The Iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Train Will Start Running in December for the First Time Ever

·2 min read

The Belmond Train is extending its operating season to offer gorgeous European train trips during the most festive month of the year.

<p>Courtesy of Belmond</p>

Courtesy of Belmond

Each December, Christmas markets pop up in historic city squares across Europe, with snow dusting cobblestone streets, and tea light–lined alleyways looking merry and bright.

For the first time ever, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train, has extended its annual season by a month to include 10 itineraries in December, allowing travelers to take in the splendors of festive season across the continent (and maybe even stop in at a Christmas market en route). The routes connect Italian cities Venice, Verona, and Florence with Paris, with an additional route connecting Paris and Vienna.

<p>Courtesy of Belmond</p>

Courtesy of Belmond

The one-night journeys are an all-out luxury experience, taken aboard a series of 17 1920s- and 1930s-era train carriages. Guests board the train just before dinner, a four-course meal by chef Jean Imbert, who will create a seasonal menu for the December itineraries. After-dinner drinks are served in Bar Car '3674,' home to a resident pianist who will happily take requests.

<p>Courtesy of Belmond</p>

Courtesy of Belmond

If you're ready to retire for the night, your luxurious accommodations await. They range from historic cabins with twin bunk berths to opulent Grand Suites with marble en-suite baths, 24-hour butler service, and limitless Champagne. (The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will also launch new art deco–inspired suites in June 2023 — they include the same over-the-top amenities as the Grand Suites, plus a kimono and slippers to take home.)

And aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, night owls who aren't ready to let the evening end can tuck into midnight brunch in the Bar Car, with Champagne and treats like lobster rolls and truffled club sandwiches.

<p>Courtesy of Belmond</p>

Courtesy of Belmond

In the morning, a continental breakfast is served to your cabin, and it's followed by a few leisurely hours of gazing at the winter scenery rushing past. If you haven't had enough to eat, a three-course lunch is served before you disembark the train.

Rates for the December itineraries on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train, start from approximately $3,400 per person for a one-night itinerary; you can book your trip here.