20 December 2017

Record numbers choosing a Eurostar Christmas getaway

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger service between the UK and mainland Europe, is expecting its busiest December ever with over 370,000 booked to travel during the Christmas period, and a 2% increase across the month.*
The rise is driven by an 8% surge in sales of inbound visitors to London, as European visitors take advantage of the great value exchange rate to indulge in a seasonal shopping spree.
The Christmas markets in France and Belgium continue to attract UK travellers to the continent, and as Disneyland Paris celebrates its 25th anniversary year, a 22% rise is expected on Eurostar’s direct service to the park over the holidays. 
Festive trips to the slopes are growing in popularity, with an 18% increase in passengers choosing the ease and comfort of a high-speed rail journey over plane to the Alps.
Friday 29th December is the peak day in the Christmas period, with over 35,000 expected to travel across the Channel for the New Year’s Eve celebrations. This is closely followed by Friday 22nd December, when over 34,000 are expected to make the getaway ahead of Christmas.
Mary Walsh, Director of Communications, Eurostar commented: “Throughout the year we’ve seen an increase in travellers coming to London from the continent. This trend has continued into December as visitors cash in on the favourable exchange rate and combine retail therapy with a city break.”
This December, Eurostar travellers are entitled to a selection of offers to help complete their Christmas shopping. Some of the best shops and boutiques at St Pancras International are offering discounts to shoppers with a Eurostar ticket, and Liberty London is giving Eurostar passengers £15 off gifts in store and online when spending £100 or more.
For those looking for a last minute gift, Eurostar e-vouchers are available at vouchers.eurostar.com. Simply choose a value from £25 and send it directly to the recipients email address.

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Notes to Editors
*From the 20/12/17 to 02/01/18 compared to the 21/12/16 to 03/01/17
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, Lyon, Avignon, Marseille 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. LCR’s holding was transferred to the Treasury in 2014, and sold by the UK government to a consortium comprising Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec (CDPQ) and Hermes Infrastructure on 28th May 2015.
  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 140 million passengers between London and the Continent.  Following their refurbishment these trains will continue to form a core part of the Eurostar fleet.  The new Eurostar e320 will carry around 900 passengers at speeds of up to 320kph.
  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