Royal Scotsman unveils 2002 lineup


NEW YORK -- Additions to the Royal Scotsman's luxury touring train program for 2002 include a first-ever one-night plan, special-interest culinary and golf itineraries and a two-night tour to the Isle of Bute.

The one-night Wee Dram tour (in Scottish vernacular, a shot of whiskey) begins in Edinburgh and explores Glamis, Perth and Stirling. Priced at $960 per person, its two departures are July 22 and Aug. 24.

The Royal Scotsman introduced the one-night Wee Dram, a spokeswoman said, to attract first-time visitors to Scotland, special occasion celebrants and those pressed for time.

The Royal Scotsman is adding a trip to the Isle of Bute for 2002. Whetting palates for two- and four-night tours was an additional motivation. Repeat passengers for the 2001 season were approximately 5% of total, an increase over 2000, the spokeswoman said.

In contrast to the sample taste of the Wee Dram, the Taste of Scotland is a four-night culinary tour departing April 25 and priced at $4,500 per person. Taste of Scotland features a cooking demonstration by Chef Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles; a tour and lunch with the couple who founded Inverawe Smokehouse; a visit with cookery writer Claire Macdonald at Kinloch Lodge, her ancestral home on the Isle of Skye, and a wine tasting with wine merchant Bill Baker.

Another special-inter-est departure, the four-night Golf Tour, is $4,820 per golfer and $4,350 per nongolfer. On this tour, nongolfers sightsee as their partners take to the greens. For example, golfers play one day at Royal Dornoch while nongolfers tour the 13th century Dunrobin Castle. One day of travel is followed by three of golf, with other outings at the Gleneagles and Nairn courses.

A new two-night tour to the Isle of Bute is priced at $2,550 per person and visits Inverawe Smokehouse; the Loch Lomond communities of Arrochar and Tarbet, and Mount Stuart, a Victorian Gothic house on the Isle of Bute. Prices include accommodations, meals, wine, alcoholic and other beverages, entertainment, site visits, taxes, entertainment and gratuities. Also changed for 2002: The two-night Caledonian Retreat visits the Glenmorangie Distillery instead of Inverawe Smokehouse.

The Royal Scotsman's schedule of tour departures begins April 21 and runs through Oct. 29. Commission is 10% and higher for group bookings (10 to 24 passengers), with a free space for groups with 14 paying passengers or more. For more information, call (800) 922-8625; e-mail [email protected] or visit the Web at

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