|by Budget Travel||Train Travel, Europe, Airlines, River Cruises||1|
Our September issue, is chock-full of Europe's Best Values. Here's the latest in new flights, new and improved train routes, and river cruises.
Just in time for the 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest, Lufthansa kicked off a new East Coast connection with three flights a week. Total flying time from the beaches of Florida to the beer halls of southern Germany: under 10 hours. lufthansa.com.
Design-savvy travelers can hop between these stylish cities in just 11 hours, thanks to new nonstop service from Swiss International Air Lines, launched in June. swiss.com.
This summer, Alitalia resumed the only direct route, departing five times a week. Bonus: The nearly 12-hour flight to Rome lands at midday, meaning you have time to sneak in some sightseeing before jet lag catches up. alitalia.com.
Thanks to recent improvements on Trenitalia's high-speed line, shuttling between Italy's top cities is 45 minutes faster—a 21 percent boost over last year's time. The nearly three-hour connection runs six times daily. trenitalia.com, from $109.
Crossing this much of the Continent has never been a breeze, but now the 1,550-mile journey is a little less daunting. Rail Europe's new service splits the trip into two overnight stretches, with a daylong sightseeing break in Berlin. Departs Mondays and Saturdays (also Thursdays through Sept. 30), raileurope.com, from $443.
A January expansion lets you use the same debit-based Oyster card three ways: on the Tube, for Greater London National Rail tickets, and for rides on the city's fleet of Thames Clippers boats. tfl.gov.uk/oyster, seven-day pass from $39.
Roomiest: Avalon Waterways
Most of the rooms on Avalon's new Panorama are 200 square feet—30 percent larger than the average riverboat cabin. The ship debuts next May with two-week itineraries between Amsterdam and Budapest. avalonwaterways.com, staterooms from $3,699 per person.
Greenest: Viking River Cruises
Viking's new 97-cabin Prestige sets sail on the Danube next July, propelled by an energy-efficient hybrid engine that uses about 20 percent less fuel than conventional motors. vikingrivercruises.com, staterooms from $1,656 per person.
Family friendliest: Tauck Bridges
New weeklong Danube sailings from Tauck feature free activities like white-water rafting in Bratislava, onboard strudel-making classes, and a visit to Hellbrunn Palace, near Salzburg. tauck.com, staterooms from $2,790 per person.