A deposit of 25% of the journey price is required at the time of booking. The remainder of the cost of your journey is due 75 days prior to departure. If your reservation is made within 75 days of departure the entire cost of the journey must be paid at the time of confirmation. There shall be no contract between VSOE and the guest until a signed booking form and the deposit (or in the case of bookings made within 75 days of departure date, the full price) have been received by RailsNW and that office has confirmed the booking in writing. Where journey payments are not covered by bonding arrangements, GS&WR places guests' money in an account held at HSBC, 8 London Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7NU, United Kingdom
a) If an amendment or cancellation by you or any member of your party is necessary this must be confirmed in writing and a fee is payable by you to the company on the following scale:
Notice received before scheduled departure date
Amendment Fee for each change*
75 days or more
One free then 15%
20 days or less
* Fees are expressed as a % of the journey rate.
These conditions of carriage apply to journeys made on
the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, The British Pullman
and the Northern Belle trains. These trains are operated by
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Ltd (“VSOE”).
Travel on VSOE’s trains solely within one country is
subject to national Conditions of Carriage and By Laws
which outline the obligations of the passenger and the
carrier. International rail travel, including travel between
countries within the European Union, is generally governed
by the Convention on International Rail Travel, usually
abbreviated to COTIF or CIV (“COTIF”). Carriage
arranged by VSOE may also include travel by road, sea or
air, in which case the conditions of carriage of the relevant
carrier (“Third Party Carrier”) are deemed to apply.
In the event that COTIF or Third Party Carrier conditions
are inconsistent with VSOE’s Conditions of Carriage,
the VSOE Conditions of Carriage take precedence to the
extent permitted by law.
These conditions may be changed, without notice, by
VSOE until carriage commences. No agent, employee or
representative of VSOE has authorisation to alter or amend
conditions of carriage. Reservations for journeys on VSOE’s
trains are made, and tickets are issued, subject to booking
conditions current at the time of booking and issue of
VSOE accepts responsibility for ensuring that all
elements of the journey within its control are provided
as described in its brochures and are of a good standard.
However brochures may be prepared some months in
advance and changes may occur after the brochure has been
printed. Train timings are given as guidance only and will
not normally be confirmed prior to the issue of tickets.
Changes will be notified to the passenger at the time of
booking or, if not known until after booking, as soon as
Occasionally circumstances occur that require a major
change or cancellation of a journey.
For the purpose of these conditions the following will be
deemed to be major changes:
(i) a change of departure date, departure point or
(ii) a change of departure time or return time or return time
by more than 5 hours (international journeys) or two hours
(day excursions); or
(iii) a portion of the journey being unavailable for any
(iv) the type of accommodation or mode of transport for all
or part of the journey is to be changed; or
(v) cancellation of a journey because insufficient bookings
have been taken; or
(vi) changes due to force-majeure events, including (but not
limited to) security risks, industrial action, civil unrest, acts
of terrorism and extreme weather conditions.
For the purposes of sub-clause (i) a change of station for
embarkation or disembarkation within a town or city will
not be deemed a major change;
(a) Changes before departure:
In the event that cancellations or major changes have to
be made to a journey before departure VSOE will make
reasonable steps to inform passengers or their booking
agents. The passenger may
(i) accept the changes offered; or
(ii) accept the same journey on an alternative date, or
accept an alternative journey with an appropriate pricing
(iii) cancel the reservation and receive a full refund. This
option is not available in the case of industrial action which
affects only a part of the journey.
VSOE does not guarantee departure and/or arrival times
and will not be liable in respect of delays where such delays
are necessary for operational reasons and/or are beyond the
control of VSOE or the Third Party Carrier.
(b) Changes after departure
If after departure, a major change occurs,
VSOE will use its best endeavours to make suitable
alternative arrangements at no cost to the passenger. If it
is not possible to complete the journey as booked VSOE
will make arrangements to return passengers to the point
of departure or to the booked destination as appropriate.
To the extent that a journey is not completed VSOE may,
at its discretion, refund part of the fare paid or provide an
alternative journey to the value of the incomplete part of
the journey. VSOE will not accept any liability for any
changes or delays which become necessary as a result of
industrial action or any other circumstance beyond the
control of VSOE or the Third Party Carrier or otherwise
VSOE is responsible for observance of relevant
legislation and may cancel the reservation and refuse
boarding to any passenger if such an action is necessary
to prevent violation of any applicable law or regulation
in any country in which carriage may take place, or if
it believes that the passenger, or articles carried by the
passenger, pose a risk to VSOE, VSOE’s property or the
well-being and enjoyment of other passengers. The Train
Manager is empowered by VSOE to refuse carriage in such
Each passenger must be in possession of a valid ticket
before boarding the train. Tickets are only valid for the
dates and journeys printed on the ticket and are not
transferable. Tickets bearing alterations are deemed invalid.
For international travel each passenger must be in
possession of a valid passport and such visas as may be
required for the countries it is intended to visit or pass
through. VSOE has the right to inspect such
documentation and may refuse boarding if the passenger is
unable to show valid documents. Passengers travelling with
invalid documents will be held liable for any fines or other
costs incurred by VSOE as a consequence of their travel
without the necessary documentation.
Each passenger should check-in as advised by VSOE
and be ready to board the train at or before the time listed
on the ticket. VSOE is not obliged to delay departures
or otherwise make provision for late arrivals for whatever
reason. Passengers who miss the train, or are refused
boarding under 4.3 or 5.2 above may be treated as if they
had cancelled without notice.
All luggage is carried at the passenger’s own risk, unless
the luggage is specifically deposited in the custody of VSOE
for all or part of a journey. The passenger shall not include
fragile or perishable articles, money, jewellery or valuable
documents in his/her luggage so deposited. VSOE accepts
no liability for any such items or for dangerous or illegal
items included in baggage so deposited.
VSOE reserves the right to refuse to carry luggage
which is excessively heavy, bulky, dangerous or otherwise
unsuitable for carriage on the train. Animals and livestock
will not be carried, except in the case of guide-dogs where
this is otherwise legal and practical. VSOE or its authorised
booking offices will advise on suitability of personal effects
for carriage on the train.
The passenger is responsible for his/her own conduct
at all times and shall indemnify VSOE in respect of injury
(including death), loss or damage caused to VSOE’s
property or employee or to any other person arising out of
or caused by the passenger’s actions or any property in his/
Limitation of Liability
The liability of VSOE for death, personal injury or
damage to luggage and personal effects shall be subject to
the limitations expressed in COTIF to the extent permitted
by national law.
VSOE accepts no liability for the consequences of
cancellation or delay, other than as specified elsewhere
VSOE accepts responsibility for any personal injury,
illness or death caused by the negligence of its employees,
agents, subcontractors or suppliers provided that:-
(i) such employees, agents, subcontractors or suppliers were
acting in the course of their employment or contract when
the incident occurred; and
(ii) the claimant agrees to cooperate fully with VSOE in
respect of any action which VSOE might reasonably or
properly take against any other party in connection with
the incident giving rise to the personal injury, illness or
VSOE’s liability for personal injury, illness or death
may be limited by relevant conditions as outlined in
Where loss or damage to luggage specifically deposited
with VSOE is caused by the wrongful act or neglect of
VSOE or its employees, agents or the Third Party Carrier,
VSOE’s liability will be restricted to £2,500 per passenger,
provided that VSOE will not be liable unless the loss or
damage is notified immediately or in writing within 72
hours of completion of the journey.
VSOE does not accept responsibility for any loss or
damage suffered as a result of any event beyond its control
or the control of any agent or the Third Party Carrier.
VSOE shall not be liable for indirect or consequential
loss or damage howsoever arising.
Except where otherwise provided by compulsorily
applicable provisions of national law or COTIF, any claim
of any nature (save insofar as it is in respect of death or
personal injury) shall be commenced within one year of
the date of accrual of the claim, and if no proceedings
are brought within that time any such claim shall be
extinguished and cease to exist. Claims in respect of death
or personal injury shall be notified and commenced within
the time limits as provided by the compulsorily applicable
provisions of COTIF or national law, and if no proceedings
are commenced within that that time any claim for death
or personal injury shall be extinguished and cease to exist.
Complaints Procedure And Law
VSOE aims to provide a high standard of
accommodation and enjoyment for its passengers.
If passengers are dissatisfied with any aspect of the journey,
then this should be brought to the attention of the Train
Manager so that appropriate remedial action can be taken.
Any further cause for complaint should be notified in
writing within 28 days of the completion of the journey to:
VSOE/Northern Belle/British Pullman
20 Upper Ground
London SE1 9PF
These terms and conditions shall be subject to English
law and the English courts shall have sole jurisdiction in
respect of any claim arising hereunder except to the extent
that COTIF specifi cally provides that legal proceedings
in respect of any claim may only be instituted in the
competent court of the country in which the incident
giving rise to the claim occurred.