Travel by train all round the year
Nordic Travel Fair Matka 2010: Destinations near and far, conserving the environment Rail is an eco-friendly means of getting to places near and far.
Travel in Finland is popular, and rail is a very convenient way to travel, especially to holiday destinations in Lapland. Rail also takes travellers to Russia, where the major cities of St Petersburg and Moscow have something to offer even experienced travellers. The rest of Europe is also close at hand – the new Interrail products make it easy to travel by rail there. By rail to the snow in Lapland Spring is the peak tourist season in Lapland. The skiing holiday weeks and Easter are the most popular periods, so holidaymakers should book berths on the overnight trains and places on the car carriers in good time. VR is running extra trains to Rovaniemi and Kolari during the season.
There is still plenty of snow in the north around May Day, and trains with a special on-board programme will run to Kolari and Kemijärvi in the May Day week. The overnight trains to the north have some new and some refurbished sleeping cars. The latest double decker sleeping cars travel to Rovaniemi and Kemijärvi daily.
The compartments on the upper deck have their own showers and toilets, and passengers can take their pets in the compartments on the mezzanine level. VR has also introduced 15 new double decker car carriers, which protect cars from dust and snow while they travel. Passengers can continue their journey from the railway stations in Lapland either in their own car brought on the car carrier or with a bus connection. There are smooth connections from Rovaniemi, Kolari and Kemijärvi to the skiing and tourist centres in Lapland. Rail holidays for the whole family A family holiday by rail is an enjoyable experience at all times of the year. Travelling with a family ticket, one 6-16 year-old child travels free of charge, with a seat, with each full paying adult.
On overnight trains, families can conveniently travel in their own compartment. In the new double decker sleeping cars, families can book two compartments on the lower deck and connect them to form a single compartment. In the day coaches on InterCity trains, children have their own play areas that were renovated last summer.
On InterCity and InterCity2 trains families can also travel in the family compartments on the mezzanine level, where there is space for children to play and for families to read together the Tammi children’s books available on the train. Characters from the Tammi children’s books travel in the play areas on trains, and it is possible to meet Risto Räppääjä and his pals at the VR stand at the Nordic Travel Fair Matka on Saturday 23 January at 12 midday and at 1 pm. VR is a partner in the new film ”Risto Räppääjä and the bicycle thief”. Interrail encourages adventure The most eco-friendly way to experience the major cities, sunny beaches and sights of Europe all round the year is by rail.
The Interrail range of passes contains flexible options both for independent travellers with a thirst for adventure and for city break tourists looking for luxury. Interrail passes offer options for travellers of all ages and for different lengths of time, in a single country or throughout Europe. The latest Interrail passes are the 15-day InterRail Global Pass and a separate InterRail Global Pass for the over-60s. St Petersburg is close at hand Travelling eastwards from Finland is simple by train.
Three trains depart from Helsinki for Russia daily, and passports and visas are inspected conveniently during the journey on the train. St Petersburg, with its magnificent palaces, museums, attractive restaurants and shopping paradises, is only a five hour rail journey away. Progress is being made in the Allegro high-speed train project, a joint effort between VR and Russian Railways, and the goal is to start the service between Helsinki and St Petersburg towards the end of 2010. Wireless Internet connection in Pendolino business class More and more people are travelling not just in their leisure time but also to work by rail, and conserving the environment.
During the Nordic Travel Fair Matka, 21–24 January, VR is offering a 30 % discount on business class journeys. The period for travel is until 19 February. VR has opened the VR on-train network in the business class on Pendolino trains, giving wireless Internet access and providing more opportunities for passengers to make use of the time during their journey. Access is included in the price of a business class ticket. VR signs up to Helsinki Declaration VR is actively involved in the Helsinki Declaration, which promotes the sustainable development of tourism and has already been signed by more than 80 Finnish tourism organizations. An information pack on sustainable tourism will be published at the Nordic Travel Fair, which VR has compiled.
In December 2007 VR published 12 environmental promises, which it has promised to carry out by 2012. Several environmental projects are underway in the Group to meet the promises Campaign fares for rail journeys During January passengers can travel more cheaply between Helsinki and Joensuu from Monday to Thursday. In addition, during January customers who purchase their long-distance rail tickets on-line seven days in advance obtain a ten per cent discount on the normal fare.
More campaigns are expected in the spring, as VR continues its experiments with flexible fares. Come and have a look at the rail travel offering at VR’s stand 6 c 39 at the Nordic Travel Fair Matka. Information about destinations, bookings and special offers is also available at www.vr.fi and VR telephone services (in Finland) 0600 41 902. Calls cost one euro plus the local call charge