Eurostar reports a Bumper Half-Term

10 Feb 2012

Passenger numbers up 10% on last year
Eurostar, the high-speed passenger service between the UK and mainland Europe is expecting to carry 10%1 more passengers over this half-term school holiday, compared to the same holiday period last year.

Over 230,000 people from across the UK and Europe will travel on Eurostar over the course of the week for a late winter break. A combination of attractive prices, Valentine's Day and good ski conditions will make this a bumper half-term for Eurostar.

Nick Mercer, Commercial Director for Eurostar, said: "This has been one of our busiest February half-term weeks for several years. School holidays are always popular, but our service is particularly busy this year. With the perfect skiing conditions we are enjoying at the moment our direct ski services to the French Alps are virtually sold out next week."

"For families thinking about a last minute break we still have availability towards the end of the half-term week and with children under the age of four travelling for free and child fares2 at only £49 return for Paris, Lille and Brussels. A short break can cost less than you think particularly when you take into account all the discounts you get on museums, galleries, restaurants and shopping with our Eurostar Plus scheme."

Tickets for travel from London St Pancras International to Paris, Disneyland Paris, Brussels and Lille start from £69 return in Standard and £189 return in Standard Premier.

Eurostar Plus launched in 2010 to offer added value to Eurostar's leisure travellers. The Eurostar Plus collection includes Eurostar Plus Gourmet, Plus Shopping and Plus Culture.

For more information, to book Eurostar tickets or purchase Eurostar gift vouchers visit www.eurostar.com or call 03448 224 777.

Note to editors:
1. From Friday 11 February 2011 to Sunday 20 February 2011, compared with Friday 10 February 2012 to Sunday 19 February 2012

2. Children aged between 4 and 11 years benefit from discounts of 30% on the equivalent full-price adult fare, which means that children can travel from as little as £49 return. In addition, children under the age of 4 years are travel on Eurostar completely free of charge if they are able to sit on the lap of a parent or guardian (one infant per adult traveller is permitted).

About Eurostar Plus
Eurostar Plus Culture
is a unique partnership between Eurostar and some of Europe's most popular museums and galleries in Paris, London, Brussels and Lille. Travellers simply present their Eurostar ticket to take advantage of 2-for-1 entry into paying exhibitions.

Eurostar Plus Gourmet is a partnership with toptable, which offers travellers unique discounts at many popular restaurants in Paris, Brussels and Lille. To take advantage of discounts of up to 50%, passengers simply need to visit www.eurostarplus.co.uk/gourmet  to select their preferred restaurant; they are then transferred online through to toptable.com to book a table. To receive their exclusive discount passengers present their Eurostar ticket at the restaurant – it's as easy as that.

Eurostar Plus Shopping offers passengers a 10% discount at the Galeries Lafayette Paris and Lille stores and 10% discount at xandres, one of the leading brands in Belgian fashion in cities across Belgium including Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Knokke, Kortrijk, Namur and Waterloo.

About Eurostar
1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.

2. Eurostar was established in 1994 as a partnership between three railway companies: SNCF, SNCB and LCR (London and Continental Railways). On 1 September 2010, Eurostar became a single, unified corporate entity owned by three shareholders: SNCF, SNCB and LCR.

3. The current Eurostar train was first introduced into service in 1994 carrying 750 passengers and operating at speeds of up to 300kph. Since then, the fleet of 28 trains has carried more than 100 million passengers between London and the Continent. Following their refurbishment these trains will continue to form a core part of the Eurostar fleet. The new Eurostar e320 will carry more than 900 passengers at speeds of up to 320kph.

4. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe's leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network.

5. The Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel

· Since 2001 the Ashden awards have been supporting sustainability projects across the globe and now they're working with Eurostar to promote sustainable travel

· As part of the Tread Lightly programme to cut carbon and get people thinking differently about their journeys, Eurostar has launched the Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel

· With a prize fund and a host of benefits, the Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel will celebrate and support local sustainable travel projects in the UK, France and Belgium

6. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's biggest customer.

7. To book tickets or for more travel information, please visit www.eurostar.com or call 03448 224 777.

For more information contact:
Eurostar Press Office
Eurostar
t:0044 (0)20 7843 5500
e: press.office@eurostar.com