Travelling by rail or sea takes a lot of the stress out of group travel, especially when heading overseas. These companies offer excellent options for groups travelling together.


AFERRY GROUPS

If you want to travel by ferry with your group, then AFerry Groups are an excellent choice. They have a friendly and dedicated team of group travel specialists, who has years of combined experience in booking group ferry travel throughout Europe. They are always available by phone or email to help GTOs find and book the best ferry crossings, or to help with ideas for group trips. Using AFerry Groups can save both valuable time and expense, since they pride themselves on ‘doing the leg work for you’.

The team has access to pricing and availability for over 25 different European ferry operators, including all major UK operators. They check requirements against all the relevant ferry routes and operators and will then provide the best possible quotations. When booking with AFerry Groups, GTOs are given a single point of contact within the team who knows all about the details of the booking and can therefore offer a great personal service. This group travel consultant can provide both impartial advice on the best ferry routes to suit an itinerary, plus give pointers on the best ways to keep costs down when travelling by ferry, including helpful service such as assisting with the pre-booking of meals for a group, saving both time and money onboard.

T: 0844 576 8845
E: mail@aferrygroups.co.uk


CONDOR FERRIES

Another excellent option for group travel by ferry is Condor Ferries. This season, the company is highlighting trips to the Channel Island of Guernsey and can offer great group rates. With the film version of Les Misérables smashing box office records in its first week, interest has never been higher in the enigmatic author of the original novel, Victor Hugo. Fans of the famous French writer don’t need to travel to the continent to find out more about the great man however – he lived on Guernsey for 15 years in political exile, during which time the majority of Les Misérables was written. Passengers travelling with Condor Ferries to Guernsey this year can take advantage of new initiatives put in place by tourism group Visit Guernsey (www.visitguernsey.com) to help them discover more about the creator of well-loved characters Jean Valjean, Fantine and Cosette. A series of guided tours allow visitors to walk the same streets and alleyways as Victor Hugo over 150 years ago, or these can be explored at leisure with Visit Guernsey’s new Victor Hugo itinerary. Hauteville House, Hugo’s home in the island’s capital, St Peter Port, has been carefully preserved exactly as it was in the 1800s, so visitors can see for themselves the setting in which Hugo completed the novel which inspired one of the world’s most popular musicals and the film which was nominated for eight Oscars and achieved three. These great options can be added to the very popular £15 per passenger (minimum ten passengers) group day trip from Poole to Guernsey.

W:graham.hopcraft@condorferries.co.uk
T: 07803 074932/01305 761555
E: reservations@condorferries.co.uk


EUROTUNNEL

If groups would prefer to stick to dry land, Eurotunnel Le Shuttle offers a fast, frequent and convenient coach and car carrying service between the UK and France. With a journey time of just 35 minutes platform to platform and up to four departures an hour, there are 80 daily crossings to choose from, from Folkestone to Calais. There is no quicker way to take a coach and passengers across the Channel, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Cutting down on the journey time means that groups get more time at their destination. Border controls are cleared before departure. Driving off the shuttle on the other side, groups can look forward to a smooth onward journey, with direct connections onto excellent motorway networks.

The modern passenger terminals in Folkestone and Calais are ideal for travelling by coach, providing superb facilities for drivers and all their passengers. At Folkestone there are well-known high street names such as Travelex and WH Smith, where passengers can satisfy all their last minute shopping needs. There is also free Wi-fi access.

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle is proud to launch regular initiatives to improve the services it offers to its customers. The use of cutting-edge technology has meant that passengers are now able to use their mobiles to make calls and access the internet from inside the Channel Tunnel. Eurotunnel Le Shuttle is also undisputedly the most environmentally-friendly means of transport for crossing the channel and has significantly reduced its carbon footprint by 55.5% since 2006. Findings show that passengers travelling by coach can make huge net savings in their greenhouse gas emissions.

It is easy to book using the quick and efficient Eurotunnel Le Shuttle online booking reservation module; GTOs can check availability, and make or modify their own reservations 24 hours a day.

T: 0844 335 8446
E: coachsales@eurotunnel.com
EUROSTAR

Offering another excellent option for travel to the continent, the high-speed Eurostar also uses the Channel Tunnel. With a handy terminus at St. Pancras International, the trains also call at Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International in Kent, with two stopping points in France and the main terminus at Gare du Nord in Paris. Trains also go to Belgium, Disneyland Paris, and various seasonal destinations in southern France.

Eurostar has its own Groups Team which will happily deal with everything from school trips to social groups to business travel. They have useful additional services such as helping with the problem of luggage when travelling in a group, offering a check-in function which will take baggage off a group’s hands on arrival and make sure it gets safely stowed on the train and unloaded at the other end – email group.baggage@eurostar.com for further details. Another useful advantage is the ability to book group meals in advance, with each meal including a main dish, dessert, cheese and a bottle of water or juice, with many optional extras including hot and alcoholic drinks. For those groups who want to save their spending money, there are also no restrictions on taking your own food or drink onto the Eurostar.

Eurostar even offers groups the option of booking an entire carriage for exclusive use, including possibilities such as seat headrest covers printed with a company or group’s name and logo and use of a group welcome desk at St. Pancras, Ebbsfleet and Ashford. The ‘Group Select’ option includes a full catering service including drinks.

Eurostar tickets can be printed at home or collected at departure. There is a generous luggage allowance per ticket of two bags and one piece of hand luggage, with some measurement restrictions but no weight restrictions so long as passengers can lift their own bags.

E: groups@eurostar.com
T: 08448 224800