LTU Chops Fares

LTU International Airways, which offers weekly nonstop flights from San Francisco and New York to Düsseldorf, has lowered rates for 1996 summer and fall travel. The new fares have no expiration date but require a 14-day advance purchase.

From June until mid-September, roundtrip from San Francisco to Germany is $798 and $698 from New York to Germany. For fall travel, it is $628 RT from San Francisco and $448 RT from New York. Taxes up to $35 are not included.

Fares apply to LTU flights between San Francisco and Düsseldorf and, with a connection, onto Munich; and from New York's JFK to Düsseldorf, and onto Munich or Hamburg. The flights are on MD-11 aircraft.

In November, LTU will begin service between Düsseldorf and Phoenix. The flights will operate on Monday.

Contact a travel agent or LTU at 800-888-0200.

Eisenach Concert Package

The 1996 concert season at the Wartburg in Eisenach extends from April 27 to mid-October. The Hotel auf der Wartburg offers packages priced from 270 DM ($180) per person including double room, breakfast, welcome cocktail, concert ticket, concert dinner and tour of the castle. Contact: Hotel auf der Wartburg, D-99817 Eisenach, phone and fax 03691/5111.

Boat/Bus Tour

A combined bus and boat tour "Left and Right of the Danube On the Paths of Emperors and Kings" is available from April to October from Knauf's Reisen, Bahnhofstrasse 6, D- 15344 Strausberg, phone and fax 03341-422124. The eight-day program (dates on request) starts at Kehlheim and includes stops at Passau, Regensburg, Vienna, the Wachau and Budapest. The package costs from 898 DM ($619) per person, including seven nights accommodations, half-board, cruise, city tours and guide services. Other packages are also available.

Hermitage Exhibit

An exhibit from St. Petersburg's Hermitage, entitled "The Good Life" is at the Prinz Max Palais in Karlsruhe April 13-July 14. In conjunction with the exhibit, the local tourist office offers weekend packages from 105 DM ($70) per person. In addition to bed and breakfast, it includes entry to the exhibition and a voucher booklet good for numerous discounts. Contact: Verkehrsverein, Bahnhofplatz 6, D-76137 Karlsruhe, phone 0721/35530, fax 0721/355343.

Airlines Restrict Smoking

Effective June 1, all Lufthansa flights between North American and Germany will be nonsmoking.

On May 15, in response to a "substantial majority" of its passengers, all Swissair flights operating within Europe became nonsmoking.

Swissair's new policy does not affect flights to and from North America.

German Wine Tours

One of two packages offered by the German Wine Academy is a six-day session, scheduled for Oct. 6-12, 1996. It includes travel to five of Germany's 13 wine regions, wine estate visits, tastings with winemakers, vineyard treks, cellar tours, a river boat cruise, lectures, seminars, accommodations in historic inns and meals featuring regional specialties.

The price, including all meals, hotel accommodations, lectures, tastings, visits, excursions, river cruises, ground transport and taxes is 2100 DM ($1400) per person double occupancy.

The second package allows groups of 20 or more travel clubs, wine and food groups, social clubs to customize a tour of any length and wine region destination. Approximately six months advance notice is necessary.

The German Wine Academy is headquartered near Frankfurt at Kloster Eberbach, a 16C monastery. For a free brochure on this year's programs send a self-addressed, business-sized envelope to: German Wine Information Bureau, 79 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016.

Rebirth for Leipzig Rail Station

The Leipzig rail station, the world's largest, was badly damaged by Allied bombing during World War II and, since unification and the demise of communism, more and more Leipzigers have forsaken trains for cars.

But the great old station will now be restored. Private entrepreneurs and public agencies are collaborating on a reconstruction plan that will include dozens of shops, restaurants, businesses, offices and even conference facilities. Most of these will be below the tracks in rooms used during the war as bomb shelters.

The idea is to not only physically get the station back to its glory of 80 years ago but to boost train travel which has fallen from 160,000 passengers per day six years ago to a current level of 80,000.

German railroad chief, Heinz Dürr says "the Leipzig station will be the most beautiful in Europe." The project is scheduled to be finished by the end of 1997.

In conjunction with the station restoration, the 105-mile rail line to Berlin is being rebuilt to handle faster trains that will cut travel time to Berlin to one hour.

May 1996