Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Frequently asked travellers’ questions
We often get asked questions about travelling aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, and we love to answer our customers queries. So to help you decide if the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is right for you, we’ve detailed some useful information to make sure you are totally prepared for your journey on the world’s most luxurious train – Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.
We’ve started by asking our loyal travellers and customers what they think is most important to know before journeying on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, and below are some of these questions and answers, which we hope you will find useful.
See below for information and details around the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express FAQs – of course if you’d like to speak with an expert, we’re only a phone call away on 01347 825292.
Most asked questions:
- Dress code – what do I wear on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express?
- What languages do the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train staff speak?
- What currency do I need on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express?
- Does the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express leave from London?
- How do we cross the Channel?
- How long will my Venice Simplon-Orient-Express journey last?
- How much luggage can I bring on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express?
- Do I need to give the stewards and staff aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express tips?
- Are there toilets and showers in the cabins of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express?
- Should I purchase insurance for the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express journey?
- How do I travel between my hotel and the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express station in Venice?
- What are the fares for children aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express?
- Can I smoke onboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express?
- Does the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express have air-conditioning?
Dress code – what do I wear on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express?
To put it simply, we don’t believe it is possible to overdress when travelling aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.
Starting with dressing for dinner, gentlemen should always wear a suit and tie or dinner suit, whilst ladies should dress in smart attire.
That said, a great deal of guests enjoy the true sense of propriety aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and wear a formal dinner jacket and black tie for gentlemen and evening dress for ladies to compliment their evening meal.
During the rest of the day, the dress code is smart-casual. To be more specific, this can be translated as trousers and a shirt for gentlemen at lunch (jacket and tie are optional) and smart clothing for ladies. It goes without saying that jeans are not suitable at any time.
With the above in mind, by dressing in a style befitting this historic journey, you will fit in perfectly with fellow passengers and certainly look the part as you travel across Europe in style.
What languages do the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express staff speak?
The majority of staff and stewards are fluent in English, French and Italian aboard the train.
What currency do I need on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express?
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express quotes all prices in Euros and we’d always recommend carrying a small amount of Euro notes to cover purchases on-board.
That said, in light of being truly accommodating and a pillar of international luxury, the majority of major currencies will be happily accepted aboard the train.
Exchange rates are displayed in the Bar Car and, as you would expect, all major credit cards such as Visa, American Express, MasterCard, Diners Club etc. are likewise accepted.
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will also take travellers’ cheques and Eurocheques.
Does the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express leave from London?
No, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express departs from Calais. The UK leg of the journey is aboard the British Pullman which is operated by Belmond as part of your Venice Simplon-Orient-Express experience.
How do we cross the Channel?
As mentioned, you will travel on the Belmond British Pullman carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train from London to Folkestone.
We’ve detailed below the journey from England to France. The British Pullman will take you to Folkestone. Your luggage (with the exception of hand luggage) is looked after by Belmond staff throughout your journey.
You then board luxury coaches, with the assistance of hostesses. The coaches all have tables, toilets, snacks and soft drinks for travellers from the station to the Eurotunnel terminal where there are further facilities and retail shops to browse.
The coaches then drive you onto the Eurotunnel train.
At Calais there is a 5-minute drive to the waiting Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.
If travelling from Calais to London, the process is conducted in reverse, but otherwise the same.
How long will my Venice Simplon-Orient-Express journey last?
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express takes a number of routes across Europe, and a stay on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train can last from one to several days.
The traditional route between London and Venice (in either direction) takes two days, with one night on board. This is by far the most popular route.
You can browse our other Venice Simplon-Orient-Express holidays for details of other departures and timings.
How much luggage can I bring on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express?
Of course the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is designed for travellers, and is equipped with luggage racks in cabins. That said, there are obvious space constraints and as such there are limitations to each passenger’s luggage allowance.
To travel on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express each passenger is asked to bring no more than one item of suitable hand luggage (a plane cabin bag size), one suit carrier or overnight bag, to be retained in your cabin, and one suitcase to be stored in the baggage car. It’s also important to note that the baggage car will not be accessible until your destination is reached.
Do I need to give the stewards and staff aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express tips?
By the very nature of the tipping process, we’d always suggest that tips should only be given at your own absolute discretion. We would not suggest it is necessary, though if you feel that a particular service warrants a tip, the staff would certainly appreciate the gesture.
Are there toilets and showers in the cabins of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express?
None of the cabins aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express have en suite facilities.
Belmond have made a faithful recreation of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and travelling on board is an experience exactly as it would have been in the 1920s.
This extends to every detail where even the heating in your cabin is powered by a traditional coal stove at the end of each carriage.
Each of the cabins does have a small vanity unit with basin, and then there are toilet facilities at the end of each carriage. Please do note however that there are no baths or showers aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.
Should I purchase insurance for the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express journey?
It is a condition of booking a holiday with Planet Rail that you have adequate travel insurance for the duration of your holiday.
How do I travel between my hotel and the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express station in Venice?
All of our holidays from London to Venice or Venice to London aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express include transfer by water taxi from Venice Santa Lucia station to your Venice hotel on arrival, or when departing, from your hotel to the station.
What are the fares for children aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express?
The fares for children as part of holidays vary, but the basic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express fares are as follows and are based on the ages of the children on the date of travel:
- 2 yrs old and younger – free;
- 3 to 12 yrs old – 20% discount
Can I smoke onboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express?
There is a no smoking policy aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express both for the continental journey and also aboard the Belmond British Pullman when travelling in the UK
Does the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express have air-conditioning?
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is a truly historic train, and as we’ve already mentioned, is a faithful example of 1920’s luxury.
Luxurious as this is, air-conditioning was not available even to the luxury travellers of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express in the 20s & 30s and so it is not available on board. Windows do open however and all cabins include fans for cooling and air circulation.