A new 'Orient Express' journey is ready to take passengers on a luxury odyssey from Italy to several European destinations in 2023, including Paris, Istanbul, and Split.
The famed Venice-Simplon Orient Express, which takes passengers from Venice to London, will face a new rival in 2023 when the Orient Express La Dolce Vita hits the tracks. The new Italian-based train service (owned by the Accor hotel group) is hoping to encourage a "new generation" of travelers to embrace the golden age of rail travel—provided they don't mind paying a premium price tag for such a high-end journey.
Unlike the Venice-Simplon (operated by the luxury train company Belmond) with its instantly recognizable 1920's Art Deco design, the La Dolce Vita version will rock a different look: midcentury interiors inspired by the curves and colors of the 1960s and 70s. Each of La Dolce Vita's six trains, designed by Milan-based studio Dimorestudio, will feature 12 deluxe cabins, 18 suites, one honor suite (for the super well-heeled), and a restaurant carriage, where Italian haute cuisine will be accompanied by Italian wine.
Guests will enjoy a leisurely-paced tour through Italy from the Alps in the north to the beaches of the south, gliding past countryside, lakes, and forests in off-the-beaten track routes, and enjoying the art and culture of cities like Milan, Florence, Venice and Rome. Italian itineraries include between one- and three-night options. There will be also be three international itineraries available from Rome to Paris, Istanbul, and Croatia's second-largest city Split.
Accor is pitching the journey as "a new way of experiencing [Italy]: an environmentally-friendly adventure where forgotten roads are explored" but with prices costing an average of €2000 ($2,262 USD) per night, per person, the adventure will be limited to passengers with very deep pockets.
Stephen Alden, CEO Raffles and Orient Express, Accor said: “It is thrilling to be bringing the refined nomadic spirit of Orient Express back to life for a new generation of travellers.
The return of sleeper trains in Europe
Sleeper trains have been experiencing a bit of a renaissance in Europe in recent years as travelers become increasingly concerned about their carbon footprint, and embrace the romanticism of early train travel. Some new services to look out for include a French start-up called Midnight Trains that's described as a "hotel on rails" and will take passengers from Paris to several European destinations in 2024.
Read more: Europe's best night trains
But it's not just luxury train journeys that are gathering speed, new services by RegioJet and European Sleeper will connect Prague, Brussels, Berlin and Amsterdam next year, with services like free internet access, breakfast and free coffee.
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