Skiers will be given other options to flying/driving between Denver and Aspen/Snowmass this winter. Roaring Fork Railroad will offer a spectacular trip to Glenwood Springs, with bus connections to the ski resorts. These are refurbished, old-time cars. Lots of Victorian pizazz. The parlor car sparkles with French mahogany. Meals will be served aboard a domeliner and there'll be an open bar. The entire package (train, meals, drinks) figures out to $99 coach or $140 first-class. (Transfers to Aspen/Snowmass are $15 extra.) Service is scheduled to begin Dec. 15, operating to Glenwood Springs every Saturday, with return trips to Denver on Sunday. (This same train goes on to Salt Lake City with a stop in Grand Junction.) Here's the schedule: You leave Denver at 8:55 a.m. Saturday, arrive Glenwood Springs 2:20 p.m., with the Sunday return from Glenwood Springs leaving at 2:50 p.m., arrival in Denver at 8:25 p.m.
Note: Skiers overnighting in Denver will be offered special hotel rates at the Oxford Alexis, the Cambridge Club and the Westin ($50/$109, single or double).
For reservations call collect: (303) 893-8922. For other details write to Roaring Fork Railroad, 1624 Market St., Suite 205, Denver, Colo. 80202.
Riding the rails in Switzerland is a joy. Windows frame stunning murals of Alpine peaks, waterfalls, meadows, lakes and cattle grazing in verdant pastures. The Swiss operate the world's most punctual trains. When the schedule gives an arrival time of 11:01, it's a safe bet it will be exactly 11:01. Not 11:00 or 11:02. All this is by way of reminding travelers that the Swiss holiday card remains one of Switzerland's best buys. Besides train travel, this pass provides unlimited journeys on postal motor coaches, lake steamers, tramways and buses. The popular 15-day pass sells for $140 (second-class) and $195 (first-class). Others are available for short stays (four days) or for as long as one month. For details, contact the Swiss National Tourist Office, 250 Stockton St., San Francisco 94108, phone (415) 362-2260.
A new guide for train buffs in Britain has been produced by BritRail in collaboration with the British Tourist Authority. The title is "Scenic Rail Journeys." Loads of information on towns/villages that can be reached by rail throughout Britain. Copies are free by writing to BritRail Travel International, Suite 603, 800 S. Hope St., Los Angeles 90017, phone (213) 624-8787.
At the same time, BritRail has put together a package that provides round-trip transfers between Heathrow and Gatwick airports and the city, as well as a three-day pass--good for unlimited travel on Red Buses and the underground in London--and a four-day BritRail pass that offers daily train service to more than 2,500 destinations throughout England, Scotland, Wales. Sells for $119/$149. Valid through next March 31. On sale at BritRail in Los Angeles.
Abercrombie & Kent has launched a Nile cruiser called the Sunboat. Described as "the most comfortable" vessel on the river. A&K designed the boat for small groups. Twenty-two twin-bedded, air-conditioned cabins. All with private baths. A lounge, bar, restaurant. Swimming, sunbathing on deck. If the idea of going first cabin is appealing, A&K guarantees a good time. An 11-day land/cruise program is being booked for $1,390. See your travel agent or contact Abercrombie & Kent, 1420 Kensington Road, Suite 111, Oak Brook, Ill. 60521, phone toll-free (800) 323-7308.
Next summer, students (ages 13 to 23) will be given the opportunity to spend three weeks in Canada or Europe at bargain-basement prices. "The most inexpensive and friendly way to meet foreign students," says Penfriend International. Penfriend arranges international travel for students who otherwise can't afford to go. Here's how it works: An American family hosts a foreign student and later the American student accompanies the foreign guest home to Canada, France, Germany or Spain. The three-week package includes the round-trip flight in conjunction with American Airlines, accommodations, meals, sightseeing for $545 (Canada), $995 (France or Spain) or $990 (Germany). Penfriend also has a special four-week study/travel program planned for England.
Write to Penfriend International Travel Exchange, P.O. Box 6334, Santa Barbara, Calif. 93160, phone (805) 964-5519.
Marlene Gordon specializes in low-cost travel. Everything from a day in San Diego to trips overseas. Coming up is a tour Dec. 31 to a ranch in Baja (four days) that's pegged at $325. Her one-day trips include a train-ferry-trolley outing to San Diego (next Sunday for $42) and a Dec. 19 windjammer cruise in Ventura ($45). Gordon has loads of other outings scheduled, including an insomniac's tour of Los Angeles. Contact Gordon c/o The Next Stage, P.O. Box 35269, Los Angeles 90035 or telephone (213) 939-2688.