Travel Weekly's Asia-Pacific E-letter: May 9, 2005

PACIFIC DELIGHT steepened discounts it was already offering on some of its guaranteed departures to China and Southeast Asia. Customers will save $50 to $400 per couple if they book and put down a deposit by June 1 on departures scheduled June through December. Included in the bargain bin is China and the Yangtze River, a 16-night escorted cruise-tour that is now discounted $300 per couple. The normal price runs from $5,715 to $6,085 per person, double. The 13-day Family Yangtze River Escapade, normally priced at $3,259, is being offered with a discount of $200 per couple. The 15-night Huangshan Mountain  & Grand Yangtze River Supervalue, normally priced at $2,829 to $2,979 per person, is being offered at $400 off its normal price. Roundtrip transpacific air is included. For information, call (800) 221-7179 or visit www.pacificdelighttours.com

TAUCK WORLD DISCOVERY plans to launch its Portrait of India tour in 2006. The 16-night itinerary will spotlight the northern attractions of Rajasthan and Kerala in the tropical south. With a $7,690 starting price, the tour is designed to give an insider experience of the country. Besides covering the standard must-see sights like the Taj Mahal, guests will enjoy a spiritual dinner near the Raja Ghat along the Ganges River in Varanasi; a houseboat canal cruise in Kerala; a dance and drama performance by the Kathakali Dancers; a sunrise cruise on the Ganges River; a rickshaw ride through Old Delhi; and an elephant ride to the Amber Fort in Jaipur. Taucks reservations line is (800) 214-5158. Its Web site is www.tauck.com.
 
ABERCROMBIE & KENT
is throwing in a complimentary opera performance in Auckland and a complimentary couples massage on its Signature in New Zealand trip. The offer is good on any 2005 departures. A&Ks Signature series is for independent, high-end travelers. The package includes nine nights in luxury hotels, private transfers, some meals and local sightseeing guides.  For more information or to book online, visit www.abercrombiekent.com. To place a reservation by phone, call (800) 554-7016.

JAL HOTELS, operator of the Nikko Hotels International group will open Hotel Nikko Nara in Nara City, Japan, July 1. It will be the chains sixth property in the Kansai area. Originally opened in 1998, the 330-room hotel is operating now as the Mitsui Garden Hotel Nara. It will continue to operate while it undergoes gradual renovations. The property includes three restaurants, seven banquet facilities and a communal bath. Its within walking distance of the JR Nara station. For toll-free reservations, call (800) NIKKO US (645-5687).

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