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Annabelle Thorpe

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Luxury trains to Europe

Our verdict:

There are few greater travel icons than the Venice Simplon-Orient Express; an Art Deco dame of a train that oozes 1920s glamour as it steams its way across Europe. Glam it up for an unforgettable short break in Venice Verona, Vienna, Budapest or Paris. Perfect for a zero-number birthday or anniversary treat, it's a truly unforgettable experience.

Recommended tour operator: The Luxury Holiday Company

The Luxury Holiday Company says

Think of iconic travel experiences and the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is likely to come top of most lists.

Since its first journey from London to Istanbul in 1883, the Orient Express has always been synonymous with luxury travel and romance – no more so than in the present day, under the expert management of the Belmond hotel group.

If you’re departing from the UK, the excitement begins in London Victoria’s station, as you board Belmond’s stylish British Pullman before joining the Orient Express in Calais.

The 1920s and 1930s carriages ooze old-school glamour, each with its own unique design and artwork – including pieces by Rene Lalique. Watch the world go by as you relax in your private cabin which is then discreetly converted for a cosy night. If you really want to spoil yourselves, opt for one of the new Grand Suites (new for 2018) with a double bedroom and private bathroom.

You can’t really be over-dressed as the evening approaches – turn on the glamour for a night to remember. Join other passengers for cocktails in Bar 3674 and then settle in to one of the dining carriages for a fabulous dinner, with white glove service. The on-board cuisine is nothing short of world-class with a wine list to match.

The classic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express experience is the four day trip from London to Venice which also includes two nights in a five star hotel – arriving in style via a private water taxi – in the heart of Venice and flights home.

Other short but so sweet four day options include BudapestVerona and Vienna.

Once a year, there’s an exclusive nine day rail holiday to Istanbul, retracing the original route of the Orient Express in 1883. Travel through France, Hungary and Romania, finishing in the historic Pera Palace Hotel 1892 in the heart of Istanbul before flying home.

All our Venice Simplon-Orient Express breaks include a private chauffeur-driven car service from your home to the station and all transfers when you are away. Departures run between March and November.

Check out our backgrounder on Murder on the Orient Express for more inspiration.

Explore our full range of breaks on board the Venice Simplon-Orient Express.

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