NEW YORK -- The new millennium is bringing with it a lineup of new
tour categories created to meet the growing demand for multiple-day
"We're seeing a continuing trend of visitors' wanting to explore
more on their own and get more in-depth experience," a Globus and
Cosmos spokeswoman said.
A few operators have created new product classifications
focusing on leisurely visits.
Following are some of the new options for 2000. Prices are land
only, but many operators will arrange special air fares.Trafalgar Tours has taken the trend by the reins and created a
Europe at Leisure category, 10-day itineraries that concentrate on
two cities and combine free time with guided tours of nearby
The concept was sparked by customer and client requests as well as
the growing popularity of the company's Free and Easy programs,
according to Maureen Van Metter, marketing vice president at
The Free and Easy trips were started a few years ago and are
independent itineraries with eight to 12 days split between London
and Paris, some with a third-city option.
The Europe at Leisure packages include two itineraries in Italy,
one in Spain and one combining Vienna, Austria; Prague, Czech
Republic, and Budapest, Hungary.
The Rome and Tuscan Highlights itinerary spends two nights in
Rome and six in Montacatini.
The Milan and Italian Treasures package spends two nights in
Milan and six at Lake Garda.
In Spain, clients will spend two nights in Madrid, five in
Seville and one in Toledo, with excursions to nearby towns.
The Vienna, Prague and Budapest trip spends three nights in
Prague and five in Vienna, with a day-trip to Budapest.
Europe at Leisure prices start at $799.
The company also has lined up new itineraries to Norway, Italy
and the French Alps.Globus and Cosmos' Lei-sure Style programs were introduced last
year, to focus two or three nights in each destination to allow
visitors more opportunity for exploring.
Three new itineraries are available for next year, ranging from
eight to 11 days in France, Ireland or Spain. In France,
participants visit Paris, Nimes and Nice.
The Ireland plan covers Killarney and Dublin, good bases from
which to explore nearby castles, pubs and theaters.
The Spain program spends time in Madrid, Seville and
Torremolinos, with exposure to history, flamenco dancing, beaches
and museums. Prices start at $909 from April through October.Collette Tours has softened its 1999 Hub and Spoke tours
category with a new name: Leisure Stays. On these tours, travelers
stay multiple nights at each hotel, using them as bases for day
Cultural Cities is a new, 11-day option in the Leisure Stay
category. It features Stockholm, Sweden; St. Petersburg, Russia,
and Copenhagen, Denmark.
The tour is operated April through August and spends three days
in each city. Prices start at $1,799.
Collette's other Europe offerings move at a quicker pace but
feature free time in towns after tours.
One of two new packages is a 10-day tour of Provence, France,
taking time for wine tasting, a cruise off Cassis, a farmhouse
dinner and a Cezanne-themed walking tour. Prices start at
The Mediterranean Wonders of Greece and Italy package visits
seven Greek islands and six Italian cities in 15 days but still
allows for leisure time and double-night stays in major cities.
Other highlights are a three-day cruise and visits to towns in
the Tuscan countryside.Tauck Tours this year launched a series called A Week In,
emphasizing countryside touring and stays mostly in smaller
Next year, Tauck will feature two new destinations in the
series, Ireland and Spain.
The Week in Ireland tour visits Shannon, the Cliffs of Moher,
Dromoland Castle, Limerick, Killarney, Adare, the Ring of Kerry,
Dublin and Glendalough.
It runs April through October and is priced from $2,475.
The Week in Spain visits Madrid, Barcelona, the Costa del Sol,
Seville and Cordoba and has departures April through November, with
package rates from $2,090.
The company's other two new programs are an eight-day Treasures
of the Greek Isles cruise from $3,090 and a 21-day Prague to
Amsterdam tour including the Passion Play in Oberammergau,
It operates May through September. Prices begin at $6,190.
By the numbers
Following is contact information for the tour operators
mentioned above.Abercrombie and Kent
Phone: (800) 323-7308
Web: www.abercrombiekent.comCollette Tours
Phone: (800) 832-4656
Web: www.collettetours.comGlobus and Cosmos
Phone: (800) 221-0090
Web: www.globusandcosmos.comInsight Vacations
Phone: (800) 582-8380
Phone: (800) 255-4266
Web: www.maupintour.comTauck Tours
Phone: (800) 788-7885
Web: www.tauck.comTrafalgar Tours
Phone: (800) 854-0103
Web: www.trafalgartours.comUnique World Cruises
Phone: (800) 669-0757