Learning the ‘Art of Travel’ on the Orient Express

A luxurious learning experience complete with a guide from London’s National Gallery

The Orient Express is launching a series of special vacation packages called “The Art of Travel,” including tours to Venice, Paris and within England. Travelers will learn about the lives of artists such as Canaletto, Bellini, Titian, Veronese, Monet, Rubens, Turner and Constable while seeing the places that inspired their work and visiting the places that house their work today, accompanied by an expert from London’s National Gallery.

All tours include at least one night at London’s Goring Hotel and begin at The National Gallery, where a specialist will give a guided introduction to selected masterpieces before the journey begins. Trips include:

THE VENICE OF CANALETTO: This seven-day tour will give travelers the opportunity to view Venice through Canaletto’s eyes. Travel from London aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express through France, the snow-capped Alps and northern Italy. While in Venice, guests stay at the Hotel Cipriani and trace the footsteps of Canaletto, who is forever associated with magnificent Venetian views. Trips are limited to 20 people and depart on April 9, October 8 and October 22, 2011. 

VENETIAN PAINTERS: This is a six-day tour that introduces the traveler to the great Venetian masters, from Giovanni Bellini and Titian to Veronese. Starting in London with a tour and dinner at the National Gallery, travelers will fly to Venice, where they will step back into the Italian Renaissance and explore great sights such as the Doge’s Palace, the Accademia and Ca’ Rezzonica with an expert from the National Gallery. The journey ends with a return to London on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. The trip is limited to 20 people and departs on April 30, 2011.

IMPRESSIONS OF PARIS: Also offered will be a series of five-day tours focusing on French Impressionism, where travelers will trace Claude Monet’s long, dynamic life and will learn about the birth of a new artistic movement, when painters first began painting in the open air to capture the effects of light. From London, guests board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and can marvel that two of the restored carriages aboard the Art Deco train were already carrying passengers when Monet was producing his last masterpieces. Departures are April 9, May 7, June 25, July 27, August 24, September 24 and October 22, 2011. 

BRITISH PULLMAN: These tours combine the thrill of a steam-hauled luxury train, complemented by gourmet dining — brunch on the outbound journey and a three-course supper on the return — with delightful scenery and include visits to Bath’s finest art collections.

British Pullman car on the Orient Express
  • Collectors and Collecting: This trip is timed to coincide with the reopening of the Holburne Museum in May 2011 following a major restoration.  After a guided tour of the museum, there will be a tour of “Beckford’s Bath,” including the eccentric William Beckford’s house and the grounds leading up to Beckford’s Tower. The trip will depart on June 28, 2011.
  • Thomas Gainsborough: This journey focuses on landscape paintings by notable British and European artists including Rubens, Turner and Constable. Highlights include the new exhibition “Gainsborough’s Landscapes: Themes and Variation,” at the Holburne Museum and a walking tour of artists’ Bath.  This tour will depart on October 11, 2011.

For more information on “The Art of Travel,” visit www.orient-express.com/nationalgallery.

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