Deals of the Week: Eurostar; Cunard; Outer Hebrides

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The Independent Travel

If time is more important to you than money, the new deal for business travellers from Eurostar could be handy.

A TRAIN

If time is more important to you than money, the new deal for business travellers from Eurostar (08705 186 186, www.eurostar.co.uk) could be handy. The Channel Tunnel rail company insists discount passengers check in a full half-hour in advance for trains between London Waterloo, Brussels Midi and Paris Gare du Nord. From next week, there will be a fast-track check-in at all three stations for those travelling in First Class, and Standard Class passengers paying the full fare. The deadline will be reduced to 15 minutes before departure.

A BOAT

You can still cross the Atlantic in style – and economy – aboard the QE2. Cunard (0800 052 3840, www.cunard.co.uk) has regular voyages between Southampton and New York, and for the next month it is selling cabins at giveaway prices. You can fly out from Britain next Monday, board the vessel and cruise back in six days for £749. This is based on two people sharing an inside cabin, and includes an economy flight in one direction. If you fly to New York for the 30 October departure, the price falls to £699.

A PLANE

What's the difference between Stornoway and Sydney? About a fiver. Until now, the capital of the Outer Hebrides was£5 more expensive to reach from London than Australia's largest city; the standard British Airways fare of £535 return costs more than a discount ticket to Sydney and back. But from the end of this month that is set tochange – and journeys will become faster and more comfortable. BMI (0870 60 70 555, www.flybmi.com) is to launch flights from Edinburgh to Stornoway using Embraer jet aircraft. These will cut the journey time to 55 minutes, as well as being smoother than BA's propellor planes. The lowest one-way fare is £50.30. Along with flights on BMI from Heathrow to Edinburgh, you can find a London-Stornoway return for £154. Despite a controversy about Sunday observance on the Isle of Lewis, there will, for the first time, be scheduled flights on Sundays.

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