Although Agatha Christie’s murder/mystery novel helped cement the old-world glamour of the Orient Express firmly in our collective consciousness, murders are actually fairly rare on this fantastic journey across Europe. It is the perfect way to share a unique travel expedition with your family though – taking you back to a time when train travel was the only way to get from one country to the other, and The Orient Express was the way to do it in style. This is what your family adventure on The Orient Express can be like. Check it out!
Photo by: Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho
What a Family Adventure on the Orient Express is Like
The Orient Express journey that was described by Agatha Christie can perhaps be seen as the classic route that was originally taken by the train. Having first begun in 1883, over the years there have been a number of changes to the route taken and the operator of the service. The journey that you can make today is known as the Venice-Simplon Orient Express and it will take you from London to Venice. This journey takes two days and one night (much shorter than the original trip to Istanbul). There are two different trains involved in this journey – firstly a British Pullman takes you from London Victoria station to Folkestone in Kent, then from Paris you board the Orient Express train with its sleeper cabins for the overnight travel.
The route taken
From Paris the train heads into Switzerland where it stops at Buchs, and then on into Austria for a stop at Innsbruck, before heading into Italy through the picturesque Dolomites. There is a brief stop at Verona before the journey ends at Santa Lucia station in Venice.
Traveling with children
Journeys on the Orient Express do work as a family holiday. If your children are under the age of two then they travel for free. If your children are aged between two and eleven, and they are sharing a double cabin with one adult, then you will receive a twenty per cent discount off the full fare price. Unfortunately the train is not suitable for people who require wheelchairs due to the age and configuration of the train. If you have walking difficulties it is recommended that you are accompanied by an able-bodied passenger to assist you as required.
Meals and Service Levels
A cabin steward is allocated to you throughout your journey on the train. The cabin steward is there to assist you with any requirements such as changing the configuration of your sleeping cabin from day-mode to night-mode. It is the cabin steward who will serve you breakfast and afternoon tea in your cabin, lunch and dinner are served in the restaurant cars. On your journey the other staff that will be assisting you include the Maitre d’ who will assist you with your lunch and dinner reservations. All meals on your journey are included in the cost of your fare. If you have any specific dietary requirements it is best to discuss these at the time of booking – the on-board chefs will generally be able to cater for all requirements. The train manager will also be on hand to assist you with any queries. Additional travel services such as accommodation or transfers can be booked for you.
All aboard the Orient Express – one of the world’s great train journeys and the perfect family expedition.