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Newsletter: Europe, 5/08/08

Eurofly Going into Bari, Italy

Eurofly is launching flights from New York’s JFK to Bari, Italy May 15 to September 25, 2008.  The weekly service will depart JFK on Thursdays at 8:50 p.m. Returning flights to New York will depart from Bari Airport Fridays at 2:20 p.m. Service between Bari and New York will connect through Bologna. Prices for round-trip economy class start at $499; round-trip business class fares start at $2,229. Fees include fuel surcharge.

Bari is located on the Adriatic Sea in the region of Puglia, those who have seen the 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ, will recognize Puglia’s unique landscape once they arrive.

In Puglia, we recommend The Relais Villa San Martino in Martina Franca (shown here). Our insider expert says it’s ideal for a wedding, honeymoon or luxury getaway. Another tip is La Sommita Relais in Ostuni, which sits at the top of a narrow medieval street. We also suggest Masseria Torre Maizza in Savelletri di Faisnao, which is comprised of two 16th-century watchtowers and is a charming choice for clients.

Langham, London to Get Major Refurbishment


We hear that the Langham Hotel, London is undergoing a $140 million renovation. The 140-year-old hotel (original etching shown here), which is considered the flagship for Langham Hotels International, is being “repolished,” according to management. It will reopen in the first quarter of next year with larger rooms. “We’re taking three rooms and making them into two and taking two rooms and making them into one,” says Brett Butcher, senior vice president of sales and marketing for LHI. Visit

Spa Opens at Spanish Parador


The Parador de Santo Estevo, a 10th-century Benedictine monastery in Galicia, Spain, has opened a new 9,600-square-foot spa, which includes a heated indoor pool, cold plunge pool, saunas and steam rooms, an outdoor hydro-massage bath, and a relaxation zone. The spa offers Vichy, bi-thermal Scottish showers, a variety of massages, wraps and a variety of facials.

The 77-room Parador overlooks a chestnut forest and the valley where the Rivers Sil and Miño meet. Double rooms range from about $235 to $270 (148-170 euros). Through December 31, The Parador is offering a package that includes accommodations, breakfast, the spa circuit and VAT, costing from $143 per person, double occupancy, in low season (April through June and October through December, except holidays) to $175 per person, double, in high season (July through September.)  For more information, call 011-34-902-54-79-79 or go to

Crystal Adds New Post-Cruise Land Program in Spain

Crystal Cruises is adding a new post-cruise land program in Spain's Costa Brava following Crystal Serenity's 12-day October 18 voyage from Rome to Barcelona. The four-night, five-day program includes five-star resort accommodations at Hotel Alva Park Resort & Spa in Girona, along with the following highlights: a visit to the Dali Theater Museum in Figueres, the birthplace of artist Salvador Dali; a stop at the Segrada Familia church in Barcelona; gourmet dining in a 13th-century farmhouse; and a visit to the castle of Perelada and its upscale restaurant, casino, glass and wine museums and library of over 80,000 books. 

John Stoll, Crystal's director of land programs, said guests have been requesting more land programs, especially in Spanish ports. 

Cruise fares begin at $4,445 per person, while the Costa Brava Exploration program is available at $4,599 per person and must be reserved prior to the cruise. Visit

The latest deals: JDB Fine Hotels & Resorts Announces New Fixed USD Rates In Europe

JDB Fine Hotels & Resorts (JDB) has launched JDB's Rate Fix, a new discounted fixed USD  rate program for the American traveler. Participating European hotels have agreed to exclusively offer JDB clients USD rates with a fixed rate of exchange of €1 = $1.30, an exchange rate parallel to 2006 levels. This program will make travel affordable for more Americans  to JDB destinations in Europe.

"With the declining value  of the USD, many European hotels are converting Euro room rates to USD at the current rate of exchange; JDB's Rate Fix goes one step further, rolling back the value of the Euro versus the USD and guaranteeing the resulting USD rate through the end of  the year. The end result is that JDB is offering  extremely competitive, guaranteed USD room rates," explains Annette Woodward, JDB's director of product development.   

Over 45 hotels currently offer USD rates through JDB,  many with starting nightly rates under $250, and management expects at least another 20 participants to join the program in the coming weeks.

Many of JDB's exclusive value-added packages (Exclusive Offers and Independent Excursions) also have rates available in USD, offering additional value ranging from complimentary dinners and upgrades to extra nights free. This offers an additional value to clients since package inclusions range from complimentary  dinners, upgrades, and offers such as "Stay Three Nights, Pay Two."

The latest deals: Scenic Tours European River Cruising

Scenic Tours is launching it inaugural Luxury River Cruise on June 2, and the 2008 season is sold out. To encourage early booking for 2009, Scenic Tours is offering multiple money-saving deals up to $1,600 to voyagers who make reservations by Sept. 30, 2008.

Since launching in 1987, Scenic Tours has become a well-respected leader in the international luxury leisure tour market.  The Australian-based company entered the European river cruising market in 2005 and has invested $100 million to introduce a revolutionary fleet of new ships in 2008 that will provide guests with the highest level of luxury accommodations, dynamic itineraries and unique dining experiences.  The Scenic Sapphire and the Scenic Emerald will sail the Rhine and Danube rivers offering 20 percent more space than traditional river cruise ships.  Most cabins will have private balconies and all upper-deck accommodations will feature a private butler service. All cabins and suites will include roomy bathrooms, flat-screen televisions, mini-bars and internet accessibility. Fares will include gourmet meals, guided shore tours and sightseeing opportunities.  For more information, visit

The latest deals: Central Holidays Offers Big Savings on Europe Air & Car Rental in Florence or Pisa

Central Holidays is pleased to announce newly reduced air and car rental rates to Italy's Tuscany.  Starting from just $615, travelers can enjoy a nine-day Tuscany Fly and Drive package including round-trip international airfare to Florence or Pisa in Italy's Tuscany region and a one-week Hertz car rental.

The new Central Holidays Tuscany Fly and Drive Hot Deal includes: Roundtrip international airfare to Italy's Florence or Pisa and 1-week Hertz car rental category C with free unlimited mileage and all car rental taxes and insurance.  The hot deal package is priced starting at $615 from New York, $839 from Los Angeles, and $889 from Chicago.  Rates are valid for travel now through May 15, 2008, as well as from September 5 through October 29, 2008 and December 12-24, 2008.

Prices are per person, based on two people traveling together midweek Monday through Thursday and based on availability. Airport taxes (approx. $124) and fuel surcharge (approx. $230) are not included. Pricing from other gateways is available upon request. 

The latest deals: Perillo Tours Offers Free Airfare to Italy via EuroFly Airlines

Perillo Tours announced one of the most aggressive promotions in Italian tourism history: free roundtrip airfare from New York's JFK to Rome, Bologna and Palermo aboard EuroFly airlines. The flights must be booked by June 1, 2008, in conjunction with select Perillo tours and specific departure dates.

The free air must be used in conjunction with the following Perillo Italy tours and their
specified departure dates:

* Vesuvius Tour: July 27, 2008 departure date. 10 days to Rome, Florence and Naples.

* South & Sicily Tour: July 30, 2008 departure date. 14 Days to Palermo, Taormina, Naples and Rome.

* Aristocrat Tour: August 19, 2008 departure date. 11 days to Venice, Florence and Rome.

A nominal fuel surcharge and departure taxes are not included.

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