Some Programs for Frequent Sailors

Friedheim is editor/publisher of Travel Agent magazine.

Question: Do the cruise lines have a frequent sailor program like the airlines' frequent fliers?

Answer: Cunard Lines offers discounts if you take another voyage; United Airlines gives extra frequent flier points to passengers cruising on Holland America ships.

Q: Do they have organized tours for motor homes?

A: Organized trips for caravans of 15 to 20 motor homes are available. Participants leave camp in the morning, drive on their own and assemble in the evening. Contact your travel agent or Kampgrounds of America, Box 30558, Billings, Mont. 55114; call (800) 225-5562.

Q: Is there any way to force an airline to make a refund on a ticket with cancellation penalties?

A: Individual rules vary, but carriers usually enforce the penalty; a doctor's certificate may be acceptable in some cases. You can also buy cancellation insurance through your agent or from Travel Guard International; call (800) 826-1300.

Q: While in London I'd like to visit the DeBeers diamond exhibit and Lloyds insurance headquarters. Are they open?

A: Lloyds of London welcomes tourists; because of security, DeBeers has no public tours and a personal appointment is necessary for visits.

Q: Is there any regulation about how much a travel agent can charge extra for writing an air ticket?

A: Agents receive commissions from airlines and normally make no added charge; since it costs about $25 to write a ticket, some agents add a small fee on tickets yielding only a few dollars commission. The amount is discretionary.

Q: Are there any passenger accommodations aboard larger tankers, and can they be booked the same as freighter cabins?

A: Tanker operators do not make cabins available to the public because of hazards, insurance prohibitions, etc. You can obtain, however, berths on bulk carriers and container ships.

Q: Is there an aviation hall of fame that includes the Air Force?

A: The Air Force Museum is in Dayton, Ohio, where a National Aviation Hall of Fame, honoring aeronautical pioneers, is being developed separately.

Q: Are there any short art-study tours in France available to persons with limited time?

A: Many are offered in Paris and elsewhere. For a newsletter and other details, contact the French Government Tourist Office, 9401 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 840, Beverly Hills, Calif. 90212; phone (213) 271-6665.

Q: Do the national parks still issue free senior citizen passes, and where does one get them?

A: The lifetime Golden Age pass is available to citizens and permanent residents 62 years and older at park booths. In addition to free admission, there's a 50% discount on use of government facilities.

Q: Are there any cruises to Eastern Canada this year?

A: Various lines have St. Lawrence River sailings from New York and Kingston, Ontario, to Montreal, Quebec, Nova Scotia and the Saguenay, with some going via New England. Your travel agent has details.

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