Just as we were heralding the approach of spring last week, the Northeast was dealing with the aftermath of a big snowstorm, followed by rain, sleet, and ice. No matter: Spring is breaking through anyway, as is evident from these flower-fresh offerings:
Here's a chance to wander through a Newport mansion, Chateau-sur-Mer , for free, April 7 or 8, and also be among the first to take the revised tour, based on research that unveils new information on the Victorian manse and the family who built and lived in it for more than 100 years. Said Trudy Coxe , executive director of the Preservation Society of Newport County , "We're offering [the] free tours . . . on opening weekend to highlight our new tour and the $2 million restoration project that will protect this irreplaceable national treasure."
Visit newportmansions.org or call 401-847-1000 .
Spring is a popular time for bargain-priced repositioning cruises, in which a ship moves to a new home base. For instance, Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas leaves April 15 on a 12-night sailing from Miami to Southampton, England, with visits en route to Kings Wharf, Bermuda; Cork, Ireland; and Brest, France. Prices begin at $499 for an interior cabin and $749 for an ocean-view room. Air fare is not included.
Visit royalcaribbean.com and click on Deals & Gifts, then Hot Deals, call 866-562-7625 , or see a travel agent.
Likewise, the Budget Rent A Car System will be moving some of its fleet north from many Florida cities for the summer. One-way rates to selected US locations, including Boston, are economy for $12.95-$18.95 a day, depending upon the size of the vehicle. The offer is valid for pick up April 9-June 15. You must mention Budget Customer Discount Number U094700 at the time of reservation.
Visit budget.com and put Florida One-way Deals in the search box, call 800-BUDGET-7 (283-4387) , or see a travel agent.
Verana, a boutique luxury hotel in Yelapa, 30 miles south of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, has two springtime specials, available April 17-May 15. The four-night Spa Retreat Package, for $2,500, features yoga every morning, a 30-minute body scrub, a 30-minute body massage, a mini facial, and an aromatherapy bath, all for two people. The four-night Active Start Package, meanwhile, provides yoga every morning, a Tecumata waterfall jungle trek half-day kayaking trip, a guided river hike, and an aromatherapy bath for two. Prices are double or single occupancy and include accommodations, three meals a day, boat transportation, and taxes. A 15 percent service charge is not included, however.
Call 800-530-7176 or, for resort information, visit verana.com .
There will be a killing at the Sagamore, located on a private island in New York's Adirondack Mountains. But it will be all in fun. "Murder at the Lake!" is a mystery weekend, April 27-29, that features two nights' accommodations, breakfast Saturday and Sunday, a welcome reception Friday night , lunch and dinner on Saturday, complimentary use of the fitness center and indoor pool, plus the murder mystery activities. The price is $390 per person unless you want a suite for $430.
For this and other spring activities, visit thesagamore.com or call 866-385-6221 .
Quebec springtime is part maple sugar season. Loews Hotel Vogue in Montreal has introduced its first Sugar Season package, available through April 30. Included are a premium guest room for one night, a private excursion to a traditional Quebec sugar shack, limousine transportation, and a maple-infused breakfast for two. In addition, executive chef Omar Fathallah does double duty as the hotel's syrup sommelier, assisting guests through the maze of maple products available in Montreal. His fudge-like sucre à la crème, served every afternoon from 3 to 6 in the lobby, is an old-fashioned French- Canadian favorite. The Sugar Season package starts at $595 for two.
Call 800-465-6654 or visit loewshotels.com .
Visit bedandbreakfast.com and click on Free Gas Promotion in the lower left corner. Mention the Tanks a Lot offer when booking.
Visit choicehotels.com .
To enter, call 800-493-9255 , option 2, extension 127, or 781-890-6097, ext. 127 , or e-mail email@example.com . The deadline is April 1 and the drawing will be the next day. For details, go to msnewengland.org and click on Chapter Calendar .
When not included, hotel taxes, airport fees, and port charges can add significantly to the price of a trip. Most prices quoted are for double occupancy; solo travelers will usually pay more. Offers are subject to availability and there may be blackout dates. Richard P. Carpenter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.