Air Transat: New flights to the Panamanian city of Rio Hato
Air Transat: New flights to the Panamanian city of Rio Hato

National Ferry Fortnight, Alexander McCall Smith safaris, and Disney pricing: Travel agenda

Where to go and what to know

Friday 04 March 2016 11:20

Rio grand

Air Transat will fly to the Panamanian city of Rio Hato, on the Pacific Coast, from Toronto from 7 November, with connections from Gatwick, Glasgow and Manchester and the possibility of stopping over in Canada 's largest city.

Ferry good

National Ferry Fortnight kicks off this weekend, during which time a dozen UK ferry operators will be offering a range of discounts on the country's 75-plus routes to Ireland, France, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands, with an emphasis on rediscovering ferry travel.

Train pain

Anyone travelling between central London and Heathrow this weekend should allow extra time. Signalling work means the Piccadilly Line is disconnected, while Heathrow Express trains have been withdrawn from service due to safety concerns. Heathrow Connect rolling stock is being used, but the number of trains running to and from Paddington has been cut.

Chip check

From 1 April, all visitors to the US travelling under the Visa Waiver Program – which means the Esta scheme for most British holidaymakers – must have a passport with a biometric chip. Although these have been standard in the UK since October 2006, British passports issued earlier that year may not qualify.

Go local

Escape the crowds with a new website that offers activities, tours and dinners hosted by locals. Available in Italy, London and Oxford, ZesTrip's hosts include professional tour guides and chefs, as well as keen amateurs. Prices start at £8.

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom: Demand-based pricing

Talking the Mickey?

Disney has introduced demand-based pricing at its two US theme parks in a bid to calm overcrowding. For example, Disney World's Magic Kingdom will rise from $105 for off-peak days to $124 for peak. Package prices from the UK will be unaffected.

Night fever

Tonight is Museums Night in Brussels; 24 of the Belgian capital's museums – including the bizarre Museum of Fantastic Art – are taking part in the annual event, which includes extended opening hours (until 1am), as well as DJs, workshops and live music. Tickets cost €10 to access all venues or €17 to include the after-party.

Celeb safari

Fans of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency can go on safari with the author of the novels. Alexander McCall Smith will lead Belmond's six-night trip to Botswana, where the books are set, in November. Taking in Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta, the package starts at £5,704pp excluding flights.

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