Eurostar launches direct route from London to Amsterdam
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8:31am on Tuesday 20th February, Eurostar set off on its maiden voyage from London St Pancras to Amsterdam Centraal.
The journey takes approximately 3 and a half hours, taking its passengers from the heart of London, through Brussels and Rotterdam, into the centre of Amsterdam.
With over four million passengers flying between the two cities every year, Eurostar believes it will be a welcome change in the travel industry.
A spokesperson said: "The launch of the London to Amsterdam service marks a historic milestone in the expansion of international high-speed rail travel, revolutionising the connection between these important destinations."
With tickets starting from as little as £35 each way, the new super-fast rail route is a close rival to flight agencies such as EasyJet.
The train is also an interesting alternative for travellers looking to decrease their carbon footprint. According to Eurostar, the route emits 80% less carbon than the same journey by plane and is the latest feature of a campaign to cut emissions and waste. The rail service has pledged to lower plastic use as well as reduce their food waste by 2020.
Chief executive of Eurostar, Nicolas Petrovic, explained: “Over the last eight years we have reduced our carbon footprint by more than 30% but given the scale of the challenge facing the environment, we are now setting new targets.
“We are committed to increasing our energy efficiency and reducing our waste across the business."
Onboard, passengers in Standard class will have the choice of Dutch treats including beers, gin and Stroopwaffle. Upgrade to Standard or Business Premiere for the chance to experience Dutch tapas, cooked breakfasts and evening meals. The service also offers super-fast WiFi and special onboard entertainment courtesy of 300 hours of Amazon Prime shows and movies in Dutch, French and English.
The only slight catch… Dutch and UK governments are yet to agree on immigration procedures at Amsterdam Centraal station, meaning an added hour for passport control at Brussels on the return leg of the journey.
Despite the setback, which may not be resolved until 2019, Petrovic is pleased with the progress the company is making to connect the EU nations. “With direct services from the UK to the Netherlands, France and Belgium, we are transforming the links between the UK and three of Europe’s top trading nations,” he said.
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