Wes Anderson pays relentless attention to detail in his films, from The Grand Budapest Hotel to The Darjeeling Limited, so it seems fitting that he's collaborated with Belmond (owned by LVMH, and known both for its luxury hotels and luxury trains) to redesign the Cygnus carriage of Belmond's British Pullman train. The redesigned Cygnus carriage debuts October 13, 2021, and “pays tribute to both the golden age of cinema and travel.”
The director, who originally hails from Texas, was excited about the project. “I love trains! I have often had the chance to invent train compartments and carriages in my movies.” Anderson added that he was both “very eager to make something new while also participating in the process of preservation that accompanies all the classic Belmond train projects. They are keeping something special alive, igniting this endangered species of travel into a new golden era.”
The Cygnus Carriage debuted in 1951 as a First Class parlor car for the legendary Golden Arrow for the Festival of Britain. In 1965, it was used as part of Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral train. For its complete redesign, Anderson was inspired both by the carriage's original Art Deco design, and by Cygnus, which means swan: intricate waves and swan details are reflected in the handcrafted marquetry and the luminous silver leaf in the carriage ceiling. Most of the carriage's seating is in the main car, with tables for two or for four.
Guests in the private coupés, which accommodate up to four guests each, will enjoy private check-in and priority boarding at London’s Victoria Station, as well as exclusive menus with additional courses, cocktails and upgraded wines, all served using tableware and glassware selected by Anderson, including Champagne coolers with chilled, free-flowing Veuve Clicquot. Coupé guests are also treated to a guided tour of the train with the Train Manager, and receive a parting gift of two Champagne glasses.
Cygnus Carriage Journeys on the British Pullman
The British Pullman is used for day trips around the UK, and offers tables for two or for four in its other cars in addition to Pullman Dining by Wes Anderson for open seating in the Cygnus Carriage, or the private Pullman Coupé by Wes Anderson for up to four guests. (The entire Cygnus Carriage can also be privatized for up to 26 guests; pricing available upon request.)
Some of the favorite itineraries include:
- Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons: departing from London Victoria Station, enjoy brunch on the outward journey, a three course lunch at the two Michelin star Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons, and a cheese board and dessert on the return journey.
- Christmas-themed lunches and dinners in December, including visits to Canterbury Cathedral to listen to carols performed by the Canterbury Singers
- Interactive Murder Mystery
- Visits to Bath, Chatsworth House, Highclere Castle, Blenheim Palace, and more
Bellini Club Benefit for TravelSort Clients
TravelSort Clients enjoy Belmond Bellini Club benefits when reserving Belmond train journeys and hotel stays. Guests booking the Cynus Carriage for a day journey enjoy a $45 onboard credit per person (this can be used towards premium alcoholic beverages that aren't included in the menus served on board). And for longer train journeys such as the Venice Simplon-Orient Express, Bellini Club benefits include a $100 onboard credit per person, as well as a $500 gift voucher after reserving a Belmond experience of at least $5000 before tax. The gift voucher is valid towards a future Belmond stay or experience.
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