Five British tour operators have been licensed by Fifa to sell World Cup packages, including flights, accommodation, transfers, excursions and admission to England games. "Sales were very strong to begin with, especially the long-term packages of 18 nights," said Lynsey Devon of Thomson Sport (0845 121 2018; thomsonsport.com). "But people are taking their time now." A four-night package around the England-Slovenia qualifying game at Port Elizabeth costs £2,537. That rises to £3,999 if you want to see all three of England's group matches.
The Sportsworld (01235 555844; sportsworld.co.uk) three-night corporate package includes pre- and post-match hospitality, the best category of seat in the stadiums, and five-star accommodation. It costs £3,539 for England's opening match against the USA.
With a nod to England's finest footballing hour, Thomas Cook Sport (020-8739 2360; thomas cooksport.com) cut the price of its six-night package for the England-Slovenia game from £3,249 to £1,966. Several longer-stay packages are available, including 17 nights covering all of England's three qualifying matches (£4,699) and what the company describes as the "ultimate package" – a 35-night trip optimistically charting England's progress all the way to the final, which starts at £8,200 per person. In the event of England failing to complete the journey, clients can still watch all the games they would have played, including the final.
For England's opening match at Rustenburg, where the night-life leaves something to be desired, BAC Sport (020-7456 7100; bacsport.co.uk) are basing their clients at the Sun City resort, about half an hour from the stadium. BAC's three-night package with four-star accommodation starts at £2,500. According to sales manager James Savage: "Five-star hotels in Johannesburg are running short of rooms for the later stages of the tournament, but there's still plenty available at lower-end guest houses and lodges."
Corporate hospitality specialist, Keith Prowse (0845 1254880; keithprowse.co.uk) is selling packages at upwards of £4,000 for England's three qualifying matches, and Emirates Tours (0844-800 0775; emiratestours.co.uk) has a similar offering, starting at £5,232.