The Orient Express: Vacation of a Lifetime
Imagine the ideal vacation. You’re lying under the sun on a cruise ship, passing an uninhabited Caribbean island. Or maybe you’re admiring a breathtaking train-ride view of the French Alps. Going the distance, you might even find yourself on a safari in the lush foliage surrounding your private Peruvian hotel. But what if you could combine everything into one superlative getaway? Believe the possibility and jump aboard the Orient-Express – one of the world’s best when it comes to providing luxury cruise, hotel and railway adventures.
The lavish multi-amenity experience is named after the long-distance passenger train travelling from Paris to Vienna in 1883. It was the ultimate journey of its time, offering guests the chance to see and do it all in a pampered environment. Today, that same spirit is alive, whether you’re travelling by land or sea. “Each of our hotels, trains, and cruises are distinctive,” says Yann Guezennec, director of sales and marketing. “We pride ourselves in offering a truly international experience.”
A magnificent experience of a luxury package, Orient-Express offers posh holidays in 25 countries across five continents. World-renowned destinations include the sanctuary of Machu Picchu, the Amalfi coast, the Angkor Wat temple, and Australia’s Blue Mountains. Of course, your journey really stands out when you realize no two destinations are alike. “We purchase properties around the world which develop in their own right,” explains Guezennec. “We avoid the use of chain brands, since we believe discerning travellers seek distinctive, individual hotels.”
Accommodations aren’t the only reason why Orient-Express gets noticed. When it comes to service, the company goes wholeheartedly out of its way to please customers. “We employ superb managers who ensure all guests receive the finest service,” Guezennec says. When a guest at St. Petersburg’s Grand Hotel Europe wanted to propose to his fiancée on the River Neva, he was disappointed because the water was completely frozen. After hearing the request, the general manager went out of his way to hire a special ice-clearing boat.
Although that’s enough to make you book your next vacation, an extra week to fill in an abundance of activities is also alluring. While some prefer to stretch out on a beach, others enjoy exploring local culture. For the adventurer in you, packages include botanical painting holidays, dinner party and bread-making courses, offshore sailing lessons, romantic wine-tasting cruises, and mountaintop yoga classes. Whether taking a wildlife helicopter ride in South Africa or sipping fine ales on a train ride in the Scottish countryside, Orient-Express offers a journey like no other.