Alternative Orient Express

The Bosphorus Bridge at night, Istanbul - © ecowa via Pixabay
Ceausescu's Palace - © Alan Heywood
Gondola, Grand-Canal, Venice - © irenne56 via Pixabay
Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna
Venice - © John Robson

Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy the adventure of scheduled rail travel across Europe
  • A classic Orient Express route
  • Spend considerably less than the Venice Simplon Orient Express
  • Extend your holiday with time in Venice
  • Option to spend time in Bucharest
  • Option to upgrade to private sleeping accommodation on board trains
  • 5 days from £1015pp

Tour Dates:
6 June to 6 October Only

Agatha Christie’s famous book ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ brought the luxurious train ride to the attention of the world - boosted further by the successful 1974 film. November 2017 sees the release of a new film adaption of the novel, directed by Kenneth Branagh and with a star-studded cast including Dame Judy Dench, Johnny Depp, Michele Pfieffer and Penelope Cruz. The stylish murder mystery captures the lavish luxury of the Orient Express, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to experience this romantic railway route from Istanbul to Venice. Ffestiniog Travel arranged for Sunday Times chief travel writer Chris Haslam to travel via scheduled railways to get a regular traveller’s view of the journey and the itinerary below shows how you can follow in his footsteps. You may wish to extend your stay at the various destinations, please enquire further by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Day 1 – Fly to Istanbul

Begin your adventure with a flight from London to Istanbul arriving in time for an evening meal before boarding the overnight train to Bucharest.

Day 2 – Overnight in Bucharest

Arrive in Bucharest early evening and spend the night at a hotel close to the station.

Day 3 – Your Rail Journey Begins

Free morning in Bucharest before boarding the train early afternoon to travel to Vienna.

Day 4 – Explore Vienna

Arrive in Vienna in time for breakfast and spend the day at leisure exploring Vienna. Board the overnight train to Venice late evening.

Day 5 – Venice and Home

Arrive in Venice at breakfast time and take a waterbus to the airport. A lunch time flight arrives back in London early afternoon.

Selected Hotels

Ibis Gara De Nord, Bucharest

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Standard class rail travel as shown
  • Berth in a 6-berth couchette on overnight trains
  • Private transfer from Istanbul airport to station
  • Waterbus from Venice to the airport
  • 1 hotel nights on a B&B basis.

Price per person

From £1015

Ask about upgrading to private sleeper compartments for 1 or 2 people. Extend your trip with nights in Istanbul, Bucharest, Vienna or Venice.

Booking form

Download your tour booking form here.


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Why Choose Ffestiniog Travel?

  • UK's first rail tour operator to run an overseas escorted rail holiday in 1974
  • Created for people who love rail holidays and exploring the world’s heritage railways
  • Dedicated rail holiday specialist - great destinations, sightseeing and unparalled railway content
  • Train ticket supplier for worldwide rail operators - we can plan and arrange your rail journey to anywhere
  • Knowledge of the world’s rail routes makes us leading specialists in escorted and Tailor Made rail holidays
  • Over 60% of our existing rail tour travellers return to holiday with us year after year
  • Committed to supporting rail travel and heritage railways around the world
  • Our profits support the continued preservation of the famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
  • Small, dedicated rail holiday travel team offering an award winning personal service


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