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Winter On The Venice Simplon-Orient Express: Look Forward To These New Journeys – TheTravel

The ultra-luxury train trips take travelers to Florence and Vienna as VSOE extends its glamorous vacations through December.
Experiencing the ultra-luxury Venice Simplon-Orient Express is a bucket-list trip for world travelers who love to criss-cross Europe by train. Affluent travelers can live like royalty aboard the VSOE's vintage pullmans as they sit back and traverse the countryside between Venice and London, Venice and Paris, and a slew of other routes.
These trips are traditionally offered between March and November, but this year the company created some new journeys that extend the vacation option through December. The new routes feature overnight trips from Paris to Florence and Paris to Vienna. Several existing journeys also were extended into December.
One-night trips, which start at about $3,000 per person, begin with a three-course lunch, followed later by an opulent four-course dinner. After that, guest can head to Bar Car 3674 to hear a pianist perform, then it's off to bed in ultra-swanky accommodations. A full French breakfast awaits guests in the morning, and soon after, the train reaches its destination. And here's a must-know: Formal evening attire is requested for dinner, as in black tie. As VSOE says: You can never be overdressed on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.
The Venice Simplon-Orient Express, considered by many to be one of the best sleeper trains in the world, unveiled this departure schedule for its new December journeys, and a few trips already are sold out, a check of the reservation site reveals.
Starting in the spring, the VSOE will resume its seasonal service to various cities in Europe. For example, a June departure of its Amsterdam-Paris journey comes with a price tag of about $4,100 per person. In September, a London-Vienna trip will cost $8,800.
Related: Explore These Festive Christmas Markets In Historic Vienna
A trip between Prague and Paris in October will cost about $3,400. Other city destinations VSOE offers include Brussels, Budapest, Geneva, Istanbul, and Rome. Of course, there are stunning train journeys in America, too, but it's hard to beat the capitals of Europe.
Luxury trains aren't anything new on the continent, in fact, they've been around since the mid-19th century. The original Orient Express began service in the 1880s, traveling from Paris to Giurgi, Romania.
Fast forward to 1906 and the completion of the Simplon Tunnel, built under the Alps and connecting Switzerland to Italy, opened up a slew of new routes.
Twenty years later, Orient Express launched its Simplon Orient Express service. As air travel eventually emerged, Orient Express lost business and all but shut down in 1977; it continued to operate limited overnight routes until 2009.
The concept of an ultra-glamorous train trip to Europe's most exciting cities was reborn in 1982 as the Venice Simplon Orient Express, thanks to a deep-pocketed rail enthusiast who had bought and restored some of the vintage trains formerly operated by Orient Express.
Today the Venice Simplon-Orient Express is operated by Belmond, a major hospitality company that owns hotels, river cruise ships, restaurants, and other leisure travel entities.
Related: A Travel Guide To Paris: 10 Things To Know While Planning Your Trip
Travelers who book one of Venice Simplon-Orient Express's newly created December journeys will visit Florence and Vienna. Here are several of the must-see sights and most beautiful places in Florence and in Vienna:
Florence
Vienna
Related: Views From The Most Scenic Train Rides In The World
Christmas markets will be in full swing during December in Vienna, and offer an authentic European holiday experience. The largest is Christmas Village, on Maria-Theresien-Platz, and the oldest is the Old Viennese Christmas Market, on Freyung, dating back to 1772. The Christkindlmarkt, held at Vienna City Hall is considered the city's most traditional Christmas Market.
Donna Tunney is a travel writer who hails from the outer reaches of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. A global traveler for many years, she writes about luxury travel, cruising, tour products, hotels/resorts, and destinations.

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