The Eastern & Oriental luxury train is back: here’s how much it costs

After almost four years the Eastern & Oriental Express is back on the tracks.

The train, operated by luxury travel company Belmond, this week welcomed its first group of passengers since it stopped running due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The luxury train has been operating in Southeast Asia since 1993, when it began carrying travelers between Singapore and Bangkok.

What’s new

However, several key elements of the train have changed, including its route.

Now Thailand is out, replaced with two new trips, starting and ending in Singapore and exploring different sides of Malaysia.

Arnaud Champenois, Belmond’s senior vice president of marketing and brand, told CNBC that this is because travelers have changed over the past four years, preferring to explore destinations on a deeper level.

The Eastern & Oriental Express luxury train is back, but different

“The idea was to focus on one country here and offer two different routes. So on the west coast, we go through Singapore to Penang, and then Langkawi. And then on the other, we go to the Malaysian national park for real, understand the jungle and the natural atmosphere.”

The new routes are seasonal, with the “Essence of Malaysia” running from November to February and the “Wild Malaysia” from March to October.

The new E&O routes

“Essence of Malaysia” — passes through Kuala Lumpur, before reaching the islands of Langkawi and Penang

“Wild Malaysia”: Explore Taman Negara National Park before heading to Penang

As a result of the new route, the train received a Malaysian-inspired makeover, from the cabin interiors to the food. The dinner and afternoon tea service was created by Andre Chiang, the celebrated Taiwanese chef behind Singapore’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant Andre, which closed in 2018.

The cost

Fares for four-day, three-night trips start at $3,410 per person, which includes meals, drinks and scheduled activities.

This is less expensive than other trains using versions of the “Orient Express” name, including Belmond’s Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, which has run routes across Europe since 1982. Prices start at £3,530 ($4,430) per person for a train. -overnight trip to a historic cabin, according to its website.

Accor’s “Orient Express La Dolce Vita” trains, which will begin operating in 2024, are priced at 2,500 euros ($2,686) per person per night for a deluxe cabin, according to a press release. Travelers can pre-register for trips operating primarily in Italy, according to its website.

Fares for Accor’s La Dolce Vita trains have increased since advance booking first opened in December 2022, with fares reported then priced at 2,000 euros ($2,153) per person per night.

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