Venice Simplon-Orient-Express : FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this the original Orient-Express?

Yes. These are the original carriages dating from the 1920s. Original designs and parquetry have been restored to its former glory and the refurbishment also ensures the safety of passengers.

When does the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express run?

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express operates between March and November each year. Please refer to schedules for exact dates and departure times.

Passports/Visas/Health

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express passes through the UK, France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy and on selected departures also travels through the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. Countries travelled through depend on the selected itinerary.

It is the passenger's responsibility to ensure they comply with all passport, visa, customs and other formalities and regulations including obtaining vaccination certificates where necessary.

What is the check-in procedure?

London, Paris, Venice, Prague & Rome: check-in is 60 minutes prior to departure. Boarding takes place 20-30 minutes prior to departure.
Other stations: at all other stations, 30 minutes prior to departure.

VSOE staff are not available until the arrival of the train. The Chief Cabin Steward will greet passengers beside the train to check tickets and assist with luggage.

Are there any luggage restrictions?

Overhead luggage racks are provided in each compartment on-board the train for the storage of a limited amount of luggage (sufficient for 2 small suitcases approx. 70x45cm). It is suggested that only items required during the journey be packed separately in an overnight bag or suit carrier. It is recommended that large items are checked in for storage in the baggage van. Checked luggage will not be accessible until passengers reach their destination.

Crossing the English Channel

Passengers travelling to or from London will experience the British Pullman carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express between London and Folkstone. The channel crossing is normally by coach transfer via the Euro tunnel shuttle. If for any reason Orient-Express are unable to use the Euro tunnel service, alternative services may be used (surface vessel, either Sea Cat catamaran or ship)

An Orient-Express hostess will escort the passengers during their transfer and via customs and immigration.

Customs and Immigration on the train

Passports are held by the Cabin Steward. Passports and customs formalities take place at all frontiers and passengers will not normally be disturbed at frontier crossings or during the night. Passports will be returned to passengers immediately prior to disembarking.

On-board accommodation

Overnight, passengers are automatically given their own compartments, complete with wooden parquetry and brass fittings in original 1920's detail. Each compartment has its own original washbasin cabinet with hot and cold water. Towels, fresh linen and toiletries are provided. Facilities include 24-hour steward service, international electric sockets and individually controlled radiators. Some compartments are fitted with a personal safe. WCs are located at either end of the sleeping car. There are no shower facilities on-board.

Cabins convert from daytime seating to a comfortable bedroom.

Accommodation on board the train is as follows:

  • Single Compartments: one single bed and washing facilities

  • Double Compartments: upper and lower beds and washing facilities.

  • Cabin Suite: 2 interconnecting compartments.

  • Note: single compartments do not interconnect with double compartments.

Disabled Passengers

The dimensions and layout of the train are not suitable for wheelchair-bound passengers. The Orient-Express is able to accommodate passengers with slight walking difficulties but recommend that they are escorted by an able-bodied passenger.

Are all meals included?

Yes. Table d'hote meals are included in the fare. Continental breakfast and afternoon tea are served in the passenger's compartment, while lunch and dinner can be enjoyed in the dining car.

An à la carte menu is available for lunch and dinner and there is 24-hour compartment service for light snacks and refreshments. These are at an additional cost and paid for at the time of ordering.    

Passengers departing from London on the British Pullman train are served lunch, together with a complimentary glass of champagne and half bottle of wine. Passengers ending their journey in London will be served afternoon tea on board the British Pullman.

Are special meal requirements catered for?

Orient-Express will do their best to cater for special dietary requirements such as vegetarian etc., provided a detailed request has been made at the time of booking. If a special request has not been made, the chefs will endeavour to prepare a dish with the ingredients on board.

Orient-Express is unable to provide meals requiring strict religious observance in the preparation.

Are beverages included in the price?

On-board the continental train, wine and bar drinks are not included in the fare and may be purchased at an additional cost. Complimentary morning coffee is available in the Bar Car. Passengers departing London on the British Pullman train receive a complimentary glass of champagne and half a bottle of wine.

Gratuities

Gratuities are at the passenger's discretion.

Dress code

For dinner the minimum dress requirement for gentlemen is a suit and tie and an equivalent standard for ladies. At other times smart daywear is the custom. Jeans, shorts, trainers etc. are not acceptable.

Security

There is a discreet security presence and it may be necessary for passengers to make themselves and their luggage available for inspection. All compartment doors are fitted with a security chain and compartments should be locked upon leaving. Some compartments have a safe and keys can be obtained from the steward.

Smoking

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express operates a no smoking policy on the British Pullman.

On the continental train, out of courtesy towards your fellow travellers but also to comply with the strict Italian and other European countries regulations, smoking is no longer permitted in the bar and restaurant carriages nor in other public spaces such as corridors.

Mobile Phones

For the comfort of fellow passengers, the use of mobile phones and pagers is restricted to the traveller's compartment. At all other times, passengers are asked to have mobile phones and pagers switched off.

VSOE Staff

The following staff are available for passenger's assistance:

Pullman Steward: The steward on the British Pullman train who will serve meals and any other drinks or refreshments required by the passenger.

VSOE Hostess: The hostess who will accompany passengers throughout the Channel crossing.

Cabin Steward: The steward responsible for carriage on the continental train, Available at all times and can be called by the bell in the passenger's compartment. He will take care of passports, change the compartment from day to night configuration, and serve breakfast and other refreshments in the passenger's compartment as required.

Maitre d'Hotel: The Maitre D' will go to the passenger's compartment to take lunch and dinner reservations. The Restaurant Cars have tables for parties of 2 or 4 persons. He may ask passengers to join others to complete a table during busy periods.

Train Manager / Chef du Train: The train manager will be on hand throughout the journey. He will assist with passenger queries.