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Orient Express a Tour Train Now

June 02, 1985|ERIC FRIEDHEIM | Friedheim is editor/publisher of Travel Agent magazine.

Question: Does the special Orient Express still go to Istanbul from Paris and, if not, is there other train service?

Answer: The Orient Express is now a tour train but doesn't go all the way; however, the Istanbul Express runs daily between Paris and Istanbul in 2 1/2 days via Milan, Venice, Trieste, Zagreb and Belgrade. The Istanbul Train, operated by Great Journeys Ltd., travels four times this year from London to Turkey on 15-day tours.

Q: I belong to a nonprofit organization that is offering tours to its members and is using a tour operator. If something goes wrong with the tour, who is liable?

A: Normally the tour operator, but some courts may find the organization also responsible if it does more than merely promote the tour with brochures, etc. It's best to read the fine print and if necessary check with your lawyer.

Q: I'm renting a car in Europe. Must I pay a foreign tax?

A: International car rentals are taxed in most European countries. The rate in Britain is 15%; France, 33.33%; Germany, 14%; Ireland, 10%; Italy, 18%; Denmark, 22%, and Sweden, 23.46%. Switzerland has no tax.

Q: I'm interested in tracing my genealogical roots on a trip to Ireland. Do you know where I can get specific information?

A: The Genealogical Office at Earls Court, 2 Kildare St., Dublin, should be able to help. You should at least have available the name of your emigrant ancestor, when he or she left Ireland, and where you think he or she originally came from in Ireland.

Q: On our Western trip we've been told that Lake Powell is worth visiting. What's there?

A: The lake in the Arizona/Utah area has 2,000 miles of shoreline and offers a variety of land and water tours for individuals and groups. For details contact Lake Powell Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 727, Page, Ariz. 86040.

Q: Do cruise lines offer special services and facilities for young children?

A: Most cruise lines have such facilities, including game rooms with toys and other recreational equipment. Your travel agent can provide details. Also helpful is "Cruising with Children," a directory of amenities for families with youngsters. Information on what's available about a specific ship costs $1. Contact Travel With Your Children, 80 8th Ave., New York 10011, phone (212) 206-0688.

Q: We'd like to travel east, using hostels. Is there a directory showing their location and prices?

A: The "American Youth Hostels Handbook" lists such accommodations in various parts of the country, some of which charge as little as $3 a night. Contact American Youth Hostels, 1332 Eye St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005, phone (202) 783-6161.

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