Paris-Venice sleeper

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by deltic, 14 Apr 2015.

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  1. deltic

    deltic Established Member

    8 Feb 2010
    Has anyone travelled on this, how does it compare with UK or DB sleepers - thinking of taking the missus to Venice next year. Travelled from Paris to Berlin last year on the sleeper (sadly gone now) which was fine but a bit tatty.
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  3. 142056

    142056 Member

    27 May 2009
    I've been on the Thello service to Rome in 2013.
    It did the job, but was nothing glamorous in the couchettes. If you're going in the couchettes, I'd say it's well worth the extra for a 4 berth rather than 6 as it will be less cramped. It has everything you need for a night's sleep and not much more.
    They are probably a bit more tired than the DB sleepers, and I wouldn't know to compare to the UK sleepers.
    There are other options of berths, which I don't know about, but I'm sure they'll be a better standard.
  4. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    16 Nov 2009
    The Man in Seat 61 has a section here on travelling from Paris to Italy using the Thello sleeper service and covers pretty much everything from fares to berths and the catering.
  5. jamesontheroad

    jamesontheroad Established Member

    24 Jan 2009
    I can't speak for the train itself, but it is without doubt the very best way to arrive in Venice. I was there a few weeks ago and had a look round the station. From leaving the train it's just a few steps out and onto the Grand Canal. There's a relatively modest church with a grand portico and domed roof immediately opposite the station, which makes for the most beautiful panorama when you arrive.

    Do it! Far more romantic than the plane :)
  6. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Member

    15 Jul 2009
    Having flown to Venice on many occasions, I can only agree. It sounds like a fabulous journey and the destination is truelly stunning. Go for it, if you can, and let us know the outcome.
  7. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

    9 Aug 2009
    I really enjoyed arriving in Venice by rail. The station is stunning, and the ride across the causeway is awesome too!
  8. 30907

    30907 Established Member

    30 Sep 2012
    Yes, arriving in Venice by train and vaporetto is brilliant.
    Seat61 gives a number of alternative routes allowing you a scenic journey through the Alps. I've used 3, the Gotthard, Brenner and Bernina in the last couple of years, and if time allows I'd use one of those one way.
    Last edited: 19 Apr 2015
  9. postye

    postye Member

    7 Feb 2013
    We did the Paris - Venice Thello last year in a 4 berth couchette. The beds are similar sizes to a British sleeper but you don't get much in the way of bedding, a sheet pillow and a blanket (no duvet) but was a good experience.

    One word of caution though is that the timekeeping of the service is very variable with it often arriving up to an hour late which could be an issue if you have onward connections.
  10. Disorientxpres

    Disorientxpres Member

    11 May 2015
    I had a round trip on this train that was most kindly described as interesting. The three of us were booked in a three-berth sleeping compartment. We found that all of the lights in our carriage except for the low-intensity reading lights had failed, as had the lavatories in our carriage; we couldn’t move to another carriage because there was no room. When the berths were folded down, two of us found them a tight fit. Yellow emergency lighting tubes were set up in the corridor when the sun set. Because of a problem in Switzerland the train went through Turin, made several lengthy stops and arrived in Venice two and a half hours late. My travelling companions couldn’t sleep and the one who didn’t want to fly apologised for asking for a sleeper. The reading lights didn’t come on in the morning.

    On the way back we were greeted with an announcement that the train would be replaced with a coach from Milan to Paris; the day train on the first leg was the most comfortable bit of either journey. The coach ride lasted twelve hours overnight. We had our passports inspected at 2.30 when the coach came out of the Mont Blanc tunnel; I barely needed rousing.
  11. Ianigsy

    Ianigsy Member

    12 May 2015
    I'm in the Thell...ohdear camp as of three weeks ago.

    I'd booked a berth in a three-person sleeping compartment from Milan to Paris, only to find when the train arrived from Venice (20 mins late) that the coach I was booked into was out of use. After being passed down the train from one carriage to the next, I eventually discovered that the sleeping carriage at one end of the train had been replaced with a couchette carriage at the other end. Judging by the condition of the toilets in the first two carriages, the water tanks hadn't been filled so I guess it was a late substitution. It could have been a lot worse- I had a compartment to myself and did get a reasonable amount of sleep- but I wonder whether the real issue was a shortage of attendants, as nobody collected our passports (hence 5am alarm call from the French border police) and there was no breakfast service.

    Complaint and request for refund currently in Thello's system- nice 20 working day service standard!
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