste; avoid single-use plastic and use digital travel documents
  • Eat local; look out for local restaurants and try to eat seasonal produce
  • Shop local; seek out and support small businesses and take home hand-crafted keepsakes
  • research sustainable projects in the destination you're visiting, such as those initiated by our partners Switzerland Tourism and Visit Scotland
  • offset your carbon footprint; look online for charities that calculate the carbon footprint of your holiday and donate to carbon reduction projects
  • explore on foot; It's easy to plan your route using your phone and If it's too far to walk, use public transport

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, whether that's staying at an award-winning eco hotel or visiting world-class conservation projects.