Meeting Your Trip in PARIS,
Returning to PARIS, or Elsewhere, at the End

(on your way to and from the Mystery Trip)

This page offers help (concrete or informational) on reaching your trip. Topics include...

  1. Where you Join Your Trip (see immediately below).
  2. Where you Leave Your Trip (including some unusual options).
  3. Our “Access Package” extras, designed to help you to do so.
  4. Suggestions on how to time your trip to the trip, whether you are having us arrange your travel, or doing it yourself.
  5. Service information regarding train travel to your trip start location.



1. WHERE and WHEN Do You Join Your Trip?
Your trip starts on Saturday, September 5th.  We will assemble at our Paris office to travel to the trip.  Suggested arrival between 10a and 12n (later arrivals will be accommodated by prior arrangement, but the day’s activities will be truncated). 

We are happy to set up Paris lodging for you, if desired. 

We will send you details on reaching our office from the appropriate airport or rail station (or from one of our usual hotels) if you tell us by what means you are arriving in Paris.


2. WHERE and WHEN Do You Resurface?
You can be back in Paris two weeks later, on Sunday, September 20th.  If travelling onwardward on the same day, book travel after 11a if continuing by train (not counting Eurostar check-in time, if applicable), after 1p if by plane.  

We are happy to set up Paris lodging for you, if desired. 

Alternatively, we can help you resurface elsewhere

If you are continuing your travels elsewhere in Europe, returning to Paris may be silly.   To understand, consider this example, which places Japan in Europe for the purposes of discussion.   Let’s say that our trip ends in Tokyo, before returning to Paris. And let’s further say that, by chance, you had planned on a few days in Sapporo after the trip.   Flying to Paris would be silly, as you would no sooner get there than you would have to get back on the plane to Japan.   No one needs 10 extra hours on a plane, let alone 20.

Our Alternate Offer:
We have told you that you will be in Paris on Sunday morning, in time to catch an 11a train, or a 1p flight.  If you would you like to be somewhere else, instead, tell us.  For a fixed price of $50 US / $55 C / 40 €, we will put you in any alternate continental European capital except those of the countries that used to make up the URSS, on the morning of Sunday, September 20th, in time for an 1p train or flight.  Travel and lodging costs necessary to get to your destination will be included, but you will miss dinner on Saturday night, and no alternate meal is provided.

Analysis, Detail
There is obviously a double-or-nothing aspect to this.  We could be charging you 40€ to just leave you in place (see the Tokyo example, above).  But we could also be charging you 40€ to take you across the continent.

We are obviously hoping that these will average out, and this offer is made with a triple objective:

  • Keeping the mystery in the “Mystery Trip.”
  • Helping you avoid unneeded travel expenses.  
    And, most importantly...
  • ...avoiding wasting your time.

So... you are not allowed to whine if the trip ends where you want to be (Tokyo, in this example), and you spend 40€ to stay there, thus subsidizing the guy who flew to Nairobi (also temporarily placed in Europe).   Spending 40€ “for nothing” is better than a 10-hour flight to Paris, and then another 10-hour flight back to Tokyo (actual mileage may vary).

We do not recommend using this 40€ offer just to save, say, 80€ on a plane ticket. The end of the trip will inevitably be a convivial affair:   truncating it to save a few pengo will not feel like it was the right decision.   It should really be used to facilitate ongoing travel within Europe.

If your destination is not a capital city, tell us where you are actually going.   We may be able to get you there at the same cost, by suspending our promise regarding arrival time.   After all, if you are going to some little village in Aomori prefecture, you won’t have same-day ongoing travel plans from there, anyway.   So arrival time will have less importance.   Unless you’re trying to get the Tairadate Straits ferry, of course.

Fine Print:

  • This offer is valid until April 30th.   After that, your return to Paris is presumed, and will be booked.   We may nonetheless be able to honor the offer with less notice:   enquire if interested.
  • Travel method is at our discretion.   Feel free to express a preference — we know, for instance, that many of you share our predjudice in favor of the train, even if the journey is long.   We shall honor your wish if we can do so at a reasonable cost, and nonetheless respect our timing commitment.
  • If travel is by train or ship, and the trip is over 3 hours, tickets will be in 1st class.  If by overnight train or boat, a berth in a private, double sleeping car (or ship’s) cabin will be included (private single cabins available for 75€ additional).
  • If travel is by plane, one piece of checked baggage will be included in the ticket supplied.  Travel between airports and city centers (if required) is not included.
  • If travel by long-distance bus, you are not travelling with Blue Marble.   Check your itinerary, and contact your operator.
  • Supplied lodging will be “Blue Marble level.”
  • Arrival times will be based on common carrier schedules.   While we plan travel (and any connections) with reasonable concern for reliablity, we act only as your agent in making arrangements.   We accept no responsibility for the service of any hotel or transportation company used in connection with this offer.   Nor for any delay, loss, or accident to travellers or baggage occasioned by such services from whatsoever cause.
  • If you are not returning to Paris after your trip, and must have baggage shipped to the end of the trip for you (not including pieces being transferred by us during the trip), the usual “one way shipping” cost applies.




3. ACCESS PACKAGE EXTRAS
as of January 1, 2015

Options Offered at an Extra Cost (subject to availability)

  • Tickets from / back to London.  158€ return, 109€ single.  Add 40€ in each direction if you prefer a changeable ticket.  Add 50€ in each direction for 1st class; 1st class tickets include meal service).
  • If frequent flyer tickets bring you to another Euro capital, know that Brussels, Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt, Zurich and Geneva are all within 4 hours of Paris by train, their airports are linked to their city-center rail stations by direct shuttle train.  The Amsterdam - Paris train actually stops at Amsterdam’s Schipol airport.  We are generally able to get discount tickets on these routes.
  • Paris airport train tickets, from Charles de Gaulle or Orly to Paris center.  Follow this link for details.


4. TIMING Your Trip

You will not have time to visit Paris on Saturday before the trip.  Allow for Paris tourism in the days prior to the trip start, or after the end.


5. Service Information
Schedules are approximate – exact timetables can be consulted at
http://www.raileurope.com/index.html
Best trains are mentioned.  Others are slower or have multiple connections.

  • From London.  Trains are roughly hourly.  The Eurostar is marketed like a plane:  very different prices for different passengers occupying the same seats.  Typically, chances of obtaining discount fares are greater with early booking.
  • From all other points.  There are a lot of trains to Paris.



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