• "Heidi's Switzerland" is a new independent, unescorted rail/hotel package that includes six days second-class rail travel (including airport transfers), five nights at three-star hotels in Bad Ragaz, Davos, St. Moritz, Lugano and Zürich. The first night is spent in Bad Ragaz, near Heidi's village of Maienfeld.
The package, which is $470 per person, double occupancy, combines visiting the site of Heidi's story with travel in eastern and southern Switzerland.
Upgrades to first-class rail for $33 and to four-star hotel accommodations for $16. For a single room, add $27 per night.
In addition, purchasers of "Heidi's Switzerland" will receive a 50% discount on the Swiss Travel System for excursions to mountaintops, on lake steamers, buses and trains. Book at 800-521-6722.
• Get $200 off on a future flight. LTU International Airways has announced an incentive offer to LTU First Comfort and First Comfort Sleeper passengers. Travelers flying to Germany from Miami or Ft. Myers are eligible for $200 off a future LTU flight. LTUs First Comfort service to Germany from Florida is priced at under $2000 roundtrip and includes leather seats with extendable footrests, five-course dinners, priority check-in and baggage handling, and access to a VIP lounge prior to departure.
First Comfort Sleeper service from Miami and Ft. Myers is $2556 and features an electronically adjustable seat, which converts to a bed.
Passengers traveling First Comfort between May 8 and November 15, 2000, will receive a $200-off voucher for a future flight valid through December 31, 2001.
LTU has also announced connections and fares to Zürich from Anchorage, Ft. Myers, Miami, Orlando and Toronto via its Düsseldorf hub. The Düsseldorf-Zürich flights are operated by Swissair and Crossair. For fares and schedules, phone 800-888-0200.
• KD River Cruises of Europe has added "Exclusiv" service to its two Elbe itineraries, both sailing between Prague and Magdeburg through October, 2000. This enhanced service includes a choice of menus, complimentary wine, beer and soda with meals, free bicycle use, a "gala" dinner, fresh fruit available all day and midnight snacks. Prices range from $960 to $1,340 per person for the five-night Prague-to-Magdeburg cruises and $1,150 to $,1,610 for the six-night sailing in the opposite direction. Contact KD at 800-346-6525 from the eastern U.S. and at 800-858-8587 from the west, including Texas, Alaska and Hawaii. Website: vikingrivercruises.com/.
• The Deutsche Bahn has unveiled the fastest German train yet, the 300 kilometers per hour (186 mph) ICE-3 (InterCity Express). The train went into service in late May on the Berlin-Hanover route. However, it can only achieve top speed on a specially designed stretch of rail between Frankfurt and Cologne which won't be ready until 2002.
The new ICE-3 has no separate locomotive. The drive mechanism is located in the undercarriage, near an axle of each car, which allows higher speed and faster acceleration. DB has ordered 50 of the new trains.