Starting from the 4th of April 2018, the Eurostar train offers a fine alternative to ferry and plane if you want to travel from London to Amsterdam. For the first time, it'll be possible to take the Eurostar high-speed train directly from London St. Pancras International station to Amsterdam. The direct train from Amsterdam to London, however, is still a little way off. First, a new agreement on this subject has to be reached between the Netherlands and Great Britain. Eurostar expects these arrangements to be finalised by the end of 2019.
Travel time from London to Amsterdam
On some parts of the railway, the Eurostar high-speed train drives at 300 kilometres per hour. Additionally, no transfer is necessary on the way back, as a result of which you’ll get from the heart of London to the heart of Amsterdam in 3:41 hours. With this, the Eurostar's new connection can certainly compete with the average travel times in aviation. Especially when you consider that you usually need to arrive at the airport much earlier when using air travel. Even so, on the route from London to Amsterdam you'll also need to take into account that you'll have to be present at least 30 minutes in advance.
Travel time from Amsterdam to London
Travellers leaving from Amsterdam are still reliant on the Thalys in the direction of Brussels-South. Once at Brussels-South, there's a passport and security check before you're allowed to continue on to the British capital. As a result, this journey, at 4:45 hours, is longer than the return trip. Ultimately, the intention is for these controls to happen in the Netherlands. That way the HSR Eurostar can also travel directly to London from Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
From London to Rotterdam
The train stops in Rotterdam as well. The total journey time is 40 minutes shorter if you prefer to board or get off in Rotterdam.
How long in advance do you need to be present to check in?
For the route Amsterdam-London with Eurostar you have to present at least half an hour before departure. When large crowds are expected, for instance during the holidays or weekends, it's even advised to arrive 45 minutes in advance. For business passengers, however, there exists the possibility to make use of travel class Business Premier. With this option, you only have to be present 10 minutes before departure.
For the Thalys or international NS train you don’t need to arrive in advance according to the website. Always verify the check-in times carefully on your ticket or the website of Eurostar, or NS. It’s possible that there's adjustments to the check-in times.
Lower frequency, larger seating capacity
While the total amount of two trains per day presents a stark contrast to the approximately 60 flights from London to Amsterdam, the Eurostar offers a much larger seating capacity. An airplane provides seating for 180 people, whereas a single Eurostar high-speed train can accommodate up to 900 people. Of course, this still doesn't equal the capacity totalled by 60 flights, but who knows what the future will bring. The fact that plans are already being made for a third daily train ride in 2019 shows that Eurostar is not planning to leave it at 1800 passengers a day.
Start route Brussels-Amsterdam
Eurostar is simultaneously starting with the route Brussels-Amsterdam. This high-speed rail service will also be provided twice a day. From Brussels trains will depart twice daily to both Amsterdam and Rotterdam. For this, the Eurostar high-speed rail service London-Amsterdam is used. This ensures that travellers from Belgium, or even farther away, are also able to visit the Netherlands in the blink of an eye.
More general information about the Eurostar
The high-speed rail service Eurostar has connected London to Paris and Brussels since 1994. The Channel Tunnel is used to make this possible. Nowadays, Eurostar has transported more than 130 billion passengers from city centre to city centre. Many routes have been added as well. It's possible, for instance, to take the Eurostar from London to Disneyland Paris, and there even exist seasonal schedules to bring you to the South of France in summer, and the French and Swiss Alps in winter. Additionally, from Brussels and Paris it's not only possible to take the Eurostar to London, but also to Calais and Lille.