Orient Express Ceases Operation

Danube Express

After 125 years the original Orient Express service will grind to a halt for good on 12 December when the famous name will disappear from European timetables.  During its heyday in the 1930s, the Orient Express ran between Paris and Istanbul with through coaches from Calais and Ostende for the benefit of UK travellers.  Now the Danube Express will take up this mantle with a variety of journeys offered in May, June and September to and from Istanbul.

Istanbul is set to top travel hot lists next year after being named European Capital of Culture for 2010 and this coincides with the Danube Express’ arrival in the city.  Reviving the Golden Age of rail and waiting to whisk passengers on a relaxed voyage of discovery is the Danube Express’ Istanbul Odyssey, an exotic overland adventure between London and Istanbul. Offering an altogether more civilised method of travel along this route than hitherto with deluxe en suite compartments, the Danube Express is ideal for those in search of a slice of nostalgia.

Taking passengers over 2,500 miles and passing through nine countries, the 8-day fully escorted Istanbul Odyssey begins in London for the journey by Eurostar and Germany’s prestigious ICE train to Frankfurt to join the Danube Express.

Danube Express

Danube Express

Once onboard, guests can kick back and relax as Europe’s ever changing landscape slips by and the Danube Express threads its way across Bohemia to the fairytale castle at Karlštejn, then on to beguiling Prague.  After a day in Budapest, the Danube Express heads for Transylvania with stops in Sighisoara and Brasov before continuing through rural Bulgaria to discover Veliko Turnovo and Kazanlak.

Finally, guests awake to the choppy waters of the Bosphorous and then disembark for two nights in Istanbul to explore the sights of the Capital of Culture.

Price: An eight-day fully escorted Istanbul Odyssey holiday costs from £5,290pp, based on two sharing a Deluxe compartment, including outbound Eurostar London-Brussels in Leisure Select, First Class rail travel Brussels to Frankfurt, inbound BA flight Istanbul to London, five nights on the Danube Express with all meals, complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks, two nights’ half board 4-star hotel accommodation in Istanbul, full sightseeing programme, transfers, porterage and the services of a tour manager.

Independent travellers can opt to travel on the Istanbul Odyssey journey only option between Frankfurt and Istanbul at £4,350pp, including five nights onboard the Danube Express with all meals, complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks and full sightseeing programme.

For more information on the Danube Express Tel 01462 441400 or visit www.danube-express.com

*Please note that this article does not refer to the Venice Simplon Orient-Express. For information on the Venice Simplon Orient-Express holidays visit www.orient-express.com

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About Charlotte J

Graduate, journalist, blogger and follower of all things media.