World-renowned Polar explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes goes in search of Christmas on the Heathrow Festive Express. Want to know how to travel like Sir Ranulph, then read our guide.
The celebrated video of Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE in which he announces he’s leaving the UK this year to head off in ‘search of the spirit of Christmas’ has been an industry acclaimed winner in the Christmas ad stakes.
In response to massive demand, we’re sharing insights into how the film was made – and how you can also follow in his footsteps to northern Norway – to hop on board the Arctic Train from Narvik, as seen in the video.
Heathrow Express’ PR team collaborated with London’s talented production company, Yada-Yada to pull together the concept with Sir Ranulph and his team of advisors. The most vivid memory which Sir Ranulph (or ‘Ran’ as he prefers to be called) speaks of being alone in the world’s most remote places, in extreme circumstances at Christmas time. Many of us can empathise, if away for work and apart from our loved ones. We often forget that our bravest of explorers are no different.
The main element of the storytelling was the letter which Sir Ranulph had to write to his family. He wrote a letter to them on beautiful headed notepaper, saying that he was sorry he’d not be joining them for turkey and trimmings as he was off to the North Pole. The most heart-warming message is that wherever we find ourselves, we are most comforted by being surrounded by love and goodwill.
The video featured the famous ‘Arctic Train’ which weaves its way through a stunning snowy Nordic landscape as it leaves the city of Narvik and the stunning St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. And Paddington Station, of course, platforms 6 and 7. Our home.
Travelling to Norway could not be easier; hop on board the Heathrow Express from Paddington to Heathrow airport. Book any of six daily flights to Narvik Evenes (EVE) airport via Oslo (OSL). Express buses to Narvik correspond to most of the flight arrivals from Oslo. Norway was recently voted ‘the safest country in the world to visit’. It’s also the best place to see the northern lights, now the UK’s number one bucket list activity. The Arctic Train is an unforgettable, 43 kilometre journey through a dramatic landscape which has significant historical links to the UK and World War II. To book, Visit Narvik | Winter
The shoot was held at the stunning iconic St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, located 10 minutes away on public transport. It was specially chosen for its railway heritage and remarkable architecture - and because the hotel allowed our crew
to film in the magnificent Chambers Club. The hospitality we encountered was second to none.
Sir Ranulph joined us for a pre-shot breakfast in the elegant Booking Office 1869 restaurant before holding us all spellbound with his astonishing tales of polar adventures, not to mention some really exciting travel documentaries and book releases. How does he fit it all in?
We filmed Sir Ranulph as he spoke about his upcoming adventures, not only travelling on our Festive Express, but also his future trips to far flung destinations beyond the Arctic Circle – a world which he’s very used to conquering. For example, we talked about the Arctic Train in Norway; a country which hold huge memories as many a fellow adventurer calls home.
The Hotel said: ''We are proud to partner with Heathrow, and specifically the Heathrow Express. The film stars Sir Ranulph Fiennes, 'the world's living greatest explorer', which aligns fully to the Renaissance values of exploration and discovery. We believe every trip is an opportunity to discover something wonderfully new, and the Heathrow Festive Express is just that!'' To book your event or stay, visit stpancraslondon.com
Heathrow Express are proud to partner with one of the world’s most sought-after British luggage brands, Globetrotter. Like Heathrow Express they are celebrating a big anniversary; us our 25th next year, and they their 125th.
We featured one of their Original Collection in the shoot, in a rich tobacco brown colour, very fitting for any budding adventurer to set off with, and like Ranulph, add to a collection of modern heirlooms. Even more interesting is that this suitcase was among the first to reach the South Pole and the top of Mount Everest.
If you’re a young ‘flashpacker’ and travel light, there’s also a range of more affordable carry ons and covetable accessories, for more information, visit Original Luggage & Suitcase Collection | Globe-Trotter
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This is your invite to book early for the Heathrow Festive Express, launching Monday 5 December, just in time for the holiday getaway.
Helping passengers get into the Christmas mood, Heathrow Express is transforming one of its carriages into an enchanting festive experience. The excitement builds as you’ll follow in the footsteps of the ‘world’s greatest explorer’ Sir Ranulph Fiennes, as he steps out on a Yuletide expedition to the North Pole aboard the Arctic Train in search of the spirit of Christmas. Where will your dream destination be this year?
What’s more, between 5th - 7th December, those travelling in the Christmas carriage can enjoy a joyful journey, with special festive treats including a Golden Ticket giveaway with a daily chance to win a £250 Harrods shopping spree!
Follow our Christmas elves as they guide you along the platform to a special carriage where twinkling lights and the sound of sleigh bells ringing as you step onboard the Heathrow Festive Express. You’ll be handed special cards to write your letter to Santa direct to Santa’s workshop while workers make sure they get posted.
As the train sets off, you’ll sit back, enchanted by racks adorned with vintage luggage, sacks full of presents, while fresh foliage adds that magical touch.
Helping passengers get into the Christmas spirit, Heathrow Express - the fastest route between central London and Heathrow Airport – is transforming one of its carriages into an enchanting scene, just in time for the festive season.
Between 5th - 7th December, those lucky enough to be travelling in the Christmas carriage can experience a joyful journey. Christmas postal elves will guide people along the platform to the carriage, where twinkling lights and the sound of sleigh bells ringing await as they step onboard the Heathrow Festive Express.
Once seated, passengers can immerse themselves in a carriage cascading with colourful baubles, loaded with letters to Santa, packed with parcels and rammed to the rafters with festive fun. Plus, special treats including a Golden Ticket giveaway and a chance to win a shopping spree will be on offer, just in time for the holidays.
Those wishing to travel on the Heathrow Express over the holidays can book tickets in advance from as little as £5.50. It offers a stress-free experience that takes just 15 minutes to reach its destination, as well as spacious cabins, free Wi-Fi, and an Onboard Entertainment system. Plus, kids 15 years and under travel free*, making a trip to the North Pole (or any other destination) even better value for money.
Heathrow Express Fares Update
01 January 2022: Heathrow Express has consistently received the top customer satisfaction ratings for the past decade, with its NRPS scores always being in the Top 2 across all Train Operating companies and the highest for any rail air service in Britain. With a new fleet, the highest luggage space for any mode of public transport at Heathrow, comfortable seating and space for travellers to relax in a tranquil environment, Heathrow Express will be making fares even simpler by having the same price for all flexible fares across both the digital and at station physical channels. This means the flexible Return fare will continue to remain frozen at £37 since 2017 whereas the flexible Single fare will now be £25 across all channels instead of costing £25 offline and £22 online. Great value fixed single fares will still remain unchanged and start at £5.50 when purchased in advance. Children will still continue to go for free when accompanied by an adult.
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