- Location: From Paris to Istanbul
- Attraction Type: A fabled train journey
- Significance: An unforgettable train journey through varying landscapes of Europe
- Best Time to Visit: March to November
- How to Reach: Orient Express can be boarded from Paris, Venice, Rome, Vienna,
Budapest, Istanbul, Warsaw, Krakow, Prague, and London
- Nearest International Airports: International airports in London, Paris, Rome, Venice,
Vienna, Prague, Warsaw, Krakow, Budapest, & Istanbul
Orient Express epitomizes luxury train travel not only in Europe but also in the world. European Orient Express, in reality, is a deluxe world on wheels where you are pampered with great hospitality. Board the Orient Express and transport yourself to the gracious period of imperial Europe.
This historic train journey has been an inspiration for the creation of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ by Agatha Christie. Ian Fleming was also immensely motivated by this train while penning ‘From Russia with Love’. Graham Greene’s Stamboul Train is also based on Orient Express.
The original ‘Orient Express’ or ‘Express d’Orient’, from Paris to Vienna, commenced its journey in June 1883. The first train comprised 2 baggage cars, 3 sleeping coaches of 14 beds each, one 16-bedded sleeping coach, and one restaurant coach. The food supplied included soup with Italian pasta, oysters, chicken ‘a la chasseur’, beef fillet chateau served with potatoes, turbot with green sauce, lettuce, chocolate pudding, and desserts. Subsequently, the route was extended to Istanbul in 1899.
In the 1930s two other services of Orient Express in Europe have introduced: the Venice Simplon Orient Express connecting Belgrade, Sofia, and Istanbul, and the Arlberg Orient Express connecting Zurich, Innsbruck, Vienna, Budapest, and Athens. As of now, the original Orient Express railway plies between Strasbourg and Vienna. The Venice — Simplon Orient Express is currently the most sought after.
The premier journeys of Venice — Simplon Orient Express operate from Venice to Paris, Paris to Istanbul, Istanbul to Venice, and Venice to London. You could choose any of the routes at your convenience.
You feel the difference immediately on your arrival to the platform for boarding the fabled Orient Express. Individual stewards guide you to your desired compartment featured by glistening wood, shining brass, and spotless linen. From the luxury of your coupe enjoy the magnificence of the changing landscape as the train glides through dales, woods, mountain foothills, and pastures.
A comfortable private lounge with a banquet sofa, footstool and a small table in the day is converted to a cabin with an upper and lower bed in the night for retiring. A washbasin with hot and cold water supply, 230 and 115-volt electric sockets and a steward bell makes your stay hassle-free.
Dining is an elaborate affair on board the Orient Express. French chefs prepare delectable recipes from freshly bought ingredients. Brunch, lunch, and dinner are served in three separate restaurant cars: Chinoise, Etoile du Nord, and Lalique by waiters. While from the comfort of your cabin you could enjoy your breakfast and evening tea. In case you want to have your lunch or dinner in the privacy of your cabin, you just need to order for the same to the Maitre D.
Indulge yourself by spending an exclusive evening in the Bar Car of the Orient Express. Sip the best wines and champagnes to the accompaniment of a piano recital. Surrender yourself to the ambiance of this marvelous moving bar which at one point of time was patronized by the likes of Alan Wicker, Gregory Peck, and Cher.
Related Links :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzYu6DT9AuA: For great views of the classy interiors of the magnificent Orient Express, click on this link! The journey is as sweet as the elderly couple around whom the clip is woven.