The reverse of the classic London to Venice route, this journey aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is just as memorable, pairing the Art Deco elegance of its restored 1920s carriages with views out to some of Europe’s most breathtaking scenery. You’ll start with a luxury stay at a canal-side hotel in the heart of historic Venice, with included priority entry to Doge’s Palace. Then, after stepping onboard the iconic blue-and-gold carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, you'll cross Austria’s alpine meadows and snow-capped mountain ranges, enjoying wine-paired gourmet dining inspired by the route and the very best in discreet white-gloved service as you head into France. Lastly, having crossed the Channel, you'll enjoy a final taste of luxury as you travel to London aboard the Belmond British Pullman.
You’ll start your holiday in relaxing fashion with a complimentary lounge access before boarding the short flight to Venice and transferring to your hotel for the next two nights, the spectacular canal-side Baglioni Hotel Luna. The likes of St Mark’s Basin, San Girogio island and Venice’s canals are perfectly taken in with private terraces, and you’re moments away from the heritage beauty of St. Mark’s Square and the Bellini cocktails of Harry’s Bar.
If you can tear yourself away from the frescoes, chandeliers, baroque murals, gold furnishings and marble bathrooms of your palatial room, perhaps make the most of the award-winning Canova Restaurant, headed up by Michelin-starred Executive chef, Alberto Rossetti. The octopus salad and calamari with green tomato sauce are particularly notable, as is the extensive wine list.
Spoil yourself: Upgrade to the Cipriani
This morning, take the time to relax and enjoy an indulgent breakfast. Then it's time to explore dazzling Venice – we’ve included a private walking tour today with an expert guide who’ll show you the city’s treasures as well as some its unexplored gems. You'll finish with queue-jump entry to the Gothic delights of the Doge’s Palace, where theatrical sculptures and marble décor give way to gold-encrusted frescoes.
Then, you've got a free afternoon to discover the rest of the city's offerings, perhaps enjoying a casual lunch in one of the many waterside trattorias before taking a gondola ride among the winding waterways, learning about Murano’s glass-blowing heritage, or simply enjoying a glass of fine Italian wine in a piazza-side cafe.
Today sees you leave the splendours of Venice behind as you embark on an included water taxi transfer to the Venezia Santa Lucia Station where you'll step aboard the iconic blue-and-gold of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. You’ll begin the journey in style as you’re welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine and an exquisite three-course lunch in the restaurant car. It’s outside that truly stuns, however, as you pass through the rural fields of Northern Italy en route to Austria and the spectacular Brenner Pass. You'll then trace the snow-capped peaks and mountain meadows of central Europe's Alpine ranges, crossing the Arlberg Pass en route to Switzerland.
As the drama outside unfolds, you'll tuck into a sumptuous selection of pastries served in your oak-panelled cabin, or, the fineries of the train's new Grand Suites, which come complete with double bed and en-suite bathroom. In the evening, freshen up for a four-course dinner in the elegant dining car, where your waiter will serve the likes of Brittany lobster and saltmarsh lamb, all paired with a selection of the world’s finest wines.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included
Raise the blind to look out over an entirely different landscape. Take breakfast in your cabin after your private steward has turned it back into a plush seating area in a trice, so relax as you race across northern France towards the Channel, pausing briefly at Paris’ Gare du Nord en route. Then, back on home soil, you'll be treated to a wonderful afternoon tea on the Belmond British Pullman, complete with a glass of English sparkling wine, ending in London Victoria.
Breakfast & Lunch included
"This is the classic journey but in reverse and, for me, arguably the best way to experience the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. You'll begin with a flight out to Venice, staying in luxury and enjoying the best of this iconic city before saving the best for last with a luxurious trans-Alpine journey to savour. Best of all, this itinerary features the Belmond British Pullman for the last leg of the journey into London. The perfect end to the perfect holiday!"