Venice Simplon-Orient-Express holidays

For decades, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express has been synonymous with everything that is sophisticated and glamorous in the world of luxury train travel. The name echoes like a spell. Since its maiden journey from Paris to Istanbul in 1883 the Orient Express has been intrinsically linked with luxury travel. Now operated by the connoisseurs at Belmond, the train has been restored, refurbished and returned to its Art Deco-influenced origins. Today the enchantment and romance are as strong as ever and, in an age that prioritises speed and efficiency when it comes to conveying you to your end destination, the experience of travelling slowly and being on a (luxury) journey is even more alluring.

Indeed, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express stands on a par with other great rail journeys all around the world but it stands above them because of the history and design associated with it. The rolling stock is distinctive down to the smallest detail. Made up of original 1920s and 30s European carriages, painstakingly and lovingly restored to their original elegance and splendour. Look out for marquetery panels and designs by artists of the Art Deco movement, including Rene Lalique. The overall result is a beguiling evocation of the golden age of travel. Yet the experience of being onboard transcends its historical origins and feels utterly contemporary and fresh. Luxury at this level is timeless.

The train now visits a number of Europe’s most enchanting cities. Alongside the traditional, classic journey from London to Venice via Paris (or vice versa), you can now travel to London from Vienna, Verona, Prague or Budapest. There’s an annual journey from London to Berlin as well. For the ultimate luxury rail journey, we suggest that the most discerning traveller should secure a berth on the very special, once-a-year departure from London to Istanbul, a nine-day journey that recreates the original 1883 route. The sheer romance of this experience is unmatchable. 


Special experiences

There is no more memorable an experience than seeing the train for the first time. Arrive early at the station to get caught up in the giddy excitement reverberating through the air. It could be at London’s Victoria station, where you board the umber and cream carriages of Belmond’s British Pullman or at Calais or Venice, where you’ll get your first glimpse of the blue and gold carriages of the Continental Wagons-Lit. The thrill is palpable and these are memories that will stay with you for a lifetime. 

Climb aboard and step back in time to a more refined, congenial and elegant era. Walk through all the carriages to understand that you’re travelling on a page of history, taking the time to read the plaques identifying each carriage and observing the different décor of each one.

Head to your compartment and settle in, meeting the cabin steward who will anticipate and attend your every need. Unpack your tuxedo and ball gown; you can never be overdressed aboard the elegant carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. When dressed to the nines, hang out in Bar 3674, the social hub of the train and mingle with other passengers. Listen to a pianist play period pieces as you sip pre-dinner signature cocktails expertly prepared by the head barman. Alternatively toast your good taste with a vintage champagne from the train’s extensive selection.

Then, settle yourself into one of the three beautifully restored restaurant cars, taking note of the fine linen, French silverware and heavy crystal that hint at the extravagance ahead. Perhaps you’ll try lobsters from Brittany or salt marsh lamb from Mont St Michel.

After a four-course culinary adventure, retire to your cabin, which will have been discretely converted into a sleeping compartment. Spoil yourself with a night cap then climb the upholstered ladder to your upper berth or snuggle down under luxury linens on the bottom bunk to be lulled by the movement of the train as it travels across Europe, perhaps having taken steps to arrange a celebration breakfast in the morning so that you can start the next day with another magical memory.

Service onboard the Orient Express

White-gloved service on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

The Orient Express' bar car

Sip vintage champagne in the elegant bar car

Cabins on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

There are 88 double cabins (upper and lower berth) and 11 single cabins modelled on the 1920s originals. Each private compartment is attended by a cabin steward throughout the journey, which means that you are assured of attentive yet discreet service. Want to idle your way across Europe in your pyjamas, plush bathrobes or indeed anything else, mesmerised by the scenery flashing by from the privacy of your bed or sofa? The staff are impeccably trained.

Twin Cabin

During the day, your cabin acts as a comfortable lounge with a large banquette sofa, footstool and small fold out table. There is a washbasin stylishly hidden away in its own cabinet. While, you enjoy a sumptuous dinner in one of the dining cars and drink cocktails in the bar car, your cabin steward will convert your compartment into a cosy sleeping space with upper and lower berths, complete with crisp white linen. Bathrobes, slippers and luxury amenities by Temple Spa are provided.

Cabin Suite

For a shot of additional luxury take a Cabin Suite, which comprises two interconnecting Twin Cabins. This way you have more space and, after dark, a choice of bed configurations as the suites afford you option of having two lower berths to sleep in. Alternatively, use one cabin for sitting up during day time and the other for retiring to at night. 

Grand Suite

Three new incredibly spacious suites bring a new level of luxury to the already opulent train. For the first time, and in a welcome departure from the faithful reproduction elsewhere, each Grand Suite includes a private en suite bathroom with showers, sinks and toilet, as well as a double bedroom and a sizeable living area. Named after the three cities most associated with the train – Paris, Venice and Istanbul – these suites are designed in keeping with the general Art Deco motif but draw on their namesake’s associations; chic haute couture flourishes, renaissance design, Venetian-style glass lamps, grand Baroque touches and opulent embroidered pillows and rugs that echo the Grand Bazaar can all be seen.

For the ultimate experience on your Venice Simplon-Orient-Express rail journey spoil yourself with a Grand suite and enjoy more room in which to relax, your own bathroom to freshen up in, more choices of where and when to dine, including private dining in your own suite, complimentary Caviar on arrival and free-flowing champagne in your suite at all times, which could be incentive enough. 

Twin cabin on board the Orient Express

The 1920s styling of a classic twin cabin

Twin cabin on board the Orient Express

A twin cabin by day: elegant and private

Grand suite aboard the Orient Express

A Grand Suite: the ultimate in onboard luxury

Suggested itineraries

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: London to Venice

4 days from £3,405 pp incl. flights

Save up to £210 pp – ends 31 October

Between indulgent fine dining, champagne receptions and private city tours, this elegant journey pairs the ultimate in luxury rail travel with a palace stay in the heart of ancient Venice.

Grand Canal, Venice

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Venice to London

4 days from £3,135 pp incl. flights

Save up to £200 pp – ends 31 October

A counterpoint to the classic London-Venice route, this journey aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express starts among the exquisite architecture of Italy's floating city before crossing the Alps in style en route to London.

Vltava River, Prague

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Venice-Prague-London

7 days from £5,725 pp incl. flights

A journey on the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, from the historic waterways of Venice to medieval Prague and onwards to London. Enjoy city nights in luxurious hotel accommodation between stays onboard the train itself.

Vienna, Austria

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Vienna to London

4 days from £3,525 pp incl. flights

Catch the world’s most elegant and refined train on this luxury journey as you're transported not just from Vienna to London but all the way back to the glamour of the Roaring Twenties.

Venice, Italy

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Venice to London via Vienna

7 days from £5,360 pp incl. flights

Save up to £320 pp – ends 31 October

Extend your time aboard this iconic train to showcase two of Europe’s greatest cities between afternoon teas and bar-car drinks.

Danube River, Budapest, Hungary

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Budapest to London

4 days from £3,325 pp incl. flights

Swap Budapest's Ottoman-era spa and grand Art Nouveau architecture for the 1920s glamour of the world's most elegant rail journey – the Venice Simplon-Orient Express.

Verona, Italy

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Verona to London

4 days from £2,995 pp incl. flights

Save up to £155 pp – ends 31 October

Beginning with a luxury city stay and included walking tour in Verona, you'll board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for an unforgettable journey across Europe, steeped in the elegant traditions of 1920s rail travel.

Varenna, Lake Como

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express & Lake Como

6 days from £4,065 pp incl. flights

Save up to £495 pp – ends 30 November

Travel from London to Verona onboard the world’s most famous train, finishing off with a truly opulent stay on the shores of Italian lake country.


Venice Simplon-Orient-Express & Venice’s Islands

4 days from £3,195 pp incl. flights

Before travelling on the world’s exclusive train, hop between Venice’s archipelago, centring on a luxury stay on your very own private island.

Grand Suite (Artist's Impression), Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Grand Suite Experience

4 days from £7,985 pp incl. flights

From free-flowing champagne to complimentary caviar, experience the ultimate in luxury rail travel with the butler-served indulgences of the new Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Grand Suites.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Return to Venice

5 days from £4,965 pp

Save up to £1,000 pp – ends 31 October

Travel from London to Venice, and back again, aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, enjoying all the luxury and elegance of the world’s most famous train.

Arena di Verona

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express & Verona Opera

4 days from £3,815 pp incl. flights

This spectacular short break combines a journey on the world’s most elegant train with a stay in a converted palace and of opera at the iconic Arena di Verona.

Berlin skyline

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: London to Berlin

4 days from £3,165 pp incl. flights

Step aboard the world's most renowned luxury train, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, as you embark on a luxurious journey, culminating in Berlin's gritty glamour.

Belmond Hotel Cipriani

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Venice & London in Luxury

4 days from £3,560 pp incl. flights

Save up to £145 pp – ends 31 October

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.

Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: London to Istanbul

9 days from £18,145 pp incl. flights

Experience the glamour and style of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express as it returns to its original route, sweeping across Europe through France, Hungary and Romania to the gateway between east and west – Istanbul.

Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Istanbul to London

9 days from £18,100 pp incl. flights

This is your chance to retrace the route of the original Orient Express, but in reverse, travelling in unmatched style between Istanbul and Paris. You'll also be treated to luxury stays in Bucharest, Budapest and the French capital.

Burano at sunset, Italy

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express & Northern Italy River Cruise

11 days from £5,325 pp incl. flights

Save up to £1,225 pp – ends 16 November

Discover Venice and its surrounds in unmatched style as you pair the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express with a five-star river cruise.

Zykanthos, Greece

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express & Seabourn: London to Athens

14 days from £7,855 pp incl. flights

Combine one of the world's greatest rail journeys with an equally spectacular cruise to some of Europe's most iconic cities.