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Delve into the treasures of the Mediterranean during a no-fly voyage from Southampton ahead of a series of chic Italian hotel stays before gliding to London in unparalleled luxury on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

Your Mediterranean adventure begins the moment you step on board the regal Queen Mary 2 in Southampton. The flagship of Cunard, Queen Mary 2 is a name synonymous with maritime elegance reminiscent of the golden age of cruising. During your nine-day voyage, you’ll savour world-class entertainment, sumptuous cuisine, the Mareel Spa and famous speakers from the arts and beyond.

Sailing south, you’ll make your first call in Spain’s rugged Vigo – a lively, buzzing city where you can sample fresh seafood or explore the Old Town’s cobbled streets. You’ll then spend a day in Barcelona, a city where architecture and art merge together before a stop in Marseilles. From here you could delve into the bohemian Cours Julien lined with bars, music venues, galleries and markets. Next, you’ll cruise to Livorno which serves as the gateway to glorious Tuscany and its two world-acclaimed cities, Florence and Pisa.

You’ll then complete your luxury cruise in Civitavecchia before transferring to Rome where you’ll relish three nights walking in the footsteps of gladiators. Florence, an achingly romantic city of rivers, bridges and Renaissance art awaits your curiosity during a two-night hotel stay. Your final destination, fair Verona, is where you’ll revel in a three-night hotel stay ahead of joining the timeless Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for your return journey to London. Harking back to a more sophisticated era of travel, this is a journey admired by many but experienced by few; a trip on board promises an unforgettable experience.

Your Route

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Embark on a journey to London on board the magnificent Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

One of the most iconic train journeys in the world, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is a work of art. Harking back to a more elegant age of travel, you’ll journey through the countryside in original 1920s carriages, featuring Lalique glass panels, wood marquetry and wood burning stoves. Experience the gracious service as you dine in the sumptuous restaurant car on a menu of delectable cuisine, returning to your compartment to discover that your private lounge has been effortlessly converted into a bedroom with upper and lower berths. A sequence of unforgettable moments, barely changed by time, make this voyage one of the world’s finest travel experiences, admired by many but enjoyed by few.

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Carriages

The train is made up of sleeping cars dating back to the 1920s and 30s, plus three dining cars, a bar car with an elegant baby grand piano which is played every evening before and after dinner, and an on-board boutique. There is also a baggage carriage for storing outsize bags that will not fit in your cabin.
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Cabins

The restored 1920s sleeper cabins are some of the most luxurious train accommodations in the world. Each one is beautifully appointed with exquisite craftsmanship, such as bespoke soft furnishings and polished wood. There are a choice of cabins - all featuring a washbasin with hot and cold water, towels, bathrobes and slippers, plus dual voltage plugs to stay connected.
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Food

The cuisine on board is truly exceptional – its presentation is as such it’s hard to believe that it has been created on board a moving locomotive. Executive Chef Christian Bodiguel has honed his menus on the Orient Express for over 30 years, and takes inspiration from local, seasonal produce, dependent on the route that the train takes.

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The Queen Mary 2 Experience

Quite simply, the Queen Mary 2 is the most magnificent ocean liner ever built, so, a fabulous cruise holiday on this wonderful ship is an experience of a lifetime. Cunard have incorporated the very latest in modern facilities, entertainment and enrichment opportunities into a ship radiating the opulence, charm and glamour of cruising’s Golden Era. Your fine dining options include several-course gourmet delights with classy touches like Wedgwood china and Waterford crystal. Be entertained by lavish musical shows, dance in the largest ballroom at sea with a superb resident orchestra, and with four splendid pool areas for relaxation, this wonderful ship has everything you could possibly want for the most marvellous time at sea.

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Dining and Drinks

From classic British and French in the Britannia and Grills restaurants to the best steak onboard at The Verandah, plus daily traditional afternoon tea and a range of international cuisines at Kings Court Buffet, there’s something to suit every taste.
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Rest and Relaxation

Enjoy a show at the planetarium, take part in fencing, relax in the Mareel Spa or sign up for the outstanding Insight programme; while little ones are entertained in the age-appropriate kids’ clubs.
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Entertainment

There’s never a dull moment with West End-style productions at the Royal Court Theatre, a full live music programme, karaoke and quiz nights, plus ballroom dancing in the Queens Room and live DJs at the ship’s G32 nightclub.

Your 17 Night Holiday Includes

Day 1

9 June 2023

Embark the magnificent Queen Mary 2 in Southampton, to discover the jewels of the Mediterranean

You will begin your journey in Southampton by boarding the majestic Queen Mary 2. A spectacular ship whose very essence, from grand design to final flourishes, harks back to the grand ocean liners of the golden age of travel - there’s simply no more fitting way to cross the Mediterranean on your nine-day voyage to Rome.

plate2  Meals Included: Lunch and Dinner

bell  Overnight: Queen Mary 2

Day 2

10 June 2023

Cruise in complete comfort and style to your first destination

Queen Mary 2 combines the glamour of cruising’s golden era with modern conveniences. Your fine dining options include several-course gourmet delights with classy touches like Wedgwood fine bone china and Waterford crystal. Be entertained by lavish musical shows, dance in the largest ballroom at sea with a superb resident orchestra; and with four pool areas for relaxation, this ship has everything you could possibly want for the most marvellous time at sea.

plate2  Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

bell  Overnight: Queen Mary 2

Day 3

11 June 2023

Soak up Vigo’s rich history, delectable cuisine and picturesque beaches

Vigo lies on northern Spain’s rugged coastline in the verdant region of Galicia. This undulating city has beautiful plazas dating back to medieval times and you’ll get spectacular views of the bay from the hills above the city. It’s also the place to find delicious fresh seafood, particularly octopus. Take the short trip to the nearby Cies Islands blessed with white-sand beaches and clear waters that wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean.

plate2  Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

bell  Overnight: Queen Mary 2

Days 4 - 5

12 - 13 June 2023

Experience the finer things on board during two days at sea

Your hardest decision may be what to do next during these two days at sea. Dance lessons, Insight presentations, deck games, theatre productions or cookery demonstrations? Or you could choose to relax and unwind in the large spa, complete with treatment rooms, saunas and pool.

plate2  Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

bell  Overnight: Queen Mary 2

Day 6

14 June 2023

Today, you’ll visit Barcelona, renowned for its art and architecture

A chic and cosmopolitan city, here you could visit Las Ramblas, the walkway at the heart of the city, gaze up at Gaudi’s masterpiece La Sagrada Familia, sample some traditional tapas or feel the sand between your toes on the sun-drenched beaches.

plate2  Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

bell  Overnight: Queen Mary 2

Day 7

15 June 2023

Enjoy the fresh sea breeze during a call in Marseilles, as you delve deeper into this historical city

Marseilles is a virtual melting pot of people and cultures with a salty city feel and culture all its own and the gateway to Provence. Dominating the harbour is the infamous Chateau d'If, the rocky prison from which Alexandre Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo escaped. Why not sample the renowned bouillabaisse or tour the lovely towns and vineyards of Provence?

plate2  Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

bell  Overnight: Queen Mary 2

Day 8

16 June 2023

The charming port of Livorno serves as the gateway to Florence and Pisa

Livorno serves at the gateway to the Tuscan cities of Florence and Pisa with its iconic Leaning Tower. Don’t just admire it from the ground, climbing the tower is a once-in-a-lifetime experience bestowing you with fantastic views from the top. There are many other beautiful buildings to explore around the tower in the Square of Miracles, including the white and grey marble cathedral.

plate2  Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

bell  Overnight: Queen Mary 2

Day 9

17 June 2023

Today you’ll bid farewell to Queen Mary 2 and transfer to your hotel in Rome

You’ll disembark Queen Mary 2 and transfer to Rome for a three-night stay in the Eternal City. Italy’s capital is adorned with ancient sights, where you can follow in the footsteps of gladiators and emperors to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Experience la dolce vita for yourself walking around Trastevere where you’ll see the Rome from the movies: a family-run trattoria on every corner, street stalls piled high with glossy fruits and vegetables and gelato stands providing the perfect refreshment.

plate2  Meals Included: Breakfast

bell  Overnight: Grand Hotel Palatino

Days 10 - 11

18 - 19 June 2023

Immerse yourself in Rome’s ancient heart

Discover Rome

Explore streets steeped in ancient history, where Byzantine mosaics grace church ceilings and cool catacombs slumber beneath your feet. Stand in awe at the scale of St Peter’s Square at the Vatican and discover treasures like the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, where a coin tossed into its shining waters promise a return to Rome.

Vatican City Tour & Colosseum

Upon booking an Outside Cabin or above you’ll be gifted the opportunity to visit two of Rome’s greatest sites in one day. Marvel at the sheer beauty of the ethereal Sistine Chapel and delve into the rich history buried within the Vatican Museums. You’ll then relish a guided tour of the glorious Colosseum, a fantastic ancient structure which has stood at the heart of the city for over two millennia; history practically seeps out of it.

plate2  Meals Included: Breakfast

bell  Overnight: Grand Hotel Palatino

Days 12 - 13

20 - 21 June 2023

Embrace beautiful Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance and a city made for walking

Discover Florence

Next, you’ll transfer to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, where the streets are like a real-life museum and Michelangelo’s David, Brunelleschi’s dome and Ferragamo’s iconic shoes are all within easy reach. The capital of the Tuscany region is an achingly romantic city of rivers, bridges and Renaissance art and architecture often described as an open-air museum. Don’t miss the Duomo, a cathedral with a striking terracotta-tiled dome, or the Ponte Vecchio crossing the Arno.

Opera and Dinner Experience

Enjoy an elegant evening of Italian opera and Tuscan cuisine with this perfectly paired experience in the heart of Florence when you book an Outside Cabin or above. Enjoy a dinner at a delicious traditional Italian restaurant before a spellbinding concert in the medieval Santa Monaca church; where ancient stones and rich acoustics set the scene for a performance of classic arias by Italy’s greatest composers.

plate2  Meals Included: Breakfast

bell  Overnight: Grand Hotel Baglioni

Days 14 - 16

22 - 24 June 2023

A UNESCO world heritage city, Verona is a place of history, culture, music, architecture and high society

Discover Verona

A land of great traditions, from opera to fine food and wine, Verona is a passionate and elegant city waiting to be explored. Wander quaint and winding streets admiring its romantic balconies with a gelato in hand. Be awe-inspired by the sheer size of The Verona Arena which was built in 30 AD and is still in use today. You may be lucky enough to catch one of the large-scale opera performances given there.

Lake Garda Wine Tour

If you book an Outside Cabin or above you’ll enjoy an exciting half-day wine tasting tour at a Lake Garda winery. Here, you’ll gain fascinating insight into Lake Garda’s soil and grapes, how the vines are cultivated and the many wine varieties. This will be followed by an exclusive tasting of three typical wines, accompanied by some locally produced cheeses, olives, and crusty bread sticks.

plate2  Meals Included: Breakfast

bell  Overnight: Hotel Veronesi La Torre

Day 17

25 June 2023

Step on board one of the most iconic trains in the world, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Begin your journey home in luxurious 1920s flair by boarding the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express in Verona. Bask in the indulgence of a three-course lunch in the elegant dining car, and watch hills roll into mountains before shrinking down into pastoral countryside. In the evening, prepare to be dazzled by a leisurely four-course dinner curated by expert French chefs, to then retire to your cabin which has been turned into an haven of rest.

plate2  Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

bell  Overnight: Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Day 18

26 June 2023

Returning to London in unparalleled style, you’ll disembark the Venice Simplon-Orient Express

Wake to peaceful views and breakfast in your cabin before delighting in a delicious brunch as you sweep through northern France towards the Channel. Back on English soil, you’ll board the equally luxurious British Pullman for a traditional afternoon tea, accompanied by a glass of sparkling wine before arriving in London, your Mediterranean experience complete.

plate2  Meals Included: Breakfast and Afternoon Tea

FREE Hotel Stays

Grand Hotel Palatino, Rome
★★★★

The Grand Hotel Palatino is an excellent base for a comfortable, relaxing and rewarding stay in the Eternal City. Its extraordinary position, located in front of the famous Borgia staircase, allows you to quickly reach the capital’s main points of interest, such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. This eight-storey property offers 200 guestrooms and suites of various types, some offering splendid views of the city. With a choice of three dining rooms, discover Rome through the flavours and aromas of traditional cuisine, inspired by great Italian recipes created by talented local chefs. Within the hotel, you’ll also relish the large lobby with inviting bar and a gym and the courteous and professional staff, at your disposal 24 hours a day.

Grand Hotel Baglioni, Florence
★★★★

Located in the centre of the city, this beautiful hotel is housed in a magnificent 19th-century building and offers exceptional views of famous historic monuments including the Duomo, the Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery. Each of the 192 rooms are equipped in an unmistakably Florentine style: wooden furniture, wrought iron finishes, hardwood floors and leaded glass windows. Features Savour the panoramic B-Roof restaurant, serving traditional delectable Tuscan cuisine and an excellent spot for enjoying an aperitif while drinking in stunning views of Florence.

Hotel Veronesi La Torre, Verona
★★★★

Built from an old 16th century monastery, Hotel Veronesi La Torre, provides a unique stay, with a crenelated tower, an internal courtyard and private gardens. Nestled in the historical centre of Verona, Hotel Veronesi La Torre offers a modern wellness spa with a heated swimming pool, contemporary rooms and an outdoor swimming pool with a solarium and pool bar. Head to La Torre 22 to savour an innovate menu curated by chef Luca Basso, before enjoying inspiring views from Bar La Corte 22’s terrace with a refreshing cocktail in hand.

Your Holiday Summary

 

Rail Journey

  • 2 day full-board luxury rail journey on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express from Verona to London
    • Dedicated steward service
    • Gourmet brunch, four-course dinner, continental breakfast and three-course lunch
    • Enjoy views of the snow-peaked Swiss Alps during your journey

FREE Hotel Stays

  • 3 night four-star stay in Rome at the Grand Hotel Palatino or similar 
  • 2 night four-star stay in Florence at the Grand Hotel Baglioni or similar 
  • 3 night four-star stay in Verona at the Hotel Veronesi La Torre or similar 
  • All hotel stays include breakfast

Cruise

  • 8 night full-board cruise on board Queen Mary 2
  • FREE Outside to Balcony upgrade
  • FREE Italian cities tours when you book an Outside cabin or above
    • Colosseum and Vatican City tour in Rome
    • Opera tickets and dinner in Florence
    • Wine tasting tour in Lake Garda 

All transfers

Prices From

Departing

9 June 2023

Inside

£5,999pp

Outside

£6,999pp

Balcony

£6,999pp

Grill Suite

£8,999pp

Duration: 17 Nights
Itinerary Includes: Southampton, Vigo, Barcelona, Marseilles, Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Civitavecchia (Rome), Florence, Verona, London

To Book, Call our Holiday Specialists on

01793 975 658