Travel Weekly's Europe E-letter: September 28, 2005

AUSTEN'S POWER: VisitBritain is promoting Lincolnshire and the Peak District and Derbyshire, in the East Midlands of England, as "Pride & Prejudice Country," to coincide with the debut of a new film of the 1813 Jane Austen novel this fall. Information on locations associated with Austen, the film and the book -- such as Stamford, Rowsley and Basildon Park -- has been posted at www.visitbritain.com/usa.  VisitBritain's New York office also is making limited numbers of movie maps highlighting 16 relevant destinations available to travel agents who call (800)462-2748 or e-mail [email protected].

ACP'S NORWAY ABC'S: ACP Rail International added the popular Norway in a Nutshell rail/bus/boat tour from Norwegian State Railways (NSB) to its Scandinavian rail offerings. Commissionable to travel agents at 8% from ACP, the tour is a year-round circuit that takes travelers between Bergen and Oslo via three modes of transport -- trains and buses through the mountains, and boats across the fjords. Participants can start the tour at either end and take as long as they like, although it can be finished in one day. Tour segments can be purchased separately; there is a choice of five itineraries. Roundtrip to/from Oslo via Bergen costs $300. Call ACP at (866) 938-RAIL (7245) or go online at www.scandinavianrail.com.

ITALY RAIL ONLINE: Looking farther south, developer Wandrian added Italian rail product from Trenitalia to its new Railagent.com trade rail-pass site, where agents will now earn cash bonuses for each rail pass sold. Agents now have access to real-time online bookings of Trenitalia tickets, with the guaranteed lowest fares for the North American market, access to all available trains, and "fast and easy" booking with confirmed reservation when reserved at least seven days in advance. In addition to the instant commissions Railagent.com pays agents, retailers for a limited time will get cash bonuses for passes worth more than $200 ordered through the site. For more information, go to www.railagent.com.

IRISH FLIES: Aer Lingus introduced a new ongoing Great Places, Great Prices promotion to more than 40 European destinations the Irish flag carrier serves. The campaign launches this month with a focus on the carrier's home hub market, Ireland. Transatlantic one-way fares to the Emerald Isle are available from $129 from Boston or New York (Kennedy), $139 from Chicago and $179 from Los Angeles, depending on departure date, at www.aerlingus.com.

EARLY X-MAS: It's Christmas in September, as Picasso Tours rolls out four-night packages to Germany for the holiday season. All the Christmas market tours include three nights in either Nuremberg, Regensburg or Frien and a final night in Munich, starting from $499 per person, double occupancy. Departures are available Nov 1 to Dec. 15 and Jan. 3 to March 23. Rates include roundtrip air from New York to Munich, 3-star hotel accommodations, breakfast daily and all taxes and service charges. Call (800) 995-7997 or visit www.picassotours.com.

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