Take the long way round to the Cook Islands

INFORMATION DESK: YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR PANEL OF EXPERTS

My husband and I would like to spend my 65th birthday, March 2000, in the Cook Islands, because my maiden name is Cook. This would be part of a round-the-world trip centred on New Zealand, which is where our daughter lives. I would also like to stop over in one or two of the following cities en route, where we can stay with friends: Sydney, San Francisco, Vancouver or St John's, Newfoundland. We can afford pounds 1,500 each for our tickets - and this must include the cost of the connection from Orkney. Are we too late to book for January 2000?

Alison Tramschek

Orkney

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.

New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
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
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: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £30,000 Uncapped

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all