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Ireland and Iceland for holidays: Bargains, now !

The reason why tour prices have virtually collapsed to Ireland and Iceland? Economic. The banking systems, the currency, the incomes, and assets of the populations, have plummeted, impoverishing large numbers of people. Since these local residents can no longer afford to travel, their national airlines have hit hard times and are responding with unprecedented low prices.

Most round-trip airfares to Iceland from either New York or Boston are currently as little as $324. From November 1 to March 31, air-and-land packages to Reykjavik are easily had for $469 (round-trip air and two nights with breakfast at good three-star hotels) per person. Low exchange rates for the Icelandic currency mean ultra-low costs for sightseeing, thermal bathing, nightlife. Go to www.icelandair.us for details.

Ireland does even better. Go to the Aer Lingus Vacation Store (www.aerlingusvacationstore.com) and you'll find air-and-land packages to Dublin or Shannon, consisting of round-trip air and a car for one week with unlimited mileage, selling in November through March 10 for $399 per person from either New York or Boston, $449 from Chicago, $699 from San Francisco. Prices go up by only $70 in April, but remain at $699 from San Francisco.

-- Arthur Frommer



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