This June, the world's most renowned rail journey, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, will embark on a new passage, culminating in Berlin's gritty glamour after traversing through Germany's countryside splendours, including the impossibly picturesque Rhine river. You'll enjoy gourmet included meals and stay in a cosy oak-panelled cabin, or go one up and upgrade to a spectacular Grand Suite. After the delights of Germany's Rhineland and Saxony landscapes, you'll have two days to explore Europe’s political powerhouse Berlin, where a rich art scene and laid-back culture lies among a palpable, dramatic history. You'll stay in five-star luxury at the city's elegant Regent Hotel.
You'll begin your journey in London Victoria, after an included transfer, boarding the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express' luxury sister, the Belmond British Pullman. You'll traverse among the rolling hills of the Kentish Folkestone countryside, Bellini in hand, before enjoying a gourmet three-course brunch. Then, catch sight of those historic blue-and-gold Venice Simplon-Orient-Express carriages at Calais, where your personal steward will be waiting to show you to your cosy oak-panelled cabin.
Or perhaps you'll upgrade to a spectacular Grand Suite, featuring your own bathroom and double bed. Marvel at the Art Deco and marquetry of the painstakingly-restored train before you prepare for dinner, then perhaps enjoy a glass of champagne in the bar car as you mingle with your fellow guests, accompanied by the sophisticated hum of the train's resident pianist. Then, enjoy a sumptuous four-course dinner, sampling the likes of fillet of beef with black truffle béarnaise and Brittany lobster, finishing with a wonderful array of cheeses. Hunker down for the night in your cabin, which will have been cosily transformed into a sleeping area, as you traverse toward Germany.
Lunch & Dinner included
Wake up today to a sumptuous breakfast before navigating the verdant undulations, fairytale castles and winding river of Germany's Rhineland. Then, enjoy a three-course lunch in the spectacularly-restored dining cart before Saxony's vineyards and rural fields vie for your attention. A selection of fresh pastries are served as you while away the last few hours on board looking out onto the sweeping green surrounds, before pulling into historic Berlin this evening for a private transfer to your hotel, the ever-so-elegant Regent. All sweeping staircases, marble pillars and glittering chandeliers, it makes for a truly decadent base from which to explore the capital's highlights.
This evening, enjoy the old-school glamour of the onsite Grace restaurant, whose green velvet sofas and caged chandeliers keep their sense of Berlin cool with interspersed industrial touches, the setting for the likes of rock shrimps and beef rolls. One of Berlin's most impressive rooftop bars, as well as a further opulent lounge and grey-deck terrace bar, add to the appeal.
Stay: Regent Hotel
Breakfast & Lunch included
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before exploring all that Berlin has to offer. There's shopping on the Kurfürstendamm and countless markets, but it's the tangible history, discernible throughout the city, that holds much of the fascination. Perhaps rent a bike from the many sites in central Berlin to head to the sobering Holocaust Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie and Berlin Wall, via stops at pretty riverside cafes. Highlights include the Old National Gallery, showcasing a collection neoclassical and early Modernist artwork, German Historical Museum and Jewish Museum Berlin.
Marvel at the spectacular eclectic architecture at Potsdamer Platz, the historic Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building before a stroll through the pretty Tiergarten, then sample one of the countless eateries dotting every corner after perhaps enjoying cocktails – weather depending – on one of Berlin's famous rooftop bars.
Stay: Regent Hotel
Take your included transfer from your hotel to Berlin airport for your flight back to the UK.
"Long associated with the exoticism of Istanbul and the indulgences of Venice, this unique itinerary offers something altogether different. Along with the classic bar car and the multi-course fineries of the train, you'll also enjoy the sheer heritage of the German capital and the rural scenery of the Rhine Valley."
High Season from: £3,095 pp
2020 departures London - Berlin 11 Jun / Berlin - London 13 Jun 2020