In the realm of iconic train journeys, nothing can match the allure and mystique of the Orient Express. For decades, the train captured the imagination of travellers, writers, and filmmakers, becoming a symbol of luxury, adventure, and romance.
The origins of the Orient Express trace back to the 19th century, when Belgian transport company Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits first had the idea of a long-distance train service connecting Western and Eastern Europe. The first Orient Express train departed from Paris in 1883, embarking on an historic journey to the ancient Romanian city of Giurgiu, on the Danube River. Over the years, the route evolved, extending its reach and connecting iconic cities like Vienna, Budapest, and Istanbul.
What truly sets the Orient Express apart is its reputation for luxury and opulence. Passengers have always been treated to unparalleled comfort, with sumptuously decorated cabins, gourmet cuisine, and impeccable service. The train became a symbol of a bygone era, where travel was not just a means to reach a destination but an experience in itself, attracting a mix of royalty, celebrities, and adventurers along the way.
Beyond its physical journeys and opulent aesthetics, the Orient Express is a cultural phenomenon, inspiring numerous works of literature, art, and cinema. Agatha Christie’s famous novel, “Murder on the Orient Express,” immortalised the train in the world of detective fiction, and countless movies and TV shows have added to its popularity.
The original Orient Express took its last voyage in 2009, but its legacy lives on. Discerning travellers can enjoy the spirit of the Orient Express today, on a luxury train journey that echoes the glamour of the past.
The Belmond Venice Simplon Orient Express has been created using original carriages from the early days of the Orient Express, dating back to the 1920s and 1930s. Lovingly restored to meticulous detail, with exquisite Art Deco design and beautiful glass work from artist René Lalique, the Belmond is a masterpiece.
Every compartment on the train has its own cabin steward who will attend to your every need throughout the entire journey. Cabins are stocked with luxurious linens and sumptuously soft towels, and your steward will be happy to transform your space from day to night to ensure a comfortable and rejuvenating sleep. The train also features three Grand Suites with their own separate double bedrooms, living area and private dining space, as well as an en-suite bathroom. Every cabin comes with its own premium quality bathrobe and slippers, while the dining area sparkes with crystal and silverware.
As you would expect, all meals on the Belmond Venice Simplon Orient Express are of an exceptional standard, prepared by French chefs and served by Italian waiting staff.
Breakfast and afternoon tea are served in your cabin, and lunch and dinner can be enjoyed in the main restaurant area. Dress to impress with cocktail dresses and black tie as standard attire, and don’t miss the Bar Car, a bustling social hub where you can enjoy the world famous Guilty 12 cocktail, inspired by Agatha Christie’s book.
The most popular route begins in London, taking you through Paris to Verona or Venice, but if you prefer you can also set off from Venice and travel through Prague, Vienna and Budapest before returning to London or Paris. Once a year you can also travel from London to Berlin and back, and those wishing to recreate the magic of the original Orient Express can travel from Paris to Istanbul in a six-day recreation of the maiden voyage.
The train operates from mid-March to early November with fares ranging from €2,500 per person for a Venice to London journey to €45,000 for a Grand Suite on the Istanbul journey. Early booking is essential, but we are here to help. We’re delighted to say that Venturion Private Club members are among the lucky few who can enjoy the glamour and mystique of the Orient Express and retrace its historic routes, with the welcome addition of modern amenities.
Contact us with your preferred travel dates and requirements and we will be happy to manage your journey on the magical Orient Express.