What's the Deal?
The week's best travel bargains around the globe, by land, sea and air.

Sunday, November 19, 2006



· More than 30 hotels, jungle lodges and eco-cottages throughout Belize are offering free rooms Dec. 3-7. The "Belize Stay Free" program is designed to introduce the Central American country to tourists. Rates usually charged at the hotels vary; a room for four at duPlooy's Jungle Lodge in western Belize's Cayo District, for example, typically rents for $145 a night, while a room at the Black Rock River Lodge, 13 miles from San Ignacio on the Macal River, starts at $110. View participating properties and obtain booking information at http://forums.btia.org/FreeStay/index.html.

· Forty Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in seven countries have discounted "Only One Way" winter rates for stays through April 30. Additionally, 17 of the chain's city center hotels are offering a free third night, and 13 resorts are offering a free fourth night; deadline to book is Dec. 18. For example, Fairmont Empress, on the Inner Harbor in Victoria, British Columbia, has rates starting at about $119 per night plus 16 percent taxes and fees and is offering a free third night. Holiday blackout dates apply. Taxes, which vary by location, are extra. Info: 800-262-1600, http://www.fairmont.com/winter.

· Badrutt's Palace in St. Moritz, Switzerland, has a "Pre-Holiday Ski Break" with discounted hotel rooms and four nights for the price of three. Stay Dec. 5-17 (Saturday nights excluded) and get a rate of $280 per night for a superior double room (usual rack rate is $510). Taxes and resort fees are included. Request code SFAN and book by calling 011-41-81-837-1100. Hotel info: http://www.badruttspalace.com/.


· EasyCruise is offering reduced rates on its new Greek Island itineraries. For example, a 10-night cruise from Piraeus, near Athens, is priced at $338 for an inside cabin for two (use promo code greece10); a three-night cruise is $113. The deal is good for Monday and Thursday departures May 31-Oct. 18. The ship visits eight Greek islands, including Naxos, Milos and Ios. Food is not included. Info: 650-385-0563, http://www.easycruise.com/.

· Save $500 per person on an Amazon cruise with International Expeditions departing Jan. 5. Price now starts at $2,398 per person double plus $300 for round-trip airfare from Lima, Peru, to Iquitos, Peru. (International air is not included.) Price includes three nights at Swisshotel in Lima and the six-night cruise. Transfers, taxes and shore excursions are included. Side trips include a day exploring the wetlands of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve and an excursion to the village of Maranon. Info: 800-633-4734, http://www.ietravel.com/amazon.

· Book a Norwegian Coastal Voyage cruise by Dec. 31 to receive early booking savings. Save $100 per person, for example, on a six-day cruise between Bergen, Norway, and Kirkenes, Norway. Price in May after discount, for example, starts at $1,199 per person double; seniors 67 and older receive an additional $75 per person discount. Port charges and taxes are included. Discounts of as much as $400 per passenger are available on

air-inclusive escorted and independent vacations. Info: 800-323-7436, http://www.norwegiancoastalvoyage.us/.


· American has sale fares to Zurich. Round-trip fare from Washington is about $577, including $97 taxes; fare on other airlines starts at about $649. Lowest fares apply to Monday-Thursday flights, with travel through Dec. 14, or Jan. 8-March 29. Seven-day advance purchase is required; holiday blackout dates Dec. 15-Jan. 7. Purchase at http://www.aa.com/.

· Northwest is offering holiday sale fares. For example, fly round trip from BWI to Grand Rapids, Mich., on Thanksgiving morning, returning Nov. 29, for about $169 plus $41 taxes; other airlines are matching. (American and United are offering similar holiday fare sales.) Cheapest flights are for travel Nov. 23, 24 and 29 and Dec. 25, with slightly more expensive sale fares available on other dates through Jan. 8. Blackout dates Nov. 26 and Dec. 22-23. Three-day advance purchase is required, and tickets must be purchased by Nov. 22. Info: 800-225-2525, http://www.nwa.com/.


· A five-night rail tour of Italy starts at $732 per person double plus $104 in taxes from Gate 1 Travel. Three itineraries are offered: Rome and Florence, Rome and Venice, or Venice and Florence. The Venice-Florence trip, for example, includes air from Washington to Venice with return from Florence, rail from Venice to Florence, two nights in Venice and three nights in Florence. Cheapest prices apply to Jan. 14, 21 and 28 departures. Priced separately, air alone would cost $823 per person. Info: 800-682-3333, http://www.gate1travel.com/.

· Virgin Vacations is offering a "Barcelona Supersale." The deal, which includes round-trip air from Washington and four nights at the NH Numancia Hotel, starts at $ 619 per person double plus $96 taxes. Lowest prices available for departures midweek Jan. 4-March 7. A 21-day advance purchase is required. Priced separately, airfare starts at about $637, and the hotel would cost about $490, for a total savings of about $334 per couple. Info: 888-937-8474, http://www.virgin-vacations.com/.

-- Carol Sottili

Prices were verified and available on Thursday afternoon when the Travel section went to press. However, deals sell out quickly and are not guaranteed to be available. Restrictions such as day of travel, blackout dates and advance-purchase requirements sometimes apply.


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