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“Once in a lifetime trip London to Venice”

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Day Trips
Ranked #75 of 716 Tours in London
Certificate of Excellence
Type: Rail Tours, Tours
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Attraction details
Owner description: A work of art in itself and a true Art Deco icon, the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train offers a journey unlike any other. Step aboard and you enter a more gracious, elegant age of travel. Romance, adventure and style are all intimately bound up in journeys and tours that depart from London and criss-cross Europe, rolling through sublime scenery to some of the continent’s most alluring cities.
Useful Information: Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 8 April 2014

Yes, it's everything you expect and others' descriptions are accurate - attentive staff, outstanding food throughout (how they do it in tiny kitchen galleys beats me). We were delayed on the coach going under the Channel because of a train failure, but that was not the VSOE's fault. At least we knew we wouldn't miss our connection and indeed the Orient Express train was waiting for us, staff stood to attention outside, when we finally got to Calais Station. Dinner on the first night was a highlight. People made good effort to dress for the event. The journey on the second day through the Swiss Alps was sensational. But don't expect to get much sleep in the overnight bit because of the train noise and constant stopping/starting. No-one seemed to get murdered and there was no sign of James Bond on the train, but life is full of these trivial disappointments. Wouldn't do it again; it really is a once in a lifetime experience, but glad we did it.

2  Thank Charles O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrunoJanssens, Manager at Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Day Trips, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2014

Thank you for your very nice comments following your recent trip on board the VSOE.
We are very happy to see that you seemed to have enjoyed the train and the whole experience of traveling back in time that we are trying to offer our guests. The food, indeed, is a big part of the experience, as well as the landscapes, especially chosen, to make it a unique trip.
We would love to welcome you back on another one of our many other European destinations.

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276 - 280 of 488 reviews

Reviewed 5 April 2014

We stayed 2 nights in Venice at The Cipriani (part of the VSOE family) then travelled on the VSOE train from Venice to Calais where we transferred to luxury coach, for the trip through the Channel Tunnel, before joining the British Pullman at Folkestone. This is luxury all the way with superb service and sublime food. Thanks go to Rupert our carriage steward who was always helpful, efficient and smiling. The train is superbly decorated in Art Deco style and very comfortable (for a train!). There is a bar car where a pianist entertains you while you are having a relaxed drink and two beautiful dining cars where the staff work magic producing top quality food (2 sittings at each meal). We were served lunch, afternoon tea and a sumptuous dinner (black tie so a great chance for the ladies to don their finery) on day 1 then breakfast (in your cabin) and brunch on day 2. Then you have to make room for afternoon tea on the British Pullman - it's hard work! The journey is an interesting one with superb views, particularly in the Dolomites as you travel through the Brenner Pass. A half hour stop at Innsbruck gives you a rare opportunity to stretch your legs and take some photographs - the staff are very good at posing for and taking photographs for you. Nothing is too much trouble. You feel as though you are the most important person on the train. It may be an expensive trip but it is worth every penny. If you get the chance do not miss out.

2  Thank Linda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrunoJanssens, Manager at Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Day Trips, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2014

Thank you very much for your very nice comments regarding your recent trip from Venice to London. We are very happy to read that you most enjoyed the service provide by your cabin steward, Rupert. We offer, indeed, many different routes throughout Europe, each with beautiful landscapes allowing our passengers to get a glimpse at areas where cars cannot reach.
We would hope, that in a few years, you decide to travel with us again!!

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Reviewed 4 April 2014

Is it the fault of Tripadvisor or the contributors who’ve placed reviews on this listing?
On here, I see reviews for a “Mothering Sunday Lunch”, trips from “Bangkok to Singapore” and others, as the title states “Venice Simplon-Orient-Express”. Lots of the reviews did not go anywhere near Venice.
Surely these reviews are for totally different train journeys? Done on different trains, in different parts of the world with different staff?
The London to Venice Simplon-Orient-Express deserves a rating more typical of the EXCELLENT service, SUPERB food, IMPECCABLY mannered cabin stewards and dining car staff, LUXURIOUS dining cars travelling through MAGNIFICENT scenery. I could go on but the “Excellent” reviewers have said it all before. Our trip on the Orient Express from London to Venice and home again were both truly memorable. We would do it again!
They tell me if you order a Rolls Royce you don’t ask the price. This is a Rolls Royce, get it ordered! !

3  Thank Sophien2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrunoJanssens, Manager at Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Day Trips, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2014

Thank you very much for your very nice comments following your trip on board the VSOE.
It is, indeed, a pity that we have not yet been able to resolve this issue with TripAdvisor regarding our different trains ending up on the VSOE page. But I know it is being looked at.
We were very glad to read that you seemed to have truly enjoyed your journey with us, from start to finish. You are a true train "aficionados" and you have understood what this train is all about and what we are trying to give to our guests, with our own limitations!!
We would delighted to welcome you back on board VSOE.

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Reviewed 31 March 2014

Check-in at Hualamphong station on platform 12 went smoothly and we were given our cabin number and picked which seating we wanted for lunch and dinner. Majority of the passengers appeared to be traveling with a group; German, American or Japanese. Observation car is at the back of the train and I was surprised that there were only a few people present to see the departure from Bangkok at around 5:50p. Train stopped during the night for 4+ hours which enabled a good sleep.

Arrived at Wang Po at 6:30a and many people were up to take photos of the 300 m long wooden trestle bridge, River Kwai station a couple of hours later, then a short trip on the river to the Thailand- Burma Railway Museum. This is of great interest to anyone from a Commonweath country as so many men worked and died building this railway and survived on not much more than boiled rice. Across the road from the museum is one of the war cemeteries. Very sad to see how many young lives were lost.

Scenery has been covered in many reports so will just cover my view of the train. Service was outstanding, meals were varied and cooked to perfection and as good as i have had anywhere in the world. Other people also remarked that the meals were 5 star. Most people made an effort to dress for dinner and men wore jackets and ties. We took a State cabin as we're past doing bunk beds! The train ride is quite jerky at times, especially in Thailand and would not like to be the person in the top bunk. In one instance, our travel clock and bottled water fell off the table.

For an in depth report of the journey, would thoroughly recommend reading; Around the World by rail, part 3, Bangkok to Singapore by Graham Boynton. Telegraph.co.uk/railworld.

2  Thank kiwi4ever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nicolas P, General Manager at Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Day Trips, responded to this reviewResponded 10 April 2014

Thank you very much for choosing Eastern & Oriental Express to be part of your holiday. Moreover, we appreciate you taking the time to write such a comprehensive overview of your journey. We would be honoured to welcome you back on board to experience another route in South East Asia, should your travels bring you back in the region!

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Reviewed 31 March 2014

If you never make another railway journey then make this one! There is much written about how good it is (and it really is good!) so a few notes on making it perhaps better for yourselves.

1. At Victoria, either check-in early and then go off and do some shopping or have breakfast or check in after 10 am when the queues have subsided. Check-in staff are highly efficient, very courteous and very friendly. They will take your luggage and you won't see it again until you get on board the VSOE in Calais (or Venice if you opt to load in the lauggage car). The British Pullman journey to Folkstone is a joy: beautifully refurbished cariages, an excellent brunch, wonderful service and the Bellini's are delicious! Your transfer from Folkestone to Calais is well-organised, swift and comfortable. Take a nap whilst in the 'Chunnel'
2. Dress smartly - it just adds to the whole occasion and you won't feel out of place. Men: jackets and ties - absolutely NO jeans and trainers. Ladies: Day-time elegance is called for here.
3. Luggage: the rackpsace on the VSOE will easily take two cases of the size accepted by most airlines as cabin luggage and at least one suit-carrier (ours had a suit, dress and three pairs of shoes crammed inside). There are coat hooks and hangers provided in the cabins.
4. Washing: Cabin basins are small with toiletries provided. Enough space for a body-wash (it's only one night after all!)
5. The loo's at the end of each sleeping carriage are large, clean, warm and are regularly checked for such cleanliness. All have shaver points.
6. The food is of excellent quality and quantity. Each menu has a Table d'Hote and A la carte options.
7. If you buy a bottle of wine and don't finish it then the waiter will keep it for your next meal
8. Drinks are expensive - be prepared! But how often do you have the opportunity to sit in a 1930's bar surrounded by such opulance, a pianist and being waited on hand and foot? It's the VSOE - live a little!
9. Take ear-plugs - the bunks are comfortable, the cabins are warm but it can be noisy. The movement of the train migt rock you to sleep (have a Manhatten first!) but hey, it's only ONE night!
10. Leave a tip. The VSOE staff work hard - your cabin will be cleaned as often as needed and you never have to lift a finger - not even to get your bag off the rack!
11. Book a water Taxi (private or shared) to get from the Station to your hotel - it's fun and it save a lot of hassle. You arrive de-stressed and your bags may even beat you to your room! VSOE staff can arrange your transfer on board the train before you arrive in Venice. You'll be met and escorted to your taxi.
12. Dress for the occasion. Men, wear your best Tuxedo, Ladies, you just can't be too overdressed for this.
13. Take time to read about the cariages you're riding in, they are just packed with history!
14. Unless you are very wealthy this will be, (like most poeple ride the train), a once in a lifetime experience - go with the flow and enjoy it to the full.

14  Thank Irizar1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrunoJanssens, Manager at Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Day Trips, responded to this reviewResponded 16 December 2014

Thank you very much for your extended comments following your journey on board the VSOE.
It is lovely to see how accurate & detailed your comments are, this prove how much your enjoyed everything on board!!!
Do come see us again!!

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