Eurostar has announced a new direct route from London to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, which will launch on 4 April.

Tickets will go on sale from 20 February, with the inaugural service taking place on the same day. The route travels direct from St Pancras station to Amsterdam and Rotterdam in around three hours. There will be two trains per day departing at 0831 and 1731.

Eurostar says the route is the result of “extensive investment” of £1 billion in high-speed rail on both sides of the English Channel.

During the initial period, return journeys will connect through Brussels on a Thalys service, where passport control and security screening will be carried out. However, Eurostar says this will be a temporary process while the governments of the UK and Netherlands negotiate an agreement to enable passport checks to be carried out in the Netherlands. Both governments have committed to completing this by the end of 2019.

Nicolas Petrovic, CEO of Eurostar, commented: “The launch of our service to the Netherlands represents an exciting advance in cross-Channel travel and heralds a new era in international high-speed rail. With direct services from the UK to the Netherlands, France and Belgium, we are transforming the links between the UK and three of Europe’s top trading nations.”

Eurostar says ticket prices will start from £35 one way.

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