Skiers get fast train to Swiss slopes
Although skiers have been wary of Switzerland's high prices, could Prince Harry and his girlfriend Cressida Bonas bring it back into favour after their trip to the slopes in Verbier last week?
The couple enjoyed luxurious facilities at a villa rented by Prince Andrew for £22,000 (€25,500) per week - but the launch of a Eurostar sale this week means skiers can at least reach Swiss slopes for a reasonable price.
Eurostar launched its Swiss Alps ski service this winter - and is promoting special fares for the rest of the ski season from £119 (€138) (standard class) return, with standard premier fares from £219 (€253).
These special prices, on sale until midnight on March 11, apply to travel between March 2 and April 13.
Eurostar's new service carries skiers and snowboarders from St Pancras International and Ashford International to the heart of the Swiss Alps and the Valais region. Resorts including Verbier, Zermatt, Saas-Fee and Gstaad are on this weekly route until April 13.
After an easy connection in Lille Europe from the London train to a high-speed TGV Lyria service, passengers arrive into Aigle, Martigny, Visp and Brig stations for (usually) quick onward transfers to ski resorts.
For added convenience, Eurostar and TGV Lyria both allow passengers to carry skis or snowboards at no extra cost.
Return fares usually start from £189 (€219), so travellers should book promotional fares early to avoid disappointment.
Meanwhile fares on Eurostar services to French ski resorts, with services terminating in Bourg St Maurice, start at £149 (€172).
The current Eurostar train was first introduced in 1994, carrying 750 passengers and operating at speeds of up to 300kph. Since then, a 28-strong fleet has carried more than 130 million passengers between London and the Continent.
INFORMATION: For Eurostar tickets to Switzerland or to purchase Eurostar gift vouchers, call 08432 186 186 or visit www.eurostar.com