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WHEELS . . .

                             “Beyond the Bike” Travel Trend
                    Taking Off Across the European Continent

 
Just one month after announcing its new lineup of multisport vacations abroad, Austin Adventures is receiving so much interest from prospective travelers it has decided to host a free one-hour webinar to discuss the “beyond the bike” travel trend taking off across the European continent.
 
“For decades we've prided ourselves on being pioneers of sorts when it comes to multisport vacations.” said Dan Austin, founder and president of Austin Adventures (http://www.austinadventures.com/). “We’re excited that the multisport concept is now becoming mainstream enough we can incorporate it into most all of our Europe itineraries. With this webinar we can really share with travelers what it’s all about.”
 
The Feb. 4th hour-long webinar, Europe: Beyond the Bike will be hosted by Austin and Ron van Dijk, the company’s European Operations Director. Van Dijk is currently being recognized for his four decades of guiding. To celebrate the milestone he and his wife will host a special 40th year anniversary trip in July 2015. Although he began his career leading cycling-only vacations, van Dijk’s anniversary trip will be the multisport Italy: South Tyrol and the Dolomites tour—a six-day, five-night adventure vacation that includes hiking and cycling in the Alps and the Dolomites.
 
In addition to receiving a personal invitation by van Dijk to join this trip, webinar attendees will receive another personal invitation from Austin who is set to host a Europe trip in July as well. Austin and his wife Carol are welcoming Austin Adventures alumni and new guests to join them on a nine-day Mediterranean excursion that visits Italy, Greece, Albania, Croatia and Montenegro. The trip is part of the company’s new President’s Trips series.
 
Austin Adventures’ new Europe multisport series includes four itineraries designed for families and seven designed for adults. The family vacation packages average around $3,300 per person and include Croatia: Dalmatian Coast, Scotland: Scottish Highlands, Austria: Alps to Salzburg and France: Normandy. The adult vacation packages average $3,500 per person and include Croatia: Dalmatian Coast, Austria/Slovenia: Carinthia to the Julian Alps, Austria: Alps to Salzburg, Spain: Catalonia, Scotland: Scottish HighlandsFrance: Provence and Italy: South Tyrol & the Dolomites.
 
As with Austin Adventures’ domestic multisport itineraries, its Europe multisport itineraries offer a combination of activities including biking, hiking, kayaking and more. Travelers with special activity requests can speak with the company’s adventure travel consultants to arrange for add-ons such as climbing, fishing, horseback riding, paragliding, parasailing, whitewater rafting and windsurfing.
 
The free webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, February 4 at 6 p.m. EST and those interested in attending can register here or visit www.austinadventures.com for more information.
 
While multisport may be the company’s current focus, it will continue to offer biking and hiking-specific itineraries and small ship cruises worldwide.  All of the 2015 trips can be found in the Austin Adventures award-winning adventure vacation catalogs and on the company’s new website, www.austinadventures.com. Vacations both pre-set and custom can be arranged by calling (800) 575-1540 or emailing info@austinadventures.com.
 
About Austin Adventures
Based in Billings, MT, Austin Adventures (formerly Austin-Lehman Adventures) has spent more than 40 years building an international reputation as a provider of scheduled small group tours and customized trips to all seven continents. In 2014, Kasey Austin, Vice President of Operations, was named the World’s Top Family Guide by Outside Magazine. In 2013, Austin Adventures joined the Xanterra Parks & Resorts® portfolio of experiential leisure offerings. Xanterra Parks & Resorts has operations in the Grand Canyon, including Grand Canyon Railway and The Grand Hotel; Yellowstone; Zion; Crater Lake; Glacier, Rocky Mountain and Petrified Forest National Parks; Mount Rushmore National Memorial; Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park and five Ohio State Park Lodges as well as the Geneva Marina at Ohio’s Geneva State Park. Xanterra Parks & Resorts also operates Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va., Windstar Cruises, and VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations.

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EASTERN & ORIENTAL EXPRESS LAUNCHES NEW ROUTES ACROSS SOUTH-EAST ASIA IN 2015

Belmond, owner and operator of some of the world’s most luxurious hotels and authentic rail experiences is launching two new journeys with rich and diverse itineraries on the Eastern & Oriental Express in 2015. The five night ‘Fables of the Peninsula’ from Singapore to Bangkok on 29 March 2015 and the two night ‘The Ancient Temples of Lanna’ departs on its inaugural journey on 15 October 2015 from Bangkok to Chiang-Mai. 

The Ancient Kingdom of Lanna overnight journey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, the ancient capital of the northern Thai kingdom of Lanna, takes in a visit to Lampang for a tour of the city in its trademark horse-drawn carriages, originally imported from England for use by Thai nobility. Chiang Mai’s charming city atmosphere retains remnants of its historical architecture and sections of the original great brick walls and towering gates which protected the city from invading armies over 700 years ago. Tours include guided strolls through a quaint residential Soi (side-street); Thai cookery demonstrations; shopping in the traditional markets for arts and crafts that represent Chiang Mai’s Lanna heritage such as decorative mulberry-paper parasols; and a visit to the Dhara Dhevi Tea House. 

The Fables of The Peninsula ‘land-cruise’ starts with an overnight stay at the legendary Raffles Singapore Hotel followed by a five-night journey throughout Malaysia and Thailand. This leisurely journey provides plenty of time for relaxation and enjoyment of the scenic panoramas of Southeast Asia viewed from the Observation Car and is exclusively for just 60 passengers. Daily excursions include the lively city of Kuala Lumpur followed by complete relaxation in the mystic, rolling hills of the Cameron Highlands with an overnight stay at the Cameron Highlands Resort in the famous tea plantation. There is also a visit to historic Penang; tours of the rural community of Huay Yang finished off with snorkelling and a beach BBQ at Koh Chaan before finishing the journey in Bangkok. 

Eastern & Oriental Express is Asia’s most luxurious train, immaculately appointed and air-conditioned throughout, providing the perfect vantage point from which to view breathtaking scenery, meandering rivers and the lush tropical landscape of Southeast Asia. All en-suite accommodation for up to 132 guests; 3 elegant dining carriages serving delicious Euro-Asian cuisine and a Bar Car with nightly entertainment with a resident pianist plus local entertainment including musicians, dancers and fortune tellers. Prices start from £1,580 for the two-night The Ancient Kingdom of Lanna journey per person based on two people sharing a Pullman cabin and including all table d’hote meals. 

Prices start from £4,800 per person for the longer five-night journey Fables of The Peninsula experience, which is for up to 60 passengers only, based on two sharing a State cabin, all beverages and table d’hote meals are also included for the longer itinerary. 

About Belmond Ltd. 

Belmond Ltd. is a global collection of exceptional hotel and luxury travel adventures in some of the world’s most inspiring and enriching destinations. Established almost 40 years ago with the acquisition of Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice, the Company owns and operates 45 unique and distinctive hotel, rail and river cruise experiences in many of the world’s most celebrated destinations. From city landmarks to intimate resorts, the collection includes Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg; Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro; Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, Riviera Maya; and Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara. Belmond also encompasses safaris, six luxury tourist trains including the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, three river cruises and ‘21’, one of New York’s most storied restaurants. Orient-Express is a trademark of SNCF.


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© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved