Euro notes: Barge cruise anniversary savings


rench Country Waterways is offering discounts of 5% to 60% on three seven-day, luxury barge cruises in the French provinces to married couples celebrating their anniversaries.

The longer the marriage, the larger the saving: 5% off for five years, 25% for 25 years, 45% for 45 years and 60% for 60 years.

Discounts range from $164 to $2,877 on the all-inclusive cruises, which are regularly priced from $3,295 to $4,795 per person, double.

Rates include open bar, one dinner ashore, daily sightseeing, private wine tastings, use of bicycles and other perks.

For more information, call (800) 222-1236 or visit

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Landlubbers headed for French shores might enjoy the third annual Paris Shopping Tour from FIT and group specialist RT Tours, based in Naples, Fla.

The company has scheduled four departures -- June 3, July 15, Aug. 5 and Sept. 9 -- of its five-night tours for shopaholics, which are led by fashion consultant David Shook.

Prices begin at $1,949 per person and include air fare, accommodations at the Duminy-Vendome Hotel, breakfast daily, fashion show invitations and discount shopping cards.

For more details, contact RT Tours at (866) 249-8405 or visit

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Open late: The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam will remain open four hours later, until 10 p.m., every Friday starting Feb. 27.

Besides having access to the museum's permanent and temporary collections, visitors will be treated to a program of lectures, concerts, films and other events on Friday evenings. Ticket prices remain the same, at about $11 for adults and about $3 for children ages 13 to 17.

For more information, go to

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Back at sea, Unique World Cruises, based in Manhasset, N.Y., has added several Croatian ports to its list of Mediterranean cruising destinations.

The renovated 138-cabin Dalmacija will set sail on an inaugural voyage from Venice, Italy, down Croatia's Adriatic coast from May 21 to 29.

Ports visited will include Dubrovnik, Korcula and Rovinj in Croatia as well as Corfu in Greece.

The nine-day cruise is priced from $1,498, including air fare. Agent commission ranges from 12% to 17%, depending on the number of passengers booked.

For details, call (800) 669-0757 or visit

• • •

Belgian digs: The new, four-star Hilton Brussels City opened in the Belgian -- and European Union -- capital.

Described as having a "Scandinavian atmosphere," all 285 rooms boast wooden floors.

The hotel is located within walking distance of Brussels' North Station, terminus of the airport express train; the Grand Place; and well-known restaurants, cafes and chocolatiers.

For more information, visit

To contact reporter Kenneth Kiesnoski, send e-mail to [email protected].


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