European winter bargain vacations from $90

/ Source: Sherman's Travel

The deal
With the economic crises now hitting Europe hard and the dollar gaining strength overseas, a trip across the pond isn’t such a stretch these days, especially when we’ve found ways to stretch your dollar.

To compensate for poor bookings (hotel occupancy across Europe has fallen by 6 percent since last year), European hotels are offering lower rates and incentives, like air credits and euro-to-dollar price matching. Plus, winter airfare rates are as attractive as ever — it is the low season after all.

Our editors dug up bargain deals running the gamut from $500 flight credits, $100 Amex card, free AirFrance stopovers, hotel rates from $90/night and multicity air-and-hotel combo packages from $635.

Centrally located in Berlin’s Mitte district next to the landmark 368-meter TV Tower, the recently renovated Park Inn Berlin-Alexanderplatz offers deluxe accommodations at value rates. A former communist-era high-rise, the hotel now offers a full range of amenities and services, including a rooftop bar, sundeck, casino and several onsite bars and restaurants.

Rates for a business-class room for two, with private marble bathroom, start at just $90/night.

The crème de la crème of luxury hotels, we’re talking Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental, are offering a great deal available through Classic Vacations. Now, travelers who book a five-night stay at participating European luxury hotels will receive a $500 air credit towards the cost of their flight and a $100 American Express Gift Card.

Our favorites include London’s posh Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park from $607/night and the classy Four Seasons Prague from $374/night. It’s hard to beat Vienna’s decadent Hotel Bristol for just $337/night.

Spend a week exploring Italy this winter or spring from just $635, thanks to The six-night jaunt to Rome, Florence, and Venice, includes 2 nights' hotel in each city, airfare from the US, breakfast daily, and train transfers between cities. If you want to see even more of Italy, try the nine-night Highlights of Italy package from just $829 per person, a cost that covers airfare, rental car, and hotels throughout Florence, Milan, Verona and more.

For a classic Mediterranean cruise, try this four-night spring voyage aboard Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. Embarking from Barcelona, this round-trip cruise docks for a day in Marseille and spends a weekend in Ibiza, for just $349 per person (oceanview cabins start at $529).

Along the way, you’ll have opportunities to check out Barcelona’s renowned Las Ramblas promenade and Gaudi-designed churches, Marseille’s picturesque waterfront in the Vieux Port, and Ibiza’s trendy shops, historic Old Town, world-class cuisine and famous nightlife.

Discover Europe’s fascinating waterways and the cities that surround them with affordable river cruise tours on offer from Globus. Save $200 off the air-inclusive price on any 2009 Globus or Avalon Europe river cruise. Or, receive $100 off the cruise-only price. Just be sure to book by Feb. 28.

We’d recommend the 12-day air-inclusive Black Sea Discovery cruise from $2,849, or the 12-day Legendary Danube cruise sailing from Prague to Budapest for the low price of $2,399, flight included.

Fly to any Air France destination in Europe, the Middle East, India, or Africa, and enjoy a free stopover in Paris on your way there, your way back, or both. Use this offer to climb the Eiffel tower, explore the Louvre’s remarkable collections, simply grab a baguette and some wine for a picnic along the Seine. At the time of writing, we found round-trip flights to London, with a free stopover in the city of lights, for $564.

The Eurail Pass
Don’t neglect train travel when overseas. It’s a great way to get around on the cheap while enjoying the scenery. Plus, the new and improved Eurail Pass offers a series of options for convenient train travel between countries. A consecutive-day pass offers unlimited rail travel for a particular length of time, while other flexible options include a pass available for a specific number of travel days scattered over a longer time period. The Eurail Select Pass is a great bargain; it affords unlimited travel on the national rail networks of 3 to 5 bordering countries, and starts from about $419.

The dollars
Taxes and fees are additional.

The catch
After your romantic European getaway, it's right back to your same old routine.

For the European river cruise offer, visit or call 1-866-755-8581. is a guide to top travel deals and destinations. Sign up for Sherman's Top 25 e-newsletter which features the best editor-screened deals from hundreds of travel providers and is delivered to over 4 million subscribers, free, each week. ShermansTravel also publishes trip ideas and travel features to inspire, guide, and go.