The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - COVER STORY -


Bel­mond (0845 077 2222; bel­, the com­pany which runs the Venice Sim­plonOri­ent-Ex­press of­fers a range of ex­pe­ri­ences.

Paris-Is­tan­bul This is the one for con­nois­seurs, the clos­est it gets to the sig­na­ture jour­ney of the Ori­ent Ex­press and the jour­ney fre­quently re­ferred to as the Grand Tour. Next year’s out­bound trip runs from Au­gust 24-29; the re­turn – to Paris rather than Venice in 2018 – runs from Au­gust 31 to Septem­ber 5. Five nights com­bin­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion in Bu­dapest and Bucharest and three nights on the train starts from £13,986 for two adults shar­ing out­bound; £13,320 re­turn.

Lon­don-Venice Through­out the sea­son from March to Novem­ber, the train trav­els from Lon­don to Venice or vice versa, via Paris. Dur­ing the two-day jour­ney, you will see lakes, moun­tains and rolling coun­try­side and and dress for a din­ner that reaches Miche­lin star stan­dards. From £2,129 per per­son based on two shar­ing.

Lon­don-Ber­lin Last year saw the launch of a new jour­ney from Lon­don-Ber­lin for those want­ing a fresh take on a tra­di­tional ex­pe­ri­ence. The

chug-chug of mo­tion. The longer the jour­ney goes on the more you get used to it. That said there were no com­plaints about a night at the Gre­sham Palace, a mon­u­ment to Art Nou­veau mag­nif­i­cence di­rectly over­look­ing the city’s daz­zling Chain Bridge and a very el­e­gant Four Sea­sons ho­tel.

While Lake Bala­ton – a small di­ver­sion south from Bu­dapest – of­fered an al­most Mediter­ranean mo­ment of re­pose, the jour­ney took a very dif­fer­ent turn as we crossed into Aus­tria dur­ing the course of our fi­nal night on board. Some cel­e­brated the mo­ment – at about one in the morn­ing – with an­other night­cap in the Pi­ano Bar. Oth­ers waited for the dawn and the thrill of draw­ing the blind for a first glimpse of Alpine huts, rush­ing streams and the ma­jes­tic moun­tains them­selves, route seeks to rekin­dle some of the glam­our of the 1920s when Ber­lin was a post-war me­trop­o­lis with a flour­ish­ing arts and cabaret scene. The jour­ney de­parts Lon­don June 21, 2018 ar­riv­ing in the Ger­man cap­i­tal the fol­low­ing day. From £2,365 per per­son, based on two shar­ing.

Mur­der Mys­tery This jour­ney, in­volv­ing short trips within the UK on board the Bel­mond Bri­tish Pull­man, sis­ter train to the Venice Sim­plon-Ori­en­tEx­press, seeks to en­gage would-be de­tec­tives with a mur­der mys­tery to solve dur­ing the course of a jour­ney in which lunch is also served. From £340 per per­son with de­par­ture dates through­out the year

some al­ready capped with snow.

More vis­ual stim­u­la­tion awaited as we crossed the Bren­ner and came into that part of Italy known as the South Tirol (or Alte Adigo) and the drama of the Dolomites.

Scenery wise this was prob­a­bly the high­light of the trip and it was fit­ting that as we ap­proached Venice it­self we had time to re­flect on what ev­ery­one I spoke to con­sid­ered to have been a jour­ney that not only met but ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tion. Is­tan­bul felt like a very long time ago.

There may not have been a mur­der on board – but there was mys­tery and magic and music at pretty much ev­ery step of the way.

It’s cer­tainly the best train I have ever trav­elled on.

Mur­der on the Ori­ent Ex­press is re­leased on Novem­ber 3

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