Belmond Launches Winter Train Journeys in Europe

This year, the famed Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is running December trips for the very first time.

All photos courtesy of Belmond

If Christmas markets and cooler temperatures are your thing, a trip to Continental Europe might be just the ticket this festive season. And few things can beat an overnight journey aboard Belmond’s Venice Simplon-Orient-Express when it comes to traveling overland between some of the region’s most alluring cities. Made up of 17 restored carriages from the 1920s and 1930s, as well as six Grand Suites named after the cities that inspired their designs, the stylish luxury train will whisk travelers to Florence, Paris, Venice, and Vienna this December.

Guests can look forward to settling into their private cabin with a glass of champagne in hand, while admiring the passing scenery through picture windows. A four-course formal dinner awaits in the plush dining cars, where chef Jean Imbert will serve gourmet fare from a winter-inspired seasonal menu. Those in the mood for postprandial drinks should then proceed to the social hub of the train, Bar Car “3674,” for an evening of cocktails and conversation with fellow travelers as the on-board jazz pianist plays into the night.

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will travel from Venice to Paris via the Swiss Alps on December 2 and 12, and from Paris to Venice on December 20. In addition, the train will stop in Florence on December 7 (Venice to Paris) and December 8 (Paris to Venice). One departure from Paris to Vienna is scheduled for December 17, and the return journey will take place the following day. The scenic route between Paris and Vienna takes in Germany’s two southernmost states — Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria.

From June 2023, eight new suites will join the two existing cabin categories aboard Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Each one features a marble ensuite bathroom as well as a lounge area that can be converted to double or twin beds. Prices for a one-night journey aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express start from US$3,160 per person.

One of the Grand Suites aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

Snowbound winter scenery as seen from the train.

The glamorous bar car, named “3674.”

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