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Keukenhof cruise break

DFDS Seaways is making it easy for those living in the north of England to enjoy the Netherlands’ beautiful Keukenhof gardens, where seasonal displays of tulips, daffodils and other spring flowers run March 19 to May 21.

A special night cruise leaves Newcastle on a modern ferry equipped with restaurants, bars, shops and live entertainment. Travelers are met by a bus in Holland for a drive through the tulip fields to the gardens and, after spending a day at the garden, back to the ferry for the overnight cruise back to Newcastle.

The cost begins at 72 pounds (about $100) per person, double occupancy, and includes two nights in a cabin with en-suite bathroom, free live entertainment onboard, round-trip bus trip to Keukenhof and entrance to the park.

Find more details on this and other trips from Newcastle from

Dig it: biblical sites

If you’ve always dreamed of working on an archaeological dig, you might be interested in the Biblical Archaeology Review’s Web site,

More than 30 digs in Europe (Bulgaria, Italy, Macedonia, Spain) and the Middle East (Israel and Jordan) are looking for volunteers from all backgrounds in the summer to help excavate sites both biblical and/or historical. In many cases, experience isn’t required. College credit is possible for most of the digs.

Program options vary in time commitment and price. The dig at Apollonia-Arsuf in Israel, for example, has a minimum stay of one week in July, costing $575 per week. A monthlong excavation of an Iron Age cemetery in the Roman settlement of Pintia in north central Spain costs $2,250.

Find Scottish ancestors

Interested in looking up your Scottish ancestors? Then you might want to stop in the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh on your next trip to the Scottish capital. Their resources are digitized and include birth, marriage and death records, wills, census records and coats of arms going back almost 500 years.

If you’re an experienced researcher, you can go to one of the four search rooms to work for a daily fee of 10 pounds (about $15).

If you want to see what it’s like to do a search, you can have a free two-hour session, during which you have free access to the records. If you need help, you can have a staff member help you in a two-hour assisted search for 20 pounds per hour and the 10-pound search fee.

Find more details at

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