Eurostar joins up with Bluewater to put Ebbsfleet international station on the map

18 May 2007

• New Eurostar Shop opens on 25 May to promote Ebbsfleet International, just off Junction 2 of the M25 near Dartford
Eurostar links with Invicta Radio - first 50 visitors to shop will each win a pair of Leisure Select tickets!
• Grand Draw on opening day for a further 50 pairs of return tickets
Eurostar, the high-speed passenger train service that links the UK with the Continent, will open its first shop on Friday 25 May at Bluewater, the popular retail and leisure destination near the Dartford Crossing in north Kent, and only minutes away from its new station, Ebbsfleet International.
Nick Mercer, Commercial Director of Eurostar and James Waugh, Retail Manager of Bluewater, will officially open the doors at 15.30 on 25 May. In a tie-up with Invicta Radio, the first 50 visitors will each win a pair of Leisure Select return tickets to travel on a special Eurostar preview train from Ebbsfleet International to Paris, before timetabled services begin in November 2007. All visitors on the first day will be entered in a Grand Draw to win a further 50 pairs of standard class return tickets for travel the week after opening.
Bluewater have provided 2,022 sq ft of retail space for the Eurostar Shop, which is designed to educate and excite the shopping centre's up to 500,000 weekly visitors about the new Ebbsfleet International station, located just two miles and less than 10 minutes away by road.
Bluewater and Ebbsfleet International sit beside each other at the heart of a catchment of 10 million people across southern England, stretching in both directions round the M25. The two destinations are easily accessed off Junction 2 of the M25 and each has thousands of parking spaces.
Ebbsfleet International will be the fastest way to Europe when it opens in November 2007, with journey times of just 2h 05m to Paris, 1h 41m to Brussels and 1h 10m to Lille. The spectacular glass and steel station straddles High Speed 1, the UK's first high-speed line, on which Eurostar trains will travel at 186 mph.
The new station in north Kent will open just a few days after Eurostar has launched services from its new central London terminal at St Pancras International on 14 November. Ebbsfleet International will also complement Ashford International, Eurostar's existing station in Kent, together providing significantly more Eurostar services for the county.
Bluewater visitors will be able to get more information and discover the advantages of Ebbsfleet International from Eurostar sales agents There will be further deals on offer and tickets for travel from Ebbsfleet International will go on sale in late July.
Eurostar's Commercial Director, Nick Mercer, commented: "We want Bluewater visitors to understand just how convenient Ebbsfleet International will be for trips to the Continent. There will be easy parking and fast check-in times of just 30 minutes, with a 10-minute check in for business travellers. The station is right beside the M25, making it simple to reach from north or south of London and the Thames, and far more attractive than using London's overcrowded airports."
Bluewater's General Manager, Andrew Parkinson, commented: "We are delighted to be working with Eurostar. We attract people from the same catchment area and we share very similar commercial objectives. We want to provide the very best leisure and retail experience and Eurostar want to provide the very best travel experience. Because of the proximity of Ebbsfleet International to Bluewater, it is a 'win win' for both organisations".
A frequent, high-quality Fastrack bus service will link Ebbsfleet International and Bluewater with local rail stations in north Kent. High-speed domestic rail services are due to start serving Ebbsfleet in 2009, making it even easier to use public transport to access both Bluewater and Eurostar services
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Editor's Notes:
1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking London, Ebbsfleet (from November 2007), Ashford, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Avignon, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris and the French Alps.
2. On 14 November 2007, Eurostar will switch to its new London terminal at St Pancras International, closing its existing terminal at Waterloo International. Journey times will reduce by at least 20 minutes, with London-Paris down to 2h 15m, London-Brussels in 1h 51m and London-Lille in just 1h 20m.
3. Eurostar has won the title of "World's Leading Rail Service" for the last nine years at the World Travel Awards.
4. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are two entirely different companies with two different management teams. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's largest customer.
5. Besides visiting the Eurostar Shop at Bluewater, you can also book tickets and get more information by going to www.eurostar.com , calling 08705 186186, or contacting your travel agent.
For more information:Eurostar Press Office+44 (0)20 7922 4494press.office@eurostar.co.uk
Gareth HeadonEurostar Corporate CommunicationsT. +44 (0) 20 7922 4425F. +44 (0) 20 7922 4499M. +44 (0) 7802 260 096