Something to declare: St Petersburg by rail; Turkey; on the buses

The best deals, the latest hot spots and what's new in travel


Destination of the week: St Petersburg by rail

Destination of the week: St Petersburg by rail

Problems have beset the new charter train that is due to be running from Berlin through the Baltic republics to St Petersburg from the autumn. Rolling stock for the German-operated rail cruise, which was revealed in The Independent last year, is apparently behind schedule. Great Rail Journeys (01904 521900; www.greatrail.com), the UK agent for the service, now says the first departure should be early in 2006. The basic itinerary departs from London Waterloo on scheduled services via Brussels and Cologne to Berlin, where you board the charter train for Kaliningrad, Riga, Tallinn and St Petersburg.

A rival company, Captain's Choice (020-8879 7710; www.captainschoice.co.uk), has a different private train running in July through Eastern Europe from Berlin via Prague, Budapest and Krakow to St Petersburg and Moscow. The three-week trip costs £6,595.

Warning of the week: choose your poison carefully in Turkey

The Canadian government is warning its citizens of the risk of illness or death due to methyl-alcohol poisoning from bootleg raki - the aniseed-based alcoholic drink that is popular throughout Turkey. Thousands of counterfeit bottles, bearing the "Yeni Raki" label and containing fatally high levels of methyl alcohol, have been confiscated from restaurants, bars and grocery stores throughout the country. The Canadian travel advisory says: "Nineteen deaths have been reported so far, and many other individuals who consumed the bootleg raki have been hospitalised after losing consciousness or suffering temporary blindness."

Bargain of the week: on the buses

The terrestrial battle of Britain is intensifying, as train and bus operators vie for market share. National Express (08705 808080; www.nationalexpress.com) has a million-seat deal that is offering a flat fare of £10 one-way from Monday, 4 April, to 25 May. Over-60s pay only £5. The small print: you must book at least a week in advance; a £1 charge applies for booking by phone; and airport trips are excluded. Its partner company, Eurolines (same contact details) is launching a range of new services for the summer - with new direct services from London to Strasbourg and Luxembourg.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Life and Style
Angel Di Maria is shown the red card
tech
Sport
Roger Federer after his win over Tomas Berdych
sport
Life and Style
News in briefs: big pants in 'Bridget Jones's Diary'
fashionBig knickers are back
Sport
James Milner is set to sign for Liverpool this week despite rival interest from Arsenal
sportReds baulk at Benteke £32.5m release clause
News
The controversial Motor Neurone Disease Association poster, featuring sufferer Michael Smith, has drawn a series of angry complaints
newsThis one has been criticised for its 'threatening tone'
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

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Bid Writer

    £25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £20,000 Uncapped

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

    £23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

    Day In a Page

    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific
    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    Dame Colette Bowe - interview
    When do the creative juices dry up?

    When do the creative juices dry up?

    David Lodge thinks he knows
    The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

    Fashion's Cher moment

    Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
    Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

    Health fears over school cancer jab

    Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
    Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

    Weather warning

    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
    LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

    High hopes for LSD

    Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
    German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

    Saving Private Brandt

    A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral