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The Mature Traveler

Leisure Time Directory Lists Group Trip Ideas and Discounts

October 11, 1987|BILL HUGHES | Hughes is a 25-year veteran travel writer living in Sherman Oaks.

For mature travelers who belong to a group or club, if your club trip coordinator does not already have one, pass on the word to contact the Senior Travel and Recreation Assn. of California (STRAC) for a copy of its "Senior Citizens Leisure Time Directory."

Published twice a year, the directory is jampacked with ideas for trips ranging from a few hours to long weekends. All offer discounts to seniors traveling in a group. Addresses, phone numbers, descriptions and locations are given so that trip arrangers will be able to plan excursions easily. The free directory is not available to individuals but only to those coordinating group travel.

Contact the Senior Travel and Recreation Assn. of California, P.O. Box 3204, Anaheim, Calif. 92803.

Fall, traditionally a slower season in Florida, is when the state actively woos mature travelers with a bevy of discounts.

The Lee County Tourist Development Council, which includes such areas as Sanibel Island, Fort Myers Beach and Marco Island, will provide details for discounted hotels and resorts. Call toll-free (800) 237-6444.

Also in Lee County, Marquis Hotels and Resorts is offering 10% to 20% discounts on their Southwest Florida properties that include condo-style suites in beachfront resort locales.

To obtain senior discounts that will be offered through November (excluding Thanksgiving), at least one person in the party must be 55 or older. For details, call (800) 237-8906.

Free discount coupon books for the hotels and attractions in the Kissimmee-St. Cloud resort area are available during the area's Great Fall Get-A-Way. More than 17,000 hotel rooms and 70 properties offer special discounts including 54 hotels and motels plus 16 attractions not far from Disney World and Epcot Center.

To receive a free coupon book, write to Kissimmee-St. Cloud Convention and Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 2007, Kissimmee, Fla. 32742-2007, or call toll-free (800) 327-9159. Most of the coupons are good through Dec. 31.

According to Robert F. Reynolds, president of Valor Tours Ltd., nostalgia is drawing many war veterans, their families and history buffs to the Pacific islands and ocean areas where the action was from 1941 to 1945. And Royal Viking Line's "Pacific Memories III Cruise" aboard the Royal Viking Star will feature three speakers during the three-week voyage about that era.

Lecturers will include retired Marine Brig. Gen. James Roosevelt, son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt; former Navy officer Douglas Hubbard, previously superintendent of the Admiral Nimitz Museum and Park, and former Boston Globe war correspondent and author Martin Sheridan, who spent a year in the Pacific covering naval, air and land operations.

The lectures will refresh everyone's memory with their reminiscences and details of some of the greatest battles of World War II.

The Pacific Memories cruise will depart Sydney, Australia, on March 15, 1988, with stops in Townsville, Guadalcanal, Rabaul, Madang, Hollandia, Biak, Morotai, Bali and Singapore where the cruise ends April 5.

Reynolds points out that veterans and their wives and families can spend a few hours in a historic place and see where dad was during the war, then return home in the afternoon from the jungle to the comfort of the cruise ship.

Rates for the three-week cruise begin at $5,780 per person. For a brochure with itinerary details, shore excursions and cabin selection, contact Valor Tours Ltd., P.O. Box 1617, Sausalito, Calif. 94966, phone (415) 332-7850.

Mexico West, which puts out informative newsletters about what's happening south of the border, is sponsoring a shopping tour to Guadalajara Nov. 12-15 with a special discount for mature travelers. Only 10 openings are available.

The three-night, four-day package is $358 per person double occupancy, but for seniors the cost is $321 per person double occupancy (single travelers add $132).

The price includes round-trip air fare from LAX, four full days and three nights in the Camino Real Hotel, all ground transportation to and from the airport, a full-day city tour including Lake Chapala and lunch in Ajijic, a welcome cocktail, all taxes, tips and portage.

Three tour escorts (who declare they are lots of fun) will accompany the trip and there will be plenty of time to shop in downtown Guadalajara or in neighboring Tlaquepaque, the artisan headquarters of Mexico.

Details are available from Sunset Affiliates, 6312 Variel Ave., Suite 213, Woodland Hills, Calif. 91367, phone (818) 992-7576.

In San Francisco the Hotel Richelieu, reopened after renovation, is introducing its new facilities to seniors through a special room rate of $53 single and $58 double per night.

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