Alaska by train. Sight-see in style from one of Tour Alaska's Midnight Sun Express luxury trains running between Anchorage, Danli Park (Mt. McKinley), and Fairbanks. The trains have been restored with shining brass, rich upholstery, and oak furniture, bringing to mind the old days of railroad travel. Tour Alaska also offers cruise/tour packages departing from Vancouver, British Columbia, and ranging from 12 to 17 days. Prices start at $1,765, and many packages include free or reduced air fare from major United States cities. For further information contact your travel agent or Tour Alaska, 2555 76th Ave. SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040. Cruises combined with land tours allow travelers to see the most amid Alaska's spectacular scenery. TravAlaska offers a new brochure describing a variety of independent tours, each featuring a cruise through inland waterways with motorcoach tours of the northern interior. See your travel agent or write TravAlaska, Suite 808C, Fourth & Battery Bldg., Seattle, WA 98121. Trend toward mini-vacations. Americans now take more weekend trips than any other type of vacation, according to the results of ``The Marriott Report on Leisure Travel - The Demise of the Traditional Vacation.'' The survey reports that pleasure trips away from home were one of the leading leisure activities in the US during the past year. Sixty-six percent of Americans took a short pleasure trip. - many more than watched the World Series, the Academy Awards, or the Super Bowl on TV, or attended live theater or concerts. ``While the extended vacation will not disappear, it is being gradually replaced by an increase in shorter, more frequent weekend pleasure trips,'' said Jeffrey J. Hallett, president of Trend Response and Analysis Company. ``The survey results show that Americans are not waiting for a preferred time of year to take weekend pleasure trips. Any available weekend is a good one, and people are getting away whenever possible.'' This trend is being reflected in the profusion of special weekend hotel rates in many cities; the numerous three-, four-, and five-day all-inclusive air and land packages to cold and warm destinations; and a number of shorter cruises.
Bermuda's charm for newlyweds. Sun and fun are in store for honeymooners at Marriott's Castle Harbour Resort, in Tucker's Town, Bermuda. After restoration to capture its original 1930s charm, it reopened last year as the island showplace. The 250-acre resort, atop a hill overlooking Castle Harbour and Harrington Sound, offers secluded beaches, three swimming pools, three restaurants, and tennis, golf, and other activities. Rates for Castle Harbour Honeymoon Package, effective through March 28, begin at $555 per couple for five days/four nights and $795 for seven days/six nights, including breakfast daily. For reservations and more information call 800-228-9290.
Cross-country ski tours. Whether you like to ski groomed trails or prefer untracked wilderness, Vermont Voyageur Expeditions offers both kinds of adventures in Wyoming. Skiers of any level who prefer less-rugged touring and the comforts of a lodge can choose the Ski Touring Week, March 16-20. The trip includes instruction and guided tours in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. An intermediate off-track skier and backpacker can take the five-day Winter Mountaineering Course, March 9-13, which includes three nights of winter camping in Yellowstone. For more information, contact Vermont Voyageur Expeditions, Route 242, Montgomery Center VT 05471; (802) 326-4789.
Where to stay in Britain. Want to know all your options for lodging in Britain? Send for four complimentary pocket-size guides describing in detail select accommodations in all price ranges, from inexpensive rooms, to traditional country homes, to top hotels. Write Mike Stone, Claremont House, Second Ave., Hove, East Sussex, England BN3 2LL. Enclose six international reply coupons or $3, to cover postage.
Volunteer working vacations. The American Hiking Society gives experienced backpackers over 16 years old the opportunity to work in one of the 30 national and state parks or forests in the US. Much of the work is in remote, rugged terrain at high altitude. Teams of eight to 15 people work 10 days of the two-week vacation. Projects range from trail maintenance to bridge building to make recreation areas more safe, attractive, and accessible. Volunteers arrange and pay for their own transportation to and from the project area, and bring their own personal equipment. Host agencies provide supervision, safety equipment, tools, and food. A $30 tax-deductible registration fee is due after acceptance. For more information, an application form, and a work site listing, send a large self-addressed, stamped envelope to the American Hiking Society, Volunteer Vacations, PO Box 86, North Scituate, MA 02060.
Savannah style. A city known for its Colonial charm, Savannah boasts that any time is a good time to visit, because something is always going on. The annual Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens, March 28-31, gives visitors the opportunity to take a leisurely walking tour of the city's most elegant private homes. Night in Old Savannah, April 23-25, features more than 50 foods from 25 countries, along with a variety of musical entertainment including jazz, country, and rhythm and blues. The hidden gardens of NOGS (North of Gaston Street - in the Historic District), opened once a year to the public, will hold tours April 24-25, when the gardens are at their peak. For more details, contact the Savannah Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, 310 W. Broad St., Savannah, GA 31499; (912) 233-6651.
Travel and learning abroad. Students seeking a pre-college learning experience in another country might want to investigate ``The Young American's Scholarship Guide to Travel and Learning Abroad.'' This 204-page guide lists more than 4,000 scholarship opportunities offered by 70 organizations in over 80 countries. Each description includes program offered, participating countries, program fees, scholarship support, eligibility requirements, and application procedures. The cost of the guide is $12.95. (New York and New Jersey residents must add sales tax). Order forms are available from Intravco Press, Suite 1303, 211 East 43rd St., New York, NY 10017.