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Honeymoons
& weddings
  
Honeymoons and weddings abroad are tailor-made by Expressions Holidays. Contact us for a range of honeymoon and wedding destinations around the world and an amazing choice of honeymoons from island-hopping to visiting cultural sites.
Authentic
Experiences
  

With Authentic Experiences from Expressions Holidays you enter a world of genuine holiday and travel experiences within the framework of one of our tailor-made holidays, be its significance culture, gastronomy, wine appreciation, wildlife, sports or special occasions.
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holidays
  

Expressions Spas opens a world of tailor-made spa holidays that allows you to choose according to region, type of treatment desired, product type and recommends for your party type, whether it be for couples, singles or perhaps mothers and daughters travelling together.
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holidays
  

Expressions Families affords you an amazing choice of sophisticated resorts ideally suited to families in selected destinations worldwide. You can also choose according to required facilities in resort and we suggest holidays for families with grandparents and single parent families too.
Rail
holidays
  

Expressions Holidays offers you tailor-made rail holidays and journeys by train, including luxury trains, scenic journeys and classic rail tours.
Worldwide
journeys
  

Tailor-made journeys and tours for individuals and small groups to selected destinations around the world from Burma to Italy, from Vietnam to India.
  • The Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express luxury holidays

    The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

    The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

    Hotel Cipriani

    Luxury holidays on The Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express: Is this the only way to get to Venice?

    Marcelle was lucky enough to experience the very special journey from London to Venice on the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express. As a guest of Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express, with inside information being provided by their UK sales director, train manager and crew, my experience was as memorable as that of a customer but with the added advantage of having more details about the train and how it works to share with our clients in the future. These are the notes I wrote as soon as I got to Venice, and on purpose I have kept them in ‘short-hand’ so that you can feel the immediacy of the high points.

    The Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express
    “Always a thrill to see the arrival of the British Pullman in Victoria. Such an elegant setting. Excellent service with a very tasty and satisfying brunch on board. The journey is slow as the train meanders through south London and the Kentish suburbs. Luggage goes by road to get to the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express before us. Greeted at Folkestone West by a jolly brass band before boarding our executive coach for the interim part of the journey through the Channel tunnel. Slightly impatient to have to wait for the crossing by coach on the tunnel train before getting to Calais Ville where the continental train was waiting.

    Blue carriages with the gold crest. Blue hatted and uniformed stewards wait by their coaches. Luggage was already on board and in our cabins. We board and locate our cabin. Delightful. Cosy and overwhelming sense of lots of upholstery. Orchid in a silver vase. Route map awaits. Arrange times for dinner with the steward. Unpack. Discover the wash basin tucked away in a corner cupboard. Toiletries and soft towels, slippers and light weight dressing gown. Corridors are carpeted. Windows open. We pull away and head towards Paris. Time to change and dress for dinner. Two sittings mean that the first one is quite early. Bar coach with pianist. Three restaurant cars. All different in design. Enormously elegant and atmospheric. Refined and charming. One dining car is decorated with Lalique panels. Large comfortable chairs. Heavy crystal and fine china. Bar and restaurant cars perhaps over-heated but lots of ladies are wearing sleeveless dresses. The cuisine was excellent. Very high quality of combination, ingredients and presentation.

    However, the most fantastic moment is going back to your cabin to have it transformed into a bed. Cabin is antique but timeless in its details. Best moment was turning off the light and listening to the sound of the creaking of the wood, the chug of the engine and the feel of the moving along the track. Very special. Moments of awareness during the night as the train slows and pulls into stations en route. The next morning awake in Switzerland as we speed alongside Lake Zurich heading towards the Austrian border. Breakfast of fresh coffee, rolls and pastries served in your cabin. Through the Arlberg, out of the tunnel at St Anton at just over 1300 metres and then descending towards the Inn valley and Innsbruck. Stunning mountain scenery. Flakes of snow at St Anton. Time to study the map, read, visit the shop on board (yes, souvenir copies of Murder on the Orient Express). At Innsbruck we can leave the train briefly for photographs and to witness the Olympic ski jump in the distance. Then we head south towards the spectacular Brenner, changing engines to an Italian one at the border. Lunch is served. More gastronomic delights. The sun is out and Italy beckons. Vine-clad slopes and pastures ahead.

    Tea is served in your cabin as we head towards Verona. Plenty of time to sit with feet up in the privacy of your cabin to relax, think, read and to feast your eyes on the scenery as it passes by. The rhythm is an old-fashioned chugging of a train, not the whooshing of a high speed Eurostar. Totally different and perhaps forgotten sensation over a long distance. The sense of excitement stirs again as we head east, mountains to the north, truly in Italy, Venice is ahead. After a spectacular and memorable journey, some 30 hours or so after leaving London, arrival in Venice Santa Lucia”.

    Find out more about rail holidays on the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express.

    Once in Venice
    Just a few of our selected hotels
    Hotel Cipriani
    I was lucky to stay at the Hotel Cipriani, part of the Orient Express group. For those of you who haven’t stayed here before, it is unlike any other hotel in Venice. For a start, it is designed and functions as a resort hotel in its purest sense. It does not have the feel of a city centre hotel, although it is in the city of Venice, but reached only by boat in a few minutes’ from St Mark’s on the island of Giudecca. The Cipriani therefore has the feel of being in a world apart from the bustle of Venice proper and its beautifully-tended gardens and grounds offer numerous places to rest in the quiet. Another startling difference is its Olympic-size swimming pool. With a variety of restaurants including a waterfront one facing St Mark’s, you can stay ‘in’ in the evenings or call the boat and be ferried over to the private pier at St Mark’s to explore at your leisure.
    We have worked with the Hotel Cipriani for almost 20 years and the style, service and atmosphere actually improves. Do experience it for yourself.
    Prices from £1590 per person for 3 nights’ bed and breakfast including flights and private transfers.

    Some new ones to offer you
    These are all ones I visited when I was in Venice recently. I recommend them thoroughly. All from prices are based on 3 nights, bed and breakfast, private transfers by boat from the airport and flights. These are sample prices based on midweek and low season. Prices will fluctuate depending on the flight costs too.

    Ca'Sagredo
    This is a luxurious 5 star palazzo hotel which overlooks the Grand Canal, opposite the historical Rialto market. The 15th century palace has been declared as a National Monument, and is perfect for those seeking an elegant ambience in a historic setting. The hotel has 42 rooms and suites, each decorated in classic Venetian styling with antique furniture, gilt mirrors and Murano glass. Enjoy traditional Venetian cuisine on the splendid panoramic terrace of l’Alcova restaurant from where you can watch the gondolas and boats glide along the water.
    Prices from around £820 per person

    Baglioni Hotel Luna
    A popular and very comfortable 5 star hotel in an outstandingly convenient location near the western edge of St Mark’s Square. While a hotel has occupied the site since the Middle Ages, the present building has recently been refurbished both inside and out. Bedrooms are home to plush carpets, high-quality furnishings, and elegant decoration, all offering a high level of general comfort. The hotel has its own landing stage for private water taxis.
    Prices from around £940 per person

    Bauer Palazzo
    The 5 star Bauer Palazzo is located at the heart of Venice’s most famous attractions. At around a five minute’s walk from San Marco, the hotel is ideally located and has its own dock. The lustrous colours and textures used to decorate each of the rooms balance a combination of art-deco style and the building's 18th century Venetian heritage. Many rooms have balconies or terraces that overlook the Grand Canal, and on the ground floor, the hotel boasts of three bars and two restaurants, which combine innovative new flavours with traditional Mediterranean dishes.
    Prices from around £810 per person

    Hotel Bizanzio
    The 3 star Hotel Bisanzio is the perfect place from which to explore Venice, with comfortable rooms and excellent service. Situated just 300 metres from St Mark's Square, this 16th century palazzo is just the very beginning of your historic exploration of this magnificent city. The quirky Venetian style pervades throughout, with parquet floors, Murano glass lamps, walnut wainscotting, and antique furnishings that really set off this distinctive look.
    Prices from around £750 per person

    Other ways of getting to Venice
    Obviously the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express is a real treat and deserving of a special occasion. You can also travel to Venice on the sleeper from Paris or there is a day-time service, perhaps overnighting in Zurich or Milan. One way by train, the other by plane is an ideal combination for scenery and time. Ask us for ideas.

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