Ride the rails in unmatched style between Venice and Amsterdam, pairing the Art Deco elegance of its restored 1920s carriages with views out to some of Europe’s most breathtaking scenery. It all begins among the fresco-lined buildings of historic Venice, where you'll enjoy a guided walking tour, included priority entry to Doge’s Palace and a stay in a palatial hotel whose gilded furnishings play host to an exquisite restaurant headed up by a Michelin-starred chef. Then, after stepping onboard the blue-and-gold carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, you'll set out across the high alpine meadows and past the snow-capped mountain ranges of central Europe. Enjoy gourmet dining inspired by the route as well as the very best in discreet white-gloved service as you head, via Paris, to Amsterdam and it's canals, museum and art galleries, and cafe culture.
Your holiday begins in relaxing style with included UK airport lounge access before your short flight to Venice. On arrival, you'll take a private transfer to your hotel for the next two nights, the spectacular, canal-side Baglioni Hotel Luna. The likes of St Mark’s Basin, San Girogio island and Venice’s canals are perfectly taken in with private terraces, and you’re moments away from the heritage beauty of St. Mark’s Square and the Bellini cocktails of Harry’s Bar.
If you can tear yourself away from the frescoes, chandeliers, baroque murals, gold furnishings and marble bathrooms of your palatial room, perhaps make the most of the award-winning Canova Restaurant, headed up by Michelin-starred Executive chef, Alberto Rossetti. The octopus salad and calamari with green tomato sauce are particularly notable, as is the extensive wine list.
This morning, take the time to relax and enjoy an indulgent breakfast and Italian coffee at the charming canal-side Caffè Baglioni. Then it's time to explore dazzling Venice – we’ve included a private walking tour today with an expert guide who’ll show you the city’s treasures as well as some its unexplored gems. You'll finish with queue-jump entry to the Gothic delights of the Doge’s Palace, where theatrical sculptures and marble décor give way to gold-encrusted frescoes.
Then, you've got a free afternoon to discover the rest of the city's offerings, perhaps enjoying a casual lunch in one of the many waterside trattorias before taking a gondola ride among the winding waterways, learning about Murano’s glass-blowing heritage, or simply enjoying a glass of fine Italian wine in a piazza-side cafe.
Today sees you leave the splendours of Venice behind as you embark on an included water taxi transfer to the Venezia Santa Lucia Station where you'll step aboard the iconic blue-and-gold of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. You’ll begin the journey in style as you’re welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine and an exquisite three-course lunch in the restaurant car. It’s outside that truly stuns, however, as you pass through the rural fields of Northern Italy en route to Austria and the spectacular Brenner Pass. You'll then trace the snow-capped peaks and mountain meadows of central Europe's Alpine ranges, crossing the Arlberg Pass en route to Switzerland.
As the drama outside unfolds, you'll tuck into a sumptuous selection of pastries served in your oak-panelled cabin, or, the fineries of the train's new Grand Suites, which come complete with double bed and en-suite bathroom. In the evening, freshen up for a four-course dinner in the elegant dining car, where your waiter will serve the likes of Brittany lobster and saltmarsh lamb, all paired with a selection of the world’s finest wines.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included
Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast in your cabin this morning at whichever time suits you, before a brief stop in Paris sees you speed towards Amsterdam and the end of your journey. On arrival your hotel is a short journey from the railway station and within walking distance of the historic centre of Amsterdam.
Meander alongside the glistening canals, by foot or more famously by bicycle, cross over the clusters of bridges, relax at an al fresco café and soak up every drop of culture.
Stay: Hotel Pulitzer, Amsterdam (Deluxe) or similar
Breakfast & Lunch included
After breakfast, perhaps explore worldly wonders in the famous Rijksmuseum, let your eyes feast upon the masterpieces of the Van Gogh Museum and feel moved when you visit the Anne Frank House Museum. Amble around charming Jordaan, with its collection of captivating galleries, pubs and quirky markets, it’s a must-visit neighbourhood. Hop on a ferry to Amsterdam North and see the city from high in the sky on Europe’s highest swing, A’DAM Lookout.
Stay: Hotel Pulitzer, Amsterdam (Deluxe) or similar
Make your way to the airport for your day flight back to the UK.
"A new option for one of the greatest experiences by rail. Not only is the route impossibly scenic, but the onboard experience is truly indulgent, from the fine dining to the white-gloved service. Lastly, speak to your consultant about travelling in the Grand Suites. Introduced in 2018, these are the last word in luxury, resplendent in Art-Deco opulence and free-flowing champagne"