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Italy's new 'Orient Express' isn't running yet — but rates are already soaring

Reservations for Italy's new "La Dolce Vita Orient Express" train open Tuesday.

Luxury train enthusiasts may want to lock in the current rate now — before it climbs any higher.

Starting rates for a one-night journey on the luxury train increased from 2,000 euros ($2,168) per person in December 2022 to 2,500 euros per person in November 2023. Both rates were set during a pre-sales reservation period, which required a refundable deposit.

But starting rates have now jumped to 3,500 euros per person per night, according to a press release published in March.

That's an eye-watering 75% price increase in a 16-month period.  

The train is set to start running in the spring of 2025, according to Accor, the French multinational hospitality company that operates the train.

Accor did not directly answer CNBC's question as to the reason behind the steep price hike.

A representative said, "Pricing evolves according to occupancy, season, route, and cabin type."

However, again, the train isn't operating yet.

Ticket prices are still lower than another train using the "Orient Express" moniker in Europe — the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Nightly rates for that train, which is operated by the LVMH-owned Belmond company, start from £7,060 British ($8,925) per passenger, according to a review of its website.

Dave Goodger, managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company, said rising prices are caused by consumers' continued willingness to pay higher rates for luxury experiences. But, he said, that's likely not the only reason.

"Luxury travel demand is reflected in some continued price increases," he said. "However, the price increases are not profiteering and are broadly in line with rising