If you didn't have the resplendent Orient Express on your travel bucket list, there are now a few more reasons for you to add it.
Officially called the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, the historic train, popularized by the 1934 Agatha Christie novel "Murder on the Orient Express," originally ran between Paris and Istanbul. But over the decades, it's changed routes (and operators). The train's current iteration is operated by Belmond, which offers dozens of itineraries that criss-cross Europe, ranging from one to five nights. And Belmond has just added five more stops on some of their iconic routes.
Those routes cover Rome to Paris via Florence, Amsterdam to Venice via Paris, and Geneva to Venice via the scenic Brenner Pass in the Alps. Ultimately these journeys add five new cities to the train's boarding points: Rome, Florence, Geneva, Brussels, and Amsterdam.
If that weren't enough, Belmond is also debuting three new Grand Suites—named Vienna, Prague, and Budapest—aboard the train, which currently features 17 lavish Art Deco carriages restored to their 1920s glory by design firm Wimberley Interiors. The train now has six Grand Suites, each of which comes with 24/7 butler service and bottomless Champagne.
As one of the most luxurious trains in the world, a ride on the Orient Express doesn't come cheap: rates start at about $3,600 per person for a one-night trip, and that's just for a standard (albeit beautiful) cabin. But after spending a year locked in your house, hey, it's probably worth the splurge.
There's just the little matter of the pandemic to deal with—most of Europe still isn't open to American tourists, so you might need to sit tight before booking your dream journey on the Orient Express. But that doesn't mean you can't dream about it!