Gary Diskin - Jul 19, 2018
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Redolent of deco-age glamour, the Venice Simplon Orient Express is the luxury train par excellence. If you pine for the days when ladies and gentlemen dressed for dinner and travel was still an extravagance experienced only by the few, then reliving the golden age of rail travel on Venice Simplon Orient Express could be a wonderful travel choice for you. Luxury trains allow discerning travellers to voyage in style and become part of the history of the European railways.

This may not be the Orient Express (that is a trademark owned by the French SNFC). But these train journeys certainly offer the same spirit and glamour as the original, and a link to all those who have travelled on and been inspired by the luxury trains of the pre-war period.

Enticing Routes on the Venice Simplon Orient Express

A number of different routes are offered. Train travellers can go from London to Venice or Paris to Venice (sometimes via Vienna), from Venice to Prague, from Vienna to Paris or London, from Prague or Budapest to London, from London or Paris to Berlin or from Innsbruck to London on one or two-night adventures.

Signature journeys are also available, carrying travellers on luxury trains on the classic Paris to Istanbul route, from Istanbul to Venice, or on an epic ten-day adventure with 6 nights on train that will take guests from Paris to Istanbul then on to Venice.

The enticing routes offered are about far more than getting from A-B. These journeys will take guests through some of the most stunning landscapes in Europe. The Dolomites, the Alps, or other highlights like the Rhine Gorge (on the Berlin route) roll past outside the windows as you rattle along, feeding the mind and soul with the awe-inspiring power of nature.

Luxury Train Travel

Whatever your destination, luxury trains do not come more luxurious than this. From the moment guests step onboard, they can expect the service and detail that we have come to associate with the golden age of rail travel. As they travel in their own private compartment, they will be served by a Cabin Steward, who will attend to all their needs throughout the journey, including, come nightfall, the transformation of the relaxing lounge of Twin Rooms into elegant and comfortable bedrooms, complete with soft towels, crisp linen, and even (since 2017) more modern luxuries such as air conditioning.

Guests looking to splurge on an upgrade can book a Cabin Suite, two interconnecting Twin Rooms with the option to have two lower berths for sleeping at night, or to have one room for daytime use and one for night time. Launched in 2018, three Grand Suites now offer guests an even more luxurious option. These new suites, named for Paris, Venice and Istanbul – the iconic stops of the original Orient Express Route – have en suite showers, toilets and washbasins lovingly created in a style very much in keeping with the historical opulence of the carriages.

The Cabin Steward will be on hand to answer any questions you may have during the experience, and will bring breakfast and, later, afternoon tea to your cabin. After you have enjoyed your tea with cakes and pastries, you can begin to dress for dinner. Sartorial elegance is a must on board and being overdressed is an impossibility. Pre-dinner cocktails allow guests to mingle and get into the unique atmosphere before they venture on to one of the three art-deco restaurant cars, with their heavy tableware, fine linen, perfect marquetry and Lalique glass panels to enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by French chefs onboard.

Historic Carriages

Attention to detail is key to luxury travel and of course, on board the Venice Simplon Orient Express, everything is tended to in exquisite detail – not only with regard to the service but also with regard to the restoration of the historic carriages.

Each of the carriages is unique, with its own fascinating history that is elucidated on a plaque at the end of each one. Car 3309, for example, was built in Belgium and was part of the train stuck in a snowdrift in Turkey in 1929 which inspired Agatha Christie to write her famous 'Murder on the Orient Express'. Car 3452 was part of a train in which King Carol II of Romania escaped with his mistress Magda in 1940. Car 3544, featuring the designs of Rene Prou, was used as a brothel in Limoges during the Second World War. All of the fascinating titbits of historical rail travel come alive as guests explore the carriages on board.

Beautiful scenery, exquisite detailing, luxury and glamour combine on the Venice Simplon Orient Express to make an unforgettable luxury trail travel experience and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The Venice Simplon Orient Express (VSOE) Video

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