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The Mature Traveler

Eastern Europe on Tour Agenda

January 15, 1989|HANK KOVELL | Kovell is a veteran journalist in seniors' interests

Love Holidays, a tour operator specializing in the mature market, has changed its name to Love Holidays/Uniworld to reflect its expanding sphere of travel to worldwide destinations. The company formerly emphasized travel to Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union and the Mediterranean.

The Socialist countries of Eastern Europe should be among the most popular destinations for mature travelers this year, due to the warming trend between Eastern and Western governments and the controlled exchange rates in most Socialist countries that rarely fluctuate, in contrast to the U.S. dollar.

For this year, Love/Uniworld is offering a series of new tours that provide a choice of Eastern European destinations beginning in Austria and, depending on choice of itinerary, continuing to Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.

Danube Cruise

Several of the Love/Uniworld tours combine the land portion in one or more countries with a seven-day cruise of the Danube that can offer visits to Belgrade and Budapest, as well as other cities on the river, depending on the itineraries. The vessel is the comfortable Rousse, which has all outside cabins, each with private shower and toilet.

Typical of the Love/Uniworld tours is the "Highlights of Eastern Europe," highly regarded by first-time visitors to the Socialist nations. The pace of the 15-day itinerary is relaxed, and cities on the tour--which begins in Vienna--include Brno and Prague in Czechoslovakia; Dresden and East Berlin (crossing into West Berlin via Checkpoint Charlie); Poznan and Czestochowa, Krakow and Warsaw in Poland, and finally, a visit to Budapest, Hungary, before returning to Vienna for the trip home.

The "Highlights of Eastern Europe" tour includes round-trip air fare from West Coast cities (via Austrian Airlines), first- and superior-class hotels, daily breakfast, dinner each night (except in Vienna), highlight dinners in Prague, Warsaw and Budapest, including wine and entertainment, sightseeing fees and an experienced tour guide.

Land portions are by modern air-conditioned buses (no smoking permitted). The all-inclusive price for this tour is from $2,272 to $2,427 per person, depending on departure dates.

Arrangements can be made for Danube cruises only, land tours combined with cruises on the Danube, or land tours only. All cruises begin in Vienna and visit one or more countries in Eastern Europe.

Other Love/Uniworld tours emphasize Yugoslavia, with visits to Mostar, Sarajevo and Dubrovnik as well as cities along the Dalmatian Coast.

A 23-page brochure just released by Love/Uniworld is available, listing itineraries, hotels, departure dates and prices. The free brochure may be obtained by calling (800) 456-5683, (213) 873-7991 or (818) 501-6868. Or write to Love/Uniworld, 15315 Magnolia Blvd., Sherman Oaks 91403.

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If Florida's Walt Disney World and Epcot Center are in your 1989 travel plans, a family hotel four miles from the Magic Kingdom is offering a 50% room discount for seniors, resulting in a modest $35 a day rate for two people.

It's the Regency Inn, a 230-room low-rise resort set among lush tropical gardens. The Regency has two swimming pools, one covered and heated, free tennis courts with lights, a game room and a playground for children, and a guest laundry. Youths under 18 in the same room are housed free; rollaway beds are $6.

Seniors must be 55 or older; a driver's license or membership in any of the major national senior organizations qualifies for the discount. Although the 50% rate is on a space-available basis, reservations at that rate are confirmed if space is available at the time the reservation is made.

The Regency Inn also has a series of modestly priced packages such as the "All in One," an eight-day, seven-night package that includes a one-day pass for each person to Epcot, Disney World and Sea World, a choice of Busch Gardens or Cypress Gardens for one day and a choice of three other attractions.

The package price is $281 per person, double occupancy. For an extra $33 you can get a rental car for the week, with unlimited mileage.

For a brochure describing all of the Regency Inn packages with complete price information, write to Regency Inn, Dept. MT, 8660 Irlo Bronson Memorial Parkway, Kissimmee, Fla. 32741, or call toll-free (800) 327-9129.

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