Meeting Your Trip in LIBOURNE

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

  1. Where you Join Your Trip (see immediately below)
  2. Our “Access Packages,” designed to help you to do so.
  3. Suggestions on how to time your trip to the trip, whether you are having us arrange your travel, or doing it yourself.
  4. Service information regarding train travel to your trip start location.
  5. Suggested pre-trip visits, especially when these are not geographically obvious, but are rendered economical and convenient by direct rail connections.
  6. Hopefully helpful hints for those setting up their own travel to the trip.

If you wish to arrange some or all of your travel through us, please tell us what by means of this response questionnaire, designed to collect all the information we need to be able to book your travel.



1.  WHERE and WHEN Do You Join Your Trip?

Your trip assembles at the Libourne train station, between 2 and 4p on the afternoon of its start date (generally a Saturday), in time for the short (10-kilometer / 6-mile) cycle to St.-Emilion, our home for two nights. 
Upon prior request, a late (6p) meeting can be organized, to meet the 2:45p train from Paris.

We will send you details of meeting time and place with your final itinerary.

If you wish to make your own way to the trip (in other words, not to set up your travel arrangements through us), a couple of hints on getting there are offered at the bottom of this page.


2.  Our ACCESS PACKAGES
as of January 25, 2016

The closest intercontinental airport is Paris.  Our “Access Package” includes a TGV (high-speed train) ticket from Charles de Gaulle airport or from downtown Paris to Libourne.  A Friday overnight train from Lisbon is available at additional cost.

Our London “Access Package” includes a train through from London on the trip's start date.

Base (Starting) Access Package Price: 
Train to Libourne:   76€ from Paris center, 94€ from Charles de Gaulle Airport
To see what this means in your currency, look here:  http://www.bluemarble.org/CurrencyConv.html

Availability is not guaranteed, as our packages use discount fare codes which have restricted space.  If your requested train does not have the discount fare, we will attempt to propose an alternate schedule that does, as well as a price for your first choice service.

Included:

  • 2nd cl. daylight train tickets to Libourne from Paris or Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport
    Tickets are not refundable or exchangeable once ordered.  See below for extra cost of more flexible tickets.
  • Seat reservations on the TGV (high-speed train).
  • A printed schedule / itinerary, highlighting any connections.
  • Our “Route Sheet to the Trip,” helping you through your journey.
  • All taxes, booking charges, baggage charges.
    In other words, no surprise extra fees.

Exchangeable / refudable tickets are available as described below.


Options Offered at an Extra Cost (subject to availability)
Prices are in addition to the “Base” Access Package price. 
For a general discussion of train upgrades, see here.  Topics include the relative comfort of first versus second class, and different types of accommodation available on overnight trains.

  • Tickets from London.  Add 79€ if you are also purchasing tickets back to London, 109€ if not, or if you prefer a changeable return (in 1st class, add 119€ or 159€; 1st class tickets include meal service between London and Lille or Paris).
    A Paris stop-over is available without additional cost.
  • First class train tickets (in lieu of 2nd class):  +29€ discount rate, +45€ regular fare.
    Discount rate tickets are not refundable or exchangeable:  see below for additional cost of exchangeable tickets. 
  • Exchangeable tickets:  +19€.
    Tickets are exchangeable locally, on a space-available basis, before the train’s departure:  for 5€ if exchange is made at least2 days before the travel date, for 15€ or the day before, travel.  An additional charge may apply upon exchange if the discount fare used to purchase the tickets is in a “fare bucket” no longer available on the next departing train, but at least you recover the funds invested in the original ticket.
    All tickets can be exchanged through us for +10€.
    These tickets are also refundable less 20%.  In order to obtain a refund, tickets must be canceled before departure.
  • Paris airport train tickets, from Charles de Gaulle or Orly to Paris center.  Follow this link for details.

Alternate Arrangements, in lieu of our usual packages (subject to availability)
Prices are complete (in other words, they are not in addition to the “Base” Access Package Price)

  • Friday overnight train from Lisbon, including a T-4 sleeper berth:  115€.
    Upgrades are available:  to private single and double cabin sleeping cars, regular or deluxe.  Regular upgrade rates apply.
    Tickets are not refundable or exchangeable:  see below for additional cost of exchangeable tickets. 


3.  TIMING Your Trip
Saturday is market day in Libourne, and the market is fun.  So taking an early train down from Paris is an agreeable option (or even going down on Friday evening).  However, there is no place to leave your luggage at the Libourne station.  Solution:  pick a restaurant, tell the proprietor that you are returning for lunch, and deposit your luggage there while you walk around and gawk at the geese.  Or try to find a hotel receptionist who will hold it for you in exchange for a tip.  If you are travelling “self-contained,” and take the cycle train down with your bike, you may use the bike to carry your paniers around.

Like airplanes, trains to Libourne require reservations.  You must not only tell us by which gateway you wish to arrive, but at what time of day you wish to travel. 

Connecting from a Flight
The railroad does not assume responsibility for (chronically) late planes.  Moreover, it can take intercontinental travellers up to 90 minutes to clear customs, immigration and baggage claim upon arrival.  If you are attempting a tight connection, we suggest modifiable rail tickets.  If your plane is delayed, and your ticket is not modifiable, you will need to buy a new one at full fare.


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

  • From downtown Paris.  Travel time is 3.5 hours.  There are direct trains at 8:43a, and 10:43a.
    Either of these reaches Libourne in time for the regular trip meeting.  An additional train runs at 2:43p, and we can meet that one by prior arrangement.
    From Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport.  Travel time is 5.5 hours, with one connection.  Trains operate at 8:19a and 10:16a.
    Either of these reach Libourne in time for the trip meeting.  It is faster, though less comfortable, to travel via downtown.  Allow one hour for the airport train to Montparnasse station, departure point for the train to Libourne.
  • From Lisbon.  An overnight “Hotel Train” with sleeping cars departs Lisbon at 10p, with connections in the morning to Libourne.
  • From London.  6:18a via Paris (with a station change), arrive 2p.  
    Includes a one-hour time change, actual trip is an hour shorter.


5.  Suggested PRE-TRIP VISITS
Spain, Portugal, the south of France....



6.  Hints on TRAVELLING INDEPENDENTLY to the Trip
Guests subscribing to an “Access Package” need not read this section.

See also “Timing Your Trip” and “Service Information,” above, as either of these may additionally help.

We gladly provide travel consulting (schedule or routing information) concerning pre-trip individual travel.  In particular, we have invested a great deal to become railway experts.  Our service fees are reasonable:  a 20€ charge for all but the most complex projects – or the most simple (for instance, only a 10€ charge applies if the service is limited to the preparation of a routine rail ticket).  You will generally find them well-justified by the time they will save you in research, standing on line, overpaying for your tickets, or all three.

But, for some, this type of research is fun.  So, here are some hints, intended to start off hardened “do-it-yourselfers.”

Trains.  Schedules for all routes can be consulted on this web site:
http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/point_to_point/triprequest.htm

Libourne is a minor stop on the Paris - Bordeaux main line (see service notes, above, for approximate schedules).  Main line trains also run from across the south of France to Bordeaux, a 30-minute trip from Libourne by frequent local train. 

Planes.  The closest airport is Bordeaux, which offers intra-European flights.  Trains from Bordeaux to Libourne run hourly, and trip time is 30 minutes.

At this writing, Ryanair serves Bordeaux, Bergerac, Poitiers, Limoges and Brive (in order of convenience), all less than 2 hours from Libourne by train.  Train service is roughly hourly from Bordeaux or Bergerac, every 2 hours on all other routes.  Journey times range from 1 to 2 hours.


If you wish to arrange some or all of your travel through us, please tell us what by means of this response questionnaire, designed to collect all the information we need to be able to book your travel.

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