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What’s the difference between Eurostar and LeShuttle?

Planning a trip to Europe but unsure of how to travel? Let us show you the difference between LeShuttle and Eurostar.

Travelling to France is exciting no matter which way you choose to get there. But which should you choose, LeShuttle or Eurostar? Read our guide to help you plan your next journey.

Are LeShuttle & Eurostar the same company?

Eurostar and LeShuttle are completely different companies but share use of the Channel Tunnel. To be specific, LeShuttle is operated by Getlink, the company which owns and operates the Channel Tunnel, connecting the UK with France. Eurostar is a customer of Getlink and runs its passenger trains through the tunnel. Whichever you choose, Eurostar and LeShuttle will get you easily and quickly from the UK into France – but there may be differences in the destinations available

What do LeShuttle & Eurostar offer?

Eurostar runs passenger trains from St Pancras International. Destinations in Europe include Paris, Lille, Amsterdam and Brussels, plus connecting services throughout France, Belgium, Holland, and a limited connection into Germany. Eurostar does not currently stop at Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International, and will not do so until at least 2024. Eurostar also no longer offers a seasonal service to the French Alps.

LeShuttle is also a train service, but we carry freight and all forms of vehicle, including cars, motorbikes, campervans, caravans, coaches, and lorries. LeShuttle services leave Folkestone in the UK and take just 35 minutes to reach Calais in France.

A diagram showing three tunnels under the sea

Do LeShuttle & Eurostar use the same tunnel?

Yes, Eurostar use LeShuttle's tunnel. The Channel Tunnel (sometimes referred to as the ‘Chunnel’ for short) is the longest undersea tunnel in the world at 38km long. It is made up of three tunnels, each 50km long, that link Folkestone in Kent to Calais in France. Two are rail tunnels, used for freight and passenger trains, and the third is a service tunnel. Eurostar is one of LeShuttle's biggest customers and their trains take only 20 minutes to pass through the Channel Tunnel.

The nose of three trains with the Eurotunnel logo at the platform

Can you take your car on Eurostar?

Eurostar only run passenger trains, so you cannot take your own vehicle using this mode of transport. Therefore, when planning your journey, you need to decide if you would like to drive your own vehicle once you are across the Channel. Driving will allow for greater baggage allowances.

Can you be a foot passenger on LeShuttle?

At LeShuttle we can only allow you to travel in a vehicle – be that your own or as part of a coach trip. You cannot travel as a foot passenger, but you are able to take a bicycle. If you don’t need or want to drive your vehicle for your trip, you can travel as a foot passenger on Eurostar.

Cars lined up inside a shuttle

Can I take my pet on the Eurostar?

Eurostar do not currently allow passengers to travel with any pets, unless you’re travelling with an assistance dog. However, LeShuttle allows you to travel with your pet with an additional cost of £22 each way (applicable for dogs, cats & ferrets and not charged to assistance dogs).

Travelling with your horse? We can cater for them too.

How long are you in the tunnel on Eurostar and LeShuttle? 

LeShuttle shuttles are custom designed to carry you and your vehicle, regardless of type, through the tunnel to France in just 35 minutes. Depending on your final destination, Eurostar takes approximately two and a half hours to reach Paris from London.

What destinations do Eurostar & LeShuttle offer?

London, Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam are the main Eurostar destinations. Other stops depending on the service and season have in the past included Calais, Lille, Lyon, Avignon, Marseille, Marne-la-Vallée (for Disneyland Paris), and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. However, some of these destinations are changing. 

LeShuttle takes passengers from Folkestone, Kent, UK, to Calais in France. You can plan unique trips that you set the pace for, and with no baggage restrictions, into the rest of France, Belgium, Germany or the Netherlands.


Skyline view of a French city with buildings and trees under a blue sky

Which is better for Disneyland Paris – LeShuttle or Eurostar?

If you are heading to Disneyland® Paris, the travel options you have are changing.

Eurostar have announced that from June 2023 it will no longer run its direct service to Marne-la-Vallée for the Disneyland® parks and hotels. Eurostar passengers will need to change trains and stations in order to get to Disneyland® Paris. You can still only take a certain amount of luggage and you won’t be able to experience the comfort of travelling in your own vehicle. Once you arrive, you will need to arrange any extra transport yourself.

LeShuttle provides the fastest route to Disneyland® Paris by car and once you have arrived in Calais, you can plan your onward journey at your own pace. You can take as much luggage as you can fit in your car! Want to know exactly what it’s like to drive to Disneyland® Paris? Read our guide here.


Pink and white doll house like building with mickey mouse clock and sign saying Disneyland Park

Frequently asked questions

  • Yes, passports are mandatory for all passengers who are travelling on either the Eurostar or LeShuttle and they will be checked by customs officials prior to departure.

    When travelling with LeShuttle, all passengers passports will be checked at the drive-through border controls. Learn more about our safety and security measures here.

  • When travelling with LeShuttle, you should check in at least 1 hour before your departure time. This allows for security checks at the French and British frontier controls and means you’ll have plenty of time to get into the boarding lanes. 

    You can discover more about travelling with us on our timetable page.

    The check in procedure for Eurostar varies depending on your ticket type, but those with a standard ticket should aim to arrive between 90-120 minutes before their departure.

  • All our tickets are purchased per vehicle and covers up to 9 passengers. 

  • The Eurotunnel is a 50km long rail tunnel that runs underneath the Channel from Folkestone in Kent in southern England to Calais in northern France. From the Calais terminal, LeShuttle customers can drive anywhere in Europe. 

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