A name that is interwoven in romance and intrigue, the Orient Express is the very zenith of luxury travel. History, elegance, style, decadence, this grand lady of European junkets has played hostess to royalty and movie stars, created the settings for Agatha Christie and Bram Stoker and has captured the imagination of millions. Even James Bond travelled to Russia with love via the Orient Express.
And now it's your turn. Four days, three cities, one trip of a lifetime.
You and your elite hen party will experience the ultimate in 1st class travel as we take you from London via Paris and on to Venice. You'll enjoy three of the world's most glamorous cities, all from the sumptuous splendour of the world's most iconic train.
You'll board the splendid British Pullman and be greeted with a Bellini and brunch. Then it's all aboard as you cut through the Kent countryside and the fields of northern France to Paris.
Your arrival in Paris will be met by the gleaming navy and gold livery of the Venice Simplon Orient Express. While you and your travelling companions take time to enjoy your surroundings, settle into your wood panelled cabins and prepare for the evening ahead the ever attentive staff will be on hand to ensure your comfort.
“Kings and crooks, millionaires and refugees, big-game hunters and smugglers, prima donnas and courtesans travelled on it; tycoons and financiers clinched their deals across its sumptuous dining tables; diplomats, spies, and revolutionaries on board the train moved secretively to their moments of history.”
E.H. Cookridge Orient Express: The Life and Times of the World's Most Famous Train
The second day of your journey will begin with breakfast served in your cabin as the impressive mountain scenery unfolds outside your window.
An elegant lunch will be served in the buffet cars as you arrive in Italy, passing a miasma of vineyards, olive groves, fields and villages, through the Italian Dolomites before arriving in Venice.
You'll wake up to an American breakfast and then can relax and indulge in luxurious surroundings which include; Olympic-sized swimming pool, fitness centre, tennis courts pier, gardens or shopping in the Hotel Cipriani Boutique.
The only way to explore the 100 islands that make up Venice is by boat. Your private motor launch will be captained by a local guide who will show you around some of the hidden backwaters and lesser know treasures as well as take you past the grand palaces and piazzas where you can stop off if you wish for a glass of limoncello or share a gourmet pizza.
Since 1883 the Orient Express has been the very pinnacle of elite luxury travel, originally travelling from London to Athens and Istanbul, kings, queens, spies, rogues and vagabonds have all enjoyed it's elegance. King Leopold II rode the train to Istanbul in order to pay a "special visit" to the harem of a local merchant, while the King of Belgium insisted he be allowed to drive the train as it passed through his kingdom.
Robert Baden-Powell (founder of the boy scout movement) rode on the "Spy Express" as a secret agent for the British Government, with many spies using the train as not only did it give them a perfect cover to cross borders but also meant they got to do so in style.
In 1918 the treaty and German surrender that marked the end of the First World War was signed on a carriage of the Orient Express which was then kept on display in Paris and later captured by Hitler who had it destroyed.