Something To Declare: strife in Nepal; cheapest Med cruise ever?


Bargain of the week: Dutch carnage

Bargain of the week: Dutch carnage

Jet2, based at Leeds/Bradford airport, celebrates its second birthday today. From its Yorkshire base, the airline (0870 737 8282, www.jet2.com) serves Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Faro, Geneva, Ibiza, Malaga, Murcia, Nice, Palma, Paris, Prague and Venice. It also now flies from Manchester.

Jet2's first flight, to Amsterdam, was an hour late - but since then has improved its timekeeping so much that it was recently voted Schiphol's airport's most punctual airline.

Competition on routes between the UK and Amsterdam is so intense that very low fares are widely available. Later this month, for example, flights are on sale from Leeds/Bradford to Amsterdam for as little as £58 return.

Warning of the week: strife in Nepal

The Himalayan kingdom appears to be getting more chaotic by the day. Earlier this month, the king dismissed the government and assumed direct control. A state of emergency has been declared; security forces are patrolling the streets, and the mobile phone service has been suspended. The Foreign Office Travel Advice Unit says that demonstrations may occur, particularly in Kathmandu and the surrounding valley. The Foreign Office advises anyone already in Nepal, or preparing to go, to exercise extreme caution and vigilance, especially in the capital. In recent months, Maoist rebels have become more active. The FO urges trekkers to "travel in a group with an experienced guide. Travelling in groups will make you less vulnerable to theft and assault and will assist you greatly in the event of an accident. It is also preferable not to be alone in the face of Maoist demands for money on the main trekking routes." The Maoists have called for an indefinite strike to begin today. "Expect considerable disruption to transport and other services", warns the FO.

Bargain of the week: the cheapest Med cruise ever?

Stelios Haji-Ioannou's latest travel venture, easyCruise, has begun taking bookings for departures from 3 June. The vessel, easyCruiseOne, is aimed at "independently minded people in their 20s, 30s and 40s". She will initially sail along the French and Italian rivieras between St-Tropez and Portofino. A cruise for two people, for a minimum of two nights, is available for £29.50 per person per night. You can book at www.easycruise.com.

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