Something French To Declare: low Channel fares; grÃ¿ve rail news; Alsatian wanderings
Saturday 15 January 2005
Many cut-price deals on short-sea crossings for summer 2005 are filling up fast.
Bargain of the week: book now for the lowest fares across the Channel
Many cut-price deals on short-sea crossings for summer 2005 are filling up fast. For a snapshot of the best deals, this survey (conducted on Wednesday 12 January) compares rates for peak summer sailings: outbound on Saturday 30 July, returning 13 August, on afternoon departures, for a car plus four people.
Hoverspeed (08705 240 241; www.hoverspeed.co.uk) has adopted the same demand-based pricing system as the no-frills airlines for its Dover-Calais services. It has fares as low as £49 return.
P&O Ferries (08705 20 20 20; www.poferries.com) has a fare on the route of £188. The website of SeaFrance (08705 711 711; www.seafrance.com) quoted a rate of £375, but through the discount agency Ferrysavers (08703 362433; www.ferrysavers.com) this falls by £200.
From Dover to Dunkirk, Norfolkline has a fare of £108, though if you book through Ferrysavers you save £20. Through the tunnel from Folkestone to Calais, Eurotunnel (08705 353535; www.eurotunnel.com) has a fare of £199 for booking made by the end of January.
Warning of the week: grève news on the rails
As part of French public-sector unions' call for members to strike in the coming week, railway workers plan industrial action next Wednesday, 19 January. SNCF warns that disruption to services will start at 8pm on Tuesday; the after-effects will continue into Thursday.
Destination of the week: Alsatian wanderings
The railways of eastern France have pinched an idea from the Germans: cheap trains for leisure travellers at weekends. In Alsace, the départements of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin offer unlimited rail travel for up to five people for a total of €25 (£18) per day, on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Alternatively, an individual ticket allows a day's unlimited travel for €12.50 (£9) for an adult (who can be accompanied by a child under 12).
The Evasion pass will take you from Strasbourg in the Bas-Rhin south to Colmar's canals and Mulhouse's museums in the Haut-Rhin. The pass also gives access to medieval wine-making villages along the Vosges mountain range.
The ticket's validity extends to the historic town of Belfort (pictured) and even Basel in Switzerland.
The Evasion Pass is available from all SNCF stations in Alsace. You can use any trains except long-distance Téoz and TGV services. The offer also applies to SNCF buses.
Air France flies from Gatwick to Strasbourg, while easyJet flies to Basel.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 What supermodels really think about posing in the nude
- 3 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
The 50 Best weekend retreats
Are plastic planes the future of flight? Heathrow expansion reopens debate over aviation's effects on the environment
Top 10 zoos in Europe, according to TripAdvisor
Inside Travel: Greece 2015 Q&A - should we cancel our Greek holiday? Are our flights safe? And what will we be spending there?
The most powerful passports in the world
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...
£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...
£22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...