You’re Invited Onboard the Original Orient Express for a Murder Mystery Party

Get your glad rags ready for a trip back to 1920s France to help solve a murder based on a classic Agatha Christie novel.

You’re Invited Onboard the Original Orient Express for a Murder Mystery Party

Play out Agatha Christie’s “Mystery of the Blue Train” onboard the restored vintage train cars of the Orient Express.

Photo by L. Hakimian

Agatha Christie fans, brace yourselves. Bookings are now open for the second murder mystery party hosted by bespoke luxury tour company Ariodante onboard the original Orient Express train—1920s costumes and all.

Between 1883 to 1977, the Orient Express hosted the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Coco Chanel along its famed Paris to Istanbul route. Although the original train is rarely used these days, it is being brought back for this special event. From March to November each year, a different train called the Belmond Venice Simplon-Orient-Express operates along that original route also in restored 1920s train cars.

Based on Agatha Christie’s novel The Mystery of the Blue Train, the first murder mystery party took place on January 18, 2020 (and completely sold out). Ariodante just announced that the second party will kick off at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 17, 2020, at the Train Bleu restaurant at Paris’s Gare de Lyon station. After the rules of the game are explained, passengers will depart on the Orient Express around 11:30 a.m. where they will step back in time to the 1920s for an all-day immersive experience complete with actors disguised as train staff and guests. The train ride ends in Nice in the French Riviera at 11 p.m. that same day.

Along the way, passengers will be treated to meals, including a five-course lunch with wine pairings and a dinner in the train’s sumptuous dining car. By the time the train arrives in Nice about 12 hours later that evening, the murder will be solved and guests will celebrate with champagne in the bar car before departing for their hotels in Nice for an overnight stay. The experience is a one-way trip—partygoers can either fly out of Nice’s airport or book a six-hour return trip to Paris on a high-speed TGV train.

In addition to the murder mystery party, guests will take meals in the train’s vintage dining car.

In addition to the murder mystery party, guests will take meals in the train’s vintage dining car.

Photo by Thierry Hugon

How much does it cost?

This amount of luxury unfortunately doesn’t come at 1920s prices. Starting at $10,380 per person, a standard ticket includes train passage, participation in the murder mystery, and a full set of photographs from an onboard photographer to remember the experience. You’ll want to arrive hungry, too: not only are breakfast, lunch, and dinner included but also the aforementioned champagne reception. To make you truly feel like you’ve gone back in time to the golden age of travel, transfers to the hotel in Nice are included along with luggage pickup and delivery.

Book Now: From $10,380 per person,

For an additional $3,916 per person, you can book a VIP package that also includes a private session with a French theater and film costume designer to get fitted for 1920s-era outfits for the party, plus a haircut and a manicure to complete your look. In addition to regular transfers to and from the airports in Paris and France, this package also includes a transfer from the hotel to the train station in a vintage 1920s car.

Ariodante has hotel packages with accommodations at the Hotel Meurice or Plaza-Athénée in Paris and the Hyatt Regency Palais de la Méditéranée in Nice for anyone who really wants to go all out.

The murder mystery party ends in Nice with a champagne reception in the bar car.

The murder mystery party ends in Nice with a champagne reception in the bar car.

Courtesy of Ariodante

Will it happen again?

If you can’t make the May date work with your schedule, Ariodante is hosting one more murder mystery party this fall on the Orient Express in October 2020. (We will update this article with the specific date as soon as it is announced.)

Will there ever be a Murder on the Orient Express–themed party?

While Ariodante isn’t hosting any Murder on the Orient Express–themed murder mystery parties this year, Belmond is hosting a 1920s-themed package dubbed “The Party” from March 27 to 29, 2020, onboard its Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train. No murder mysteries will take place at this event, but it does include a speakeasy party à la Jay Gatsby at the Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice, followed by an overnight train ride to London with costumes and surprise performances.

Book Now: From $5,643 per person,

This article originally appeared online on October 24, 2019; it was updated on January 27, 2020, to include current information. Products we write about are independently vetted and recommended by our editors. We may earn a commission if you buy through our links.

>> Next: The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Is a Real-Life Time Machine

Lyndsey Matthews is the senior commerce editor at AFAR who covers travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.
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