Rail News


October 08 , 2021

The ‘Orient Express’ is a real train — and taking a ride is not cheap

October 7, 2021 (EU)

Before the dawn of private jets and business class flights, royalty and high society members traveled through Europe onboard luxury trains.

Now anyone can do it — if they are willing and able to spend £1,700 ($2,300) for a one-night trip.

That’s the starting rate to go from Florence to Paris aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, a historic luxury train operated by the LVMH-owned Belmond travel brand.Other routes cost more — much more.
The prices, however, don’t seem to deter rail enthusiasts. Many journeys sell every seat.
“2019 was a record year for Venice Simplon-Orient-Express that saw our revenue increase by 70% compared to those in 2015,” said Gary Franklin, vice president of Belmond’s trains and cruises.
When passenger journeys restarted in June, travelers again booked some routes solid.
“We are certainly seeing a revival of rail travel post-pandemic,” Franklin told CNBC. “With more and more travelers discovering ... slow travel, we anticipate that this rise in demand and interest will continue.

The historic Orient Express service

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express comprises 11 sleeping cars, three restaurant cars, one bar car and two staff cars, making it the longest passenger train in Europe, said Franklin.
But it’s not just an ordinary train. Each of the 17 carriages was once part of Europe’s iconic Orient Express, a train service that connected Paris to Istanbul beginning in 1883. The service later expanded to cities across Europe, reaching its “heyday” between World War I and World War II, said Franklin.


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