Paris -> Venice Thello O/N or Fly

Old Feb 5th, 2015, 03:48 PM
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Paris -> Venice Thello O/N or Fly

Hello,

I am looking to get from Paris to Venice on the 24th with my partner.

We would like to depart around 7pm from Paris.

Thello leaves 7:30pm $560AUD (2 bed cabin)
EasyJet flight Leaves 7:30 (1hr:30min flight) $200AUD(for 2ppl) then would need accom in Venice.


Which is the better option?
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Old Feb 5th, 2015, 04:51 PM
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How do you define "better"?

I don't sleep well on trains and wouldn't want to feel like a zombie the next day, so I would fly.

Do you already have lodging booked in Venice starting the 25th? Could you change the arrival to the 24th, or would you have to find one-night accommodation somewhere else and then move?
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Old Feb 5th, 2015, 05:11 PM
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I've been looking into the Thello train myself for an April trip. I did it once overnight and I swore never again, but I have to be in Venice early to meet some people so am once again considering the train.

In pondering my own situation I ran across this thread on tripadvisor with a lot of reviews of the experience -
http://tinyurl.com/m4wz8nb

Maybe it will help you make a decision. Don't expect it to be exactly romantic or to get much sleep, but it would be an adventure.
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Old Feb 5th, 2015, 07:19 PM
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There's been a negative review or two on Fodor's of Thello.

>>>EasyJet flight Leaves 7:30 (1hr:30min flight) $200AUD(for 2ppl) then would need accom in Venice.
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Old Feb 5th, 2015, 10:03 PM
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the difference really is whether we take the O/N train or Fly on the latest flight 19:30 and stay a night in venice rather than be on the train.

Sorry for the poor wording earlier, But again thankyou for your advice so far.
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Old Feb 5th, 2015, 11:31 PM
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Flying is always such a waste... And a hassle.

The direct Thello sleeper train has budget fares in 6- and 4-berth couchettes and gets reasonable reviews from those who travel cheaply with their own picnic and wine, save a hotel bill and have fun. Less good reviews from those who pay a lot more for a 2-bed sleeper with higher expectations!

But I'd suggest the daytime option, like this:

1. Have lunch at the celebrated (and amazing) Train Bleu restaurant at the Gare de Lyon in central Paris, see www.le-train-bleu.com

2. Then stroll across the concourse to the waiting 14:41 TGV high-speed train to Turin, pre-booked from just 29 euros ($35) in 2nd class or 46 euros in 1st class at www.capitainetrain.com with print-at-home tickets.

The TGV is air-conditioned, carpeted, with an interior by designer Christian Lacroix. All seats have power outlets, there's a cafe-bar on board or bring your own picnic and bottle of wine (try doing that on a flight). It's a chill-out trip, catching up on your reading, watching the scenery glide by with a glass o' red.

The train dashes across rural France at 186mph past pretty villages & picturesque churches, but after Lyon it slows right down, meandering through the mountains via Chambery & Modane into Italy. arriving Turin Porta Susa just after 8pm.

Stay overnight in Turin, and ideally have a look round next morning, it's a wonderful city.

3. Then take a fast Frecciabianca train from Turin to Venice Santa Lucia from just 19 euros ($25?) pre-booked at www.trenitalia.com - it's ticketless, you just quote your booking reference on board. Or from 29 euros in 1st class. These trains leave every hour or two through the day.

Turin to Venice only takes 4h21 centre to centre - you cross the famous causeway over the lagoon with anticipation building, arriving in central Venice, walking out of the station to find the Grand Canal in front of you complete with waterbuses and gondolas.
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Old Feb 6th, 2015, 03:55 AM
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for lots about trains and night trains in general see Man in Seat 61's commercial site: www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

I a fan of night trains but some find sleeping difficult as there is always a modicum of noise both insiede and outside the train - but it is a long long daytime trip - save on the cost of a hotel and time by going at night. I've never had trouble sleeping but more than a few here say they do.
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Old Feb 6th, 2015, 06:17 AM
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I'd fly but not from CDG. Easyjet flies from Paris Orly (closer to Paris, less crowded) to Venice, departing at 18:25. That's the way I'd go -- assuming you don't have time for the maninseat61's leisurely trip.
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Old Feb 6th, 2015, 08:08 AM
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I can tell you one thing - I would NEVER book in a cabin with 4 or 6 couchettes. You just never know who you are going to be crammed in there with. On my overnight journey from Paris to Venice in 2011 (admittedly, this was before the Thello I believe) I had to share with 3 people who I did not know and everyone seemed miserable. It was not fun, it was not an adventure, and I did not enjoy my picnic or get any sleep.

I could not wait to get off that train. When I did get off I felt like I'd made a transatlantic flight.

I would only consider it now if I had a two person compartment or was sharing with people I knew.

The daytime option could be fun, if you have the time to burn.
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Old Feb 6th, 2015, 08:29 AM
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On the other hand, I've usually shared a couchette compartment with others who have kept themselves to themselves and it was no problem at all. And on other occasions I've shared with fellow travellers to whom I got chatting, and we had a blast.

It's been perfectly normal to share sleeping compartments on trains and ferries in Europe for over 100 years. But now to some it seems strange - yet those same people will happily sleep in a seat in their clothes, touching elbows with strangers, with their knees in the small of a stranger's back, on a long haul flight, and they think that's 'normal'. All perceptions and expectations, of course...!
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Old Feb 6th, 2015, 09:54 AM
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My experience with overnight trains is like Man in Seat 61 - I've taken dozens and dozens and dozens all over Europe and 90% of the time or more no problems at all and mainly upright middle-class folk - had some great chats too. One problem is if a group of young folk like loud Americans dominate in a compartment and they naturally want to stay up drinking or whatever.

But I'd say your chances to getting bad apples is practically nil otherwise - of course who can prevent the ubiquitous snorers from being there - bring ear plugs!

Flying to me is such a travail and takes at lest a half day from your sighgtseeing time - overnight trains take none and also save on the cost of a hotel - usually enough to off-set the train costs.
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Old Feb 6th, 2015, 11:28 AM
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The Artesia Night Trains before Thello trains took over were abominable - many many complaints - due to break down of AC, heating, etc - some friends took it and said it was a train ride from Hell - they had to stop using the Hotel Train monniker due to complaints of expectations - the Thello trains that took over are said to be better in upkeep - dirty trains were a former complaint too about Artesia.
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Old Feb 6th, 2015, 11:48 AM
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man_in_seat_61 - you've suggested that before and I'm determined to give it a go one day, perhaps with a longer stay in Turin, which is a place that is definitely growing on me as a potential weekend destination.

you're right that train travel feels far more part of the journey whereas air travel can be such a chore.
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Old Feb 7th, 2015, 10:58 AM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...eper-train.cfm

Man in Seat 61's Fodor's thread on the at that time new Thello night train.
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Old Feb 25th, 2015, 07:11 PM
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Thankyou everyone for your advice.

We have chosen to stay in Paris another night and we will fly out of Orly in the morning to venice.
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Old Feb 25th, 2015, 07:40 PM
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I'm late to this thread and glad. After reading Mark's description of the daytime ride, above, I can hardly wait. I'm a train lover, have wanted to try Le Train Bleu, have never been to Turin and, well, any excuse to go back to Venice.
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Old Feb 26th, 2015, 09:04 AM
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But by day it is a long long ride - nice if one could break it up somewhere, like Turin, a town vastly ignored it seems by many hear as it slumbers under a shroud of neglect but it is a really really sweet old city with many monumental edifices - kind of like Milan.

As for the scenic ride - I guess it is scenic if you've never been thru Burgundy or nearby areas but for a trans-Alpine crossing it is not spectacular, tunneling under the highest peaks. But still nice bucolic scenery - all of France to me is scenic. This Italian portion can hardly be called any more than ho-hum after Turnin to Venice.
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