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Further Details Revealed of New Ski Train to French Alps

A Eurostar Ski Train will run every week this winter from London to Moutiers & Bourg St Maurice in France. Compagnie Des Alps, a major ski lift company, has chartered the train from Eurostar and tickets will only be for people heading on a package to its resorts.UPDATED

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It replaces the old Eurostar ski train and is an overnight and non-stop service departing on Friday evening from London – St Pancras.

There is a daytime return service leaving on the following Saturday morning from France.

It gives people an extra day on the slopes.

It will operate under the name ‘Travelski Express’ and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Compagnie des Alpes, CDA.

It will only give access to Meribel and Les Menuires in Les3Vallees, plus La Plagne, Les Arcs, Val d’Isere and Tignes.

It is part of a package that includes CDA accommodation and lift passes.

The service will be exclusively for Travelski passengers and is not available to book separately or through other tour operators.

Passengers can not book the train and then travel to other resorts.

Some details we released last week as we reported at the time:

Further information was given by the CEO of Travelski, Guillaume de Marcillac at a news conference in London on Tuesday.

Travelski news conference. Image © PlanetSKI

Travelski news conference. Image © PlanetSKI

“We know that a high proportion of British skiers would like to take the train for their ski holidays,” said the CEO of Travelski, Guillaume de Marcillac.

“As well as being environmentally advantageous it is also easy, comfortable and delivers you to the heart of the resorts that are constantly popular with British skiers.

“Through our exclusive tie up with Eurostar we are now able to offer a rail inclusive package that will appeal to many skiers, especially families.

“Our packages allow you to check in at our dedicated desk at St Pancras, safe in the knowledge  that transport to your accommodation will be taken care of.

“We feel that this is a very interesting and valuable addition to our existing portfolio of ski holidays throughout the French resorts.”

Eurostar

Eurostar. Image © PlanetSKI

  • There are no beds on the service, so people will need to sleep in their seat.
  • On the overnight outward bound train alcohol is banned, but it is allowed on the daytime return journey.
  • Eurostar vouchers from ski-train journeys cancelled in March and April 2020, won’t be redeemable on the Travelski Express.

Travelski is stressing that it is not a one-year strategy, but a long- term project.

If successful more trains could be put on.

It aims to start on 18th December 2021 and run across the whole of next season until 16th April 2020.

The train can take around 600 passengers.

The lead-in price will be from £640 per person for a family of 4 staying at a CDA property in Tignes.

Ski passes and resort transfers are included.

“It needs to be a good quality product at the right price and will be a big benefit to the British skier,” added Guillaume de Marcillac.

Guillaume de Marcillac, Travelski. Travelski news conference. Image © PlanetSKI

Guillaume de Marcillac, Travelski. Image © PlanetSKI

Timetable:

Outbound on Fridays
Depart         London St Pancras         19:45
Arrive         Moutiers             05:32
Arrive         Bourg St Maurice         06:16

Return on Saturdays
Depart        Bourg St Maurice        09:34
Depart        Moutiers                      10:14
Arrive        London St Pancras        16:34

The Travelski Express will not be calling at Ashford International as the station is closed until 2023 at the earliest due to the pandemic.

It also won’t stop at Aime la Plagne, but transfers to La Plagne ski resort will be arranged from Moutiers station instead.

The resorts involved have welcomed the move.

“It is such a good news to have this service up and running for winter 21-22,” said the director of  tourism at Les Menuires, Marlène Giacometti, to PlanetSKI.

“British customers are so important for Les Menuires and we are keen to welcome them again.

“The packages have to be booked via Travelski to make the train work for our guests; they will have a good way to travel to our resort, Les Menuires, just above Moutiers, and one that is more eco-friendly, so we are happy”.

In July 2020 winter, ahead of people knowing if the ski resorts in France would open due to the pandemic, Eurostar cancelled the ski train and there were fears it would not run again.

It does though limit the options of direct train travel to the Alps as people can only go to six resorts, albeit large and popular ones.

“As volume picks up then extra trains could be put on, with people going to other resorts. At the start it needs to be an efficient and economically viable product,” added Guillaume de Marcillac.

“If it works well there is no reason why Eurostar could not re-start its ski train, and maybe one day there will be other tour operators offering such a service.”

It is a new business model for train travel and here at PlanetSKI we understand that Travelski may even charter planes in the future as part of its package model.

Although other UK tour operators will not be able to use the service, we understand Travelski is in conversation with respected UK agents such as Ski Solutions to sell the product.

“Following the regrettable cancellation of the scheduled Eurostar ski trains this winter, we welcome this re-establishment of direct service to the Alps giving skiers an alternative low-carbon travel choice to the French mountains,” said the managing director of Ski Solutions, Craig Burton, to PlanetSKI after the announcement.

“We look forward to hearing more from Travelski and CDA about their programme and distribution plans.”

See here for further details on Travelski.

What’s you view of the new train service?

Feel free to add your thoughts over on the PlanetSKI Facebook page.

James Cove, PlanetSKI and Guillaume de Marcillac, Travelski. Travelski news conference. Image © PlanetSKI

James Cove, PlanetSKI and Guillaume de Marcillac, Travelski. Image © PlanetSKI

CDA is trying to operate in a more environmentally responsible manner and is aiming for Zero Net Carbon emissions by 2030.

It also wants a positive impact on biodiversity and zero non-recycled waste by the same date.

“In the face of an unprecedented health crisis that led to the total closure of our activities for the entire winter season last year, Compagnie des Alpes is working closely with its partners to promote a swift and robust recovery of the mountain economy,” said David Ponson, Director, Mountain/Ski Area Operations and Outdoor Activities for CDA.

“The Compagnie is taking concrete steps that include the continuity of its investment commitments and innovative, zero carbon projects. Investing in the mountain and beyond, investing for the mountain – these are the keywords of our lasting, trust-based relationship with our delegates-partners.”

PlanetSKI is a big fan of train travel to the mountains and we have taken the train to the Alps and the Pyrenees on numerous occassions.

Eurostar to the mountains. Image © PlanetSKI

Eurostar to the mountains. Image © PlanetSKI

Here at PlanetSKI we took the train to the Tirol in the Austrian Alps in 2020 by taking the Eurostar to Amsterdam and then changing, All aboard the Alpen Express to Austria

Alpen Express to Austria

Alpen Express to Austria. Image © PlanetSKI

Related Stories:

Compagnie des Alps operates the lifts in a number of resorts in France.

Resorts in Compagnie des Alps stable.

Resorts in Compagnie des Alps stable.

For a full analysis from the train travel ski web site, Snowcarbon, read the thoughts of its founder, Daniel Elkan.

Image c/o Snowcarbon

Image c/o Snowcarbon

 

ABOUT TRAVELSKI

Travelski is a leading European Ski holidays builder: it has firmly established itself over the last 15 years as a true forerunner in the ski holiday market thanks to its bespoke packages, allowing users to make an online booking in a few clicks with completely personalised prices and services.

Over 100 000 clients have travelled with Travelski in the last full winter season (18/19).

Its headquarters are in France (Chambéry and Clichy), with offices in Amsterdam, Antwerpen and Tel Aviv.

Travelski is a brand of Travelfactory group founded in 2000 and acquired in 2018 by La Compagnie des Alpes.

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