Deals of the Week: Eurostar to Tours; across the north-east Atlantic; cheap flights to Switzerland
Wednesday 18 June 2003
A once-in-a-summer bargain rail trip is available this weekend: a direct train from London Waterloo and Ashford to Tours, on the Loire, for just £59 return. The one-off service departs London at lunchtime on Friday, taking four and a half hours to reach the historic French city. It is a proving run for a potentially more permanent link to Tours. The return journey, on Monday 23 June, takes five hours because of the need to change trains at the Gare du Nord in Paris on the way home; arrival in London is at 11.13pm.
You can book any time up to 30 minutes before departure through Eurostar (08705 186 186, www.eurostar.com). First class is available for £129 return.
Thanks to the low-cost airlines, it is now possible to structure a sea voyage across the north-east Atlantic for far less than previously.
First, fly to Aberdeen, for example from Luton with easyJet (0870 600 0000, www.easyJet.com) - an off-peak, one-way fare for next month is typically £32.50. Next, sail on the NorthLink ferry (01856 851 144, www.northlinkferries.co.uk) from Aberdeen to Lerwick in Shetland. A one-way ticket costs £31.50 in peak season. From Lerwick, you can sail on Mondays aboard Smyril Line ((01595 690845, www.smyril-line.com/uk) to Bergen in Norway, a 12-hour overnight voyage that costs £72 one-way, including a couchette. You can then sail three hours' south to Haugesund aboard one of the regular high-speed coastal ferries run by Flaggruten (00 47 55 23 87 00, www.flaggruten.no), for a fare of 390 Norwegian kroner (£37) one-way. From Haugesund, there are flights on Ryanair (0871 246 0000, www.ryanair.com) to Stansted for a typical fare of NKr426 (£40). The transport cost for the entire circuit is £213.
It might be the height of summer, but the Swiss national airline is shivering in the chilly commercial climate. In a bid to win back travellers from other airlines, Swiss (0845 601 0956, www.swiss.com) has launched extremely cheap fares from London Heathrow to its main cities in Switzerland. To Geneva, the fare is £78 return; to Zurich, £86; and to Basel £107. These apply if you book at least four weeks in advance, and stay over either a Saturday night or two other nights. Book only two weeks ahead, and the fare to each city rises by £20. A £9 surcharge applies if you book by phone rather than online.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 Russell Brand condemns moment of silence for Tunisia attack victims as a 'minute of bulls**t'
- 4 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 5 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year shortlist: Writing to inspire the wandering soul
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
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
The 10 Best hiking boots
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
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
£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...
£39,000: ICE ICT: Specific and detailed knowledge and experience of travel sys...