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Backpack & Budget

The Tale of Three Cities--and a Bus

April 21, 1996|LUCY IZON

A new low-cost nonstop motor coach is now serving three European cities: London, Paris and Amsterdam. The cost of traveling between any two of the three is $49 one way, $86 round trip.

The Cityzap service is geared to young, independent travelers. Travel is on air-conditioned coaches that feature video and television, complimentary beverages, snacks and on-board hostesses. Smoking is not allowed. European Bus has formed partnerships with Coca Cola, Mars and MTV Europe, so travelers will find their products promoted on board.

The company is offering two daily services on each route. On routes between London and Amsterdam, and London and Paris, there is a choice of daytime or overnight service. In case of overflow, other buses will be chartered, but they may not have all the special features.

The buses will carry up to 45 passengers. Travelers can take up to two suitcases and hand luggage, but no skis or bikes.

The travel time between Amsterdam and Paris, and between Paris and London is six hours. Travel between London and Amsterdam takes seven hours.

The fare for visiting all three cities is $135. Travelers purchasing two three-city tickets at the same time get a reduced rate of $100 each. You can purchase tickets in North America by calling Thomas McFerran at (800) 430-9070. Some tickets will also be available through student travel services in Europe, but not necessarily at the same rates.

You can find more info on the Cityzap service on the Internet at http://www.travelhub.com/Britnet/Cityzap/

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Free bikes will be available for sightseeing in Zurich, Switzerland, starting May 2.

To borrow a bike you just have to leave your valid passport or personal identity card with the rental office and pay a deposit of about $17.

Fifty bikes are available at the following pickup points: Werdemuhleplatz (near the main station), Tessinerplatz (by Enge station), Theatreplatz (near Stadelhofen station) and, for the first time, at Marktplatz (near Oberlikon station).

The bikes will be available at these points any weekday from 7.30 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. until Oct. 26. For more details, call 011-41-1-825-5242.

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New Frontiers, the New York-based U.S. division of France's largest tour operator is offering American students cheap charter air fares, budget accommodations and car lease arrangements with low age requirements for this summer beginning June 21.

Transatlantic flights departing from New York start at $219 one way to Paris, $269 to Lyon, $279 to Rome.

The travel service can also provide budget accommodations in popular cities. Rates start at $22 for a bed in a quad room in Paris. Beds in triple rooms start at $33 in London, $29 in Nice, $31 in Rome, $34 in Florence, and $36 in Amsterdam or Venice.

The service also offers Renault Eurodrive Fly/Drive packages for drivers as young as 18. Most car rental companies in Europe have a higher minimum-age requirement.

For details, contact New Frontiers at 12 E. 33rd St., New York, NY 10016, or call (800) 366-6387 or (212) 779-0600.

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