It will be called "Le Grand Tour".
Nicolas de Villiers, president of Puy du Fou, announced on Tuesday the launch in 2023 of a train that will offer a tour of France in six days in the spirit of the Vendée park, known for its historical frescoes.
We will be the first 100% private railway company that will transport passengers in France,
" Nicolas de Villiers told AFP.
Totally owner of the train, the Vendée fleet, which created the Compagnie de France subsidiary for the occasion, worked in collaboration with SNCF Réseau for the journey. “
This is a Belle Époque style train but with all modern comforts,
” he explained. Composed of five passenger cars (15 cabins), two dining cars, a bar car and three staff cars (15 crew members), “
Le Grand Tour
” will accommodate 30 passengers per trip. Its price: from 4900 euros per seat.
France is becoming our greatest spectacle,
” explains Nicolas de Villiers.
The train, which will use “
regular but not heavy traffic
” lines, will cover 4,000 kilometers with eleven stops with attractions at each of them.
The client will be able to paint with Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence, meet characters who lived in the Hospices de Beaune, taste oysters after crossing the Arcachon basin, visit the cave of Dom Pérignon in music ...
Visits to places closed to the public
The cabins, from 10 to 30 m², will have individual bathrooms.
Press photo / Le Puy du Fou
The train will stop in the vineyards of the Grand Cru Classé of Saint-Estèphe Cos d'Estournel, will pass through the lavender fields, near Lake Annecy or the Château des Papes in Avignon and visits to places usually closed in public will be offered. On board, "
there will be something new every half hour that appeals to all the senses
", according to Nicolas de Villiers, such as drinking a Cognac in Cognac or eating an Aix calisson facing the sea.
But the customer will of course be able to choose to stay in his cabin "
itself a place of spectacle
", from 10 to 30 square meters with private bathroom and the possibility of choosing the atmosphere (light, music, temperature).
With this project of "a
few tens of millions of euros
", the president of Puy du Fou says he realized "
a childhood dream
" when he went to his neighbor who had an electric train circuit in his garage.
Le Puy du Fou, which opened reservations on Tuesday via a website, is targeting 600 passengers over the 23 weeks of train operation planned for the first year.