Paris-Istanbul Annual Journey


6-day Escorted Tour

Luxury

The Tour

This once-a-year, week-long luxury rail voyage recreates the original Orient-Express route: Paris-Istanbul. Travel through seven countries in elegant style. Food, wine, service, off-train tours, atmosphere: everything is over-the-top.

Board in Paris for your journey through France, Switzerland and Austria towards Budapest. Overnight at a five-star Budapest hotel, then continue through Hungary and into Romania. Enjoy the next day and night in Bucharest at yet another grand hotel.

The next day, stop in Bulgaria before enjoying your last night and day on board as the Orient-Express train arrives in Istanbul.

Special Report: Click here for travel notes from the Society’s celebratory 20th anniversary Paris-Istanbul Orient-Express trip, written by Owen Hardy, Society founder, for the Gentleman’s Gazette.

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“…Whoever the mastermind was, he or she has a flair for the dramatic. At every stop, our train was met by everything from Budapest’s red-jacketed Hungarian military band to native-clad dancers at the Turkish border to the exotic, reedy whine of Ottoman-style Turkish musicians in Istanbul.”

— Owen Hardy, The International Railway Traveler

The Itinerary

Day 1: Board VSOE in Paris
Board the gleaming blue and gold carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express at Paris Gare de l’ Est, mid afternoon. After being greeted by your personal steward, settle into your private cabin and relax with a delightful afternoon tea. Later enjoy a delicious gourmet dinner on board and overnight on the train.

Day 2: Hungary
Relax and enjoy the sublime scenery as the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express travels into Hungary. Continental breakfast is served in your cabin and lunch will be taken in one of the opulent dining cars. Afternoon tea is served later in the journey. On arrival in Budapest transfer to your luxury hotel. Dinner and overnight in Budapest.

Day 3: Budapest
After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy a private guided tour of the city Budapest, with lunch at a local restaurant included. The city is divided by the mighty Danube river into ‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’. Rejoin the train late afternoon and perhaps enjoy an aperitif in the Bar Car before dinner as the train travels into Romania. Overnight on board.

Day 4: Sinaia; Bucharest
After breakfast, the train arrives at the mountain town of Sinaia. Disembark for a visit to beautiful Peles Castle, which was also visited by the very first Orient-Express passengers in 1883. Rejoin the train to complete the short journey to Bucharest. On arrival transfer to the Athenée Palace Hilton Hotel where a late lunch is served. In the afternoon there will be a short city sightseeing tour. Dinner and overnight in Bucharest.

Day 5: Bulgaria
This morning, rejoin the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express as the train travels south across the Danube and into Bulgaria. During the afternoon, a stop is made to enjoy this pretty, rural country. Lunch and dinner are served on board the train, as your journey continues. This final night is spent on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

Day 6: Istanbul
Early this morning the train enters Turkey and crosses the beautiful Thracian Plain. After breakfast and lunch on board, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express arrives in Istanbul about 4:15 p.m., at the end of a fascinating and unique journey across seven countries and cultures. A highlight of the trip: chugging into Istanbul, gazing out the open windows for a fabulous first view of the sparkling Sea of Marmara.

2017 Dates:

August 25-30

2018 Dates:

August 24-29

The Prices

2017 Prices
Accommodations Price Deposit
Double Cabin £7,326 15%
Cabin Suite £13,475 15%

Please note prices are in British pounds. Prices are per person and are subject to change.

2018 Price
Accommodations Price Deposit
Double Cabin £6,660 15%
Cabin Suite £10,656 15%
Grand Suite £15,500 15%
Please note tour is priced in British pounds.
For cabin descriptions, please click here.

2018 Single Pricing: Sole use of double cabin: £10,656. Sole use of Cabin Suite: £17,050.

For approximate exchange rates, visit http://www.xe.com.

Prices are per person.

Pricing varies based on availability and date. Prices are subject to change daily. Contact us to confirm pricing and availability for your desired departure.

Other

Prices are per person and include all table d’hôte meals and accommodation as noted. A cabin suite is two double cabins connected by a private, interior door. Click here for cabin details.

NEW for 2018: For the first time ever, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is adding fully en-suite cabins. Three Grand Suites will be available on every departure, beginning in March 2018. These will include a private bathroom with shower, washbasin, and toilet, living area with space for private dining, and a sofa which can be converted into an additional bed in the evening. See a full description of the Grand Suites and other VSOE accommodations here.

Alert: This itinerary usually sells out at least a year in advance.

Note: Cost is per person, based on double occupancy

Singles:
Cost of a double cabin for a single traveler in 2017 is £13,475.

Note Turkish visa required in advance for this journey for US citizens. Travelers from other countries may differ.

IRT is happy to arrange any pre- or post-tour additions.

Suggested tour extensions:
Pre-tour stay in Paris with visit to Louvre, Eiffel Tower and Musee d’Orsay with private guide.
Three nights in Istanbul. Visit Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Cistern, nostalgic tram, spice market with private guide.
Cruise opportunities from Istanbul abound. Please inquire.


Latest News:
Click here for Track 25, our blog, for the latest news on this and other tours on our World’s Top 25 Trains™.

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The Highlights

  • The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express itself, with lovingly restored 1920s-era cars, five-star dining and stellar service
  • Stays at exclusive, five-star hotels in Budapest and Bucharest
  • Romania’s Peles Castle, built in 1883 and considered one of Europe’s finest royal palaces
  • Musical events throughout
  • Tour of the Euxinograd Palace, set in beautiful gardens in Varna, Bulgaria, on the Black Sea
  • A perfect blend of three overnights on luxury train and two nights in deluxe hotels
  • All meals and off-train tours included except where noted. Traditional gratuities to train staff and on-board wine and liquor not included
  • See “Other” for suggested tour extensions
The gleaming carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express await passengers.  (Photo by Owen Hardy)
The gleaming carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express await passengers. (Photo by Owen Hardy)
Eiffel Tower, Paris  (Photo by Angela Walker)
Eiffel Tower, Paris (Photo by Angela Walker)
A Venice Simplon-Orient-Express car attendant collects the local newspaper for on-board guests.  (Photo by Owen Hardy)
A Venice Simplon-Orient-Express car attendant collects the local newspaper for on-board guests. (Photo by Owen Hardy)
Private compartment of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.  (Photo courtesy of Orient Express)
Private compartment of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. (Photo courtesy of Orient Express)