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Paris-Istanbul Annual Journey
Trains:  Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE)
6-day Escorted Tour

Tour Type:  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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On This & Other Tours

“…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.

2016 Dates:
August 26-31

The Prices

All pricing is per person.

 2016 Prices
  Double Cabin
$10,010 15%
  Cabin Suite


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.

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

Note: Cost is per person, based on double occupancy

Cost of a double cabin for a single traveler in 2015 is $17,840.
Cost of a double cabin for a single traveler in 2016 is $19,270.

Round-Trip Special:
Price for doing both Istanbul-Venice and Paris-Istanbul trips back-to-back in 2015 is $16,690 p.p., double; $32,110 p.p., double for a Cabin Suite.
Price for doing both Istanbul-Venice and Paris-Istanbul trips back-to-back in 2016 is $18,020 p.p., double; $34,690 p.p., double for a Cabin Suite.
For single rate, please call.

Note Turkish visa required in advance for this journey for US citizens. Our travelers from other countries may differ. For example, Australian citizens require Turkish and Romanian visas.

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™.

You also may be interested in these tours...

Istanbul-Venice Annual Journey
Romantic Italian Holiday
VSOE London-Paris-Venice
VSOE Venice-Budapest-Paris-London
VSOE Venice-Paris-London
VSOE Venice-Prague-Paris-London
VSOE Venice-Vienna-Paris-London

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Paris-Istanbul Annual Journey (Length:6 days)
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

Paris-Istanbul Annual Journey
The gleaming carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express await passengers. (Photo by Owen Hardy)

Paris-Istanbul Annual Journey
Eiffel Tower, Paris (Photo by Angela Walker)

Paris-Istanbul Annual Journey
A Venice Simplon-Orient-Express car attendant collects the local newspaper for on-board guests. (Photo by Owen Hardy)

Paris-Istanbul Annual Journey
Private compartment of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. (Photo courtesy of Orient Express)
2424 Frankfort Ave. Suite #2, Louisville, KY 40206  •  (800) 478-4881  •  (502) 897-1725   •  fax (502) 897-1729  •  email: tourdesk@irtsociety.com  • ©The Society of International Railway Travelers®