Deals Of The Week: Thames to the RhÃ¿ne; Boulogne; Denmark; Eurolines
Wednesday 25 June 2003
Only one train will take you from the Thames to the Rhône - and if you travel out and back before the school holidays, the trip will cost less than £100.
Only one train will take you from the Thames to the Rhône - and if you travel out and back before the school holidays, the trip will cost less than £100. Each Saturday at 7.22am, Eurostar (08705 186 186, www.eurostar.com) runs a train from London Waterloo to Avignon. It crosses the Channel, the Somme and the Seine, arriving six-and-a-quarter hours later. For departures on either of the next two Saturdays, so long as you come back no later than the 12 July, you will pay only £99 in standard class. The premium for first class is an additional £50, which works out as an extra £4 per hour of travel; good value, given the extra space plus free food and drink.
Boulogne is back in the day-trip market - but so far the service from Dover, which SpeedFerries has promised, is yet to materialise. In the meantime, Hoverspeed (08705 240 241, www.hoverspeed.co.uk) has started a service to Calais' more attractive elder sister - but you have to take a bus to benefit. Hoverspeed has put on a bus link from Calais that connects with the 8am Seacat sailing from Dover, which arrives at Calais at 10am, French time. The connecting bus calls at the Nausicaa aquarium, and arrives in Boulogne at 11.25am. You have time for an extremely long lunch before it returns at 5pm for the 6.30pm sailing from Calais, which arrives back in Dover at 6.30pm, British time. The one-way fare is £12; a day return costs £14, with a £2 surcharge on Saturdays.
Business-class bookings are suffering within Europe, as well as long-haul. To fill its flights from London Gatwick to Copenhagen, Billund and Aalborg, the Danish airline Maersk Air (020-7333 0066, www.maersk-air.com) is selling two business-class flights for the price of one. To Copenhagen, the fare is £332 each; Billund costs £2 less, while Aalborg costs £360 return. Both ticket-holders must travel out together, but they can return separately. The offer applies until the end of July.
"Travel with Eurolines is ultra low-cost because you'll find none of the additional taxes or costs of transfers to the city you get with airlines," says the Europe-wide bus operator (08705 80 80 80, www.nationalexpress.com). Nor will you find a huge premium added to imminent departures. You can book with the company for imminent departures to either Amsterdam or Paris for a flat £55 return.
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