Travel Weekly's Europe E-letter: October 12, 2005

FRANCE FOR LESS: Rail Europe Group companies Rail Europe and DER debuted an exclusive off-season discounted two-day France Railpass, bookable through Dec. 5 for travel through Jan. 31. The two-day France Railpass costs $99 in second class or $129 in first; the two travel days dont have to be consecutive and may be used within a months time. As a booking incentive, every French rail pass online booking nets agents a $5 Amazon.com gift coupon. Agents also get commission of 4% to 9%, depending on booking method, with highest pay on electronic bookings. To book, contact Rail Europe at http://agent.raileurope.com or (888) 382-7245; or DER at www.der.com or (800) 838-3903.

SIGHTSEEING SPECIALS: For those NOT headed to France itself, Air France Holidays extended its 2-for-1 Sightseeing Special for October bookings. Agents now can enhance a non-France vacation by booking select sightseeing tours by telephone at a 2-for-1 price by Oct. 27. Contact a reservation specialist at (800) 237-2623 and mention promo code AFH0913; the offer does not apply to online bookings, and commission is paid to travel agents only on paid sightseeing, not on the free companion sightseeing. Sample sightseeing products include canal cruises in Amsterdam; a half-day Budapest, Lisbon or Brussels city tour; a visit to the Hans Christian Andersen Eventyrhuset Museum in Copenhagen; and roundtrip boat rides to Ostia, Italy, or Tiber River dinner cruises in Rome. For reservations, call 800-2-FRANCE (800-237-2623). For information only, visit www.airfrance-holidays.com.

ALL ABOARD BARGES: Go Barging announced its new British Isles barge-hopping program for inland waterways in England, Scotland and Ireland. Rates for barge cruises start from $2,350 per person for a classic six-night vacation; whole boat charter rates cost from $14,400. Prices includes en-suite accommodations, a champagne welcome, three gourmet meals a day with fine wines, open bar, use of all facilities on board including touring bikes, shore excursions, admittance fees and local transfers. Cruises are available year round. For more, call (800) 394 8630 or visit www.gobarging.com.

ROYAL FAMILY: Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Ireland, is offering two Family Mid-Term Breaks, Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 and Feb. 15 to 18, for parents visiting with two children ages 12 and under. The two-night breaks are priced at 1,400 euros (about $1,666) for a deluxe room with two queen-sized beds or 1,700 euros (or $2,025) for two connected standard rooms. Rates include four breakfasts and dinners, a selection of four activities, and tax and gratuities. Activity options include equestrian, such riding or grooming lessons; clay-pigeon shooting (for those over age 14); archery; falconry; golfing on a 9-hole course; and fly fishing. For more, call (011) 353-94 954-6003 or visit www.ashford.ie. To reserve, call (800) 346-7007, or contact The Leading Hotels of the World at (800) 745-8883 or www.lhw.com.

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