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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS : Smaller Yachts Sail in Caribbean and Riviera

March 22, 1992|ERIC FRIEDHEIM

Question: How many passengers are carried on the small yachts that have been introduced this year, where do they sail and what's the fare?

Answer: The new Pearl yachts carry a maximum of 12 people. Passengers can choose their ports on voyages in the Caribbean and along the French Riviera. Fare is $3,250 per person, double occupancy ($150 single supplement) for seven nights and eight days. Includes everything except air fare.

Q: Are tours offered for people who like to walk, but which are not as rigorous as some of the hiking trips advertised by outdoor groups?

A: More tours are being tailored these days to those preferring a more sedentary pace. Contact Country Walkers, P.O. Box 180, Waterbury, Vt. 05676, (802) 244-1387.

Q: Now that foreign cruise lines can carry passengers between Florida and Puerto Rico, why not between Seattle and Alaska?

A: Although Seattle is losing business to Vancouver, Congress so far has not acted on bills to make another exception to the law that forbids foreign ships to carry passengers between two U.S. ports.

Q: On our trip to South Korea, is it possible to visit North Korea?

A: Not from South Korea, and U.S. travel agents can't book you. However, it's possible to book in countries that have diplomatic relations with North Korea.

Q: What's to be seen on a Siberian tour, and are hotels clean and comfortable?

A: Tours to this region usually include Irkutsk, a cultural and industrial center that some call the "Paris of Siberia"; Khabarovsk, a bustling city with many shops and museums; Vladivostok, a historic Russian Far Eastern port city, and Magadan, formerly populated by Stalin-era exiles and a mining center with a famous geological museum. All have modern hotels. Some trips are via Alaska and operated by U.S. tour companies.

Q: Are there motor-coach tours to South Dakota that include the Badlands area?

A: Bus tours include seasonal trips through this region that offer unusual scenery caused by erosion. The site of Native American legends is now a major tourist attraction. For tour details, contact the South Dakota Department of Tourism, 711 Wells Ave., Pierre, S.D. 57501, (800) 843-1930.

Q: Is it legal for travel agents to discount fares advertised by the airlines?

A: The price of a ticket is the same whether purchased directly from the airline or a travel agency. Airlines discourage discounting and, though it's not illegal for agents to pass part of their commission to the clients, reputable firms usually avoid this practice except in cases of high-volume traffic.

Q: I understand that there are many hit shows and musicals always playing off-Broadway. Where can one obtain information about schedules and ticket availability?

A: While off-Broadway the aters have many outstanding shows, some may run for limited periods and prices are generally lower. For up-to-date information, call (212) 768-1818.

Q. Will European car companies rent to persons over 70?

A. Some companies have age limits, and those who don't may not rent large vehicles such as motor homes, vans, etc., to older drivers. It's always advisable to reserve before going abroad and investigate any possible restrictions.

Q. Is there inexpensive transportation between Hong Kong's Victoria Island and the Kowloon mainland?

A. Crossing the harbor by subway or ferry costs 50 cents, local bus lines charge 15 cents from their terminals, and streetcars are 5 cents.

Q. Is there a new hotel in London rebuilt from a stable?

A. Carriage House, an 18th-Century royal stable at St. James Place near Buckingham Palace is a two-story edifice that has been converted by the Cunard group into a luxury hotel with only 12 suites. The rate is $430 a day.

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