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Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Historic, Elegant, but by No Means Murderous. 2 Days.

Gregory Peck may well have once occupied your private compartment aboard the VSOE between Paris and Venice (it’s easy to imagine his profile against the picture window as Europe rolls by outside). In fact, Mr. Peck was a fan of the train, and he did make the run during his golden years.

     King Carol of Romania preferred VSOE carriage number 3425 for his trysts, and he eventually fled Romania in 1940 on board the Orient-Express.

     We could go on and on with a list of stellar passengers who have come before you, but discretion is the rule here...


Austria, England, France, Italy, United Kingdom

Type:Rivers & Rails

Mode:Land

Journey

Step aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and, in essence, step back in time, back to the era of the Grand Tour, when elegance was the byword, smartness the rule. When attention to detail was the only way to go, and when personal service was de rigueur.

     The VSOE’s carriages (rail cars) have always been identified by simple numbers. Within each carriage are a series of private compartments, each with its own washbasin cabinet with hot and cold running water (there are no bathing facilities on the train). At night, while you sit down to an elegant dinner, your compartment is transformed into a bedroom complete with soft towels and deluxe linens and toiletries. No matter which you choose, each includes 24-hour steward service called by a bell; international electric sockets (230 volts) and a 115-volt socket for a razor; individually controlled radiators supply heat; overhead luggage racks store a limited amount of luggage; and two coat hooks and two hangers keep your clothes just so. Some compartments are fitted with personal safes. 

     Meals on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express are as much events as they are sustenance. Onboard, French chefs prepare all dishes using the finest and freshest ingredients, which are taken aboard during our journey. Do dress for dinner—it’s a traditional part of the experience. Our rule of thumb: You simply cannot overdress aboard the VSOE. Lunch, dinner, and brunch are served by Italian waiters in three individually styled restaurant cars.

     Finally, one could say that the bar car is the heart of the VSOE. Well known for its inviting atmosphere, it is a “scene”on the rails, a unique place to linger with fellow passengers—be they royalty, heads of state, Hollywood celebs, sports greats. Settle into relaxed conversation. Exchange ideas and anecdotes after lunch or before dinner. Lend an ear to the resident pianist, who tickles the ivories of a baby grand as the scenery (inside and out) unfolds.

     Life is good, indeed.

Departs March through early November 2017.
Day 1: London, England; Paris, France

• Board the British Pullman Orient-Express train in London's Victoria Station, cross the Chunnel.
• Board the VSOE in France, ride toward Venice.
Overnight aboard the VSOE
 
Day 2: Innsbruck, Austria; Verona, Venice, Italy
• Ride through the Austrian Alps, Brenner Pass, Tyrolean Alps, Verona.
• Disembark in Venice's Santa Lucia Station.

Please note: The reverse journey aboard the VSOE, from Venice to London, is also available, as are several other itineraries. Contact R. Crusoe & Son for details.

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Pricing

Per person sharing Double Cabin from approximately $3,200

Per person sharing Suite Cabin from approximately $5,300

Please note: Prices are based on seasonality and inventory and change on an ongong basis. Speak to your R. Crusoe travel specialist for up-to-the-minute pricing.

For more information, to book, or to speak to an R. Crusoe & Son tour specialist, please call us at 800-585-8555.

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About Our Train.

If the walls could only speak. Several carriages became hotels in Lyon during the war; another, a brothel in Limoges (and then part of the royal Dutch train). Spies exchanged information on board. So did gossip columnists and heads of state. Step aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and, in essence, step back in time, back to the era of the Grand Tour, when elegance was the byword, smartness the rule. When attention to detail was the only way to go, and when personal service was de rigueur.

Carriages & Compartments.

The VSOE’s carriages (rail cars) have always been identified by simple numbers. But these inconspicuous digits conceal a past thick with history and intrigue. Within each carriage are a series of private compartments, each with its own washbasin cabinet with hot and cold running water (there are no bathing facilities on the train). At night, while you sit down to an elegant dinner, your compartment is transformed into a bedroom complete with soft towels and deluxe linens and toiletries.

     Choose from a double or single compartment or, for something a bit more spacious, a cabin suite. Regardless of your accommodations, each cabin converts in a moment from a daytime sitting room to a comfortable bedroom.
The single or double compartment: A private lounge during the day with a banquette sofa, footstool, and a small table magically converts at night to a configuration with an upper and a lower bed (one bed in a single compartment).

     The cabin suite: Combine two interconnecting compartments to create a private lounge with a banquette sofa, footstool, and a small table as well as a sleeping compartment with an upper and a lower bed.

Dining.

Meals on board the VSOE are as much events as they are sustenance. Onboard French chefs prepare all dishes using the finest and freshest ingredients, which are taken aboard during our journey.

     Do dress for dinner—it’s a traditional part of the experience. Our rule of thumb: You simply cannot overdress aboard the VSOE. Lunch, dinner, and brunch are served by Italian waiters in three individually styled restaurant cars: the Lalique, the Etoile du Nord, and the Chinoise. The maitre d’ comes to your cabin to take your lunch and dinner reservations.

     Breakfast and afternoon tea are served in your private compartment, of course. Table d’hôte meals are included in your VSOE fare, while an a la carte menu and 24-hour compartment service are available at additional costs.

     Finally, one could say that the bar car is the heart of the VSOE. Well known for its inviting atmosphere, it is a  “scene” on the rails, a unique place to linger with fellow passengers—be they royalty, heads of state, Hollywood celebs, sports greats. Settle into relaxed conversation. Exchange ideas and anecdotes after lunch or before dinner. Lend an ear to the resident pianist, who tickles the ivories of a baby grand as the scenery (inside and out) unfolds.

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Dame Agatha Christie: A Classic Act.

Not many authors can boast selling a billion copies of their novels in English, and a billion more published in 103 other languages. Agatha Christie can. 

     Born in 1890 in England to an outgoing American father with an independent income and a rather shy British mother, Agatha resembled the latter in personality. When she was 11, Agatha’s father died, and she became even closer to her mother. As a widow, her mother grew restless and began to travel, often taking Agatha with her. These early trips led to the author’s lifelong love of travel.

     Christie’s writing career began after her older sister, Madge, challenged her to write a novel. It took several years to get her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, published, but the reviews were favorable, and the murder-by-poison so well described that she received the unprecedented honor of a review in England’s Pharmaceutical Journal. Her first novel focused on the murder of a rich heiress and introduced readers to one of Christie's most beloved characters, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.

 Murder on the Orient Express Book Cover.    “People often ask me what made me take up writing,” said Christie. “I found myself making up stories and acting the different parts. There's nothing like boredom to make you write. So by the time I was 16 or 17, I'd written quite a number of short stories and one long, dreary novel. By the time I was 21, I finished the first book of mine ever to be published.”

     Other classics of the mystery genre followed. In 1934, after being caught on the VSOE in a snowdrift for 10 days, she was inspired to write her beloved Murder on the Orient Express, once again following the doings of Monsieur Poiret. It would prove to be a huge success.

     Christie was made a dame in 1971. In 1974, she made her last public appearance for the opening night of the play version of "Murder on the Orient Express." She died on 12 January 1976.

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