The Advertiser - SA Weekend - - ES­CAPE - EMAIL US AT [email protected]­CHOL­I­DAY.COM.AU

QAQI AM try­ing to find out the best way to visit Bel­gium, then travel to Aus­tria, Bratislava and Bu­dapest. We are in our 60s and would like ease of trans­porta­tion if pos­si­ble. A sim­ple and un­com­pli­cated way to travel through Europe is via the rail sys­tem. If, for ex­am­ple, you are start­ing your hol­i­day in London, you could jump on the Eurostar and be in Brussels two hours later. The ser­vice runs ev­ery two to three hours and will cost about $70 in sec­ond class. From Brussels, you can choose to go on the day­time high speed train, or the Euronight sleeper to Vi­enna, Salzburg or Inns­bruck. It’s about $85 via Cologne. There are three con­ve­nient meth­ods of trans­port be­tween Vi­enna and Bratislava — the train, the hy­dro­foil and the river boat. The train runs hourly and costs about $23 or take the boat for a change of pace. It trav­els along the Danube from city cen­tre to city cen­tre, op­er­ates all year with mul­ti­ple de­par­tures in peak sea­son, takes about 80 min­utes and will cost about $40. Once you are on the Danube you can walk around freely. The hy­dro­foil is a lit­tle cheaper at about $25. Again, it is sim­ple to jump on a train to get from Bratislava to Bu­dapest. Trains run ev­ery two hours, it costs about $12 and the jour­ney takes nearly three hours. Cre­ative Hol­i­days (cre­ative­hol­i­days.com) will be able to help you or­gan­ise your travel and ac­com­mo­da­tion needs. MY hus­band and I are go­ing on a Princess Lines cruise Bris­bane-New Zealand-Bris­bane in Fe­bru­ary next year. The cruise line states pass­ports must be valid for six months from the re­turn date of the hol­i­day. Our pass­ports ex­pire five months and twenty days af­ter re­turn­ing to Aus­tralia. Ac­cord­ing to Aus­tralian im­mi­gra­tion, pass­ports are valid un­til the day they ex­pire and New Zealand only re­quire three months va­lid­ity. Our travel agent is non­com­mit­tal about whether to re­new these pass­ports or not. I do not want to have to spend about $550 to re­new our pass­ports if it is not nec­es­sary. I spoke to a Princess Cruises spokesper­son who said, “While pass­ports and visas re­main the re­spon­si­bil­ity of pas­sen­gers, Princess Cruises rec­om­mends six months va­lid­ity as that cov­ers most na­tions’ re­quire­ments. In the case of New Zealand, Aus­tralian pass­port hold­ers must have a min­i­mum three months va­lid­ity on their pass­port.” So you will be fine to travel on your present pass­port.

AI WANT to take my son on a trip to Gal­lipoli next year. I don’t want to sit on a bus with a big group of in­ter­na­tional tourists, nor do I want to hire a car. What do you sug­gest as an al­ter­na­tive for us?

QCruise Ex­press (cruise­ex­press. com.au) have put to­gether a 17-day fly/cruise pack­age to visit Gal­lipoli de­part­ing May 2014. You will fly with Emi­rates to Rome where you will stay for three nights. Then hop on board Celebrity Cruises new su­per­liner The Re­flec­tion for an 11-night cruise. This will head through the Greek Is­lands, onto the Ital­ian Amalfi Coast and then Turkey. There is an overnight in Is­tan­bul where you will have the op­tion of a full day trip to An­zac Cove. The pack­age starts at $5490 per per­son, twin share, and in­cludes flights, ac­com­mo­da­tion and the cruise. Or Boro­nia Bat­tle­field Tours (boro­ni­a­bat­tle­field­tours.com.au) have a 12-day In Depth An­zac Day Tour to Gal­lipoli next year. It is on a bus, but the group will be made up of Aus­tralians. You will stay 10 min­utes from An­zac Cove. Prices start at $7185 per per­son in­clud­ing flights, ac­com­mo­da­tion and meals.

ADe­tails: Di­rect Flights, 7221 2517 or di­rect­flights.com.au

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