Orient Express Frequently Asked Questions
When and where does the Orient-Express travel?
The British Pullman and Northern Belle travel all year round to a wide variety of destinations, such as sporting events, cities, stately homes and gardens, plus round-trip dining experiences.
Can you travel overnight?
No. The British Pullman and Northern Belle both consist of dining cars and do not offer sleeping compartments. The majority of journeys are day experiences although a few weekend and short breaks are available which combine a journey on the Orient-Express with one or two nights in a hotel.
Are all my meals and drinks included?
While you are on board your meals and drinks, as described in the itinerary, are included. Full details of what is included for each trip are shown on this website. A selected range of alternative alcoholic drinks are also available on board and these may be purchased at the prices shown on the on board bar list.
Can you cater for special meal requirements such as vegetarian?
Yes. As long as we are notified at the time of booking, of any special dietary requirements, we will do our best to comply. We do however regret that we are unable to provide meals requiring strict religious observance in the preparation.
Are people with disabilities able to travel on the Orient-Express?
We are able to accommodate passengers with slight walking difficulties although we recommend that they are accompanied by an able-bodied passenger. We regret that our carriages cannot be boarded in wheelchairs. Our staff are, however, able to assist any passengers to their seats and folding wheelchairs can be stored during the journey.
Some journeys, for example the Edinburgh Military Tattoo weekend, are not suitable for people with disabilities.
Can children travel on board?
Journeys are planned to maximise the enjoyment of the scenery while fine food, champagne and wine are served at your table. This relaxed atmosphere is not best suited for children.
What do I need to wear on board?
Smart casual wear (but not jeans or trainers) is the order of the day. For Pullman dinner departures more formal wear is customary. A jacket and tie for men is required at Ascot and Ebor. For outdoor events such as Cowes please wear practical clothing.
Can I smoke on board?
With apologies to smokers, Orient-Express operates a no smoking policy aboard its UK trains.
Will I need to tip the staff?
The price you pay for a journey aboard the Orient-Express is fully inclusive of all service charges. However, if your steward, or any other member of staff serving you, have helped make your day particularly special then any gratuities you wish to give will be much appreciated.
Will I need insurance for my trip?
Hospitality Line recommends that you and your party purchase adequate travel insurance for your trip, including cover for loss of deposits and/or other costs that you might incur if you cancel your reservation. Hospitality Line cannot be held responsible for any loss of this kind. Details are contained within the booking conditions.
Can you arrange my accommodation if I want to stay overnight in London?
Yes. There can be no better way to make a trip extra special than by combining a day experience aboard the Orient-Express with a couple of nights at a top London hotel. We will be pleased to make all the necessary arrangements for you. Please advise your requirements on the Booking Form..
Can I get a group discount?
Yes. The Orient-Express is ideal for celebrating a private occasion or entertaining clients on a corporate event. The minimum number required to qualify for a group discount is 15. The British Pullman and Norhern Belle can also be chartered for bigger occasions.
Can I get married on board the Orient-Express?
While a number of people have held wedding receptions or travelled to their reception on board the British Pullman and Northern Belle, it isn't possible to hold an actual formal ceremony on board.
There are two main reasons why Orient-Express cannot be granted a licence to hold weddings on board, one is because the train travels through several parishes and would in effect require a licence for each one. More importantly, any wedding ceremony needs to be accessible to the general public in case someone has reason to object to the marriage. This clearly would not be the case on a moving train. However, It is possible for a blessing to take place on board after the formal marriage has taken place.
Are the British Pullman and Northern Belle historical trains?
The British Pullman carriages originate from the 1920s and 30s which was the heyday of luxury train travel. The carriages built in this period were at the time the most comfortable, elegant and luxurious ever constructed. They were decorated by the best designers with elaborate marquetry interiors. The carriages after falling into disrepair in the 1960s and 70s have been lovingly restored to their former glory and are still as elegant as ever.
The Northern Belle, though not original carriages, has been newly refurbished by Orient-Express to Orient-Express standards. Specially commissioned, the carriages are appointed to the highest quality. The food and service on board the Northern Belle is of the same standard one would expect to find from the company which also operates the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express which runs principally between London and Venice.
Is the train ever pulled by a steam engine?
On selected dates during the year the trains are hauled by a steam locomotive. Where steam is advertised, every effort will be made to operate using steam traction for all or part of the journey. It is possible that diesel or electric traction may have to be substituted at short notice. In this event a refund or the difference between the fare for steam traction and the fare for conventional traction (if any) may be payable.
Can I buy souvenirs or presents on board the train?
Yes. The Collection Venice Simplon-Orient-Express has a range of exclusively designed gifts. This includes such items as silk scarves and ties, exclusive luggage, jewellery, leather belts and trinket boxes. Smaller items can be purchased on board while larger gifts can be ordered through our mail order catalogue.