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Luxury rail and sail with the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Cruise Advice

Evoking a golden age of rail travel, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is an icon of art deco design, with its polished wood, sumptuous upholstery and antique fixtures.

Travel across Europe in unmatched luxury, where unique dining experiences abound, including leisurely four-course dinners, refined lunches, breakfasts served in the comfort of your cabin, and brunch or traditional English afternoon tea depending on the journey. Elegant Twin Cabins allow you to admire the passing scenery from your plush seats, and are transformed at night into inviting bedrooms, while the Cabin Suites offer extra space to unwind. The exquisite Grand Suites have interiors inspired by Paris, Venice and Istanbul and provide every modern comfort; spacious ensuites and impeccable cabin service complete the experience.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Grand Suite

There is no better way to join or return home from your cruise than this most refined of rail journeys. We have combed through the extensive 2021 and 2022 schedules, some of which has already sold out, to find the best cruise combinations with a number of different Venice Simplon-Orient-Express journeys.

1. London to Venice + Cruise

The classic London to Venice overnight journey begins when you board the Belmond British Pullman train at London Victoria station. After crossing the Channel, board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and travel through magnificent mountain scenery and rolling countryside.

In 2021, depart London on 5th August 2021, crossing the Venetian Lagoon and arriving into Santa Lucia station in time to embark Silversea's 388-guest Silver Shadow for a fantastic 9-night cruise along the Adriatic coast to Athens, calling at Rovinj, Zadar, Vis, Hvar, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Argostoli, Amorgos, and Santorini.

Silver Shadow - Pool deck

In 2022, leave London for Venice on 8th May and embark on Crystal Symphony's 7-night sailing from Venice to Rome, which begins with an overnight on board in Venice and visits Split, Corfu, Taormini and Sorrento, finishing in Rome.

Crystal Symphony - Silk Kitchen

2. Cruise + Venice to London

The best way to avoid the disembarkation blues is to continue your holiday, and knowing that you're swapping the tiresome airport terminal for an iconic rail journey is the perfect tonic.

In 2022 you could opt for Regent's 10-night Athens to Venice sailing, departing on 15th May on Seven Seas Voyager, which calls at Mykonos, Santorini, Gythion, Corfu, Bari, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Split and ends with an overnight stay in Venice, then join the 25th May Venice Simplon-Orient-Express journey from Venice to London.

Regent Seven Seas Voyager

Alternatively, Silversea's 10th August 2022 Venice round-trip on-board Silver Spirit, calling at Opatija, Split, Hvar, Dubrovnik, Zadar and Trieste, combines perfectly with returning from Venice on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express on 17th August.

Silver Spirit pool deck

3. London to Budapest + Cruise

This less common overnight route begins with a morning departure from London Victoria aboard the Belmond British Pullman. After a coach from Folkestone to Cheriton and shuttle to Calais, you'll settle in to your private cabin aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express to travel past Alpine peaks, undulating meadows and crystal-clear lakes.

In 2022 begin your overnight journey from London on 4th May, enjoy an overnight hotel stay with time to explore Budapest (we recommend Hotel Palazzo Zichy on the Pest side of the river), and then join AmaWaterways' popular 7-night Melodies of the Danube itinerary, which offers time in Bratislava, Vienna, Durnstein, Linz (for Salzburg), Passau and Vilshofen.

Horse and carriage in Salzburg, Austria

4. Cruise + Budapest to London

AmaWaterways' Romantic Danube river cruise begins on 23rd October 2021 in Vilshofen, where you can explore the beautiful old town before cruising to Passau. From Linz opt for a full-day excursion to Salzburg, stopping at the famed Basilica St. Michael en route. Cruise through the Strudengau and Wachau valleys to Weissenkirchen, gateway to Dürnstein. Explore Vienna and Bratislava and then enjoy an overnight on board in Budapest, after which you'll join the overnight Venice Simplon-Orient-Express journey to London.

AmaWaterways cruising on the Danube river in Bratislava, Slovakia

5. Cruise + Prague to London

Join Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection's 30th September 2022 itinerary aboard the beautiful River Princess, a 7-night journey from Vienna to Nuremberg that visits Weissenkirchen, Passau, the Bavarian Forest National Park and Regensburg. After disembarking in Nuremberg you'll travel to Prague for an overnight hotel stay, then board your train to London on 8th October, departing Prague after lunch and arriving in London the following evening. On board you'll enjoy a delicious four-course dinner in one of the splendid restaurant cars, and the following morning you'll approach the French coast. After your Channel crossing, board the Belmond British Pullman for the journey to London, with a traditional afternoon tea accompanied by a glass of English sparkling wine served on board.

Prague Old Town

6. Cruise + Istanbul to Paris (and London to Venice)

This extraordinary journey combines a 12-night sailing from Venice on Oceania's 684-guest Nautica, with her particularly appealing suite accommodation, and a breathtaking 5-night Venice Simplon-Orient-Express adventure across Europe, from the colourful bazaars of Istanbul to the enchanting lights of Paris. Depart Venice on 14th August 2021 to call at Ancona, Korcula, Monopoli, Santorini, Athens, Paros, Rhodes, Ephesus and Pergamum, finishing with an overnight stay on board in Istanbul, before disembarking for a further one night hotel stay in the city.

Oceania Insignia - Pool deck

Then board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and travel overnight to Bucharest, arriving just after lunch for an overnight stay at the Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel. Rejoin the train for another overnight journey to Budapest via the mountain town of Sinaia, home of the Peles Castle, visited by the first VSOE guests in 1883. Finally, travel through the vineyards and forests of Hungary and enjoy your last night on board en route to Paris, arriving after a farewell lunch. You'll complete your journey home by Eurostar. You could even add the London-Venice journey and an overnight Venice stay before the cruise to create the most amazing no-fly journey.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express dining car

7. Cruise + Rome to Paris

Although much of the convenience of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is to begin or end you trip within striking distance of home, this unusual journey combines perfectly with Hapag-Lloyd's Europa 2, consistently rated the world's best cruise ship. Your journey starts on 26th July 2022 with an overnight on board in Monte Carlo, befor visiting Antibes, Portofino, Livorno, Portoferraio, Saint-Florent, Bonifacio and Sorrento, disembarking in Rome. Join the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for an evening departure, with dinner severed on board, arriving in Paris the following morning, where you can choose to stay a few nights or hop on the Eurostar back to London.

Hapag-Lloyd - MS Europa 2 - Pool deck
Alex Loizou
Meet the author

Director of Sales & Marketing at Mundy Cruising

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