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

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

Photo by L. Hakimian

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

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

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Agatha Christie fans, brace yourselves. In 2020, the bespoke luxury tour company Ariodante is launching a series of murder mystery parties 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 will kick off at 7:30 a.m. on January 18, 2020, at the Train Bleu restaurant at Paris’s Gare de Lyon station. After the rules of the game are explained, passengers will board the Orient Express around 9 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 10:45 p.m. that same day. 

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Along the way, passengers will be treated to meals, including afternoon tea and dinner in the train’s sumptuous dining car. By the time the train arrives in Nice nearly 14 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—party-goers 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.

How much does it cost? 

This amount of luxury unfortunately doesn’t come at 1920s prices. Starting at $10,210 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 afternoon tea and a 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 also included along with luggage pickup and delivery.  

Book Now: From $10,210 per person, ariodantetravel.com

For an additional $3,850 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 de Crillon in Paris and the Westminster Hotel and Spa 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.

Will it happen again?

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If you can’t make the January dates work with your schedule, Ariodante is hosting two more murder mystery parties on the Orient Express in 2020 in the spring and summer. (We will update this article with specific dates as soon as they are 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 just announced that it will be 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 $4,845 per person, belmond.com

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