All Tracks Lead to Istanbul on These World’s Top 25 Trains®
Two highly-coveted rail tours run from Western Europe to Istanbul. Which to choose?
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE) is world-famous, with its historic collection of restored 1920s and 1930s era cars. Its high prices are worth every penny, given the train’s history, stellar service, cuisine, off-train tours and all-round attention to detail.
Plus, it oozes romance and glamour.
But the cost for a twin cabin on its most iconic departure, the once-a-year Paris-Istanbul journey, starts at £15,500 per person in 2022. You don’t even want to know what that is in US dollars!
Enter Golden Eagle Danube Express, based in Budapest. It’s a very different train — and also on our World’s Top 25 Trains® list. Its style is more laid-back and comfortable. No tuxes required.
It offers a generous drinks allowance, including wine with lunch and dinner. It also features intimate, behind-the-scenes sightseeing off the train. What’s more, most cabins on the GEDE feature private bathroom and shower (something that all but 3 of the priciest suites on the VSOE are lacking).
And, on its Balkan Explorer itinerary (running April 21-May 1, 2022, and April 29-May 10, 2023) the Golden Eagle Danube Express covers nine countries in 11 days as it meanders from Venice to Istanbul. (The countries are Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Boznia & Herzegovena, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey.)
Pricing for the 2022 Balkan Explorer journey starts at $16,295 per person — $20,495 per person for the largest and most luxurious accommodation, the Superior Deluxe cabin, pictured above.
Nothing breathes “romance” like the famous Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.
But if you prefer to kick back and relax in between high-octane “off-shore” touring — go for the Golden Eagle Danube Express.
Whichever tour you choose, know that the best spots go up to a year in advance, or more.
The Balkan Explorer journey runs April 21-May 1, 2022, and April 29-May 10, 2023. Click here for full itinerary, details and pricing. Click here for details of the Golden Eagle Danube Express train.
The Paris-Istanbul journey runs August 26-31, 2022. Click here for full itinerary details and pricing. Click here for details of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train.
To book: call us at (800) 478-4881, +1 (502) 897-1725 outside of USA / Canada. Or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Owen C. Hardy is CEO, founder, and co-owner of The Society of International Railway Travelers.