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Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train
Photograph: Belmond

You can now take a Christmas ride on the Orient Express

For the first time ever, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express has extended its timetable into December

Ed Cunningham
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Ed Cunningham
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Train rides don’t come much more romantic and luxurious than the Orient Express. Trundling through bits of France and Italy in opulent 1920s train carriages, with a glass of champagne in hand and world-renowned chefs catering to your every need? Don’t mind if we do… for a price, of course.

But soon the Orient Express is going to get even more romantic. For the first time ever, the Venice Simplon-Orient Express will be extending its timetable into December. Which means – yep – the world’s most romantic train is going to be running around Christmas.

The Express’s extended timetable covers ten different itineraries which include destinations like Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Venice, Florence, Prague and Budapest. All the routes are one-night journeys: guests board just before dinner, enjoy a four-course meal and after-dinner drinks, then head off for a night in one of the Express’s many lavish suites.

The nearest trip to Christmas starts on December 20, departing from Paris to Verona and Venice. There are also journeys from Paris to Vienna and back on December 17 and 18.

Just in case the idea of pitching your way around some of Europe’s finest Christmas markets in fine style isn’t enough, here are some extra-tempting details of the train. Operated by luxury hotel firm Belmond, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express features refurbed train carriages from the 1920s and 1930s. Accommodation arrangements vary from historic twin cabins to suites with marble baths, bottomless champagne and a 24-hour concierge service. The dining cars alone are something to behold. And we wouldn’t be surprised at some extra festive touches around Yuletide. Anyone for carols in the piano bar?

Obviously the rates for all this are pretty steep. The cheapest price for a one-person, one-night trip on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is £3,353 ($3,500), with the more expensive options pushing £8,400 ($9,850). To take your mind off that, here are a few gorgeous pics of the trains and carriages.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train
Photograph: Belmond
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train
Photograph: Belmond
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train
Photograph: Belmond

Fancy taking a snowy ride this December? You can book a suite or find out more here – and get planning that once-in-a-lifetime Christmassy luxury train extravaganza! (If you’ve got the cash.)

Did you see the swanky new sleeper trains coming to Europe?

Plus: these are Europe’s most beautiful railway journeys. 

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