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Fly over some of Europe's finest destinations

06/10/2008 AT 09:05

“Explore Europe” combines the advanced mapping technology of Google Earth ™, the world's most popular online mapping tool, with a series of specially customised ‘fly-through' views of Eurostar's key destinations.

It allows travellers to select a high-level, bird's eye view of anywhere in Europe, and then to swoop down and fly in 3D through the centres of London, Brussels, Paris, Disneyland Paris, Lille, Avignon and Bourg St Maurice. Travellers can hover over famous landmarks, follow high-speed rail routes, head for the mountains, or even search for their own homes.

The departure lounge at St Pancras International is equipped with two large displays with plasma and LCD screens and bespoke touch-screen technology. Designed for Eurostar by Land Design Studio and software developer Studio Simple, the kiosks provide interactive exploration that is free of charge.

Simon Montague, Director of Communications, Eurostar, said: “This system enables our travellers to discover new places before they depart, that they can then reach and explore by using high-speed rail.

"We want our travellers to use the departure lounge within St Pancras International as a space that also stimulates, educates and engages them. “Explore Europe” complements beautifully the interactive digital art gallery “Station Masters” that we have also just launched – another world-first for people curious to explore the cities and cultures around them.”

Sarah McDonald, Travel Industry Manager, Google, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Eurostar in such a stunning station environment. Today's huge number of internet visitors to Google Earth and Maps shows that people want to explore their travel destinations before they get there, and what better way to do so than with “Explore Europe. Using satellite imagery from a wide range of sources including NASA, “Explore Europe” blends bird's eye views seamlessly with the specially designed ‘fly-through' facility.”

Eurostar is seeing a substantial growth in demand since moving to St Pancras International last November. It has reported a 21.3% growth in traveller numbers for the first quarter of 2008, with even greater rises in areas outside South East England thanks to the introduction of through fares from regional towns and cities, and better connections between St Pancras International and domestic rail services.

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