Nearly 140 years after the first luxury Orient Express trains changed rail travel forever, the Orient Express announced the return of the legend in a new and unique format.
With the support of the largest international hotel operator Accor Orient Express, architect Maxime d’Angac agreed on a new, important historical mission: to revive the legend by rethinking the decor of Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express. In 2024, just in time for the Paris Olympics, the carriages, designed in collaboration with the best French craftsmen, will rediscover the delights of the Orient Express.
A modern interpretation of luxury and exceptional comfort is at the heart of the design concept of the 17 original Orient Express carriages from the 1920s and 1930s, decorated with exceptional decor. This train, known in the past as the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express, was launched in the early 1980s by the Swiss tour operator and businessman Albert Glatt and ran between Zurich and Istanbul. Called the Extrême-Orient-Express, the train made the longest journey in history between Paris and Tokyo before suddenly disappearing.
In 2015, Arthur Mettetal, a researcher specializing in industrial history, conducted a worldwide inventory of the Orient Express. In the course of his research, he found that the famous carriages, including the interiors, were surprisingly well preserved. After two years of negotiations, Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express was sold to Orient Express. The train of 17 cars – 12 sleeping cars, 1 restaurant, 3 lounges, and 1 auxiliary car – returned to France.
Architect Maxime d’Anjac noted: “The revival of the Orient Express is, above all, a technological challenge, even though the entire project was conceived as a work of art. From Orient Express branded nuts and bolts to an innovative suite concept, close attention to detail will allow travelers to rediscover its splendor. It will be an incomparable train journey, embodied in a modern vision of comfort and exceptional luxury.”