Take the long way round to the Cook Islands
INFORMATION DESK: YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR PANEL OF EXPERTS
Sunday 27 December 1998
The Travel Editor replies: You obviously need a round-the-world ticket, but you should choose these carefully if you wish to avoid incredibly long flights with frequent en route landings, long waits and untimely hours of arrival.
You are certainly not too late for January 2000. I have spoken to Trailfinders (tel: 0171-938 3939), one of the companies that specialises in putting together the kind of route you are talking about, and they inform me that it is only possible to book 11 months ahead anyway. What this means is that any fares quoted for the year 2000 are still provisional - they may yet be adjusted upwards - although you will be able to make your bookings in a couple of months' time.
You can arrange this trip to travel in either direction. One fare, which is routed first via the United States, costs pounds 1,596 including all taxes, "until further notice". This includes the expensive leg from Orkney to London via Aberdeen (which costs more than pounds 250) and there is no need to stay a night in either Aberdeen or London. The ticket would take you from Orkney to Heathrow to Los Angeles, where you could change for the short hop up to San Francisco, with no need to stop over in LA. This San Francisco leg could be omitted, although the saving would only be about pounds 60.
Resuming the journey at your leisure you could continue on to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. From there you could continue to Auckland, then to Sydney, then to Singapore. Finally, you have the trip back to the UK on Singapore Airlines, which again looks quite convenient - arriving 5.50am in Heathrow, and connecting so as to arrive in Orkney by 10.35am on the same day.
Travelling around the world the other way might suit your purposes better if you wish to arrive in Auckland first. A route flying first from Orkney to Auckland, backtracking to Sydney, then continuing on to Rarotonga, San Francisco (via Los Angeles), Vancouver, London and back to Orkney, costs very slightly less than the previously option.
Another equally reputable company which could organise your travels is Bridge the World (tel: 0171-911 0900). Both companies can easily book your accommodation in Rarotonga.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
The 50 Best spas
Iceland volcano: Travel agency has 'Volcano hotline' for dare-devil tourists who want to visit Bardarbunga if it erupts
Luton airport voted worst in Britain for second time running
August Bank Holiday 2014: Five ways to make the most of it
Contactless payment donkey rides are a thing now
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 3 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
£6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...
£17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...
£23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...