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Tales of the Orient-Express: Berlin, Iconic Italy, Ms. Agatha

By Owen C. Hardy

Berlin boasts a vibrant outdoor café scene. Pictured here is the famous Kurfürstendamm. Photo: Visit Berlin

The famed Venice Simplon-Orient-Express has much to celebrate:

  • A first-ever trip to Berlin,
  • more hotel choices for the Romantic Italian Holiday
  • and an Agatha Christie birthday bash

The historic overnight trip to the German capital begins June 2, 2016 when the VSOE’s sister train, the Belmond British Pullman, departs London’s Victoria Station for the three-hour journey to the coast. The excursion continues on the VSOE to Paris and from there to Berlin, where it arrives June 3.

The reverse itinerary begins June 4, with arrival in London June 5.

Whichever direction passengers choose, the new trip offers myriad possibilities for extended stays in London and Berlin.

A VSOE staff member prepares for boarding at Venice' Santa Lucia station.
A VSOE staff member prepares for boarding at Venice’ Santa Lucia station. IRT Photo by Owen Hardy

Romantic Italian Holiday
The Romantic Italian Holiday connects passengers on the VSOE’s classic overnight run between London, Paris and Venice with extended stays at the Belmond Cipriani in Venice and the Belmond Villa San Michele in Florence.

Now, extended stays are possible at four additional Belmond sites in Italy, all of them palatial:

  • Portofino: Belmond Hotel Splendido and Belmond Splendido Mare,
  • Amalfi Coast: Belmond Hotel Caruso,
  • Taormina Mare: Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea,
  • Taormina: Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

For more information, email or call (800) 478-4881 within the U.S. or Canada,  or, elsewhere, (502) 897-1725.

Dame Agatha
Honoring the 125th birthday of the novelist famous for writing “Murder on the Orient-Express,” head chefs from the VSOE, Istanbul’s Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah and Venice’ Belmond Cipriani plan a July 1 celebration at the Cipriani.

According to the New York Times, they’ll prepare a buffet of “several dozen” Turkish, Italian and French dishes. (Dame Agatha wrote the novel at the Pera Palace following an Orient-Express trip from Venice).

The price is 130 euros (about $140, the Times says), and includes alcoholic drinks and entertainment, as well as an orchestra performance and a water show.