Summer Travel Deals: Hawaii, Steamboat Cruises, Tanglewood and NYC

Summertime living is easy for families, with deals from the Big Island, to steamboat river tours, to New York City’s Flatotel.

Hawaii, Big Island Deal

Kids ages 17 and under stay, play and eat free at ResortQuest Shores at Waikoloa on the Big Island of Hawaii; the resort also offers a free fourth night for families through June 30. Rates start at $180 per night for a one-bedroom suite that accommodates four people. Families that stay for five nights receive a 2-for-1 luau dinner and show. Book the offer online at or call, tel. 800-514-1969.

Kids Cruise for Free on Majestic America Line

Explore North American waterways and save money, too. Majestic America Line is letting kids age 12 and under cruise for free on three of its steamboats in 2008. Up to two kids per two paying adults can take advantage of this deal, provided the family shares a stateroom. Rates start at around $2,000 per person, but port charges, handling fees and fuel charges for the kids are extra.

For an Alaskan adventure, choose either a seven- or 12-night stay aboard Empress of the North, which travels along the Peril Strait, Wrangell Narrows and Lynn Canal, and makes stops in Juneau and several other ports through mid-September, before the ship heads south to tour Pacific Northwest rivers, the Columbia and the Snake.

The American Queen offers seven-night cruises between New Orleans and Memphis, and between St. Paul and St. Louis, along the Mississippi River on one of the world’s largest river cruise ships.

Queen of the West cruises from Portland, Ore. along the Columbia River through mid-November, offering views of Lewis and Clark forts and steep canyons for all guests to enjoy from their outside staterooms. To book, visit or call, tel. 800-434-1232.

Kids Discounts at Massachusetts’ Tanglewood

Enjoy the sounds of the Boston Symphony Orchestra this summer at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass., with several children’s programs and student discounts during the 2008 season, which kicks off July 5. Discounts include free lawn tickets for children 12 years and under and half-off lawn tickets for students 13 and older attending Friday night performances.

Special shows this season include Part I of Hector Berlioz’s two-part opera “The Trojans” on opening night and the annual Tanglewood Family Concert, featuring the interactive show “Tubby the Tuba,” on August 23. For more information and adult ticket prices, visit the Boston Symphony Orchestra Web site

Manhattan’s Flatotel Summer Discounts

Stay in a Midtown Manhattan hotel without breaking the bank this summer. The Flatotel is lowering its rates and throwing in a few perks for families traveling from the end of June through August. Book your stay by June 30 to take advantage of rates that start at $385 per night for a room that accommodates two adults and two children.

Room features include one-bedroom suites with a pull-out couch, an eat-in kitchen and one and a half baths. The hotel’s MODA and MODA Lounge serve Italian food with Mediterranean influences. Nearby attractions include American Girl Place, Build-a-Bear Workshop, Rockefeller Center, Carnegie Hall and Central Park. The hotel provides shopping discounts to attractions such as Top of the Rock and the Museum of Modern Art. To make a reservation, call tel. 800-352-8683 or visit

Destinations: Alaska, New Orleans, Lenox, Saint Paul, Saint Louis, New York City, Portland, Memphis, Big Island of Hawaii

Themes: Beach Vacations, Family Travel, Cruises