How much is a trip on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express?
One of the most common questions we are asked at LuxuryTrainTickets.com is ‘How much does it cost to go on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express?’. This is a question with a very complex answer and one we will explore throughout this guide.
When many think of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, they imagine a luxurious train famed by various novels and movies, but how much of this perception is true and how much is simply fantasy?
In this guide we explore what the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express was, what it is today and answer one of our most frequently asked questions, 'How much does it cost to ride the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express'?
How much did it cost to ride the original Orient Express?
In 1914, the price of a ticket from Paris to Istanbul would have cost 586 gold francs. In 1883, the inaugural journey would have cost 700 gold francs. Roughly £5,000/€5,800/$7,000 per ticket in today's money.
Today, authentic luxury train journey prices vary between £200/€250/$250 and £55,000/€63,000/$69,000 per ticket. It’s a huge range in price, but a luxury train ticket can vary massively depending on the train you are traveling on, the type of journey and where you are in the world.
See our Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Deals page for the latest offers on luxury train travel
Luxury train journey prices
- UK Day Trips start from £200/€230/$280 per person
- European Sleeper Trips start from £1,450/€1,680/$2,000 per person
- Scotland Sleeper Trips start from £3,000/€3,475/$4,185 per person
- Southeast Asian Sleeper Trips start from £2,200/€2,550/$3,070 per person
- Irish Sleeper Trips start from £3,050/€3,530/$4,250 per person
- Peruvian Sleeper Trips start from £1,100/€1,275/$1,535 per person
All that said, keep reading to find out why this only makes up a small portion of the answer.
What was the Orient Express?
First we must define what the Orient Express actually is, which is trickier than it might sound. The train was founded in 1883 but was originally called the 'Express d'Orient' before being renamed in 1891 to the 'Orient Express'.
The Orient Express was a train that took passengers on long-haul journeys across Europe, most famously starting in Paris and heading to distant European countries such as Vienna, Munich and Istanbul.
Popularity of the train and the journeys on offer didn't become popular until the 1930's during the 'Golden Age of Travel'. This is the time period most think of when they think of the Orient Express with elaborate décor, opulent meals and glamorous attire.
With an increase in popularity, two more Orient Express trains were created; the Simplon Orient Express and the Alberg Orient Express. Both offered similar style of journeys but took different routes.
Why you can no longer ride the Orient Express
Technically cannot ride the Orient Express in its original form. That's because it's difficult to define what the Orient Express really is.
Was it the original train? Was it any one of the Orient Express trains running during the Golden Age of Travel? Or was it indeed the name of the service as a whole rather than any particular train?
While the Orient Express was running, the carriages used were changed or upgraded to meet the demands of customers and the change in routes. And since the train used so many different carriages, how does one define what carriages make up the Orient Express?
Many of the original carriages were sold on, changed owners or were used for other journeys making them difficult to trace.
Sadly one can no longer ride the Orient Express for two reasons. The first is it is difficult to define what makes the Orient Express. Second the Orient Express officially retired from regular service in 2009.
Technically the trademark is owned by SNCF and they also own a train with original carriages used to make up the Orient Express, but sadly the train does not run a regular service and is only available to charter.
However if you are still keen to ride a train of a similar style and from the same era, you do have some options.
What does 'Orient Express' mean today?
The term 'Orient Express' these days is sometimes used to describe a style of train. Usually 'Orient Express' style trains are quite luxurious and some are restored carriages from the 1920s and 1930s.
In the same way many refer to vacuum cleaners as 'hoovers', which is actually a brand of vacuum cleaner, many people simply call all luxurious trains by the term 'Orient Express'.
Many simply don't realise what the Orient Express was, that the Orient Express is no longer in regular service and that there were and still are many more luxury trains available.
Going forward we are using the term 'Orient Express' to describe this style of trains.
Trip A Luxury Train Cost
Even today, many dream to ride aboard a luxury train and a journey onboard the original Orient Express would have been costly. That is still true of some of the longer, more exclusive journeys today. More expensive journeys tend to take between three and seven days and include private luxury accommodation with en-suite, fine cuisine for all meals and sometimes private tours of locations you visit along the way, such as stately homes, gardens and distilleries. The more expensive journeys tend to go for longer distances and even visit multiple countries, with the most expensive following a route close to the original Orient Express. These are very much once-in-a-lifetime journeys and are possibly the most luxurious way to visit multiple places all in the same trip.
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Luxury Train Day Trip Prices
The lowest priced luxury train journeys start from around £200/€230/$280 per person and include a round-trip, all meals onboard, steward service as well as teas, coffees and petits fours.
Some of the most affordable journeys are available in the UK. These cheap luxury train prices offer a taste of what it was like to be aboard the original Orient Express during the Golden Age of Travel, but for a fraction of the cost, proving that luxury train journeys UK train prices aren't always out of reach. Journeys like these are round trips, sometimes stopping at destinations, while others are simply a ride through the glorious British countryside, while you are treated to unrivalled levels of luxury and the finest cuisine.
Many of these journeys are dining journeys, such as Sunday lunches and Afternoon Teas, and take passengers on a scenic round-trips cross-country while passengers enjoy glorious cuisine onboard. Other UK journeys include excursions visiting popular UK destinations or even events. Journeys like these are usually aboard beautifully restored 1920s and 1930s carriages, most hauled by diesel but occasionally hauled by steam for special journeys.
Cheap luxury train journeys are ideal for treating someone special or for simply experiencing what the levels of opulence must have been like back in the early 1900’s. Take a look below at just some of the more affordable UK journeys we have on offer here at LuxuryTrainTickets.com
Luxury Train Journeys under £500/€570/$620
An luxury train journey price of £500, €570 or $620 USD per ticket allows you to experience day trips that take you further afield or offer even more luxury. Some luxury train journeys even add yet more authenticity by being pulled by a steam-powered locomotive as apposed to diesel. This healthier budget can even take you to some of the UK’s most prestigious events such as the Goodwood Revival, meaning you experience a truly memorable day both travelling to an event and the event it’s self.
A budget like this opens up many more journeys that tend to last the full day, head further afield and include more as standard. These journeys are likely to be excursions and include a brunch and dinner as well as time at leisure at the destination or specialist dining journeys hosted by celebrity chefs such as Raymond Blanc or Michel Roux Jr.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Journeys under £3,000/€3,500/$3,750
A budget of £3,000, €3,500 or $3,750 USD per ticket allows you to experience a Venice Simplon-Orient-Express style sleeper train across some of the world’s most beautiful countries. Your choice of journeys really does start to open up with this budget and allows you to experience unrivalled levels of luxury, night and day. It’s important to remember everything is included for this price, such as accommodation, all meals aboard the train, most alcoholic drinks, 24-hour steward service and occasionally on-board entertainment.
For this budget, you could also head to Southeast Asia for a journey on a modern-day Oriental Express that takes passengers between Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore in unrivalled levels of luxury, comparable to that found in a 5 star hotel.
Alternatively, you could board a luxury Irish sleeper train that offers luxurious journeys across the emerald isle. Ireland’s very own luxury sleeper train is a modern take on the traditional luxury sleeper train and offers incredibly luxurious cabins complete with en-suite shower and WC. 24 hour steward service ensures you have everything you need on board, while tours of Ireland’s beautiful highlights are all included in the ticket price.
But the most popular choice is to board one of the most luxurious trains in the world and explore Europe. This particular trains offers many one-night, one-way journeys that are just about available for this budget. A beautifully restored 1920s train with art deco influence, this is the ideal way to get a taste of luxury train travel and explore Europe in style.
Luxury Sleeper Train Journeys under £6,000/€6,900/$7,500
A healthy budget such as this opens up a world of options for a luxury sleeper train journey aboard one of the world's most beautiful trains. This budget opens up possibilities onboard a luxury train that travels across the Highlands of Scotland in unrivalled luxury. The train is so luxurious, it even includes it's own onboard spa!
For this price, you are invited to explore some of Scotland’s famous stately homes, gardens & distilleries on your very own private tour, in between your two to seven nights aboard what can only be described as luxury on wheels.
Everything is included in the ticket price - All excursions meals and even selected drinks from the bar. Prices for journeys like this tend to start from £4,000 per person.
Luxury Sleeper Train Journeys over £6,000/€6,900/$7,500
With a budget of £6,000, €6,900, $7,500 USD or more per ticket, the world really is your oyster. Choose from any luxury sleeper train in the world and head where ever your heart desires. For this budget, you could experience the best the Scottish luxury train has to offer. This particular tour takes you all over the United Kingdom from Scotland, to Wales, England and back over seven nights of unrivalled luxury.
Alternatively, you could experience some of the longer journeys onboard the European Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train. For this budget, you could upgrade your cabin to something larger and even more luxurious. You could also embark on a return journey that even includes leisure time at a particular European city of interest.
If you really want to experience the best of the best, you could experience the original luxury sleeper train route, Paris to Istanbul. A five-night journey, three of which are onboard while two are spent in luxurious hotels, where you transverse Europe in unrivalled luxury and are treated to special VIP tours. Expect tickets for a journey such as this to start from around £18,000/€21,000/$26,000 per person.
Complimentary Concierge Service: We’re here to help
Our complimentary concierge service is always on-hand to offer the best advice or to find you the perfect journey. Our experts are able to make the impossible possible and can work within budgets, dates, timeframes and destinations to get you the perfect luxury train journey. If you need anything at all, we are here. Unlike some operators, we don’t have a call centre, and instead pride ourselves on our small team of experts whose job is to simply advise customers on journeys and trains to ensure they have a memorable journey.
When looking for trips on a luxury train, we are the experts. At LuxuryTrainTickets.com, we do things differently from other ticket providers and offer trips on luxury trains at prices most can’t match. We work closely with the train operators, meaning we can usually offer a price that matches, if not beats the advertised price if you were to book direct. Plus, we usually have promotional codes available at certain times of the year meaning you’ll be getting an even better price on your luxury train ticket. Plus we’re always happy to take a deposit and let you pay the balance when you like, as long as the journey is paid in full 15 weeks before departure.
So should you need any help finding your perfect journey, have questions about any of the trains or routes featured here, or would just like to know more about luxury train travel, please contact us either by phone, email or live chat and we’ll be more than happy to help.