x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Travel Deals: Cruise Norway's Svalbard Islands

Plus a five-star getaway to Nepal's capital, a comprehensive tour of India and a yoga retreat in the French Alps.

Go on a nine-day cruise around the Svalbard Islands in Norway. Getty Images
Go on a nine-day cruise around the Svalbard Islands in Norway. Getty Images

Norway

Spot polar bears on the Svalbard archipelago aboard the MS Quest on a nine-day cruise, which includes visits to the coal mining settlement of Barentsburg, the research village of Ny Alesund, and the islands of Danes and Amsterdam, which still have evidence of the whaling trade that flourished here in the 17th century. Along the way, expect to see walruses and seals, pink-footed geese, puffins and kittiwakes.

The cruise costs from Dh17,415 per person, full board, including a night in a hotel in Longyearbyen (Svalbard's administrative centre), seven nights on the MS Quest, the services of three naturalists, on-board lectures, several offshore excursions (all guided), and a detailed log book. Departures in June. International airfare not included. Visit www.responsibletravel.com for more details and to book.

Kathmandu, Nepal

Visit the Nepalese capital this summer and enjoy a luxurious break at the five-star Dwarika's Hotel in Kathmandu. Famous for its extensive efforts to preserve the heritage of Kathmandu valley, the hotel's architecture reflects the historic palaces of the Newar kings, and is home to a vast collection of artefacts dating from the 14th century.

The "Kathmandu Charm" package costs US$700 (Dh2,570) for two, including airport transfers, a "traditional Nepali welcome", three nights in a heritage deluxe room, breakfast, one complimentary Himalayan massage per person, a six-course dinner at Krishnarpan, Dwarika's Nepali restaurant, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

The five-night "Spirited Sojourn" package costs $983 (Dh3,610) for two, including all of the above, plus daily yoga sessions and lunch at the historic Kaiser cafe near the royal palace. Prices include taxes. Valid from May 1 to September 15. Visit www.dwarikas.com or call 00 977 1 447 9488 for more details.

India

Bales Worldwide has a comprehensive 16-day tour of the southern Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Highlights include wildlife safaris in Nagarhole National Park, treks through the forested Nilgiri Hills and a journey down the famous Mountain Railway near Ooty in Karnataka; a visit to the port city of Cochin, Kerala, for a tour of its monuments and natural treasures, and a cruise on the backwaters of Kumarakom; plus visits to Madurai's ancient Hindu temple and a tour of Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu.

The 16-day trip costs from Dh10,455 per person, including accommodation, some meals, the services of an experienced guide, air-conditioned local transport, sightseeing, entrance fees and game drives at Nagarhole National Park. International airfare not included. For more information, visit www.balesworldwide.com.

France

Premiere Neige is offering a luxury yoga retreat this summer at The Peak, a five-star boutique chalet in Sainte Foy in the French Alps.

The four-night package (June 25 to 29) costs £950 (Dh5,533) per person, including accommodation, eight yoga sessions (conducted in English by an expert), airport transfers from Geneva, breakfast and dinner, and guided walks. Guests will have access to the resort's wellness centre, sauna and Jacuzzi. International airfare not included. Visit www.premiere-neige.com.

travel@thenational.ae