Window on Europe


Virgin Atlantic Airways has announced plans to add new services on two key North Atlantic routes in response to an increasing demand for air travel since September 11.

From the end of October 2002, Virgin Atlantic will reinstate a fifth daily service between London and New York. The new service will operate between Heathrow and JFK and will feature a morning departure out of Heathrow enabling passengers to arrive in New York in time for afternoon meetings.

A second daily service between London and Washington will also be introduced departing Heathrow in the afternoon to compliment Virgin Atlantic's existing morning service.

Both of the new routes will be operated by an Airbus A340.


A new golfing concept has recently been launched in the UK.

For $225 per person, London Golf Service will come to your hotel or home, collect and return you. It will supply shoes, gloves, tees, balls and clubs and then escort you to a golf club. The green fee is also included and there's no need to play alone, as it will even provide a playing partner.

This new service caters to golf enthusiasts visiting on business or pleasure or to those who are just lapsed players that fancy an impromptu round.

Miro Sajfert, MD of Thermalia Travel said: "As a keen golfer myself, I have long wanted to set up a service catering to all the golfers here on business or otherwise. A similar service already enjoys success both in the America and Australia and we feel there is a real and untapped demand here in the UK. We are launching in London initially and we will be looking to expand the service nationwide over the next few years."

London Golf Service has partnered with 100 hotels in the London area and has agreements with golf courses that are based a short distance from the centre of town.


An array of new holiday ideas is now available on the high Arctic island of Spitsbergen.

Further north even than Siberia, Spitsbergen combines a dramatic polar wilderness with first-class hotels, international cuisine, and organised activities for travellers.

At 78¡ North, Spitsbergen - the largest island of the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard - is surrounded by the Arctic Ocean.

The recent commitment of the Norwegian government to create a thriving indigenous island economy, primarily to ensure the survival of its most remote outpost, is now paying huge dividends for travelers looking to taste the life of a polar explorer in style and comfort.

For the first time, visitors can spend a night aboard a vessel deliberately frozen into the pack ice on the edge of the Arctic Ocean.

"If you're heading north for more challenging action, then try the 3-day combined dog-sledding and snowmobiling safari across Spitsbergen's glaciers, mountain plateaux and frozen shorelines, camping out under canvas, in igloos or in hunters' cabins," say promoters.

Tour prices start at $750 for a weekend of hotel-based, outdoor Arctic adventure on Spitsbergen, $2250 for a 5-day Arctic Survival Course, $10,350 for a flight to the North Pole, and $15,000 for a 12-day trek to the North Pole.


Audley Travel says it has seen an upsurge in bookings to Sri Lanka.

The company's 14-night Classic Sri Lanka tour is available on a private basis, staying in luxury hotels, for $2,142 per person. Some of the highlights of the tour include staying in the Cultural Triangle with visits to the ancient cities of Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla and a full day at Anuradhapura; visits to the Temple of the Tooth and the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage near Kandy; a train ride through the tea plantations; and a jeep safari to Yala National Park.

It is possible to extend the tour with 3-nights at the 5-star Saman Vilas, Bentota for $405 per person.

The tour price is inclusive of international flights, accommodation in luxury hotels including breakfast, private car with chauffeur guide, all sightseeing and a jeep safari, scenic train journeys and UK departure tax. The price is valid for departures until November 24.