Immortalised in popular culture and renowned for its impeccable standards of service the iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is almost certainly one of the world's most famous luxury trains. In its first incarnation in 1883, the train's original route ran between Paris and Istanbul but such was its appeal to passengers drawn by the romance and mystery of long-distance international rail travel that further routes were soon added.
This elegant and much loved train discontinued service in 1977 and might have been consigned to history had not American sea-freight entrepreneur James Sherwood bought a number of classic pre-war carriages and dining cars at auction. Magnificently restored and re-launched in 1982, today's Venice Simplon-Orient-Express connects Paris and Venice and upholds the tradition of offering passengers the very highest standards of on-board service, comfort, luxury and gastronomy.
Board the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express to step back in time to a world of romance, indulgence and adventure. Travel in comfort and style as this wonderful tour takes in seductive Paris, vibrant Milan and Venice - the most beguiling of Europe's cities, offering the best in culture, art and architecture.
Beginning and ending in London, we travel just under 23,000 miles across the globe on this incredible worldwide adventure. Starting in the iconic 'Big Apple', we chart a course across the heartland of America, to the West Coast. From there, we cross the Pacific into Asia and immerse ourselves in the rich legacies of China, before boarding the iconic Tsar's Gold Train for the journey across Russia. For the final leg of the journey, we head into central Europe, south through the imperial cities to Venice, boarding the luxurious Simplon-Orient- Express for the journey home.
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Route
As its name suggests, the train originates in the ancient Italian city of Venice. Owing to its construction upon marshland, Venice is largely navigated by a system of canals rather than streets. The city is renowned for its architecture, from its stilted houses to its magnificent palaces and also possesses a rich cultural and artistic heritage and excellent cuisine.
On its journey from Venice the train passes through Italy's spectacular Dolomite Mountains. Regarded as one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes in the world, the Dolomites achieved UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2009. Although the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express no longer travels through the historic Simplon Tunnel which connects Italy with Switzerland, the alternative Alpine passes it uses continue to provide passengers with magnificent mountain panoramas.
Paris needs no introduction. The world's most romantic city is filled with unforgettable sights and landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees and Cathedral of Notre Dame. Even the briefest exploration of Paris is rewarded, courtesy of its abundant art galleries, museums, historic buildings and outstanding markets, cafes, bakeries and restaurants.