Famed luxury train service the Orient Express is making a comeback.
In 2023, the La Dolce Vita programme will launch, offering six trains taking in several popular European itineraries spanning 14 regions.
Passengers can experience five-star luxury as they travel flight-free onboard the 1960s and 1970s-inspired trains, designed by Dimorestudio.
Each train comes with 12 deluxe cabins, 18 suites, one honour suite and a restaurant carriage, where haute cuisine will be served alongside Italian wines.
Most journeys start in Italy, taking travellers through the Alps, the countryside or the beaches of southern Italy.
The Dolce Vita restaurant car
There will also be three international itineraries available from Rome to Paris, Istanbul and Split.
Stopovers in Rome will be hosted at the very first Orient Express Hotel, Minerva, slated to open in 2024, while passengers will get exclusive access to the Orient Express executive lounge at Roma Termini Station, where refreshments will be served.
Stephen Alden, CEO Raffles and Orient Express, Accor said: “It is thrilling to be bringing the refined nomadic spirit of Orient Express back to life for a new generation of travellers.
“The original train route was innovative in the way it paradoxically brought cultures together – the Occident with the Orient, history with modernity.
“As artisans of travel, we wish to revive this old-world, awe-inspiring ‘journey to elsewhere’ and reconcile certain paradoxes: a journey and a destination, astonishment and inspiration, movement and contemplation.
“Against the backdrop of breathtaking panoramas and a unique blend of cultures, we are convinced that travellers will have unforgettable experiences in Italy with Orient Express La Dolce Vita.”
Paolo Barletta, CEO of Arsenale S.p.A, added: “The journey itself becomes the destination and Italy has never been so close and sensational.”
Flight-free European travel seems set to grow in popularity in the coming years; in 2020, four rail companies announced they planned to boost the continent’s network of night train connections by reviving routes that were dropped several years ago for cost reasons.
German rail company Deutsche Bahn and the main national train operators in France, Switzerland and Austria all said they planned to reintroduce a number of sleeper services in the years ahead.