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Mediterranean Cruise with Oceania & the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

15-day luxury rail & cruise holiday


Short description

Pair the sheer glamour of an ultra-luxury rail journey with all the indulgences and relaxation of an Oceania cruise

British Airways Sale now on

The British Airways Sale is now on, with savings to a wide range of destinations from the USA and Canada to Asia and the Middle East. Book by 3 October 2023.


  • Experience an iconic journey on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
  • Take time to explore Venice’s charms in-depth
  • Enjoy a glitzy night under the lights of Paris
  • Sail the Adriatic in luxury with Oceania
  • Catch the mild late-autumn sun of the Med

In Brief

  • 1 Night Paris
  • 1 Night Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
  • 3 Nights Venice
  • 1 Night Trieste
  • 1 Night Split
  • 1 Night Bari
  • 1 Night Kotor
  • 1 Night At sea
  • 1 Night Kavala
  • 1 Night İstanbul
  • 1 Night İzmir
  • 1 Night Heraklion


Recommended for:
Ocean cruise | Rail journey

Set off from the UK toward the City of Love, enjoying a romantic night in Paris before hopping aboard one of history’s most storied trains: the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Make your way Agatha Christie-style, enjoying the refined 1920s glamour of the train, through the Continent to Venice. Along the way, enjoy views of the Alps and mouth-watering dining. Spend a few days exploring Venice, an historic city of architecture and canals, by gondola and water taxi. Discover Doge’s Palace, St Mark’s Square, and even the Venetian Islands of Murano and Burano. To cap it all off, board a small-ship luxury cruise with Oceania to explore the best of the Med, including stops in Croatia, Montenegro, Turkey, and Greece. You’re sure to soak up all the sun, sea, history, and culture you could hope for before returning home.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK to Paris

Say farewell to the UK as you board the Eurostar today, departing from London’s St Pancras bound for Paris Gare du Nord. If you’d prefer to fly, this can be arranged instead. After your journey, you’ll transfer to the Hotel Bowmann, at the heart of Paris’s Golden Triangle in the 8th Arrondissement. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure sampling Parisian culinary delights and exploring on your own. Our specialists are available to help with recommendations.

Stay: Hotel Bowmann, Paris (Deluxe)

Day 2
Board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

After breakfast at your hotel, the day is yours to explore Paris. Whether you choose a day packed with sightseeing—perhaps a visit to the Louvre and a cruise on the Seine—or a meandering day including a long lunch paired with wine, your day will feel as though it’s really only getting started as you board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for a night of Old-World glamour this evening.

Stepping onboard the historic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express’s Art Deco carriages transports you to a world of 1920s refinement. With exquisite craftsmanship adorning everything from the bar car, which acts as the train’s social hub, to the wood-panelled cabins and suites, you’ll truly feel as though you’re being treated to a night in travel’s golden age. Tonight’s multi-course dining experience will leave you in awe, both of the quality of food prepared in the train’s kitchen and of the ever-attentive staff. Enjoy a nightcap in the bar car and a rest in your cabin as the train moves toward the beckoning slopes of the Alps.

Stay: Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (Deluxe)

Meals: B D

Day 3

Take in views of alpine Europe over your continental breakfast this morning, served in your cabin or suite. Afterwards, enjoy some time at leisure purely to revel in the incredible sight of the jutting peaks of the Dolomites followed by the gentler vistas of northern Italy. To complete your incredible train journey, you’ll be treated to a sumptuous brunch in the dining car before crossing the Venetian Lagoon and disembarking at Santa Lucia Station.

Transfer by water taxi to the Baglioni Hotel Luna and enjoy the rest of the day exploring Venice on your own or relaxing at your luxurious hotel.

Stay: Baglioni Hotel Luna, Venice (Deluxe)

Meals: B L

Days 4-5

These days are yours to take in the magic of Venice at your own pace. You’re sure to discover why this city of marble palaces situated on a lagoon captures the hearts and imagination of so many.

Making your way down the canals via gondola or water taxi, discover all the best of Venice. The iconic waterfront St Mark’s Square defines Venice for many, with its ancient cafes and domed basilicas. The pink and white façade of Doge’s Palace is a must-visit, even if you aren’t typically a museumgoer. If you are an art aficionado, the Accademia should be on your itinerary, with works on display by Carpaccio, Titian, Mantegna, and more. Head out to the Venetian islands of Murano and Burano, to learn about the intricate art of glassblowing and the history of a colourful fishing village respectively. This is only the tip of the iceberg, in truth, because there is so much to discover in Venice. From popular tourist spots to quieter back streets that await you at every turn, prepare to be charmed. 

Stay: Baglioni Hotel Luna, Venice (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 6
Depart Venice with Oceania

Enjoy the morning having a delicious breakfast at your hotel and perhaps one last wander around Venice’s warren of streets. Early this afternoon, you’ll be privately transferred to the port in Trieste to board the Oceania Riviera for your departing cruise. The ship will depart Trieste this evening.

Stay: Riviera

Meals: B D

Day 7
Split, Croatia

Your ship docks in Split, Croatia’s second-largest city and a true jewel of the Dalmatian Coast. This city grew up around its centre point, Diocletian’s Palace. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this palace was built as a retirement home for its namesake in sometime around 300 A.D.

Today, you’ll feel spoilt for choice with shore excursions. You can visit Split’s intriguing archaeological museum to see the evidence for yourself of just how much time has passed since the city’s beginnings, with relics from the Roman, Greek Colonial, and Medieval periods on show. Alternatively, connect with Split’s outstanding supply of natural beauty by visiting the lush oasis of Marjan Forest Park and its Split Zoo. Zipline through treetops down Mount Kozjak, or explore the best of Split in a tuk-tuk. If you’re feeling in need of a bit of rest and relaxation, flock to one of Split’s fine beaches and simply sunbathe.

Stay: Riviera 

Meals: B L D

Day 8
Bari, Italy

Put your foot back on Italian soil today as you visit Bari, situated along the southern Adriatic. Bari brings together old and new seamlessly, with its picturesque Old Town to the north and a surprisingly modern city centre to the south. Architecture admirers are in for a treat today, as Bari has no shortage of beautiful buildings. In particular, you’ll want to see the Romanesque 12th-century San Nicola Church and the impressive Swabian Castle.

Your choice of shore excursions varies from easy-going walking tours to in-depth looks at the magical Castle Del Monte. Alternatively, visit the whitewashed town of Ostuni for a visit to a fortified rural estate including an olive oil tasting, or descend into the Grotte di Castellana caves, Italy’s longest network of caverns. If none of these are of interest, there are more choices available as well.

Stay: Riviera

Meals: B L D

Day 9
Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor is a wonderful example of an old walled medieval city. Its pink-paved streets twist and turn, with markets and incredible architecture adorning every curve and demonstrating the city’s influences, which range from Byzantine to Venetian. Taking a stroll through the walkable Old Town, you’ll be able to admire the imposing walls and St Trypon Cathedral, which dates to 1166.

You’ll have plenty of choice where shore excursions are concerned, with a dozen from which to choose. Birdwatchers may enjoy meandering about a protected bay-side reserve that is home to a range of species, and this excursion also taps into your eco-friendly side as you are able to plant a tree to contribute to the park’s biodiversity. Perhaps you’d rather visit a family estate on a hilltop fort overlooking Kotor for a tour and sumptuous meal. Or, cruise down the winding blue Bay of Kotor toward a classical music performance to get to know the Montenegrin culture.

Stay: Riviera

Meals: B L D

Day 10
At Sea

Spend today onboard the Oceania Riviera as you cruise the Mediterranean Sea. Indulge in afternoon tea, attend an engaging talk, be dazzled by the evening entertainment, or simply relax. This is your time to spend as you choose.

Stay: Riviera 

Meals: B L D

Day 11
Kavala/Philippi, Greece

Kavala’s fine beaches and plentiful historic sites are a draw for visitors to this city, built on a headland on the ancient site of Neapolis. History-lovers will appreciate Kavala’s Byzantine castle and intact 16th-century aqueduct. The ruins of nearby Philippi are also a must-visit for history buffs, featuring a Roman forum and a cathedral dating to the 5th century.

Explore Kavala and Philippi on an overview tour today to get a sense of the history and importance of this area. Alternatively, drive to Nestos River delta, a Wetland of International Importance to visit the alluring Xanthi, also known as the City of a Thousand Colours. Along with a walking tour to visit Xanthi’s splendid landmarks, you’ll also enjoy tasty Greek mezedes and a glass of local wine. 

Stay: Riviera

Meals: B L D

Day 12
Istanbul, Turkey

Enjoy a couple of days in Istanbul to properly explore this magnificent city, which sits astride two continents. You’ll want to see the city’s main sights, such as the stunning Topkapi Palace, the awe-inspiring Hagia Sophia, and the unforgettable Blue Mosque. Glide down the Bosphorous to take in Istanbul from a new perspective, visit one of the city’s many museums, or meander through the famous Grand Bazaar and its spice market—a real treat for the senses.

As well as tours of the city’s highlights, you can also get more in-depth if you so choose. Wander through historic Ottoman inns to learn how the trade system worked during the Ottoman Empire. Visit the Golden Horn, a natural harbour named for its incredible golden hue at sunset. Learn the Jewish heritage that makes up part of Istanbul’s story, with visits to Istanbul’s oldest existing synagogue, the Jewish Museum, and more. There are many other choices to suit other interests as well.

Stay: Riviera

Meals: B L D

Day 13
Izmir, Turkey

Izmir is a place to simply enjoy the sights. If the weather is fine, head to one of Izmir’s gorgeous beaches to surf or soak up the rays of sunshine. Stroll through Konak Square to spot the lavish Izmir Clock Tower. Simply meander along the Kordonboyu oceanfront promenade to relax and immerse yourself in the local scenery.

You can choose to simply explore the area on an overview walking tour, or you can select from several other shore excursion options. Visit the striking and well-preserved ruins of Ephesus, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Discover an ancient library at Pergamum, another UNESCO World Heritage site that once contained over 200,000 volumes. Alternatively, wander Ephesus with a guide and then enjoy a stop to shop for antiques and jewellery. 

Stay: Riviera

Meals: B L D

Day 14
Heraklion (Crete), Greece

Experience a slice of Greek mythology and ancient history in Crete as you visit the legendary home of the Minotaur’s labyrinth at the Minoan ruins of the Palace of Knossos, and then give your visit even more context by stopping in at the archaeological museum that houses many unbelievable artefacts from the complex.

Perhaps you’d rather board a coach and ascend 3,000 feet on Mount Dikti to enjoy vistas of the windmill-dotted scenery and view 14th-century paintings Eastern Orthodox Kera Monastery. You can also choose an excursion which takes you to the Cretan village of Krousonas to delve into the unique local culture that exists on this island. Foodies will love the opportunity to indulge in a bit of chef-led foraging followed by a spectacular Cretan lunch.

Stay: Riviera

Meals: B L D

Day 15

Disembark in Athens this morning at the end of a spectacular Mediterranean exploration. Afterwards, you’ll be privately transferred to the airport for your return flight to the UK, savouring those last rays of autumnal sunshine in the Med as you go.

If you'd prefer to stay on in Athens for a day or two to explore, our specialists can help you to arrange a hotel and recommendations on sightseeing.

Meals: B


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At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

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