Europe and the UK: the latest news for the region

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Europe and the UK: the latest news for the region

AN INSIGHTFUL VIEW

Travellers can make the most of the exceptionally strong Australian dollar and book next year’s holidays at 2011 prices, with Insight Vacations recently releasing its 2012 Europe & Britain Preview Flyer. “By securing 2011 prices for 2012 itineraries, travellers are protected against any currency fluctuations or surcharges which may increase the cost of the tour next year. However, if the tour price decreases in 2011, Insight will refund the difference,” managing director Lorraine Sharp said. “In addition, booking their 2012 itinerary now gives travellers the added benefit of early payment savings of up to 10 per cent off.”

Those who have travelled with Insight previously have the opportunity to save a further 5% with its Frequent Traveller discount. “With high-profile events such as the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee signalling a bumper year for Europe and Britain, we predict spaces will sell at a much faster rate,” Sharp added.

NAME CHANGE FOR ALBATROSS

Albatross Travel has begun operating under a new business name — Albatross Tours — which it believes will better signify the nature of the business for the tour operator. Albatross Travel was established in 1995 as the Australian and New Zealand division of the worldwide network of The Albatross Travel Group and the name change occurred at the start of June.

“The name change to Albatross Tours will further enhance our position as a respected European tour operator, providing Australians and New Zealanders with a more sensibly paced approach to European coach touring,” managing director Euan Landsborough said. Among the itineraries that the operator is currently highlighting is the 12-day Medieval Bohemian Christmas tour, which includes a stay in a 500-year-old medieval castle in Cesky Krumlov, in the Czech Republic. The tour departs on December 17.

THE WINTER OF CONTIKI

Contiki Holidays has launched its new 2011/2012 Europe Winter brochure offering a range of autumn, winter and spring holidays for 18 to 35s. Contiki’s winter options offer four distinct travel styles, catering for different types of young travellers.

There are Time Out multi-country itineraries, suitable for those visiting Europe for the first time and eager to see as much as possible in the timeframe they have, plus Time Out in-depth regional tours, which delve deep into the heart of each place visited.

For those keen to make the most of Europe’s snow season, Contiki also offers Ski Austria options — fully-flexible one or two-week ski and boarding packages staying at its exclusive Gasthof in the Austrian Tyrol.

CREATIVE WITH A SPATE OF NEW PRODUCT

Creative Holidays’ 2011 Europe and UK brochure includes 15% more product, in line with the strength of the local currency, which is proving a huge motivator for travel to the region, according to managing director Paul McGrath. “On the back of the strong Australian dollar, we expect clients’ spending to go further, and as such have more five-star options in London, Paris, Dublin and Rome than ever before,” he said. “Our Spoil Yourself hotels such as The Montague and The Rubens at The Palace in London and the Hilton Arc De Triomphe in Paris are the perfect treats for clients who wish to indulge that bit extra.”

The operator has also included a selection of apartments featuring reduced rates for stays of seven nights or more. Another new addition is a number of Design Hotel properties, characterised by their unique accommodation concepts.

TRAFALGAR GETS STATELY

Among the new additions in Trafalgar’s new 2011/2012 Autumn, Winter & Spring brochure is a five-day English Stately Homes at Christmas itinerary, which visits some of England’s most celebrated historic homes during the festive season. Highlights include taking in London’s Christmas lights and decorations, seeing Shakespeare’s birthplace of Stratford-upon-Avon and visiting Chatsworth House — the filming location of many costume dramas including Pride and Prejudice.

Another new itinerary is the 10-day London, Paris and Rome City Break, with sightseeing highlights including Buckingham Palace, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Colosseum and the Vatican. And for the first time, Trafalgar will also include two of its most popular At Leisure itineraries in this brochure: the 10-day Great Italian Cities and the 10-day Prague, Vienna and Budapest.

NEW EMIRATES SERVICE

Emirates has linked two major international hubs, launching flights between Dubai and Geneva in early June. This is Emirates’ second gateway into Switzerland after Zurich, which is currently a double daily. The Dubai to Geneva service will be operated by a combination of Boeing 777-200LR and Boeing 777-300ERs. The aircraft is arranged in a three-class configuration, offering first class private suites, lie-flat seats in business class, and a spacious cabin in economy class. EK089 will leave Dubai each day at 8.55am and arrive in Geneva at 1.45pm. From Geneva, EK090 departs at 3.15pm, arriving in Dubai at 11.30pm.