The Search Begins For The World’s Best Codecracker as Eurostar Invites You To “Join The Quest”

2 May 2006

*Eurostar launches global puzzle competition
*Winner collects €200,000 + free travel on Eurostar for life + deluxe accommodation at The Ritz, Paris and Claridge's, London

Eurostar, the high-speed train service and global partner of The Da Vinci Code movie, today begins the search for the world's best codecracker.

In one of the biggest ever online competitions, anyone over the age of 18 living in the US, Great Britain, France, Belgium and Australia/New Zealand can register to join the Eurostar Quest at www.jointhequest.com and pit their wits against players from other countries.

The Eurostar Quest consists of 16 puzzles - all games of knowledge or skill - linked over three levels with a grand prize puzzle at the end of the Quest. The puzzles get harder as the competition progresses before the close on 30th May 2006.

At the end of the competition, the five winning finalists will be brought to London for a one-night stay at Claridge's, London before travelling by Eurostar Leisure Select to Paris. Once there, they will stay at The Ritz, Paris and take part in the Grand Final, where the world's best codecracker will be crowned.

The prize fund is unique. The winner will receive:

  • Free travel on Eurostar for life, with a partner
  • Deluxe accommodation at The Ritz, Paris and Claridge's, London for five years
  • €180,000 to spend in London and Paris
  • €10,000 to spend in a "behind closed doors" shopping experience at Galeries Lafayette, Paris
  • €10,000 to spend as a VIP at Harrods, London with a personal shopper
  • Other bespoke experiences in London and Paris tailored to the winner's needs

The four runners-up will receive a four-night trip to London and Paris with Eurostar Leisure Select travel between the two cities.

Prizes can also be won at different stages of the game, including Sony PSP Consoles, Sony PS2 Consoles and games, and the soundtrack of 'The Da Vinci Code' movie.

Guillaume Pepy, Chairman, Eurostar, commented: "The Eurostar Quest is one of the most innovative competitions ever created in the world. We believe we can find the world's best codecracker, the online equivalent of a Professor Robert Langdon, and help them collect one of the world's best prize experiences."

Full details about the competition can be found at www.jointhequest.com The Eurostar Quest begins on 3rd May and closes on 30th May, 2006.

The Eurostar Quest in detail:

3rd May - Level One and Level Two of the Eurostar Quest go live. There are 10 puzzles to crack. At the end of each level, players can choose to play a Prize Puzzle and win prizes such as the soundtrack of Columbia Pictures' The Da Vinci Code, Sony PSP games, a collector's edition of The Da Vinci Code book and Eurostar standard class tickets.

19th May - Level Three of the Eurostar Quest goes live. There are 5 more puzzles to solve and a further Prize Puzzle, where players can win Sony PSP consoles, Sony PS2 The Da Vinci Code games and consoles and Eurostar Leisure Select tickets.

25th May - The Grand Prize Puzzle is released. Five players - one each from France, Belgium, Great Britain, US and Australia/New Zealand - who solve the Grand Prize Puzzle in the fewest attempts will go through to the Grand Final in mid-June.

30th May - The competition to win prizes closes but the website stays open so that puzzles can still be played for fun.

Mid-June - The Grand Final of the Eurostar Quest is held in Paris.

The Eurostar Quest Partners are:

Virgin Atlantic - will carry prizewinners to London from around the world
Sony Ericsson - will supply mobile phones to winners
Sony PSP - will supply consoles to winners
Claridge's, London - will supply luxury hotel accommodation
The Ritz, Paris - will supply luxury hotel accommodation and host The Grand Final
Transworld/Random House - will supply copies of the Illustrated Collector's Edition of The Da Vinci Code™ novel
2K/Take Two - will supply The Da Vinci Code PS2 game to winners
Decca Records - will supply the soundtrack of The Da Vinci Code
Harrods, London - will supply a personal shopper and VIP treatment for the Eurostar Quest winner
Galeries Lafayette, Paris - who will close their store for the Eurostar Quest winner to spend in privacy

Editor's Notes:

1. Eurostar is the fast train service linking London, Ashford, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Avignon, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris and the French Alps.

2. Eurostar has won the title of "World's Leading Rail Service" for the last eight years at the World Travel Awards.

3. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are two entirely different companies with two different management teams. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's largest customer.

4. In 2007, Eurostar will switch its UK operations to London's St. Pancras International. Journey times will fall further with London-Paris only 2h 15m; London-Brussels 1h 51m and London-Lille just 1h20m.

5. To book tickets for Eurostar, or to find out more information, go to www.eurostar.com , call 08705 186186 or contact your travel agent.

Columbia Pictures, part of the Columbia Tristar Motion Picture Group, is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found at www.sonypictures.com.

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For more information:
Eurostar Press Office, T. +44 (0)20 7922 4494, press.office@eurostar.co.uk