I fancy doing it next year with DH and the DCs. We are going the first week in April. DH is worried that it will be full of guys getting drunk (I think that's what he did when he was younger ) and is not keen but I really like the idea. St Pancras is easy for us to get to and it will mean a 20/30 minute drive at the other end.
If you are considering the train, perhaps it's also worth a look at the other ski valleys connected by train via Eurostar then TGV at Lille, the Mont Blanc area (et St Gervais, Chamonix) or the Maurienne area (eg Aussois, La Norma, Val Cenis). The Maurienne valley is alot cheaper skiing than the resorts connected by the Bourg St Maurice Eurostar too.
We've taken the train to Val Cenis (well Modane then bus) from Lille and encountered no rowdiness. It was with huge cases and 4 children, including 2 under 8s, found it alot less stressful than the way we usually do it now, 10 hours in the car, only the beautiful destination keeps me from going completely loopy in the car!!!!
Yes. We have been to many french resorts by train including La Rosiere, la plagne and Les Arcs travelling to Bourg St maurice.
Are you thinking of the direct Eurostar service. The daytime service usually has lots of families on and I think there is a family carriage in second class. If you are thinking of travelling overnight the direct Eurostar doesn't have sleeper compartments just ordinary seats. I would therefore go for first class if you are thinking of travelling overnight. The seats are more spacious and recline slightly. We took the overnight service pre children and managed to get some sleep and enjoyed the extra time skiing. Haven't been brave enough to do the overnight eurostar with children yet.
The other train option is to go on an indirect service changing on to TGV in either Lille or Paris. Lille mentioned above would be much easier than Paris as if you change in Paris you have to either take a taxi or metro to another station. We found the taxi hair raising (no child seats for starters) and the metro hard work carrying all the baggage but it can be done!
There are also traditional sleepers from paris and possibly lille. If you book first class you are guaranteed a four berth sleeping compartment.
If you need a taxi from bourg to the resort I would recommend a company called Bouzon (they have an internet site)
thanks for all the replies. The holiday itself is already booked (Ski Fusion in La Rosiere) and I think the daytime direct train is the one I have my eye on.
Much as the overnight would give us more skiing time this is the DC's first time skiing (unless you count DS going when he was nearly 3 and snow ploughing between DH's legs for a long weekend) and so the whole experience is more important than a few extra hours on the slopes.
Not quite the same, but I took the train (solo) to the Alps this summer. It is brilliant (takes 12 hours and you are there) and we are considering doing it with the DSs. Thye would love an overnight train...just need to check the prices!
we took the train to bourg st maurice, but stayed over in Paris and took an early train from gare de lyon. It was great - very easy and the transfer at the next end was short. DCs loved the idea of an upper deck. Take lots of snacks as the buffet was v expensive.
We've done it en route to Val D'Isere. It was clean and comfy and very civilised and I remember I gorgeous little French boy getting very very excited when he arrived in "Laundry" and shouted* the name about 50 times (so we do the same now)
Don't forget that if you go during the day and change in Paris (only 2 stops on the tube) you can get a quicker train from Paris to Bourg so the whole thing only takes 7 hours. It usually works out cheaper too. I got a return for £98 last time. http://www.chillchalet.com/travel/indirecttrain.ht m has a detailed page about how to do it.
The overnight train in seats is a bit grim and there were drunk people when I did it, so I always do it during the day now.
I've taken the daytime train twice before and changed in Paris it is pretty easy. We did it once by RER and once by cab. Just came across a website called snowcarbon.co.uk which has ski packages with train included - not just on the usual Bourg route but others too. Annoyed that we booked independently for this year as they look good value and include tranfers to the resort. Either way, the kids are excited about the journey again.