Eurostar direct rail services between London and Amsterdam will begin on 4 April, the company has announced, in an eagerly awaited move expected to spark a price war with airlines. One-way fares will start at just £35.
About 4 million people now travel between London and Amsterdam by air, and Eurostar said it's targeting a significant share of that market.
Launching April 4, the journey will take three hours and 41 minutes. Tickets will go on sale February 20.
However, the return journey will take a little longer as the Dutch authorities haven't arranged for passport checks at Amsterdam station.
Jacques Gounon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Group, said: "This launch is highly significant news".
Our new route marks the culmination of the extensive investment in high speed rail on both sides of the Channel. Therefore the market is the same size as it was when the London-Paris train launched in 1994 and points out that, since then, the market for travel between London and Paris has more than doubled.
"With direct services from the United Kingdom to The Netherlands, France and Belgium, we are transforming the links between the United Kingdom and three of Europe's top trading nations".
Dutch services will commence with two departures a day from London St. Pancras, at 8:31 a.m and 5:31 p.m., Eurostar said in a statement. New major terminals have been built in both Amsterdam and Rotterdam, which the route will also pass through.
But there's one hitch in the company's current plans: The trip from London to Amsterdam will be direct, but passengers traveling in the opposite direction will have to change trains in Brussels to go through passport and security screening.