All you need to know about ski holidays by train

Book the train first, choose resort later.

Tue 10 September, 2013

Sometimes you know you want to go skiing, but you haven't decided which resort you want to go to.

And of course, that can take time to do.

With independent flights, people sometimes book an EasyJet flight to Geneva first, knowing that they can then choose from an number of resorts that you can get to from there.

Well in fact, you can do the same thing with Eurostar's Ski Train. You can book the train and then decide which stop you are going to use, later.

The price is the same for any of the stops - Moutiers, Aime la Plagne or Bourg St Maurice.

Of course, when booking the train, you have to pick a destination station. Online, the system asks you to pick a station. And if booking on the phone, Eurostar's call centre staff may tell you that your ticket is only valild for the station that you choose. According to the terms and conditions, that is true. But what about in practice?  We checked with Eurostar's head office regarding this situation, asking them the question:

"If you book tickets to Bourg St Maurice, for example, and then decide that you are going to visit a resort accessed by Moutiers station, would you still be allowed to get on the train at Moutiers (and vice versa?)"

Eurostar's press office told us:

"We ask all of our passengers to pre select the stations they depart from and arrive to, so that we have accurate information about passenger volumes at stations and we can resource appropriately for this and avoid any delay to our services. We recognise that in particular ski passengers may need to change the stations that they travel to and from and where we can we do try and accommodate this. However, whilst in practice this isn’t a problem, it cannot always be guaranteed due to high passenger volumes and therefore we do advise passengers to consider the resorts they would like to visit before they book their tickets."

What Eurostar don't want, of course, is for everyone to suddenly decide to get on at only one station - as it would cause a long queue or a delay.  But since each station serves a variety of resorts, that will never happen. Hence they say that you can in practical terms get off and on where you want to.

So our advice would be that if you aren't sure which resort you want to go to, the book tickets to Bourg St Maurice and decide later where to get on and off.

Indeed, the same goes for journey from Paris on the TGV train or Corail Lunea sleeper train to Moutiers, Aime and Bourg.  And also for journeys from Paris to Cluses, Sallanches and St Gervais (book to St Gervais which is at the end of the line)

Happy travels.