This version of the classic the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express's northbound route pairs the world's most iconic rail experience with luxury stays in both Venice and London. It all begins with a flight to Italy's floating city, where a private water taxi transfer will see you in consummate style to the Belmond Cipriani Hotel. Then, having taking in Venice's grand mix of Gothic architecture and Renaissance art, you'll board those famous blue-and-gold carriages for a rail journey of a lifetime across the Austrian and Swiss Alps, enjoying the very best in gourmet dining and white-glove service along the way. Then, having travelled across France and crossed the English Channel, you'll arrive, refreshed, into London for a night at Chelsea's exclusive Belmond Cadogan Hotel.
You’ll begin your trip in style with a chauffeur transfer and VIP airport lounge access before boarding the short flight to Venice. On arrival, a water-taxi transfer will see you in style to your hotel – the lavish Belmond Cipriani, host to a sumptuous spa and the Michelin-starred Oro restaurant. With its stunning waterfront location and palatial interiors, it's the ideal base from which to explore Venice’s storybook waterways and legion of iconic sites. Perhaps begin with the the 14th-century Doge’s Palace and world-famous Saint Mark’s Basilica, then follow it up with a Bellini at the illustrious Harry’s Bar – reputed to be Hemingway's favourite haunt. And, be sure to indulge in the city's acclaimed culinary scene, sampling fresh seafood antipasti in one of Venice’s charming trattorias and indulging with a gelato as you tour the city's square. Other options include a cruise out across the Venetian Lagoon to explore Burano’s storybook charm, or tour of nearby Murano, a town known for its he glassblowing heritage and a Venice in miniature.
After a delicious breakfast at your hotel, it's time to transfer to Venezia Santa Lucia Station to board the blue-and-gold carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. You’ll be welcomed onboard with a glass of sparkling wine before settling down to a three-course lunch in the restaurant car as you head out into the verdant landscapes of northern Italy. Passing the armoured peaks of the Dolomites, you'll cross the border, via the Brenner Pass, into Austria, delighting at the chocolate-box villages nestled among deep river valleys. Then, watch the landscape shift to snow-dusted mountains and picturesque meadows as you scale the Alberg Pass into Switzerland. As the landscapes rush past your window, you'll enjoy pastries served in your oak-panelled cabin, or Grand Suite if you've gone for an upgrade, before preparing for your last night on board. And, it's bound to be a special one, as you'll tuck into a gourmet four-course dinner, sampling everything from Brittany lobster to salt marsh lamb from Mont St Michel, all accompanied by an extensive wine list.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included
Breakfast will be served in the comfort of your cabin, so relax as you race across northern France towards the Channel, pausing briefly at Paris’ Gare du Nord en route. Then, back on home soil, you'll be treated to a wonderful afternoon tea on the Belmond British Pullman, complete with a glass of English sparkling wine, ending in London Victoria. It's then just a short hop to the Belmond Cadogan Hotel for a luxurious one night stay – the perfect end to your luxury break. Perhaps enjoy dinner at the hotel with its stunning menu by celebrated visionary chef Adam Handling, then head out to catch a show in London's buzzing West End.
Breakfast & Lunch included
This morning, you'll have the chance to enjoy exclusive access to the hotel's neighbouring Cadogan Gardens, or enjoy some shopping in nearby Knightsbridge and Chelsea, before heading for home.
"This short break pairs stays in two of my favourite cities, and hotels. In Venice, I've picked an absolute gem – the Belmond Cipriani. It's palatial extravagance and Michelin-starred Oro restaurant is the ideal preamble to what is, for me, the world's leading rail experience – the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. You'll be treated to fine dining and exceptional service as you make your way through the heart of Alpine Europe. Then, after a channel hop, you'll wrap things up than with a night at London's newest luxury hotel – the Belmond Cadogan in fashionable Chelsea."
Free night promotion from: £3,205 pp