Night Train Paris to Nice

Jan 3rd, 2011, 09:23 AM
  #1  
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Night Train Paris to Nice

I'm considering taking the Train de Nuit Confort 5773 from Paris to Nice in August. Has anyone taken this night train recently? If so, I'd appreciate any reviews. It will be my husband and two sons (11 and 13) traveling.

Thank you!
kanne is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 09:42 AM
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Yes I have and it is a typical domestic French night train - you can get a 4-person compartment with two bunks on each side of any aisle or more pricey two adjoining private doubles that is if two doubles adjoining each other are available - sometimes there are doors between the two compartments but not sure on this specific train as I was in a 4-person couchette.

The usual admonition from folks here about overnight trains is that if you are a light sleeper you may find it hard to sleep and 'wake up' in Nice exhausted. Myself in taking literally hundreds of overnight trains have never had this problem but there is a certain amount of noise from wheels going over tracks to station noise, etc.

Go to www.voyaces-sncf.com for online discounted fares you will not get on a walk-up basis but for which you should book as far in advance as possible - especially in August, a really hectic time for travel to and from The French Riviera, which is a complete zoo IME during August. For lots on overnight trains and European and French trains in general I always spotlight these fantastic sites - www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 09:44 AM
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Oops I read wrong i guess - there will only be three people - so in a 4-person compartment you may well - in August will have a fourth stranger person in these unisex compartments. Check to see if this train has triples, which I think may not be the case.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 10:02 AM
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Night trains within France have only couchettes and reclining seats, but no sleeping cars. Couchette compartments have four or six bunks.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 10:15 AM
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Thank you for all the specifics! And yes, I wasn't clear, but we are a family of four traveling together.
kanne is offline  
Jan 4th, 2011, 05:54 AM
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four is perfect for the 4-berth compartment - and in NO case sleep in the reclining seats - which IME do not recline enough and there have been reports of theft in just open-car seating at night.

In your private 4-person compartment you have a door that locks from the inside - typically a bolt lock that even the conductor cannot open -as long as you keep the door locked you should be totally safe.

I took my son at those ages on overnight trains in France and he loved it - was an adventure so I am glad you are giving your kids such an experience.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 4th, 2011, 08:56 AM
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You can see what the couchettes look like on www.seat61.cm/France-trains.htm, in the Lunea section.

Yes, this train is the famous 'Train Bleu' in its modern 'Lunea' branded incarnation, with 1st class couchettes (4-berth compartments), 2nd class couchettes (6-berth compartments) and reclining seats. You could book all 4 berths in a 4-berth couchette and have a room to yourselves.

Book online at www.tgv-europe.com, but if you're from the US, don't admit this, say you're from Canada to avoid being bumped to their US subsidiary Rail Europe. There are cheap 'prems' fares if you pre-book (max 90 days ahead).

All the air-con couchette cars on this particular train have all been refurbished, with carpet and soft padded bunks, each supplied with lightweight sleeping bag, piullow, mineral water and (if you really think you need them) ear plugs. It's safe, comfortable and time-effective.

The cars are very well sound-proofed, and ride on air suspension for a smooth ride! In the mroning you'll see great scenery as the train swishes along the coastline past beaches, rocky headlands, yacht-filled harbours and millionaire's villas!
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
Jan 4th, 2011, 02:11 PM
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Another site with introductory information on night trains is http://tinyurl.com/y57vft. As PalenQ says August at the Riviera is madness. Book early, as soon as reservations are opened. If the night train is fully booked there are loads of TGV trains during the day. Consult the German Rail site http://tinyurl.com/c9jp54 for details. It reports that this train has parent-children compartments.
spaarne is offline  
Jan 5th, 2011, 08:09 AM
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The cars are very well sound-proofed, and ride on air suspension for a smooth ride!>

Now if only they could soundproof the ubiquitous loud snorers!
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 6th, 2011, 08:01 PM
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I'm so glad I checked to see if there were more replies - thank you! Very helpful information and great links.

I'm a bit nervous about having to wait until 3 months prior to book. For better or worse I am one of those people who prefer to travel with a specific plan and reservations for every hotel, train and activity when available. Most of my itinerary will be planned well before May. Is there certain to be a night train offered on Sundays in August? Will the fares be comparable to what is currently being offered on recently released seats for the same train, or since I'm booking for August will the fares be significantly higher right from the get go?

Thanks again!
kanne is offline  
Jan 7th, 2011, 01:33 AM
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There's a night train in the timetable daily. There's a 0.5% chance of it being cancelled due to engineering work on that date, but worse case you'd take an eevning TGV Paris-Nice, or one the following morning, there's always cheap fares available if you book 2 or 3 months ahead.

I went Nice-Paris for 40 euros in FIRST CLASS a month ago, booking 2 months ahead at www.tgv-europe.com. And I was able to select my favourite seat, a Club Duo table for two on the top deck of the TGV Duplex double-decker TGV.
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Jan 7th, 2011, 09:13 AM
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Thank you Man_in_seat_61. I've made note to mark being a Canadian resident (rather than U.S.) if I book through TGV-Europe. Am I likely to get better rates there than through the sncf site?
kanne is offline  
Jan 9th, 2011, 09:14 AM
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Man will know more but I think fares should be the same on www.voyages-sncf.com as www.tgv-europe.com - exact same companies I believe - French Railways or SNCF
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 04:03 AM
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Yes, tgv-europe.com and voyages-sncf.com are the overseas site and French-language site of SNCF (French railways) themselves. Same system, same prices.

They have an agreement that they will bump anyone who selects 'United States' to their North American subsidiary, raileurope.com, but if you select any other country including Canada and Australia you will remain on tgv-europe.com and get offered the actual French Railways prices, with the option to self-print some tickets and collect any ticket at the station in France.
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 07:10 AM
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What are iDTGV and iDNight? / The iDTGV Concept / Before my trip ...A different way to travel with iDTGV, a subsidiary of the SNCF, with its own booking system, its own customer service department and its own dedicated ...
http://www.idtgv.com/en/aide/...idtg...gv-and-idnight -
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 18th, 2011, 09:00 PM
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Thanks Great Info
dondonandjj is offline  
Jan 19th, 2011, 10:02 AM
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idtgv trains I think often sell out as soon as they come on the system months in advance - but PREM fares I believe are a bit more available but then again may not be as cheap - idtgv has its own 'chartered' trains if you will - PREM fares are on regularly scheduled trains and the person sitting next to you may have paid much more than you if not getting a PREM fare, also limited in numbers per train as market pricing allows.
PalenQ is offline  
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