Travel Weekly's Europe E-letter: June 22, 2005

SPA THERAPY: A medical clinic specializing in the treatment of psoriasis opened at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa near Reykjavik, Iceland. The dermatological clinic, in a lava field 40 minutes from the capital, houses accommodations for 30 guests, an outdoor lagoon and indoor pool, and fitness and dining rooms. Waters at the Blue Lagoon rich in mineral, silica and algae are noted for their healing powers. For more information, visit www.bluelagoon.com. For more on Iceland, visit www.icelandtouristboard.com and www.icelandnaturally.com.

DUTCH TREAT: U.S. travel to the Netherlands is booming, with Dutch authorities reporting an above-average jump of 18% in arrivals from the States in the first quarter.  By comparison, the country welcomed 16% more international guests overall in the same period, according to Hollands Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS). Tourism officials said they hope to achieve similar double-digit growth for the whole of 2005. Last year, the Netherlands received 9.6 million visitors, representing growth of just 5% compared to 2003. For more, visit www.holland.com.

INN-SIDE STORY: Radisson SAS Hotels and Resorts will open the new Radisson SAS Hotel Rostock in Rostock, Germany, in August. The 247-room hotel, the chains 16th in Germany, features seminar and conference facilities; a restaurant and bar; and a fitness center and wellness zone. Rostock is an 800-year-old seaport about 100 miles north of Berlin, on Germanys Baltic Sea coast. For more, visit www.radissonsas.com.

CEST NOUVEAU: Air France began serving Detroit its 13th U.S. gateway with new, daily nonstop flights to and from Paris on June 13.  Flight AF373 departs Detroit daily at 7:15 p.m., arriving at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport at 8:50 a.m. the following day; return flight AF374 leaves at 10:30 a.m. and arrives in Detroit at 1:05 p.m. the same day. Flights arrives at, and depart from the McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. For more, see www.airfrance.com.

GIVE THANKS: Picasso Tours is knocking 15% off its seven-night Thanksgiving Mediterranean cruise Nov. 21 to 28. Rates now start at $779 per person, double occupancy, and include all beverages and alcoholic drinks (except premium spirits) and port taxes and fuel surcharge. Children under age 16 cruise free when sharing a cabin with two adults and only pay $200 in port taxes. The cruise, aboard the Oceanic, calls at Barcelona, Nice/Monte Carlo, Florence, Rome, Naples and Tunis. For more information, call (800) 995-7997 or visit www.picassotours.com.

NEW VIEW: A museum dedicated to artist Paul Klee opened in Bern, Switzerland, on June 20, featuring 4,000 works. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the $87 million Zentrum Paul Klee comprises three hills housing the art collections, childrens museum, 300-seat auditorium, meetings and functions rooms and sculpture park. For more, visit www.paulkleezentrum.ch

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