Operators offer new tours of U.K. and Germany

NEW YORK -- Specialty tour operators to Great Britain introduced itineraries and products for this year's high season, with some programs extending into early fall.

A roundup follows:

  • Keene, N.H.-based General Tours added an escorted program that combines visits to the Millennium Dome in London and the Expo 2000 World's Fair in Hannover, Germany.
  • The tour, called From the Millennium Dome to the World's Fair, is a nine-night itinerary with departures through mid-October.

    The tour starts with four nights at London's Cumberland Hotel, and clients will spend one day at the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, England.

    The General Tours program starts with four nights in London, and clients will spend one day at the Millenium Dome in Greenwich, England. Above, a London street scene. From London, the group will travel by train to Harwich, England, on the North Sea coast, where they board an overnight ferry to Hamburg, Germany. A standard ferry cabin along with dinner and breakfast is included.

    The ferry will arrive in Hamburg the next morning. The final days of the trip will be spent sightseeing the port of Hamburg and visiting the Expo 2000 World's Fair in Hannover, a collection of entertainment and celebrations from 190 countries. Accommodations in Hamburg are at the Kempinski Hotel.

    The plan, which includes air fare, begins at $2,499 per person, double; $2,699 during the high season. Departures are from May 30 to Oct. 17.

    Agents can contact General Tours at (800) 221-2216.

  • English Lakeland Ramblers, a New York company that specializes in walking tours across Great Britain, added a seven-night trip to the Northern Highlands of Scotland with three days on the Isle of Skye.
  • According to the firm's director, Seth Steiner, clients will participate in easy-paced walks to old castles and brisk hikes along the peaks of Scotland's boggy moors.

    In addition to the new package, English Lakeland Ramblers offers packages in England's Lake District and the Cotswolds and in southern Scotland.

    Options in the Lake District are a driving tour through its 880-square-mile national park or a weeklong hike through the district from inn to inn while a minibus hauls the luggage.

    On Lake District tours, travelers can arrange to visit the home of English poet William Wordsworth and to chat with local experts on history, nature and literature over tea and biscuits.

    The company aims to provide a small-group experience and limits the group's size to 15.

    The land-only price for all English Lakeland Ramblers tours range from $1,890 per person, double, including minibus, hotels and some meals.

    Itineraries will operate weekly through October, and customized tours are available year-round.

    For more information and complete itineraries, agents can contact Steiner at (800) 724-8801.

  • European Waterways added the Scottish Highlander, a new eight-passenger hotel barge, to its offerings this year.
  • Cruising Scotland's Great Glen, a series of glacial lakes and rivers through the heart of the Highlands, the itinerary begins in Inverness and makes its way through Lochs Dochfour, News, Oich and Lochy.

    The barge stops at Cawdor Castle -- of Macbeth fame -- and offers a variety of excursions and visits to riverside villages.

    The Scottish Highlander also offers two golf charters. The Classic Golf itinerary features the Royal Dornoch, which dates to 1616, and the Premier Gleneagles Golf itinerary visits the Skibo, Nairn and Royal courses, with a final round on the Gleneagles Monarch's course.

    Barge rates, including meals, beverages and excursions, start at $2,690 per person, double.

    Golf charters start at $17,500 for six passengers for the Classic itinerary, and $27,500 for six people on the Premier program.

    The barge will operate through early November.

    The Scottish Highlander has a library and a "cozy saloon." Cabins have private baths.

    European Waterways Ltd., based in New York, can be reached at (800) 394-8630.

  • Litchfield, Conn.-based Expo Garden Tours here released its 2000 product line, including four itineraries in Britain.
  • Escorted programs to private and public gardens in England and Wales are offered through September.

    All tours include a garden expert who accompanies the group throughout the trip.

    Programs are offered with air or land only; rates depend on departure dates.

    Expo Garden Tours prices cover accommodations; ground transportation; all breakfasts and some lunches and dinners, and admission to gardens on the itineraries.

    Agents can contact the company at (800) 448-2685; e-mail [email protected].

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