31st August 2023
Eurostar has announced a new ski service from London to the Alps via Lille. UK tour operator, Inghams Ski, is amoung those selling the product with a ski holiday included. NEW
The rail service is set to launch on 16th December 2023 as the main ski season starts.
‘Eurostar Snow’ will run from St Pancras International in London to Chambéry, Albertville, Moutiers, Aime-La Plagne and Landry before arriving in Bourg-Saint-Maurice.
The service will run for eight weekends from 16th December until 3rd February, with tickets now on sale.
Normally the old Eurostar Ski Train had 17 departures each season.
Eurostar Snow has only eight.
Trains will depart London St Pancras International on Saturdays and return from the Alps on Sunday mornings.
One-way fares start from £99 in standard and £149 in standard premier for off-peak dates (13 Jan – 4 Feb), increasing to £149 and £199 respectively for peak dates (16 December until 13 January).
Eurostar previously ran a direct service to the Alps in partnership with Travelski Express, but passengers will now need to change at Lille to reach the ski resorts.
The duration of the outbound trip is 8 hours 19 minutes, including a 50 minute connection at Lille.
It is 8 hours 34 minutes on the return journey with a 1 hr 5 minute connection at Lille.
Passengers travelling from France to the UK will go through check-in, security and immigration at Lille before continuing their journey to London.
Inghams Ski is combining it with a new ski package for the 2023/24 season by train, offering a low hassle, sustainable option for customers travelling to France.
The new Inghams Ski packages will serve the Val d’Isère, Tignes and Les Arcs ski areas.
Inghams Ski has committed to support the new Eurostar route by purchasing an allocation of seats per week, with the option to sell more on request.
“We are so excited to be able to offer our customers a new, more sustainable travel option after a frustrating few years of debate around the ski train,” said the Senior Sustainability Manager at Hotelplan UK and Inghams Ski, Krissy Roe.
“We are proud to be one of Eurostar’s partners at the launch of this service and are committed to supporting them on this venture.
“Flying is the fastest growing source of carbon emissions and has the largest slice of the pie when it comes to the carbon footprint of our customers holidays.
“To be able to offer a lower carbon alternative that is convenient and competitive on price is hugely welcomed.
“We’re expecting the train to prove popular with guests this coming season as people seek out more sustainable holidays.
Lead in Price:
8 nights half board at Hotel Ducs de Savoie, Val d’Isère. Departing 6th January 2024 from Kings Cross St. Pancras from £1298 per person including rail travel, transfers and overnight stay in Bourg-Saint-Maurice. Based on 2 adults sharing.
Schedules are as follows:
* Eurostar has not yet confirmed timings.
“We’re proud to offer our customers a sustainable travel option to the Alps by launching our first connecting service as Eurostar Group,” said the CCO of Eurostar Group, Francois Le Doze.
“With a quick and easy connection, competitive pricing and five stops to choose from, passengers can enjoy a seamless experience with us from the city of London to the snowcapped mountains of France.”
The new train service has been welcomed as people look at more environmentally responsible ways to travel to the Alps.
Train travel typically generates less than a quarter of the carbon emissions of a similar package involving flights and remains the most environmentally advantageous option for skiers.
The new service also gives an extra day of skiing but that means an extra might is needed and that might cause problems.
“Almost all apartments and chalets work on a seven-night basis and won’t want to give you an extra night, because that would shorten the following week for other guests,” said Daniel Elkan the founder of the specialist rail to the mountains web site, Snowcarbon.
“Hotels in resort might be more flexible.
“If you can’t find eight night’s accommodation in resort, you may need to find one night’s accommodation in one of the villages that the train departs from (Chambéry, Albertville, Moutiers, Aime-La Plagne, Landry and Bourg-Saint-Maurice).
“Eurostar isn’t planning to offer any accommodation suggestions for the eighth night, and so some research is needed. In this sense, it feels like the offer from Eurostar hasn’t really been fully thought through, from a skiers perspective.
“It’s a bit bizarre.”
One compnay offer 8-nights accomodation is Travelski Express.
It will run outbound from London on Saturday mornings from 30th December and returning the following Sunday (also daytime).
Eight nights of accommodation (to facilitate a full seven days of skiing) are included as standard.
The line-up of resorts for Travelski Express is Tignes, Val d’Isere, Val Thorens, Meribel, Brides les Bains, Courchevel, Les Menuires, Les Arcs, La Plagne and La Rosiere.
Resorts served by Albertville station
Resorts served by Moutiers station
Couchevel (30 mins), Doucy, La Tania (25 mins), Les Menuires (40 mins), Méribel (20 – 35 mins), St Martin de Belleville (25 mins), Val Thorens (50 – 60 mins) and Valmorel.
Resorts served by Aime La Plagne station
La Plagne (20 – 45 mins)
Resorts served by Landry station
Peisey–Vallandry (20 – 25 mins)
Resorts served by Bourg St Maurice station
La Rosière (40 mins), Les Arcs (25 – 45 mins), Sainte Foy (25 mins), Tignes (45 mins), Val d’Isère (45 mins).
The alternative way of reaching the French Alps by train from London is to take a Eurostar to Paris, then cross the city to Gare de Lyon, and take a direct TGV from there.