August Bank Holiday Opening Times

Due to the up coming Bank Holiday weekend, We will be closed on Monday 26th August. But not to worry… We will be open as normal from Tuesday 27th August at 9 am.

Our opening times are as follows:

Friday 23 August09:00 – 17:30
Saturday 24 AugustCLOSED
Sunday 25 AugustCLOSED
Monday 26 AugustCLOSED
Tuesday 27 August09:00 – 17:30
Wednesday 28 August09:00 – 17:30
Thursday 29 August09:00 – 17:30
Friday 30 August09:00 – 17:30
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Out For Lunch

From 12th August, We’re implementing a ‘Lunch break‘ across the The Travel Visa Company. This is a 1 hour break, starting 12:30 pm and ending 1:30 pm, every day.

Do not worry though! We are still open Monday to Friday, 9:00 am until 5:30 pm outside of the lunch break.

Any Questions? Feel free to contact us at:

Enquiries@thetravelvisacompany.co.uk
01270250590

Office Address
The Travel Visa Company Ltd
The Quadrangle, Crewe Hall
Weston Road, Crewe
Cheshire, CW1 6UY

Our offices are located at Crewe Hall in Cheshire, 5 minutes away from Crewe train station and 10 minutes from J16 of the M6.

New Zealand ETA (NZeTA)

From 1 October 2019, travellers must have an ETA (NZeTA) to travel to New Zealand.

The NZeTA is now available. Download an application pack

New Zealand have announced plans to introduce an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) for travellers wishing to enter the country.

“The Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) will improve the way travellers are assessed before they arrive in New Zealand. It will also help reduce the time needed for border clearance and strengthen border security.”

New Zealand Immigration

British Citizen passport holders, cruising or flying into New Zealand on or after the 1st October 2019, will need to obtain an NZeTA. This is an Electronic Travel Authority which will be valid for two years and allow multiple entries into New Zealand.

The NZeTA will bring a number of benefits to travellers, carriers and New Zealand’s borders, by ensuring faster and better facilitation for an increasing number of visitors. These benefits include:

  • Providing assurance about the purposes and characteristics of foreign travellers who plan to visit New Zealand.
  • Lowering New Zealand’s security exposure, and closing existing gaps in the border relating to the marine (cruise) pathway.
  • Bringing New Zealand’s border controls into line with international best practices.
  • Help New Zealand manage the increasing numbers of travellers forecast to come to our country in the future.
  • Meeting travellers’ and carriers’ expectations of being able to interact with authorities digitally to receive personalised and relevant services.

Consular Closures UK 2018

Below is a list of UK-based embassies and their closing times.

Afghanistan
20th – 28th August
Algeria
Every Monday
Angola
Every Wednesday
Azerbaijan
Every Monday
Bangladesh
21st – 22nd August
Belarus
Every Wednesday
Benin
Every Tuesday & Thursday
Burundi
Every Tuesday & Thursday
Cameroon
Every Friday
Croatia
Every Thursday
Cuba
Every Friday
Georgia
Every Wednesday
India
15th, 22nd August & 3rd September
Kazakhstan
Every Wednesday
North Korea
Every Monday, Wednesday & Thursday
Liberia
Every Friday
Lithuania
Every Monday & Friday
Mauritania
Every Friday
Mongolia
Every Wednesday & Friday
Morocco
Every Friday
Namibia
Every Friday
Norway
Every Wednesday
Romania
Every Friday
Saudi Arabia
17th – 27th August
Sierra Leone
Every Friday
South Sudan
Every Thursday & Friday
Sweden
Every Wednesday
Thailand
13th & 27th August
Tunisia
Every Friday
Turkmenistan
Every Wednesday
Uzbekistan
Every Tuesday & Thursday

For more consular closure updates, subscribe to our newsletter.

Russia: Useful travel info

Transport

Metro

The underground (Metro) is available in six host cities of the championship: Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, and Ekaterinburg. In Volgograd there’s the metrotram, a high-speed tram.

Busses
You can usually find the timetables and route listings for buses, trolleybuses and trams at the bus stop. The overground tram lines usually arrive and depart in intervals of 5 to 30 minutes. You may be able to find a Minibus from as early as 5-7 a.m. They continue services until about 8 p.m. and sometimes 1 a.m.

Trains
Trains cover the cities and local suburbs (around 100 to 150 km from the city centre). Similar to the UK, the ticket price depends on the distance of your journey. Tickets have to be bought beforehand from the ticket booth. One-way tickets have to be used the same day they are purchased and are only valid for that specific destination; round-trip tickets can be used within 24 hours of their purchase.

Taxi
All Russian World Cup host cities have legal taxi companies. They have their own fleets of cars which are regularly go through technical maintenance and are licensed to transport passengers and baggage. All licensed cabs have to have a yellow or orange lamp on the roof, as well as checkered body.

For more transport information, please visit http://bit.ly/2iE0L1C.

Currency

The Russian currency is the rouble. One Russian rouble roughly equals 0.013 British Pounds at the time of posting this blog. In Russia, currency can be exchanged in banks or specialised exchange points.

Credit card payments are widely available in Russia, especially in large cities. Any product can be purchased with a credit card. The bank will automatically convert the payment into roubles and deduct the sum from the card.

Emergency Services

  • 112, 101 – telephone numbers of all emergency services
  • 101 – Firefighters
  • 102 – Police
  • 103 – Emergency medical care
  • 100 – Exact time

Useful Information

The Russian police has a right to stop pedestrians to check their documents, so carry your passport or its copy with a visa and registration stamp with you at all times.

The best way to get a taxi is to use an online service or a mobile app. There are almost no private cab drivers left in Russia.

There are pickpockets, especially in popular tourist spots. To avoid them, use the same rules as everywhere


Visa-free

You can find a list of countries whose citizens are able to travel to Russia visa-free here

Tourist Visa

British Citizen Passport Holders travelling to Russia can obtain a Russian Tourist Visa. The validity of this visa is specified by the entry and exit dates specified on the Russian Tourist Visa application. This visa allows for a single stay of up to 30 days in Russia.

To find out more about what is required to apply for a Russian Tourist Visa or to apply, please visit our website here.

The Russian Visa Process

All applicants who wish to apply for a Russian visa must do so in person at the Russian Visa Application Centres in London or Edinburgh. The Russian Embassy now requires fingerprint (bio metric) information from all travellers. In light of the new requirements, The Travel Visa Company Ltd are providing the following services:

    1. We will complete the Russian visa application form online from the draft copy enclosed
    2. We will quality check the complete application and supporting documents, to minimise the risk of refusal at the application centre.
    3. We will arrange a personal ‘meet and greet’ in London with our Russian speaking specialist at the Visa Application Centre, at a convenient date and time (within the opening times of the application centre) for the client to sign the application form and assist with the fingerprinting process.
    4. We will make payment for the application to the Visa Application Centre on behalf of the client
    5. We will collect the approved visa and passport from the Application Centre and return them, secured delivery, back to the client.

To begin the application for a Russian Tourist Visa with us, simply visit our website and download an application pack.

When to apply

Our processing time for a Russian tourist visa is 15 working days for processing (excluding postal days). When you are applying with us, you must apply for your visa no later than 15 working days before travel.

We recommend applying for your visa as soon as possible.

Chinese Visa Information

Visa Information

Which type of visa are you looking for?

Tourist / Business / Work / Journalist / Study / Other

Tourist Visa

This visa allows you to visit China as a tourist. You can only apply for this visa prior to travel.

Required Travel Documents

  • An eligible, undamaged, passport
    • Valid for six months beyond entry date
    • Has at least two blank visa pages

Length of stay

  • Up to 90 days at a time

Validity

  • 2 years

Number of entries

  • Multiple

Business Visa

This visa allows you to visit China for business purposes such as attending meetings or investigations.

Required Travel Documents

  • An eligible, undamaged, passport
    • Valid for six months beyond entry date
    • Has at least two blank visa pages
  • Letter of invitation issued from the company in China

Length of stay

  • Up to 90 days at a time

Validity

  • 2 years

Number of entries

  • Multiple

Work Visa

To work in China, you will need to apply for the Chinese work visa. When applying for this visa, you will also need to obtain a Chinese Employment Permit. Once the Z visa has been obtained, the holder should enter China within 90 days and register at local public security bureau within 30 days of arrival, where the China Residence Permit will be issued to replace Z visa.

Please note: this visa required the applicant to appear in person at the application centre to submit bio metric data (fingerprints).

Required Travel Documents

  • An eligible, undamaged, passport
    • Valid for six months beyond entry date
    • Has at least two blank visa pages
  • A copy of the approved work permit

Length of stay

  • To be determined
    • Because the Z visa is used to obtain a residence visa on entry, the Z visa does not have a specific length of stay.

Validity

  • 90 days
    • You are recommended to enter China within 90 days of obtaining the Z visa

Number of entries

  • Single

Journalism Visa

The Journalist J-2 visa is available for those travelling to China for short-term news coverage as a foreign reporter or related personnel.

Required Travel Documents

  • An eligible, undamaged, passport
    • Valid for six months beyond entry date
    • Has at least two blank visa pages
  • A signed and stamped invitation letter from your Chinese
    inviting partner or organisation on company letter headed paper, stating your passport information, the dates of travel and the reason for your travel. If the invitation letter is issued by an individual in China they must also provide a photocopy of there Chinese ID card.
  • A signed official authorisation letter issued by the media organisation for which the journalist works. This letter should on company letter headed paper, stating your passport information, the dates of travel and the reason for your travel.
  • You will need to be on the approved journalist list prior to visa submission. This should be arranged through your Chinese contact.

Length of stay

  • Duration of stay on the visa is decided by consular officers in the light of actual need

Validity

  • Duration of stay on the visa is decided by consular officers in the light of actual need

Number of entries

  • Duration of stay on the visa is decided by consular officers in the light of actual need

Study visa

This visa allows you to visit China to study such as participating in university courses.

Required Travel Documents

  • An eligible, undamaged, passport
    • Valid for six months beyond entry date
    • Has at least two blank visa pages
  • Admission Notice from the University (original and copy).

Length of stay

  • To be determined
    • Because the X visa is used to obtain a residence permit on entry, the X visa does not have a specific length of stay.
    • The period of validity of the residence permit is its holder’s duration of stay in China.

Validity

  • 3 months

Number of entries

  • Single

Please note: this visa required the applicant to appear in person at the application centre to submit bio metric data (fingerprints).


Other Visa Types Visa

Purpose of Visit Visa Category Link
Tourism L Enquire now
Exchange,visits,study tours or other relevant activities F Enquire now
Commercial trade activities M Enquire now
Family member or relative of Chinese citizen(s) or foreigner(s) with permanent residence status in China Q1 Enquire now
Family member or relative of Chinese citizen(s) or foreigner(s) with permanent residence status in China Q2 Enquire now
Family member of foreigner(s) staying or residence in China or person who needs to come to China for personal matters S1 Enquire now
Family member of foreigner(s) staying or residence in China or person who needs to come to China for personal matters S2 Enquire now
Work Z Enquire now
Study X1 Enquire now
Study X2 Enquire now
Journalist J1 Enquire now
Journalist J2 Enquire now
Crew member C Enquire now
Transit G Enquire now
Permanent residence D Enquire now
Foreigner of high talent or specialist R Enquire now

Australia Visa Information

Visa information

What type of Australian visa are you looking for?

Holiday or Vacation


The ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation)

This visa allows you to visit Australia as a tourist. It is electronically applied to your passport. There is also no stamp or label placed in your passport.

If you have a criminal record, you will be ineligible for an ETA. You can instead apply for a Subclass 600 Visitor Visa.

For those travelling to Australia for longer than 3 months, you may also consider applying for a Subclass 600 Visitor Visa.

Eligibility

  • Hold an eligible passport
  • Be outside Australia

Length of stay

  • Visa is valid for up to 12 months
  • 3 months stay after each entry

Number of entries

  • Multiple entry

What you can do

  • Visit as a tourist
  • Visit your family and friends
  • Study for up to three months

Apply here.

Visitor Visa (Subclass 600)

This visa lets you visit Australia to visit for up to three, six or 12 months.

Eligibility

You may be eligible for this visa if you are travelling to Australia:

  • As a visitor
  • To visit family
  • Are planning to stay between 3 and 12 months

Length of stay

  • Up to three, six or 12 months

What you can do

  • Have a holiday
  • Visit family and friends
  • Study for up to three months

Apply here.

Business Activities


The ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation)

As well as being able to travel to Australia for tourism purposes, the ETA also allows the traveller to carry out business visitor activities such as making general business or employment enquiries, negotiations or participating in a conference.

Eligibility

  • Hold an eligible passport
  • Be outside Australia

Length of stay

  • Visa is valid for up to 12 months
  • 3 months stay after each entry

Number of entries

  • Multiple entry

What you can do

  • Undertake business visitor activities

Apply here.

Visitor Visa (Subclass 600)

This visa also lets you visit Australia for business visitor purposes as well as tourism visiting.

Eligibility

You may be eligible for this visa if you are travelling to Australia:

  • For business visitor activities

Length of stay

  • Up to three, six or 12 months

What you can do

  • Undertake business visitor activities

Apply here.

Business Innovation and Investment Visa

Allows business people to establish a new, or develop an existing, business in Australia, or to invest in Australia.

Eligibility

  • Be nominated by a state or territory government or Austrade
  • Be invited to apply for the visa
  • Have experience in owning and operating a business (Business Innovation stream) or…
  • Have at least AUD 1.5 million to invest (Investor stream) or…
  • Have at least AUD 5 million to invest (Significant Investor stream) or…
  • Have at least AUD 15 million to invest (Premium Investor stream)
  • Meet additional requirements of the relevant stream.

Length of stay

  • Four years and three months

What you can do

  • You can apply for a Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) (if eligible).

Apply here.

Study


Student Visa

Allows a student to study in a registered, full-time course.

Eligibility

  • Be at least six years of age
  • Have been accepted to study at an educational institution in Australia
  • Have health insurance.

Length of stay

  • Up to 5 years

What you can do

  • Study in your course
  • Work part-time.

Apply here.

Student Guardian Visa

This visa permits you to provide care and support for a student visa holder who is under 18.

Eligibility

  • Be the student’s parent, legal guardian or relative
  • Have enough money to support yourself and the student during your stay
  • Be able to provide accommodation and other support
  • Be at least 21 years of age.

Length of stay

  • Up to 5 years

What you can do

  • Stay in Australia with the student until they turn 18
  • Study (usually for up to 3 months).

Apply here.

Work


Working Holiday Visa

Allows young people to have a holiday and work in Australia for up to a year. Applicants who complete 3 months specified work in regional Australia might be eligible to apply for a second year.

Eligibility

  • Hold an eligible passport
  • Be 18 to 30 years of age
  • Not have come to Australia previously on a Work and Holiday visa (462).

Length of stay

  • Up to 12 months

Number of entries

  • Multiple entry

What you can do

  • Work for the duration of your visa but only up to 6 months with each employer
  • Visit as a tourist
  • Visit family and friends
  • Study for up to four months.

Apply here.

Temporary Work Visa

The Temporary Work Visa permits travellers to do short-term, highly specialised, non-ongoing work. In limited circumstances, some travellers will be permitted to participate in an activity or work relating to Australia’s interests such as assisting in a natural disaster.

Eligibility

  • Be invited, or supported, by the organisation you will be working for
  • have specialist skills, knowledge or experience that is needed but cannot be found in Australia

Length of stay

  • Up to 3 months (6 months in limited circumstances)

What you can do

  • You can work or participate in the activities for which you were granted the visa

Apply here.

Temporary Graduate Visa

This visa is for international students who have recently graduated from an Australian educational institution. It lets you live,study and work in Australia temporarily after you have finished your studies. Students are only able to access the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) once as a primary applicant.

Eligibility

  • Be under 50 years of age
  • Hold an eligible visa
  • Have a recent qualification in a CRICOS-registered course
  • Meet additional requirements of the relevant stream

The qualification must either:

  • Relate to an occupation on the skilled occupation list (Graduate Work stream)
  • Be a higher education degree (Post-Study Work stream)

Length of stay

  • Graduate Work stream – 18 months
  • Post-Study Work stream – two to four years

What you can do

This visa allows you and your family to stay in Australia temporarily after you have finished your studies. While in Australia, you can:

  • Travel
  • Work
  • Study

Apply here.

Skilled Recognised Graduate Visa

Allows engineering graduates to gain work experience in Australia.

Eligibility

  • Be under 31 years of age
  • Have completed an engineering degree at a recognised institution in the past two years
  • Not have been the primary visa holder of a subclass 476 or 485 visa.

Length of stay

  • 18 Months

What you can do

This visa allows you and your family stay in Australia for up to 18 months. While in Australia, you can:

  • Travel
  • Work
  • Study

Apply here.

Temporary Activity Visa

Allows a person to work in the entertainment industry, as a full-time religious worker, as a domestic worker for certain executives or as a superyacht crew member OR participate in cultural or social activities at the invitation of an Australian organisation, high-level sports competition, a research project, a reciprocal staff exchange for a skilled position, an Australian government endorsed event or other specific event or a special program approved by the Department.

Eligibility

  • Have the skills to undertake the activity to be carried out in Australia
  • Be supported or sponsored
  • Meet additional requirements of the relevant stream

Length of stay

  • If invited by an organisation to participate in a specific event – 3 months
  • If participating in Australian government activities – 4 years
  • All other activities – 2 years

What you can do

  • Stay in Australia for the period that aligns with the activities that you have been approved to undertake on this visa.
  • Do the work or activity specified in your application
  • Bring eligible family members with you to Australia
  • Enter and leave Australia as many times as you want while your visa is valid.

Apply here.

Social Media & Marketing Apprentice

National Apprenticeship Awards

I have developed and discovered a variety of different skills and seen many personal benefits. From my graphic design work and charity fundraising to the email marketing campaigns and social media optimisation I have carried out.

Since I have been a Social Media and Marketing Apprentice with The Travel Visa Company, I have seen my knowledge increase massively, gaining an in-depth knowledge about:

  • Social Media Campaigning
  • HTML / CSS
  • SEO & SEM
  • Collaborative Software
  • Email Marketing
  • Keyword Optimisation
  • Location Aware Content
  • Web and Social Media Analytics
  • Google Adwords
  • Blogging
  • Digital Legislation
  • CRM Systems
  • Graphic and Web Design
  • Stock Control
  • Mobile Optimisation
  • Data Analysis

However, my learning didn’t just come from studying for my level 3 diploma. Working as part of a busy team has allowed me to grow and develop many skills. Being part of weekly meetings within the organisation, as well as arranging and attending meetings with clients and dealing with customers, has boosted my confidence. This has given me the ability to act and conduct myself in a professional manner.

One of my biggest achievements has been designing and creating my first website: ‘coverworks.com’. Seeing the results of my work and learning coming together into one project is an incredibly rewarding feeling especially as prior to my apprenticeship, I had no knowledge about how websites work. I believe that this shows the opportunities that being part of an apprenticeship scheme in a growing business can bring.

You don’t just learn from reading text books and sitting exams, practical experience brings with it new ways to gain knowledge.

While working for The Travel Visa Company I took part in my first ever organised run – The Great Manchester Run. With the support of my friends, family and colleagues, I was able to raise £360.00 and complete the run with a time of 01:00:17.


james-healy-award-infographic-tvc

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The 2017 Formula 1

Australia

The Australian stretch of the Formula 1 races will be taking place between the 24th and 26th of March. British Citizen Passport Holders travelling to Australia will be eligible for the ETA short stay visa. The ETA is valid for 1 year and allows multiple entries of up to 3 months at a time into Australia.

If you are over the age of 75 please contact one of our travel visa specialists on 01270 250 590.

China

The Chinese Grand Prix will be taking place on the 7th and 9th of April. If you are looking to travel to China to enjoy the race, British Citizen Passpoer Holders will require a visa for travel. We will be able to assist you in obtaining a visa. This visa is valid for 2 years and allows multiple stays of up to 90 days at a time into China. For further information, visit our website or alternatively call us on 01270 250 590.

Bahrain

The Bahrain F1 will be held between the 14th and the 16th of April.  Those who wish to travel to Bahrain may be eligible for an eVisa. Contact our team on 01270 250 590 to find out more.

Russia

The Russian GP will be taking place between the 28th and 30th of April.  British Citizen Passport Holders will require a visa to travel to Russia.

The Russian Embassy requires fingerprint (biometric) information from all travellers. All applicants who wish to apply for a Russian visa must attend an appointment at the Russian Visa Application Centres in London or Edinburgh. If you are under the age of 12, or are applying for a diplomatic or official visa, you will not need to give biometric information to the Russian Application Centre.

The Russian Visa is issued according to the dates specified on your application. It allows for stays of up to 30 days depending on the type of visa you require.

To begin your application, or for more information, visit our website.

Spain

12th – 14th of May. Visas are only required for people who do not have a British passport. Contact our team for further information.

Monaco

25th – 28th of May. Currently to visit Monaco as a tourist, a visa will not be needed unless you are not a British citizen. Contact our team for further information.

Canada

This years Canadian Formula 1 GP races will be taking place between the 9th and the 11th of June. British Citizen Passport Holders will need a visa to travel to Canada. This will come in the form of an ETA. This is an electronic travel authorisation. This form of visa allows you to visit the country for up to 90 days at a time over a period of 5 years.

Visit our website to apply.

Azerbaijan

The Azerbaijan stretch of the Formula 1 races will take place between the 23rd and the 25th June. British Citizen Passport Holders will need a visa to visit Azerbaijan. To visit this country for tourist purposes a visa will be required. Contact our award-winning team for more information.

Austria

Fri 07 Jul – Sun 09 Jul 2017. Currently to visit Austria as a tourist, a visa will not be needed unless you are not a British citizen. Contact our team for further information.

Hungary

Fri 28 Jul – Sun 30 Jul 2017. Currently to visit Hungary as a tourist, a visa will not be needed unless you are not a British citizen. Contact our team for further information.

Belgium

Fri 25 Aug – Sun 27 Aug 2017. Currently to visit Hungary as a tourist, a visa will not be needed unless you are not a British citizen. Contact our team for further information.

Italy

Fri 01 Sep – Sun 03 Sep 2017. Currently to visit Italy as a tourist, a visa will not be needed unless you are not a British citizen. Contact our team for further information.

Singapore

Fri 15 Sep – Sun 17 Sep 2017. Currently to visit Singapore as a tourist, a visa will not be needed unless you are not a British citizen or are staying in Singapore for more 30 days. Contact our team for further information.

Malaysia

Fri 29 Sep – Sun 01 Oct 2017. Currently to visit Malaysia as a tourist, a visa will not be needed unless you are not a British citizen. Contact our team for further information.

Japan

Fri 06 Oct – Sun 08 Oct 2017. Currently to visit Japan as a tourist, a visa will not be needed unless you are not a British citizen. Contact our team for further information.

Unites States of America

The USA Formula 1 GP will be held between Fri 20 Oct – Sun 22 Oct 2017. British Citizen Passport Holders Travelling to America (U.S.A.) will need a visa to travel. The Travel Visa Company are able to assist with all visas to America (U.S.A.) including media visas (I), tourist & visit visas(B-2), study & exchange visas (J-1), business (B-1), employment visas (H2-B), the ESTA and more.

The ESTA

The ESTA is valid for 2 years allowing stays of up to 90 days at a time into America (U.S.). All passengers travelling to America (U.S.) MUST hold a passport with an integrated chip. Anyone who has travelled to Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen since 1 March 2011 or who are dual nationals of these states, can no longer travel to America (U.S.) under the visa waiver program. If you are ineligible for an ESTA, you must apply for an America (U.S.) B-2 Tourist Visa.

Apply for the America (U.S.) ESTA

To apply a different visa to America (U.S.) please call us on 01270 250 590.

Mexico

Fri 27 Oct – Sun 29 Oct 2017. Currently to visit Mexico as a tourist, a visa will not be needed unless you are not a British citizen. Contact our team for further information.

Brazil

Fri 10 Nov – Sun 12 Nov 2017. Currently to visit Brazil as a tourist, a visa will not be needed unless you are not a British citizen. Contact our team for further information.

Abu Dhabi

Fri 24 Nov – Sun 26 Nov 2017. If you hold a British Citizen Passport* and are travelling to the United Arab Emirates for tourist purposes, you will not need a Visa prior to travel. A 30-Day Visa must be obtained on arrival. Contact our team for further information.

 

To find out more about the upcoming Formula 1 events, visit the F1 weebsite here.

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5 of the greatest countries to celebrate Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras: the colourful winter carnival celebrated in cities all across the world. Bringing in huge crowds, delicious feasts, parades, parties and more. Here are the 5 of the greatest countries to celebrate Mardi Gras:

Goa, India

The Goa Carnival showcases the free, harmonious spirit that makes this Portuguese carnival so legendary. Beautiful floats covered in flowers and graceful dancers manoeuvre their way through the streets of Panjim to traditional the folk songs and strumming of guitars.

Mindelo, Cape Verde

Just off the coast of Senegal, the lush Cape Verde islands host a curious mix of Carnival traditions in the run-up to the fast. In the handsome town of Mindelo, jerry-built floats and curvy dancers sway to Creole coladeira punctuated by ululating African shrieks.

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Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

If you want to celebrate Mardi Gras by the pristine, exotic beaches of the Caribbean then Trinidad & Tobago is for you. Follow the sounds of the steel pan band as they lead the newly crowned Carnival King and Queen, dressed in dramatic, embellished costumes. The crowds that follow these parades are notoriously passionate, so much so that it can be hard to see where the performers stop and the crowd begin; so dress up, dance and join the party. Brace yourself for all-night parties and raucous steel-pan music. Two days before Ash Wednesday, paint, oil, and melted chocolate fly during the mas (masquerade) parades.

Rio de Janeiro

Arguably one of the most famous pre-Lent celebrations, the Rio Carnival draws millions of people to the city for one big samba party. Thousands of performers dance on decorated floats and compete in one of seven divisions for their choice of music, costume and themes. With dancers training all year for the festivities, you know they mean business and that it’ll be the show of a lifetime.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Beginning with a masked ball on the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6, celebrations build to fever pitch during five days of pre-Lenten parties.

Embrace the chaos and be seduced by the spirit of Carnival. Enjoy lavish parades, masquerade balls and the unforgettable atmosphere of Mardi Gras. It’s said that the first parade float was created by a society of wealthy men called the Mistick Krewe of Comus. From this day, different secret societies, or ‘Krewes’, join the party with their own floats, colours and costumes. One to look out for is the Krewe of Rex, who wear traditional gold, purple and green colours. Newer Krewes like Bacchus, Endymion and Zulu opt for glitz with celebrity appearances, marching bands and more than 1,000 riders.

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