Something To Declare: Club World on sale; high-speed Indian trains; behave yourself in the Maldives

Bargain of the week: Club World on sale

Air Passenger Duty rises from November, which will be especially galling for travellers in the posher seats: on a flight to Singapore or Buenos Aires, for example, the tax element rises from £80 to £110. Even so, next Thursday, 29 October, British Airways will launch a short-term sale aimed at filling empty seats in its premium cabins. If you book three weeks ahead for travel up to the end of June next year, you can save a fortune over the normal Club and First fares.

Until the sale begins, the actual fares will not be revealed – but it is safe to say that levels as low as £1,500 return to California or the Far East can be expected. While the airline is keeping secret flight-only prices – to guard against competitors upstaging them – it has revealed some inclusive packages.

Three nights at the five-star Ritz-Carlton in Dubai, pictured, costs £1,779, including return Club World flights from Heathrow, while a three-night stay at the five star The London NYC in New York is priced at £1,749, including Club World seats (so expect the flights alone to be sold for around £1,250). There will also be good deals on European fares – typically £300 return to many destinations such as Nice, Milan and Copenhagen. Holiday prices start at £499 per person for three nights at the five-star Pulitzer in Amsterdam, including return Club Europe flights from Gatwick.

Tip of the week: High-speed Indian trains

This autumn, a new breed of trains has begun running in India. Named "Duronto" (the Bengali word for "quick"), they are intended to be the flagships of the Indian Railways network, with fewer stops and faster journey times. They have been introduced partly in response to the spread of low-cost flights between India's major cities.

Duronto services linking Delhi with Calcutta, Pune and Chennai, and from Mumbai to Calcutta, have already begun, and many more services are due to start over the coming year. See indianrail.gov.in for more details.

Destination of the week: North and South

Two leading tour operators launched their 2010 programmes this week, featuring destinations at cooler latitudes than usual.

The leading cultural tour operator Martin Randall Travel, is running tours to Hadrian's Wall in late May (five days, £1,620) and to Northumbria in early July (nine days, £2,380); 020-8742 3355; martinrandall.com .

Notable among the Exodus Polar Expeditions (0845 330 6013; exodus.co.uk ) is a trip "In the wake of Shackleton" trip to Antarctica. An attempt will be made to land on Elephant Island, where Sir Ernest Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance sheltered for months. The trip will also visit South Georgia, pictured, location for the most remarkable escape in the history of exploration, and the Falklands. It will be accompanied by Jonathan Shackleton, a cousin of Sir Ernest.

Prices for the one-month expedition start at just under £14,000 for a berth in a triple cabin, excluding flights.

Warning of the week: Behave yourself in the Maldives

Anyone tempted by British Airways' new link from Gatwick to Malé, capital of the Maldives, should be aware of strict rules on imports and behaviour in this Islamic nation. The Foreign Office says you are not allowed to bring in materials deemed contrary to Islam, including pork, alcohol, "idols for worship" and bibles. Alcohol is available on resort islands, but should not be taken elsewhere.

Same-sex relations are illegal; "convicted offenders could face lengthy prison sentences and fines," says the Foreign Office.

An explosion in Sultan Park in Malé two years ago – said to be the first-ever bomb in the Maldives – hurt 12 people, including two British tourists. It was caused by an improvised explosive device triggered by a mobile phone.

Advance approval is normally required to visit most non-resort islands, other than the capital island. For permission, contact the Maldives High Commission in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo (25 Melbourne Avenue, Colombo 4; 00 94 11 258 7824).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: International Project Coordinator / Account Coordinator

    Circa £26,500 DOE: Guru Careers: An International Project Coordinator / Accoun...

    Guru Careers: Plumber / Maintenance Operator

    £25k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Plumber / Mainten...

    Recruitment Genius: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

    £14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

    Recruitment Genius: Network Executive - Adrenalin Sports - OTE £21,000

    £19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for an exciting...

    Day In a Page

    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
    The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

    The haunting of Shirley Jackson

    Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
    Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

    Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

    These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
    Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen