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Scads of Scandinavia: Five Days in Five Cities from Just Under Five C-Notes

October 3, 2003 -- Continental Journeys, a Los Angeles-based tour operator offers five-day, air-inclusive weekend getaways now from just $499 to five different Scandinavian cities (Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Bergen and Helsinki) in the winter months, when everything is happening there.

By everything, I mean the art and music seasons are going full blast, the restaurants and shops are peopled mainly by locals instead of tourists (therefore less crowded), and prices are lower. Continental has arranged Thursday departures weekly from November 6, 2003 through March 25, 2004, except for December 18, 2003, which is blacked out. You'll also be guaranteed a good chance of snow!

The $499 packages -- priced per person based on double occupancy -- provide roundtrip flights on SAS (Scandinavian Airlines Systems) out of Newark, three nights at a tourist-class hotel, a big Scandinavian buffet breakfast daily, hotel taxes and service charges. In Copenhagen, your hotel is the Excelsior, in Stockholm the Wellington. In Oslo, you have a choice of the Glydenlove or Slottsparken, while in Bergen it's the Bryggen Orion and in Helsinki the Klaus Kurki.

If you want to upgrade to first-class hotels, the price range from $539 to $629 per person, or from $599 to $799 at deluxe hotels. Continental says the best buys are at the Hotel Continental in Oslo ($599) and the Kämp in Helsinki ($659).

Add-on airfares are $40 from Washington, D.C. or Chicago and $100 from Minneapolis. Air taxes are not included, and extra hotel nights are not available. Contact Continental at 800/601-4343 or 818/995-8643, fax 818/995-8673, e-mail, website

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