Believe it or not, Eurostar direct ski trains are on sale now, so prepare to swap your swimsuit for a snowboard! Book now for direct trains to Moûtiers, Bourg-St-Maurice and Aime le Plagne this winter.
Eurostar direct ski trains are now available for the entire 2014-15 season, with direct trains to Moûtiers, Bourg-St-Maurice and Aime le Plagne on sale. If you're planning to hit the slopes this winter, book now to secure cheap train tickets to some of France's best known ski destinations.
Eurostar's ski trains are a seasonal service, so don't run every day. This year, they're scheduled from 19 December 2014 to 11 April 2015, departing St Pancras International and Ashford International every Friday night and Saturday morning,
Return fares start at £149 in Standard Class or £229 in Standard Premier – the same price as last season - with tickets for the entire season are on sale now.
Which ski resorts does the Eurostar ski train serve?
The direct trains only make a couple of stops, having travelled non-stop from the UK, but you can connect by taxi, local trains, shuttle buses and even a funicular railway to many popular French ski resorts.
Eurostar route map with linked ski resorts. All rights reserved.
- Moutiers: Val Thorens and the other resorts of the Three Valleys including Méribel and Courchevel, and La Tania among others.
- Aime-la-Plagne: La Plagne
- Bourg St Maurice: Les Arcs, St Foy, Tignes, Val d'Isere and La Rosiere
The map below shows popular resorts you can reach via Eurostar's direct ski connection. For other destinations, including trains to Chamonix, you'll need to wait for the French ski trains to come on sale (typically 3 months before travel) and combine them with separate Eurostar tickets.
How much does it cost?
Fares start at £84 one-way or £149 return for an adult in Standard Class. You can upgrade to Standard Premier, for more spacious seating plus food and drinks served at your seat, for £130 one-way or £229 return.
Children travel from £104 return in Standard Class, and £196 return in Standard Premier. There are no hidden extras, you'll just need to factor in the cost of transfer to your ski resort - budget around €15 per person on top of your train ticket.
What's it like onboard?
Passengers travelling during the day or overnight are allocated a seat only. Standard Premier passengers can expect more legroom but all passengers should be aware that even the overnight service does not include sleeping accommodation.
When you travel on the outbound train, you'll get a ski pack, which includes useful items like a blanket, pillow and night mask regardless of your class of service. Keep hold of these as they are not distributed on the return journey.
If you'd prefer to travel overnight on a traditional night train, with a bunk in a couchette, you should take a regular Eurostar to Paris and change for the Intercités de Nuit sleeper train to French Alpine destinations. The Eurostar can be booked up to January, while French night trains typically come on sale 3 months before travel.
Food & drink
Passengers are allowed to take food and drink on board with them, including alcohol (maximum 4 cans of beer, or a bottle of wine). There is a bar-buffet on board which serves a range of hot and cold meals, as well as snacks and drinks. Standard Premier ticket holders will get complimentary light meals and drinks served at your seat.
Eurostar permit every passenger an extra item of luggage for no extra cost, such as a pair of skis or snowboard, in addition to the normal luggage allowance. The standard allowance is 2 pieces of luggage measuring 85cm at their longest, and 1 item of hand luggage. Eurostar set aside an area in each carriage for large luggage storage.
Main image and thumbnail: Winter railroad © backmiya / iStock