Travel Weeklys Europe E-letter: March 15, 2006

IMPERIAL RIVER CRUISES is offering 20% commissions on bookings of small groups of 10 or more on select departures in 2006. Itineraries include cruises from Moscow to St Petersburg on the Volga Prince, with departures in May and August; from St. Petersburg to Moscow on the River Voyager II, departing from June through September; and from Moscow to St Petersburg on the River Voyager II in from June through September. Rates begin at $1,400 per person, double, including accommodations, meals, transfers and sightseeing. For details, visit www.cruisebyriver.com or www.imperialtravel.net.

THE RITZ-CARLTON HOTEL CO. assumed management of the 112-room Villa Padierna on the Costa del Sol. The property features the 18-hole Flamingos Golf Club, past site of the European Seniors Match Play Championship, with two more courses -- the Brijan Golf Club and the Padierna Golf Club -- set to open in 2006 and 2007. Other features include a thermal spa and a beach club. The hotel is the second Ritz-Carlton-operated property in Spain, alongside the Hotel Arts in Barcelona. A third, smaller hotel in the spa village of Carratraca, about an hour from Malaga, is set to open in spring 2006. Ritz-Carlton also partners with Orient-Express Hotels to operate the Hotel Ritz Madrid. For information, see www.hotelvillapadierna.com or www.ritzcarlton.com.

AUSTRIAN AIRLINES is marking the debut of its Boeing 767 service from New Yorks Kennedy airport to Vienna with inaugural rates of up to 40% off business class fares to 25 cities in central and eastern Europe. The service features 50% more business class seats than the Airbus aircraft formerly used on the route. Sample roundtrip fares from New York to Budapest, Hungary; Prague, Czech Republic; or Warsaw, Poland; are $2,510, with a 14-day advance-purchase requirement.

CONTINENTAL JOURNEYS unveiled an eight-night tour to Romania, priced at $799 per person, double. The itinerary focuses on Dracula sites in Transylvania; the painted monasteries in Bucovina; the medieval old towns of Sibiu, Sighisoara and Brasov, and the capital, Bucharest. Ten departures are scheduled from May 19 to Sept. 15. The rate includes accommodations; daily breakfasts, six lunches and seven dinners; city tours; and sightseeing, as well as transfers, hotel taxes and service charges and the services of an English-speaking guide. To book, call (800) 601-4343 or visit www.continentaljourneys.com.

THE EGERTON HOUSE hotel in London, recently acquired by Red Carnation Hotels, is poised to complete an extensive renovation by the end of May. The 29-room boutique property in the Knightsbridge section will feature a new club bar and a revamped drawing room, as well as renovated guest rooms furnished with a mix of antiques and high-tech upgrades, such as wireless Internet access, flat-screen TVs and iPod nanos. Hotel information can be found at www.egertonhousehotel.co.uk.

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