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The Luxury Express: Exclusive $8,500 Ticket Through the Heart of Europe


When it comes to luxury traveling, the possibilities are endless.  The Venice Simplon-Orient Express is renowned for its opulent train cars, which will take passengers from Paris to Portofino across two days in June. While the Belmond train stopped running its British Pullman service this past November, the Simplon-Orient’s extravagant summer plans are keeping luxury trains alive.


Corridor of the Venice Simplon-Orient Express


Starting in the heart of France, the Express leaves Paris at 3 p.m. for its glamorous journey. It winds through France past Dijon, Avignon, and Lyon, and then trundles along the Côte d’Azur, before crossing into Italy. At 1 p.m. the next day, it reaches its final destination in Santa Margherita Ligure, the gateway town to Portofino. 


As glorious as it may be, the Express’s one-way-only tickets may cause a headache for travelers. Passengers will have to take a regional train to Genoa and Milan before continuing to Paris on the Swiss track Frecciarossa. Then and now, guests are surrounded by unrivaled furnishings, marquetry design, and legendary artifacts – each with a story of their own.


Cabin Suite Campagne


The train journey is not the only thing included in its $8,500 price tag. Belmond offers splendid and luxurious services along the way, like the exquisite dishes and exotic cocktails in Michelin-starred chef Jean Imbert’s five-course tasting menu. . Guests will dine in style while the resident pianist or a lively swing band provides evening ambiance.


Chef Jean Imbert


This luxury trip will be the train’s maiden voyage to the Italian Riviera, with plans to make it an annual route. Eight new suites onboard have debuted in 2023. 


Inside, the Express boasts historic cabins that hold iconic moments in time. Inspiring artists, socialites, actors, and even royalty have graced the suites of the finest train  on the tracks. Supermodel Kate Moss, Author Agatha Christie, and French President Paul Dechanel are just some  of the celebrities who enjoyed the luxury travel experience on the VSOE (Venice Simplon-Orient Express). 



Kate Moss from her Instagram


Now a streamlined train, the VSOE is a collection of vintage carriages. They were found abandoned in railway sidings and backyard gardens and bought by businessman James Sherwood, founder of the now-named Belmond travel group . Each carriage has been exquisitely restored withpolished wood and richly colored upholstery. 


The Orient Express Company has an extravagant collection of trains,every one of them unique and splendid. Their engines arrived in Italy for what was presumed the last time  in 1977, but in the coming years, a deluxe set of new 11-carriage trains will glide through 131 cities and a host of countries around the world. 


These wonderful trains have also made their mark on pop culture through their appearance in films.  For Wes Anderson, extraordinary narratives alone were not enough to make his movies shine. The French Dispatch director partnered with Belmond to craft a unique visual environment for his story. Anderson has even redesigned various carriages aboard the British Pullman train, which operates in London. Belmond describes the carriage as a “tribute to both the golden age of cinema and travel”.



Film Director Wes Anderson - British Pullman Train



While not suitable for every budget, those who can afford a treat will find a phenomenal choice in the Simplon-Orient Express. Among all the amenities the glamorous train has to offer, the experience alone of touring Europe on the luxury route is priceless. This once-in-a-lifetime experience has changed the very concept of train travel forever.


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