Something To Declare: Ferry to Flanders; expert Rome; music on the Danube; Italy's transport strikes

Bargain of the week: Ferry to Flanders

For the past five years, a shipping company called TransEuropa has been sailing between Ramsgate in Kent and Ostend on the coast of Flanders. It has focused on freight rather than passengers and cars, and has been largely invisible for most European travellers. But from next month, the energetic LD Lines company – which already sells crossings to Boulogne, Dieppe and Le Havre – will effectively take over marketing the operation. The Ostend Spirit – originally the Prins Filip, a Belgian ferry sailing between Ostend and Dover – will make the voyage twice daily, with a crossing time of four hours.

In order to promote the route, some very low fares are on offer – typically £45 return. Call 0844 576 8836 or visit ldlines.co.uk .

To see the Independent Traveller film Twin Tracks: through the Cities of Flanders, featuring Ostend, Bruges and Antwerp, visit independent.co.uk/flanders .

Tip of the week: Expert Rome

If our 48 Hours in Rome inspires you to visit the city, a leading British guide is offering a special Caravaggio walk to tie in with the new exhibition: James Hill (00 39 347 875 4486; jameshill@virgilio.it).

Destination of the week: Music on the Danube

"Matching music and place – that is the governing principle of this festival." So says the cultural tour operator Martin Randall Travel (020-8742 3355; martinrandall.co.uk ) about the 17th Danube Music Festival, which takes place 20-27 August. The firm has organised a river trip to celebrate the music of the Austro-Hungarian empire, including Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Smetana. Stops include Bratislava, Vienna and Linz.

The highlights are nine concerts in venues that are chosen because of their connections with the music. For example, at the Eszterháza palace in Fertöd, Hungary, the London Haydn Quartet will play several compositions that were first performed in the very same rococo hall of the palace.

Accommodation and transport is provided by a Danube river cruiser, the Amadeus Royal. The price of £2,900 includes flights from London to Munich, transfers and all meals with wine.

Warning of the week: Transport strikes in Italy

"Major pre-planned strikes" in the transport sector persuaded the Foreign Office to update its Italian travel advice this week. All sorts of aviation employees will be striking on Tuesday 16 February.

Meridiana pilots will take the whole day off, though the airline's cabin crew will strike only between 10am and 2pm. Alitalia pilots aim to take industrial action from noon to 4pm, while that carrier's cabin crew will withdraw their labour from 10am to 6pm. Eurofly staff in various posts will strike from noon to 4pm.

On Friday 19 February, attention switches to terrestrial transport. The Foreign Office warns of a "rail and general transport strike from 10am to 2pm".

Finally, handling staff at Milan's two main airports, Linate and Malpensa, plan to strike for 24 hours on 5 March.

More information, in Italian only, can be found on a page on the Ministry of Transport website: www.bit.ly/OnStrikeAgain .

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
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?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum