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New York To Europe And Around Europe Flight Help  
User currently offlineJetBlue777 From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 1452 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5729 times:

Hey guys. It's been confirmed that our next summer vacation would be in Europe. So, for those frequent fliers out there, what's the best way from JFK to Europe? Our first leg would be JFK to Sweden, since my mom's sister lives there and she wanted to show us around Sweden as well as Norway and Denmark. There will be 3 of us (traveling in Y) so far, the cheapest I could find is Icleandair JFK-ARN via KEF roundtrip for $800+. My question is Icelandair a good airline? The next cheapest flight is on Finnair JFK-ARN via HEL for $900+ roundtrip. BTW, my preferred dates aren't available yet, so is there a possibility that other airlines would offer good rates? (like $900 below) I would love to fly with AF and their A380 or possibly LH and their A380 (if they fly it to JFK) Our 2nd leg would be either Sweden to Paris/London. Should we visit Paris first? or London? SAS offered a great price from ARN to LHR for only $41. Any suggestions on how to get from Paris to London or London to Paris? Should we take the rail? plane? Does anyone recommend any attractions in Europe that's close to Paris or London? Does anyone know a good website for good Europe packages? Please feel free to suggest anything, anything at all, like European cities that's worth a visit and etc. (BTW, we can only visit Schengen countries) Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks in advance!  


It's a cultural thing.
8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5715 times:

Hi,

Is it a bit too early to book flights for next summer yet? July is a holiday month in the Nordic countries, so probably cheaper to fly to Stockholm in June or August.
Icelandair and their 757 are ok, a bit limited service in Y but many like to stop "in the middle". A stopover possible too, many spent a day or two in Reykjavik. Finnair flies a new A333 to JFK, good AVOD and ok service, a quick transit at HEL..

Quoting JetBlue777 (Thread starter):
we can only visit Schengen countries

Why is that? Btw, London (UK) is not in Schengen.


User currently offlineSchweigend From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 607 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 5700 times:

I'd stick with SK to Denmark, Norway, or Sweden, if were you. Why not help out the airline of the countries you intend to visit?

Visiting Paris -- Ahh, that could be done easily once you've gotten to Scandanavia by buying a separate airline ticket for a discount price or by taking a nice train. Also you could rent a car (from CPH) by doing which you'd have the most control. You could drive across that great bridge to the mainland, and then through Cologne and over the Rhine to Paris.

Of course, driving in Paris itself is a drag; I always park my car somewhere for the duration of my visit.


User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 3, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 5684 times:

Quoting Schweigend (Reply 2):
Visiting Paris -- Ahh, that could be done easily once you've gotten to Scandanavia by buying a separate airline ticket for a discount price or by taking a nice train. Also you could rent a car (from CPH)

Travelling on the train from Sweden to Paris takes ages. Not sure if the OP is willing to do so.

Oneway car rental within Europe, dropping the car off in a different country comes with a hefty (!) oneway fee.
A quick check on Hertz (others might differ a bit) has a oneway fee of around 1300 € / 1700 USD for a oneway Stockholm to Paris (plus the car itself).
While not in concern here, there are restrictions on where you may drive a rental car to (like entering certain countries (sometimes varying by model), taking car onto a ferry (--> driving to U.K. ; not sure about using the Shuttle through Eurotunnel though ). Always check with agency !

Quoting JetBlue777 (Thread starter):
Icleandair JFK-ARN via KEF

Remember that there is a mandatory security check involved when entering KEF (for connections or for arrivals).

Quoting JetBlue777 (Thread starter):
(BTW, we can only visit Schengen countries

As Andaman poited out already, then London is a no-no as the U.K. and Rep. of Ireland are not member of Schengen zone.

Quoting JetBlue777 (Thread starter):
AF

Would only make sense if you include a stop-over at Paris (on the outbound leg); if not possible or economical, than routing via CDG is a detour.
Same goes for LH via FRA.

Booking an open-jaw with any airline forking between ARN and CDG could be an option (on any airline). Organize any intra-european travel seperately then.

Quoting JetBlue777 (Thread starter):
Does anyone recommend any attractions in Europe that's close to Paris or London?

How much time do you want to allocate ?
Paris itself (including daytrips into surrounding areas) warrant a vacation in itself.
The same would be true for London, but again: This is not Schengen zone !

Travel between Paris and London best is done on Eurostar trains going center to center, whereas airports (CDG and LHR) are located away from city centers and their relative congestion only adds to total travel time. The train will be faster.

Quoting JetBlue777 (Thread starter):
European cities that's worth a visit

With such a broad question, you will get a ton (!) of suggstions, even when restricting yourself to cities that (more or less) lie enroute (give or take some deviation from a dirct path) a surface trip Stockholm to Paris.
Suggestions would include (but definately are not limited to) Copenhagen, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Brussels.

A few more potential highlights are located off track (but everybody will have his/her own favourites):
Berlin, Krakow, Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Zürich, Florence, Rome, Barcelona, Lisbon - to name but a few (all within Schengen zone). Many more attractive landscapes to add ...

So, I recommend that you frist make up your mind on how much weeks you will be able to allocate for this whole trip.
Already those 3 countries in Scandinavia will take up some time ...
Do you intend also to head north across the Artic Circle in order to experience Midnight sun ? This experience is highly recommended. Depending on exact timing of your vacation (relative to 21-JUNE) you might decide on the excat place to head to.
Tromsoe in Norway is a good place.
The North Cape is said to be very touristy meanwhile.
A once-in-a-Lifetime experience could be to spend a night in the northernmost Full-service hotel (as they advertise themself), the Radisson Blu Polar in Longyearbyen on the island of Spitsbergen, about 600 miles north of the North Cape. Flights (in summer) are a few per day from OSL (Olso-Gardermoen) and TOS (Tromsoe) on SK and (maybe also) DY.

Just a few thoughts ...
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineJetBlue777 From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 1452 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 5617 times:

Thanks for all your reply!

Quoting HT (Reply 3):
How much time do you want to allocate ?
Paris itself (including daytrips into surrounding areas) warrant a vacation in itself.
The same would be true for London, but again: This is not Schengen zone !

Around 3 Weeks or so. Anyways, even if London isn't Schengen zone we would still be going.



It's a cultural thing.
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5693 posts, RR: 18
Reply 5, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 5606 times:

Quoting JetBlue777 (Thread starter):
Any suggestions will be appreciated.

My impression is that you try to do too much for the relatively short time.
If your trip is for 3 weeks only, I'd forget about about London and Paris because without being eable to spend 3-4 days at each there is not much point in visiting and focus just on Scandinavia and add Hamburg, Gdansk, perhaps even Berlin since it's only a quick ride by ICE away. You mentioned flying with Icelandair or Finnair... it would be a wothwhile to stop @ KEF or HEL for a few days (I'd add at least a daytrip by ferry to Tallin).


User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 6, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5593 times:

Quoting JetBlue777 (Reply 4):
Anyways, even if London isn't Schengen zone we would still be going.

With this issue clarified, heading to London best is done when there is no need to backtrack all the way to HEL from LHR in order to catch the longhaul flight home.

Option could be AY to HEL and then any oneworld-carrier home from LHR.
Or: FI via KEF to ARN, return from LHR via KEF

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 5):
My impression is that you try to do too much for the relatively short time.

Depends on intensity of exploration at each stop the OP likes (but it wouldn't be my favorite thing).
Spending like 16 nights in Scandinavia & Finland, then a couple of more nights in EITHER Paris or London could be an option. Visiting BOTH cities right after each other can become tiresome ...
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineMillwallSean From Singapore, joined Apr 2008, 1241 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5473 times:

Fly to either HEL or ARN. Cheap tickets aren't available yet. Wait to buy them keep on eye out on the websites of the airlines to see when offers arrive. bad news is that often the US airlines are the cheapest option. They are that for a reason...
July is the most expensive month for the Nordic countries. Try to have one leg at least in June or August.

Use the lowcosts airlines from Scandinavia over to London.
If you want to keep the budget tight you might even go for the dreaded Ryanair. Wait for one of their sales campaigns. Book a 1 Euro ticket per person. For a 2 hour flight its bearable if you are looking for budget. Just remember to triple check the fees and ensure no extra luggage not even a gram above what they allow.
they fly from Osl, Got, Sto so you can plan around. Otherwise use a Scandinavian lowcost or Easyjet for a little bit more human treatment but a little bit higher fare.

Between Helsinki and Stockholm take the ferry.
Book in advance and get a good price. the cabins take four people usually and are good value for money. besides take an overnight ferry and no need to pay hotel rooms that night. In Helsinki do take the boat over to Tallinn in Estonia and spend a day there. Its a nice city-centre and well worth the trip. Its also a very cheap passage. Can turn it into a triple, ferry Stockholm-Helsinki-Tallinn-Stockholm if you want to save a little bit of cash. Cruises are fun for kids as well some playlands etc.

London to Paris take the train. I know this is a airline site but the Eurostar is good and it makes most Americans realise what the US is missing in terms of transport and what options it really offers. Booked in advance its not that expensive remember a family on coaches out to the airports in London plus the departure taxes adds to the fares when flying from there. So Eurostar from St Pancras is competitive on price and time and something to add to your story when back home...
Crossed the channel in a tunnel high-speed trains all that.

Paris back to Scandinavia will be lowcost book long in advance here because Ryanair is not really an option due to beauvais being right in the middle of nowhere and even finding the parking lot the buses to beauvais depart from is a hassle in itself. Some Scandinavian lowcosts fly this route though.

Intra Scandinavia. generally use the trains.
In Denmark I guess visiting Copenhagen is enough unless you love flat farmland. That you do with a simple trainrode from Malmo Sweden costing 5 dollars or so.

Now the bad news, Norway has spectacular views. But its expensive, too expensive. Minimise time there and only see what you really must if your on a short budget. However the fiords etc are something unique (think New Zealand/New Foundland times ten) so don't be to tight and miss out. read up on what to see and how to see it beforehand. Taking the railway from Sweden to Trondheim reduces cost if you want to do part of the Hurtigrutten etc etc etc.
The icehotel in Sweden will have melted when you arrive so no need to visit Jukkasjarvi...
Oslo is a cute city but one day is enough there. Compared to Copenhagen and in particular Stockholm it doesn't have as much to offer.
Its a bit like Gothenburg plus a small castle.

In general keep in mind the distance from southern Sweden to Northern Sweden are similar as to the distance from Paris to southern Sweden. Plan carefully if you go up north in Sweden and Norway and keep in mind its a day of travelling each way if you use trains.
Fortunately there are domestic planes as well in both countries to help you out and if booked in advance they often provide decent prices.



No One Likes Us - We Dont Care.
User currently offlineandaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5444 times:

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 7):
Between Helsinki and Stockholm take the ferry.

It can be a lot cheaper to take LCC Norwegian (HEL-ARN), if just booked early. The flight takes an hour, the ferry takes around 16h. The big Baltic ferries are comfortable though and experience itself, if you have the time.

LCC Norwegian:
http://www.norwegian.com/en/
Silja Line:
http://www.tallinksilja.com/en/schedules/helSto/
Viking Line:
http://www.vikingline.fi/index.asp?lang=en


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