Tourists and residents of England are gearing up for a quick and easy route to the French Alps this winter aboard a new high-speed luxury rail service departing two of the most popular train stations in the country. 

Eurostar will run direct day trains to the French Alps on Saturdays between December 2017 and April 2018, as well as overnight trains on Fridays from January to April 2018. Trains leave from St. Pancras International in London and Ashford International in Kent. According to a story in the Telegraph, tickets went on sale last week.

A special page on the Eurostar website says ticket prices start around £150 round-trip. The train’s luggage allowance means each passenger can take skis or a snowboard and two suitcases at no extra charge. 

Though Eurostar isn’t offering sleeper cars on the route at this time, the company has tricked out trains for extra comfort. Most seats have individual fold-down tables; others are set up in clusters of four around tables big enough for an entire family (or group of friends). There are luggage racks above the seats for small to medium bags and space at the entry of each coach for larger cases. What’s more, each of the trains offers two bar buffet coaches for snacks, meals, and drinks. Continued after slideshow

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Europe's Most Exceptional Ski Spots
Clustered in the dizzying, breathtaking heights of the Alps, Europe's best ski resorts offer some of the most incredible skiing in the world. Whether you're in it for the heart-dropping descents, the expansive backcountry skiing, the world famous views, or the glitzy, glamorous resort life, Europe's best ski resorts are absolutely unforgettable.
Collected by Maggie Fuller, AFAR Staff
Österreich Werbung, Fotograf: J Mallaun
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    St Anton, Austria
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    St. Anton, known properly as Sankt Anton am Arlberg, is one of the world's top skiing resorts. Decades old regulations have kept the town free from modern developments and is a perfect spot to enjoy classic Tyrolean architecture.
    By Zac Steger, AFAR Local Expert
    Österreich Werbung, Fotograf: J Mallaun
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    Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France
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    Chamonix (74) is the famous winter-sports resort in the French Alps at the foot of Mont Blanc. It has the Mer de glâce, one of the biggest glaciers in Europe, accessible by the Montenvers rack railway. Chamonix was the host of the first Winter Olympic games in 1924. It has very convenient location: just one hour of Geneva airport and the neighbourhood of Italy and Switzerland which are within 30 minutes drive of the resort. Chamonix is perfect for skiing as 90% of its territory is located above 2000m.
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    Bagnes, Switzerland
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    The charming Swiss village of Verbier is a breeding ground for fearless, thrill-seeking mountain bikers. Be warned, though: Even a rockstar mountain biker from Colorado or Utah will feel like he needs training wheels when he tackles these mountains. In town, local bike shops outfit cyclists with bikes and Transformer-like protective gear. A gondola whisks cyclists to the top of the mountain where they can tackle trails of varying degrees of difficulty in La Tzoumaz Bikepark. Less death-defying trails wind around the mountain past quirky sculptures such as a giant penguin and a huge skeleton of a wooly mammoth. Apparently, a mountain-biking battle wound is an essential Swiss souvenir. I took home a double-fractured finger after launching over my handlebars (A note: Men who get injured apparently get stitched up by a hot Swiss nurse. I got a scholarly Swiss doctor, but I also didn’t get a bill). For something a bit more low-key, rent an electric mountain bike and cruise around town past the fancy hotels (Verbier W opened in 2014) and charming homes. Just a touch of pressure on the pedal makes you feel like Lance Armstrong ascending the hills.
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    Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
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    Every serious skier dreams about gliding down virgin powder snow and unblemished mountain sides, and depending on snow fall, Switzerland has ample opportunity for just that. Mürren is blessed with hike-friendly mountains and powder-packed bowls which maintain fresh snow days after a big fall. A cable car up to Schilthorn’s peak opens up various opportunities for challenging off-piste skiing, although a guide is recommended. Resorts at Verbier and Grindelwald are among the most popular for off-piste skiing and also offer expert guides on powder skiing such as Verbier’s Powder and Freeride camps, or PowderZone—a three-day powder skiing course exclusive to Grindelwald.
    By Joseph Cyr, AFAR Local Expert
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    Grindelwald, Switzerland
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    I knew Grindelwald, Switzerland will be beautiful but did not expect this!! No matter what hotel you choose here, you will have views like these. I am in love with their perfectly manicured hills.
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    St. Moritz, Switzerland
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    Switzerland fulfills the desires of Europe’s most fastidious and wealthy clientèle with a collection of swanky resorts. St. Moritz still dons the crown for glitz and glamour with its flamboyant array of five-star hotels, designer shops and luxurious restaurants. A series of events and shows keep its celebrity and royal visitors entertained such as a modern-day horse chariot race known as skijoring (pictured), and ice cricket played on its frozen lake. Elsewhere the fine-dining and quaint nature of Gstaad has continued to attract the rich and famous since the early 60s. Alongside its absurd selection of gourmet restaurants, two of which hold Michelin stars—Chesery and Prado Grill, is the ultra-exclusive and membership-only Eagle club in Wasserngrat.
    By Simon Willis, AFAR Local Expert
    Switzerland Tourism
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    Saanen, Switzerland
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    After a long day of skiing, we stopped here for a few après ski drinks. The view of the mountains is breathtaking as the sun sets. There are huge cushions and lounge chairs to rest. Foozeball tables and hightops provide for a great drinking/socializing environment. The bartenders are hot and very outgoing! By far a great end to a great day of skiing!
    By Rachel
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    Zermatt, Switzerland
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    Looking over the town of Zermatt we were pleasantly surprised to find some winter walking trails around the outskirts of the town away from all of the crowds of people. Wondering through the town looking at all of the cabins had us dreaming of living in the Swiss Alps one day and picking out which cabin we would want. If you are looking for a little peace and quiet from the crowds in the center, trying heading out for a walk among the cabins and a nice view of the Matterhorn.
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    Kitzbuhel, Austria
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    As one of Austria's most prestigious Alpine resort towns, Kitzbühel has a reputation for being a playground for the rich and famous. But, you don't have to wealthy, well-known or even know how to ski to enjoy winter here. Medieval Kitzbühel manages to balance it's historic Alpine charm with its stylish, contemporary side. With a fresh coat of snow on the ground, the warm glow of the shop lights and the glistening peaks, it's an Alpine fantasy. Warm up with Austrian classics like schnitzel and dumplings at the Huberbräu Stüber, or a dose modern European flavors and amazing strudel at the restaurant at Hotel zur Tenne. There's plenty of high-end shopping here, but also some affordable options. Of course, if you do ski, it will be an incredible experience all around.
    By Zac Steger, AFAR Local Expert
    Tirol Werbung - Markus Mitterer
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    Kaprun, Austria
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    The Kitzsteinhorn Glacier has a lot to offer - all year round. Whereas I love to go there for spring snowboarding, many others enjoy the amazing Gletscherwelt 3000. With a simple lift pass, you can get as high as 3.029 meter above sea level and enjoy an amazing view upon Austria’s highest mountains. If the view alone is not exciting enough you can also go for some sleighing in the summer months or get a high-class dinner experience from rewarded chefs.
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    Mâcot La Plagne, France
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    Skiing during a blizzard with my brother. And no one else. Wake up early to have the mountain to yourself. Stop for soup, cheese, and mulled wine at any of the chalets.
    By Lily Soysal, AFAR Staff
Upon arrival in the Alps, trains stop at Moûtiers, Aime-la-Plagne, and Bourg-Saint-Maurice, from where passengers can pick up coaches to ski resorts such as Courchevel, La Plagne, Tignes, Meribel, and Les Arcs (to name a few). Return trains leave from Moûtiers and Bourg-Saint-Maurice.

All told, travel time is about 10 hours, depending on where you get on and where you get off.

>>Next: The World’s Best Ski Destinations