Packages available for Games in Nagano Games: Cartan Tours is the official U.S. outlet for tickets to the Olympics next winter.

Travel Q&A

March 23, 1997|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

In 1998, I wish to go to Nagano, Japan, to see the Olympic Winter Games. Are any tour operators offering packages yet?

The Japan National Tourist Office, 1 Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 1250, New York, N.Y., 10020, 212-757-5640, says that one company, Cartan Tours, has been chosen as the official U.S. outlet for tickets to the Winter Games, scheduled for Feb. 7 to 22, 1998.

Cartan Tours, 1334 Parkview Ave., Suite 210, Manhattan Beach, Calif. 90266, 800-818-1998, is offering three ways to buy tickets : (1) as part of a tour in which Cartan chooses the events you will attend each day; (2) as part of an accommodation package that lets you choose events (subject to ticket availability); and (3) a tickets-only purchase that leaves all the other arrangements up to the buyer.

The simplest way to put an Olympics tour together is by using a Cartan inclusive program, an eight- to 20-day package with airfare from Los Angeles, transfers, accommodations in the Cypress Hotel in Karuizawa (about an hour from Nagano), guaranteed Olympics tickets, transportation to events on Cartan's own bus system (or the Olympic transport system if more convenient) and breakfast daily.

The eight-day trips leave Feb. 10, 1998, and cost from $4,625 to $5,425 a person, double occupancy, for five days at the Games and eight events.

Nine-day packages, also with five days at the Games, include tickets to nine or 10 separate events. They range from $5,165 to $5,900 a person, double. All nine-day plans include either the opening or closing ceremony.

Two-week packages cost $8,795 to $10,280, and if you want to stay for the entire Games, 20-day packages are $13,065 to $15,055 a person, double. Whatever package you choose, you will know in advance which sports you will see, barring late schedule changes.

Every package includes at least one session of figure skating and men's hockey, the latter especially attractive because these Winter Games will be the first in which professionals from the National Hockey League can compete.

If you want to tailor your own schedule of events, Cartan sells the same packages, less tickets (an eight-day package costs as low $3,995 without tickets vs. $4,625 with), and then allows you to pay separately for tickets chosen from a menu of events, subject to availability. Tickets cost from $25 for standing room at such events as skiing and women's hockey to $403 for a seat at the opening ceremony. Any seat at a men's hockey game costs at least $94; the cheapest seat for figure skating is $117.

Finally, you can buy tickets from Cartan without buying an accommodations and transportation package, but be aware that there is concern that Nagano may not have many rooms left for spectators once it gets done finding space for the various Olympic officials and journalists.

All ticket orders must be sent by mail (no telephone or fax orders accepted) and accompanied by full payment, by a Visa card authorization, check or money order. If a request cannot be filled, money will be refunded.

Don Williams, Cartan's vice president, said that his company was only just now sending out its Olympics brochures because the Games' organizers had been slow in supplying information needed to arrange tours.

But if you select your own events (rather than use Cartan's preset menu) and get your ticket order in to Cartan by April 15, yours will be among the first group of requests filled, using a random computerized selection process if demand outstrips supply.

Ticket-only orders, Williams said, will be treated the same in this selection process as ticket orders combined with Cartan's accommodations packages.

We are taking a cruise and tour to Alaska the last week of July and first week of August, going to Fairbanks after stops in Anchorage, Juneau and Denali Park. What weather can we expect?

Be ready for cool temperatures and damp weather. According to the Times World Weather Guide, average daily temperatures in Anchorage range from 49 to 65 degrees in July, a bit lower in August. The average number of days with at least 0.01 inches of rain are 10 in July and 15 in August.

But Anchorage is generally colder than the offshore islands, which you will be sailing through. Fairbanks is warmer but a bit wetter. Average daily temperatures range from 48 to 72 in July and 44 to 66 in August; an average of 13 days have at least 0.01 inches of rain in July, 15 days in August.

Pub Date: 3/23/97

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