Eurostar direct ski services to the French Alps on sale from 7 July for 2009-2010 winter season

Eurostar direct ski services to the French Alps on sale from 7 July for 2009-2010 winter season

—First direct day service launches on 19 December 2009

—First direct night service launches on 1 January 2010

—Fares start from just £149 return, down from £179 last year

—A carbon neutral passenger journey, at no extra cost

Eurostar, the high speed passenger train linking UK with the Continent, will open ticket sales for its popular direct ski services from St Pancras International and Ashford International to the French Alps on Tuesday 7 July 2009. Return fares start this year from £149, down from £179 return last year – in an early response to the extremely competitive market place for ski holidays in the coming season. Bookings can be made online on www.eurostar.com or by calling 08705 186 186.

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Eurostar provides two weekly direct services to Moûtiers, Aime-La-Plagne and Bourg St Maurice. The overnight service, leaving St Pancras International in the evening, allows travellers an extra two days on the slopes. It is the ideal solution for travellers from towns and cities beyond London, who can buy connecting fares from their home stations directly to the heart of the French Alps. Passengers will be able to use domestic trains to reach London and connect on Eurostar services, allowing them to be in the office until Friday lunchtime and on the slopes first thing on Saturday morning. As for the day train, it provides a scenic option passing through Burgundy until the magnificent panoramic Alps unfolds.

Eurostar’s ski direct services offer easy access to a variety of top ski destinations in the French Alps such as Courchevel, La Plagne, Tignes, Meribel, Les Arcs and allow skiers to select a resort tailors to their needs. Eurostar stations are located a short bus ride from the resorts, avoiding the lengthy transfers time to and from the airports. For added convenience, an extra item of luggage on top of the normal luggage allowance - such as a pair of skis or a snowboard- can be taken onboard at no extra cost: there is no need to wait for baggage reclaim.

Taking Eurostar to the French Alps is the natural option for skiers willing to preserve the environment. Not only is the train a more comfortable and relaxing journey, it is also a less environmentally damaging option as all Eurostar journeys are now carbon neutral. A research commissioned by Eurostar has shown that a Eurostar journey to Bourg St Maurice generates 14kg of CO2 per passenger. By comparison, a typical return flight from London to Geneva* emits 147,8kg of CO2 per passenger.

Simon Montague, Eurostar’s Director of Communications, commented: “In these tough economic times, it is important to offer even greater value for travellers. Our return fares start from £149, down from £179 last year, and are all inclusive – there are no taxes or hidden charges like many of the airlines”.

He added: “Eurostar is the natural option for skiers, which allows them to greatly reduce their environmental impact - on average, a Eurostar journey emits just one tenth of the CO2 emissions of an equivalent flight- and to reach their resorts refreshed and ready for the slopes.”

“Travel to resorts located in Switzerland will also be available on Eurostar, thanks to onwards connections in Paris. These will be available later in the year, in line with the booking horizon of train operators on the continent”.

Return fares start from £149 standard class. Travellers can indulge themselves on their way to and from the slopes by travelling Leisure Select class, enjoying roomier accommodation and meals and drinks served at their seat from just £229 return.

Tickets are available from www.eurostar.com or by calling 08705 186 186.