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THE MATURE TRAVELER

A Land and River Tour in Eastern Russia : The trip includes seven days on the Amur River, mostly off-limits to foreigners until last year.

April 25, 1993|HANK KOVELL

A 16-day combination land trip and river cruise that ventures into the far reaches of eastern Russia and Siberia is offered to adventurous travelers over age 55 at discounts up to 25% by TravelRoads, an Encino-based tour operator.

The excursion is actually a combination of two tours. The first is an eight-day trip beginning in the historic Russian city of Khabarovsk, which tour participants reach by air from Los Angeles, via Anchorage. After two days of sightseeing in Khabarovsk, travelers board the Trans-Siberian Railway for a 2 1/2-day trip to Irkutsk in first-class private sleeping compartments. Among sightseeing excursions over two nights and three days in the Irkutsk area is an all-day side trip to Lake Baikal, the deepest lakes in the world.

From Irkutsk, travelers are flown back to Khabarovsk to begin a seven-day cruise on the Amur River, much of which was off-limits to foreigners until last year. The cruise vessel Amur Star carries only 78 passengers and has two dining rooms, a lounge with nightly entertainment, two bars and a sauna, plus covered and open deck spaces with deck chairs. A doctor is also on board. English-speaking guides lead shore excursions and give shipboard lectures.

Each cabin aboard the ship is air-conditioned and contains a shower and toilet, closets and a large picture window. The cruise visits lesser-known towns and villages where passengers are entertained by folk dances and festivals.

The regular published per-person price for the two-part, 16-day trip is $3,196. Discounts for travelers over 55 range from $400 to $800 per person, depending on the date selected for travel. Price includes air transportation, all meals throughout on both segments, hotel accommodations with private bath, all transportation, city tours plus tips for meals on the land portion of the trip.

Travelers may select from more than a dozen high-season departure dates beginning in June and continuing throughout the summer months, with a final booking beginning Sept. 6. Air travel is via Alaska Airlines from Los Angeles, San Diego or Phoenix.

A brochure is available by calling TravelRoads at (800) 366-7831 or (818) 382-7830. Or write to TravelRoads, 16000 Ventura Blvd., Encino 91436.

Two hotel groups in Hawaii have announced that they have extended discount programs for seniors through the end of the year.

* At Sheraton Hotels, the "Golden Guest" program allows members of AARP, along with guests 60 and older, to receive 25% discounts at participating hotels from now through June 20, and from Sept. 1 to Dec. 20. A free Golden Guest membership card, which is issued on arrival, entitles guests to room upgrades when available, plus discounts at various restaurants and attractions. For more information and reservations: (800) 325-3535.

* Outrigger Hotels is continuing its "Fifty Plus" senior program, valid at the 25 Outrigger Hotels on Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii. The program provides a 20% discount to travelers over 50. Reservations: (800) 462-6262.

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