Venice, Italy is one of Europe’s most enduring popular holiday destinations. This picturesque, romantic city is composed of 118 tiny islands in the Venetian Lagoon; the islands are connected by bridges, but boats – including the famous gondolas – are the easiest and most pleasant way to navigate the venetian canal system. Many holiday makers travel to Venice by plane; the most luxurious way to get there, however, is aboard the Venice-Simpleton Orient Express.
Photo licensed under the Creative Commons, created by Simon Pielow
The Definition of Luxury
The operates from March to November, offering service between many major European cities. The line’s western terminus is London; passengers may also embark in Paris, Rome, Venice, Prague, Vienna, Cracow, Dresden, Istanbul, Bucharest and Budapest. Passengers travel in peerless luxury and enjoy five-star dining; the service and appointments on board the Orient Express are so legendary that for many passengers a journey aboard it is a significant part of their holiday.
Great Britain and Mainland Europe
The Orient Express is owned and operated by Orient-Express-Hotels Ltd., which uses one carriage for travel within the United Kingdom and another to reach destinations in mainland Europe. Passengers who board in London must disembark when the train reaches the English Channel; they arrive in France via the Eurotunnel Shuttle and board the Orient Express once more. The rail cars used for the British service are only used for day trips because they have no sleeping accommodations. Passengers enjoy lunch and afternoon tea; for some, this is the purpose of the journey, while others are traveling to historic castles in the British countryside. The Orient Express that operates on the mainland features sumptuous sleeping quarters. Both iterations of the Orient Express use vintage rail cars from the 1920s and 1930s.
Travel aboard the Orient Express is a luxury, and priced accordingly. Some passengers plan their own route, while others take advantage of complete holiday packages offered by the railroad. One of the most popular packages offers service from London to Venice; the trip lasts five days and includes lodging at the London Ritz and three nights in Venice’s Hotel Cipriani, whose rooms overlook the adjacent lagoon. Travellers also spend one night on the Orient Express, where they enjoy private cabins with room service and a private hot and cold water supply. During the day, passengers sit on their in-cabin couch and enjoy the passing scenery. At night, the stewards unfold the couch into a roomy double bed and dress it in fine linen. Two types of cabins are available: the Double Cabin is a single room with a folding bed, and the Cabin Suites have two adjoining cabins. There are washrooms in each car.
The Pinnacle of Excellence
The Orient Express offers the finest rail travel in the world, complete with service and amenities that rival any hotel. The food is prepared by esteemed French chefs and served in the dining car, where most passengers dress formally. After their meals, many head to the nearby bar car for a nightcap; by the time they return to their cabins, the stewards have prepared the beds for a night of sweet dreams.
Category: Travel Tips