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Tours & Cruises

Retracing Hoof Steps of the Pony Express


Cost: $1,245 per person, double occupancy, including motor-coach transportation from Los Angeles, hotels, 12 meals, admissions, sightseeing and tram tour. An Alcatraz Island tour, Lake Tahoe cruise and gourmet dinner at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite are optional. Contact: S.T.E.P. Inc. Tours, 6719 Abbottswood Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275; tel. (310) 377-1601.

Renaissance Revived

Three "Heart of Renaissance Italy" tours leave May 25-June 7, Sept. 14-27 and Oct. 5-18. Like the Renaissance, the tours begin in provincial Perugia and Siena and continue in the centers of Florence and Rome. Art historian Bruce Jonas will present a series of encounters with artistic masterpieces by Michelangelo, Botticelli and other artists who decorated the recently restored Sistine Chapel. Travelers see the Vatican and the Uffizi, as well as less-frequently visited sites, including the Ducal Palace in Urbino and Lorenzo de Medici's villa.

Cost: $3,679 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from New York to Rome, hotels, most meals, ground transportation by coach and all museum admissions. Contact: Italian Art Ventures, P.O. Box 1036 Village Station, New York, NY 10014-0706; tel. (800) 482-5963.

Victory Tour

A 15-day tour to commemorate V-E Day, the World War II Allied victory in Europe, begins in London on May 6. Following London sightseeing, participants visit Duxford, a WWII Battle of Britain airfield to view historic aircraft, and Portsmouth to visit Gen. Eisenhower's headquarters and the D-day Museum.

A ferry crossing to France follows with visits to D-day beaches and the Memorial Museum at Caen; the town of Argentan and the Mont-Ormel Monument, where the last part of the Battle of Normandy was fought in 1944; Paris sightseeing; Reims, site of Eisenhower's headquarters in France; Epernay, and Champagne for Champagne tasting. The itinerary continues to Bastogne, Belgium, with a visit to the Battle of the Bulge Memorial; the Liberation Museum at Nijmegen, Holland; Remagen, Germany, to view its famous bridge, and a Rhine cruise.

Cost: $2,214 per person, including round-trip air from LAX, hotels, all breakfasts and some dinners, motor coach, baggage handling, hotel tips and service charges. Other departures are available through September. Contact: Bonar Travel, 24 Whitewater Drive, Corona del Mar, CA 92625; tel. (714) 640-7402.

Going on a Safari

A tented safari Sept. 12 through "Africa's last frontier" will explore Botswana's Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park, home to some of the largest elephant herds in the world. The 17-day safari of 14 participants will travel in safari vehicles with detachable roofs and sides and 12-volt video hookups for each seat. Also planned: a London stopover and two nights at the Mowana Lodge on the Chobe River for game walks and sunset cruises.

Cost: $2,882 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, ground transportation, some meals, guides and tours. Not included: international air fare. Contact: Acacia Travel, 4250 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92110; tel. (800) 243-6996.

The Times is not responsible for changes in prices, dates or itineraries. These should be confirmed with travel agents or tour operators.

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