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Saphos 2024

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by NathanP, Nov 1, 2023.

  1. NathanP

    NathanP Member

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    The 2024 tours for Saphos (plus Statesman and Midland Pullman) are now there. First tour in March for Saphos, and the programme at first glance looks like the usual tours. I was hoping for some unusual one off ones but it looks like they're sticking with the tried and tested ones. I'll have a closer look this evening. Ticket prices for First and Dining have gone up by £10, and it looks like a single traveller is forced to pay the £50 table for 2 supplement. Selecting 1 person automatically charges the extra £50 with no obvious way to remove it. Will check again later.
     
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  2. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Certainly looks like that. I assume all tours have the same pricing structure? In which case, it's £245 for one person in first class!

    I know costs have gone up, but prices are getting beyond a joke. In first class, £390 for two at a table for four, £490 at a table for two. Often cheaper than a lot of RTC trips. Dining, however...

    Two passengers at a table for two, £890! That's more than Belmond charge on some Pullman trips. Four people dining on a UK Railtours trip is little over a grand in total usually. Is Saphos dining really worth £200 per person more than first class?
     
  3. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    That's ironic, when Vintage Trains (AFAIK) won't let you book one seat at a table for two.
     
  4. NathanP

    NathanP Member

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    Just spotted this as well:

    "Bookings for parties of three passengers are accommodated at an ‘exclusive table for three’ with the fourth seat being unoccupied for your added privacy. A total supplement of £100 is applicable for this seating type."

    That's the First Class supplement. The same supplement in Dining is £195. So if you're travelling in a party of 3, you're basically forced to pay for the 4th seat at the table as well.
     
  5. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    You can look at that both ways
    Personally I could think of nothing worse as a passenger than having to sit with a group of three I did not know, or being one of the three with some random individual stuck with you. Remember most of these things are now a minimum of 15 hours from the first couple of points, not quite like sharing a table of 4 from Waterloo to Woking on a fast service for 30 minutes. Simple economics will say someone has to pay for that privilege of keeping the 4th person away, same as paying for extra leg room on an aircraft.
     
  6. No.7

    No.7 Well-Known Member

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    Well I actual did this on Saphos this summer, in dining. I have to admit I wondered about how the day would go but the "three" were a couple taking the father/father-in-law on a birthday treat. We got on really well over breakfast and the Dad was very excited when SNG came of front. We had a splendid day - so it can work!
     
  7. dublo6231

    dublo6231 Member

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    Probably just an oversight but interesting that Sir Nigel isn't listed as operating any of the tours (or at least none of the dozen I've looked at!).
    I know its worded "The train is steam hauled from (insert location) by one of our immaculately restored pool of engines including:"
    But I'm sure Number 7 was listed last year - a loco that has eluded me over the years and feel its about time to put that right!
     
  8. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Loco roster is still to be arranged. As soon as it's organised it'll be on the SNGLT website. Don't worry, no. 7 will be involved!
     
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  9. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Well-Known Member

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    I took advantage of the tables of 3 during covid, I welcome the option to pay for the fourth seat to be left unoccupied, as will many others.
     
  10. NathanP

    NathanP Member

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    Yes, indeed, I would myself if it was an option. My point was that it isn't an option. It's a mandatory requirement, like the single person supplement. There's no choice in the matter.
     
  11. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Well-Known Member

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    I see what you mean, but I doubt many people want a fourth stranger sat at the table with them.
     
  12. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Agreed, but it should really be optional, not mandatory. £790 for two dining to £1380 for three is a massive jump.
     
  13. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Well-Known Member

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    Oh well, take it up with them!
     
  14. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    What a very selfish attitude.
     
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  15. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Well-Known Member

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    A few years ago there were engineering works between Cardiff and Newport, so all high speed trains to/from South Wales and Paddington were operating to/from Newport.

    I had booked a table for 3 of us on a particular service.

    A group arrived from West Wales via replacement bus and were sat in our seats when we got on the train. They were meant to get a stopper to Bristol TM and then change for a HST to Paddington, but jumped on our train as it was direct.

    When I explained the situation the three moved but the one guy remained, which I thought was really weird and initially it was awkward. Luckily he liked football and we all had a conversation to Paddington about the sport.

    Couldn't think of anything worse if he had just sat there saying nothing for nearly 2 hours, and yes while he may have had a right to as I hadn't bought a fourth seat, it would've just been bizarre.

    Would not want to pay £395 a ticket and get stuck with some weirdo for up to 16 hours. I'd rather pay the premium for peace of mind.
     
  16. 6026 King John

    6026 King John Well-Known Member

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    I must say I've had rather mixed experiences sharing tables with "strangers" on mainline railtours. I've met some very nice people but some lowlights such as a couple who took the opportunity to have a row and a woman who told me about all her illnesses for 3 hours. If my wife accompanies me it's on the condition that we have a table for 2!
     
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  17. mike1522

    mike1522 Long Time Member Friend

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    Noticed an increase in Fellsman tours.
     
  18. NathanP

    NathanP Member

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    Confirmed timings for the first tour of the season (Golden Arrow, 13th March) have now appeared on the website, although not on RTT yet. One of the longest tours I've seen for a while - 0530 off Kidderminster, returning back at 00:50. Puts even Pathfinder to shame!

    I'm going on this one and am now very glad I booked the Thursday off work as well. Definitely going to need that recovery day at home after this one!
     
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  19. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Ouch! "...historic Canterbury for an afternoon break of about three hours..." Well two hours is almost three I guess. I know to a lot of people it's the convenience factor of local pickups and it's more about the experience and the journey than the destination, but 17 hours on a train to travel 400 miles... :eek:
     
  20. NathanP

    NathanP Member

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    Ticket came today and the letter explains it. More intensive timetable due to Gold Cup Race Meeting at Cheltenham.
     

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