Something to Declare: the far north, late ski deals, hand luggage restrictions

The column that gives the global picture


THE COLUMN THAT GIVES THE GLOBAL PICTURE

Destination of the week: the far north

On 20 May, the Norrona will depart from Lerwick in Shetland on her first sailing of the summer, destination Bergen. The return sailing from Norway can be made once a week up to 3 September. From 22 May, the same vessel heads much further north: from Shetland to the Faroe Islands and Iceland.

The ferry is operated by Smyril Line (01595 690 845, www.smyril-line.com). On the southbound journey from Iceland, passengers are obliged to make a three-night stopover in the Faroese capital, Torshavn. The stay in "the smallest capital in the world" is at your expense.

For quicker access to the Faroes, Atlantic Airways (00 298 31 5900) has flights in summer twice a week from Aberdeen, and once a week from Stansted. For the full Arctic experience, contact the company of that name (01737 218802, www.arcticexperience.co.uk), which still has places on a 12-day midsummer cruise aboard the Professor Multanovski, a Soviet research vessel now used for cruising. The voyage starts in Aberdeen, and includes the Shetlands, Greenland, the Faroes and Spitzbergen. It costs £1,767, not including the cost of getting to Aberdeen.

Bargain of the week: late-season rides to the slopes

How to fill the Ski Trains? That's the problem faced by Rail Europe (0870 124 4646, www.raileurope.co.uk) on its final departures of the season. On 5 April the overnight train from London Waterloo to Chambery, Albertville and Bourg St Maurice in the French Alps, arriving in time for a good day's skiing, costs £129 with the return journey overnight a week later.

If you can get yourself to Dover, the fare on the special train from Calais is dramatically lower: £59, including the ferry. The price also includes a couchette and use of the disco carriage.

Warning of the week: crackdown on hand luggage – by the airports

Traditionally, airlines have decided the limits for baggage that can be carried on to the aircraft. But in the climate of increased security checks, two of the world's leading airports have introduced their own hand luggage restrictions to try to reduce delays at checkpoints. At Frankfurt, the maximum dimensions allowed through security screening are 42 x 25 x 25cm, roughly 16 x 10 x 10ins. In Singapore, the limit is on weight: anything over 7kg (16lb) must be checked in.

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