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 .

Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
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
  • Get to the point
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

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss