Railway enthusiasts with a taste for nostalgia will soon be able to indulge their Orient Express fantasies after Hungarian Railways said it was launching a luxury Budapest-Tehran train service.
With ticket prices of between 10,000 and 23,000 euros ($13,000-31,000) per person, guests will receive “five-star” treatment…
The first “Golden Eagle-Danube Express” train, which comprises 13 lavishly-decorated wood-panelled 1950s carriages and berths for about 70 guests, will set off from Budapest on October 15.
The two-week trip will cross Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, and take passengers through the ancient Iranian cities of Shiraz and Persepolis before reaching the capital Tehran.
“Nostalgia fans needn’t panic, another five trips are scheduled for 2015,” she said.
The last Orient Express – which traditionally linked Paris and Istanbul – ran in 2009, with the luxury Venice Simplon-Orient Express continuing to run services between London and Venice.
The train is a joint venture between the Danube Express, the only private train in Central Europe to have en suite facilities, and the “rail-cruise” tour operator Golden Eagle Luxury Trains. It will travel through Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey before entering Iran, where five days will be spent exploring historic cities, World Heritage Sites and towns off the beaten track.
There will be two “Jewels of Persia” trips in 2014: eastbound departing on October 14, costing from £8,695 per person, and westbound on October 27, costing from £9,395, not including flights. Two more trips are being arranged for 2015. For details see danube-express.com; goldeneagleluxurytrains.com.