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
When teaching the meaning of Christmas backfires
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...
£27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...
£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A HGV Class 2 Lorry Driver is required t...