This lavish journey will whisk travelers across France and down to the French Alps, a first for the train, and will set out in late December.
The overnight trips will be available between Paris and the Alpine towns of Albertville, Moûtiers, and Bourg-Saint-Maurice, located in Southeastern France. All three towns are home to world-class ski resorts, including Megève, Mont Blanc, Courchevel, Tignes–Val d’Isère, and Les Trois Vallées, which is the largest ski area in the world.
Even if you don’t ski, visiting these storybook mountain villages will still take your breath away. Imagine charming A-frame lodges and timber cabins, roofs caked with snow, clustered together at the foot of the mountains. Activities like shopping or ice skating in lively village squares lined with stone buildings are also on offer. (And don’t forget the traditional ski town culinary traditions like fondue.)
The first journey launches from the Alps to Paris on December 20, 2023. The following day, December 21, the train will run from Paris to the Alpine cities.
Trains depart Paris at 5pm, and arrive at the Alpine towns at 11am, 12pm, or 1pm the next day, depending on the destination. (On the northbound legs to Paris, it’s roughly the same schedule, reversed.) That’s plenty of time to enjoy all the splendors the VSOE has to offer, including a four-course dinner in one of its historic Art Deco restaurant cars.
Be sure to pack your black-tie best for revelry in the iconic bar car, 3674, where the live music and specialty cocktails flow all night. (There’s even a midnight brunch featuring sumptuous fare like lobster rolls and truffle club sandwich.) When you’re ready for rest, go back to your elegant suite, which has been turned down by your personal attendant, and snuggle into bed as the train’s rocking lulls you to sleep.
When you awake, the dazzling scenery of the Rhône-Alpes will surround your windows: Fresh blankets of powdery white, icy mountain peaks, and glittering glacial lakes all on display like a moving snow globe. You’ll be served a decadent French breakfast in bed before rising to start your day in a winter wonderland.
There are still plenty of tickets available for all three Alpine towns for departures this December. If that’s too last-minute to ink in plans, the same itineraries for December 2024 are also available to book now.
In recent years, the VSOE has been running longer seasons, offering more winter journeys. This year, in addition to the Alpine itineraries, the train will also operate winter routes between Paris and Vienna on December 18 and 19—a great way to see these two European capitals decked out in their famous festive grandeur. Tickets for the French Alp itineraries start at $3,332 per person, and the Paris-Vienna routes start at $4,152 per person, both based on double occupancy.
Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler