The crystal glasses are gleaming, the silver is polished, marquetry panels varnished and cabins prepared; arrangements are complete for the start of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express’ 2013 season.
This year sees the train head to Scandinavia on a new and exciting itinerary from Venice to Stockholm via Copenhagen and the restoration of two of the 17 iconic carriages, keeping the romance of train travel alive.
New for 2013 are a series of rail adventures to Scandinavia, visiting Stockholm for the first time in the train’s history.
Departing Venice on April 8th, the VSOE will travel through Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Germany before heading via Copenhagen to Stockholm, linking three historically rich and diverse cities by an extraordinary rail experience.
The classic overnight journey from London to Venice via Paris, and vice versa, leaves regularly throughout the season and is a highlight of the schedule, as is the annual voyage to Istanbul; stopping along the way overnight in Bucharest and Budapest.
This signature voyage, once a favourite of Agatha Christie, departs Paris on August 30th and returns to Venice on September 6th 2013.
On May 22nd and October 23rd, the train will depart from Venice to London via Budapest and Vienna on an insightful four-night journey.
Alternatively, the journey from Venice to London via Prague will depart on May 1st, June 5th and October 2nd discovering the charming capital of the Czech Republic.
The vintage carriages, often referred to as ‘museums on rails’ and filled with Art Deco charm, are kept in pristine condition with the help of expert artisans, as they were during the 1920’s.
Unknown to guests who will travel on the train in 2013, over the recent winter months there have been a series of refurbishments to two of the three restaurant cars.
The intricate works, carefully planned years in advance, started once the season ended in November 2012 and keep the train looking as fresh as they did when they first took to the rails, resplendent with the charm of the Golden Age of Travel.
The initial steps included removing all furnishings before sandblasting, then painting the exterior in the iconic royal blue shade followed by lashings of shining varnish, so the VSOE will sparkle all through the season.