Recently, boutique cruise line Azamara Club Cruises unveiled new pre- and post-cruise Land and Sea programs for guests who travel on the cruise line's Europe itineraries. The program was developed by the partnership of Azamara and the Venice-Simplon Orient-Express train, and plans to take guests deeper into European locales, allowing them to experience more at certain destinations.
The Venice-Simplon Orient-Express train travels between London and Venice and, starting in 2018, will offer packages to Azamara Club Cruises travelers that will extend their vacations with longer stays in additional ports. The Land and Sea programming provides guests the ability to combine train, hotel and cruise travel in a personalized fashion, the cruise line said.
Passengers of the Venice-Simplon Orient-Express train will reside private cabins on board vintage 1920s train carriages. Sleeping Car 3425 of the Express is famously associated with King Carol, who escaped Romania with his mistress aboard the train in 1940. Vintage details such as Rene Prou designs and Rene Lalique glass panels aim to capture the historicity of the train.
Cuisine aboard the train is overseen by Executive Chef Christian Bodiguel, who will prepare 3-course lunches and 4-course dinners of classic French dishes. The menu changes seasonally and is composed of local ingredients from the train’s destinations.
The train travels down the two famously scenic Gotthard Route and the Alberg Route, which provides views of the Swiss Lakes, the Dolomites, quaint towns and mountainside vineyards. Additional route highlights include:
- London to Venice Pre-Voyage: Guests will depart London’s Victoria Station aboard the sister train of the Venice-Simplon Orient-Express, the Belmond British Pullman traveling through the Kentish countryside until the transfer across the English Channel via the Eurotunnel. Once aboard the Venice-Simplon proper, guests will receive a four course meal and a nightcap, followed by a continental breakfast the next day before afternoon tea. Passengers depart the train in Venice to stay in the luxury Hotel Monaco before their European cruise.
- Venice to London Post-Voyage: After spending an evening at the Hotel Monaco in Venice following their cruise, guests are welcomed aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient Express with a three course lunch. Afternoon tea is served before dinner in one of the train’s restaurant cars. Guests are transferred in Calais for the Eurotunnel crossing. Guests will then board the Bellmond British Pullman to be delivered from Folkestone to London Victoria Station—with a class of English Sparkling Wine.These pre-and-post voyage train packages must be booked in tandem with featured sailings.
In addition to these packages, guests can also book a spot on the Wilderness Express—an upgrade to their Azamara Alaskan Cruise. Guests will be allowed into glass-domed upper levels and outside platforms as they travel by glaciers, fjords and scenery otherwise not visible along the route from Anchorage to Fairbanks. In 2019, the program expands further with the option for guests to explore Canada via The Canadian Rocky Mountaineer train.
Visit www.azamaraclubcruises.com for more details.