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Depart from the fascinating city of Florence on board one of the world’s most iconic trains as you travel in the immaculate blue and gold carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, and journey through the Swiss Alps before arriving in Paris and the final leg of your journey to London.
Your holiday begins as you stroll into beautifully restored London St. Pancras station.
Take your time to appreciate the splendour of magnificent glass roof, then sit back, relax and watch the countryside swish past as you travel by Eurostar to Paris at speeds of up to 186mph.
Enjoy the light meal and drinks served on board in Standard Premier Class (formerly 1st class).
On arrival at the Gare du Nord your private taxi transfer takes you across Paris to the Gare de Lyon to continue your journey by TGV through France into Switzerland.
You travel through the undulating Swiss countryside to attractive lakeside city of Zurich. It is a short walk (600 yards) to your overnight hotel, the comfortable, welcoming and highly-rated Hotel Glockenhof (4 star).
After breakfast why not make a whistle-stop tour of Zurich.
Most of the city’s sights lie within the compact area on either side of the River Limmat, between the main station (Hauptbahnhof) and Lake Zurich.
The churches and burgher houses of the Old Town are clustered here, as are the elegant shops along Bahnhofstrasse. The baroque Rathaus (Town Hall), Zurich’s most impressive churches – the Grossmünster, Fraumünster – and the city’s oldest, St Peterskirche (its clock face is the largest in Europe), all lie within a short distance of the River Limmat, near the point where it opens onto the lake.
Then make your way back to Zurich station. Here you join the comfortable Euro City service to travel along the spectacular Gotthard route for the fabulous journey through picturesque scenery, past soaring mountain peaks and into Italy.
On arrival at Milan’s imposing art-deco station change trains and join the flagship Eurostar Italia Frecciarossa (Red Arrow) service to Florence.
Sit back and watch the world go by or simply revel in the romanticism of rail travel across Europe.
On arrival at Firenze Santa Maria Novella station stroll to the charming, highly-rated and family-run Hotel Rapallo (4 star) around 1 kilometre from the station and your hotel for the next three nights.
The Hotel Rapallo is a charming, elegant hotel with all modern comforts in its tastefully furnished rooms.
The hotel is centrally located enabling you to visit all of Florence’s world-renowned attractions.
Immerse yourself in the culture of Italy’s renaissance capital with visits to the world-renowned Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio or the celebrated Duomo.
Enjoy the culinary delights of the city or venture further afield to explore the beauty of Tuscany in Siena with its lovely shell-shaped Piazza del Campo and UNESCO world heritage medieval centre. Perhaps journey westwards to Pisa to marvel at the world-famous leaning tower or stunning Lucca, its medieval heart is an ideal size for discovery on foot.
Whether you prefer the more rural appeal of the Chianti district it is good to know that all these attractive options are easily accessible by train.
You could even visit the eternal city of Rome – barely more than an hour and a half away by train.
This morning after breakfast you have most of the day free to further explore Florence and enjoy a leisurely lunch in this most charming of cities.
Then in the early evening it is time to bid farewell to Florence as you make your way back to Florence’s Santa Maria Novella station.
Here you board the splendid Wagons-Lits carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Your steward will show you to your private cabin and will attend you throughout your journey.
After you have settled in it will soon be time to dress for dinner. Why not sip a pre-dinner cocktail before making your way to one of the magnificent restaurant cars? Here you will be served a delicious four-course dinner, prepared by skilled French chefs.
After dinner you may want to linger in the bar car, listening to the sound of the baby grand piano. When you are ready, retire to your compartment, which has now been transformed into a cosy bedroom.
Breakfast is served in your cabin by your steward at a time to suit you and you have the morning to relax on board this unique train.
Then all too soon the train pulls into Paris Gare de l’Est and the end of your journey back in time. From here make your own way the short distance (800 yards) to Paris’ Gare du Nord,
where you board the Eurostar for the comfortable journey in Standard Premier Class from Paris back to London.
Let the train take the strain as you stretch out and savour the light meal and drinks included in your Standard Premier service.
At 186mph the landscape is a blur at times, though memories abide as you return to London St.Pancras International and the final leg of your journey home.
Travel in a private compartment, attended by Cabin Stewards throughout your journey, where you are assured of attentive yet discreet service.
Each compartment has its own original washbasin cabinet with hot and cold water, and at night-time becomes a comfortable bedroom, complete with soft towels and crisp linen.
Your double compartment converts in moments from daytime seating to a comfortable bedroom. A private lounge during the day with a banquette sofa, footstool and small table, it is transformed to night configuration with an upper and lower bed.
A washbasin with hot and cold water is enclosed in a cabinet and towels and toiletries are provided.
You may wish to upgrade your twin/double cabin on board the Venice Simplon Orient Express to a cabin suite.
Formed of two interconnecting double cabins, the cabin suite offers additional comfort and extra space.
By day, guests can stretch out and relax with two lounges, and by night a choice of bed configurations are available depending on your preferences.
The cabin suite is available from an additional £2,350 per person (based on two people travelling together), depending on departure date – please contact us for more details.
Why not make your journey of a lifetime on the world’s most famous train even more special, by travelling in one of just three exclusive Grand Suites?
Each luxurious suite is beautifully appointed with its own individual theme, and comes with its own private bathroom, double bed and spacious living area. Other additional touches are also included.
Grand Suites are available from an additional £4,495 per person (based on two people travelling together), depending on departure date – please contact us for more details.
For information and booking:
Tel: 01347 825292 or email firstname.lastname@example.org