The Holiday Guru solves traveller queries


The Holiday Guru is always on call to answer your questions.

This week where to go for a no-Christmas festive break with booze and how to visit Israel with a partner who has a fear of flying are on the agenda…

Q. As an atheist, I’d like to go somewhere warm over the festive period that doesn’t celebrate Christmas but allows alcohol.

Anthony Jackson, Stockport, Gtr Manchester.

The Holiday Guru recommends the Maldives as a place to go to escape Christmas

The Holiday Guru recommends the Maldives as a place to go to escape Christmas

The Holiday Guru recommends the Maldives as a place to go to escape Christmas 

A. A cheap, hot, no-Christmas festive break with booze is tricky. Egypt’s Sharm el Sheikh is an option, but Christmas decorations will feature in many hotels — all-inclusive week-long breaks cost from £1,700 pp ( Or, for a bit more, try the Maldives — a week’s half-board starts at around £2,400 pp (

Q. My partner and I would love to visit the Holy Land, but he has a fear of flying. Any suggestions?

Marie d’Espagnac, via email.

A. Go by train to Rome via Paris and Turin, stay overnight, then join Norwegian Cruise Lines’ 13-day Mediterranean Wonders cruise the next day, calling at ports including Naples, Athens, Kusadasi, and Ashdod and Haifa in Israel, before returning to Rome. Next departure is December 2 from £729 pp full-board ( Trains from £400 return ( also has Italy-Israel cruises.

Q. Is the hotel in Marseille quoted at £130 a night in ‘Eurostar’s Expanding Galaxy’ in last Saturday’s Mail for couples? Do you know any other reasonably priced hotels?

Peter Howard, via email.

A. Yes, it was for two people ( See our ‘Marseille for £100 a night’ report at for more budget hotel tips. 

Q. I recently visited St Petersburg in Russia on a cruise and my passport was stamped. Am I still able to visit America?

Jillian Parker, via email.

The Holiday Guru assures a reader

The Holiday Guru assures a reader

You can visit America after having your passport stamped in St Petersburg in Russia, says the Holiday Guru 

A. Fortunately, the Cold War is over — for now, at least — so the answer is yes.

Q. I cannot find a return train fare from St Pancras to Lyon from £110 return, as in your report last Saturday. Can you help?

Anthony Adams, via email.

A. You have to look around, but the fare is available in January, February and March (


For advice, send your questions to: holiday or write to: Daily Mail Travel, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry St, London W8 5TT. Include your contact details.