20/12/2012 The Great Festive Getaway: Eurostar reports a surge in bookings over Christmas and New Year as its first Swiss Alps Ski Service heads for the slopes

20 Dec 2012

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger service between the UK and mainland Europe is set to carry tens of thousands of travellers from across the UK to France, Belgium and Switzerland over the festive period.

From Friday 21 December to Thursday 3 January, Eurostar has seen a surge in bookings from the UK with over 160,000* passengers expected to travel for a winter getaway. Friday 21 and Saturday 22 December are the busiest days for departures as Eurostar’s French and Swiss ski services start their first services of the season.

Hundreds of passengers will take Eurostar’s new weekly ski service between London and some of Switzerland’s most popular ski resorts on Saturday 22 December for its inaugural journey.

The new Swiss ski service will carry ski and snowboarding enthusiasts from St Pancras International and Ashford International to the heart of the Swiss Alps and the Valais region. Resorts including; Verbier, Zermatt, Saas Fee and Gstaad will be served on the new route from Saturday 22 December until Saturday 13April 2013.

With an easy connection in Lille Europe on to a high-speed TGV Lyria service, passengers will arrive into Aigle, Martigny, Visp and Brig stations for quick onward transfers to their ski resorts. For added convenience, Eurostar and TGV Lyria will allow passengers to carry skis or snowboards at no extra cost.

Return fares start from only £189. Travellers can indulge themselves on their way to and from the slopes by travelling Standard Premier with fares from just £299 return. Onboard, they will enjoy more spacious seating as well as light meals and drinks served at their seat.

Eurostar’s annual direct ski services to the French Alps also launch this weekend, with the first night service to the popular French ski towns of Moûtiers, Aime-La-Plagne and Bourg St Maurice running on Friday 21 December and the first day service on Saturday 22  December. The weekly services run until 13 April 2013, with return fares starting from £149.

Nick Mercer, Commercial Director for Eurostar commented; “We’re expecting this to be one of our busiest festive periods for years. Our French ski service grows in popularity year on year and with our new Swiss Alps ski service launching as well this weekend we’re expecting a bumper 2012 festive period.

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

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* From Friday 21 December 2011 to Thursday 3 January 2013
 
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 130 million passengers between London and the Continent.  Following their refurbishment these trains will continue to form a core part of the Eurostar fleet.
 
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. 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.
 
For more information:
Eurostar Press Office 
020 7843 5500