Conditions of Carriage

Last Updated: 25 August 2023

1. Applicability of these Conditions

These Conditions, any applicable conditions, bye-laws, international conventions or conditions of carriage of applicable Carriers (including VSOE, E&OE, MHCL, CO, GSWRC, ILRT, PR (all as defined below) and national and local railway bodies (where applicable referred to herein as ‘the Carrier’)) for which see clauses 6, 7, 8 and 9 of these Conditions, any other written information we brought to your attention (or asked the organiser of your trip, ('Trip Organiser') to bring to your attention) before we confirmed your booking with the Trip Organiser and any other terms we may agree with you from time to time, form the basis of your contract for carriage with:

a. Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Ltd. (‘VSOE’, ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’) for travel on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Belmond British Pullman and where VSOE is an organiser of multiple travel components;

b. VSOE as agent for: Eastern & Oriental-Express Ltd. (‘E&OE’) for travel on the Eastern & Oriental Express; Croisieres Orex SAS (‘CO’) for travel on Les Bateaux Belmond; The Great Scottish & Western Railway Company Ltd. (‘GSWRC’) for travel on The Belmond Royal Scotsman, Ireland Luxury Rail Tours Limited (“ILRT”) for travel on Belmond Grand Hibernian and PeruRail S.A. (‘PR’) for travel on Belmond Andean Explorer, Belmond Hiram Bingham, Perurail VistaDome, Perurail Titicaca, Perurail Expedition and Perurail Sacred Valley.

In these Conditions, references to 'we', 'us' or 'our' shall be to VSOE where you are entering into a contract with VSOE as described in (a) above, or to the relevant company described in (b) above where you are entering into a contract with that company.

In the event of any inconsistency between these Conditions and any applicable third party conditions and/or International Conventions etc, these Conditions shall, to the extent permitted by law, prevail. Please read these Conditions carefully as (subject to any amendments which we may from time to time agree with you) they set out your and our respective rights and obligations. In these Conditions references to ‘you’ and ‘your’ include any party making a journey with us.

2. Jurisdiction and applicable law

a. The contract and any non-contractual rights and obligations relating to your journey with us and any agreement to which they apply are governed in all respects by English law. You and we both agree that any dispute, claim or other matter which arises out of or in connection with this contract or your booking will be dealt with by the Courts of England and Wales only.

b. Legal proceedings in respect of any claim against either the Malaya Railway Administration or of The State Railway of Thailand or any other railway network over whose rail network the carriage is performed may only be instituted in the competent court of the State on whose territory the incident occurred which gives rise to the claim. Such claims will be decided in accordance with the laws of that State.

c. Legal proceedings in respect of any claim against PR must be initiated in Peru and decided in accordance with Peruvian law.

3. Force Majeure

Except where otherwise expressly stated in these Conditions we will not be liable or pay you compensation if our contractual obligations to you are affected by any event which we or the supplier(s) of the service(s) in question could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. These events can include, but are not limited to, war, threat of war, civil strife, terrorist activity and its consequences or the threat of such activity, riot, significant risks to human health such as the outbreak of a serious disease at the travel destination (including but not limited to pandemics and epidemics), acts, announcements, guidance, decrees or orders by governments or local authorities, (including port or river authorities)., industrial dispute, lock closure, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, chemical or biological disaster, adverse weather, sea, air, ice and river conditions and all similar events outside our or the supplier(s) concerned’s control.

4. If We Change or Cancel Your Trip

If, prior to departure, we have to make a 'Major Change' to the trip (or cancel it), we have agreed with your Trip Organiser that (subject to certain exceptions) we shall offer the Trip Organiser suitable alternative arrangements or a refund. We shall have no liability to you beyond those arrangements with the Trip Organiser, as your sole remedy will be against the Trip Organiser.

You agree and accept that, without limitation, the measures set out in clause 7 (and any measures similar to those set out in clause 7) shall not constitute a Major Change.

Please note that subject to these Conditions and any applicable International Conventions, to the extent permitted by law, we shall not be liable for (a) missed connections or (b) any loss or damage caused to you and/or your luggage by the cancellation, non-arrival, lateness, delay or change to your trip or any other service or for any loss or damage consequential upon such cancellation, non-arrival, lateness or delay. We are not responsible for meeting any expenses or losses you may incur as a result of change or cancellation. If we are forced by force majeure as defined in clause 3 to change or terminate your arrangements after departure, we are not responsible for making any refunds (unless we obtain any from our suppliers), pay you compensation or meet any costs or expenses you incur as a result.

5. Complaints

In the unlikely event that you do have a problem during your trip, please inform the Train/Cruise manager immediately who will endeavour to put things right and if you suffer any loss or damage to your luggage please inform us or the relevant Carrier within 72 hours. If your complaint is not resolved locally and you wish to complain further, please send formal written notice of your complaint to our head office: Customer Services, Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Limited, 4B Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, London WC1B 4DA, United Kingdom, within 28 days of the end of your trip, giving your booking reference and all other relevant information. Failure to do so will affect our ability to investigate your complaint, and could affect your rights under these Conditions.

6. Our Responsibilities and Limitations on Our Liability

Our liability (if any) for

(a) loss of or damage to luggage during your trip shall (subject to section 8(h) below) shall be limited:
(i) where your trip is not subject to an International Convention (as defined below) to an aggregate limit of £2,500 (or local equivalent) per person in total because you are assumed to have adequate insurance in place to cover any losses of this kind; and
(ii) where your trip is subject to an International Convention, as if we (being Belmond Ltd. and all companies where it owns from time to time at least 25% of those companies in aggregate) were Carriers under the appropriate International Conventions

(b) death and/or personal injury during your trip shall:

(i) where your trip is not subject to an International Convention (as defined below) not be subject to any limit; and
(ii) where your trip is subject to an International Convention (as defined below), be limited as if we (being Belmond Ltd. and all companies where it owns from time to time at least 25% of those companies in aggregate) were Carriers under the appropriate International Conventions.

In this contract, “International Conventions” shall include The Warsaw/Montreal Convention (international travel by air); The Athens Convention (with respect to sea travel); Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on Rail Passengers’ Rights and Obligations incorporating the Uniform Rules concerning the Contract for International Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Rail (with respect to rail travel) and The Paris Convention (with respect to hotel arrangements). You can ask for copies of these International Conventions from our offices. In addition, you agree that any applicable operating Carrier or transport company’s own ‘Conditions of Carriage’ will apply to you on that journey; when arranging transportation for you, we rely on the terms and conditions contained within these International Conventions and those ‘Conditions of Carriage’ and accordingly you acknowledge that all of the terms and conditions contained in those ‘Conditions of Carriage’ form part of your contract with us, as well as with the transport company and that those ‘Conditions of Carriage’ shall be deemed to be included by relevant reference into our contract with you.

In any circumstances in which a Carrier is liable to you by virtue of the European Union Denied Boarding Regulations 2004, any liability we may have to you under our contract with you, arising out of the same facts, is limited to the remedies provided under those Regulations as if (for this purpose only) we were a Carrier.

Our liability (if any) for all claims other than those set out above in this clause 6 shall be limited to twice the price paid to us for the trip by or on behalf of the person(s) affected in total. This maximum amount will only be payable where everything has gone wrong and you or your party has not received any benefit at all from your booking.

When making any payment to you, we are entitled to deduct any money which you have received or are entitled to receive from a transport provider or hotelier for the complaint or claim in question.

It is a condition of our acceptance of liability under this clause that you notify any claim to us and our supplier(s) strictly in accordance with the complaints procedure set out at clause 5 in these Conditions.

Where any payment is made, the person(s) receiving it (and their parent or legal guardian if under 18 years) must also assign to us or our insurers any rights they may have to pursue any third party and must provide us and our insurers with all assistance we may reasonably require.

Please note, we cannot accept any liability for any damage, loss or expense or other sum(s) of any description which on the basis of the information given to us by you concerning your booking prior to our accepting it, we could not have foreseen you would suffer or incur if we breached our contract with you (by way of non-exhaustive examples, if you fail to notify us of a food allergy or medical condition or incur any business losses).

We also cannot accept liability for any damage, loss or expense or other sum(s) of any description which arise out of or are connected with the matters described in clause 7 of these Conditions.

We will not accept responsibility for services or facilities which do not form part of our agreement with you or where they are not advertised in our brochure or on our website. For example, any excursion you book (other than with us) while on the trip, any service or facility which your hotel or any other supplier agrees to provide for you, any doctor, dentist or other medical attendant called to attend to you during the trip and any services, products or transportation not provided by us.

7. Covid-19

We both acknowledge and agree that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected travel throughout the world and that we both have responsibilities to comply with various laws, regulations and guidance issued by governmental or regulatory authorities which seek to manage the risks caused by COVID-19.

You acknowledge that laws, regulations and the travel suppliers (such as airlines, train operators, cruise operators, Carriers, hoteliers and other service providers, including VSOE) may require you and employees of your travel suppliers to comply with various measures which have been introduced to manage the risk of COVID-19. These may include (without limitation) a requirement to undergo temperature checks, provide health information or certificates, wear personal protective equipment such as face-masks and gloves and abide by social distancing requirements. There may also be limitations on the number of persons who may use facilities or services at any particular time, limitations on the availability of certain facilities and services (e.g. buffet may be limited or replaced by a-la-carte menus, certain areas on the train or boat may be closed or restricted), requirements to pre-book facilities and services, sanitisation and other hygiene requirements.

You also acknowledge that certain travel suppliers (including Carriers and VSOE), ports, airports, border control or other third parties may require you to undertake certain health formalities or satisfy other requirements aimed at managing the COVID-19 risk as a condition to you travelling, departing, entering or residing in a particular place. You agree that it is your obligation to obtain details of these requirements ahead of your travel departure date and comply with and satisfy these requirements. If you fail to meet these requirements, or refuse to complete them, you may be denied boarding, exit, entry or the use of some other facility or service which forms part of your booking. We shall not be liable to you for any refunds or compensation in relation to such matters.

You also acknowledge that certain countries may impose quarantine or self-isolation measures upon travellers, whether in the place of destination or upon return.

We strongly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the advice from your national authority for overseas travel before departing. In the UK, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s latest advice for travel to other countries is available here

You agree to notify us if you test positive for COVID-19 , if you consider that you may have COVID-19 symptoms or if you become aware that you may have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who may have COVID-19 symptoms. In each case prior to commencing your trip with us, and/or if you test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of the end of your trip with us.

If you notify us before travelling, and we (or the relevant travel suppliers) conclude that you are no longer able to travel because of the COVID-19 risk, then your booking will be treated as having been cancelled by you and our standard cancellation charges will apply. We will, however, explore with you whether it is possible for you to postpone your booking to a later date, which may incur further charges. It might also be possible for you to transfer your booking to another person.

If you notify us during travel, you acknowledge that we or your travel suppliers (or local laws and regulations) may require you to follow certain measures designed to manage the risk of COVID-19 and may refuse to provide you with the relevant service(s). You may, for instance, be required to self-isolate for a period of time. You agree to comply with these requirements. In this instance, we will provide you with such reasonable assistance as we are able to in the circumstances. However, we will not be responsible for meeting any costs incurred by you or for refunding or compensating you for the curtailment of your holiday, cancelled or rebooked transportation, additional accommodation or other associated costs you incur in connection with the same.

We both agree that the measures set out above are a necessary part of keeping you, other travellers, employees and the public safe. You are making your booking in full knowledge that such measures are likely to form part of your trip and do not amount to any Major Changes to your booking.

We shall have no liability to you for any refunds, compensation, losses, costs, expenses or damages you incur in connection with the matters described above or if you are unable to travel or make use of all or part of your booking because of these matters. These are risks which you must protect through obtaining comprehensive travel insurance.

8. Conditions of suppliers and carriage

Some of the services which make up your trip are provided by independent suppliers. Those suppliers provide these services in accordance with their own terms and conditions which will form part of our contract with you. Some of these terms and conditions may limit or exclude the supplier’s liability to you, usually in accordance with applicable International Conventions. Copies of the relevant parts of these terms and conditions are available on request from us or the supplier concerned.

a. Travel Documents
You must be in possession of a valid travel document before boarding the applicable train/boat. Travel documents are only valid for the dates and for use only between the points of departure and destination (or stopover, see (c) below) shown on the travel document and by the route or routes shown on the travel document. Travel documents are not transferable (other than as expressly permitted by our agreement with the Trip Organiser). Travel documents bearing unauthorised alterations are not valid for travel. Travel documents remain the property of the Carrier and if you fail in any material respect to comply with any condition (including but not limited to these Conditions) governing its use, your travel document may be withdrawn or invalidated by our or the Carrier's staff or agents and you may be required to pay the full fare. There may be an administration charge for replacing any lost or damaged travel documents.

b. Boarding, alighting or changing Trains/Boats.
When boarding, alighting or changing trains/boats during your journey you should make sure that:

(i) you board the correct train/boat; (ii) if appropriate, you travel in the correct part of the train/boat; (iii) you alight from the train/boat at the correct destination, including any destination where you need to change onto another train/boat/means of transport; (iv) you keep your possessions with you at all times (other than luggage which has been checked–in with the Carrier; see (h) below); (v) you check-in as the Carrier advises and are ready to board the train/boat (having loaded all luggage to be deposited with the Carrier) at or before the time shown on your travel document; (vi) promptly following arrival at any destination, you alight the train/boat and (if applicable) remove all luggage. If you require assistance to board/alight a train/boat, you must please advise us not less than one week before departure so that arrangements can be made (please also see (e) below). We will not delay departures or otherwise make provision for late boarding and we will not be responsible for any loss or delay to your journey arising from any failure by you to comply with any of (i – vi) above. If you miss the train/boat, or are refused boarding, you will be treated as if you had cancelled without notice (and cancellation charges may apply).

c. Stopovers

If you make a break in carriage other than as permitted you shall not be entitled to onward carriage or to a refund or any other compensation from us.

d. Special Diets

Please notify us (not less than 14 days prior to departure) of any dietary requirements. It may not always be possible to offer you an alternative meal, but, provided we have been notified of your requirements, we will use reasonable endeavours to notify you of any meals you should avoid.

e. Disabilities and Medical Conditions.

If you or any member of your party has any medical condition, disability or reduced mobility issues which may affect your trip, please provide us with full details before we confirm your booking so that we can try to advise you as to the suitability of your chosen arrangements. Acting reasonably, if we are unable to appropriately accommodate the needs of the person(s) concerned, we will not confirm your booking or if you did not give us full details at the time of booking, we will cancel it and impose applicable cancellation charges when we become aware of these details. If your fitness to travel may be in doubt as a result of recent illness, surgery, injury, medical treatment or an existing medical condition which may require treatment or assistance on board (including but not limited to additional oxygen, wheelchairs, assistance to use the bathrooms, assistance to get in or out of bed, medication administered via a needle other than well-managed diabetes) you must (i) provide us with an up-to-date certificate from your doctor no later than 5 days prior to departure certifying that you are fit to travel and (ii) be accompanied by another passenger who is able to provide you with all the appropriate assistance you may need (our staff cannot provide such assistance). We may refuse you carriage (and no refund or compensation shall be paid) if you have not provided the applicable certificate and/or are not accompanied by a suitable passenger.

f. Passport, Visa and Immigration Requirements and Health Formalities

It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health (including vaccinations, vaccination certificate requirements and anti-malarial medication) and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We can only provide general information about such requirements. You must check the requirements for your own specific circumstances with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates and your own doctor as applicable. Requirements do change and you must check the up-to-date position in good time before departure.

Most countries now require passports to be valid for at least six months after your return date. If your passport is in its final year, you should check with the Embassy of the countries you are visiting.

Up-to-date travel advice can be obtained from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office at

Non-UK passport holders should obtain up-to-date advice on passport and visa requirements from the Embassy, High Commission or Consulate of your destination or country(ies) through which you are travelling.

We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us on demand in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.

We shall have the right to inspect your passport, visas and travel documents/permissions to travel to ensure that you fulfil all entry requirements for any country in or through which your trip is to take place. If you are unable to fulfil any such requirements then we shall have the right to refuse you carriage and you will not be entitled to any refund in respect of any unused services.

Adequate travel insurance is vital. Any liability which we may have to you shall not be increased as a result of your choice to travel without adequate insurance cover.

g. Behaviour.

All passengers travelling with us are expected to be appropriately dressed (as advised in the Passenger Travel Information sent with your travel documents), to conduct themselves in an orderly and acceptable manner, and not to disrupt the enjoyment of other passengers. If your behaviour (or any articles carried by you) is in our opinion causing or is likely to cause distress, danger or annoyance to any of our other passengers or any third party or damage to property, or to cause a delay or diversion to transportation, or violation of any applicable law or regulation, we (or the applicable supplier) may terminate your arrangements with us immediately. In the event of such termination our liability to you will cease and you may without prior notice be refused boarding or be required to leave our boat, train or other service immediately. We (and the supplier or Carrier in question) will have no further obligations to you. No refunds for lost accommodation or any other service will be made and we will not pay any expenses or costs incurred as a result of termination. You may also be required to pay for loss and/or damage caused by your actions and we will hold each member of your party jointly and individually liable for any damage or losses caused by you. Full payment for any such damage or losses must be paid directly to us or the applicable supplier prior to your ejection from the service in question. If you fail to make payment, you will be responsible for meeting any (i) costs of any damage/injury to our staff, property, servants and/or agents and (ii) claims (including legal costs) subsequently made against us as a result of your actions together with all costs we incur in pursuing any claim against you. We cannot be held responsible for the actions or behaviour of other passengers or individuals who have no connection with your arrangements with us.

h. Luggage on Trains and Boats.

Your luggage must not contain any items which in our opinion are dangerous, illegal, liable to harm or annoy other passengers or otherwise unsuitable. Animals and livestock will not be carried, except guide-dogs in certain restricted circumstances (please ask at the time of booking). Luggage deposited with us for carriage must not contain (and we shall have no liability for) any fragile or perishable articles, cash money, jewellery, precious metals or other valuables (including but not limited to bearer securities, business documents, trade secrets or samples). We will accept the carriage of your luggage subject to any applicable laws, regulations, and conditions of carriage and subject to: (i) the luggage not being excessively heavy, bulky, dangerous, inadequately packed, in a defective state or otherwise unsuitable for carriage; (ii) luggage being correctly labelled with your name, destination address and cabin/seat/berth number; (iii) you accompanying your luggage onto the boat or train.

Unless we otherwise agree in advance, luggage allowances per passenger are as follows:

  • Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Eastern & Oriental Express and Belmond Grand Hibernian – one suitable piece of hand luggage, one suit carrier or overnight bag (to be stored in the cabin) and one suitcase to be check-in for storage in the baggage car;
  • Belmond Royal Scotsman – one suitable piece of hand luggage and one suitcase (suitcase to be stored in the cabin);
  • Belmond British Pullman UK Day trips Belmond Hiram Bingham, Perurail VistaDome, Perurail Expedition and Perurail Sacred Valley – one suitable piece of hand luggage;
  • Belmond Andean Explorer, Perurail Titicaca and Les Bateaux Belmond – one suitable piece of hand luggage and two suitcases (suitcases to be stored in the cabin).

You shall be responsible for supervising any luggage you do not deposit with us for carriage.

By travelling with us, you hereby authorise us and our employees, servants and agents to inspect any luggage deposited with us for carriage, to check compliance with these Conditions.

You must comply fully and promptly with any instructions in respect of your luggage given by train or cruise staff or security and border control authorities in any jurisdiction.

We may refuse carriage to any passenger whose luggage does not comply with these Conditions, in which case, you shall not be entitled to any refund. We shall not provide storage (other than for checked-in luggage on the trains/boats, in accordance with these Conditions) for any of your possessions.

We shall not be required to:

(i) verify that a person claiming luggage is the owner of such luggage or otherwise entitled to take delivery of it;

(ii) verify that luggage complies with these Conditions;

(iii) hand over any luggage to any person unless the person claiming it can demonstrate to our satisfaction that he is entitled to take delivery of such luggage;

(iv) store any luggage not collected promptly when we require.

We may destroy, sell, otherwise dispose of or make a charge for storage of any luggage not collected on completion of carriage.

If you suffer any loss or damage to your luggage, please inform us or the relevant Carrier within 72 hours.

Porters at railway stations and ports, transfer agents and hotel staff are not employees or agents of ours and consequently you use their services entirely at your own risk. Trolleys and other equipment available for passenger use at railway stations and ports are not our property and consequently you use such equipment entirely at your own risk.

i. Cabins, Seats and Berths.

The Carrier shall have the right to allocate seats, cabins and berths as it thinks, and subject to these Conditions, to vary any bookings made in respect thereof and to transfer you from any such seats, cabins and berths to any alternative ones, provided such allocated seat, cabin and/or berth is commensurate with the class of accommodation you have booked.

j. Insurance.

It is a condition of your booking that you have in place adequate travel insurance to cover your arrangements including cover against COVID-19 and other health related incidents which may affect or curtail your booking. If requested, you must provide details of your policy to us before you travel. Any liability which we may have to you shall not be increased as a result of your choice to travel without adequate insurance cover.

9. Brexit Event and Your Booking with Us

On 29 March 2017, the United Kingdom submitted notification of its intention to withdraw from the European Union (“EU”) pursuant to Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union, otherwise known as “Brexit”. On 1 February 2020, the UK and EU entered into a transition period which will remain in place until 31 December 2020.

However, there continues to be great uncertainty about how Brexit will affect the UK’s future relationship with the EU. In particular, Brexit may have a substantial adverse impact on our or other Carriers or travel suppliers’ ability to perform your booking (“Brexit Event”).

For customers who have yet to start their booking, our obligations to you under your booking are conditional upon there not being a Brexit Event. If, in our reasonable opinion, a Brexit Event has occurred, we will inform you as soon as possible in writing, upon which we will both be relieved of any further obligations in relation to the booking. If this happens, we will return to you any payments you have made in respect of your booking, which shall be the full extent of our obligations to you. We will not compensate you for a Brexit Event.

The marks/logos of VSOE, Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Les Bateaux Belmond, Belmond Grand Hibernian, Eastern & Oriental Express, Belmond Royal Scotsman have been registered in various countries. ‘Orient Express’ is a trade mark of SNCF.

© 2021 Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Limited whose registered and head office is at:
4B Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, London WC1B 4DA
Telephone: +44 (0) 207 921 4000
Fax: +44 (0) 207 921 4777
Registered in England and Wales No 1551659

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