Travel Agenda: Star Alliance; Budapest airport; Greenland Explorer; Travel Photographer of the Year; 200th anniversary of Petra; the Sunrise Celebration; the Gili Islands
Where to go and what to know
Friday 18 May 2012
The Star Alliance is 15 years old, and is cutting its round-the-world economy fare for bookings made up to 29 May by 15 per cent (but,because it does not apply to taxes, the effective reduction is more like 12 per cent.) A London-Singapore-Sydney-Christchurch (surface) Auckland-Los Angeles (surface) San Francisco-London trip in June costs £2,239 if you book online at staralliance.com, but you'd be better off talking to a specialist long-haul agent.
The only working terminal at Budapest airport from 30 May. The collapse of Malev, Hungary's national airline, has led the airport "to reduce operational costs". This will affect easyJet, Jet2.com and Wizz Air passengers, who will have to move from Terminal 1; BA already uses Terminal 2. Unfortunately, the railway station is in Terminal 1, but a bus link to Terminal 2 is being organised (bud.hu).
The big adventure
The new 2013 "Greenland Explorer: Valleys and Fjords" cruise from Quark Expeditions is a two-week sail through the dramatic waters of the Ilulissat glacial fjord, past icebergs and inlets, Arctic animals and indigenous communities. It costs US$6,495/ £4,330 (without flights) on either 16 or 28 August (quarkexpeditions.com).
From 22 June until 19 August the Travel Photographer of the Year exhibition takes place at the Royal Geographical Society in London. Subjects include tribesmen in Papua New Guinea, orang-utans in Borneo and revellers in Mexico. Open daily; free (tpoty.com).
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the rediscovery of the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. Intrepid runs a week-long "Explore Jordan" tour, with keen prices next month. Rather than the standard rate of £710 (excluding flights), the 2 June departure is selling for £533, while 23 June looks even better at £480. Hotels, activities and transport included (intrepidtravel.com).
Glastonbury may be off this year, but the festival season is sustained in Somerset with the Sunrise Celebration, in the grounds of Gilcombe Farm near Bruton (21-24 June). It's run by a charity of the same name which promotes sustainable living, so expect organic food and craft stalls, with live music, cabaret, circus workshops and a games arena for pillow fights. Adult, £115; family, £255 (sunrisecelebration.com).
The Gili Islands fan out from the far north-west coast of Lombok in Indonesia. In the middle is tiny Gili Meno, with a population of just 400, exotic wildlife, crystalline beaches, coral-rich waters and a new boutique hotel, owned by British siblings David and Ali Roberts. The Mahamaya has thatched beachfront villas with chic modern interiors and a cocktail bar facing the sea. Doubles from US$150/£100; villas US$210/£140 (mahamaya.co).
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