Beginning in June, clients can hop onboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express from London to Berlin via Paris. // © 2016 Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
Feature image (above): The art-deco interior of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is reminiscent of the Roaring ’20s. // © 2016 Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
Tales of the Orient-Express take travelers back to a time of mystery, intrigue and murder. Onboard the Orient-Express in the Roaring ’20s, it was all about flapper dresses, cold gin, plunky jazz and a cabaret edge. This summer, Belmond’s Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, as it is now known, is taking passengers on a ride through time to Europe and the golden age of the train (minus the murder). As of June, Belmond will offer a new rail itinerary from London to Berlin via Paris, three iconic European capitals known for their hot-to-trot nightlife scenes of the 1920s.
The inaugural departure to Berlin, a city that retains its historic reputation as a flourishing destination for art and cabaret, will leave from London on June 2. Passengers will travel in the original art-deco carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for the two-day, one-night journey through Northern Europe and across the German countryside.
The original Orient-Express made its first journey in 1883 from Gare de Strasbourg in Paris, bound for Romania. With 40 passengers onboard, the inaugural journey made headlines all across Europe. It was in the 1920s that the Orient-Express gained a notorious reputation linked with mystery and murder, with the help of authors such as Agatha Christie, who wrote “Murder on the Orient Express.”
Inside the train, guests will find vintage cabins, top-notch cuisine and onboard entertainment. Each carriage has been restored to recreate the historical luxury experience. Double Cabins feature upper and lower berths, while Single Cabins have one lower berth. During the day, the berths transform to banquette seating. If you’re feeling flush, reserve a Cabin Suite, which is formed from two interconnecting Double Cabins. Set menus are inclusive on the trip, while drinks and a la carte options are available for additional charge. Onboard, guests will find three restored dining cars: Cote d’Azur, Etoile du Nord and L’Oriental. A brand-new Champagne Bar serves a menu of select bubblies amid art-deco interiors.
To begin their journey, passengers board the Belmond British Pullman train at London Victoria station and are treated to brunch as the train winds through the Kent countryside. After crossing the English Channel, guests then transfer to the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train for a four-course dinner. In the morning, breakfast is served in guest cabins, after which passengers can explore the train or relax in their cabins. Guests will enjoy a three-course lunch before arriving in their final destination of Berlin at 6:30 p.m.