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Gems of Northern Italy river cruise & Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

12-day luxury rail & river cruise from £6,650 pp incl. flights

Special offer: Early booking offer for 2023 departures – Save up to £265pp


Short description

Combine the historic treasures of Northern Italy with the world's most iconic rail journey


  • Enjoy all-inclusive, gourmet dining on board your luxury river ship
  • Explore Venice – the Floating City – home to world-famous art & museums
  • Sail between Bologna, Choggia and the Venetian Islands
  • Discover historical Verona including a private tour of the famous Arena di Verona
  • Indulge on the world's most luxurious train, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

In Brief

  • 2 Nights Venice
  • 1 Night Chioggia
  • 1 Night Polesella
  • 1 Night Chioggia
  • 1 Night Venetian Islands
  • 1 Night Venice
  • 3 Nights Verona
  • 1 Night Venice Simplon-Orient-Express


Recommended for:
Rail journey | River cruise

This is one of the world's great rail and cruise combinations, pairing the unique artistry and culture of Northern Italy with a journey aboard Europe's most glamorous train. Flying to Venice, you'll settle into your stateroom aboard the recently reimagined S.S. La Venezia to experience the likes of artists' favourite, Chioggia, as well as Bologna, Northern Italy's culinary epicentre. You'll also take in the charms of the Venetian Islands, stopping off in Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello to enjoy everything from wine estate tours to traditional lace workshops. It's then on to Verona where a private tour will introduce you to the city's acclaimed amphitheatre before you step aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for an unforgettable journey across the Continent.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK to Venice

Enjoy included airport lounge access before flying to Venice to board S.S. La Venezia at San Basilio cruise pier. Recently renovated, this luxurious ship is inspired by Venetian culture, and features three dining venues, a spa, lounge and bar to help you make the most of your Italian sojourn. Settle into your luxurious stateroom or suite, and enjoy your first evening on the Venetian lagoon, perhaps heading to the upper duck to watch the sun set over the water.

Stay: S.S. La Venezia

Meals: D

Day 2

Today you'll disembark in Venice for two featured excursions to help you get to know the city. An expert guide will take you on a walking tour of the iconic sights and hidden treasures of its floating laneways, while back onboard the ship, you'll take a scenic cruise around the Venetian Lagoon. This evening, a private after-hours visit to Saint Mark's Basilica is a highlight – see the spectacular church in the evening light and without the crowds. And, before retiring to your room for the night, enjoy a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner. 

Stay: S.S. La Venezia

Meals: B L D

Day 3

Today, you'll leave Venice and sail past the brightly-coloured fishermen’s houses of Pellestrina before you arrive into Chioggia, often referred to as “Little Venice,” right at the southern end of the lagoon. A local guide will show you the highlights of this charming fishing village, a favourite among artists, or you might prefer to hop aboard a little boat to harvest mussels with fishermen in the lagoon. For the more adventurous, take a bike ride along the beach followed by an authentic Italian mussel lunch. Back onboard, treat yourself to cocktails in the bar as the sun goes down.

Stay: S.S. La Venezia

Meals: B L D

Day 4
Polesella (Bologna or Ferrara)

Today you have a choice of cities to explore. Foodies will want to spend a day in Bologna, Northern Italy's culinary capital, learning how to make pasta – and eat it. Or, visit UNESCO-listed Ferrara, a beautifully preserved Renaissance city, where you'll enjoy a walk around the town with an expert guide. You'll see everything from the city's medieval walls to its Gothic cathedral before returning to the ship for lunch. Tonight, perhaps book a spa treatment to help you truly unwind.

Stay: S.S. La Venezia

Meals: B L D

Day 5
Porto Viro, Chioggia

Today, you'll return to the delightful town of Chioggia for a new perspective. This lively fishing port boasts one of Europe's biggest wholesale fish markets, which you'll tour today, along with Corso del Popolo – a busy outdoor market where traders sell everything from clothes and shoes to gadgets and souvenirs. You'll then cruise on to Burano, where a guided evening stroll will introduce you to the delights of this colourful island.

Stay: S.S. La Venezia

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Venice Islands (Burano, Mazzorbo, Torcello)

Today you'll have the opportunity to explore three of the many islands surrounding Venice. You'll start in Torcello, a once heavily-populated city now home to only a handful of locals. Here, you'll see the 11th-century mosaic of the Last Judgement via an early-access tour without the crowds. Next, you'll stop in Mazzorbo, where you'll immerse yourself in the fine art of Italian winemaking, touring an estate devoted to making wine with Dorona grapes, which tolerate the salt air to produce a rich golden wine. You'll then end the day back in Burano, where vibrant fishermen's houses line the water, and lace-making is a well-practised tradition handed down through family generations for 400 years. Before you leave, you'll call into a lace-making atelier to see some of this delicate work up close, and perhaps shop for souvenirs.

Stay: S.S. La Venezia

Meals: B L D

Day 7

Today you're back in Venice with a choice of fascinating tours. Take a “Do as the Locals Do” Venice walking tour, where your guide – often the ship's chef – will see you to the covered fish market and culinary hotspots. Perhaps enjoy a gondola ride before rejoining your guide at a bacaro for the Venetian version of happy hour – ombra e cicchetti. Sip prosecco and sample crostini with salt cod spread as you watch the world go by. Alternatively, join a Rialto walking tour and explore the sites made famous by renowned intellectual and part-time playboy, Casanova. Back onboard, celebrate your final night with a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner.

Stay: S.S. La Venezia

Meals: B L D

Days 8-10

After breakfast, disembark the ship and transfer to Verona where you'll spend the next three nights. Indeed, with two full days in the city, you'll have ample time to get a taste for its myriad highlights, ranging from its Shakespearean treasures to its spectacular Roman amphitheatre – the Arena di Verona – which you'll explore in the company of an expert guide.

Stay: NH Collection Palazzo Verona (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 11
Board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

In the afternoon we’ll whisk you to the station where you’ll step aboard the famous blue and gold carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Settle into your private cabin where you'll unpack your tuxedo and evening gown. Then, order some champagne and luxuriate in the history and tradition of it all as you're treated to views of the Dolomites during a sumptuous three-course lunch in one of the elegant dining cars. Following a relaxing afternoon, dress for dinner, mingle in the Bar car and order a signature cocktail while you listen to period pieces performed on the baby grand piano. Finally, settle down to a four-course, wine-paired feast, dining on dishes inspired by the train's route as you head across alpine Switzerland.

Stay: Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 12
Arrive in London

Wake to more stunning views as you sweep across northern France towards the Channel. It's then a short hop and you back in England where the elegant carriages of the Belmond British Pullman await, ready to whisk you, via a sumptuous afternoon tea and glass of sparkling wine, to London Victoria and your journey's end.

Meals: B



Any element of this cruise can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Deluxe

12-day luxury rail & river cruise from £6,650 pp incl. flights

2022 departures (very limited availability)

Low Season

from £6,045 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £7,195 pp. incl. flights


  • Scheduled flight from UK to Venice 
  • Private transfer from airport to ship
  • 7-night cruise aboard SS Venezia
  • Private transfer from ship to Verona
  • 3-nights accommodation at 5-star hotel in Verona with daily breakfast
  • Private tour of Arena di Verona
  • Venice Simplon-Orient-Express overnight train from Verona to London

SS Venezia cruise includes:

  • Choice of daily excursions
  • Delicious farm-to-table cuisine
  • Unlimited beverages, including many premium spirits and wines
  • Outstanding service with one of the highest staff-to-guest ratios of any cruise line
  • Elegant and well-appointed riverview staterooms, with the finest linens, towels and Savoir® beds
  • Onboard fitness centre, plus exercise and wellness classes
  • Shipwide Internet and Wi-Fi access
  • Onboard entertainment and enrichment programme

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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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.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0615 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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