Frequently Asked Questions
1) What are Renfe’s “Tourist Trains"?
Renfe has a wide range of tourist trains that are specially prepared for experiencing a luxury cruise on rails (El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo, El Transcantábrico Clásico and the Tren Al Andalus), and which run itineraries of between 3 and 7 nights aboard genuine railway jewels, meaning a unique and unforgettable travel experience. The company also offers other period and standard trains with journeys lasting different days, as well as special deals for day trips, thereby allowing you to travel getting to know a wide range of Spanish cities and landscapes.
2) What are the routes and duration?
The rail cruise taken by El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo and El Transcantábrico Clásico goes along two basic routes in the north of Spain. One is the route from San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela (Transcantábrico Gran Lujo), while the other departs from León, passing through Bilbao, and then follows the same route to Santiago (Transcantábrico Clásico). Both itineraries last 8 days and 7 nights and can be undertaken in either direction. There is also the option to board shorter trips (within the main journey) lasting for 3 and 4 nights.
Meanwhile, the Al Andalus offers routes throughout Spain with the following itineraries:
There are also other tourist trains such as:
3) How can I book a place and get additional information?
Contact your travel agency
Call us on +34 91 255 59 12 (Tourist Trains Reservation Centre)
4) Can one rent these trains?
The Tourist Trains can be rented for a range of events:
5) How do I get from my city (in Spain) to the trip’s starting point?
Usually the cost of travelling to where the tourist train departures is a client’s expense. However, Renfe’s Tourist Trains provides to those travelling on El Transcantábrico Clásico, El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo and Tren Al Andalus a 50% discount on Renfe tickets in Spain to and from the Tourist Train.
6) What is included in the price of a ticket on a Luxury Tourist Train?
The Luxury Tourist Trains (El Transcantábrico Clásico, El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo and Tren Al Andalus) offer a complete service that includes ensuite accommodation on board the train, buffet and a la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner in top restaurants or onboard enjoying the finest Spanish cuisine (including wine, coffee and liqueurs), excursions with entrance fees to museums, cathedrals etc, a multilingual guide throughout the tour, newspapers and magazines, entertainment on board, a dedicated luxury bus service for transfers and onboard security service.
Clients travelling in El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo and in the Al Andalus’Deluxe Suites enjoy free non-alcoholic beverages available in the cabin’s minibar, and may also choose to have two private dinners/lunches in their cabins.
7) Do I get a refund if I have to cancel my trip?
Bookings with the Luxury Tourist Trains may be cancelled by clients at any time, and they are entitled to a refund. Depending on when the cancellation takes place, a percentage of the fare will be retained:
8) Are the trains safe?
Spain is generally a safe country. In addition, our trains have a security service and there are also security guards placed at all stations.
9) What are the cabins like in the Luxury Tourist Trains?
The Luxury Tourist Trains have comfortable and spacious rooms/suites, specially designed for relaxation and privacy. The exquisite and carefully selected décor has been further enhanced with modern amenities and the latest technological features.
El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo (Deluxe Suite) In terms of design, space, quality and modern features, the Deluxe Suites are equivalent to rooms at the most prestigious five-star establishments. Size of the suites: 10 m2 approx.
El Transcantábrico Clásico (Grand Class Room) A fully equipped room with everything necessary for a comfortable stay onboard. Size of the rooms: 5 m2 approx.
The Tren Al Andalus has two types of rooms: Deluxe Suite
A spacious and elegant suite, combining the 21st century’s comforts with the original charm of this historic train. Perfectly laid out for rest, privacy and relaxation both at night and during the day. Size of the suites: 8,5 m2 approx.
Grand Class Room A cosy room with individual air conditioning, which retains the size and Belle Epoque appeal of the original compartments. Size of the rooms: 6,5 m2.
10) Is Internet and TV available on these trains and in their cabins?
TV is available in the train’s communal cars; Internet is available in these lounges via WiFi connection and through a computer available for travellers. WiFi Internet is also available in the cabins of both trains El Transcantabrico (subject to coverage).
11) Where are meals served during the Luxury Tourist Trains trips?
Breakfast: served onboard and consists of both a table service and a varied buffet, all prepared with high quality products. The breakfast menu includes a wide variety of items that are freshly prepared to order.
Lunch and dinner: a combination of meals onboard and in first class restaurants. In either case there is a selection of fine cuisine on offer, with traditional local dishes from where the train is travelling through.
12) What happens if I am allergic to certain foods, or require vegetarian or other special meals?
As long as the traveller gives us prior notice, preferably in writing at the time of booking, we will ensure that meals are tailored to the indicated needs and preferences of travellers.
13) Can one order a la carte?
The menus are planned and established beforehand. Nevertheless, should a traveller wish a lighter meal, this can be arranged by speaking to the trip supervisor a few hours in advance.
14) Are there medical services onboard?
All trains have a first aid kit onboard, and the crew has been trained to use it. Furthermore, we are in continuous contact with health centres located along the different routes, in the case a traveller needs special medical attention.
15) Is smoking permitted onboard the trains?
Current legislation prohibits smoking on public transport. However, each train journey does not last for more than 3-4 hours.
16) Are pets allowed on the trips?
No pets are allowed, other than guide dogs accompanying their owner.
17) Is there a dress code onboard the Luxury Tourist Trains?
Travellers may dress as they wish. Comfortable clothing and shoes are recommended for the daytime activities. For dinner, passengers tend to dress more formally, although no particular dress code is required at any time.
Please take note that to gain access to the Santander Casino (on the routes that include that city), elegant clothes are required (suit and tie are not required, but shorts or trainers are not allowed)
18) Is tipping necessary?
There is no obligation to tip staff. Clients who wish to tip are welcome to do so at their own discretion.
19) Which currency should I bring?
The legal currency in Spain is the Euro.
20) Are clients covered by travel insurance?
Travellers on the Luxury Tourist Trains are only covered by the Compulsory Passenger Insurance (SOV in Spanish). Therefore it is advisable to take out specific travel insurance to cover cancellation, off-board accidents, illness or similar incidents, as recommended by your travel agent or insurer.
21) Is there access to people with reduced mobility on trains?
Although all our Luxury Tourist Trains are refurbished and equipped with the latest technology, they are still vintage pieces; their interiors are laid out in a way that makes it impossible to move around on wheelchairs or walkers. Therefore, they are not accessible trains.
Nevertheless travel would be possible for a person with reduced mobility who is reasonably self-sufficient or travelling together with another passenger.
22) Does the train travel at night?
No, even though some days it might leave the station early in the morning or reach the destination late at night. Overnight the train remains stationary at the station/stop, in order to ensure a good night's sleep.
23) Can the windows in the rooms be opened?
The windows have a safety cap and can only be opened partilly. However all the trains are fitted with both air conditioning and heating.
24) Is it possible to travel with a baby sleeping in a cot?
Only the cabins in El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo and the Tren Al Andalus’ Deluxe Suites offer enough space for parents to place their own travel cot or to have an extra bed.
25) How much do minors pay?
When travelling with a child, a supplement or set price depending on the chosen train, will be charged. The Reservation Centre for Tourist Trains will be able to inform you of the possible accommodation arrangements and special prices in these cases.
26) Are there umbrellas on the trains?
Yes, we have umbrellas available for all passengers.
27) Which identity documents are required?
All travellers must have documents confirming their identity. For foreigners, the documentation required for travelling by train is the same as that required to enter Spain from the country of origin. Spanish citizens may use their national ID cards or passports.