The 156-passenger North Star makes an eight-day Mexican cruise that begins in La Paz on the Baja Peninsula and calls at Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, the fishing village of San Blas, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa. The cruise ends in Acapulco. All passengers aboard the seven-deck, 295-foot ship have outside staterooms.
The North Star will make 14 southbound cruises and 15 northbound beginning Oct. 7. Prices start at $1,299 per person double occupancy. Early booking discounts of $400 per couple are available until Aug. 31. An extension cruise to the Bay of Whales may be added to the itinerary. Exploration Cruise Lines' toll-free phone is (800) 426-0600.
Four cruise segments aboard Chandris Fantasy Cruises' Britanis are offered by Love Holidays. Miami to Callao, Peru, Sept. 30 to Oct. 12, calls at Tampa, Cozumel and Cristobal, crosses the Panama Canal and on to Callao, Peru, returning to Miami. Fares start at $1,795. Miami to Rio de Janeiro and back, Sept. 30 to Nov. 2, adds calls at Valparaiso, Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas, Puerto Madryn, Buenos Aires and Rio; from $3,995. For a flight from Miami to Callao, cruise to Rio, and flight back to Miami, Oct. 9 to Nov. 2, the fare is $3,795. Rio to Miami, Oct. 31 to Nov. 16, calls at Salvador, Belem, Barbados and St. Thomas; $2,495. Contact Love Holidays, 15315 Magnolia Blvd., Suite 110, Sherman Oaks 91403, phone (818) 501-6868.
The British Isles
A 23-day tour of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland begins Oct. 1 with Global Adventures, 350 N. El Camino Real, Suite 36, Encinitas 92024, phone (619) 436-9468. The price of the fully escorted tour includes round-trip air fare via British Caledonia, all sightseeing, two meals a day, accommodations, parties and sightseeing. Overnights will be at country inns, manor houses and hotels in the Yorkshire moors, the lake districts of England and Scotland, Edinburgh, Bath, Dublin, Killarney, Rosslaire and London. Other tours with Global Adventures will head for Mexico, Australia and Fiji, Ireland, and the Orient.
The Pacific Northwest
The alpine forests, high desert and rugged coast of Oregon, the glacial wilderness of Washington's national parks and the volcanic landscape of Mt. St. Helens are destinations for summer tours offered by Nature Expeditions International, P.O. Box 11496, Dept. 804, Eugene, Ore. 97440, phone (503) 484-6529. Departures are July 16, Aug. 6 and Sept. 10, and each 16-day tour costs $1,990. The Oregon itinerary includes Mt. Hood, lava lands, Crater Lake, a raft trip on the McKenzie River and a drive along the coast. In Washington, the itinerary includes Mt. Rainier and Olympic national parks. Expert naturalists lecture informally each day on the tours, which are designed for natural history enthusiasts and photographers. Overnights are in comfortable lodges and hotels in scenic areas.
France by Bicycle
Two one-week leisurely bicycle tours of France's Loire Valley, Sept. 9 and Sept. 18, will follow the course of the Loire River, taking in Angers, the Anjou-Saumur vineyards and such chateaux as Langeais, Villandry, Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceaux, Amboise, Blois and Chambord. Highlights include stays in Michelin-rated chateaux--Le Prieure, Chateau d'Artigny, Chateau de Chissay--and the historic mansions of Ouchamp's 18th-Century Relais des Landes and the Domaine des Hautes de Loire. Two tour leaders accompany each group, and a support van carries all gear. The price is $1,696 including deluxe accommodations, breakfasts and dinners. Air fare is extra. Arrangements are by Backroads Bicycle Touring, P.O. Box 1626, San Leandro, Calif. 94577, phone (415) 895-1783.
New Zealand by Train
New Zealand celebrates 125 years of rail travel with an 18-day tour aboard restored historic trains, traveling through spectacular scenery and stopping for evening barbecues hosted by local train enthusiasts. The tour, Oct. 8-25, costs $1,698. Air fare is extra. For details phone the New Zealand Central Reservations Office toll-free at (800) 351-2317 in California and (800) 351-2323 from out of state.