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Olivia Culpo Gives New Meaning to Glitz and Glamour Aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Traveling with her sisters Aurora and Sophia, the trio had one night to remember.

To step onto the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is to go back in time to an era when glamour and grandeur were at the forefront of everything in life and train travel was the quickest mode of transport from city to city. 2020 SI Swim cover model Olivia Culpo recently took the legendary journey from Venice to Paris aboard the 1920s Art Deco train with her two sisters Aurora and Sophia. “So grateful for this experience of a lifetime,” she wrote in part on Instagram. “Lichtenstein, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express with my best friends.”

A picture taken on September 15, 2018 shows the restaurant coach "Anatolie" of the legendary train "Orient Express" in Paris during the European Heritage Day. 

A picture taken on September 15, 2018 shows the restaurant coach "Anatolie" of the legendary train "Orient Express" in Paris during the European Heritage Day. 

For the overnight trip, the Culpo sisters, who were the epitome of chic, documented every step of the way from where they slept to what they wore. Another posh lady, Victoria Beckham, celebrated 23 years of marriage to husband David aboard along with her parents and siblings in July. They went the opposite direction starting in Paris and ending in the City of Water. “So special to experience the @vsoetrain with my amazing family,” the fashion designer wrote on Instagram. “Family time is so precious! I love you all so much.”

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While flying is the preferred and quickest transportation to get between these cities these days, there is something magical about going by train, especially when it is on the Belmond’s Venice Simplon-Orient Express. With the picturesque scenery outside as the train travels through the Alps and the unique history in each of the 17 carriages inside, there really is nothing better.

From the moment you step foot inside, you will be greeted with five-star service and amenities that could include personal 24-hour cabin stewards, complimentary kimonos and slippers and free-flowing champagne. Michelin-star chef Jean Imbert is at the helm of the culinary experience aboard in the three restaurant cars – L’Oriental, Etoile Du Nord and Côte d’Azur – where he incorporates ingredients from local farms, producers and artisans from along the train’s routes. The cocktails in the Bar Car ‘3674’ are made from talented mixologists with the most intricate attention to detail.

And let’s not forget the cabins! Whether you opt for a twin cabin or the grand suite, the ornate decor, plush furnishings and handcrafted furniture are carried throughout and have been preserved from the golden era. The soothing sounds of the train passing through the night with fresh linens will also help secure a good night’s sleep.

To take the one-night trip in either direction, the cost that starts at £2,920 (roughly $3,336) per person includes breakfast, a three-course lunch and four-course dinner. For the first time, the overnight voyages (that are usually from March – November) will be offered in December, so you will be able to travel through a winter wonderland. If one night is not enough, once a year, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express embarks on a five-night trip from Paris to Istanbul with overnight stops in Budapest and Bucharest and daytime halts in Sinaia and Varna. One night or five, the memories created on board will last a lifetime.