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Tours & Cruises

Big Island, Bigger Lava Flows


Be ecologically correct on a weeklong tour of the Big Island beginning Dec. 26. The tour begins at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where participants will stay in A-frame cabins for three nights. Day hikes and excursions are made to view hot lava as it flows into the ocean and explodes into a fiery plume. Guests get a chance to enter a natural hot pool and a steam-vent sauna. Tours are taken at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory and the Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Gardens north of Hilo.

At Kalopa State Park guests hike into the lush Waipio Valley for views of waterfalls and eat lunch on a black sand beach. At Hapuna Beach State Historical Park guests will go snorkeling and stay at Uncle Billy's Hilo Bay Hotel for an aloha dinner, Hawaiian songs, hula dancing and New Year's fireworks Hawaiian style.

Cost: $599 per person, double occupancy, including accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, island transportation and guided hikes. Participants should have a day pack, sturdy shoes or boots, and snorkeling gear. Not included: air fare to Hawaii. Contact: Crane Tours, 15101 Magnolia Blvd., No. H10, Sherman Oaks, Calif. 91403; telephone (818) 784-2213.

Inside Santa Fe

A four-day trip to visit the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture in Santa Fe., N.M., and the Santa Clara Pueblo leaves Oct. 27. Sponsored by the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, the tour focuses on Santa Fe's new museum facility, which houses one of the Southwest's largest collection of Native American artifacts. Participants will stay with local families who are museum supporters. The first day is spent visiting the museum and attending a lecture on Pueblo pottery. Then, an anthropologist will take guests to the Santa Clara Pueblo to learn about Pueblo archeology, history and contemporary life. Guests visit and talk with potters and can buy directly from them. Also planned is time for shopping, visiting the Museum of Fine Arts, the Jackalope mercado , Palace of the Governors and a private sculpture garden.

Cost: $995 per person, including accommodations, tours and entrance fees, meals and donation to the Gene Autry museum. Not included: transportation to Santa Fe. Contact: Gene Autry West Heritage Museum, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, Calif. 90027-1462; tel. (213) 667-2000, Ext. 330.

In South Carolina

Bray's Island Plantation near Beaufort, S.C., a privately owned sports colony, is offering a two-day/two-night visitors' package for $450 per person, double occupancy, with complimentary use of the 5,200-acre resort's PGA golf course, shooting ranges and fishing facilities. Guests can take professional skeet shooting courses or have a field guide for horseback riding, fly fishing and hunting (private hunts can be arranged on foot, horseback or mule-drawn carriage through the resort's 3,500-acre nature preserve). The plantation also offers canoe trips and deep-water fishing in the Atlantic. Contact Bray's Island Plantation, P.O. Box 30, Sheldon, S.C. 29941; tel. (803) 846-3100.

Canadian Respite

A two-day spa package for those weary and short on time is available Nov. 4 at British Columbia's Chateau Whistler Resort, a 90-minute drive from Vancouver at the base of Blackcomb Mountain in ski country. Guests get spa cuisine, wellness seminars, power walking, massages, facials, aroma therapy, fitness classes and, of course, optional activities such as swimming, tennis and just plain relaxation.

Cost: from $230 per person, double occupancy. Not included: air fare to Canada. Contact: Canadian Pacific Hotels and Resorts at (800) 441-1414.

Island Paradise

A three-island Bali adventure for families will depart LAX Dec. 18 and visit Bali, Java and Lombok. The 14-day trip will include temple viewing, dance programs, snorkeling, village visits for the adults and additional programs for the kids such as a day at the new Water Park under the supervision of a youth guide, while the parents relax.

Cost: $2,399 per person, double occupancy for adults, $1,980 for children 12 and over and $1,590 for children under 12, including round-trip air fare, deluxe hotels, all sightseeing and transportation. Contact: Escapes Unlimited, 626 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, Calif. 92666; tel. (800) 243-7227.

Exploring Provence

A six-day tour to Provence, France, departs March 10. Participants have their base at a hotel in Nimes and take motor coach tours daily with a tour guide to see such sights as Arles, St. Remy de Provence, Avignon and Pont-du-Gard, famous for its Roman monuments. A day is available for guests to explore on their own.

Cost: $868 per person, double occupancy, including hotel, continental breakfast daily and sightseeing fees. Not included: air fare to Paris and most meals. Contact: Let's Go, 3222 Lake Albano Circle, San Jose, Calif. 95135; tel. (408) 223-2281.

Picturesque China

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