Inaugurated in 1994, following the completion of the undersea Channel Tunnel linking England with France, Eurostar is a high-speed international passenger-rail service. Reaching speeds of up to 186mph (299km/h) on dedicated lines, the Eurostar journeys through the Kent countryside before diving into the 31.4 mile (50.5km) long Channel Tunnel at Folkestone. The train emerges at Coquelles in Northern France.
Connecting the cities of London, Paris and Lille in France, and the Belgian capital of Brussels, Eurostar allows travellers to avoid the long queues and lengthy transfers associated with air travel whilst maintaining a comfortable, fast service.
Eurostar launched services from St. Pancras and Ebbsfleet International in November 2007 following the completion of the second section of the UK's first high-speed line. Journey times have subsequently fallen, with London-Paris taking 2 hours 15 minutes, London-Brussels taking 1 hour 51 minutes, and the trip from London to Lille lasting just 1 hour 20 minutes.
Eurostar's fleet of 38 modified Train à Grande Vitesse (TGV) trains consist of two power cars and either 14 or 18 passenger carriages offering a modern and comfortable service to passengers.
A fleet of Eurostar E320 trains will be introduced in 2015, capable of speeds of up to 320km/h. The brand new trains boast interiors designed by Italian firm, Pininfarina.
Eurostar's Standard Class coaches feature two seats on either side of the central aisle, most of which is arranged in an 'airline' seating configuration with drop down tray tables. There are two tables for four per carriage. Passengers travelling in Eurostar Standard Class coaches can take advantage of the Bar-Buffet, which sells a range of snacks, meals, hot and cold drinks - including Champagne!
The highest class of Eurostar travel available for leisure customers is Standard Premier Class. In your dedicated Standard Premier carriage, you'll find a less dense seat configuration, meaning the seats are larger and you have ample space to relax and stretch out. As part of the service, you'll enjoy complimentary drinks and refreshments, served at your seat by friendly, helpful staff.
For the class of Eurostar travel used on your chosen tour, please refer to the 'What's Included' section of the tour page.