The Piano Bar aboard the "Venice Simplon-Orient-Express"

The Piano Bar aboard the "Venice Simplon-Orient-Express"
© Matt Hind

Travel with Pride: Venice Simplon-Orient-Express hosts second LGBTQ trip

The extremely extravagant journey from Paris to Venice is explicitly aimed at the community and impresses with brilliant acts and hosts. Proceeds will go to the British trans-led charity 'Not A Phase'.

Timelessness, undeniable elegance, exquisite luxury and a little bit of dust – far too often, the 'grandes dames' of the travel industry are preceded by their reputation, established over decades (if not just under a century). Be it a Ritz in Paris, a Brown's in London or a Hotel Adlon in Berlin, amongst such historical icons most have a stylised self-image as establishments reserved for the elite, in the highest price range.

Pride on the Orient Express

It's a similar story with the legendary Orient Express, to which crime luminary Agatha Christie dedicated an entire novel – even though the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is not quite the same train. However, it is in no way inferior to the original. On November 2, the Belmond train declares war on its dusty, albeit glamorous, image for the second time. As part of the 'Travel with Pride' event, the entire train will be dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community during the two-day crossing from Paris to Venice.

For the duration of the trip the entire train is transformed into a dazzling party oasis, hosted by U.S. TV producer and actor Gary Janetti as well as Canadian stylist Brad Goreski. The brilliant musical program – after all, one can hardly speak of background music here - comes from the disco DJs Honey Dijon and Purple Disco Machine. In addition, performances by comedians and drag queens are planned, but the organisers are still keeping a low profile on that.

Culinary options include a four-course table d'hôte menu, Pride signature cocktails and unlimited champagne. Finally, a French breakfast is served directly to your historic private cabin. And a designated steward will take care of any wishes that may have remained unfulfilled. However, only one thing is required of guests: an absolutely glamorous outfit à la self-expression. Wearing jeans, by the way, is prohibited, at all times.

'Not A Phase'

Part of the proceeds from the tickets will be used, for the second time, to support the British NGO 'Not A Phase', which advocates for transgender adults. Founder and activist Danielle St James is very excited about the resumption of the project:
We are absolutely thrilled to be back for a second year of celebrations on the Venice Simplon-Orient Express with our friends at Belmond. It is through events and points of visibility like these that we are able to continue to grow and maintain our projects around the UK that support the trans+ community and spread a message of pure joy. We truly appreciate Belmond’s support and look forward to continuing to work together to celebrate diversity and create positive change.

Belmond is also in a positive mood. Turning the company's hotels (and trains) into safe spaces for the community is a project close to his heart, as Pascal Deyrolle, General Manager of the Orient Express explains: "As a sign of Belmond’s continued commitment to providing an inclusive environment for all guests and members of staff, where individuality is celebrated, we are delighted to welcome back this special 'Travel with Pride' journey after its huge inaugural success last year as well as proud to continue our support of 'Not A Phase' ".

For more information and tickets, visit

Fee Louise Schwarz
Fee Louise Schwarz
Digital Redakteurin