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Venice Simplon Orient - Express

Ever read Agatha Christie's celebrated whodunit "Murder on the Orient Express" and wondered what it must have been like to cross The Alps on a snowy night in the luxury of a super-grand train? Welcome to the world's most celebrated train, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and travel across Europe in the style of a bygone era.

The glamorous carriages, sumptuous cuisine and personal service, all of which is beyond comparison, make a journey on the Orient Express the perfect place for a celebration or special holiday. Bombed, shot at and marooned in snow drifts, the history of the Orient-Express is both legendary and colourful. The carriages which today form the famous Venice Simplon-Orient-Express each have a history of their own, with long years of service criss-crossing the frontiers of Europe, operating for a variety of railway companies.

General Information

The steward responsible for your carriage on the VSOE will be available at all times and may be called by the bell in your cabin. He will take care of your passport during the journey, change your cabin from day to night configuration, serve breakfast and other refreshments in your cabin as required.

The Train Manager will be on hand throughout the journey. He is there to help should you have any queries while on board. If you should wish to speak to him, please tell your steward who will contact him on your behalf.

Carriage Information

Step aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and you step back into a more gracious, elegant age. Your personal steward, instantly available to attend your every comfort, will show you to your compartment of gleaming wood, polished brass, soft towels and crisp linen. Your comfortable compartment is a restful retreat offering panoramic views of ever changing landscapes.

Each compartment has its own original washbasin cabinet with hot and cold water, and at night-time becomes a comfortable bedroom, complete with soft towels and crisp linen. Passengers may select from two types of compartments. Cabins convert in moments from daytime seating to a comfortable bedroom. Travelling in private compartments, passengers are attended by Cabin Stewards throughout the journey, and are assured of attentive yet discreet service.

A private lounge during the day with a banquette sofa, footstool and small table, the Double Compartment converts to night configuration with an upper and lower bed. A washbasin with hot and cold water is enclosed in a cabinet and towels and toiletries are provided. Facilities include 24-hour steward service called by a bell, international electric sockets (230 volts) and 115 volt socket for razors, and individually controlled radiators. Some compartments are fitted with a personal safe. Overhead luggage racks are provided for the storage of a limited amount of luggage and two coat hooks and two hangers for hanging up clothes.

The Cabin Suite combines two interconnecting cabins to create a private lounge with a banquette sofa, footstool and small table and a sleeping compartment with an upper and lower bed. The amenities are the same as those in the Double Compartment.

Dining Experience

Set the tone with a visit to the Bar Car, famous for its delicious cocktails and welcoming atmosphere. Then on to one of the three dining cars, softly muted lighting enhances the mood while fine linen, French silverware and heavy crystal invite you to prepare for a meal to remember.

Meals on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express are an unforgettable delight. All dishes are freshly prepared onboard by French chefs, with the finest supplies taken onboard during the train's journey. Lunch, dinner and brunch are served by the Italian waiters in one of the three individually styled Restaurant Cars: Lalique, Etoile du Nord or Chinoise. Breakfast and afternoon tea are served in passengers' compartments. Table d'hôte meals are included in the fare, while an á la carte menu and 24-hour compartment service is available additionally. The Maitre D' will come to your cabin to take your lunch and dinner reservations.

The Brunch Menu consists of culinary delights like scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, broiled lobster with fresh cress butter, potato and chive whirls and caramelized apple tartlet with Colombian Coffee.

The Dinner Menu promises to dazzle your palate with delicious fare like baked lobster tail, lobster and brandy sauce, roast duck supreme, white truffle flavoured foie gras, baby pumpkins and silver onions, fine French cheeses and crispy bitter chocolate and bergamot ice-cream dessert.

Famous for its delicious cocktails and welcoming atmosphere the Bar Car is the heart of the train. Transformed and designed by Gerard Gallet from a dining car, the bar car is the ideal rendezvous to enjoy relaxed conversation and warm to the skills of the resident pianist. Dressing for the occasion is all part of the experience.

FAQs

Are all my meals included?

Yes. Table d'hôte meals are included in your fare. Continental breakfast and afternoon tea are served in your own compartment, while lunch and dinner are enjoyed in the sumptuous surroundings of the dining cars. The gourmet meals and discreet service are all part of the Orient-Express experience. An á la carte menu is available for lunch and dinner, and there is a 24 hour compartment service for light snacks and refreshments. These are at an additional cost and paid for at the time of ordering.

Are drinks included in the price?

On board the continental train drinks are not included in the fare and may be purchased at an additional cost.

Can you cater for special meal requirements?

Special dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan etc. are catered to, provided a detailed request has been made at the time of booking. If a special request has not been made, the chefs will endeavour to prepare a dish with the ingredients available on board. However, meals requiring strict religious observance in the preparation are not available.

What currency do I need on board the Orient-Express?

On the Orient-Express prices are quoted in Euros, it is recommended that passengers have a small amount of Euros for on board purchases. Most major currencies are accepted, as well as travellers' cheques, Eurocheques, and major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club, and JCB). The exchange rate on board is displayed in the Bar Car.

Can I smoke on board the Orient-Express?

On the Continental train smoking is permitted in the Bar Car and in your compartment but not in the Restaurant Cars during meal times. Passengers are asked not to smoke pipes or cigars at any time.

Do I have to take the full journey from London to Venice?

No. The Orient-Express stops at Paris, Zürich, Buchs, St. Anton am Arlberg, Innsbruck and Verona. You may travel, subject to availability, between any of these destinations. For example, you can travel London to Paris, Paris to Venice, Innsbruck to London, or any other combination to suit your itinerary.

How do I cross the English Channel?

Passengers travelling from or to London will experience the British Pullman carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express between London and Folkestone. The comfort of passengers is paramount, for that reason the channel crossing may be by coach and the Eurotunnel shuttle or by surface vessel, either Sea Cat catamaran or ship. The Orient-Express hostess will escort you throughout the cross channel journey.

Can children travel on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express?

Yes. Children aged 11 or under on the date of departure and sharing a Double cabin with one adult at full fare receive a reduction of 20%, children under 2 travel free when sharing accommodation.

Are disabled people able to travel on the Orient-Express?

Passengers with slight walking difficulties are accommodated, though it's recommended that they are accompanied by an able-bodied passenger. The dimensions and layout of the train are not suitable for wheelchair bound passengers. Should you have any special requirements, please inform ebookers staff at the time of booking.

What is my sleeping accommodation like?

On the Orient-Express overnight passengers are automatically given their own compartments. Complete with wooden marquetry and brass fittings in original 1920s detail, your compartment will transport you back to a bygone era.

Will there be room in my compartment for all my luggage?

No, probably not. It is strongly advised that you only take into your compartment, one or two light cases packed with everything you need for your journey on board. All extra luggage can be checked in at the start of your journey where it will not be accessible until you reach your destination.

What do I take to wear on the Orient-Express?

You can never be overdressed on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. The historic decor of the train and its atmosphere encourages everyone to dress to suit the occasion. Dinner provides you with a marvellous opportunity to recreate the style and glamour of a bygone age. For evening dinner many travellers will wear black tie or evening dress. At least as a consideration for your fellow passengers you will need to meet the minimum requirements of a suit and tie for gentlemen and an equivalent standard for ladies. During the day "casual but smart" is the rule. At no time during your journey will jeans be acceptable.

Are there showers on board the Orient-Express?

No. These are the original 1920s carriages and as such do not have all the modern amenities such as showers. Each cabin contains a wash basin with hot and cold water.

What sort of service can I expect on board the Orient-Express?

Your Cabin Steward is responsible for your carriage on the Continental train. He will be available at all times and may be called by the bell in your compartment. He will take care of your passport during the journey, change your compartment from day to night configuration and serve your breakfast, afternoon tea and other refreshments as required. The Maitre D' will come to your compartment to take your lunch and dinner reservations. The Train Manager is on hand throughout the journey to help with any queries.

Will I require visas for a trip on the Orient-Express?

The Orient-Express passes through the UK, France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy. If you require a visa for a particular European country, the visa will still be needed even if you are only in transit through that country. Failure to obtain the appropriate visa will result in the passenger being unable to board the train. It is the passenger's own responsibility to ensure that they comply with any necessary visa or vaccination requirements.
All passengers must be in possession of a full 10 year passport. Currently visas are not required for EU citizens visiting any of the European countries. If you are not a passport holder of the EU then please check with the relevant embassy or consulate in good time.

Will I need insurance for my trip?

As with all holidays and trips abroad, it is advisable to have travel insurance. The ebookers office will be able to advise you at the time of booking.

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