Champions Cup final: How to get there, how to get tickets and more

Showpiece of European club rugby will take place at the Vélodrome in Marseille in late May

 Stade Vélodrome:  will host the Champions Cup final in Marseille on Saturday, May 23rd. Photograph:  Pascal Rondeau/Getty Images

Stade Vélodrome: will host the Champions Cup final in Marseille on Saturday, May 23rd. Photograph: Pascal Rondeau/Getty Images

 

Date: Saturday May 23rd, 2020.

Kick-off time: 5.45pm, French time.

There’s still a long way to go in the Champions Cup but, at the very least, Leinster look like they will take some stopping if they are to miss out on this year’s final in Marseille. With tickets already on sale and flights increasing in price, it might not be a bad idea to get booking soon and save a few euro.

And hey, if the worst case scenario is that your province doesn’t reach the final, well there are worse things to be doing than spending a weekend in Marseille with a ticket for European rugby’s biggest match.

Flights
Most convenient: Even at this early stage, direct flights to and from Marseille are already eye-wateringly high. Dublin is the only Irish airport offering direct routes to the French city and if you want to fly out on the Friday afternoon and back on the Sunday well ... you might have to call into the credit union. At the moment return flights with Ryanair are set at €590 while Aer Lingus are charging just the €813.

Alternative cheaper route: Scandalous direct flight prices aside, there are some options for a cheaper price if you want to get to Marseille. This column has extolled the positives of train travel before and this case is no different, although flights are still expensive enough.

Flying in and out of Nice is an option with trains taking about two and a half hours from there to Marseille. However, Ryanair’s flight out on the Friday doesn’t arrive until 9.05pm which is too late to catch a train while an earlier flight out with Aer Lingus will cost you €465 just for one way. Trains from Lyon only take an hour and half and will save you some money but, again, not a lot as the cheapest return flights from Dublin to Lyon are €386.

The best we can find is a combination of both. On the Friday morning at 7.40am you can fly to Lyon for €119 (Aer Lingus) and then take a train to Marseille with fares starting at €20 (note that booking doesn’t open until mid-February). Coming home on the Sunday it’s another train to Nice (again fares start at €20) before a Ryanair flight back to Dublin at 10.15pm that night for €146.

So, in total, a return trip can cost you €305 which is a full €285 less than the cheapest direct option.

Tickets
Capacity at the recently renovated Vélodrome is just less than 68,000 and organisers hold a large amount of tickets back to be distributed by the two teams that reach the final but there are still some on general sale at the moment.

On billetterie.orangevelodrome.com there are currently category three and category four tickets on sale for €60 and €45 respectively. All other categories are unavailable at the moment.

Accommodation
As expected, hotels are expensive enough for the weekend in question but there are other options. On booking.com there are plenty of apartments around the famous port area for less than €300 with some offering free cancellation which is nice insurance if your team does not reach the final.

If you fancy a hotel prices look to be circa €500 and above for the two nights if you want to stay centrally.

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