Life on the Ocean Waves
2013 © Copyright Debbie King. All rights reserved.
The World’s Most Famous Train
Welcome aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient Express, the most famous and most luxurious train in the world. Transport yourself back to an era that was more glamorous, more romantic and less frenetic than the times we live in today. We followed our Aegean & Adriatic cruise on the Norwegian Crown in 2003 with an overnight stay in Venice, before boarding the Orient Express for the two day/one night journey to London. Click on the map to see the route the train took. From the moment we arrived at Santa Lucia station in Venice until we alighted from the Pullman in London's Victoria Station, we were treated like royalty amidst the most opulent surroundings imaginable. Click on each picture to open a larger image in its own window.
Venice-Simplon Orient Express in Venice in 2003 Trevor waiting to board the Orient-Express Debbie waits to board the Orient-Express in Venice
The distinctive navy and cream livery of the Orient Express as she waits for us to board in Venice. Whilst the locomotive was obviously a diesel one instead of steam, the carriages were the original 1920's ones, painstakingly restored to their former glory. We were allocated coach G, which was an original 1929 carriage. These were the proper 'old-fashioned' train carriages with separate compartments and the corridor running along outside.
Here's Trevor just before boarding. You can see straightaway that this is a train a cut above the rest! Whilst smart-but-casual clothing was the order of the day (no jeans or trainers allowed at all!) we would look forward to dressing up for dinner. Our compartment was opulent; hand carved marquetry, tapestry cushions, wood inlay and a porcelain wash- basin.
Each carriage is allocated its own personal steward, who is there to attend to the passengers' every need. Ours was a lovely Frenchman called Sebastien. Nothing was too much trouble for him. He was at our beck and call 24 hours a day, and everything he did for us, he did with a smile. "Could you bring me a glass of champagne please, Sebastien?" "Mais certainement, Madame!" Inevitably, some wag shouted "Come quickly, there's been a murder!" and thought they were the first person to say it :-)
Trevor in the bar car on the Orient Express before dinner
Whilst smart-casual attire is the norm aboard Orient Express, everyone delights in dressing for dinner. Authentic 20's outfits are encouraged, but in any case formal evening wear is a must. Here's Trevor in the bar-car before dinner. Just look at the plush upholstery, curtains and lampshades. The bar-car contained a baby-grand piano from which a tail-coated pianist played a variety of tasteful classical pieces. All around us, our fellow passengers, resplendent in sartorial elegance, sipped from champagne flutes and nibbled on canapés.
Map showing the route of the Orient Express