Castles and villages, lakes and legends highlight one-week tours in Ireland aboard the 12-passenger Shannon Princess, a luxury hotel barge on the River Shannon and Lough Derg. The lake is skirted by County Clare, Tipperary, Mountshannon and Portumna Forest Park. Excursions are to Banagher, home of 19th-Century novelist Anthony Trollope; Clonfert Cathedral, founded in AD 563; Birr Castle; Dromineer; the 12th-Century Holy Cross Abbey; Limerick City; King John's 13th-Century castle, and 15th-Century Dunguaire castle for a medieval feast in the great hall.
Rates start at $1,390, including gourmet meals with wines and an open bar, sightseeing and round-trip transfers from Dromoland Castle by Shannon Airport. Air fare to Ireland is extra. Arrangements are by Horizon Cruises: (800) 252-2103 in California, (800) 421-0454 from out of state.
57 Alaska Voyages
Princess Cruises, 2029 Century Park East, Los Angeles 90067, has 57 cruises to Alaska this summer. Seven-day round-trip voyages from Vancouver are aboard the Sun Princess and Island Princess; fares from $1,344. Ports of call include Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Sitka, Ketchikan and Misty Fiord, depending on the cruise taken. The Royal Princess will sail the Gulf of Alaska on seven-day itineraries with fares beginning at $1,638. The Sea Princess is scheduled for 10-day round-trip voyages from San Francisco calling at Vancouver, Juneau, Glacier Bay, Sitka and Victoria, with fares beginning at $1,870. Air add-on specials are available from 100 U.S. and Canadian cities.
Baja and Copper Canyon
Baja Adventures has several programs to the Baja Peninsula of Mexico and the Copper Canyon of northwestern Mexico. Four-day Baja programs to Loreto, Los Cabos, La Paz or East Cape start at $69 plus air fare. Fishing boats can be reserved for $25 a day, per person. An eight-day Baja trip via escorted motor coach starts in San Diego and travels the length of Baja to Cabo San Lucas at a cost of $799. This can be combined with another eight days in the Copper Canyon area for a total of $1,599. Sightseeing, accommodations and most meals are included. Information: Baja Adventures at (800) 345-2252 in California, (800) 543-2252 from out of state.
Tahiti and Moorea
Packages to the islands of Tahiti and Moorea for a week can be purchased for $699 from Ted Cook's Islands in the Sun, 760 West 16th St., Suite L, Costa Mesa 92627; (714) 546-8300. That includes five nights at the Ibis Moorea and one night at the Ibis Belle Fleur in Tahiti, round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, airport transfers and inter-island transportation. Cook says this is the lowest price for the package in six years. Departures are every Saturday through June 13, returning to Los Angeles the following Saturday.
A room overlooking the Taj Mahal is a special feature of Himalayan Honeymoon packages arranged by Odyssey Tours, 1821 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica 90403; (800) 654-7975. The newlyweds will be met at each airport by a local tour executive and presented with flowers and gifts. They'll sightsee in Delhi by private car with an English-speaking guide, then spend eight days on a houseboat in the vale of Kashmir. Excursions can include a pony trek or walk through mountain valleys in Kashmir, trout fishing, golf, shopping in the bazaars of Srinagar, exploring ancient temples and lounging in a shikara, or boat, while gliding along Dal Lake. Prices range from $2,995 (16 days) to $4,250 (21 days) per person, including air fare from Los Angeles or New York. Flexible departures are between May 15 and Oct. 15.
Concorde Around World
A group of 95 will travel around the world via Concorde in the SST's first westbound circumnavigation of the Earth. The flight departs San Francisco on Oct. 20 and stops in Hawaii, Shanghai, Beijing, Bangkok, Singapore, the Maldives and London, returning to New York Nov. 3. The cost is $24,995. Contact Concorde Travel, 150 East 39th St., Suite 602, New York 10016.
Travelers to Spain this summer may earn five units of college credit, live in Spanish homes, visit historic cities, enjoy cultural activities and spend three days in Madrid. They'll be participants in the "Spanish Language in Salamanca" program, July 2 to Aug. 6, under the auspices of Long Beach City College. The price is $1,549, including air fare from Los Angeles. Information: Eleanor Palomo for details at (213) 420-4589 or (213) 420-4331.
Britain on Your Own