Nucleus on right track for Orient Express website

Nucleus is redesigning luxury travel brand Orient Express’s flagship website and individual sites for 26 worldwide Orient Express-owned hotels. The project, worth £500 000, will go live in April.

Nucleus was appointed last August to develop the Travel Club for the Orient Express website, which enables people to buy complete Orient Express holidays on-line. It won the core site redesign work on the strength of this work, and is now the company’s retained digital design consultancy.

The aim of the redesign is to reinforce the perception of the Orient Express as a sophisticated, luxurious marque incorporating travel and accommodation for the well-heeled.

Many consumers see the Orient Express as just the Venice-Simplon train [which is the name of the original London to Venice route], says Nucleus creative director David Gilbert. However, the brand incorporates train journeys between Singapore and Bangkok, Sydney and Cairns and local UK routes.

The revamped site, at, is aimed at stylish independent travellers particularly in the US, Germany, France, UK and Japan, according to Gilbert.

“We do not want to create a purely transactional site,” he says.

To achieve this, Nucleus is introducing more photography to the website, which is small enough to download quickly, to create a feel of “understated luxury”, says senior developer Andrew Wood.

Orient Express Travel Club president Brian Tickle says demand for booking Orient Express trains on-line has soared during the past two years, in spite of almost 85 per cent of the group’s business being its hotel arm.

“We are rethinking our entire on-line presence; until now we have only had a toe in the digital water,” he says.

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