Going Somewhere?

In an era of airport security and canceled flights, railcars are a chance to travel in luxury at a leisurely pace.


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Train travel will make you understand the old saying,

“Getting there is half the fun.”


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I have traveled by train along the California coast from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara.

photo by Thomas J. Story for Sunset

Thomas J. Story for Sunset

The scenery of course was fabulous, on my right, lush rolling hills, on my left, the big blue Pacific, in our lounge area, four friends having great fun without a care in the world!


Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Traveling this way was wonderful. We arrived in Santa Barbara feeling relaxed and ready to dine, shop and check-in for a nice long girls weekend!

santa barbara train ststion

One of these days, I think that the MR. and I need to travel aboard the Orient Express!


Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

A journey onboard this luxury train would be a truly unforgettable travel experience through some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. Like Lucerne, Switzerland!

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

The legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express offers a journey unlike any other. Step aboard and you step back into a more gracious, elegant age of travel.

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Romance, adventure and style are all intimately bound up in luxury train travels that criss-cross through the sublime scenery of Europe.


Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

And also between some of the continent's most alluring cities.


Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Stylish, iconic and truly unique, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is the perfect way to travel. Your experience begins the moment you arrive at the station.

VSOE-Exterior Carriage

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Musicians, photographers, and platform entertainment set the mood for a travel experience like no other.

Boarding the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Once you board, relax in a leather club chair and experience history and tradition with authentic touches, such as the deep mahogany wood interior, original brass hardware and vintage railroad china and silver.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

In your cabin you will find a welcome letter, flowers, champagne, and a gift!

Champagne via Orient Express

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

The steward responsible for your carriage will be available at all times and may be called by the bell in your cabin. Afternoon tea is served in style!

afternoon tea by Simon Brown for VSOE

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

He will take care of your passport during the journey, convert your cabin from daytime seating to a luxurious bedroom, while you are at dinner, serve breakfast and provide you with any other refreshments in your cabin as required.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

The Maitre D' will come to your cabin to take your lunch and dinner reservations in advance of your meal.

The Maitre D. VSOE

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Yes indeed dining on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is an unforgettable delight.

VSOEdining car 'Etoile du Nord' by Simon Brown

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Do be sure and dress for dinner though and perhaps visit the bar car for an aperitif.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

This dining car evokes the allure and elegance of bygone eras.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Excellent cuisine prepared onboard by a private chef, fine wine, white linen tables set with fine china and silver, and a personal view of the breathtaking vistas create a dining event you won’t soon forget.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Travelling in private cabins impeccably restored to their former glory, passengers are assured of a truly unique travel experience complimented by the very best personal service.

cabin suite on VSOE

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Each cabin has many luxurious appointments including an original washbasin cabinet with hot and cold water.

black tie

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

At night-time becomes a comfortable bedroom, complete with soft towels and 600 thread count Egyptian cotton linens.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Welcome the day in your private cabin with a steaming cup of coffee as the sun rises over the passing landscape. As spectacular vistas unfold one after another, time passes more slowly.

  Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

The Orient Express recognizes that travel today is very much a matter of personal choice and preferences. All itineraries can be tailored to your own plans however long or short you wish the journey to last.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Once you arrive at your destination spend the day exploring cities knowing that you’ll come back to all the comforts of home delivered by your personal steward. ‘Lalique Pullman’ was built in 1929 as a first class Pullman and was decorated by René Lalique in the ‘Côte d’Azur’ style.

Fleche d'Or detail2070419987_663a066565_o

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

A full day of exploring may call for a martini, shaken, not stirred...

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

While you are touring, the chefs are shopping for local delicacies, choosing only the freshest and finest ingredients to prepare your hand-crafted meals.

VSOE-chefs purchase fresh supplies by Simon Brown for VSOE

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Today, the gleaming carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express continue to transport passengers across Europe in exquisite surroundings.

Train Travel via Orient Express

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Book a memorable journey and along the way, stay at some of Europe's finest hotels. Each of their packages have been created around the centerpiece of a journey on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express - one of the most romantic journeys in the world.

All Aboard!

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

I wanted to humbly share with you all a very nice note that I received this evening. This kind acknowledgement & compliment is what feeds a blogger's soul...

Dear Lisa,

I had a look at your lovely blog, and it seems that you are promoting our train in a most charming way. Thank you.  Best of luck with your beautiful collection!

Kind regards,
Dana Catterina
Marketing Services Executive

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

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Chic Coles (Cole Design) said...

What a wonderful post! This looks like such an elegant way to travel, wouldn't it be fun to travel around Europe by rail car? Thanks for the great post!

Lipstick said...

Oh my goodness...what a wonderful post! I love all of those pictures...so relaxing-I am transported to another time and place just gazing at them. I can't wait to show your post to Mommy Lipstick-she will love it!

My Dog-Eared Pages said...

This is such a great post... I love it!! I've always wanted to take the VS Orient-Express from Paris to Istanbul. On my list of things to do!!
Thank you for the lovely train ride ;)

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Lisa you had me @ "Going Somewhere?"
Wonderful..wonderful post. Seeing the photos gave me goose-bumps. I've taken the train throughout Europe but it was on a Eurail Pass & I was 18. Not quite as lux! My grandfather was an engineer for the Great Northern Railroad & I rode trains a lot as a child. They are near & dear to me. I am definitley putting this on my bucket list. Although my bucket is starting to runneth over, the Orient Express is in the top 5. Thank you for the great fun this a.m., very appreciated. x

teaorwine said...

Love, love, love train travel. However, Amtrak here in the US is no match for the Orient-Express! Gorgeous and inspiring photo essay.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

What glamorous beautiful pictures! *sigh*
I'm dying to take a trip like this.

Mrs. Limestone said...

What a great post! That second photo is so romantic..makes me want to hop on a train right now. Too bad I don't have the fab luggage and wardrobe to carry me through with style.

sophiedahydesigns said...

Lisa, I have to say I had a smile on my face after reading your post. I've had some very interesting train rides in my life. When I was young we traveled to Montana every summer by train on sleeper cars. It was great fun. Traveling through Europe when my dad was stationed in The Hague, I rode the TEE which was amazing. The food was incredible [I still remember what I ate]! Train rides were such fun because you could really get the feel of the country as you traveled. I also had some horrible trips, but they also were memorable!

Renae said...

Oh Lisa,
I too have been on many a train but none as luxurious as this, how fabulous. I could definitely get used to the very special treatment...where do we sign up?
As always, inviting prose to go along with the wonderful images.

Millie said...

Oh big sigh here Lisa, one day Millie, one day! I've heard the Blue Train in South Africa is also an amazing experience ala VSOE. As a 16 year old I took the old Ghan (named after the Afghan Cameleers who opened up the Outback). It went from Adelaide to Alice Springs & what a trip we had. Lots of wood panelling & brass fittings, not to mention gorgeous boys strumming their guitars in the Lounge carriage!
Millie ^_^

Anne Marie said...

Lisa! this post is sooo fantastic.....I have such a thing about trains.....and someday riding on one of those wonderful railcars, and wearing something divine.....that totally made me want to do it even more!

and to think! at the holidays! how fantastic.......

Merriment and laughter through and through!!!!

Ariadone said...

Wow, what a great post. So beautiful and lovely to dream on. Soon we will have the HSL coming by my town and I'll get aboard to go to Paris in 2 hours and Venice in 6; can you even inmagine ?! Prgression.
One one love trail especially for this season : Go aboard "The Northpole Express"....great movie for all...have fun.
And thank you for this beautiful post.
Godeliva van Ariadone

daizie said...

what an inspirational post, this is the way to travel, one of my most wonderful life experiences was arriving in venice by train after a flight was re directed, it turned out to be so magical walking out of the station into twilight Venive took by breath away, love your blog by the way Daizie x