mous case on it, Alfred Hitchcock’s lady vanished from it and James Bond’s Sean Connery rode it for The Spy Who Loved Me, followed by Kenneth Branagh, Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp and Judi Dench for the film update of Murder on the Orient Express—not forgetting its role in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. But there has never, despite the nov- els, the films and the intrigue, been a murder on the Orient-Express. The first Orient-Express pulled out of Paris for Istanbul in 1883 for the 1,700-mile trip across Europe and thus began a lifelong love affair which we can still experience. We shall step inside those leg- endary original rail cars with their inlaid marquetry, polished brass, sumptuous upholstery and antique fixtures, to make our way across Europe in a frisson of excitement—everybody stops to look as the Orient-Express pulls into a station, or steams under a bridge or past a railway crossing. It is simply the most famous train in the world. The mystique and glamour of Agatha Christie linger throughout, from the genuine carriages to the crisp linen, the French silverware and heavy crystal glassware, the personal stewards and the white- gloved service, as faultless as one would expect of this grand hotel on wheels. Carriages are meticulously maintained to ensure an authen- tic experience, from the original sleeping cars of the 1920s and ’30s, the three dining cars and elegant bar car with its baby grand piano. Each carriage has a history—if only it could tell. Such as carriage 3309, which became stuck in a snowdrift outside Istanbul and gave rise to the scene in the famous film. The classic 32-hour London to Venice trip is still the most roman- tic of all. This is the route which gives you the finest scenery by day— the return Venice to London trip is less costly, but you pass the best views at night. From London to Venice the scenery along the way is Theromancecontinuesas theOrient-Expresssteams intotheVeniceLagoon 66