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Tours & Cruises

Icy Looks in a Sea Kayak in Greenland

February 11, 1996|KARIN DOMINELLO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two sea kayaking expeditions to Northeast Greenland National Park, the world's largest national park at nearly 1 million square miles, are scheduled for July 31 and Aug. 13 for 16 days each.

Adventurers explore the innermost sections of Scoresbysund, the huge fiord system dominating the southernmost part of the park, Here in the tunu, the far side of the country, the land is fringed by a cobalt sea marked with icebergs. In the innermost part of the fiord are canyon-like valleys cut deep into the high icecap plateau.

The goal of the expedition is to explore the fiord system, where members paddle kayaks through the narrow side arms of the main fiord, skirting iceberg-calving glaciers and zigzagging through the archipelago of the Bear Islands. There also will be time for land exploration, with hikes through musk oxen-filled valleys and easy climbs of local peaks. The protection of the fragile polar ecosystem has contributed to a unique fauna, including polar bears, musk oxen, ermine, lemmings, arctic wolves and many species of birds.

Cost: $2,990 per person, including meals and some equipment. Not included: air fare. Previous sea kayaking experience is a prerequisite for the expedition. Contact: Mountain-Travel Sobek, 6420 Fairmount Ave., El Cerrito, CA 94530; telephone (800) 282-8747, ext. 3021.

Sedona's Red Rocks

Take a three-night tour of Sedona April 10 to see this small Arizona town popular for its pure air, peacefulness and scenic red rocks. Guided tours are made to Oak Creek Canyon, Bell Rock, Courthouse Rock, Chapel of the Holy Cross, Airport Mesa, Slide Rock and Oak Creek Falls. Stops are also made at Sedona's art galleries and shopping areas.

Cost: $530 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles to Phoenix, ground transportation and room at the Hotel Poco Diablo. Contact: Lynn Eastwood at Amente Tours, 27 Packet Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275; tel. (310) 377-1717.

China's Highlights

A 19-day tour to China and Hong Kong departs April 29.

Visits will be made to the Great Wall and Ming Tombs, Summer Palace and Forbidden City in Beijing; the terra cotta horses and warriors at Xi'an; Shanghai; Suzhou, the garden city located on the Grand Canal; Chongqing, and the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River (cruise). The tour concludes with a visit to the British colony of Hong Kong, in its last year before becoming part of China.

The tour will be led by Iweeta McIntosh, who lived in Hong Kong for 10 years, speaks Chinese fluently, and has visited China more than 50 times since 1978 with tour groups.

Cost: $2,995 per person, double occupancy, including all hotels, meals and tours. Not included: air fare. Contact: Iweeta McIntosh, McIntosh Tours, 3028 Fondren Drive, Dallas, TX 75205; tel. (214) 696-9868 or (800) 232-4462.

Salzburg Concerts

The University of Redlands Salzburg Summer Festival Tour departs July 20 for 14 nights to focus on classical music and travel. The tour offers informal lectures on Austrian culture and on the music that will be heard at concerts. The first week will focus on sightseeing in southern Germany and the Austrian Tirol. Days will be spent visiting Munich, medieval Oberammergau, the island city of Lindau, King Ludwig's Neuschwanstein castle, Bregenz, Garmisch, Innsbruck and villages in the Austrian Alps. During the first week the group will see the Bregenz Festival's staging of Beethoven's "Fidelio."

The second week will be spent entirely in the city of Salzburg during the Salzburg Summer Festival. The group will reside at the Hotel Gablerbrau, which is located in the inner medieval section of the city and is within walking distance of concert halls, churches, woods, parks, gardens, shopping areas and the Salzach River promenades.

In Salzburg the tentative schedule will include: Mozart's "Don Giovanni," Weber's "Oberon," a Mozart concert with the Mozarteum Orchestra and orchestra concerts featuring the Vienna Philharmonic.

Cost: $4,995 per person, double occupancy, including air fare, hotels, meals, sightseeing and concert tickets. Contact: Professor James Keays, University of Redlands School of Music; tel. (909) 793-2121, ext. 3275.

Irish Rig

Experience Northern Ireland on three bike/hike tours up the Antrim Coast June 2-8, June 11-17 and 20-26. The June 2 tour is for women only. The tour starts in Belfast with one night's lodging and a city tour, then proceeds to Cushendall, Ballycastle, Giant's Causeway and Portrush.

Cost: $750 per person and includes accommodations, breakfasts, three evening meals, bike rental, van support and guides. Not included: air fare to Ireland. Contact: Fit to Be Toured, 1169 St. Francis Drive, Concord, CA 94518; tel. (800) 538-8564.

Picture It, Kenya

A photography tour in Kenyan game parks with opportunities to photograph the elusive leopard and rare rhino as well as other wildlife departs June 9 and returns June 30.

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