Germany via Eurostar etc

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Capybara

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I'm thinking of a few days in Germany in autumn and thought I would try high speed all the way (instead of my usual Eurostar then onwards by 'normal' services). So I had a look at the Eurostar site to have a look at prices etc, and it states that for bookings after 27 July I need to call a number. Any idea why that might be?
 
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Malton Seadog

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Try a London Spezial ticket, valid on Eurostar and ICE, but not Thalys.

It's London to any station in Germany for a flat rate! They sell VERY quickly though.

I got a single from London St Pancras to Mittenwald (in deepest Bavaria) for €49!

The journey took 12 hours, with changes at Brussels and Frankfurt. Marvellous way to spend a day.
 

Capybara

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Thanks both. I really fancied Thalys to be honest for no other reason than that I've never been on one. I only really want to go as far as Aachen. I guess I could do it cheapest with a Eurostar anywhere in Belgium ticket and then an ordinary ticket to hop over the border but I just fancied high speed all the way for a change. I did look at the DB site but just wondered what the issue was with the Eurostar site. I was only looking for an idea of likely fares in the first instance.
 

Peter Mugridge

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If one is not using through tickets then one needs to be careful about connection times and what happens if the inbound train is late...


I've done St Pancras - Frankfurt in 6 hours, Eurostar and ICE.
 

STEVIEBOY1

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Thalys is nothing special

Thalys is ok if travelling first class as they do include some food & drinks, including loads of wine and beer, whereas DB/ICE don't give complimentry food in 1st, but for the train itself ICE is far better than Thalys which is really only a TGV. They are quite dark inside. ICEs seem far more spacious even in2nd class.

It will be great when DB/ICE come through to London from Koln/Frankfurt in a year or so.
 

Capybara

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Just fancied giving it a try, that's all. And it would only be for an hour. Thalys site is reluctant to give fares without entering the booking process so they might lose my business. No offers on the original question?
 

Oscar

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I would recommend www.b-europe.com for Eurostar and Thalys bookings, unless you manage to get an 85 GBP London - Koeln return. The lowest prices for both Eurostar and Thalys are otherwise available here. If you try splitting the purchase, you may find cheaper Eurostar and Thalys tickets with a longer wait in Bruxelles-Midi. I'm afraid I don't understand your original question (July?) but will remind you that whereas Eurostar opens for bookings 120 days in advance Thalys only opens for booking around 90 days in advance. DB opens for booking 92 days in advance.

If buying a DB London-Spezial, you may have to add stop-overs at Bruxelles-Midi (to get an ICE connection) and Koeln (to find a train with availability for the cheapest tickets - only applies to onward Fernverkehr connections).
 
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brianthegiant

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My experience of London-Koln via Brussels on E*& ICE is that the connection time in Brussels is quite tight coming home when you consider time for passports & security.. great if you dont want to hang around but a bit exciting with heavy luggage...

My experience is that to get the London Speziale at E49 you pretty much have to book when it comes on sale 92 days before departure date

Thalys is 'just' a TGV with a different badge? ICEs are much nicer.
 

Oscar

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DB have recently increased the minimum connection time at Bruxelles-Midi from 24 to 45 minutes for journeys towards London. DB no longer sells the 17:59 departure for London as a connection to the 17:35 arrival but the 18:59 instead.
 

WestCoast

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I like Thalys, but wouldn't go out of my way for it or pay substantially more than a ticket on the ICE service.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
DB have recently increased the minimum connection time at Bruxelles-Midi from 24 to 45 minutes for journeys towards London. DB no longer sells the 17:59 departure for London as a connection to the 17:35 arrival but the 18:59 instead.

Unsurprising considering the issues with the UK Border Agency.
 
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33056

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DB have recently increased the minimum connection time at Bruxelles-Midi from 24 to 45 minutes for journeys towards London. DB no longer sells the 17:59 departure for London as a connection to the 17:35 arrival but the 18:59 instead.
After trying that connection once and making it with a lot of rushing around, we decided that we would never do it again long before DB decided to stop advertising it as a connection.

Having been on the 17:35 arrival several times since then we noted that it is often a little late therefore vindicating our decision to avoid the 17:59 departure. On one occasion we even missed the 18:59 after the ICE unit decided it didn't want to play on 3000v DC any more at Liege, our tickets were exchanged for the 19:59 without any hassle.
 

Capybara

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Thanks all. Plenty to bear in mind there. I guess the reason for having to make a 'phone call for bookings to Germany via Eurostar might be to do with the changed connection arrangements highlighted above.
 
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I, too, recommend using Deutsch Bahn's web site to buy through tickets from St Pancras to Germany. You can get €49 one way tickets - last year I had got one of these to and from Dresden. Four trains there and four trains back. Relaxing, punctual and trouble free.

Indeed, I prefer ICE over Thalys.

Recently went to Marburg, Hessen. Left St Pancras at 06:50 and was punctually pulling into Frankfurt Hbf at 13:30. 5 hrs 40 mins with a 18 minute connection in Brussels Midi. No need to rush between the Eurostar and onward ICE train - you can walk between the two in 5 mins.
 
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