Hot prices and packages on the Continent

Rail Europe discounted first class France rail passes for two or more people traveling together through March 31. The first class, four-day France Saverpass for two to five people now costs $147 per person, down from $201. Tickets must be purchased by March 26 and are not refundable or exchangeable. The commission is 10%. For more information, call (888) 382-724, or visit Rail Europe's agent Web site, at http://agent.raileurope.com.

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Grand Hotel Villa Medici in Florence, Italy, is paying 18% commission through March 28, excluding any package, promotional and consortia rates. For reservations, call Leading Hotels of the World at (800) 223-6800, or use CRS code LW.

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Virgin Atlantic Vacations is selling a six-night jaunt to London, priced from $399 per person. The London Super Six-Night Fling includes roundtrip air fare from New York (Kennedy and Newark) or eight other U.S. gateways; transfers in London; accommodations; daily breakfasts, and fees. Added perks include a city guide and a map, free wine tastings and use of the Internet. Pricing is good for departures from Jan. 8 to Feb. 28. Trips must be booked by Dec. 30, and travel must be completed by March 15. For more information, call (888) 937-8474.

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The British Tourist Authority published a Harry Potter map detailing attractions featured in the film, which was released in November. The Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone -- Discovering the Magic of Britain Map features Gloucester Cathedral, among other "supernatural" sites. To order the map, call the British Tourist Authority at (866) 4-HEDWIG or e-mail [email protected].

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KD River Cruises of Europe took 10% off Rhine, Danube and Elbe cruises for 2002 that are paid in full by Dec. 31. It also waived cancellation penalties on new bookings made by Jan. 31. For example, seven-night, four-country Rhine cruises between Amsterdam and Basel, Germany, are priced between $1,026 and $1,566, double, down from $1,140 to $1,740. To book, call (800) 346-6525, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.rivercruises.com.

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The Merrion Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, teamed with the Irish National Art Gallery to craft an artfully short stay. Priced at about $725 per couple, the package includes three nights in a double room, Irish breakfasts daily, tickets to a Monet exhibit and an art book. Additional nights cost about $225. The package is valid Jan. 22 to April 14. To book, call (011) 353-1 603-0600, fax (011) 353-1 603-0700, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.merrionhotel.com.

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Blue Marble Travel in Morristown, N.J., rolled out savings of up to 20% on Europe cycling tours for young adults booked by the end of this year for spring and summer 2002. Commission starts at 10%; agents can opt for a $50 finder's fee in lieu of commission. For more information, call (973) 326-9533, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.bluemarble.org.

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London's Half Price Ticket Booth in Leicester Square has been renamed Tkts. The booth, open daily, offers same-day tickets to many West End shows at half price, plus about a $3.50 service fee. Tkts accepts cash or credit cards only. For more information, visit www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/booth.cfm.

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