The world’s most iconic train takes on a new route in 2021, a spectacular cross-Continent trip from Venice to Brussels. You’ll start among the historic buildings and iconic waterways of Venice, where you'll take in the highlights with an expert-led walking tour and included priority entry to Doge’s Palace, coupled with a stay in a five-star Baglioni Hotel, whose gilded furnishings play host to an exquisite restaurant headed up by a Michelin-starred chef. Then, after stepping onboard the esteemed carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, you'll traverse alpine meadows and snow-capped mountain ranges, enjoying multi-course gourmet dining and the very best in discreet white-gloved service as you head, via Paris, to Brussels, a city famed for its gastronomy and grand architecture.
You’ll start your holiday in relaxing fashion with a chauffeur-driven transfer to the airport before boarding the short flight to Venice and transferring 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
Begin your last day on board with breakfast in your cabin, stopping briefly at Paris’ Gare du Nord before tucking into a delicious brunch as you speed towards Brussels. On arrival make your way to centrally located hotel, close to the stunning architecture of the Grand Place, and its gastronomic haunts and cellar bars.
In the evening relax in your hotels Bar A, where stars of stage and screen have walked across its polished parquet floors, sipped well-crafted cocktails by candlelight, and left behind mementos, like the signed portraits that grace the walls today
Hotel Amigo, Brussels
Breakfast & Lunch included
Sitting at a cultural crossroads of French, Dutch and Flemish traditions, Brussels combines old-world grandeur with modern cosmopolitan charm. From Dutch guildhalls and art nouveau homes to towering glass edifices, the city’s skyline is a reflection of its multicultural roots.
The Grand Place is a natural starting point, with its ornate guild houses and gothic town hall. From there, it’s a short stroll to the Musée Magritte and the stunning BOZAR, not far from the Royal Palace, and when it’s time for a breather, order a proper Belgian hot chocolate or a swift half of the local brew.
Hotel Amigo, Brussels
Make your way to the airport for your day flight back to the UK. On arrival, your awaiting chauffeur will see you home
"A new route 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"
2021 from: £3,800 pp
2022 from: £3,725 pp
Valid for travel:
Venice to Brussels operates on 21 Jun 2021
Brussels to Venice operates on 24 Jun 2021
Venice to Brussels operates on 11 Apr 2022
Brussels to Venice operates on 14 Apr 2022